I Want To Get Better - at Everything!

I ran on Saturday and since I was dreading the treadmill so much, I decided to run outside and just hoped it wasn't too icy or snowy.  I knew there was no way I could add on 5 minutes to my run on the treadmill - it was too awful.

It was SO much easier running outside!  I think it just gets very boring on the treadmill and I just stare at the numbers, like how much time I have left, how far I've gone, how many calories I've burned, how fast I'm going (slow).  Sure, I have my music and there's a television in the gym with closed captioning, but it's miserable for me.

It was pretty cold, but I've run in that cold of weather in Texas before - about 22. I added on my extra 5 minutes, and now I only have 1.3 miles left to train before the 8k run!  I actually could have run longer than I did but I didn't want to end up very sore or with an injury. 

I normally take a day off between runs when I'm training, but Sunday we got up bright and early because we were going running with the running club in the city we're moving to this week. There are two runs in the morning and we went to the super early one, so I think more people go to the later one and there were only four other people there, all men, but that's okay.  They were all super nice and it made me feel good about where we're moving.  Anyways, the guy who leads the group asked how far I could run and I told him about four miles, and he already knew I was a slow runner because I told him in an email.  So the guys took off, including Mark, and he hung back with me because I had no idea where I was going and he wanted Mark to be able to run with the other guys, but Mark hung back with me too after he realized I was way behind, I guess.  Or maybe he didn't want me running the whole way with another guy, I don't know.

Anyways, so yes, I'm a slow runner, especially compared to men who have been running for years and years, but then we hit the trail, and it's all SNOW!  I've never run in snow before, and we hit the snow, and at first I didn't think it was that bad.  But soon I realized it was really tough running in snow.  It's like having weights attached to your ankles, or what I would imagine running in sand might be like. I can probably run for an hour, but I can't run in snow for an hour!  So I got slower and slower and they were running in front of me talking, and when I got too far behind, they would start walking until I caught up, and then start running again. After a couple of miles I had to stop and walk for a bit, it was too much.  And when I stop and walk, for some reason it's hard for me to get going again, but I made myself.  That's how I got heat exhaustion in Texas.  It was very, very hot outside, it seemed like an incredibly hard run and I felt awful, but I knew if I stopped I wouldn't be able to get started again so I kept on, like an idiot, and boy was I sick!  I had no idea that I was over heated (although yes, of course, I was very hot, but I always was running in the summer in Texas), I just thought I needed to push through the pain.

So we got back and I just felt like an idiot, like I can't even run the four miles that I said I could, but he was super nice and talked about future runs and everything, surprisingly no remedial running classes! But, I don't know.  No women.  Maybe there are some in the later run on Sunday or on Wednesday evenings.  On their facebook page there are pictures of women and women's comments.  I'm trying to make friends in my new city, but I just keep finding things for us to do to meet new people and Mark makes new friends which he already has plenty of here. 

I don't know, maybe I'm not good enough of a runner to be in a running club right now, but doesn't everyone need to start somewhere?

I've been REALLY practicing hard for school, I mean 1000%  harder than I ever have before.  I'm so tired of being a student, telling people I'm in school, and I want a career.  And of course a paycheck!  I don't know that I cared nearly as much before, but meeting new people all the time, I hate saying I'm in school and I want a career, I want to move on with my life already and I'm just tired of the antics at school. There are women in my class who do NOT get along, at all.  I mean, they have words with each other during class, and I'm stuck in the middle, not made to take a side but I just don't say anything, don't look at anyone, and it's very uncomfortable.  I walk out of the classroom and make sure to say goodbye to EVERYONE so no one thinks I'm on either side, it's just awful.

