Zee’s insight on mental health

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Listen to Zee’s interview with Joe and Rebecca on their Spreaker’s podcast Voices for Change. The harsh reality of what we, as people dealing with mental issues, go through in the health system, and how we are often left alone to fend for ourselves. Zee also talks about her different coping mechanisms, but most importantly, how learning about her issues and finding solace in her business endeavours and her love of yoga helps her keep afloat on a daily basis.

Zee’s interview on Spreaker

From Procrastination to Action

On Friday, I went to another orthopedist’s to a get a second opinion about my knee problems. I guess I was hoping he’d say, “Oh, I see your knees have become a real issue, here, and the only way to remedy this ailment is to operate.” Of course, it didn’t go that way. Deep down I knew what I would hear. I knew, but I wanted a specialist who would really address the issues at play in my situation, and one who would not leave me to fend for myself, not giving any follow-up, and such.

First he asked me about my weight, and height, so he could calculate my BMI (Body Mass Index). At 332 pounds, I have a BMI of 56. In order to have knee replacement surgery, I must have a BMI no higher than 40. That’s 90 pounds to lose. And over the course of the time it will take to shed those pounds, I’ll also lose more cartilage.

We then talked about bariatric surgery. It’s been on the table for months for me. Wanting it real bad, changing my mind, wanting to be Wonder Woman and do it all by myself. It’s obvious it might not work. I came out of the doc’s office crying, then when I got in my car , I started balling, hyperventilating. I reached for my cellphone and called my mom and dad. I hadn’t gotten the urge to call them like that for a long time. I also called my family practitioner and got an emergency appointment. It was the moment, the ha-ha moment, well maybe not. I guess I knew all too well what was at stake, and what I had to do in order to reach my goals. My doctor said, “I’ll send the request for bariatric surgery to the hospital, but it is conditional to you taking the first steps, right now, to change your eating habits and your life hygiene habits.” It involves going to the public pool to swim, which is a great activity for painful joints. It also involves dealing head-on with my eating disorder, hyperphagic bulimia, bipolar disease, compulsive spending or gambling. I have to develop a stable routine. I’ll have to take baby steps, keeping focus all the way through.

Through the years, my modus operandi has been to procrastinate. Now, I have no choice but to turn procrastination into action. So get the clapper board out;clapper-board 3,…2,…1,… ACTION!

 

#TypicalTimes

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In this post I’m answering friend Casey Malvern’s invitation to share what a typical day is for me, as someone dealing with mental illness, low self-esteem and eating disorders.

Waking up typically for me is a hassle. As one dealing with bipolar disease, it can either be very early, when in a hypomaniac episode, needing very little sleep, or at the very last minute before getting to work, after hitting the snooze button again and again. I usually feel groggy from my nightly dose of medication, in a bit of a haze. I’d rather stay in bed with my cats, where you can find me most of the time when I’m off work.

It’s time to go to work. If I have time to take a morning coffee, I usually feel more productive, more alert, because the caffeine counteracts the drowsiness caused by my meds. I have good interactions with my colleagues, and am able to keep my job. It’s a priority for me. The little energy I have goes into my job. The anxiety if I were jobless would be too much to handle. I already have enough anxiety now, with the debts I got myself into when in hypomaniac phases. Usually, around 10 am, I can’t wait to get to my break, so I can get some soda or chocolate or something. I can binge and eat a whole package of chocolate during those fifteen minutes. But I’ll have to wait ’til lunchtime to really binge, getting a poutine and a burger at the fast-food joint, and feel bloated before getting back to work. Food creeps into my thoughts troughout the day. I see chocolate and I want it. The smell of a colleague’s vanilla coffee can drive me crazy, and of course at the afternoon break it’s probable I’ll get chocolate again. It sends you on a high, but you fall hard later. Plus, I’m at my heaviest and I feel like crap. I have no self-esteem because of my weight. My knees are fucked up, I have trouble standing on my feet through the day, and I can’t exercise like I want to. But I need to. If I don’t, I won’t live long.

When I get off from work, food again is what is on my mind. What are we gonna eat tonight? Fast-food is the easy way to go, as I feel to tired, or too lazy to cook. There is a risk of snacking, yet again, and bingeing. And feeling crappy, yet again.

On the weekend, I’ll escape it all by sleeping. I can sleep the entire day if I want. That’s in episodes when I’m depressed, and those are more frequent than episodes when I’m manic. I prefer hypomania. I feel more fun, more confident, even if I know I can lose control over money and such, and will fall hard later.

During sleep, I’m constantly dreaming, building scenarios, planning the days ahead, worrying about money. Then I wake up, and at the end of the day, I haven’t done anything productive, except work. The house is still a mess, as my head.