Why Can’t We Indulge During The Holidays?

It’s all over the December issues of magazines, “Celebrate without gaining weight”, “How to: not gain weight this holiday season” and of course you will find in the January magazines “how to loose those holiday pounds” but why must these articles be needed? Why can’t we indulge during the holiday seasons. Why is it so wrong to eat appetizers, dinner and some dessert during Christmas, or even New Years?

Is there any better time to indulge? Society puts pressure on people during the summer months to look good in a bikini, or any bathing suit, and yet the season is filled with the national day for ice cream, filled with barbecues where burgers, kabobs and hot dogs are on the fire, it’s the season of campfires where you roast marshmallows and stick that marshmallow between two graham crackers and some chocolate! But still magazines, talk shows and society tells us “don’t eat to much, don’t gain to much weight or you might not look good in that swim suit!” Then we move onto halloween, where it really is the day were you get bags full of candy, but still, no gaining weight is allowed in society, I mean society tells us you must fit into that perfect halloween costume for that amazing halloween party. And of course comes Thanksgiving. Just a few months later (or if your American just over one month later) Christmas sneaks up on us all and all the family gatherings, parties with friends, and workplace get together’s.

Christmas should not be about weight, it should be about celebrating life!

Christmas should not be about weight, it should be about celebrating life!

Honestly is there not a better time to indulge? Christmas/winter is filled with times with family and friends, and honestly food tastes better when you are able to share it with loved ones is it not? And what if we gain a few pounds? first it’s ok to gain a few pounds over the course of the year, gaining a lot is not healthy but a couple of pounds here and there is alright, no one will ever be at the perfect weight so why must we strive to be a perfect weight?

I did have a hard time, I didn’t eat a lot when I went to my first family Christmas the first of Decemeber, I was to afraid to gain any weight, I was terrified of gaining any weight at all that part of me subconsciouly restricted some meals during the week before. I didn’t let that happen again though on Christmas eve, Christmas day, or Boxing day when our little family had another family get together. So what if I gained any weight? It’s Christmas! I don’t want to have to go home and say “I wish I had tried that small cheesecake piece” or ” I wish I had that extra chicken ball” (Boxing day gathering was at a Chinese Buffet) I ate until I was full, and yes maybe I ate a few bites extra but do you even understand how much I struggle with just simply eating until I’m full the other 364 days of the year? I eat a small plate, just enough and if I finish that plate I don’t go back for seconds, but heck I went back for seconds this holiday, and I ate dessert! I listened to my body, my body wanted more food, my body thought that chicken ball, that cheesecake looked amazing and wanted to try some, and i’m glad I did!

So maybe I gained a few pounds during Christmas, I’m not even sure I havn’t checked my weight, and why should I? I spend so much time during the year worrying about my weight why am I not able to have a break? Why can’t anyone out there have a break? The pressure is to much to stay thin, to stay fit during the year and people need to have a time where they can have a break, and what better time then this holiday season?!

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Pressures Of The Season

This Christmas has to be an amazing one, I can’t let it be anything like last years.

Last year I woke up Christmas morning in the hospital after already being inpatient for 30 days. I was only able to go home for three hours that day. I wasn’t able to run into my parents bedroom and sit on there bed in open my stocking, I wasn’t able to open presents with my parents, I only was up to opening my stocking Christmas day, I hadn’t been able to put up or help decorate the tree, I didn’t do any holiday baking or cooking with my mother. I didn’t watch Polar Express with my mother like we did on Christmas eve normally. I never got to really listen to Christmas music.

I still look on last years Christmas as if I ruined it for everyone, and honestly I don’t think that thought is going to change; that is why i’m trying to make this Christmas so much better, I mean obviously this Christmas will be better, I have my beautiful daughter Lily, and i’m finally able to spend a Christmas with my love, Michael since I was unable to last year. But to me I need to make this Christmas perfect, and that’s why I feel pressured, even though I’m putting this pressure on myself.

I was unable to even get gifts for my family last year, and ended up making my gifts for people in my art therapy class, as much as I don’t fully believe presents mean everything, I want to show my family how much appreciation I have for them, and how much I do listen and do care.