It all started when a teacher left the classroom and we were typing up our tests.  Two girls who have probably been going to school since they started sit right next to each other and seem like best friends, and they were talking about the test to each other for quite awhile.  I was ignoring it, I have no idea what exactly about the test they were talking about, I just know one girl was helping the other with something about it.   Whether it was how to spell a word, or even what words she was missing to pass, not a clue.  So another girl took it upon herself to call them out and say if someone else came into the room and caught them, they could get in a lot of trouble and it wouldn't be appreciated and not sure what else, I'm sure that they would be in a lot of trouble, and it was said in a very...stern way.  They immediately got quiet and I think one just got up and left.  So the next day the girl who got angry was trying to listen to audio on her computer and couldn't hear it, I personally think it was a user error, but the two girls were talking in class, and she complained to the teacher that they were talking and that's why she couldn't hear and it shouldn't be allowed. The girls got SO MAD.  They stopped talking, but like young girls will, they started writing on each other's notebooks in an angry way what I'm sure were evil comments about the lady that said that and looking at each other with knowing looks.  It's just very uncomfortable to me. I want out of that whole atmosphere.  Not that women always get along, they don't, but it's really childish behavior when all I want to do is get my money's worth of education with no drama.  So yes, not only do I want to get out of school and get a career, I want out of the whole school environment.  And the whole drive to the train then walk a mile to school in the freezing cold, snow, rain, whatever situation and....ugh.  It's just not pleasant.  I'm sure walking two miles altogether to and from the train station to school four days a week is good exercise, I just don't like it because of the weather. 

I only go to school two days this week because we're closing on our house and then moving in.  I have to make time to practice every day no matter what I'm doing each day.  I really, I mean really, want to get out of school!


The Diet Is Working!

I weighed myself for the first time, after the first week I started my diet and was floored.  I lost six pounds!  I have never, ever lost that much weight in a week!  I realize a lot of that is probably water weight and do not expect to lose that much again and know it would not be healthy to lose that much again, but wow, six pounds?  Wish I FELT the loss of six pounds!  So, I'm 143.5 now, 18 pounds to go! 

I must admit, this last week has not been the easiest.  Getting back into a regular running schedule has absolutely sucked.  I've hated the time I've been spending running every second I'm doing it.  That very well could be attributed to the fact that I'm running on a treadmill, that's the absolute worst. There's nothing to look at but the numbers and it makes the time go by so slooooowly. And it's been hard - really hard.  I've been pushing myself to run my old speed and I just can't do it yet for the whole length of time.  Starting today, per the plan I made myself to get to 8k for the Shamrock Shuffle in April, I am supposed to add 5 minutes to my run, and I don't know if I can do it running on a treadmill.  I may wait until we move into our house next week and I will run outside, snow or not.  I am joining a running club and they sent an email that they are meeting tomorrow to run in the forest preserves whether or not there is snow (well, depending on how much there IS on the trail, and if too much, then on the streets), so I guess that's just what people here do!

And the amount of food I'm eating...yes, it's way less.  It had to be, of course, and completely different. I'm eating maybe half of what I was, no white flour - the doctor told me white flour was horrible for you so everything I eat that has bread is always wheat.,  The first time Mark was confronted with wheat bread at dinner he threw a bit of a temper tantrum, but if he wants me to cook, he'll have to deal with it or I'll have to purchase two sets of everything bread-like, and that would be so wasteful. 

The biggest thing for me has been that I stopped getting up in the middle of the night every night and snacking.  That was my biggest downfall.  The first night I woke up and got out of bed, my body was used to eating something, and it was so hard to fight the urge to eat.  It's like my body was accustomed to having an appetite at a certain time in the middle of the night, and the first night was the hardest.  But it gradually got better, and you know what?  Now that I've stopped eating at night, I don't even wake up in the middle of the night any longer! That is such a breakthrough for me! I've been fighting that for years!  If only I had known that my chronic wake up in the middle of the night problem was because my body was used to eating then, I would have forced myself to stop long ago.  Of course, I'm sure that's the worst possible time to eat anyway.

