Thursday, May 3, 2012

So I eat horribly. And dairy products are evil.

At this point in my life, proactive thinking has become a compulsion, thank gawd. So even though I'm in the same crappy space I've been in since I haven't been able to afford meds (still working on that, I just have to remember to make that phone call!) I'm thinking a lot about my diet.

My journey to figuring out I had what we call ADHD and that I should probably starting dealing with myself in reality truly began without a diagnosis in my early twenties, when I acknowledged that I was not taking care of my own basic needs. I realized that not eating regularly, for example, was not making my life any easier. So I started making myself eat regularly and pay attention to my body's hunger signals.

I had trained myself to ignore them as a teen, when I feared that I was fat at a whopping 125lbs (and I'm 5'4" so clearly it was my thinking and not my body that had the issue). I retrained myself to listen. The added challenge for me of course is that anxiety makes me not want to eat...but I still worked at it consciously and improved the frequency with which I ate.

In my early 30s I started thinking about it again and adhering somewhat to the glycemic index as a guide, helping me make food choices that didn't screw with my blood sugar quite so much - hypoglycemia is an issue for me.

And now it's time for my next change.

I'm in my late 30s now and what I've learned in the past two years is that having small children makes parents eat horribly even if they are attentive to making sure the children get healthy food. What brought me to this current reassessment of my diet:

1) I'm feeling awful without my meds, and poor diet will only make me feel worse.
2) The tiny therapist in my head (which is funny because my therapist is already very tiny) is totally nodding in agreement.
3) One of my freelance clients is a "health product purveyor" and it's got me thinking about the quality of what I put into my body.
4) I have always been lactose intolerant and I hit bottom in my relationship with dairy yesterday.

Even in times when I have given up other sweets, I have been able to enjoy ice cream, thanks to its fat content and the fact that, despite my lactose intolerance, it didn't seem to bother me. Until yesterday. I had an ice cream cone for lunch. And spent the rest of the day and evening feeling like sand paper had been dragged through my entire digestive tract, and other assorted GI symptoms that you probably don't need more details on.

So...I know that I need to eat more healthfully and make sure that I'm eating regularly...and that I have to cut out most dairy.

I'm going to start tomorrow by just focusing on eating whole foods. Fresh meats. Real veggies. Nuts. Grains with good glycemic index ratings like quinoa and barley. Nothing crazy. No diet. Just foods that are processed 15 times over. Foods that I cook myself. Foods that frankly set a good example for the kids. I'm not gonna freak out if it's not perfect but I'm going to try to keep this in the front of my mind. I used to cook for myself for heaven's sake. No reason I can't do that again.

And it'll give me something to focus on besides the fact that I'm feeling so out of sorts.

Monday, April 30, 2012

When there is no ADHD medication, there is liquor.

So I don't have insurance, I'm out of Concerta, I have regular methylphenidate but it sucks and...I'm drinking Tuscan Lemonade. Yes, yes I am. I'm not drunk. I'm not irresponsible. But I'm drinking alcohol to take the edge off of...the edge. Because I have a life to live and it's after normal work hours, and I need a break from working hard to pretend that I don't feel horrendous.

The definition of horrendous can be subjective, so for the sake of clarity I'll elaborate: I'm cranky, I'm grumpy, I'm less patient, I can't stand bright lights, I really REALLY don't want to talk to or deal with people...even though nobody knows it...because I'm working very hard to not be a jerk to people. And it's exhausting and a little painful.

Tuscan Lemonade is a delightful premixed concoction of vodka and lemonade. And it's goooood. Just a touch of it and voila, I still want to sit in the dark but I can share space with other human beings, which is important because I share a home with four of them.

Anybody out there watch Victorious on the Disney Channel? Well you know there's Tori, the good girl heroine and there's Jade, her dark alter ego. Well a week ago I was Tori, and since running out of the Concerta (because I don't have insurance...and just found out it would cost over $400 a month to maintain it for my healthy under 40 self...what?!) I have become Jade. I think I'll be stuck in Jade mode for a while. Which is something I need to think about...because I can't use alcohol as a coping method indefinitely. Even if I'm not using it to get snockered, it's just not a good idea.

Tomorrow I'm going to do a little research to see how much the generic Concerta will cost without insurance - I'll call the pharmacy. And if that doesn't pan out well...well I'll see what other options I have. Tonight, I'll have just a touch more Tuscan Lemonade and offer a toast to living in a country where people who work perfectly reasonable middle class jobs can't afford health insurance. And the Disney Channel shows that keep us from asking too many questions about it.

Struggling with "I can't"

Though I frequently succeed at putting forth a facade of effectiveness, I frequently struggle with the words "I can't" and their impact on my ability to make things happen.

I am thinking it over and over today. I'm in one of those spaces right now where the "I can't" voice is very loud. I had a disappointment yesterday, that's probably part of it (an event didn't go as well as I'd hoped). I believe too, that part of it is anxiety.

I know that my to-do list is large, and I keep telling myself that I will feel better about everything if I just push forward, and into, and through, and past the list. But all I want to do right now is climb into a blanket and burrito myself into a silent cocoon.

The reality, the fact of the situation, is that even when you are self-employed, you still have things that you HAVE to do, if you want to retain any hope of paying your bills. I will push past this. I will make at least a healthy dent in this list. But today it will be a struggle.