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Personal achievements, mostly since divorce/separation

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ProbableIceCream posted 4/5/2014 19:57 PM

Over time I've done a lot of good stuff for myself, especially since the separation and divorce. Most of this is since then but some of it is stuff I've been working on long term.

I've lost 40 pounds from my peak weight and continue to slowly lose. I hope to lose 20 more this year.

My blood pressure runs about 120/70 which is, I'm told, within normal range. I take a small amount of meds for it, but I'm told if I continue to lose weight I may not need it. It used to run 160/90.

I have the first all-within-good-range cholesterol results I've ever seen as an adult (my triglycerides always seemed to run high but now they're well within good range! And my good/bad ratio is good too--good has tended to run low.)

I regularly get aerobic exercise and I go to the gym to do weight training with a friend twice a week.

I haven't had clinical-level depression since 2006 (thanks EMDR!); only stuff I've had has been normal ups and downs and situational grieving and response to low sleep and so on. Nothing like the 3-4 years of severe depression I had between roughly 02-06. I've been told I'm very resilient by more than one therapist. :) And as far as I can tell, I don't need meds to be this way. I'm on a couple that are "legacy" but am slowly tapering them with the guidance of an excellent psychiatrist.

I've been doing a lot of EMDR sessions since December, after a 7 year break. I stopped because my daughter was born and it slipped to the back burner. They have done a wide range of incredibly good things for me. I no longer fear talking to my father. I am much better at knowing how I'm feeling and standing up for myself. A good friend of mine says I seem to be "growing boundaries." I feel calmer. I meditate regularly. I enjoy being alone. I am still a bit numb but much less than I was last year.

I have sleep apnea but it's being adequately treated. I found out about it in late 2012, and it was well treated for a while but I had some issues with sleep hygiene and mask fit and the like. Sleep hygiene was basically having a good bedtime ritual and getting to sleep early enough. I've since fixed those, and my prescription has gone down. I may not even need it after I lose more weight. As a result my mood is better and I can think clearly. I also rarely take naps.

I took a very broad STD panel and tested fully negative.

I have a roughly 5 month emergency fund (going for 6) and I put 15% of my income into a 401k. I was promoted this year based on last year's performance review. Despite having the above sleep issues about half the year.

My relationship with my seven years old daughter is excellent. She loves me and says nice things to me all the time. I'm very introverted and she's the most extraverted person I've ever met, so it's interesting. :) I feel as though I learn from her. She's very touchy feely which is also interesting because maybe partly due to my past I have a bit of an aversion to touch. But she's not threatening at all and I want her to feel like her dad loves her (since I do), so I hold her hand, sit next to her, hold her, etc, even if I prefer more personal space. I think it helps me to do this. I could write a lot more about her but I'll stop there for now.

I am NC with XWW except for essential kid stuff.

So, what is left that bothers me? Not too much. I'll be happy when I'm off the legacy meds but I'm making steady progress so that's not too bad. My weight, to be perfectly candid, makes me feel gross, and I want to lose 40 more pounds. However, what I REALLY want to do is figure out why I feel gross. I've been 40 pounds lighter. I wasn't gross. (I have photos from then.) However, I felt just as gross back then. Sigh. Maybe that's part of my aversion to touch and my aversion to being the center of attention.

I don't like or dislike myself much. I like what I can do and have done for other people. I feel that I make an excellent friend. I don't feel desirable or special in a romantic sense. I'm a huge sucker for validation. It's probably why I'm writing this list and posting it, to be honest. :)

But hey, I think I've come pretty far and maybe I can keep going.

EDIT: By the way, I am not a cold hearted person. I just have trouble expressing emotions, sometimes, because I don't feel entirely safe. I am a very warm person inside my head and I try very hard to let it out.

[This message edited by ProbableIceCream at 8:02 PM, April 5th (Saturday)]

littlefoggy posted 4/5/2014 22:01 PM

Those are fabulous achievements.

We are all our biggest critic.

I love this video. It really reminds me that what I see the mirror isn't what others see.

ProbableIceCream posted 4/6/2014 00:06 AM

That is a cool video.

First it makes me wonder, how do people actually see me? Could it be that different from how I see myself? Probably.

Then it makes me think, maybe it doesn't even matter how people see me. Maybe everyone sees me a little differently.