I've been really down about school lately.  It just seems like I'm doing horribly, and I wondered if I was extra down on myself because of Phentermine, but I kicked it into high gear and have been practicing like a mad woman and feel so much better because of it since then.  I may not see results right away but at least I feel like I have more control over it now. There's a group in facebook where students that are going into my industry encourage each other because school is so hard - so much failure, so discouraging, and it really motivates me.  I try to read that as often as I can.

Today will be a diet challenge.  Mark and I are going on a brewery tour that involves sampling of beers at several breweries and pizza.  That's a heck of a challenge.  But...I can't hide my head in the sand until I lose all the weight I want to lose.

Not As Happy

On the way home from school, I started feeling depressed. I couldn't pinpoint exactly why except that I felt lonely and was tired of reaching out to people with nothing to show for it.  I was tired of being extroverted 24/7. In retrospect, I was extremely hungry. I had run first thing that morning and didn't have enough to eat by that time.  But the issue remains.

I think it's time for me to let go of people in Texas. There's no reason to hold on to them.  I wasn't friends (meaning, go out and do things with someone) with anyone when I was there any more, why try to maintain old friendships long distance now that I'm gone?  The technical age has brought us facebook, twitter, all of these great ways to stay in touch but maybe that's not always for the best.  I felt very lonely when I was living in Texas for quite a long time and I now have a fresh start and have found many avenues to meet new people, but it's tiring.  I have a women's club meeting I'm going to attend, a running club I'm joining, all in the new city I'm moving to next week when our house closes. It would be nice if someone, ANYONE, would reach out to me for a change instead of me initiating all the time. But, how would the women's club or running club know I existed if I hadn't contacted them?  So I guess that's not fair. Mark is hoping we'll actually have neighbors we can be friends with this time (as opposed to just being friendly), but I'm skeptical. I have yet to see that work out but people really are quite friendly here, so who knows?

Then there's the whole social aspect of Mark's job. I didn't fully realize how many events he'd be attending where I would be expected to go as his wife. I had thought that maybe the wives were friends outside of their husband's jobs, but no, it doesn't look like they are. It doesn't mean that I CAN'T be.

Maybe I just don't have anything in common with anyone.  I'm a certain age with no children, and women my age always talk about their children.  I have nothing to say. I don't have a career and am in school, and that's definitely not the norm either.   A lot of people make their friends with people at work. Or..perhaps there's just something wrong with me. I could be expecting too much too soon.  But right now, I don't have any time to do anything with a friend.  Every weekend is packed with activities and now that we're moving next weekend, we'll have a lot to do.

My new eating habits, or diet, whatever you want to call it, is going okay.  I just need to figure out what I can eat that is okay when I'm starving to death!  I don't want to eat anything that isn't good for me, but I didn't buy anything at the store for snacks.  I boiled some eggs like the doctor said and had one when I got home since he said that was a quick way to get protein which will satisfy better, but I lost the eating plan he gave me when I left, so I couldn't shop for the foods I should be eating. I scoured the internet for that eating plan but it is nowhere to be found.  It's just a simple, plain, healthy eating plan broken up by food groups and calories that I thought would be everywhere, maybe even from a government health agency, but no, I couldn't find it.

I suppose the Phentermine could be affecting my mood, that crossed my mind. I've taken it before and I don't remember it doing that, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. However, I guess I can't expect to be loving life every day, especially when I'm walking a mile in windy 15 degree weather!

Pushing is Hard!

I've been here for a month and I finally made an appointment with a new psychiatrist today.  They can't get me in until late April, which I was totally expecting.  I don't know why psychiatrists push off new patients like that, but it just seems like they always do.

