I am the king of treats. My debt to income shows it.

As a manic depressive, I am constantly faced with an uphill battle of wanting to treat myself because I feel absolutely worthless when I’m at my lowest and of course I want something shiny to offset the depression and the self-worth.  At 32, I am learning that by giving myself a treat I am re-enforcing bad habits.  I’m broke and in debt because of the treat that I have bought myself over the years. My mother use to tell me when I was addicted to binging on food that because I would spend all my $$ on food I wouldn’t’ have anything to show for it.  So what is it that I have to show for my treat?  Mounds of debt and zero friends.  All I wanted was to be liked.  All I wanted was to be invited over to the sleepover. My treat wasn’t good enough and for that, I felt like a rejected loser.

Never stop believing in yourself.  The world is yours for the taking.

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Treat

Volume 2: Episode 2 – Removing the triggers

Triggers for impulsive thoughts:

# 1 Reading other blog websites like BGR.com, Engadget.com or any tech related blog showcasing new items and offering reviews of products.

Type of automatic thought associated: All or Nothing (if I don’t have the latest device ->>>tied to #1 tells me that reading these blogs and websites can cause rage and trigger impulsive thoughts that lead to impulsive actions.

#2: Feeling fat from an eating disorder. While I haven’t been clinically diagnosed with an eating disorder it doesn’t mean that I don’t already have one. Let’s look at the facts: I binge eat on often everyday foods until the point that I fee like puking..yet I don’t make myself puke. Instead I would pour some tasty alcohol to wash it down with and feel depressed the next day (because of alcohol being a depressant and the regret of binging on food)

Type of automatic thought associated: Everything!

The truth is that with CBT and binge eating (being a disorder itself) there is no set characteristic as to where my thought pattern lays other than being corrupt and not true. Perhaps Overgeneralization or Emotional Reasoning. Regardless, if I follow my WW plan and adhere to their guidelines I will lose this weight and it will have an astounding effect on my self esteem. I’m looking forward to it!

#4: iPhone apps

This one I didn’t see coming but when you think about it..makes total sense!

Situation: I’m feeling depressed and my self worth is in the toilet. I didn’t do well on a work project and took the critical feedback negatively and it blossoms into a full depression episode and I’m feeling lousy and want to feel better…I pull out my iPhone and see Amazon….

Solution: It is so easy to use these apps for self pleasure and to make purchasing and spending money easier than ever. What do you do in these situations to prevent history from repeating itself?

DELETE ALL IMPULSIVE APPS!

What a genius idea! I don’t NEED this apps for my survival. I don’t NEED the distraction of online shopping to take me away from the task at hand. On today’s train ride home I deleted the following: Amazon, Wayfair, Target, Any retail app is GONE! I have no intention of downloading that again. If they’re out of site they’re out of my mind. Done.

Remember this: Only this Mark and to everyone on earth.

You are loved. You are a warrior. You are capable of achieving anything you put your mind too.

My depression robs me of anything positive.

May 2018 be the year that changes my soul. I’m not giving up and neither should you.

Tomorrow I will have seen my therapist and will share with you my knowledge and empower you to change your life! We got this. #together

xX

Volume 2: Episode 1 – Overcoming distructive thoughts

It’s a new year and fresh on our minds are what we want to achieve this year and what we want to do better at. For me, I have two simple goals this year that can drastically change my life for the better and at the same time provide confidence for a future. Sounds promising right? It was! It was great until my automatic thoughts attempted to kill the excitement of a new year beginning and an opportunity to shine through.
As I mentioned in previous posts my two main goals:
1) Financial freedom
2) Lose Weight

These two goals are monumental for me to achieve because finances and my weight are directly tied to my depression and my mania. Please note: By financial freedom does not mean being debt free, it means that I want to learn how to follow a budget and stick to it. I do not want to go into any more debt in 2018 so in order to do that, I must stick to a budget. My friends over at YNAB (youneedabudget) have an excellent program that I’ve dabbled with before. Jesse Mechem is the inventor of ynab, and just released his book on budgeting and I downloaded it on Audible. If only Jesse could be the voice of reason in my head, I’d be so much of a different state of mind if I had a rational voice in my head. Instead of having 500 all shouting different thoughts at any given time.
Budgeting has always been a struggle for me because often times I hated that word! Uh, the B-word!! Can’t be budget!! But as much of a bitch as a budget is, its the only way that I can remain confident that I am on a path to financial freedom.

