Friday, April 24, 2009

I did it!

I just finished the 4th step - 'moral inventory' - of my 12 steps in Celebrate Recovery. I haven't written on this blog in a while so this comes out of the blue if you only know me online. But I wanted to publicly celebrate my success. I plan on writing more about what I am learning in my Celebrate Recovery step study later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Starbucks Sample

Starbucks has come out with an instant coffee. I have yet to taste an instant coffee I like. Knowing this is the general consensus of coffee snobs like myself they are offering a free sample.

I'll follow up with my opinion of this new product, but I'm not optimistic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WFMW: Celebrate Recovery

This month I am participating in Bipolar Awareness Month with other bloggers. So my WFMW posts this month will be things that work for me in living successfully with my mental illness. I'm hoping to tie what works for me into things that non-mentally ill people can use in their own life or just have more awareness of the illness.
Today what works for me is Celebrate Recovery. Our church is in its 5th year of having the Celebrate Recovery ministry. A concise explanation of CR is that it is a Christian 12-step program that also has 8 Biblical principles. It is for anyone with hurts, hang-ups and habits - which means it is open to all of us sinners. The open share group that I am a member has been typically people who are dealing with a mental illness and co-dependence. There is another group that has been typically women dealing with alcoholism/substance abuse. This isn't always the case, but I find it helpful to be in a open share group with similar issues.
What CR is not is a place to 'get fixed' and get counseling. A very important part of the guidelines is that we are not there to fix each other. I go to work on my stuff. I have made friends through the CR ministry and we sometimes spur each other on to work on our steps. But as a person struggling with codependency I have to be careful not to try to 'fix' other and also not depend on someone else to work on my own recovery.
Just this week I started a 'Step Study'. It is a 12-month long program that takes you through the 12-steps. Committing to something for 12-months is daunting and a little overwhelming. This week we went over group guidelines and I felt the same way I always felt at the beginning of a new school year. I know that the guidelines are important to having a successful group and they will become normal to me soon.
So that is what works for me - Celebrate Recovery in general and a Step Study specifically to help me work my 12 steps.

Lamictal Generic

I barely got any warning from my medical insurance company that they would be switching me over to generic Lamictal. Definitely not enough time to schedule an appointment with my doctor. I didn't even think about doing that until I looked up other people's experiences with the switch.

It has been a week. My side effects have been dry mouth worse than normal and the twitches returning. My mood has been fine as far as I can tell. I have felt more out of it than usual. However it is really difficult to tell if the 'out of it' feeling is from the medicine change or the odd two weeks.

I went to Chicago MLK weekend. It was a whirlwind trip, but I had Monday planned as a recovery day since DH was home for the federal holiday. Then in that two week period DH was off 4 days for the holiday and then snow. That completely threw off the schedule of our whole family. DH is a 8-5er M-F. He likes things to be normal. Being home for no good reason was driving him crazy. We have all wheel drive so he could have made it, but the base commander "closed" the base giving everyone a 'duty-free' day.

Also in this time period I had a panic attack at church. I had forgotten to pick up Bekah and I was devistated that I would do that. I have a hard time recovering from these attacks and I hate it that I react this way. I accept that it is part of my disease. I used my tools and worked it out with minimal attention to myself.

Until today I was feeling the side effect subsiding. The dry mouth and twitches are still lessening. However last night I forgot to take my meds. This doesn't happen often. I have a good system in place, but forgetting does happen. DH woke me up this morning as soon as he saw that my medicine container had Tuesday's meds still in them. I take all my meds at night right before bed. None of these cause sleepiness, but I believe that my body equates meds to 'its time to goto sleep.' It makes for a hard day. The last time I wasn't able to function and thankfully DH came home that day and then passed BB off to my mom. Today I'm more functional, but I did ask DH to come home for lunch to feed her while I did two errands that had to be done today. I just didn't have what it took to take BB with me. Plus I was able to do both in less than 30 minutes.

Tonight I hope for a good night sleep and to wake up tomorrow refreshed and back on track.

Despite my 'out of it' feeling I have actually made some accomplishments today:
- finished a bib for a baby shower tomorrow.
- put away craft stuff
- put away scrapbooking stuff
- hung up baby clothes that I bought for several showers coming up.
- now I'm catching up on my blogs

January - a month in review

At the beginning of the month - also the beginning of the year - I challenged myself to go to the gym every day. Then I refocused my challenge on getting to the gym 210 minutes a week - the equivalent of 30min/7 days. So did I do it? YES I did. I have found that Zumba has become my favorite workout. I try to take the class the 2 times that it is offered.