I'm really pushing myself, training for the 8k race in April. I can run 5k now, so that's 2 more miles I've got to be able to run in less than two months.  It's totally do-able, it's just that I forgot how hard pushing yourself to your limit can be. Yesterday I went to the gym (oh my gosh, I HATE running on the treadmill, but it was too cold to run outside) and set the speed for 30 seconds faster than I ran a week ago. I set the timer to run for 45 minutes, because that is how I'm going to train.  Just add five more minutes of running every week - go by time, not by distance.  That's how I trained to run a 5k and then a 10k, but I haven't run a 10k in almost a year which is why I'm having to train again. I don't know WHY I set it for 30 seconds faster except that it just seemed like I could run faster than what I was. So with 7 minutes left of my run, I was dying and slowed it down to my regular speed.  When I was done, I got off the treadmill and was SO DRAINED.  Not "fall asleep" drained, but had absolutely no energy, and for some reason when I do very intense cardio in a gym (not outside), afterwards, my nose runs constantly and I can't stop sneezing, it's awful and very bizarre, so I had that to deal with for the rest of the day yesterday.  I was a total waste of space after the run for the whole day.  There was so much I wanted to do, but all I could do was sit around and did a few loads of laundry.  I'm better today.  I'm not cutting back though, I'm pushing through. The first time you push yourself is the worst time.  Usually the second time it's a bit easier, and then the third time it doesn't seem nearly as hard and after that, it's time to push yourself again!  Each week, I'm running 3 times a week at the same time allowance, adding 5 more minutes each week until I'm up to 8k.  Totally do-able, just have to remember how hard that first time I add five minutes is going to be!

I guess because I just started taking the Phentermine it seems really powerful to me.  It's not that I don't want to eat, I do, I want to keep my metabolism up, it's just that it's so unappealing.  It literally took me three hours to eat a container of yogurt for breakfast, and I'm supposed to eat so much more than that for breakfast, and by the time I was done with that, I should have already had a snack and should now be preparing lunch!  Um, no.  I'm guessing that as time goes on its potency wears off a bit.  But...I'm also guessing right now my metabolism is going way the frick down which is not good at all!  If I don't eat lunch, it will be the first meal I've skipped since taking it, but I am practicing small portion control at meals, eating way less than I normally would. I don't know what to think, if this will work. You can't starve yourself and expect that to work long term.  Even short term, eventually your body will be used to you starving yourself and store body fat and gain weight if you eat normally. I don't know, I need food to train, but I want to lose weight, I'll just keep trying this for now and maybe force myself to eat a bit when I'm supposed to.  Sure, I want to be thin, but I don't want to be unhealthy.

So much to do to move into the new house next week! I've called so many services today to get things started!  Not utilities, Mark does those, but maid service, pest control, locksmith, and called to set up an appointment to get my car serviced and buy new tires for this freaking cold weather since it now has performance tires.  Doesn't do well on snowy or icy roads!  The BMW dealer told me I should change my tires for the winter, then change them back when the weather is warmer. Huh?  That seems like too much work!  Isn't there just a tire that I can keep all the time?  I'm very low maintenance when it comes to cars and hate having to get anything done to my car, which is why the service light has been on for at least a month even though it's free to get my car serviced.  I can't imagine having to go back and forth to get my tires changed when it gets colder/warmer. What a hassle!  And where do you keep the tires that you're not using?  How do you get them home? And then back again?  But I guess when in Rome...

I need to go to the grocery store and I've been putting it off since yesterday.  Ugh.  Guess I'd better get in the shower!


Overall? Positive!

I went to a weight loss center, and in my jeans, sweater and boots I weighed 154.  Yikes!  But I've never weighed myself fully clothed in bulky clothes AND heavy boots. Anyways, something interesting happened.

On the questionnaire, I decided not to disclose I am bipolar, and put that I am not taking any medication.  I struggled with that decision for days, and even on the car ride there about what to do, but that's what I eventually decided, and it's a darned good thing!