Caretaker1 posted 4/6/2014 01:17 AM

Can you PM me? I'd like to learn more about EMDR and also your background on how you have 80 percent custody.

Amazonia posted 4/6/2014 06:40 AM

Good for you, PIC. You have a lot to be proud of, and I'm excited to hear you focus on it!

When I was in CBT, I had a mantra of positive statements about myself that I not only repeated over and over, but also wrote up and hung all over my house (and once in the cupboard at my work desk). It helped me focus on those things and remember them when I was discouraged.

Going over this positive stuff frequently is important.

I heard once that it takes 10 positive statements to counterbalance one negative statement - whether it's someone else saying it to you or yourself.

NaiveAgain posted 4/6/2014 09:04 AM

That is awesome and I can relate to a lot of things on that list. You are doing so well and it is great that you are giving some introspection to all this!

Congratulations on the weight loss!

My weight, to be perfectly candid, makes me feel gross, and I want to lose 40 more pounds
Yeah, I've gained about 40 in the past year and a half and I feel gross too. I am thinking that is because when I was gaining, I wasn't taking good care of myself and I didn't love myself. I kind of just didn't care, about much of anything, including if I was giving myself a heart attack. But I think that gross feeling comes from what we are doing TO ourselves and the mindset that comes from not taking care and loving ourselves, not our particular weight.

I haven't had clinical-level depression since 2006
Depression sucks. Exercise is very good for boosts the serotonin in our brains that help us feel good, and it lasts for hours after the exercise is over.

I'm glad you are getting your sleep apnea dealt with. That is a dangerously insidious disease.

I'm glad you have a good relationship with your daughter, and I am also very glad that you are working on allowing her in your personal space. My dad had a lot of difficulty with that and it had some bad consequences on me because apparently I needed it from him as a child.

But she's not threatening at all and I want her to feel like her dad loves her (since I do), so I hold her hand, sit next to her, hold her, etc, even if I prefer more personal space. I think it helps me to do this.
This warms my heart. If she is touchy feely and you allow that, you are doing a great job at helping her be comfy in her own skin and to feel accepted. I don't like people in my personal space much either right now because I am working on healing some of my past damage but I allow a few people I trust and it is very healing even though it feels strange. It is scary to trust and allow ourselves to be vulnerable when we have been wounded in the past. That takes so much courage!

I hope you can find a way to validate yourself so you don't look for it from the wrong person (which is why I made bad choices in the past). Also, when your little girl hits those hormonal years, things will be different and you will need to feel strong within yourself to deal with the roller coaster that tends to be a teenage girls life...... (remember she will still always love you, but won't always show it!)

Great post, and you have come a long way. Good luck on your continuing journey!

cayc posted 4/6/2014 09:19 AM

By the way, I am not a cold hearted person.

And that is something that no one at SI would EVER associate with you. You come off as caring, as introspective, as responsible and committed.

This thing of how others see you versus how you see yourself goes for personality traits too, not just physical appearance.

As for being a sucker for validation. I think we all are. Who doesn't want validation? Who doesn't want someone else to look at us and think "wow!". I see nothing wrong with this. It's only a problem when we equally can't validate ourselves. As long as the latter occurs, there's nothing wrong with a little extra from the outside. After all, no man is an island! (My own little mantra to remind me that I need people too and that's ok).

gardenparty posted 4/6/2014 14:20 PM

Great achievements PIC. Love that you are able to express your love for your daughter and let her express hers for you. It is so interesting when our children have radically different personalities than us. Makes us broaden everything in our lives in a good way. As for the weight thing I don't believe that weight is the only indicator of health. It is good that you have an objective but it is important not to focus too much on a number on a scale. Congrats on the job promotion too!

Merlin posted 4/6/2014 14:54 PM


Keep going.

ProbableIceCream posted 4/6/2014 16:34 PM

NaiveAgain -- Thanks for the encouragement about my daughter. I find that it feels more natural to be close to her the more I do it, and I'm lucky enough to have a very affectionate daughter, so I'll just keep it up. :)

cayc -- You're right about validation. It doesn't hurt to get it from other people. The issue is being able to give it to myself more.

Caretaker1 -- I sent you a PM.

Everyone else -- Thanks for the kind words!

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