The Power of a Text

We text all day long. Sometimes all night long. We include a few emojis to try and ensure the recipient perceives what we’re saying. Since reading body language and facial expressions is out of the question, the beloved emoji is getting a lot of use.

All kidding aside, the power, the influence, the conveyance of caring is extremely vital for me right now. I am an extremely social person and being so isolated effects my depression. Lately, that has been a huge struggle for me.

Depression and anxiety, for me, is like carrying a ten ton truck on your back while trying to climb Mount Everest in a blizzard. It’s. Just. Crushing. I try to get motivated. I really do. I play uplifting music. Watch a comedy on tv. Occasionally, rarely, take a long walk with the dog. It’s. Still. Crushing.

I will tell you all that yes I am on medication. I take it faithfully everyday, as I do all meds. And I am getting connected with a new therapist soon.

What today’s post is about, mainly, is the powerful feeling of gratitude I felt when I received a simple text from a friend that was just asking a home decor question. What this friend did not know, is that in that moment I was alone and I was quietly crying to myself. This friend had absolutely NO idea what was going on with me until they read this. But I am grateful. So grateful.

In these trying times where we can’t hug anyone we love, we need to reach out to each other more. I’m hoping to lift my own spirits by starting to reach out to people through a text or a phone call. We’ve become such a technology drugged out world. We all need to care for each other, in the only way we can, by reaching out. How can I help without judgment? What do you need to feel lifted up today?

For me, I just needed to feel like there was someone, outside of my little four person household, that even thought about me. My friend proved to me that there is. I know I am blessed with a lot of wonderful friends. And I do love you all. Clinical Depression tells destructive lies to your brain that erodes your spirit. It’s like being a smoker…unless you’ve ever done it and then quit you will never truly understand how hard it is to evade the grasp of its’ stronghold. (I am 34 days off nicotine as of today)

I will survive and I will thrive. I know that this too shall pass. I just have to stay strong, keep at it and reach out for help when I need it.

I hope you can all stay strong during these difficult times. Please feel free to message me.

-Becca

Liver update and Covid Funk

To address the biopsy of my liver, I can safely say I am fine. No cirrhosis or scarring in the liver. It turns out my ultrasound last year was a false positive. Such a blessing!!

Although I am extremely grateful for a healthy liver and quitting smoking (1 month on the 12th), I am experiencing what I am labeling as a Covid Funk. I just can’t seem to pull myself out of it.

I have spoken to several people recently who are experiencing the same thing. It is a form of depression. There’s no denying that. But, it’s a little different. For me it’s about the human connection.

I miss hugs!!! I miss seeing different people. I can’t even smile at someone in a grocery store because they can’t tell through my mask!! My human interaction has been broken down to an emoji or a “like” on Facebook. This is just no way to live and I just can’t take much more.

I have zero motivation for change at the moment. Well, that’s not entirely true, I have begun looking for part time work. I have the hope it will bring my life fulfillment by interacting with patients and helping them from a front desk capacity. I love that kind of work!! I feel like I’m very good at it. But I have absolutely no energy to go to the gym or stick to a diet. It’s quite frustrating.

I will get there. I just need to kick myself in the hiney and do it. But if any of you struggle with this sort of depression , you know exactly what I’m talking about. Please reach out for help if it gets to be too heavy.

Until next time…love each other. Say it often. Make it weird.

-Becca

Biopsy Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big day!! I’m scared as hell and filled with regrets.

I was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) over ten years ago. The doctor told me the diagnosis but never explained to me what it is or what can happen. I sure as hell never knew I might need a transplant someday or possibly die from this!

I cannot place all of the blame with my doctors. It is ultimately my responsibility to take care of my own health. I never researched it. I did not ask the doctor any questions. I did not change my diet and exercise as I was told to. It is my fault I am in the position I am in right now. I need to own that. And I do.

Now, I am in a situation where I need to take some severe steps to change my health. I am 15 days strong without cigarettes. Although I did not expect to take that step so soon, I’m very glad I did. I will blog about that soon. I have started implementing dietary changes but really need to be stricter on that front. I will do that soon. My doctor has released me to work out 5 days after the biopsy. I’m very much looking forward to that!!

