Give Yourself a Break

You know what’s weird/sad/funny? It’s so much easier to forgive another person for their transgressions and faults than it is to forgive ourselves. It’s widely reported that social media is contributing to our feeling “less than”. It’s not just one area that this applies to. We’re all feeling bad over our parenting skills, dietary choices, music likes or dislikes, bodies, sexuality and so on.

In an attempt to help myself feel better despite my chronic health conditions, I recently took up yoga. I was drawn to it not just for it’s physical benefits, but the emotional and mental benefits as well. But sadly, even in this community, which one would think would be hippie dippie zen, there is fat shaming, posture shaming and alignment shaming. It’s hard to go to classes as a disabled middle aged woman when I’m surrounded by thin, lithe 20 somethings clad in their spandex and little bra tops. So I usually just follow a yoga DVD I have here at home, where only my cat can see me.

I experienced similar issues when I was a runner. I constantly compared myself to the super speedy runners, those without health concerns. I wound up losing my passion for running because I was putting so much pressure on myself to measure up. I am a slow runner, I’ll never win any age group awards, never run a 20 minute 5k, so I gave up. And that makes me sad. Sad I let other people’s opinions of me cloud my own. Sad I didn’t realize everyone else was worried about that same thing, too caught up in their own worries to concern themselves with me.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m feeling bad about the weight I have gained due to my medicines and my decreased physical activity. I’m watching calories, choosing healthier foods and trying to move as much as the pain will allow. But when the scale isn’t moving, I get frustrated. I’ve always had “big” thighs- they’re muscular and got even bigger when I was running. But with all the hype around thigh gaps and size 00, I look down and feel miserable. I avoid wearing shorts, I’m self conscious about how pants fit so then I just put on sweatpants and feel bad.

I’m sure about 90% of you readers have felt the same at one point or another. I’m working hard to accept myself as I am. I may not be a size 00, but I’m certainly not obese. I understand the concept of a “healthy weight”, but I really think there’s too much pressure to lose weight everywhere you look. So I have decided that as far as my weight and my mental health goes, I’m going to start giving myself a break. Viewing myself as a valuable, attractive and awesome person isn’t easy, but I’m getting there. Rather than obsessing over how many calories I’m eating and burning, I’m going to eat foods that I enjoy that are good for me (or at least not complete junk). I’m going to stop viewing my body as flawed and ugly and appreciate all that it does for me. Instead of being ashamed that I have bipolar disorder, I am going to ramp up my activism for causes I believe in, especially mental health.

Feeling a bit more self love and self acceptance isn’t going to happen overnight, but it’s something I’ve committed to. Surrounding myself with those who build me up helps me immeasurably. I’m lucky to have a great guy friend who reminds me that while I may not completely love my curvier figure, he does. I have fantastic co-workers who let me know that my work matters and that they appreciate me listening to them. I am blessed with friends and family who never give up on me. I guess it’s all about perspective. You can dwell on the bad, or you can look for the good.

Additionally, I want to thank a beautiful young lady by the name of Britanie for showing me (and all her readers) the meaning of beauty, both within and on the surface. She’s come a long way in accepting herself and inspires me to do the same. You can read her blog (and gaze upon the most beautiful natural eyebrows ever) at

Dear readers, if you have any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share regarding comparison, the shaming trends, or your own journey with self acceptance, please share them in the comments.

Dear Girlfriend of My Ex-Fiancee

I owe you an apology. I’ve judged you too harshly. We were both manipulated, lied to by omission. I realize you were not intentionally hurting me. I was collateral damage.

I think under different circumstances, we could have been friends. And if you are the one he needs to be happy, then I am glad you are together.

You’re a better match for him, a better partner. He finds in you the things he didn’t find in me. It’s taken me a long time to really come to terms with this. It doesn’t mean I’m inferior or you are superior, it just means you two are more compatible.

I hope he treats you with the respect you deserve. I hope you help him remember the good parts of himself, to quiet those self doubts he has.

I apologize and hope you find it in your heart to send forgiveness my way.


Amazing how quickly you can go from feeling pretty good to being downright despondent. Rotten bipolar. There’s a good reason I’m feeling down, but I know I’m beating myself up too much. There’s nothing more I could have done to have changed how things went.

It’s actually distressing how bad I feel right now, just full blown “hate myselfs”. Feeling lonely and angry and I just want to crawl in my bed and hide. I’m tired of feeling misunderstood, left out and alone. No amount of yoga or meditating or supplements can help me tonight. I just need to honor the sadness and start again tomorrow.

Wellness Warrior Reborn

Not going to lie, lately the number I’m seeing on the scale is distressing me. I’m currently about ten pounds higher than I was when I was diagnosed with bipolar and subsequently started on meds. I guess ten pounds in two years isn’t anything to complain about, but it’s pretty depressing to attempt to put on your favorite jeans and find you can’t get them past your thighs. Sigh. Having fibromyalgia means I’m limited in what I can do to keep myself in shape. My rheumatologist advised I shy away from high impact exercises, so my time as a runner seems to have come to an end. I do plan to pull out my bicycle now that the weather is better and I’m back into yoga and pilates.

There’s a moderately well-known saying that you cannot exercise off a bad diet. My diet, once really great at the time of my food allergy diagnosis, has slid into fatty comfort foods, super unhealthy convenience foods and too much candy. So, I’ve committed to improving my diet. Part of this includes adding a (gluten free) protein powder into my diet. No, I’m not trying to have huge muscles, but I have read several interesting articles regarding the use of protein powder as a successful treatment for fibromyalgia. And honestly, if I have a protein shake for breakfast rather than sugary cereal, that’s an improvement. Obviously, this is taking a lot of dedication and preparation. I’ve always seen food as a reward, as a comfort. I am an emotional eater, with a tendency to binge eat when I’m manic. Fortunately, I haven’t had a binge eating episode recently, but I definitely needed to look at my relationship with food. So re-vamping my diet and nutritional choices was long overdue. I also invested in a FitBit, which has been a great help. The app allows you to create a food diary, which is essential for me to lose weight. I also set an alarm on it to remind me to take my medications. You also can track sleep, calories burned and so on. It’s definitely worth the price, I find it to be motivating.