Instead of it being a "private" consultation, four of us were counseled together.  Our weight wasn't disclosed or how much we wanted to lose or anything like that, the doctor just went over dietary needs and nutrition and about the prescription appetite suppressant he was giving each of us (phentermine).  He then looked at each of our charts to check our vitals and medication, and then he looked directly at me and said, "You're not taking any medication?" Now if I had put that I was or had decided to disclose that I was bipolar, that would have been a very uncomfortable moment for me. I would probably have had to go over every freaking medication I was taking, and tell him what each did, and you know the drill, in front of three other girls who may know no one who is mentally ill and think I'm a freak.  I shouldn't care what others think, but why is it their business?  It's not.  Maybe it's the doctor's, but it's not other people's business.  Only one other person took medication, and that was for high blood pressure.

I'm really being challenged right now that I've moved to a new city - who do I tell?  Who do I trust? I've only told doctors in the past, but now I don't even know what doctors to trust, especially after today.

So, it was myself and another girl who weighed exactly the same as me (she disclosed her weight to me later), and two other larger girls who have a considerable more amount of weight to lose. I want to lose about 20-25, but the other girl like me only wants to lose 10-15.  People are just built differently.  She looks like she doesn't need to lose ANYTHING, she looks very thin already, yet I don't, we just carry our weight differently and I have very small bones, I know that.
I looked at the last time I recorded my weight - the beginning of December - and I haven't gained anything at all since then (149, and when I got home and weighed myself without all the bulk, that's what I still weigh).  Surprising I haven't gained 10 MORE pounds, but that means I've only gained about 10-11 pounds altogether.  However, it needs to stop before 10 becomes 20 becomes 50 like it has TWICE in the past now!

I want to be able to fit into my little black dress for a dinner with a bunch of people we're going out with in March, but I don't know if I'll make it.  He said to exercise - cardio - for 30 minutes 4-7 times a day.  And we talked for at least an hour about the diet, but the largest girl of all got impatient and interrupted him and said she had no idea it would take so long and how much longer would he be.  I was like...really?  You don't want to learn all you can about how to eat properly and lose weight and just eat in general for nutrition from an expert?  Did you just come for diet pills?  But...apparently she did.  And if so, she'll take the diet pills, stop taking them and gain the weight back.  It's a lifestyle change, there is no "magic pill" that keeps the weight off forever.

And, I signed up for an 8k run in April, I can only run 5k now.  That's 2 miles more I've got to build up to in less than two months, but that's plenty of time if I'm persistent. I used to run 5 miles (8k) 3 times a week less than a year ago, so...I know I can do it.  Endurance, for me, is SO MUCH EASIER to build than speed.  I haven't figured out how to build speed at all yet.  I'm slower than a turtle when I run!

We move into our new house in about a week and a half, and I've already called a designer to help me decorate it.  She is so excited, she makes me even more excited about it - ha! 

School - I'm practicing a lot, but I never think I'm practicing enough.  It seems like that should be my life, my whole life, I should be doing that 24/7, but I just can't.  I'm motivated, but...I don't know what my deal is; however, I'm practicing more than I was.

So...a lot of positive things are going on right now.  Even though I'm in a new city, Mark's sister still annoys me, but I don't think of her much at all, she barely crosses my mind. If Facebook didn't exist, I would have forgotten all about her.  But it's good to have positive thoughts, positive people and just an overall positive vibe right now. But Lord knows it will come crashing down at any moment.  I should savor it while it lasts.

Still So New!

A lot is going on in my life right now, but I don't know if it's really blog-worthy.  I'm not FEELING a lot of anything, just doing a lot of activities and constantly on the go. I don't have much time to stop and think, "how am I feeling?", when before I moved, I had way too much time to think about it.  That may have been part of my problem.

The house situation is kind of in limbo at the moment.  We're waiting to see if the home owners will make the necessary repairs that the inspector found - nothing major, but now that we know they're there, of course we want them fixed.  So strange, in Illinois, just to buy a house, both parties apparently hire attorneys and work through those instead of the real estate agents communicating these things to each other and negotiating.  Seems a little over-the-top but...who am I to argue.  When in Rome? 

