I Am Different since Mom Died…

I remember how much she loved life and expressed the importance of living carefree. Although those weren’t her exact words, that’s the imprint she left on me. I wish I was more like her sometimes. She’s definitely left me some of her energy but I get so caught up being a introvert at times that I never get to fully enjoy life or what I’m doing at the time. I find myself more helpless and needy now than I ever did before. It’s the worst feeling ever and it bothers me daily that I’m losing my resilience to snap out of it and move forward. I believe I’m suffering from a broken heart that can’t be repaired. Broken Heart Syndrome or Cardiomyopathy is what they’re calling it over at the American Heart Association. It’s said to be very dangerous as it could lead to other cardiac consequences like short term heart muscle failure. Due to the intense chest pain, it’s been often misdiagnosed as a heart attack because of the similar symptoms. But the good news is that it’s treatable for some people, but when will my treatment take affect?  

 

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Depression

Depression strikes millions each year,often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that it is sometimes referred to as the “common cold” of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given timeJust about everyone has a bad day from time to time that leaves them down in the dumps at times, but if life is consistently weighing you down and your circumstances are making it hard to function, then you may be depressed. 

There are Different Types of Depression Some of the most common types are: Major depression, Bipolar disorder, Cyclothymia (a milder form of bipolar), Dysthymia (or chronic depression), Postpartum depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Each one presents different symptoms and represents a distinct diagnosis. 

The good news about this is that depression has a high cure rate. Effective treatments exist to help bring people’s lives back under control. Yet tragically many people suffering from this illness go without diagnosis and please note that only a licensed professional can diagnose depression. If you answer yes to more than a few of these few questions, then there may be a possibility that you may be suffering from depression. Check with your physician as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.

1. Do you have trouble sleeping at night?

2. Do you feel tired and run down?

3. Has your sex drive become severely diminished?

4. Have you gained/loss weight noticeably in recent months?

5. Do you ever feel like what’s the point of living?

(If you answered yes, please call 911 or a help line)

6. Do you experience high levels of stress and anxiety? 

7. Does your mood take a turn for the worse as winter approaches?

8. Do you “put on a happy face” to hide feelings of sadness?

9. Do you sometimes feel out of control and lose all good judgement?

10. Have you been though a recent traumatic event, such as divorce, death of a loved one, or losing your job?

DEALING WITH LIFE AFTER DEATH… Grieving stages

  Losing a parent, spouse, child, or other loved one is really hard. What most of us don’t know, until it happens, is that it hurts for a very long time. Everyone processes their loss differently by experiencing a series of diverse feelings, depending on the loss.Although we may go through these stages in a different order or skip one altogether, dealing with grief creates depression. 
Stage 1: Shock and Denial

For some, you can’t always process what just took place for at least the first hours, days, weeks or months after you experience a loss. Shock and denial will make you feel like you simply can’t absorb what’s happened. It might feel like there’s a 5 inch glass wall between you and your feelings. You know you’re sad, but you can’t actually grieve. The numbness protects you from dissolving, and it may feel a bit frightening because you’re wondering “why can’t I cry?”

Losing someone you’ve lived with may also bring intense feelings of loneliness and emptiness as you struggle with the hole left in your daily life. If you’ve spent the past months or years as their sole provider, it’s natural to experience a sense of being cut adrift; after giving so much of your time and devotion to your loved one, suddenly you are no longer needed. Similar to the “empty nest” syndrome. 

  What you might be feeling:    

  Numb and distracted: “This can’t be happening to me.

  Alienated from other people: All while everyone else exists in the beautiful sunny carefree world participating in everyday events, you’re in a dark tunnel…Alone, without, depressed.

  Bereft of purpose: Many can agree that after caring for someone for so long, you begin to feel painfully lost, as if the connection that kept you going every day is no longer there.

  What you might notice:    

  Memory gaps: From being unable to recall what you did yesterday, or not knowing how long it’s been since you last ate.

