Update May 2019

Hello all!

For those that have stuck around with me for awhile…thank you for your continued support and staying with me! For newcomers… welcome! My name is Kait and you’ve found my lifestyle blog. To read more about me, click here and here!

I thought I would give you guys an update on what’s been going on the past few months ~

Career Changes – I started a new job! I left my other job due to differences and toxicity within my department. After coming back from my leave of absence it was a huge eye-opener that my job was causing me a large amount of stress. My job now is still quite similar and busy but a lot less stressful and nicer. I’ve never worked a 9-5 job before and I actually really love it. It’s come with its own challenges but overall it’s been a positive and necessary transition.

 

Health – My mental and physical health have taken a slight turn which is the main reason why I’ve been so inactive. While everything has been going smoothly with my new job, my personal life was starting to get stressful and my depression started getting a little worse. I wasn’t depressed in a way that I wanted things to end; I just didn’t have the energy to do my normal day to day routines. I wasn’t eating as much, stopped going to the gym, and lost a lot of weight…again. After a lot of re-evaluation and self-searching, I’ve been doing a lot better and coming up with a plan for myself to get healthier and back on the same path I was on a few months ago.

 

Blog – I have a few drafts started for some new posts but just really need to get myself in the right mindset and discipline to finish them. I haven’t done much traveling or exploring either since I have no time off with the new job but hope to have some new content soon!

Well, I think that just about covers it! I just needed to step away for a moment to really prioritize my health and other areas in my life before putting more focus back into blogging.

Keep following for more posts and make sure to follow my Instagram @candidlykait for frequent updates!

Listening to Your Body

If you read my post about my PMDD, then you know I took a months leave from my job. Deciding if that was the right choice for me was hard but ultimately I decided that it was probably best – and it was. During my leave I continued seeing all my doctors, therapist, and taking my medication. I also started creating a routine for myself. I would wake up around 8am every morning (no alarm!) relax and enjoy the morning, go to the gym, and then do whatever I needed to for the day. It was extremely relaxing and I was noticing how much calmer I was becoming. Sure I had some bad days but they weren’t like before. It wasn’t until I was walking around the mall one day that I realized how stressed out I was before taking this leave. I had gone to the mall just for one thing and ended up wandering around for 2 hours! I didn’t care if there were long lines or kids running around..it was nice to just be. It was then I knew that I needed to listen to my body more and take care of myself physically so I could start taking care of myself mentally.

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I work in a high stress environment and normally that isn’t a problem. I like being busy and I do well in chaotic situations but there has to be a point where I need to step away sometimes. The last few months of 2018 were very hard for me mentally. On days where my PMDD was at its worst I still went to work because physically I was fine so I couldn’t call out. I pushed and pushed myself to go to work and deal with work stress on top of personal stress. I started noticing that when I sat down in my chair, I was immediately tense and my breathing would change. I started taking the stress and negativity I was feeling at work into my home life and relationships. Taking my leave of absence made me really see how much I was overworking myself.

What I’ve been working on now is to listen to my body and know when I’ve reached a limit to where I need to take a step back.

 

  • Take a Break – This not only applies to my job but my everyday life. At work I take my mandatory two breaks but other than that I don’t step away for breathers or anything. Same for my personal life – I’m always on the go, go, go and never stop. This is something I started writing down constantly to remind myself it’s okay to take a break if I need to slow down for a moment. Having a few extra minutes to collect my thoughts and feelings is a lot better to the alternative of being explosive and stressed.
  • Control my Breathing – Like I said, I don’t ever slow down and that includes my breathing. I’ve tried a few times when I notice myself breathing too quickly and it honestly feels completely unnatural to me. Now when I start to notice it becoming too quick I do my best to try and calm it back down. I also assess the situation that I’m in to see why I started breathing like that. I’ve tried meditation before but like I said, having to slow down and focus on my breathing feels unnatural. However, given recent events I’m open to more things like it to see what works for me.
  • Know my LoadI had to be the one to get everything done when in reality that wasn’t true. I work with 10 other people that can do the same task! When I came back from my leave I started pacing myself with tasks and reminded myself that it’s okay if I wasn’t the person responding to that email or making fresh coffee for clients. My team shares all tasks and I don’t have to take on the responsibility of doing everything.

