Archives for February 2011

Be Yourself

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well. 
Joe Ancis

In my journey through depression treatment, I have encountered many things that frightened me. One of the most frightening has been getting in touch with who I really am, and putting aside the person I presented to the world.

For as long as I can remember I have craved acceptance, approval, and admiration. The catch was that I really believed I had nothing to offer. I was also very afraid of being ridiculed – either in my presence or behind my back. The only way I could think of to guard myself against that kind of harm was to create a fictional character. I thought this pretend version of me was everything I was not. Confident, nice, attractive, smart, happy, and engaging. I was wrong. The false version of me was really plastic and shallow. She was not a real person, therefore, she was incapable of feeling any real emotion.

My motto was “Fake it till you make it“. That attitude was tiring. I had to keep myself wound so tight – hoping none of the real me leaked through. In my mind, one of the worst things that could happen to me was if I relaxed for one moment, and let any part of the real me surface.That fake person guarded my heart – making it easy for me to keep the world (and myself) from being able to see the real me. No one really knew me, including myself.

Eventually, I got too weary – soul weary – to keep presenting the fake me. I was so depressed that the person I could have been was still hidden away – underneath sadness and pain.

We are what we believe we are. ~ C.S. Lewis

The first person I showed the real me to was my counselor. She was safe. Unlike other people, she is trained to not be judgmental. I did not have any worries about what her response to the real me would be. If I went in and said “I feel like crap today.”, her response was usually “Ok, do you want to tell me why?” Other people – who do not have her training – usually responded with advice like “If you would just get out more you would feel better.”

Eventually, the real me – that I was showing the counselor – started showing up in other places. Not often, but often enough for me to realize that life was so much easier as the real me. I became determined to do away with the pretender. There were three key things I did that aided me in that process.

1. I began sharing things about myself with other people. Usually, it was something that I may have not done exactly the right way, however, at the same time it was humorous. I learned that people enjoy hearing some of the silly things I do, and that I do not take myself so seriously that I can’t laugh at myself.
2. I started listening to other people – really hearing what was on their hearts, and minds. I listened without offering advice – unless asked – and let them know that I cared about them.
3. I learned how to relax. Not only by myself, but with other people as well. I found it was impossible to build walls up between myself, and other people when I am truly relaxed.

Who are you? Are you a different person than you allow other people to see? If so, try being yourself for a change.

NES Check In


Well another week has past and I don’t know how I feel about the past week.  I ate about 3 or 4 times which is better than it has been but it bugs me that I can’t just stop eating at night.  On Friday night I had a panic attack because I refused to get up and eat.  I just paced in my room freaking out.  I was so frustrated because I feeling like only because  my body thinks it needs to eat in the middle of the night when I don’t really need to.  Last night I didn’t fight it.  I just ate because I didn’t want to fight with my brain.

I am hoping to get into the doctors this Friday and see what they can put me on or who they can recommend for me to go talk with.  I know I can fight this but there are days when it is just easier to eat then fight with my head!  That is all for now!  I hope everyone has had a great week!  Stay strong!

Thank You Note Thursday

I am so excited to start a new MeMe.  Last week I posted a bunch of thank you notes and people really seemed to like the idea.  So that is what I am going to start doing on Thursdays.

All you have to do to play along is write thank you notes to people or things in your life.  They can be serious or funny.  After you write your notes come back and link up to the post you have written.
Dear Melissa,
I want to thank you for writing on my blog once a week!  Your post always teach me so much.  I have grown so much just by reading your post!

Dear Men at Work,
You all suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear MS,
I am so tired of not knowing from day to day what you are going to do.  Get it together and figure out if I am going to be sick or not!

Dear Ellinore,
If you don’t stop going crap outside of the litter box you are going to get us thrown out.  Which means you will have to go back where I got you from!  We both know you won’t like that!
Get it together ASAP!!!!!!!!



I am going to start writing each week about my struggle with my eating disorder.  My reason for doing this is to maybe help someone some where.  If you missed the post I wrote about it last week you can check it out here.  I am going to post a post like this every Sunday so people can come along with me in the journey to heal from my eating disorder.

Since I have posted the first post on Wednesday I have gone both Friday night and Saturday night with out eating the middle of the night.  So I have got two days under my belt but I know I will have bad days.  

