Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rocking the Boat

What a wonderful weekend.  I have so much to share I need to break my posts up, I’ll start with my exciting Friday night.  I’m heading to the Boundary Waters this summer with 8 other fabulous ladies.  This has been on my bucket list and part of my goal to try new things.  At first I didn’t put two and two together realizing that Boundary Waters means canoeing.   Rough camping I can do, rough camping I’m a rock star at.  Canoeing . . . . . total different story.  To be honest, I’ve never really been canoeing, that was until Friday night. 

Canoeing strikes a deep fear deep within my soul, a fear I really want to get over.  It’s a fear I have been unable to understand and rationalize.  My dear friend Heather, whom I can be 100% myself with, took me out canoeing in a “safe” environment on Friday.  While I knew logically I was safe, I was with Heather, I had a life jacket on, I know how to swim, the water wasn’t all that deep, I was TERRIFIED.  Terrified as in I wanted to cry, scream and run away.  I was trying to figure out how I would back out of the trip because I didn’t think there was any way I could get in the darn canoe and live to tell about it.  Heather is so patient and kind, she let me take me time getting in the canoe, helped talk me through my fears.  It was hard because my fears are in no way logical.  I was able to pinpoint my fear to the rocking of the boat.  Once I was out on the water paddling and the boat was calm, I was calm.  At the slightest rock of the boat, I would tense up and panic would set it.  There was a point where we were in 2 inches of water and yet it scared the crap out of me when the boat rocked.  It just didn’t make sense to me why I was feeling so overwhelmed by the rocking of the boat even if I was “safe”.  When the boat rocked, I would become scared, the more scared I became, the more the boat rocked, I became more scared, the boat rocked more, you get the picture.  If I calmed down and took a deep breath, the boat would calm, I would calm, etc. After we had a successful first trip out, I felt a wave of relief and joy come over me.   While I’m still scared, I know I can overcome the fear and go on the trip.

Today on my way to work, I thought about it and realized that’s when I have anxiety in my life.  Suddenly it became so clear and powerful where my fear from the canoe comes from.  At times in life, metaphorically the boat rocks, I know logically that God is there with me, I can have my life jacket on (my tools and resources), I can know how to cope, the water may or may not be deep (big or small problem), but it scares me none the less.  During counseling I’ve learned my core issues to be trust, fear and control.  These issues are deeply rooted within me.    The actual reaction I had on Friday is the same reaction I have when the boat rocks in my life (little or small).  This is why I’m having such a strong reaction to canoeing.   I unlocked the connection and it feels empowering.  I’m so determined to learn to cope, to trust, because I want to live life to the fullest.  The Bible story of Peter during the storm and walking on water is so fitting here.  I will trust God, I will learn to use my resources, I will do this in shallow and deep water and I’ll take a deep breath when the boat rocks realizing that I am indeed “safe”.

Unstoppable “Boat rock’n” Mariah

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Did you hear that snake?

Living with anxiety has it humorous moments.  Usually those moments come far after the anxiety has passed and I look back at how ridiculous my thoughts were.  Take this morning for example.  I awoke to hear a strange almost hiss like sound.  I wasn’t the cat hissing but almost sounded snake like.  I heard the cat meowing so I decided the cat must have found a snake in the house.  When the cat stopped meowing I decided the snake ATE the cat.   Yes, the snake must have eaten my 12lb cat.   I was too darn scared to get out of bed to see a huge snake with the lump in the shape of a cat to get out of bed.  Moments later I heard the cat move around and there were no more hissing sounds.  The world was once again peacefully normal.

I assure you, this really were the thoughts that went through my mind this morning.  I can look back now and find it utterly funny.  Thinking back to the pictures in my head, how I jumped from a strange sound, to a dead cat eaten by a huge snake and back everything is okay in less then 3 minutes; I giggle at myself and shake my head.  Yes, this is what it’s like living with anxiety.  Somehow the irrational become rational, not only rational but REAL.   

My anxiety turns into crippling fear.  Tonight during my run I began to appreciate my willingness to push through my fears.  I haven’t been as active as I used to be, but I’m getting there, yet I fear not being able to complete my runs, my biking, my yoga.  That I’ll be too slow, to fat, I’ll get hurt, I won’t be able to breath, people will laugh at me, you name it, the tape that play in my head is NEGATIVE NELLY.  Regardless, I got out there and I did the best I could today.  I stopped the negative tape instead I focused on positive things.  I thought about the 5K I’m doing this weekend with my family and a friend.  I’m so darn excited to do it even if it will take me 50 minutes to cross the line and last year I was close to being under 45 minutes.  I’m going to stop being hard on myself for what I can’t do and give myself credit for what I am doing.  That’s what being “unstoppable” is about J

Unstoppable “postive focused” Mariah

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Back and Stronger then EVER!

J  Unstoppable Mariah back, stronger and more persistent then ever. Hello my friends, it has been wayyyyyyy too long.  I’m really excited to be back and super happy to be posting.  That is a GREAT feeling.  I sorta had a mini (okay maybe not so mini) episode of major anxiety and some depression going on.  I wasn’t comfortable or even sure how to blog about it.  I was anxious about being anxious which made me even more anxious.  I wouldn’t drive my car for a few days because I was convinced it was going to malfunction.  That’s not even the ½ of it.  Long story short, it wasn’t good. 

I started therapy, medication and getting back in touch with my spiritual side.  It’s made a huge difference.  Regardless of losing my weight before, I failed to deal with why I put the weight on.  When I stopped eating to cope I didn’t learn new coping strategies, unannounced to me, things slowly starting piling up and then one day something small shoved me right off the edge.  So not in line with my holistic approach to getting healthy.  At first I was ashamed, but I’m not anymore.  Instead I’m extremely proud of myself. I now understand the core issues which brought me to over 300lbs.

I realized I was ready to blog when I’ve been able to deal with recent events in a pretty healthy manner.  We found a lump on Hannah’s rib (she’s 11 ½), one doctor blew us off, so we saw a second doctor.  This doctor took the lump more seriously.  During an x-ray they didn’t see the lump rib, but found a nodule on her lung.   The lung nodule turns out to be a harmless benign lung granuloma.  It just sounds scary, but it’s really nothing to be worried about.  No sign of the rib lump on x-ray or ultrasound. Next step is to see a Pediatric Surgeon on Wednesday.  He will help decide what we should do next, possibly a CT Scan or repeat x-ray.  He’s one of the best peds surgeons in MN.  This doesn’t mean Hannah will need surgery, rather that she’s got the best doctor possible and he’ll be able to provide direction and answers.  The thing is, I’m calm.  Hannah’s calm, Paul is calm.  Granted the first few days I did internally FREAK out a little.  I starting telling, okay more like threatening God (yeah, like that works), that he didn’t dare take Hannah after taking my other babies away from me.  Then I stopped, found stillness and came back to reality.  The God I know and love is the same God I knew and loved before we saw the lump on Hannah.  Hannah is going to be fine, in fact, Hannah will be FANTASTIC.   There has been nothing showing us any differently.  God asks me to find stillness and trust in him, so I will do as I’m ask, faithfully.  This my friends is growth of the biggest kind for me.

My blog will be taking a little bit of a different focus, more than weight loss, I’ll be focusing on holistic health.  It will range from weight loss, to mental health, spiritual growth, managing work/school/motherhood/wifehood (he he, my new word).  I’m happy to start this new chapter.  I’m thrilled to be here and glad to have you with me.

Unstoppable "non anxious" Mariah