Tag Archives: positive thoughts

Confronting My Anxiety

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So we’re continuing the “Sysy Freak Show”!  (I’m trying to laugh as much as I can, forgive me)

My doctor prescribed me something for my anxiety, just to get me back on my feet while I continue to treat my anxiety via healthy lifestyle habits.  Why after so many years of au naturel treatments have I succumbed to medication?  Because right now I think I need a little boost.  I don’t necessarily love sharing this info but I feel like I need to be honest with you all, all the time.  I don’t know most of you out there but I know you’re out there…

My whole life I’ve needed a chill pill.  Only now it’s really affecting my health.  Lately, I get really anxious when I have to go out in public.  Even when I’m excited and happy about something I feel too overwhelmed, like my heart is going to beat out of my chest and I have trouble taking a deep breathe.  I can sleep 10 hours a day if you let me and I have a really hard time getting out of bed.  And my thoughts go to dark places.  For example, I will randomly imagine the worst case scenario for everything imaginable and my thoughts will keep unfolding worse and worse events.  I did that 10 years ago when I was at my lowest.  I conquered those thoughts before and I am working on doing it again.

I think my current place in life is sort of fueling these feelings.

Alex is gone 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for work.  Besides my natural inclination to anxiety, having twin two year olds is pretty stressful.  I have to take them out by myself a few times a week and it’s hard to keep my insides from turning because they like to run into the road and in separate directions and so I physically task myself holding them so they don’t go running out in front of a car.  And in those moments I’m not without worry because I fear a low blood sugar.  I know I shouldn’t worry that one of them will get hit by a car or choke to death on something but the reality is that Henri has scared me by getting away from me in the parking lot and hello? People don’t drive slowly in parking lots near kids anymore and he has run right in front of a car, almost giving me a heart attack.  Henri (why is it always him?) has also choked on a glucose tablet that I accidentally dropped while low and I had to totally pound his little back with my hand to pop it out as he turned blue.  Aurora has peanut and egg allergies and the peanut one is classified as severe.  So everywhere we go I’m obsessing over what she is touching and wiping her tiny hands clean because even though it’s annoying to live this way, I WILL NOT let anything happen to her.  Or her brother.  But these moments of life and death or medical strife are driving me nuts.  This tough time won’t last forever but while it’s here, I’m really on edge.

Something that has made a great negative impact on me is I’ve started reading the news again.  I had stopped completely because let’s face it, I’m not really going to do anything about all those small crimes out there and when it comes to the big news, friends and family will be talking about it, so there is no need to feed my very sensitive self all the cruel and sad news of the world each day.  I can stay properly informed without reading everything.

You know what?  As soon as I started the medicine my mysterious nausea and body aches disappeared and now I’m wondering if that was all related to anxiety/depression.  I thought that was interesting to note.

So anyway here’s the plan: (because I don’t want the side effects of this anxiety medicine, forever, though it is excellent birth control)

-Daily exercise

-Positive affirmations

-Healthy diet

-Media fast

-Give back and be grateful

Anything else I should do that might help?  Suggestions are welcome!

Oh and if YOU are dealing with anything similar, do try and get help, there is no shame in it.  Just work your way back, you, um, we can do it :)

28 Things I’ve Learned in My 28 Years

 

 

 

 

 

Moi

Moi

 

 

 

Today I turn 28.  Wow.  Last year 27 still seemed quite far from 30 but 28?  I have this thing for even numbers and especially two…and in my mind I’m basically 30 now.  Ha ha.  It’s alright.  I actually thought I’d focus on what living 28 years has given me-and that is, lot’s to learn!

1.  I was pulled out of the birth canal via tongs or whatever that harsh metal tool is called.  Even then I was a little timid, but you can’t let that stop you from getting out there!

2.  My brother was born and for the next 20 years or so I would be bugged every. single. day.  What a lesson in patience. 

3.  My mom accidentally cut my hair into a mullet.  For real.  But that didn’t stop me from happiness.  It probably would today.