I hope everyone has a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Truth. . .

 This post was super hard for me to write.  I am letting people in on a part of me and hoping that I can find a way to heal and  get past this.  If you have any advice please leave it to me in the comments!

Ever since my husband left me on Christmas in 2008 my eating habits have been of.  I have started to eat at night and not during the day.  I am eating most of my calories for the after about 7 PM.  The only reason I eat during the day is because of the pills I take I have to eat or I will get sick.  I really don’t get hungry till I get off work.  I knew that this isn’t normal but I didn’t know there was an actual eating disorder for it.  I was researching things for a dear friend of mine and I came across the disorder called Night Eating Syndrome.I was reading what they said about this disorder and I was shocked at how reading about the disorder that they were describing was 100% me. Here are some of the things that they say describe people who may have this disease.

  • People that have this disorder eat the majority of their calories for the day after 8 PM.
  • They say that is effects 1 to 2% of the population.  They also said that it can affect both sexes and all ages of people but it mostly affects young women.
  • People with this disorder and shown to have depression and low self esteem.  They also may have anxiety problems.  I know that if I don’t eat when I wake up it will cause me to have a panic attack.
  • They are often embarrassed by what is going on and don’t want let other people in on what is going on.  They also feel guilt instead of feeling relieved when they eat at night.
  • They generally have trouble sleeping.
  • They found that about 28% of people that were seeking gastric bypass surgery suffer from this disorder.
  • When they eat late at night they usually eat carbohydrates.  They say that the people “binge” eat at night but the eating is typically spread over several hours so it isn’t  the same as the typical binges that happen with the other eating disorders.

As I was typing that list it is like they were just writing about me.  I have so many of those symptoms that it is scary to me.  I now have a name for it but to know what it is almost makes is scary to me.  I would rather not know what is going on with me in this case.  I am really stuck on how to beat this.   I know I can but I am not sure how to beat it.  I am hoping that someone out there has some advice for me on this subject and knows how I can beat it.  I am truly looking to get past this and get back to being happy and health again.


J & Day 18

Joke-This is a positive word for me because when you laugh it always puts you in a great mood.  I laugh all the time when I am with my Grandma and with Misti.  Laughing is good for the soul!  I am not good at telling jokes but I love listening to people like my uncle Greg that are good at telling jokes.

Day 18-Something You Crave Alot
I crave a lot of different things but mostly it is french fries.  I usually crave things that are high in fat which is bad because then I gain weight and it makes me depressed.  I also love Dr. Pepper and I could drink it all day if it didn’t make me fat.

Thank You

I was driving home in traffic and I got a great idea.  I realized that I need to thank people for things they have done for me.  Some people probably don’t know what they have done.  I am also going to thank people for things that some of you may wonder if I have fallen and bumped my head but all of the people I am going to thank have made me the person I am now.

Dear Josh,
Even though you ruined Christmas for me for the rest of my life I have to thank you because without you doing that I never would have found myself again.  I learned so much about myself and realized the strength I had inside.  I had forgotten how strong I could be.  It is funny to me that it took you leaving me to realize I am so better off without a guy and I really can move on from anything.  This doesn’t mean that I am still not hurt by what you did.  It made me become the real mean again and that is a great feeling!

Dear Melissa,
You have taught me so much about myself and taught me better ways to deal with my own depression.  You have shown me that I just have to keep pushing.  I see what you are going through now and how you are keeping your head up.  You really are someone I look up to and learn so much from.  I want you to know all you have to do is call me or email me if you need me.  I read your story about your suicide attempt and it made me realize that suicide is never the answer.  Because of you I don’t even think about suicide.  Thank you for being so open and showing me and others that you can come back from severe depression.

Dear Jacqui,
I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to thanking you.  I want to thank you for always listening to me when I am complaining.  I want to thank you for designing my blogs.  I want to thank you for now teaching me how design blogs.  You are such a great friend and I am so glad I met you through blogging.  I know we will be great friend for years to come!  Thank you for being you!

Dear Misti
This is another hard letter to write.  We have been through so much and yet we keep coming out stronger than we were before.  Thank you for dealing with me when I am not the nicest or when I am being a straight up bitch.  You are more like family than my own family.  I truly look at your mom like she is my mom.  I know that once my grandma passes away she will be my mom.  I want to thank you and your family for taking me in and treating me like I am family.  Thank you for being you!!!!