Michael hasn’t fully celebrated Christmas for many years and I want to make sure that he feels the true spirit of Christmas, the joy it brings, the way it brings family together, the beautiful snow falling, the funny and positive Christmas movies, the great moments of drinking hot cocoa and spending a night hanging ornaments on the tree, and the moment of waking up Christmas morning and opening a gift that someone that truly loves you spent months perfecting.

It’s Lily’s first Christmas, I don’t want to mess this up, I’m terrified that i’m going to not doing something, miss out on a good idea for a photo or a tradition to start, and i’m going to realize it months later and it will be to late, and it will no longer be Lily’s first Christmas and the moment was lost.

Of course all this pressure isn’t part of the season, it’s about positivity, new life, love, and relaxing. I have to remind myself I really need to take a step back and realize that no matter what my family will love me, my family will understand. Things don’t always have to be perfect, and honestly, having last years Christmas to compare to, I can notice all the little positives even more.

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My High School Days

Today I posted on my most recent blog, The Little Moments, I was recently reminiscing about my high school days and the negatives that happened during those days, but also the positives that I ended my high school journey with. It’s a post about recovery and finding my “niche” finding and finally accepting that I was actually not just enjoying reading about psychology and taking care of children and anthropology I was actually good at it and understood the material.

I think my readers would really like this post so make sure you go check out the post!

 

My High School Days.

via My High School Days.

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I’m Not The Mental Health Girl Anymore

It’s been my title for half my life, the mental health girl, the girl that people know has depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, the girl defined by the scars on her body, and the girl that has been overcome with negativity for most of her life.

This title I have wanted to give up for years, I’ve wanted to recover before, multiple times before, but once I became close enough to a recovery milestone, a month without cutting, a week without restricting, no panic attacks while speaking on the phone…I would get to afraid and give it all up. Why would I give it up though? I had spent those moments, overcome some obstacle while not needing to cut or purge or restrict or have a panic attack, so why did I end up giving up again?

I gave up because I was afraid of who I was without my mental health issues, without my disorders my addiction to cutting. I’ve/I was the mental health girl for so long and that was who I was, that’s who I was known for I was the girl that you came to for advice about stress and when you felt overwhelmed because people knew I had been through it, I would understand, I was the girl that people knew had been in treatment for mental health, had to give up schooling multiple times so that I was able to be in treatment. Who would I be if I wasn’t that girl anymore? If people didn’t look at me and automatically know I had mental health issues.

I have spent so long defining myself by my mental illness’ and meeting this milestone of one year without self harm has made me realize I’m not a mental health girl anymore, I’m so much more, I’m that girl that loves to write, that can write and it doesn’t always have to be about depression, about my anxieties, about my negative past and the negative things I’ve had to deal with, I can write positive things, I can write about love, about being a mother, I can write about so much more.

The biggest thing I define myself as is a mother know, Lily, my beautiful daughter means so much more to me then any razor-blade or being in “control” (what I believed was control) of my weight and thinking I’m worth something only if i’m skinny. Lily makes my life so much better, she’s made me realize I can do all the things i’ve wanted to be, i’ve always wanted to be a homemaker, I’ve always wanted to support a child, any child, she’s made me realize I can accomplish my dream of working with children because she has proven to me that I am an amazing mother and I am good at taking care of children.

I’m defined by the positives in my life, the way I can take care of a home and not get overwhelmed, the way I can write without always bringing myself down, I’m able to cook a meal without fear of actually eating the meal and enjoying it, I can make my daughter smile just by giving her a smile, I can see the positives in my life and define myself with them, and I am no longer the “mental health girl”

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One Year Self Harm Free

One year ago today, at 11:30 pm was my last self injurious cut. I remember the time, I remember were I was when I did the cut,and in time I will be able to forget those details because I will eventually forget my last cut, I’ve already forgotten where that last cut was on my arm, I already have forgotten why I did the cut, and one day I won’t remember anything about it other then the day, so that I am able to celebrate.