4.  My family was still new in the US and I realized that my parents did a big thing bringing me here.

5.  I travelled to Venezuela to visit for the first time since I was a year old and learned that the world is HUGE.  I also went to Disney World that year and when Mickey Mouse blew me a kiss, I learned I was a hopeless romantic.  Sigh.

6.  Riding a bike is awesome fun and also counts as exercise, how great is that?

7.  I moved from an apartment to a house and learned that having a big back yard helps make friends.

8.  I realized that the best way to spend a long, hot summer day was reading a good book.

9  At this point I learned my mom was super woman because when I turned 9, my brother was 7, my sister 2, my other sister 1.  It was little kid crazy town and yet mom still went outside to play tag with us. 

10.  It was around this age when I realized my dad was super man because after my brother leapt for a football on the neighborhood street and busted some part of his face on the asphalt, my dad surprised me by sprinting while carrying my brother who was gushing blood, all the way down the street and to the car like he was a baby.  Off to get stitches.  That same year I fell asleep on the couch while sick and magically awoke on the top of my bunk bed.  How did my parents do it?

11.  I was diagnosed with diabetes and found more strength than I thought I had.

12.  I realized I could make honor roll at school and play three sports year round, despite diabetes.

13.  I went to Miami, where my parents almost moved us and thought, “Wow, look at what I’m missing!  There must be a good reason we ended up where we did instead..”

14.  Note to new parent self:  14 is a confusing time.

15.  When friends and I at school randomly danced around the library during study hall, I learned that loving life is all about the small things.

16.  Note to new parent self:  16 is even worse.

17.  My little brother was two and brought a house full of arguing kids a lot of joy.  I learned that joy comes in interesting packages.

18.  When three friends died, I realized I was not a kid anymore.

19.  I realized college was still like High School and that many adults are like big kids.

20.  I made myself work jobs I was bad at to see if I could push myself.  I learned it’s just best to do what you love when possible.

21.  Going to a club with friends was strangely thrilling.  Something about going out at night instead of getting home.  Hey this getting old thing is fun!

22.  I looked at my longtime friend Alex one day and suddenly it hit me that I was in love with him.  Hey! Maybe this is why I didn’t end up in Miami.

23.  Note to new parent self:  23 can be just as confusing as 14 and 16!

24.  Planning a wedding is what I call hell and I will never do it again.  Alex is ok with that.

25.  But getting married is fun!  I learned I didn’t have to be a princess all the time.  I bought my wedding dress on Ebay for $35 and it was gorgeous.

26.  I learned once again, when my twins were born, that I had much more strength than I ever imagined.  Also, life can surprise you at any moment.

27.  I found the DOC and felt a ton of weight lift off my shoulders.  I learned I don’t have to carry this burden alone.

28.  Overall I look better now than I did at 18.  How cool is that?  Onward with the aging!

Thank you for all the email and facebook birthday wishes, everyone.  It really brightens up my day.  Thank goodness for you all!

XOXO

Sysy

The Power of Thoughts, Part 2

 

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down

~Arnold Glasow

 

A great way to get your mind on a positive track (hard to do when diabetes is constantly derailing you) is to decide to knock toxic people out of your life (when possible, anyway).  It’s not easy, mind you, but it’s effective to the point that it’s life changing.

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that most of us are pretty influenced by others.  It’s normal and natural.  The thing is, for diabetics, health should really be a top priority.  And this means that being surrounded by those whose presence around you somehow doesn’t support your health is not the way to go.  In other words, people who aren’t respectful of your health goals or people who constantly pressure you against what you’ve set out to do are toxic to your health.  This doesn’t mean that if you are trying to eat healthier you need to let go of friends who live off of pizza.  It means that you need to avoid being around friends who live off pizza who also tell you “Oh come on just have some!” after you’ve said, “I really don’t want any and I shouldn’t have any tonight.”

You may have a different opinion than me on this but, in my experience, as long as I stuck to kind and thoughtful people, I felt a sense of support towards my health goals.  When I hung out with those who somehow made it easier for me to let go of my goals or who somehow made it easier for me to feel like my health wasn’t important enough for sacrifices, my diabetes suffered and of course, my whole life did, too.  Health issues are at the root of 99% of my seemingly unrelated problems in life.  Really.  So if I simply tackle health issues, the rest will at least improve.  Just the same, if I ignore health issues, my life will literally fall apart and that would really affect loved ones.  It’s a big deal.