Dear Family
Thank you for acting like you don’t care because it has showed me that I can do it myself.  I has proven that I don’t need to have people around me.  It has made me into the person that I am and for that I am thankful.

Dear Followers
Thank you for reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How is that for letters!!!!!  Some of them I am sure you are wondering what I was thinking but I am thankful for them.  I am sure I have left out people but I will get you next time I do this.  I am thinking about doing this every few weeks.  It really was fun and it is also nice to thank people.

Jodi’s MS Story

Today’s post is written by a lady that found my blog this past week.  I asked her and see agreed that I could post her diagnoses story.  Her name is Jodi and she blogs at Jodi Bean’s Blog.  Please go and give her some comment love.
I am always looking for people who are willing to share their stories on my blog when it comes to MS.  If anyone reading would like to share their story with my readers feel free to email it to me at margaannemarie (at) yahoo (dot) com. 

On September 26, 2008 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  At times it feels like it was yesterday and at other times I find it hard to remember my life without MS.  MS has become such a huge part of my life, not just because of my health but because of my involvement with volunteering and fundraising for MS.  Often times I wonder why I got MS. . . the whole “why me” question.  I don’t really know for sure why me but I do believe there is a reason or a purpose so I just try to do all I can to make a difference while I am healthy enough to do so.

Margaret has asked me to share “my diagnosis story” with all of you so here goes!  On Thursday, September 25, 2008 I woke up to my alarm clock just like any other day.  But this day I noticed that my left food and leg were asleep.  I figured I had just slept on it weird so I dragged myself out of bed and got in the shower.  When the water hit me I realized that my left arm and side had that same feeling of “being asleep” or pins and needles.  I thought it was weird but didn’t pay much attention.  So I continued to get ready for work like any other day.  When I brushed my hair and my brush went down the back of my head and neck I had “that feeling” there too.  I thought, “Hmmmm what the heck is this all about.”  Off to work I went.  When I got to the office (at the adoption agency where I use to work) I told my two co-workers, Joana and Mary about my weird pins and needles on my left side.  I told them I had closed my ankle in the door the night before and thought maybe it was from that.  Or maybe it was a migraine?  Or a pinched nerve?  I decided to google my symptoms to see if I could figure it out and even read about some auto immune diseases including MS.  At this point I really wasn’t overly concerned but they were.  Joana really encouraged me to call my doctor so I did.  Or course the secretary told me he had no openings so I told her what was going on and ask her if he could call me.  A few minutes later the nurse called me back and asked me to come in later that day.  So home from work I went.  By the way I also had a cold and was exhausted.  I had mentioned to a few friends and my family that I wasn’t feeling well including my pins and needles.

I went to see my doctor that afternoon and told him what was going on.  He check me out both for my cold and for the pins and needles.  He did a full neurological exam but stated he wasn’t overly concerned because other than the pins and needles my exam was “normal.”  He decided to consult with a neurologist anyways who wanted me to come over and see him first thing the next day (it was already late afternoon at this point).  So that was that.  I went home and laid on my couch watching tv and being lazy.  I wasn’t feeling great due to the cold and by this time my whole left side was numb including my face.  I had also told a friend of a friend I would house and cat sit for several days and it started this night.  So I went over to their house to hang with the cat and sleep over.  The next morning, Friday, September 26, 2008 I went to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center to see the neurologist.  We immediately hit it off because he asked me what I did for work and I told him I was an adoption social worker.  It turns out that he is an adoptive father so he starts telling me a little about that.  Then I tell him what has been going on and he does a full neurological exam.  He too states that he is not overly concerned because my exam was “normal” except for the numbness.  He talked to me about some things it could be from like stress, a virus or anxiety (I somewhat took offense to the anxiety comment since to me that meant “maybe this is all in your head” and I knew it wasn’t even though I didn’t think it was something serious).  Then he recommended that I have an MRI and blood work.  I remember him saying that it was probably nothing and it would likely go away and I would never know for sure what it was from.  I thought, “ok that makes sense – probably nothing.”  I went back to sit in the waiting room while he talked to his secretary to coordinate the MRI.  I called my mom (who was at work) to let her know what was going on and of course she was worried.  She and my dad wanted to come over.  I told her not to  because I was really tired and just wanted to go home and go to bed after the MRI.  She said ok (but she lied haha).  So the neurologist comes back and tells me to head down right then for the MRI because they had an opening.  He tells me that he is on call for the weekend and I can call him if I want to get “the results” but that it is “probably nothing.”