It is time to take control. My weight management physician and my liver doctor both want me to have weight loss surgery. I understand why they want me to do that but it terrifies me. I’ve seen many people go through that and end up with serious side effects or just gain the weight back. I also know I would feel more accomplished if I lost weight through sheer determination and kicking a$$ in the gym. The debate is real!! Especially when your food addiction is actually a negative coping skill that is a psychological addiction. That part will not go away with surgery. My therapist has assured me I’m doing the best thing by continuing to weigh the pros and cons before I make a decision.

I will let you all know what the results are. I was told they should be available in about 5-7 days after the test. No matter what they are, these changes need to take place ASAP.

Thank you for the messages I’ve received along this journey. It means the world to me.

Yours in “better” health,

-Becca

I’ve made it 8 days!!

While I am celebrating my eight days of being cigarette free; I’m quite aware of the potential for relapse.

Yes I used the word relapse. Smoking is an addiction to nicotine. In order for me to be completely honest I am labeling it for what it is – drug addiction. It is an addiction I allowed myself to surrender to for 26 very long years. I’ve only made it a week but I’m hoping it will turn into years of being smoke free.

Being hoarse for over two months has been very scary. I was really fearing throat cancer. After seeing the ENT Physician, and her verifying it is NOT cancer, I felt incredibly relieved.

That relief did not come without a huge dose of reality!! I feel that God was giving me a second chance but also saying “I gave you a freebie, don’t waste it”. I put out my last cigarette at 3:02pm the afternoon of October 12th, the same day of my appointment.

Since I quit I have put on weight. I’m not happy about it but I knew it was possible. It’s very common but it’s still quite discouraging.

“Stop munching!! Just do it!! Stop making excuses!! I don’t think you’re truly ready to make changes!! You used to be so pretty, don’t you want to be attractive again?”??

Yeah-I’ve heard all that noise. Let me tell you haters something – your voice is not louder than mine!!! I beat myself up wayyyyy more than anyone. But negativity, doubt, discouraging words don’t help. They HURT. Yes, whether you are judging me or I’m judging myself, it still hurts.

I will succeed on my journey because “I” want it!! I am not doing this for anyone but me. Not my family, not my friends and not even my husband. I have overcome a lot in my life and this will not beat me.

Feel free to let me know when you’ve encountered haters and how you handled it.

More soon…

-Becca

The Challenge of Quitting Smoking

I am proud to say that I have completed four full days without cigarettes!! I put out my last one Monday, October 12th, at 3:02pm. I made a note of it because I want to be able to remember the moment I finished the last one.

I’m proud but feel like a complete failure at the same time. I’ve been replacing my oral fixation of smoking with snacking. Completely counterproductive to my overall goals. But, I am committed to changing this behavior as well. And stop the negative self talk!!

It would be much easier to just throw in the towel and say “I was putting on weight so I started smoking again”. This has been my mantra several times. I’ve only put on 5 lbs since quitting but I don’t want it to get worse.

Quitting smoking was absolutely essential. I have been hoarse for almost 8 weeks. My Doctor feels my vocal chords will eventually heal but right now they are very “irritated and angry”. I really feel like God was giving me a second chance, sending me a sign. However you choose to view it, I ultimately felt like it was THE scare/sign to quit before it’s too late.

When I was in Florida visiting my cousin at the end of August, I was inspired. His tenacity is something I aspire to. He, and a lot of others, have continued to tell me they believe in me.

My husband has always been supportive and encouraging. He has told me I’m beautiful even though I don’t agree. But I know that he is being genuine. My mother in law has also been in my corner and my constant cheerleader.

I definitely have a very strong support system and I believe that is key to success. Judgement, feelings of disdain and negativity do not help me. And I don’t respond well to being drilled with questions to explain myself. Just be there. Be supportive and let me figure it out. Because when I screw up I’m very aware of it.

Today, I choose to celebrate the short win. I will continue to celebrate every day that I go without smoking. If you have never smoked, you have NO idea how incredibly difficult it is to try and quit. At this point, I’m not fighting the physical addiction. But, I am fighting against the psychological addiction. A negative coping skill I’ve been using for 26 years!! The desire to smoke is not going away.