As I have begun my blogging journey and started to implement CBT techniques into my life, I have realized that the majority of my impulsive purchases would be the effect of drinking, depression, or a manic episode. Often times when I was not impulsive when I was feeling good..it was only when I was down in the dumps with life and depression. This is a good thing actually because it shows me that I have self-control when I’m not using substances.

Regarding my 2nd goal of losing weight. Right here folks are the meat of my depression.. my weight is directly connected to my self-worth and if I don’t feel attractive then I will feel depressed about how much I weigh and I will do two things. One I will eat more to fill the void of sadness and two I would become impulsive to purchase items that were not budgeted for. This would set me up for a financial disaster as well as it would cause my weight to spike because of zero self-control.

I’d like to show you an example of how my brain handles an automatic thought:

Background: I’ve spent the last few weeks learning about budgeting and following the yNAB principals about giving every dollar a job. At the end of it, I feel proud of my efforts and I’m feeling good! I did my budget!

Thought pattern: Fast forward a week and I wake up to realize that I have forgotten to budget for an automatic reoccurring car insurance payment and I’ve overdrawn my account by $100.  An automatic thought comes down from space like a comet out of space! “You stupid fuck! If you were good at budgeting you wouldn’t have overdrawn. You suck at this. Just give up already because you know that you suck at this.” This is my reality. This is what I live with when automatic thoughts kick in to sabotage a situation.
Immediately I would listen and trust my automatic thought and fall into a spell where I felt like a failure, and I was pissed at myself for not realizing this, and the fear of having to tell my partner that I screwed up again…

Apply CBT to the thought pattern:

Thought: I failed at budgeting. I can’t believe I did this again. FUCK! I can’t afford an overdraft fee!

Type of thinking: All or Nothing

Rational thought: Mark, you are not a failure at budgeting. If you look at your history you will see although you weren’t actively budgeting you always maintained a positive balance. You should feel proud of yourself for what you have accomplished thus far and realized that setbacks like this can occasionally happen. Keep up the great work!
Thought overcame! Successful CBT right there folks. I’m not perfect at this but you know that I will try and conquer! My life depends on it!

Now if only I can apply CBT to FOOD!
It’s a total domino effect. Everything I do is connected to each other. Food is my biggest lack of strength in society and as a depressed individual, I take comfort in sweets and junk food to fill the emptiness in my heart. I did this for all of 2017 and by the end of December, I couldn’t even stomach any more junk food. I ate it all. I ate it all so much that I gained all my weight AND I became impulsive to offset my depression. Double Edge Sword!

No matter how I approach it, this year is different. I will not be the victim of my self-hate! I will shine! I will eat healthier, blog more, and be the best I can be. There is NO perfection! Let’s clear that up right away Mark. You are not expected to be perfect. Nothing is perfect! Learn this! Study this! Embrace this!

Regarding my other goals, all in time Mark. Remember your motto “Slow & Steady” Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your depression. It’s gonna take time to repair the damage but fuck it, you’re amazing and you’re totally worth it! At the end of the day in 2018, I am optimistic, feeling confident, and knowing that this year I’m moving forward and not allowing myself to let history repeat itself.
Tomorrow I will talk about my biggest triggers for depression. I’ve discovered that these simple things create much bigger problems for me. What am I doing that is causing so much panic in my life?! Find out tomorrow!

Xx

20 minutes of 2017 left!

Well 2017 – it’s been a fun time but you can go piss off.  Never will I ever choose to be a victim of depression.  Never will I fear myself again.  I will devote the next year of my life to studying my depression, my thought patterns, and work on improving my own thoughts through CBT.  I am committing myself to weekly therapy for the next year as well as joining a gym near my work to focus on my inner fitness goals.  I cannot live like this for the rest of my life and pretend like everything will be pink unicorns and shit.