I’ve struggled this past year, I will not lie and say it’s been “peachy” I struggled while I was pregnant, and thats when I would tell myself I can not cut, I can not take that blood away from my child, and what if I did cut and my cut would get infected? I would be putting my child at risk. Or what if I shared with my daughter the last time I cut and she realized it was while I was pregnant, what would her reaction be!? Once my daughter was born, I still struggled, having a fussy newborn, lack of sleep and other issues coming up around the same time caused me issues also, but I kept telling myself I’m so close to that one year, this whole year would be a waste if I let it all go just a month before my one year, and so I didn’t cut.

My emotions have become overwhelming due to no self harming, I used my self harm to push down my anger, I never let myself get angry, I felt like I didn’t deserve to complain or be angry because I didn’t have any worth, on top of those reasons I felt getting angry made me a bad person, so if I had any hint of anger, I would take out the blade and punish myself for being angry, or just take out my anger on myself instead of on others. What this did though was not allow me to learn how to deal with anger, so when I stopped cutting I had to learn how to accept being angry and not feeling like a bad person, and learn how to deal with my anger without blowing up at people. I’m still having issues honestly, I still have issues not keeping my anger in until it boils over because I don’t feel like I deserve to be angry (even if it’s a reasonable reason like having to do a chore someone else was suppose to do three days before) and I have a problem with not getting to angry at once.

Through all of this though I have stayed true to recovery, I needed this year, I needed to stop harming, i’d been doing it for far to long, and I had used it as a crutch, I never let myself deal with my issues I took the quick fix, that really didn’t fix anything.

I can honestly say I owe this year free to my daughter, without her I would not have been able to stay strong, wouldn’t have been able to see many positives in life, but since shes come into my life I see positives in so many things, her beautiful smile, her trying to talk, every little thing she does makes me a proud mother.

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Moving; Causes Stress, or Removes It?

Moving can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. The packing of numerous brown boxes, with that horrendous loud noise of the packing tape sending shivers up and down your spine. The planning of what can we pack know, or what to pack the night before? What do we transport the cat in?! We ask just moments before we leave the old apartment. Planning and finding the best but low costing movers. Some of these things are not really stressful, but when your date of move changes to two weeks in advance and you have less then a week to pack, moving stress becomes overwhelming!

Packing was a very hard situation for me. Part of the reason was me being a perfectionist and trying to make sure all like items were packaged together, and after realizing I’ve packed full one box, and finding another like item that won’t fit into the box sent me into tears (which could have been caused by pregnancy hormones I say!) Or what about the issue that this was the first time I have ever packed a full apartment for a one day move, I have packed less things for an apartment, but it was a three day move with only family helping, instead of payed movers helping out. Luckily I had Michael to help me pack, and had both my parents help us the day of the move so that I was able to have less stress knowing that I didn’t have to do everything myself (which for some odd reason I always think I do have to) and knowing that I had people looking out for me, and making sure I didn’t forget anything, or package any of the last minute things improperly.

After my parents left as they had to return to work, (My father is quite the busy man since opening his own business!) and I saw all of the boxes that needed to be unpacked my stress   definitely did not go away. But days later, still with some boxes still not yet unpacked my stress pretty much just melted away.

Our Kitchen (little messy due to just finishing our move)

Our Kitchen (little messy due to just finishing our move)

Realizing that know I have a place i’m proud of calling home, yes home (That’s a new experience for me, I have yet to really mentally accept any place but my parents as being “home”, but this new apartment, is absolutely my home) a place that will be enough space for me, my love Michael, and our little blessing coming this September is a weight lifted off my shoulders. I feel more prepared to be a grown up here in this apartment. It’s easier to cook in this nice big kitchen, and it’s nice to have enough room that Michael and I can cook dinner together. It’s also great (and a little hard to still get use to) having an average sized oven and fridge, when me and Michael have come from apartments furnished with apartment sized appliances.

View from our sixth floor balcony.

View from our sixth floor balcony.