So honestly, and you probably know this deep down for yourself, If you spend time around someone who makes it that much harder for you to do right by your health, talk to them about it.  Give them some time to adjust if that’s what they need.  If that doesn’t work, consider your options in spending less time or no time with them.  You’re worth it.

The Power of Thoughts Part 1

 

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails

~Author Unknown

When a fellow diabetic asks me for my biggest piece of advice for improving diabetes management, I say, “Monitor your thoughts”.  Our thoughts dictate how we feel about things and guide our actions.  Why else does an overly negative person say they “always have bad luck” and then actually always have bad luck?  The stars are not aligning against them.  God is not punishing them.  It’s just that their thoughts are subtly guiding all of their decisions, great and small, and since these thoughts are negative, a lot of their decisions are not the right ones.

Surely we can all come up with examples of how our thoughts or our attitude towards something blocked the positive outcome we might have been hoping for, no?  Or we have examples about how our positive thoughts produced a wonderful outcome, right?

Well, here is a personal example that I have a hard time forgetting.  It taught me a lot about how much power I actually have when I use my thoughts for good. 

Not too long ago I was going on 5 years at a job I truly hated.  It made me physically ill because it emotionally distraught me.  Why?  Just like anyone else I have a personality type which suits me well for certain tasks and not so well for others.  So it just so happens I was working at a job that completely left my weaknesses vulnerable and didn’t use my strengths at all.  So naturally, it felt like abuse.  And my self esteem took a good beating.  Ideally we all do a job we’re good at right?  To the outsider, it didn’t make sense why I’d have such a problem working answering phone calls all day, but for me, a phone ring made me shudder and almost go into a panic attack.

I felt that I couldn’t leave the job because I needed insurance and would have a hard time finding another job.  One day I felt I’d had enough and thought to myself, “I deserve a better job and I am going to find it!”.  I updated my resume and sent it out to several places.  A few days later I got a call for an interview for a sales job.  If you knew me well you’d know I would be the world’s WORST sales person.  I feel that working a sales job is like bothering people.  And yet when someone is selling to me they aren’t bothering me at all.  Strange huh?  Anyway, I just wanted to jump out of the job that had me stuck for 5 years.  So I decided to go to the interview and present the character of a sales person.  Before walking into the office I thought to myself, “I’m going to make them hire me, in fact, I’ve already got this job”. 

I immediately radiated confidence.  I made sure to answer questions with assurance in my voice, speaking articulately, loud, and clear.  I made eye contact and then told a story.  In other words, I was going to prove right then and there to the supervisor interviewing me, that I could sell.  I pulled out of my memory the fact that my grandfather once made a very big and expensive sell of a product that didn’t exist-yet.  His confidence and negotiating skills made him a successful business man in his day.  So I told this particular successful sale story.  And I told the supervisor who was clearly enthralled, “I inherited his genes”.  I finished my story, told him I wouldn’t let the company down, and then shook his hand.  He left the room for a moment and came back and said, “We’ve decided to hire you on the spot!”  <Sigh> I did it.  And now I genuinely didn’t want to let them down.

Doing something like that once gives you a boost.  I still wasn’t out of the clear though you know?  I knew I couldn’t really sell.  I mean, I was very good at selling, and the pay was good, but it didn’t come natural.  This means it made me tired, stressed, anxious, and plain unhappy.  I told myself I was going to quickly get another job, one that suited me a bit more and would at least give me more perks ( you know to make up for the fact that it wasn’t my dream job).  Just a month later I heard about a job opening from an acquaintance.  Her workplace was looking for a bilingual candidate for a human resources position in a manufacturing plant.  I sent in my application and went to interview.  I didn’t realize I’d have to interview in Spanish.  My Spanish is pretty decent but, the facility I have with it is in regards to language used at home.  So I can talk about food and household items all day but, terms in a workplace setting?  No way, Jose.  I also have an English accent when I speak Spanish.  So my nerves hit me.  I was told I’d have three interviews in a row.  I told myself, “You’re Spanish is fine, just let them know how hardworking and positive you are.”  The first interview was easy.  We talked about our love for our families a lot.  The second a bit more intimidating because it was via video conference due to the fact that my interviewer had just lost his father.  I didn’t feel right talking to this man about my working abilities knowing he was in great pain and had just buried his father the day before.  I let him do most of the talking.