This is not the life I want!  I want to have an amazing life with my partner, and my dog.  I don’t want to die young.  I don’t want to have suicidal thoughts, and I don’t want to binge eat my feelings ever again.

MOST OF ALL.. I am SO FUCKING PROUD OF MYSELF FOR GIVING UP BOOZE IN 2017!!!!!!!  HOLY SHIT!  THATS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!!

15 minutes to go!

Let’s recap Goals for 2018: (Notice no resolutions.. Resolutions are so 1999.)

# 1 Goal: Self-worth dedication – invest in holistic approach to self healing depression and anxiety by leaning away from pharmaceutical drugs and looking for natural approaches.

# 2 Goal: Weekly therapy sessions for all of 2018.

# 3 Goal: Join a gym and go at least three times a week

#4 Goal: Follow Weight Watchers and continue to publish content on Connect which is their social media platform.

#5 Goal: Publish Stigma Unraveled YouTube channel and write weekly video content for subscribers.   This also wraps in with sharing more content on WordPress, Instagram, and Twitter.  I want to commit to daily posts but I don’t want to extend myself so far that I can’t achieve what I want.

Notice my goals: They all focus on ME.  2018 is ALL ABOUT FIXING ME.  I’m done with being the victim.  It’s time to save my life!

Happy 2018 everyone!  Let’s make this our year of amazing!

 

 

The Worst.

2017 has been the worst year of my life.

Yet this year I learned so much about myself and how I function.  I opened this blog, and I also made huge strides in my career however for my depression?  Toast.  Fucking awful.

I am now 8 months sober.  It has been anything but easy.  I am stronger everyday that I remain committed to my journey.   I discovered more this year regarding my mental illness that I ever knew.   I learned just how bi-polar I really am, and much I am affected and persuaded with the voices shouting in my head.

In 2018 I have visions in my head about where I want this blog to go, and the type of audience that I want to attract.  I’ve also decided to start focusing on a YouTube channel about myself and the struggles of fighting stigma in our society.  The extremest in me wants all of this to happen January 1st, but the rational Taylor tells me ‘Slow & Steady’

The trouble of it all is which voice is right?  All thousand of them want to say something and they want it NOW.  There is no patience for the bipolar mind.  It’s now or never.

I saw Chris yesterday and I came so close to bawling my eyes out with the current events of my life.  I just couldn’t do it.  I’m so miserable inside that I can’t help but want to just sob and stay in bed all day.  I fucking hate my depressed life.

 

 

 

Nobody said it was gonna be easy.

As a gay male I constantly have this fear of rejection from society for being anything but rich, sexy, entrepreneur, you name it.. I wasn’t it and for that I have built a life of feeling like absolute shit and having an eternal fight in my head about how much people disliked me, hated me for being gay, or just down right wanted to beat me up because I was so much of a loser.  Was any of this real though??  In hindsight.. Yes of course.  I could have done a lot of stuff differently and perhaps changed the outcome of life.  Really though.. At 32 I look back at my life and I just see a life of false hope and promises.  I have struggled to the moon and back with my self acceptance and how much I wanted to be liked.  I just wanted a friend.    I just wanted to be like everyone else.  I wanted so bad to feel like I was part of the crowd.

Instead I spent the next 15 years post high school in this self perpetuating hell that has no return.  I did really good in my career however my self esteem was gone.  It didn’t exist and it wasn’t until I was into my thirties that I realized how trashed my image in my head was.  The image of that I project onto the world is anything but real.  When the episode hits the glaze falls over my eyes and I’m walking blind.  I can’t see where I’m going and I’m constantly living in fear that I’m going to do something wrong and that the world will hate me and punish me for it.

I called my psychiatrist yesterday.  I see them in January.  I need a complete overhaul of medication.   I thought I prepped myself so well, nope.  Just lied to myself that I had everything under control.

I know I can do better. I know tomorrow can be better. I need to hunt down this demon and banish him straight back to the swamp.

Spread cheer this holiday season. I need some.