 

 

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It’s a small list for now but I’m learning as I go. Now I make sure to prioritize certain areas of my life when it really calls for it. If y’all follow me on Instagram then you know I’ve been pretty absent. I love my blog and sharing things with everyone but I mentally was not in a place to focus on it – and I know now that that’s okay! My blog is fun and I enjoy it so much. I don’t want to lose interest or start to hate it because I’m forcing myself to come up with good content.

What are some things you do to help calm down and assess the priorities in your life?

Living With & Understanding My Diagnosis

Beginning of 2018 I found out that I was having high blood pressure. I had several tests done, a diet change, started medication, and was taken off birth control because of it. All the tests came back normal and I was taken off the blood pressure medication when my BP dropped too low. The doctors came to the conclusion that my hormonal birth control was causing my high BP. 

The next few months quickly became some of the hardest I’ve had in the last few years. About two months after stopping birth control, I went to my doctor for a follow up on my menstrual cycle. I told her I was happy being off the birth control because my cycle finally normalized and I was having fewer migraines but the negatives were not worth it for me. I was starting to get very depressed again, even having thoughts of self harm, but only when my cycle was about to start. I would get very aggressive, cry uncontrollably, have intense mood swings, binge-eat, and experience so many other symptoms. This was when she diagnosed me with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder(PMDD). She explained what it was and how it was affecting me. The hormonal birth control was keeping the PMDD at a normal level for me which is why it hadn’t been diagnosed earlier.

The next few months I tried to work with my PMDD. I took advice from other people, looked into some medications, and even joined support groups. Knowing about my diagnosis only made me feel worse. It was maddening to know that there was a part of my brain that completely took over my body leaving me impaired. I was frustrated that my relationships were suffering because of it. It consumed me. I became more depressed and fell down the rabbit hole. I stopped taking care of myself and stopped caring in general.

December 2018 I went through a lot. My boyfriend and I broke up and it made me realize how “damaged” I was. Now that doesn’t mean we solely broke up because of my PMDD(separate issues for another time) but it was a big factor because it controlled my emotions and how I interacted with others. I was on my own and didn’t know how to handle it. I started having panic attacks all the time and literally felt like my skin was burning and I was dying. The panic attacks started happening at work and became more severe. I was already seeing a psychiatrist and therapist trying to get things under control but my PMDD struck hard. End of December my cycle was about to start. There was so much going on in my personal life and in my head that I reached a breaking point. End of December I almost took my life. There was so much pain around and inside me that I couldn’t take it. The only reason I didn’t follow through is because I received a phone call at the exact time I was about to do something.

That phone call is the reason I’m here and telling all of this to you. January 2019 I took a leave of absence from my job to focus on my mental health and get myself stable. I had so many doctor visits, started new medication, and continued seeing my therapist. I kept myself around my friends and family but treasured my alone time. I even got myself on a normal sleep schedule and was eating frequently again – I had lost 10 pounds in three months.

I went back to work on January 30th and have been continuing my medication and therapy. My PMDD is still a learning process of finding what works for me and what doesn’t. I felt completely alone with this diagnosis. I felt insane, especially the last few months of 2018. I felt like everything I was feeling and experiencing was wrong, that nobody else felt like me. If you’ve been diagnosed with PMDD or think you may have it, I want you to know that you’re not alone. It’s a horrible disorder that is very hard to cope with. I’ll be sharing more about my journey and please feel free to reach out to me at any time!

Learn more about PMDD here and check out the PMDD tracker app, Me VS. PMDD.