The third was with the CEO of the company.  This man was intimidating!  He questioned me rather persistently about why I didn’t graduate college yet.  He said this was a sign I wasn’t very focused or ambitious enough.  I asked him if this was his greatest worry with me.  He explained that I had none of the technical skills or education they were looking for.  I realized I wanted to “win” this job because it would give me a unique corporate office experience and a good salary and paid college tuition and great health insurance.  Oh, and I’d get to practice my Spanish and travel abroad.  So once again I put my thoughts in line with my goal, “Sysy, you are going to make this man think that if he doesn’t hire you he’s made a big mistake.” 

So that is what I did.  I sat forward in my seat and told the CEO about my type 1 diabetes.  I didn’t tell any lies, I just took a chance on giving more personal info than one normally would on an interview.  I told him how difficult diabetes made life and how regardless of this I had made good grades at school, stayed a hopeful person, and been very active in several different sports.  I explained that my college experience coincided with the deaths of 3 friends and my diabetes management being out of control.  I wanted to finish college.  I told him I didn’t want pity and that my diabetes management was much better.  I just wanted a chance to prove that even though my experience with diabetes had taken me off of the path I wanted to follow, I was willing to work THAT much harder at whatever it is I did in life.  I didn’t monitor my voice.  I let it sound off passionately because I knew that an employer wants to hire someone who cares, who wants to work hard, who wants to earn trust, and one who is willing to learn.  It would have been wrong had I been lying but the truth is, I wanted the chance to work hard and learn everything I should already know for the job and then go above and beyond.  He said that the personality test I took showed them I wasn’t quite right for being a training specialist.  I told him he was right but that I needed the job and he needed someone who would give 110% and speak Spanish.  He had asked if I wanted to do the interview in English and I said, “No that’s ok, you probably want to be reassured of my Spanish”.  He smiled and nodded.

I was hired and later on learned he had been very impressed with my admittance of having diabetes.  He said most people would have been too worried to admit to a medical condition which might make them appear weak to an ignorant employer.  I don’t know how much good my words did that day, I think more than anything the attitude portrayed was what got me a job I was definitely not qualified for. 

To my surprise the job wasn’t rocket science.  No college degree needed, except on paper, of course.  The really hard part was…you know, that it wasn’t suitable for me.  So I wasn’t completely happy.  I struggled with office politics and felt a calling to get away from the sometimes petty nature of a corporate office and do something I loved for once.  Like this website.  Without expecting to I got pregnant and because I just so happened to have twins, I stayed home and left that company for good.  A lot less money, but money isn’t everything. 

Attitude and positive thoughts, are.  They help get us where we need to be for as long as we need to be there.  My pregnancy went well in part because I was a salary worker who could take a lot of time in the bathroom when nauseated and was given a lot of flexibility with work hours.  The truth is, had I stayed at that job answering phones and been pregnant while working there…the stress and the sheer inflexibility of an hourly job would have hurt my health. 

If there is something in your life you want to change, monitor your thoughts so they’re positive and empowered and let them lead the way.

My Christmas Resolution

 

I try to be positive this time of year but it’s hard.  I don’t like the cold and the darkness that comes with winter and I abhor the Holidays because of the commercial grip they have over so many people.  There is a pressure to spend a certain amount of money on certain people and a pressure to spend a certain amount of time with certain people and a pressure to do it all under a halo of big expectations that often falls kind of…flat.

Maybe I’d enjoy Christmas if I didn’t get nervous at a merry gathering of a bunch of people.  Or maybe I’d enjoy it more if there was some money to spend on a gift or two.  Perhaps I’d like it better if I knew how things were going to go ahead of time.  I’m not the girl you want to surprise.  I like knowing what is going to happen so I can plan accordingly.  So because Christmas just might put me in a room of people that make me uncomfortable or remind me that I’m broke or startle me with it’s spontaneity, my anxiety levels surge. 

