Here We Go Again: Delta Edition

So I’ve been in denial for the past few weeks. I haven’t been keeping up with the COVID numbers as I usually do and have been ignoring the news about this new Delta variant of COVID. Last year, COVID basically consumed most of my life since I was an essential worker for the Department of Public Health and Kroger. 

me in April 2020

It was basically an adrenaline rush that kept going strong with constant policy changes at both jobs until October/November  and there was peace and almost going back to normalcy until late December when the COVID vaccination phases started. During this time, this took a toll on the mental health of me and my fellow coworkers. There were times that were so dark for me, that I wondered on some mornings if it  would be the day I would be committed to the psych ward.

me in August 2020 on one of my worst mental health days

However, I was super fortunate to have support from friends and my then supportive partner during that awful time.  I was also seeing Mr.Toxic who was my pandemic buddy who I would freak out with every time something new happened with the virus. Up until a few weeks ago, things had basically gone back to normal at both my jobs. Masks were basically a thing of the past (well for us that are fully vaccinated) and I wasn’t getting any calls about Covid. 

Me in May of this year when Masks were no longer mandated at my second job

That changed this past week when once again the numbers are rocketing out of control with the Delta Variant. I also started getting calls again about Covid at my DPH job and once again masks have enforced for all employees at both of my jobs

August 2021-Here we go again

At this point I’m honestly anxious about quite a few things:

  1. How long before school goes remote? I’m particularly worried about my 10 year old who is a social butterfly and hates remote learning. Also, all of these constant changes and transitions from in person to online learning cannot be good for the kiddos. I imagine therapy will be needed at some point for some of these kids.
  2. I will be facing this COVID surge without the support of a romantic love interest this time around. I’m kind of anxious about how I will cope but then again I really have no choice in this matter. Idk. Then again, I am lucky in having a great support system with my friends and my family and now my therapist. I’m also more determined to turn to my set of healthier coping mechanisms (DBT, journaling, exercising , writing, etc.) which I hope helps me stay away  from my usual unhealthy coping mechanisms (alcohol,binge shopping, dating apps, etc). 
  3.  Will there ever come a point where COVID does become like the flu or will this stupid virus keep mutating and keep getting more contagious? Will we as a society ever get back to a sense of real normalcy?

It will be interesting to see how all of this will play out with the new surge. I hope that the new administration will be way more proactive than the previous one. I also hope that mental healthcare  ends up being more accessible to the general population because a lot of us will need it. 

Below is the link for the COVID related post from last year:

Eliza Conquers Life: Moving Forward

Moving Forward

So last week, I started a second job at Kroger and I’m excited about it. I feel that with this job my life will finally start moving forward. My end goal is to be financially independent from my husband so I can separate from him. I know that sounds harsh but it’s been over between us for a while. I know that it will be hard trying to work anywhere from 60 to 70 hours a week but sometimes in America, you need a second job to move forward in life. I follow the examples from my hard working immigrant parents who have set this precedent for me. I’m tired of struggling and just getting by. These are my goals:
1) My first goal is to pay off debt I accumulated during my great depression of 2016 and 2017 . 2) My second goal is to build my credit score enough to get approved for a used car loan. Right now we only have one car and it’s rough.
3) Save up for a down payment for a car.
I know that I’m sacrificing time with my kids but since they’re older, they understand. Also, they deserve better than what we’ve been giving them and it’s up to me to take that initiative. This is part of my plan to make my life better for me and my kids. We’ll see how it goes.72225401_10101360389525912_839527301614927872_o

A New Journey

The last few months of 2017 have been a roller coaster of a ride from 3 job changes within a month to issues with my middle son. However one of the good things that happened was landing my current job in October of this year. I’m an administrative assistant for public health. Through this I was introduced to the keto low carb diet. I want to clarify that while the diet was highly recommended and there is a workplace wellness program for it; no employee is ever forced to do it. I researched it ,prepped my meals and started  doing the diet since October 16, 2017 and have gained already a few benefits like 11 pounds lost,loads of energy, and becoming super aware of the harmful processed foods I have been eating all of my life. I hadn’t had my labs drawn when I first started the diet but decided to do so today to hold myself way more accountable. So I had my blood drawn for labs, was weighed, and had measurements done  for the Workplace Wellness program to help monitor my progress on the diet.  I started the diet with great enthusiasm and for the most part maintained myself below 20 grams of carbs a day but lately I’ve been slipping off track due to the holiday seasons and life stressors. I think taking full advantage of the Workplace Program will renew my motivation for a healthier lifestyle the low carb way. I have various reasons for beginning this journey and continuing it that I will only discuss a few now.

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Me last week definitely feeling better after 2 months on Keto. 