I know over time it will become less and less of an influence. Until then I am literally taking it One Day at a Time.

What huge challenge have you overcome?? Let me know.

-Becca

Covid Sucks!

There is SO much to say about this pandemic. I am not going to get into political debates. For today’s purpose, it is how Covid is affecting my mental health. And possibly yours as well.

I miss hugs!! That human, physical connection is seriously absent from my life. And I hate it. I miss people!! Not just friends and family that I miss terribly. I just miss interacting with people! Anybody!! I am a highly social person. My love language is physical touch.

We are headed into the winter months. The leaves are falling. Along with the temperature. Snow is near. Longer periods of overcast weather and evenings starting at 4pm are inching closer every minute. If you struggle with social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, seasonal affective disorder or several other forms of mental health issues; this time can be extremely difficult.

Because of my vocal chords being injured I can’t talk so I can’t even have phone calls. When I try people often can’t hear or understand me. This puts me in a very socially isolated situation. I’m sure that there are many of you feeling these same things.

We are all going to have to be there for each other in any way we can. To be an ear, a virtual shoulder to cry on. We all need to look out for each other’s mental health. Mail someone a card just because. Send someone flowers. Deliver a meal. There are so many things we can do to support each other during these rough times.

What are you missing right now?? How are you coping?? Let me know in the comments.

Stay healthy friends

-Becca

I feel like I can breathe again…

Waiting for that appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) this morning was brutal!! Fortunately, nothing too serious. Just inflamed and irritated vocal chords that looked “very angry” she said. They feel, to me, like they’re pi**ed off!! It doesn’t hurt until I need to strain to talk.

She recommended that I reduce caffeine, eliminate acidic foods (citrus, tomatoes etc) for awhile, nothing fried and to quit smoking. That last one is the most important, but will be the hardest to succeed at. All I can say is I will do my best to make this happen sooner than later.

My biggest regret in life was ever starting in undergrad. I was a serious athlete in high school!! I played softball, basketball and ran track (short sprints and weight lifting events including shot put, javelin and discus). I was never the best or mvp at any of them. But I tried really hard and enjoyed it a lot.

Nowadays, if I tried to run a “suicide” I would literally be out of breath after the first lap. **For those who don’t know, a suicide in basketball is running from the end of the court to the foul line/back, half court/back, opposite foul line/back and to the end of the court/back. If coach was really mad, it was every line or hash mark up and down both keys!!! People sometimes lost their lunch.

Not only could I withstand that exertion, I LOVED it. Part of my reason for not liking exercise is being so consistently out of breath. I know that is NOT going to improve without quitting smoking, dropping weight and building my lung capacity through aerobic exercise. Every fat person knows this. Trust me. Because people think we all need to be “educated about how big we are and how to fix it”. This is extremely aggravating, not to mention pretty rude.

People like me, who are clinically “morbidly obese”, see it EVERY. DAY. We know the true key to health is to lose weight, change eating habits and exercise more. It’s the inspiration and motivation is what is lacking. Educating your friends about their weight is really just a jerk move people. Don’t do this!

Supporting a friend in their journey is key. Meet them where they are at!! Let me say that again…meet them where THEY are at. If they are lacking motivation, ask them what you can do to help them get motivated. Say, what do you need from me as far as support? How can I help? Playing judge and jury does not motivate people.

We all have the capacity to be patient, ask questions, listen. Listen to hear, not respond.

Do you ever feel like you aren’t being listened to? Have you ever found yourself being “educated” for the millionth time?

Drop me a note and let me know.

May Peaceful Sleeps be with all of you.

-Becca

Edit:

Has anyone ever tried to educate you?? Let me know.

Edit: Full disclosure: I know I am very guilty of this at times. By writing this blog, it is a way for me to recognize my own behavior and make an effort to do better. To be a better friend and human. ❤️❤️

Facing Fears

It is 3:18 in the morning and I am wide awake. I’m awake because in the morning I see the doctor and I’m nervous about what she will say.

I know a lot of people that avoid going to the doctor altogether out of fear. Fear of the unknown usually. I am fearing the unknown at the moment but I have a different mindset.