So I head down for the MRI and get registered.  Then I wait.  At this point I’m still not really nervous.  Both my doctor and neurologist have reassured me that it is probably nothing.  So I’m just wanting to get it over with so that I can go home and sleep.  I head in for the MRI and once in the tube I’m thinking, “well this isn’t an opportunity for a nap.”  The banging was rather annoying!  This was my first time having an MRI so I really didn’t know what to expect.  After a 1/2 hour they pulled me out to inject contrast and back in the tube I go for about another 20 minutes.  I finish up the MRI and go to the bathroom to get dressed.  When I come out the tech tells me that the neurologist was ready to see me in his office.  I told her that he told me I could just go home afterwards and she again tells me I need to go see him.  So I was thinking that he was just going to give me the results in person since it was before 5 PM and he was still there.  No big deal right?  At that same time my parents arrived at the hospital (of course they had hopped in the car as soon as I told my mom I was having the MRI).  So I told my mom that I had to go back up to see the doctor.  I found out later that she was freaking out but I was still ok.  I just remember saying to her “Why would I need to go back and see him.”  Denial is a wonderful thing I guess because I was still pretty calm.

So I walk off the elevator toward the secretary and she says, “Hi Jodi I’m just getting your admission paperwork ready.”  I say, “WHAT?”  She says, “Oh the doctor will be with you shortly have a seat in the waiting room.”  We go and sit in the waiting room and I say out loud, “Why would I need to be admitted to the hospital?  I’m fine.”  All while sitting in the waiting room of the MS Center surrounded by pamphlets.  I even get a phone call from my Aunt Cathy who was calling to check on me.  I told her what was going on and that the neurologist thought it was nothing but wanted me to have an MRI to rule out MS and blood work to rule out Lyme’s disease and other stuff.

A little while later, the secretary tells us that the neurologist in in the emergency room dealing with an emergency and that we should take a walk to the cafeteria.  So we do and I get a tea and we kill some time.  We head back and soon after the neurologist arrives and apologizes for keeping us waiting.  I sit down in his office and he says, “Well by now you know there was something on your MRI.”  And I’m thinking no not really, “What?”  He says, “You have MS.”  I remember being SHOCKED.  But I’m fine.  I’m healthy.  There is nothing wrong with me.  He continues to say, “I am going to admit you to the hospital for 5 days of infusions of steroids.  That will help the inflammation go down and hopefully get rid of your symptoms.”  I ask, “Can I go home first?  Can I work next week?”  Seriously I’m thinking about work when I’ve just been told I have MS.  What is wrong with me?  Haha!  So we ask questions, he tells us a lot of stuff, I cry a little and then we head downstairs to wait to be admitted.  Still in shock I call my roommate, Stephanie.  She asks how I’m doing and I remember telling her not good.  I told her that I had MS and I don’t think she really knew what to say.  Then I had to ask her if she could cat sit for me that night since I wasn’t going anywhere.  She was great and agreed to do that as well as pack a bag for my parents to pick up to bring over to the hospital.

So we wait and wait some more and finally I get up to my room.  I think it is like 6 PM by now.  My original appointment had been at 11 AM so it had already been a LONG day.  My parents leave together so that my dad could drive my car back to my house and so they could get some stuff for me.  The neurologist (who I guess at this point is now my neurologist since I’d be needing one) comes to see me.  It was so nice of him to come and visit with me on a Friday night to make sure all of my questions had been answered.  He talked more about adoption and he shared his daughter’s adoption story with me.  It was really nice because in that moment it made me feel more normal since adoption was what I did I could focus on that part of me instead of the new sick part of me.