Another thing that elevates stress is knowing that we are in a better area to raise a child. Where we were living was not a bad area per-say, it was not close to how great this area is. We are within walking distance of two parks, the library, great walking paths, basic needs like a grocery store and a bank. We are quite close also to one of our main city malls, but far enough that the roads are not so busy. And we are close to a 24 hour clinics and an indoor pool open to the public, and if we are lucky enough to stay in this area long enough a public school.

This two bedroom apartment, even though not fully furnished (our kitchen table is still stored at my parents until we are able to move it, and we will need a new couch) has helped take away both me and Michael’s stress of a growing family, of growing up, and recovering. Having a home to call your own, definitely boosts your mood, even though to get that mood boost you have to go through that stressful situation of moving! Cross my fingers we won’t have to deal with the stress of moving for a couple more years!

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Secret Revealed

About a month ago on my the Twitter account for this blog (@diminishstigma) I wrote quickly saying I have been neglecting the blog since January, and that I would explain in a month or so. Well today, I will be finally divulging why I have been sadly neglecting the blog.

So heres my secret, what I’ve been keeping hidden from my followers since January…

Baby On Board!

Baby On Board!

That’s right! This blogger is pregnant! 21 weeks last Thursday to be exact!

Me and my boyfriend Michael found out in January that I was expecting a little one. We are beyond excited to have this child. It’s been quite difficult to keep this secret in, but I have waited so that I could actually show a photo of my sweet baby bump. Me and Michael have begun the process of getting a two bedroom apartment so that we are able to have a nursery for this little one. I’ve even began to coupon for diapers (which I currently have stacked away in my closet and at my parents house!) and sales for onsies and shirts for the baby.And got so excited that I began my registry at Babies R Us this past week, (I spent two full hours in their!)

As of yet we do not know the gender of this cutie, but will hopefully (fingers crossed) learn by the end of the month (ultrasound is on May 21st, seems so far away!) which I will definitely let everyone know once we know, if you would like!? Michael believes we are having a boy, and half the family, and friends think it’s a boy, were the other half thinks girl (mainly due to mostly girls born to my side of the family.)

Obvious, due to the topic of this blog, people that have found out about my pregnancy has thought it necessary to let me know how it might not be right for me to have this child due to my mental health issues. What these people do not understand is this child was a godsend! We found out about this pregnancy at the perfect time, this child was both mine and Michael’s miracle. Due to this child, after many, many years of refusing recovery I have FINALLY accepted recovery. As you know I have not self harmed in six whole months, no relapse, no burning, cutting, and picking at skin. On top of that, was my alcohol abuse, I was drinking to much, just to numb the pain and to help me sleep. I am proud to say I havn’t drank in months, not one sip since I found out I was pregnant. Since finding out I was pregnant I have not restricted food, starving myself, and I have not intentionally purged my food (other then regular pregnancy morning sickness) I am doing wonders with my recovery, finding happiness in the small things, like a baby kick, a cup of tea, a good meal, and a warm sunny day.

I’m so happy to be a mother. I grew up having the nickname “mother hen” I was always giving advice, always hugging, and cuddling my friends when they needed a supportive shoulder. I’ve dealt with newborns all the way up to high school due to Sunday School,which I loved taking care of the little ones and helping them play and learn, and even though I’m scared at times of not being a good enough mother (which is a natural worry) I do believe I am ready. I’ve secretly wanted to be a stay at home mother for many years, and even though it might be happening just a couple years earlier then I planned, this dream is coming true. 

I’m proud of this child, he/she has helped Michael and I so much already even though he/she has not been born yet.

I hope you understand know why I haven’t been able to write as much, keeping my pregnancy secret throughout posts have been difficult, and since I’ve changed from reading psychology magazines and textbooks to parenting magazines and parent magazines I have found it difficult to think of post ideas. I’m still trying to keep this blog up, but with planning a move (even though I just moved a month ago) and planning doctors appointments and baby shopping and such it has been hard. Thank you for my followers that have stayed with me through these past months, even though I haven’t been writing, and thank you to the new followers I might possibly receive once I post this post.

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