Knowledge is power!!! It may sound cliche, but there is a solid foundation in that phrase. If I am not aware of what is wrong, then I don’t know how to fix it. Being ready to face it is difficult but necessary.

I am headed into this appointment in 5 1/2 hours prepared to deal with whatever may come. I will not let anything interfere with my goals of getting healthier. I have plans set to tackle some vices I’ve had for many years.

Tomorrow will not define me, as a human being. I have the power to change outcomes and overcome obstacles that arise. One moment, one breath at a time.

Fortunately I have a huge support system. I have family that loves me, a small but fierce circle of friends and a loving husband that would do anything for me. For this, I am truly blessed.

I will post tomorrow about how the day goes. Just know I’m here if you find yourself having difficulty facing your own fears. You don’t have to do it alone.

With love

-Becca

Accepting loss

Accepting a loss is never easy. Whether it is from a death, divorce, argument, a move etc, it is always difficult. I have felt a lot of loss in the last few years. But it has helped me in ways I’m just discovering.

When I moved back home to Massachusetts two years ago, I grieved over leaving my friends behind in Missouri. I lived there for 16 years and built a lot of strong bonds. There are so many wonderful people I left behind. That was tough. Fortunately those relationships have sustained but it has not been without a lot of work.

I explained how I felt over losing my bio Dad. There are days I still struggle with unanswered questions, things I wanted to say but never got to and anger over how he treated me. The grief is real…just different. I don’t miss him. I’m actually relieved that I don’t have to live in fear of him anymore. That is a VERY freeing feeling!!!

I recently lost a dear friendship as well. I will always love her like a sister. We are in two different places in life right now so letting go is probably best for both of us. Without it being said, I think we’ve both known for awhile we are not on the same page about a lot of things. It saddens me that this has happened but I also know it’s probably for the best. I hope that may change down the road.

Throughout my journey of learning to redefine my life, my health (both physically and mentally) and my goals; I am discovering what’s most important to me. The health and love of my family. Taking care of each other through every roadblock life throws at us and setting new boundaries for myself and others. I am no longer going to be abusing myself. I am going to practice self care more often. I am going to set new goals and celebrate when they are achieved. And, I am going to surround myself with people that bring me the most joy.

How do you accept a loss? Let me know in the comments.

Take care of yourself and each other.

-Becca

Time is fleeting…

One day, one moment, one breath at a time. This is what I kept having to tell myself today.

Our family is coping with an immense amount of stress right now. Fortunately the fear can now be put to rest. A family member faced a serious, but non critical, medical issue today. It was a pretty customary situation that happens frequently for people. For us?, it was a bit scary.

Going through stuff like what happened today reminds me that time is precious. We only have so much of it with the people that we love. We need to savor every second, every tender moment. We need to forgive. And often. No matter how much it hurts. Because you just never know when those tender moments will be gone.

While sitting with this person at the hospital, they looked at me and said “if you wonder what your purpose is right now, this is it”. With tears in their eyes, they thanked me for being there. My heart sank with such deep love and adoration for this person before me. This person who is the constant voice in my head. My rock. My voice of reason when I am lost and afraid. This person takes me in, every time, holds me close and tells me “I love you. I’m here”. All I could say was “I can’t imagine being anywhere else”. I wanted to cry but didn’t because I knew they needed my strength to get through.

I then had to be the conduit with the rest of our family because the hospital will only let one person in. EVER. No switching. Covid be damned!! I was strong for the rest of my family. Now is my time to let it out. To inhale faith and exhale fear. To let the tears fall.

Throughout this whole evening all I wanted was to talk with my best friend that I’m currently disconnected from. I need her right now. I’m literally shaking and aching with regret, love and fear we won’t mend things.

Time is so fleeting. What if something happened to one of us and this is where we are? It’s unbearable to think about. I won’t be whole again until she and I work through this. I just wish this wasn’t all happening at the same time.

For now, I will remind myself to treasure every moment, every embrace, every conversation and every goodbye.

One day, one moment, one breath at a time.

With Love

-Becca

PS. Thanks DJ for getting me through today.