Life is full of challenges. Most of them (if not all) are unwanted challenges. Things that get in our way as we try to reach a specific goal. Things that weren't really "planned" for.
Well I have had my shared of Challenges throughout the years. Some where bad...and some really bad.
But as always, I have tackled them and mostly conquered them all (or else I wouldn't be here today).
But no matter what you do in life, you will always have to face challenges, like or not.
And we all know how stressful and tireing it can be.
So i decided to challenge myself. Of my own free will! I am creating myself challenges, and not all of them are easy ones.
After spending a few years struggling with some stuff, I decided it was enough! I am almost 30 (in 1 year and half) and I figured that if i wait, I will eventually see those challenges, except the difference is now I am young and I have the energy to tackled them rather then wait until I'm old.
Now don't get all excited about this revelation. Because most likely I may not be able to conquer them all. But i figured, if I set those challenges on my own free time and terms, then it may not be as difficult, then to wait for them to creep up on me.
Well my biggest challenge this year was to be Happy.
It's not easy to be genuinely happy. Since October, I have been battling depression and anxiety. Yes, it is possible to suffer from both extremity at the same time. You see, when you are feeling anxiety, your brain produces this hormone to calm you down, but because you are so overly stressed out, it makes too much of it, which then drops you in a total depressive state and THEN because you are depress, you brain wants to produce this other hormone that will get you out of that state, but once again it doesn't know how much of it you need, so you become overly stress....and all that happens in matters of seconds, has many times a day (and night...specially nights) So it's one big vicious circle you are stuck in. Well, it's not a happy circle.
In October, I was transferred from "department" in my job. Leaving my oh-so-wonderful job in the lab to my dreadful job in the office. And thus began the vicious circle.
In January, I cracked. I just couldn't handle it anymore. I had been crying every morning when I had to go into work. I had spent sleepless nights tossing and turning, dreading work the next day. I felt useless and stupid and unworthy. That's when I asked for help. I spoke with my boss, and he refereed me to a company hot-line, who then found me the help I needed. And that's when I started seeing my Psychologist.
With her, we talked about why I was feeling worthless everyday and what I could do to make things better. I told her that I didn't want to take meds. I have been in meds before, and sure they helped (while I was on it) but to be honest, I have little recollection of those years and getting off the meds was terrifying. So I told her I wanted to go with a more "organic" way of dealing with my depression/anxiety. So we started congnitif therapy. That's when you change your thought pattern when things gets rough. I kept a journal everytime I felt like things were bad and when we studied them during my session, she would offer tips on how to react and think positif next time that happen.
Is it working? I don't know, perhaps it is. Only time will tell, because that's the down side of this method. It takes time to change your thought process, it's not like a pill that alters your brain chemicals right away....but unlike the pill, once I have mastered it, it is permanent. So it's worth the try.
During my therapy session, my psychologist told me that it wasn't worth doing a job I hate (and by now, I hated my job) Work occupy 70% of my everyday life if not more, so it's not worth doing something that makes you miserable. In life, to be happy you need to do things that makes you happy. Yeah, apparently that's the big secret to a happy life....
So I told my boss that I wasn't happy with my job, in fact i hated it, and if he had a position available (and if he wanted to keep me) he needed to put me back in the lab; where I am happy doing my work.
So as of last friday, I have been put back full time in the lab. And that makes me happy! It's hard work, harder then sitting in a office meeting families, but I like it. It's more work too, but at the end of the day, I feel like what I did mattered (more then meeting families). I don't feel worthless in the lab (well I do get some days where I am...but i'm still working on that, didn't say I was cured)
Challenge to find Happiness = in progress, but going in the right direction.
My next challenge was to find energy and socialize. Now if you know me (which you probably do) I am probably the laziest anti-social person you know. What can I say, I would rather lay on my couch watch movies by myself on a friday night then go out for drinks with friends. So why would I want to change that? Well it all comes back to my depression and anxiety stuff.
Not having energy to do things, and not doing things, makes me depress and being depress sucks in all my energy. Being around people makes me anxious and uncomfortable and having anxiety doesn't make me want to be with people.....ahhhhhhh. So you see, we are back in that vicious circle.
So I want to fix that. Even if it is something that doesn't bother me all that much (meh! who needs friends when you have an awesome cat like mine!) so that's why it's a challenge. I am trying to put myself in social situations and hope I don't freak out too much.
The first step I took was to sign up for a class. I decided that it would get me moving and I am in a social environment. I started doing Belly dancing! and to be honest, I like it a lot. I go once a week for 1 hour. I haven't really talked to anyone yet in the class....but let's take it one step at the time. So for this challenge, I decided to sign up for a different class each time. Right now it's Belly dancing and who knows what it will be next (I'm thinking Burlesque or maybe keep up with Belly dancing but up it for twice a week).
And the last challenge I gave myself is my weight. I know I know, I have said many times that I want to lose weight and I have done every diets possible and failed at them (because I like to give up on things that are hard) so this one is to be taken with a grain of salt. I decided to not set a weight goal. I don't want to get to X amount of pounds or lose X amount of pounds. I don't have a time frame either. I just don't think by seting myself a goal weight is working with me. Instead, I see how far I need to go and it makes me depress, so I eat more. I don't want to obess with a number anymore. I know how much I weight right now, and I know that it's too much. I also know that if I don't do something right now, In a few years I will probably have diabetes (my dad was diabetic) or heart problems (i've seen too many young people on my table die from heart attacks) and I know the older I get the harder it will be. So I want to get healthy. I figured that by losing weight without setting a goal, it will make it easier. My goal is to get to a weight where I feel good about myself. I made some changes, like for instance I have bought a pedometer. I know on a daily basis I walk about 3 miles a day....according to the interweb, that's average. But If i want to lose weight, I need to walk between 5 to 8 miles a day....well let's start with 4. Now that the weather is getting nicer, maybe i'll be able to walk those 5 to 8 miles a day...who knows! I have also started moving everyday. I try to do some exercise. I try something different every day, I go on youtube and pick a video. Usually I do something for 10-15 minutes. It's not a lot I know, but it's 10-15 minutes more then I usually do....and 10-15 minutes less of being lazy. And the last thing I have changed is I have gone Gluten Free for the last 5 days. I don't know how much this will play into this health gain, but one thing for sure is that I am eating less carbs and more veggies. Because Gluten free diets are the craze right now, there is a lot of materials online, like recipes and tips and a lot of products in the groceries or restaurants going Gluten free, so it is getting more accessible. And maybe who knows, maybe I have been gluten intolerant all this time and didn't know. Well, I am trying it for 2 weeks, to see how it goes. If it doesn't make any difference then I'll go back to counting calories or whatnot...but if it seems to do me good, I may just keep it up. The reason why I decided to do that was simply because there is 2 girls at work who are gluten intolerant and we just got talking about it and I said "Well i'm going to try to be gluten free for 2 weeks." I have nothing to lose really so why not (hey it's one of those diets I haven't tried yet) I mean, being gluten you still get to eat the same stuff, just made differently.
Challenge to get healthy : in progress and not craving pasta and bread too much right now.
So that's what going on in my life right now.
I have been going around in circle for too long and got bored with it so I figured I should try a different path and see where that will lead me. I may go back to my comfy circle after a while....but that's ok. Those are the challenges I have set myself because I want to face them and if it doesn't work, then it's done with and I can move on to the next challenge. At least I would have tried.
Or maybe i'm talking smack and in a week i'll be F@#$ this!
I don't know, all i know is right now I am tired of feeling like crap all the time, so I'm making changes.