First Time Poster

I stumbled upon this site when searching for a better way to manage my addictive behaviour/personality. I made a decision last week to give up smoking cannabis, it was taking over my life. Following approximately 3 years of smoking every evening to relax and aid sleep, I found it creeping into my days.

I am a single Mum, I hold down a responsible job, as the manager of services supporting vulnerable adults to maintain some stability in their lives, and look after my 80 year old Mother - I think I do all of this rather convincingly.

I have suffered from depression for 20 years. My first experience of this crippling illness started when my sister died of a brain tumor in 1994, and I found out I was expecting my first child - I was prescribed Prozac, a drug which I hated taking, as it made me feel nothing - I just didn't care about anything or anyone, it ruined my relationship with my first born, as I wasn't able to cope with being a Mum - fortunately my husband st the time was a rock, and pretty much brought Bradley up on his own, something which has given me enormous feelings of guilt ever since.

Since 1994 I have tried a lot of different ways of coping, some successful some not. I've juiced, exercised, tried CBT, had counselling, and read every self help book I could get my hands on. I'll stick with something obsessively for a few weeks until I literally burn out again.

I went to see a GP on Monday, for the first time I told her about my addiction to cannabis, and my resolve to stop, she has prescribed Mirtazapine which I started taking 2 days ago - I'm hoping this will give me the strength to cope with my illness - but I also need to get healthy.

I haven't eaten properly for a couple of years now - I eat nothing all day, until my evening meal, and I think the only reason I eat then is because I cook my Mother and 9 year old son an evening meal. I haven't exercised for about the same amount of time, I took my son out on Saturday to spend his birthday money, and to my horror that night my legs and hips ached from walking round the shops!!

As I've already mentioned I have over the years tried an abundance of strategies to get well - when I was juicing I felt healthy I bought a lot of books written by Jason Vale, and followed some of his juicing plans - as usual I gave up when it became expensive, and I just couldn't be bothered to make the juices anymore - however I loved the feeling I had drinking the juices, and have probably never felt healthier.

The last exercise program I did was P90X I bought the DVD's and all the equipment - weights, yoga blocks and mats, a pull up bar etc etc, did it for about 5 weeks and gave up when I missed 1 day (I'm like that - if I miss just 1 day - I consider myself a failure and give up) again on the whole I really enjoyed this exercise program.

I feel I work best when someone tells me what I need to be doing - give me a plan of action, and I'm away - for a few weeks anyway! My goal is to eat healthy, feel healthy, exercise and enjoy life again!

Thanks for reading - Anne x

5 Replies

  • Hi Demure and welcome to the site. It's good to meet you. First of all I think all those fad things are a waste of time. You need to find out what works for you and stick with it. It's best not to overdo it. Try things in a small way first. But there are certain things you need to do all the time first. You need to eat at least 3 times a day. That's what the human body is designed for. Dogs stomachs are designed for once a day and cats for twice. Humans are not dogs or cats. You need to eat a balanced and healthy diet with all the major foodgroups in it such as protein, dairy etc. Include lots of fruit and vegetables. You can google all this. Then you need to ensure you take sufficient excercise! Again you can google that. I am sure others will come in with other suggestions soon.

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  • Hi Anne and welome to the forum. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time chatting to people and making friends.

    You remind me a bit of myself. I make so many plans; most never start and the ones that do never last long. I went to a group therapy session last week and the guy was talking about the change cycle. He said that there's a period of pre-contemplation where we are content with our lifestyle choices.Then comes the contemplation stage, where we acknowledge that something needs to change. This phase apparently lasts for two weeks and if you miss that window you'll most probably slip back into pre-contemplation.

    What you're in now is the active participation stage. You've acknowledged that change needs to happen and have taken steps to get where you want to be. For you, it seems the active participation is not being maintained. And that's what you need to address.

    I think Jason Vale is a money grabbing author who writes to a formula. He targets his books at vulnerable people and uses big words to make them feel stupid. They all follow the same pattern: Make you feel like a monster. Undermine every thing you ever thought was true. Give you what appear to be quick fixes and leave you feeling no better off long term!

    Don't miss meals, you'll end up with stomach troubles. Which are not good!

    Lucy x

  • Hi Anne, welcome to the community :)

    Half of dealing of depression (in my obviously correct opinion ;) ) is having self awareness. It sounds like you have that, which is positive - you're recognising where there are patterns in your actions that you're not happy with and you want to change.

    Self awareness of course does cut both ways - we tend to think of it as being aware of our faults, but actually it is being aware of all our personality traits, good and bad, and how they relate to the world around us. It's also about knowing what we can influence and control in our lives and what we can't. About not being judgemental about ourselves when we shouldn't be. On that note I have a question - would you think less of anyone else whose ability to be a parent had been affected by the onset of a serious depression? I'd stake my house you wouldn't. So why think less of yourself?

    What is it about the things you've tried that helps? Is it that it's new, or that it's a routine, or a placebo effect in that you feel like you're doing something constructive? Or indeed is it anything else?

    Hope today is good to you,


  • Hello again - thanks for the replies

    Hypercat - I love the animal analogies, I'd never really thought about it that way. I know what I should be doing in terms of eating, timings and food groups my ex husband was a fitness guru, and explained all of this to me a long time ago, what I struggle with is planning - shopping for meals/snacks. What I've started doing is buying "meal replacement" bars that I can just grab and go. I guess I could Google ideas for snacks, and shop accordingly, and then set an alarm on my phone to remind me to eat - seriously I have gone so long now without eating - I honestly forget to eat. I really struggle with breakfast - I feel so sick in the mornings it's a struggle to even think about eating - but I'm sure with a bit more effort I could find something I can face in the morning, so thanks for reminding me.

    Lucy - Very interesting, I think I'll actively participate in one thing at a time - I used to have sticky notes placed around the house with "one thing at a time" written on them just to remind me to focus on one thing at once, I'm going to concentrate on the "smoking" for now - this is a big change for me, it's been a week now, it doesn't seem like a long time but at times it's felt like a year!!

    Ah Will - Thank-you for making me think! In answer to your second question It's doing something new Eureka!! I am always on the look out for new ways of doing things both at home and at work - the latest time management system, or a new fangled gadget for the kitchen - that I will probably never use - that's me, and I suspect a lot of other people - at work I think it's just a way of procrastinating, it usually goes something like this Hmm I need to create a new form to get that piece of work done, and then it'll be perfect, or I can't start work until I've written the perfect to-do list. I really appreciate you pointing that out to me - but how do I overcome it??

    I have a question about Mirtazapine - Day 1, I was so, so tired all day, felt like I'd ran the 10k again! Day 2 was a whole lot better until around 4pm when I could literally feel my mood sinking - both nights I felt like I got some great sleep - last night (3rd tablet) I hardly slept at all - but I feel quite lively today thus this normal, or does everyone respond differently?

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond

    Anne x

  • Hi

    Some of the things that work for me are

    go for a walk

    Join groups(I like craft groups)

    Writing letters to pen pals(I get a lot of support this way)

    Listening to radio comedies (laughter is important)

    Dog walking

    I am a carer for my husband and me time is very important.