I've started throwing myself a lot more into school lately - I hope it continues.  I really want to finish!  I'm tired of going to school, and something else.  I absolutely LOATHE the commute to the city! My school is a mile from the train station and I don't mind walking, I actually like the exercise, but it's not so great when it's 3 degrees with a negative wind chill or when it's cold and raining outside.  Then it's absolutely miserable!

I will say people on the Metra (train that goes to and from the suburbs to the city) are quite fascinating to me.   Their conversations which have no filter and obviously are oblivious to those around them, the clothes they've chosen to wear, the activities they do while on the train, I find it all so interesting. It's also nice to just sit there and have someone else take you to your destination and not worry about traffic or anything. The Metra is actually very nice for public transportation and the people aren't the kind of people you would see on public transportation in other cities.  They are, well, NORMAL.  Ha.

I'm going to a Weight Loss Clinic on Saturday. I hope they can help me. I bought some package that included a consultation, I'm sure nutrition counseling, 5 B-12 shots, a month's worth of prescription appetite suppresants and I can't remember what else. I am really debating whether or not to tell them I'm bipolar and on medication. I don't know if they will do lab work - run any tests on my thyroid, metabolism, etc., and even if they do, would it include a drug screen? And if it did include a drug screen, would that find anything?  I suppose klonipin, it would find benzo's right?  I have no idea.  But the doctor will probably ask how I gained weight to begin with - well, Seroquel and Geoden, but I've lost about 50 pounds of it, I would just like help with the rest of it and I've started gaining again. We don't have a scale since we moved - the movers put almost all of our stuff in storage except for what we packed in our SUV, so I have no idea what I weigh right now.  Which may be good or bad.

I'm running at 8k mile race in April which I used to run regularly (5 miles), but can only run 5k now.  It's with some of Mark's friends, so I've got to work on my distance!  My time will be slower than a turtle, but I know I can do it. Worst case scenario is I walk part of the last two miles, but who cares.  I'm not trying to beat anyone.  I really want to be able to run the whole thing though, no matter how slow I have to go.  It's a bummer when you have to work your endurance back to where it once was!

We've been doing a lot of things with Mark's friends, and they're all super nice, but I want to make my own friends here. I had planned on going to a meeting of a woman's club in the city we will be moving to, but on that day the weather was really bad and I couldn't have made it on time and couldn't go.  They were very nice and invited me to their next meeting in March. If all goes well with the house, we will be living in that city then and it won't be such an ordeal getting there.  That would be nice to have friends living within a few miles from me!  And doing charity work with them!  Mark said he loves that he can take me anywhere, put me in any situation, and I'm just "on". That's not really true.  It depends on the person. Some people have walls up and I never know how to take that.  Do they not like me? But I always remember that's the same thing I thought with Mark when I met him - wow, I thought he did NOT like me at all!  I was not interested in him romantically, but we sat next to each other at work and I just wanted to be friends, but he wanted none of it.  He wouldn't talk to me which was perplexing to me because at that time I made everyone my friend. He was totally 100% into his career which he's always been. I finally gave up, he and his wife started going through a divorce, and suddenly he realized I existed.  That is a bit reassuring to me now, that he might act that way to other women at work, although I hope he is a bit nicer!  That was a little extreme!  I've tried to soften him since we've been together.  I'm sure every woman tries to "fix" her man in some way or another!