In addition to increasing my exercise and improving my food intake, I’m also researching alternative medicines, specifically ayurvedic medications. I have a wonderful co-worker who hails from Chennai and she introduced me to meditation (and the amazing Sattva app) as well as suggesting some ayurvedic herbs I might want to incorporate into my medication regimen. **please note, although I work in a hospital, I am NOT a doctor. I cannot recommend you take any supplements, please check with your doctor/psychiatrist as many herbs can interfere with medications.**  My psychiatrist changed my antidepressant a few months ago, after a particularly bad depression plagued with suicidal thoughts. So, here’s the list of medications I am on, as well as the ayurvedic herbs and vitamins I use, as well:

  • Depakote DR 250 mg twice a day
  • Fluvoxamine 50 mg at bedtime
  • Gabapentin 300 mg three times a day
  • Trileptal 150 mg every morning
  • Relpax 40 mg as needed for migraine
  • Vitamin B Complex every evening
  • Ashwagandha 2 capsules twice a day
  • Turmeric 1 capsule twice a day
  • Tulsi (Holy Basil)  2 capsules twice a day

I get all my ayurvedic herbs from You can also find Organic India products on Amazon, usually for a few dollars less. I do recommend visiting the Organic India site, you can read a lot about ayurvedic medicine there. I’ve been meditating with the Sattva app almost nightly. I find it’s really helping my sleep, and I have also noticed I can shut the negative dialogue off in my head a little bit more. It’s not completely gone, but it’s not so loud, which is definitely an improvement. So, am I turning into a hippie? Maybe, but truth be told, I always was one.

It’s going to be a long road to reach a sort of peace with my weight and body issues. I had a great period of confidence several months ago, and then I started noticing how tight my waistband felt on my scrubs, how sluggish I felt. I understand that a scale cannot measure my worth as a human, and fortunately I have some great friends who are supporting me and also making healthy changes in their own lives, as well. So much has to do with the ridiculous standards of beauty set forth by society, of our homogenizing beauty to blond hair, blue eyes, tan skin and a size 00.

Are there things you’re doing, either diet, medicine or exercise wise to help your conditions/disease/general well-being? I’d love to hear all about them, so tell us what’s going on with you in the comments!

It’s June already??!!

Hello my friends, it has been too long. So much has been happening of late, some good, some bad, some neutral. I’ve moved. I’m still swimming in a sea of boxes and containers, but the new place is coming along. So much less stress now to know I have cheaper rent and housemates who can help me when my chronic illnesses flare up.  There’s so much to update you on, but honestly my mind is swimming. I’m hypomanic due to all the chaos, so I’m doing the best I can to corral it. Here’s a few things swirling around my head to tell you about, I’m sure I’ll post in greater detail soon:

  • I went on 2 dates with a guy who was a friend of a friend. Date #1 was great! He got me flowers, treated, held doors open. Date #2…not so much. And the text messages sent the following day equally not cool (hint: I don’t care about your “very high libido”. That’s a huge turn off)
  • My fibromyalgia is pretty bad with all the crazy weather fronts that have come through. But I have started taking some herbs to complement my current therapies for the fibro, my bipolar and my migraines. I’m happy to say the migraines have really gone down in frequency. Is it the herbs? The new living situation? Not sure, but we’ll stick with it for now.
  • I’ve been pretty successful in keeping up with meditating each night and doing yoga several times a week. Sleep for the last few days hasn’t been so great, mostly due to the fibromyalgia pain and the move. But I’m confident I can get my sleep habits back to a healthy level again soon.
  • THIS POST, YOU GUYS. Jennifer at is speaking some real truths. I felt this post hit me somewhere deep, recalling how upset I was when I stepped on the scale to see how much weight I’ve gained with my medication change (hint: it’s not as much as my mind wants to make it out to be). I applaud her bravery for posting the video, too. I mean, I blog anonymously so I am in awe, for sure. I want to write about my journey with this a little bit more in the future, once I can really figure out what “the feels” I’m having are.
  • I meditated with a guided meditation on forgiveness the week before last. During the meditation, I pictured the one person I need to forgive the most (besides myself, of course): my ex-fiancee. It was incredibly moving and emotional, and I actually cried. Afterwards, I felt so free. There is still one person I need to envision with this forgiveness meditation in the future, although I am thinking they are far less guilty than I believe them to be. Since I did the meditation, I have not dreamt of my ex and really haven’t thought much about him at all. Truly freeing.
  • Just read “The Girl on The Train”. Totes awesome.
  • “Came out” as bipolar to another coworker, which led to a great conversation on therapy, recovering from abusive relationships and just that general happy buzz you get when you find another member of “your tribe”.
  • And for the most surprising thing I want to mention: I had a couple of truly awesome, heartwarming experiences in the emergency room last week. Thinking of them almost makes me forget how bad today was. One of them was so special, and one of the people I shared it with means so much to me (to the point I’m pretty sure I am in love with him) that I’m now re-thinking a decision I made so many years ago- the decision to not have children.  Obviously, something I need to really go into more detail on after some more thought.

I hope you are all doing well. If you are in a dark spot, please know that I am thinking of you, praying for you, sending love your way.