Category Archives: alcohol

From Keto to Weight Watchers

Image: blue circle containing letters WW vertically

I stopped keto in Dec. I thought I would get back to it after the New Year but I have been resisting. It is great for my glucose but I found the diet restrictive in food choices. It is sustainable for some. I am gaining back weight. I know someone involved in a MLM that is geared to weight loss, but it is very calorie restricting and you are supposed to purchase their food. I don’t think that would work for me.

I decided to give WW (Weight Watchers) a try. They have a digital plan that is the app, but I don’t know if I can do it on my own. So, I signed up for workshops + digital. It is more expensive but I think it will make me feel accountable. I signed up for 6 months. I am hoping I pick up enough to do it on my own or switch to the digital plan. They have lifetime memberships where if you lose and maintain your weight loss you can have access for free, but I don’t know how that works.

They give you some zero point foods. Mine are poultry, non starchy veggies and legumes. The more zero point foods you choose, the less total points you have to start with. It is pretty easy to track in the app and it is a little different than calorie counting. They guide you toward making healthier choices. You get points back for activity, drinking water and eating non starchy veggies.

I even went to lunch and the most points were for my iced tea. I had minestrone soup and salad. I normally would have eyed the pasta dishes but I wanted to have some points left over for dinner. There are no restrictions on what you can eat. I checked and a shot of liquor is 4 points (out of my 32 total). I went to a virtual meeting for beginners which was helpful. I am planning to go in person on Fri.

Brain Hemispheres and the Rest of My Week

Image Brain: colored hemispheres , right pink, left blue

My therapist emailed me this link on a man who learned late in life, through therapy,  how to use his right hemisphere and feel.  I asked why he sent it to me and he said he was sharing the importance of working with the right hemisphere. I am still confused.  Does he think I don’t use half my brain, that I am unfeeling? I see him Wednesday.  I am not sure if I should ask more or just let it go.

https://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/blog/details/1245/its-never-too-late

I have a cold. I took a test and thankfully it is not Covid. I left work early the other day and have been taking it easy. I will be fine before Monday.

I was contacted on LinkedIn to write something on anxiety for choosingtherapy.com.  I wrote a bit about coping skills.  I hope it is what they are looking for.  If anyone is interested in submitting a story,  this is the submission link https://www.choosingtherapy.com/share-your-story/

I don’t know if I have a psychiatrist. I have new insurance and mine is not on the provider list, but I filed for continuation of care which was approved. So, they agreed to cover him. Now, they are asking him to file more paperwork than he is comfortable with. They denied 2 claims. He is only charging me copays. He called my insurance provider , I called, but I have not heard anything yet. I am supposed to have an appointment this week but he will cancel if it is not covered. I did get the name of a psychiatrist on my insurance who is taking new patients but I don’t know much about him, except that he charges a lot if you don’t cancel 24 hours in advance.

My friend turned me on to a hair product. The company is Olaplex. My hair frizzes and it helps tame the curl. I am 57 and finally learning to manage my hair. My daughter has beautiful spiral curls. I just have waves but at least it is not frizzed. I don’t have any stock in the company and I am sure there are other similar products, I am just happy I found something that works for me. And, it goes with my showering habits. I wash my hair 1 x / week and shower without dealing with my hair in between.

They run support groups where I work. I asked about starting a harm reduction or moderation group or SMART Recovery, but they said they are full and they seemed to equate 12 steps with recovery with no other options. They said they will get back to me.

 

 

Trauma Responses

Image with Trauma Responses: Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn with features

We have all heard of the trauma responses Fight or Flight. But, what about Freeze and Fawn?

I grew up in a dysfunctional chaotic household. I never fought but I put the other responses into use.

I would freeze, get quiet, stay out of the way and try to be invisible to avoid any emotional or psychological abuse. It did work, in a way, but I was also overlooked.

I would fawn, people please to the point that I don’t know what I want. I sought external validation.I still don’t feel that I am good enough,

I would take flight and stay away from home as often as I could. I escaped into drugs and alcohol. If I could not physically get away, I would dissociate (space out).

Now, I am safe but old coping skills are hard to change. I have to make an effort to stay present, to think about my wants, to set boundaries.

 

 

Insurance Woes

Image: Skeleton with phone, on hold

My health insurance changed at the beginning of this year. I have been dealing with the insurance company. Monday it was impossible to get through. Tuesday I was able to chat and call and get most questions answered, I thought. My primary care physician is the same and she can refer me to any specialists. I see an endocrinologist, a sleep disorder pulmonologist, and a specialist dentist who monitors an oral appliance I wear for sleep apnea. But, I need a new psychiatrist and therapist.

I filled out a form for continuation of care with my current psychiatrist hoping I could at least get my meds refilled before I switch. Up until Monday, I thought he was covered, but he isn’t in my IPA, whatever that is, I thought it was a beer. I found a psychologist and had an appointment on Wednesday. He suggested calling my insurance to ask about a psychiatrist and to double check, he, the psychologist, is covered.

The problem is, this insurance covers medical and behavioral health, but they are different departments and don’t seem to communicate. The first person I called said anyone I see has to be in the medical group, which limits me to 4 psychiatrists to choose from and does not include the psychologist. Then, I contacted behavioral health who said the psychologist is covered, it says in network. I was getting conflicting info so I texted and it took all day but I got confirmation that behavioral health is not required to be in the medical group and does not need referrals but medical care does. I screen shot the text in case there are problems.

So, I looked at the list of psychiatrists and called one who seems to have a lot of experience. I found out she is the medical director and I will be treated by a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I am a little uneasy since I have a complex disorder ( schizoaffective disorder). I am stable now and just need medication management. I made an appointment but checked out some of the other psychiatrists. I found another that sounds good that I will call Monday. I am not sure if it will be the same.

Also, I have been taking a medication called modafinil for excessive daytime sleepiness due to sleep apnea even with the appliance. The insurance rejected the order. my dr is trying to get it for me. I am completely out and so so sleepy.

The therapy appointment went well. I told him I feel shame about past mistakes and have trouble forgiving myself. He asked if I would forgive someone else and I said yes. Why the different standard? I first said “I don’t know “ which I learned he does not accept as an answer, so I reflected on it and decided I should be able to forgive myself, but I still don’t know how. Baby steps?

Then I told him I get uneasy sometimes at work when there is a lot of noise and commotion even though I am not directly effected. Or if my husband raises his voice at home. He told me to journal when I feel uneasy. I have not had to deal with loud noises lately, but dealing with all of this insurance stuff gets me worked up. I want to drink to calm down, but I also want to stay sober. So far, sobriety is winning. I have a blood test in February and I am hoping for good results. We agreed to monthly appointments since I am stable.

Did I mention I got my hearing aids.? They work well. A little bit of trouble getting tangled in my mask. They have blue tooth capability and I have them connected to my phone. I am slowly learning how to disconnect if I want to use my phone or I hear nothing. And, I get notifications through the hearing aids. I go back to the audiologist for follow up soon. Sometimes it seems like only one is working and I don’t know if I am doing something.