  Being disorganized and “spacey” misplacing your keys or cell phone, losing your car in the parking lot, forgetting to return phone calls or reply to texts

  Feeling out of touch with your real feelings: reacting in ways that don’t feel like “you,” drinking, pills, drugs, snapping at everyone, or having no emotion when a friend tells you some happy or sad news. Just numb..

  What to do:  

  Give yourself permission to feel however you feel. You’ve just been through an emotional earthquake, and the aftershocks are going to continue for a long time. It’s okay if you can’t cry, and it’s also okay if you cry all the time or at inappropriate moments.

  Break through the denial. Recognize that numbness has a purpose: It keeps you from falling apart. But if feelings of distance and unreality are bothering you, use family members and close friends as touchstones. It’s always easier said than done, but try to prevent yourself from “suppressing” your feelings by checking in with others: How are you holding up? Create opportunities to talk over the experiences you’ve been through and reminisce about your loved one. 

  Stage 2: Pain and Guilt

When the protective curtain of denial slowly slips aside, intense feelings start to surface. This may be the hardest time, when things seem darkest. Self-blame is common. You may find yourself replaying conversations and decisions in your mind and asking yourself if you should have done things differently. If you’ve lost someone who’s been suffering or in pain, you may experience a complex mix of relief coupled with guilt. It’s common to hear a judging voice in your head, berating you for feeling relieved or not thinking of them as often as before, but actually relief is a perfectly normal reaction.

  What you might be feeling:    

  Extreme mood swings: feeling okay one moment and overwhelmed with sadness the next.

  Physical and/or emotional exhaustion. You might feel like you can’t get out of bed in the morning, or even like you can’t go on any longer.

  Guilt: if you had an argument and refused to speak, or missed the last phone call, you may feel guilty that you’re the blame. If you had been the bigger person this would’ve never happened. Guilt also arises of you may begin to feel relieved that the intense period of caregiving is over and you can return to your “normal” life.

  What you might notice:    

  Tears: that come when you least expect them.

  Negative thoughts: about yourself, situations, or people

  Obsessive thought patterns: such as going over in your mind things you did and didn’t do or say.

  Exhaustion and lethargy: feeling overwhelmed and defeated, asking yourself “what’s the point?” Why do I even care about anything anymore?

  What to do:    

  Find ways to turn off the “tapes” replaying themselves in your mind. If there are moments or images that are particularly traumatic to remember (the decision to turn off life support, for example, or an image of your loved one in pain), talk through the memories with family members and friends who went through them with you. If you were alone, pray to God for comfort.

Saying, “I keep thinking of how much pain she was in and wondering if there was more we could have done” allows you to get the dark feelings and fears out in the open so that you and those who were also present can talk through what happened.

You may be surprised to find that others remember things differently. Getting everyone’s feelings out in the open allows you to reassure each other that you all did the best you could in a difficult situation.

  Ask for help. This is the time to find a support group, therapist, or close friend or family member who’s been through something similar, who can help you work through these very difficult feelings.

      Force yourself to reach out. It’s easy to hide away or isolate yourself when you feel that you’re “not at your best,” but this is just the time to reach out. Put a few close friends or family members on alert by saying, “I’m having a pretty tough time right now. Can I call you when I’m really feeling down?” Setting this up ahead of time gives you permission to pick up the phone.

      Let yourself off the hook. If you’re experiencing guilt for surviving, or relief that their suffering or your caregiving role is over, remind yourself that those feelings are common and natural and nothing to feel bad about. The truth of the situation is that the person you were caring for is out of pain and some of the burdens that have overwhelmed you have been lifted, and it’s natural to react with relief. 

Stage 3: Anger, frustration, and bitterness

For many people, this stage alternates in spurts with pain and guilt. You may find yourself becoming very reactive. You’re going along just fine until something — a TV episode, a story told by a friend, an ad in a magazine — sets off an explosion of angry, even hostile feelings. Sometimes anger is a way to shield ourselves from feeling intense pain; other times it’s the simple contrast between other peoples’ concerns and the sheer magnitude of what we’re going through that triggers an attack of bitterness or frustration.