I still haven't found a psychiatrist.  I've only looked for one once.  It's just that getting around in the city is such a HASSLE unless it's nearby, so I'm kind of waiting until we're settled.  Yet I don't just want to choose a psychiatrist simply because they're the closest.  I've had a bad psychiatrist and they can ruin you if you can't communicate with them or...they are just bad at what they do. I need to find an OB/GYN too, and it's about time for another mammogram and, and, and....omg another round of doctor visits is coming!  Ugh!  Let me hide my head under the pillows and wake me when it's all over!  I absolutely hate going to these kinds of doctors.  Wait - I can't think of a doctor I do like to go to.  I guess the plastic surgeon for botox maybe, but I don't actually like getting botox, it's just that it's something elective I choose to do instead of HAVE to.  I need to find a hair salon, everything.  Absolutely everything.  It's overwhelming.  I don't even an Illonois driver's license or license plate yet!

Well, back to bed!

Train Situation

I was exhausted today, but not because of school. There was a mixup of what time I had to be at the train station, and I ended up being there an hour early, so I had to wait for my train. I don't know how long I'm on the train to get to Chicago but it's over an hour.  Then I walk over a mile to get to school.  I barely made it to class, was there an hour and a half, then it was time to go back home. I got to the train station and was thirty minutes early.  Rode the train back home, then the drive back home.  So how long was I gone for a 90 minute class?  SEVEN HOURS. Mark just doesn't get it yet.  He hasn't done the commute in the morning from home to work in downtown Chicago and gets very mad when I tell him he doesn't understand because he's gone to a friend's house after work in the suburbs and then gone home afterward.  I'm sorry, but that does *not count*.  When he's spending at least an hour and a half each way to work he'll finally get it.  But...it has it's advantages, too.  I'm not spending any time in rush hour traffic, I have none of that stress and no worries about being late to school as long as I make the train, and I can do a lot of things while I ride the train.  Today was the first time on my way home that I actually fell asleep though.  Maybe I only went to class for 90 minutes, but spending an entire day commuting is exhausting!

I bought a coupon for a weight loss center.  It's supposed to be some program that includes a consultation, dietary plan, 5 B12 shots, and a month's worth of prescription appetite suppressants.  I think on their website I also read you need labwork, so maybe that is out of pocket.  I'm not sure if I'm in the "overweight" BMI yet if you calculate it numerically (height/weight), but if they measure me with a pincher thing, I have such a small frame that I know I will be. I just assume if they put out a coupon - they must want business.  But how awesome would that be?  A place that would help me lose weight, keep me accountable, and once I reached my goal weight if I gained ten or so pounds I would have a place to go that would get me back to where I needed?  YES YES exercise, but exercise doesn't always do it for me.  You can eat more calories than you exercise and it doesn't seem like I eat that much, but I've put on weight.  We don't have a scale, I didn't bring it from Texas and now it's packed in storage somewhere in Chicago wherever the movers moved it, but I feel like I've gained weight since we got here, too.  I almost didn't go to Mark's friend's party last Friday because I had a MAJOR clothes crisis.  Everything I put on made me look about 7 months pregnant.  For real - I seriously looked pregnant, like someone would ask me when I was due.  That's where I always gain weight first, but when I think about it, is there a good place to gain weight?  My boobs maybe, but then my tops wouldn't fit.

Oh my gosh I've got to finish school!  I don't practice nearly enough!  I'm like the slow child that just doesn't get it.  I don't know if I'm supposed to throw in the towel or what?

New Life?

My life has certainly become more social since moving to Chicago.  Mark has been coming here for years to work and his good friends are all here, so there was an automatic social group I moved into with party invitations and social events waiting.  His friends and their wives are all nice, it's just weird.  They know HIM, not me, and...at the events, he's always one of the top leveled executives from his workplace at parties, so I don't know if people are just nice to me because he's their boss or what he can do for them at work or if they really like me.  Yes, they seem to like me very well, they even say they like me a lot, but...people are so nice here, I don't know what to believe sometimes.  What HE thinks about the circle of friends, I don't know, but he sure likes his friends.  Whatever he thinks, he's come to terms with it years ago and I don't think he considers it.  It's quite a change from never socializing with other people to socializing with people at least once a week.