My parents returned and my brother, Timmy also came to visit that night.  My mom had called my 3 brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncle.  Luckily are family is pretty small so she didn’t have too many people to call.  I couldn’t even begin to think about all the phone calls I needed to make.  Joana called me soon after as she was anxiously awaiting an update from me.  I had to tell her my news and she too was shocked.  I can’t really remember who else I told that night.  Strange since I remember the rest of the day in so much detail.  But the details of all those phone calls are a little blurry.  I do know I had to start my first treatment that night so they got me set up with an IV and started the steroids.  I was so exhausted by the time that was done and everyone left that I pretty much just went to bed.

I’m not going to get into all of the details of the next 5 long, boring days spent in the hospital because this post is already super long!  But to summarize I had a lot of visitors and felt so fortunate to have such a supportive family and friends.  I also got flowers, cards, candy, etc.  I guess all I had to do was get sick to be showered with attention and gifts.  Haha.  Finally on Tuesday afternoon I was allowed to go home.  Here I am right before leaving the hospital .  You would think I would look much happier to be going home (well to my parent’s home) but I always feel a little silly posing for pictures alone.

I stayed at my parents house through the weekend.  I was pretty exhausted from the ordeal so I didn’t do much of anything.  I pretty much rested and regrouped.  My grandparents sent me the above flowers once I was out of the hospital which was so nice!  My mom took me shopping too which was really nice but I was so tired I could hardly enjoy it.  I did get a few new things though.

The other great thing about being at my parent’s house (besides that fact that they took care of me) was that my niece, Peyton lives 5 minutes from them.  At the time of my diagnosis Peyton was exactly 9 months old.  So seeing her “walking” and getting kisses from her was the best medicine.  At this age she was pretty obsessed with shoes and really enjoyed the ones I was wearing.  I love looking back at these pictures and remember her at that age.  She was such a cutie!

So this is my diagnosis story.  There are chunks of details I left out because I was getting tired of typing.  But from many, many other MS’ers I’ve talked to I think my story is much different.  I was diagnosed VERY quickly.  I know many others aren’t that fortunate and for this I’m appreciative to my neurologist for sending me for that MRI.  I know he was pretty surprised along with my doctor!  I guess I’m full of surprises.

Once again I just want to thank my family and friends for their continued support during the last 2+ years.  Some days are easier than others but I’m so thankful to know I have so many people to lean on.  Without all of you this journey would not be easy.  Thank you so much for standing by me!


Meet Me On Monday

I can’t believe that it is already Monday.  It seems like it was just Friday.  The weekends after my infusion always seems to go by super fast because I am sick all weekend long.  Oh well the Packers won the Super Bowl so it was an okay weekend  I didn’t watch it because I was watching Ghost Adventures and it was more exciting than the Super Bowl..  Also yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to Melissa from Sugar Filled Emotions on the phone.  She is an amazing lady and I am glad that I can call her a friend.  She is going through a lot this week and I wish her the best.  I hope things work out for the best for her and I want her to know that I am here for her if she needs to talk!  Also I am starting to design with Wacky Jacqui’s Design’s and that it super exciting for me as well!  I have always wanted to design blogs and now I am learning how and working with a great designer.  I have seen this  MeMe for a few weeks and decided to jump on the band wagon this week.


1.  Did you watch the Superbowl?
No I didn’t watch the Super Bowl I didn’t really care about either of the teams but I wanted the Packers more than the Steelers because the Steelers beat both teams I wanted to go to the Super Bowl.
2.  What is the last book that you read?
I have been listening to books on tape and the last one I finished was The Girl That Kicked The Hornets Nest.  It was a great book!
3.  What is your favorite kind of cake?
I don’t really have one because I can’t eat cake because of the gluten in it.
4.  Do you snore?
No one has said that I do so I am not sure if I do or not.
5.  Do you play an instrument?
I used to play the violin but I haven’t played it in years so I am not sure if I still could play it or not.

I & Day 17

Idea- I think that this is a positive word because it means that you have idea’s of way to make you feel better and be happier with your life.  All changes start with idea’s and when you act on ideas that is when you will change and make more positive things happen in your life.

Day 17-A Picture Of My Family
I don’t have any recent pictures of all of us.  In fact I don’t know the last time we had pictures taken as a family.  I don’t have a picture of my grandpa but I am going to post a picture of my grandma, Misti, CoCo,  my little brother, and the cats.