  What you might be feeling:    

  Sudden attacks of self-pity and frustration or bursts of outrage and a sense of injustice that may feel childlike: “Why me out of all people?” or “This isn’t fair!” “I just keep thinking that this isn’t what we signed up for.” 

    Bitterness or resentment. When I lost my Mother to a Blood Stroke, I can recall feeling ashamed of my lack of compassion when my other friends described their difficulties with their Mothers in poor health. I always heard a voice in my head saying, “I’ll trade you any day.” Or “how could you speak of me in such a way?!?”

  What you might notice

  A desire to avoid certain social situations, particularly those where others are celebrating life, family functions or self-congratulatory events. 

  Irritation when others complain about things that seem petty and unimportant compared with what you’re going through.

  A tendency to react with mistrust and sarcasm.    

  Anger and bitterness over others’ sincere expressions of sympathy. Someone saying “I understand,” or “Is there something I can do?” might make you want to scream, or just walk away for instance.

  What to do:   Avoid those who bring you down. If you notice that certain people or situations bring on bouts of anger or ill humor, it’s perfectly okay to avoid them because, you’re protecting both of you. For instance, if a certain friend tends to initiate a “pity party,” put that friendship on hold for awhile.

  Tell people what’s happened. It can be hard to bring up a loss, but it’s more uncomfortable still if you keep silent and those around you remain oblivious. When there’s an appropriate opening, explain that you’ve recently experienced a loss. People will be more supportive than you think, and some will really “get it,” resulting in deeper shared connection. This will also stop most of those who are just having a bad day from telling you about it.

  Have compassion for yourself. When feelings of anger and bitterness are separating you from others, instead of berating yourself for your lack of compassion, turn that compassion on yourself. You’ve just lost someone terribly important to you, and it’s natural for your mind to compare yourself with others and find their situations less traumatic. Talk to yourself with sympathy and forgiveness and remind yourself that you won’t always feel this way. 

CHOICES…

Everything in your life is a reflection of the choices that you have made. There is always a clear path in front of you to succeed, yet you choose the clouded path because it appears more mysterious. Even though you know it could almost surely lead you to failure, you still take it with a grain of salt for many different reasons and are left facing a sour life. Choices… Every one has a choice; you just have to decide which consequences fall under that choice. But the beauty of beauty of choice, is change. If at any point in your life you decide that this isn’t the life for you, then you have the power to change your situation at any time to make your life worth living happily ever after. S. M.❤️

What is Intermittent Fasting and Why Would You Do It?

I skip breakfast each day and eat two meals, the first around 1pm and the second around 6pm. Then, I fast for 14 hours until I start eating again the next day at 1pm. The main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat. 
The main question I hear is “How is this possible?” Isn’t skipping breakfast bad for you? Then there’s “Why would anyone fast for 14 hours every day?” What are the benefits? Is there any science behind this or are you just crazy? Is it dangerous?”

Of course not…

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle of effective eating to lose fat and build lean muscle. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.

Most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies used for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of “simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference that everyone can see.

Why is it worthwhile to change when you’re eating?

Simply put, it’s a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing. In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting. (Most people eat bigger meals during a shorter time frame.) Additionally, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep muscle mass on while getting lean.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

To understand how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss we first need to understand the difference between the “fed state” and the “fasted state.”

Your body is in the “fed state” when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that timespan, your body goes into what is known as the “post–absorptive state”, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the “fasted state.” It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
When you’re in the fasted state your body can now burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.
Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.

Intermittent fasting helps you live longer.

Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When you’re starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.

The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving. 

Intermittent Fasting Schedule 

It doesn’t matter when you start your 6–hour eating period. You can start at 8am and stop at 2pm. Or you start at 2pm and stop at 8pm. Do whatever works for you. I tend to find that eating around 1pm and 6pm works well for me, because those times allow me to eat lunch and dinner with friends and family. Breakfast is typically a meal that I eat on my own, so skipping it isn’t a big deal.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Today I look at a bigger me, struggling to become a better me while accepting the fact that change is consistent. So with that being said, if something doesn’t complete my make-up, then I have the power to consistently change it until it does. “What inspires you? Good morning! S.M.❤️