And on top of that, I contacted a women's group that is sort of a social club in the new city that we're buying a house and will be attending my first "meeting" this week.  It's not just a social club, it's women who volunteer and raise money for charities, etc.  I'm pretty excited about it, but I will be so disappointed if the women are uppity and snooty after being charmed by the people in Chicago.

So yes, we did make an offer on a house and will be moving in the end of February!  I'm excited to buy new furniture for it and decorate it, etc.  It's a really pretty house - I fell in love with it.  I'm sure it's way too big for just Mark, myself and our dog, but better to be too big than too small. I had planned to post pictures but Mark's friends have already been asking when will we be having a party, and then I realized - I can't post pictures!  What if one of them stumbles on my blog and recognizes our house?  I guess the only deal breaker would be that we asked the current homeowner who is relocating like we did to make the repairs the inspector found, just like we made the repairs the inspector found on the house we sold.  They are very nit-picky types of things, but...now that we know these things exist, of course we want them fixed, and again, to be fair, we did on our house, too.

The weather here is absolutely HORRIBLE!  I *hate* it.  I can't stress the word *hate* enough!  Yes, I'm glad to be out of yee-haw Texas, but wow, I sure miss the weather there.  This negative wind chill stuff is for the birds.  It is bone chilling cold, and I don't believe for a second these people in Illinois are okay with it.  They just simply are not!  I wasn't "okay" with days on end of over 100 degrees in Texas in the summer, either.  That was miserable.  I used to think at least when it's cold you can put on more clothes but...I'm sorry, when it's 3 degrees with a negative wind chill, you're just going to be freaking cold somewhere on your body no matter how many clothes you are wearing.

I haven't even begun to look for a psychiatrist yet.  Wait - I did find a perfect one - specializing completely in patients who are bipolar, then found they didn't even take any insurance!  Say what? Yes, I totally get that insurance companies negotiate much lower rates than what a doctor wants to charge, and I don't doubt they or any doctor is worth what they want to charge - except maybe surgeons during surgery - really?  Thousands of dollars just for the procedure done by the doctor (not including everything else - just the doctor's time) for thirty minutes or one hour when they have back to back surgeries in the same building all that day?  That's ridiculous.  Just a bit of observation I had during 2010 when I had three different kinds of surgeries, but I digress.    It soured me and I stopped looking since my psychiatrist had given me a year's worth of refills, but I really need to get on it.  I could have a crisis at any given moment and wouldn't have anyone to turn to, then would need to wait weeks or maybe months for a first time visit and go through that crappy get to know you consultation appointment before anything else happened.

I am dreading that first appointment a LOT.  I remember all of those questions they ask, and then some of them really makes you think...has that happened to me?  What do you consider "voices"?  I always have to describe what I have experienced because I don't know if that is or isn't considered "hearing voices", maybe that's simply episodes of psychosis.  Perhaps my last doctor thought I was very crazy, I AM on two anti-psychotics among other things.  That's saying a lot, right?  If you're on anti-psychotics?  Does that mean I'm psychotic without them?  I tell myself it's just a NAME, but anti-depressants are for depression, so?  I don't even know for sure what "psychotic"  means exactly.  I should look that up.

I honestly have no idea how "mentally ill" I am.  I think I'm just fine, I know no other way to be than what I am.  But all the talk about the "mentally ill" right now in the news has me freaked out.  We're so dangerous...blah blah, protect society from the mentally ill with guns!!  How about doing psychopath screenings instead?  I think it takes a psychopath to go on a killing spree, and if you look into anyone's background hard enough, I'm sure you will find skeletons.  I have no opinion on the gun issue - I mean, I guess I do, but it's just not my battle.  There are plenty of fired up people on both sides already.  I am an advocate for people with mental illness, but that has a problem.  If I came out as an advocate, people would wonder why, and maybe this is how the gay community feels about "coming out".  I'm not ready to come out of the closet yet.  I don't think I ever will be.
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