And so do my blood sugars. 

And since I don’t appreciate that, I’m forcing a reminder upon myself.  If I don’t enjoy something, it’s because I’m not letting it happen.  I can choose not to pay much attention to things/people that bother me and I can choose to not think about money.  I can choose to just take a deep breathe and focus on taking care of my health and children and maybe if I just do that I’ll manage to find lots of pleasure in little things here and there. 

There is a lot to be thankful for and it shouldn’t be buried underneath all the glitter and lights…or a scrooge or a grinch. 

Thanks for reading my site and cheering me up in the process.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and blessed, stress-free, healthy, fun time!

Now somebody please get me a scotch…

Diabetes and the law of attracton

 

I’m sure you have heard of the book and video “The Secret”.  I’ve got to elaborate on this because of how important a single idea has been in my life and how powerful it has been concerning my diabetes.

First, let us take out the mystical aspect misguided fans of “The Secret” like to propagate.  Lets keep things simple and logical. 

What do a professional athlete, business mogul, award-winning scientist, and best-selling author have in common?

Is it talent?  Is it drive?  Is it intelligence?

I’ve come to believe it is FOCUS.  Obsessive focus

People in “The Secret” video tell us we have to imagine what we want, feel good about what we are imagining, and deeply believe in whatever it is we want.  We also have to think about it-a lot.

The Secret is basically talking about something called the law of attraction.  I read somewhere that according to the law of attraction, by us diabetics raising awareness about our disease and worrying about it, we are in turn attracting more diabetes to our world.

I feel this idea misrepresents what the law of attraction means.  Here is my interpretation of it and how we can apply it to our diabetes.

You’ve probably heard that the law of attraction means that whatever we think about and focus on, we’ll attract more of.

Lots of people are quick to say this is garbage but, let’s consider a few things…

In psychology we learn about something called the self-fulfilling prophecy.  This means that if you believe a false idea, you will create a new behavior to prove that idea true.  Remember the saying, “I do the time, so I might as well do the crime”? 

What about constantly telling a small child he is bad?  He may grow up believing he is bad and guess what?  He may very well behave badly.  In fact, he is very likely to.

Tell yourself you can’t eat healthy.  You probably won’t be eating healthy any time soon.  Either you’ll quit eating healthy or you won’t ever begin to.

Have you heard of the “Placebo Effect”?  Researchers have found that giving people a plain sugar pill meanwhile letting them believe they are getting some type of medication actually does something.  Placebos that have been given to treat someone’s depression have been studied and it has been discovered they literally impact the same area of the brain that antidepressants do. (see source here)  This works even better when a doctor shows extra enthusiasm to the patient regarding the prescription they’ll be taking. Interesting no?

Personally, the way I see it is I recognize the brain’s amazing ability to either help or hinder us.  In the past, when I have entertained negative thoughts such as, “my diabetes makes me sick” or “I’ll never have a normal person’s A1c” I got nothing but negative results.  I had terrible A1c’s and I felt all sort of terrible physical symptoms which I couldn’t even keep track of because there were so many.  This in turn, helped me say more negative things and thus the destructive cycle continued.

When I finally began saying that I deserved to enjoy a normal person’s A1c, I felt a sense of empowerment and even entitlement.  Soon after, I got my A1c level down to a normal person’s (4.6%).  This led to more positive thoughts (because I felt so good with improved blood sugars) and more and more positive things and thoughts followed after.

This is a simple way of interpreting “the secret” or the “law of attraction”.  It works for me however and it fits into my very practical view of things.  I want to be healthy so I think I am and I act in a way that supports this and everything else comes as a result.

I endure many moments of doubt and of failure but I have realized that as long as I have a surplus of positive thoughts and actions (in relation to negative ones), the end result is positive. 

So to sum it up, positivity outweighs negativity.  Phew, what a relief!

I’m really curious, what’s your take on all this?  And do you think we should all take some personal responsibility in the way we feel about our diabetes?  After all, we are in control of our own minds are we not?

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