The result of this month's success in my challenge is -3lbs. Watching Biggest Loser 3 lbs seems so small. But I think they workout about 6 hours a day. That is not going to happen. The contestants who go home and try for the $100,000 put in alot of gym time as well. So I am proud of my -3lbs.

I will continue my workout challenge. My next challenge is to take out caffeine and Ambien. The correlation between drinking caffeine and needing Ambien for me is significant. I have been waiting to try Bob Evan's new coffee drink. I'll get that pleasure Friday morning. It is my intension for that to mark the end of my caffeine. Doesn't that sound a little Marti gras? I'm purposely doing this before Lent, because I'm doing this for mental/physical health reason and not for the purpose of drawing closer to God.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Read about the FREEBIES on my other blog.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I am a huge fan of I have bid on hotel rooms three times since last summer. The first was to get a good rate on my personal retreat. The 2nd was a stay over in St. Louis during Thanksgiving. This past weekend was a girl's weekend in Chicago. All of these visit were under $50 per night! All three also were in the extended stay hotels that have kitchens. Since I bid on the hotel I didn't get to pick the specific hotel. I always choose 2 stars and above. It just happens that I got the kitchen each time.

This past weekend I bid $30 for one night on the outskirts of Chicago. I orginally bid the $30 for Chicago proper, but that was not successful. I was surprised and excited that I got the $30 price even on the outskirts of the city. We were only 20 minutes outside the city. There were 4 of us staying in the room. The great thing about priceline is that you are asked how many rooms but not how many people. When you bid it makes it clear that they can only guarentee space for 2 adults. What I did in this situation - I called the hotel itself and requested a room with two queen sized beds. There was an upgrade charge of $10. So the total of the hotel for each of us was $12.50!

So next time you are in need of a weekend away don't use the excuse that it will cost too much. Go on and place in a ridiculously low bid and see what happens. I will definitely use this site then next time I need a personal retreat or a weekend away with the girls.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do you Zumba?

I welcome the new readers who clicked over from Works for Me Wednesday.

Regular reader of this blog know about my life with Bipolar Disorder. For me exercise is not just a New Year's resolution - it is a key component in keeping my mental health stable. I have challenged myself to workout 210 minutes a week (the equivalent of 30 minutes per day). What works for me is adding a Zumba class to my work out twice a week. Zumba is like a dance party at the gym. It has merengue, salsa, hip-hop, mambo and other dance included in the workout. This Zumba website has locations of Zumba classes.

When I leave Zumba I feel tired, but my outlook on life is always better. I feel better about myself. This is definitely something I need during the hard winter months when it is easy to curl up and isolate myself. My gym is right around the corner and I am making friends that I look forward to seeing every week.


Giving Blood: I went back to the Blood Center last Friday and was able to successful donate blood. I drank ALOT of water. Then afterwords I rewarded myself with a Mountain Dew. I'm eligible to donate again on March 6th.

Going to the Gym Challenge: I did not goto the gym Friday after donating blood and I also skipped out on Sunday. I am going to still try to make it to the gym every day if possible. However I am going to change my challenge to minutes per week. Since I orginally was aiming for at least 30 minutes per day I am going to now make it 210 minutes (3.5 hours) per week. This week I am at 110 minutes. A hour yesterday on the treadmill and today 50 minutes at Zumba.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I have challenged myself to goto the gym everyday this year. At first I called it a resolution, but the more I thought about it challenge is a better term for this endeavor. While I do resolve to workout in 09 the challenge gives the resolution a backbone. So far I have made it 6 out of 6 days. Yesterday was the hardest. I really procrastinated til the last hour that the gym was open. Today I plan to go in the evening after AWANA at church. I like working out after a crazy night at church.

Update: My streak is now 7 out of 7 days - 280 minutes.

I added the minutes because technically I COULD walk into the gym and walk out and say that I went to the gym. My personal meaning of 'going to the gym' is atleast 30 mintues on the treadmill.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Donating Blood - eight weeks later

Today is my scheduled appointment for donating blood. I gave blood 8 weeks ago at my church's blood drive. I almost passed out so I set a goal of taking better care of myself so didn't pass out this time. Well passing out wasn't even an issue because they couldn't get the blood flowing :(
They tried and I didn't freak out that 3 technitions were messing with both of my arms. I did really well using controlled breathing to manage the situation. They kept asking if I was okay. "I'm breathing" I serious felt like saying "I'm doing my job, you do yours". Well the needle got a clog and long story short that was the end of my donating for the day. I can try again when my bruise heals - thanks guys! My donating buddy was able to give blood so next time I have to go it alone :(
The cool thing is that they were doing a special promotion - that I was unaware of - I got a $10 grocery store gift card. It is one that has a Starbucks in it!