Welcome to Embody Results!

Welcome to Embody Results!
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Monday, August 8, 2016

Taking Control!

I used to aspire to be Wonder-Woman-meets-Donna-Reed. I'd give 110% to everything/everyone. As you can imagine, that gets tiring. I rode out a lot of stressful times, still doing my best. Then I got blindsided by a particularly stressful time that derailed me. 

It was as though Wonder Woman and Donna Reed bailed and left me to handle their responsibilities as well as mine. Not cool, ladies. Not. Cool. 

It didn't take long for my stress level to spike so high that I started to shut down. As I faltered, I started to focus on my shortcomings. I was battling depression on an epic scale that I hadn't experienced in years. It took hold of my very soul and slowly...agonizingly...sucked the life out of me. 

I didn't deal with it. Yes, I took medicine, but it didn't work. (I now know that it was bipolar, not depression, which is possibly why.) I could no longer see a way out. I was stuck and this was my life now and I could no longer hide it. What did I do then? I made a counter productive decision.

Instead of working on myself, I worked on everyone else's understanding of my illness. I consistently pointed out how hard life is when you're battling a mental illness. (Not gonna lie, it's pretty damn hard.) It was like I wanted everyone to understand why I couldn't do things. Why I was overwhelmed...exhausted...anxious...distant...needy.... If everyone either understood my pain or were in awe of it, I could continue to wallow and spiral down, down, down.

Mental health is VERY important and we need to eliminate the stigma surrounding it. Using it as an excuse, however, has the opposite effect. Insisting that your family and friends cater to you and excuse your poor behavior, negative attitude, or lack of focus, only perpetuates the idea that mental illness makes us less than. 

What I'm saying is that I am NOT bipolar. I HAVE bipolar. It isn't me and it doesn't own me. I still make the decisions about how I act and how I treat others. The illness I battle isn't everyone else's responsibility. It's mine. 

So I'm done hiding behind bipolar, depression, anxiety, or ADHD. I'm not going to continually expect others to cater to my illness. I am, instead, going to deal with my issues and work on being the best version of myself that I possibly can. I may share helpful information, knowledge, and experiences, but I won't be doing it to excuse myself from fulfilling my obligations, keeping my promises, hurting anyone, or being lazy. I'll be honest when I'm having a bad day, but I won't insist that anyone else make it better for me. 

Here's to new beginnings and finding Wonder Woman and Donna Reed again! 

I have received a LOT of support from people through my posts here and I appreciate EVERY one of you!!! 

Friday, August 5, 2016

A funny thing happened...

Good Morning!!!

For about the past two years, I've been late to work. Some days, it's because I'm taking my kids to school and that's understandable. But when they're being taken by my mom, with their dad, or out of school, I should be at my desk at 8:00 a.m. Easy... right?

It wasn't easy for a long time. It started with thoughts like, "They don't know what days I'm taking my kids to school," allowing me to take a little extra time getting ready.
The better part of one of those years was spent struggling through a really rough time. I was under a LOT of stress and mornings were really busy with packing lunches, making breakfasts, getting everyone ready for work and school, and rushing around, all while trying not to make any noise. Mornings were also the only time I had to get some things done, like put away laundry, get dinner prepped and/or in the crockpot, wash dishes, etc.

When that stress subsided, I got to relax a little. It was no longer necessary to cram EVERYTHING into each morning. By this point, though, everyone at my office was used to me coming in late. (They were also used to me being grouchy, but that's another story.) So I stopped rushing. It genuinely seemed to me that no one cared, so I didn't have a motivator to change my ways.

Something happened, though. Going in late started to catch up with me. You know what happens when you start late and still want to get paid? You stay late. When I have my kids, staying late could end up meaning dinner time is after 8:00 p.m. which is when we're supposed to start relaxing and getting ready for bedtime. I started staying up later, after everyone else went to bed. It was the only time I could start to unwind and let my mind relax. This, not surprisingly, made it hard to get up, which made it hard to get ready, which made it impossible to channel my inner Wonder Woman in the morning.

Something had to change. Not a half-hearted, "I'm going to leave on time tomorrow," like I'd been saying for months, but a real, live, actual change.

So I did it.

My husband agreed to help me. (Having an accountability partner was quite valuable and I highly recommend it!) I set out my clothes, prepared lunches, and got my shower before going to bed at a decent time. When my alarm went off, I did this amazing thing that hadn't happened for an incredibly long time... I got up. Crazy, huh? I just got out of bed like... a normal person! (I needed a little nudge, but that's not the important part.) My husband and I did a stretching routine, I packed our breakfasts and lunches, made my coffee, took the dogs out, and got ready for work. And then... hold on to your hats... I left. I just up and left for work at 7:30 in the morning. I just did it!

Can you even imagine how great it felt to break a bad habit? I laughed in the face of my lateness! There were so many benefits to getting to work on time!
  • The morning views were gorgeous! It's incredible what a huge difference you see in the morning sky in just a couple hours. Things were fresh and new instead of just hot and bright.
  • Everyone was so happy that I was there! It made me happy and we all had a better day!
  • I was more productive.
  • I was invited to go out to lunch with my coworkers! I'm usually the one who "holds down the fort" because I came in late.
  • I was able to leave on time.
  • At home, I had time to do some chores that would normally have take up part of my weekend.
  • It felt REALLY good to have a "normal" day for a change.
I'm not going to downplay how difficult it was to get out of my old mindset. (Please refer back to the two years part.) And I'm not saying I'm out of the woods. This kind of lifestyle change takes a LOT of diligence. I'm going to need to work hard every single day to stay on track and not fall back into old habits.

My accountability partner is crucial. That being said, the responsibility for making this change last lies with me. He can encourage all he wants, but if I choose to make poor choices, it's not his fault. I'm feeling it this time, though. The last couple mornings have been totally enjoyable. I could get used to this "morning person" thing.

I'm choosing to be happy. Sometimes I don't want to make that choice. I just want to sleep in and let whatever happens, happen. That plan hasn't been working for me or my happiness, though, so it's time to make a change. And it feels like I'm on the right track here.

Are you a morning person? How to you motivate yourself to get moving? Let me know in the comments.