My biggest reason for doing the keto diet is my health-both physical and mental. You see, I’ve suffered half my life from anxiety and depression and while I’m on medication and have gotten better at managing it, it’s simply not enough. I’m constantly reading articles on studies about how I should exercise or practice mindfulness or eat specific foods to help my serotonin levels and be “happy” . While I understand that it all can help; for me personally, a drastic change such as changing my diet needed to be done. For me, food was one of those comforts I would seek out in order to help me “feel better” after a bad day. I felt like I needed the white rice, french bread, potato chips, and tacos to help me survive. Obviously,I had a very unhealthy relationship with food and it got so bad this summer that I was at my heaviest at 179 lbs which is pretty heavy considering I’m 5’4. Being this overweight made my depression worst, my energy was drained every single day so bad that it was a struggle to get out of bed and function. I also could not keep up with my very active boys ages 12 and 6.The extra weight  also made my occasional hip pain worse to the point that some days I was limping around.  

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Me at my heaviest at 179 pounds. 

I knew that at this point I was at risk for other factors due to family history, my maternal grandmother has had  diabetes with complications since she was in her 50’s, I remember watching her test her blood sure since I was little and it never looked like something I wanted to do. My paternal grandmother also had diabetes in her 50’s. My maternal grandfather had heart disease as he got older. My father himself has high blood pressure that’s not easy to control. If I didn’t do something fast; I was a ticking time bomb of soon to be obesity and diabetes among other diseases that would shorten my life.

My second biggest reason of course are my three sons ages 19,12 and 6. I want to live long enough to see them through major milestones in their adult lives. I also want to set a good example for them about is a healthy relationship with food. While all three of them have been super hesitant about trying out even certain foods on the diet, I hope that in the future they will consider it as all three of them could benefit from it in different ways. My oldest has social anxiety/major depressive mood disorder, my middle and youngest children are overweight and have a high BMI; I also want to add that my middle child has possible ADHD and emotional problems.

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My three sons ages 12,6, and 19. 

Today the nurse asked me what my goal was and I basically told her I wanted to be at a healthy BMI. My current BMI is 27 which puts me in the overweight category. While I go love myself and my body at 160 pounds, I know I can do better to feel better. I will be sharing different tools and resources I use that I find to be successful throughout my journey.

 

The Struggle Continues…

It’s been a long 4 years since I last blogged and two themes seem to follow: my dissatisfaction with life and the progress with my oldest son D, on the autism spectrum.

 

The Good: My boys- My oldest son D, graduated from high school in May with a 4.0 GPA and is starting the university next month. Also, he graduated with over 30 college credits and many honors and awards. He literally is my light at the end of the tunnel some days when everything seems so overwhelming and bleak.  My middle child T, is the opposite of D, meaning he’s extremely social but does not do as well academically. He is definitely the most sensitive child out of my three sons and that presents challenges. My little one M, is now 6 and is as happy and energetic as ever. I always say he’s a good combination of my oldest and middle sons.  He does well academically and is a social butterfly. I feel like aside from the usual childhood angst, nothing really gets him down. I envy him.IMG_20170520_224723_508

 

Other things- I joined a local Toastmasters Club and have grown more confident in my public speaking skills. I’m also on the board of a storytelling organization that empowers our local community by telling one story at a time. I’m actually proud that it was telling my own immigration story in October that prompted the board to invite me to be on it.

 

The Bad: I have severe anxiety and depression. Some of it is circumstantial. Some of it is just me and my awful brain. I took a job working from home with Child Support Services in October of last year and my mental health went downhill. Dealing with angry clients every day on the phone while also dealing with not the most positive work environment. Most people would argue that this would be an ideal work environment but for me it was just the opposite. For one thing, it’s fucking isolating, especially when the only human contact are your colleagues/supervisors via Skype and the angry clients on the phone (because about 75% of the people on the phone are ANGRY and rightfully so). The other thing is fucking technology not working right and being  monitored on a continual basis. Both of these things just added to an awful and stressful situation. And of course, there is my husband who doesn’t have the motivation to find a job and therefore is home every day. I resented him more with each passing day. While I’m being verbally abused every fucking day, he has the audacity to tell me to get over it. And to top it all off, my “perfect” oldest son started skipping school because of his own anxiety and I couldn’t help him. It was a recipe for me feeling like a worthless piece a shit to everyone so eventually I decided to do something drastic (that’s another blog post). Eventually, I did quit that job and landed another job in February of this year (not high paying at all) for the school district. It’s a job working with high school students with special needs. It’s actually quite an amazing and rewarding job in many ways but not one that pays the bills.

So this awful summer, I have been out there again, looking for jobs and while I have gotten a few interviews, none of them have panned out. It’s frustrating and almost hopeless. I told my husband, “We are just going to end up at my parents’ house soon” because this is how I truly feel. He responds that we’re not but how can I possibly trust him when he does NOTHING to re-mediate the situation. I told him I’m probably going to end up in an institution or dead to which he said nothing at all. Maybe that’s the only response he can come up with.  I stay in this relationship mostly for my children’s sake.  I keep thinking there is a light at the end of the long tunnel that is depression but I can’t seem to find it yet.