1

After Day 6 Of Working On Me.

Hey guys!

Yesterday I managed to achieve 10 things toward developing myself into a healthy version of me!

 

 


 

1.) I took my weight! This has literally just become routing by this point 🙂

2.) Made myself a proper, good breakfast consisting of cereal, a coffee and a bottle of water.

3.) I drank a bottle of water! Again, standard routine by this point!

4.) I put a load of laundry on in the washing machine.

5.) I hung up lots of wet laundry to dry.

6.) THIS is the exciting one of the day guys. I always seem to have one thing that I’m pretty chuffed about and excited about. So basically, I had been watching the Kon Mari method on Netflix and so I decided to try it myself. I washed all of me and my partner’s clothes and piled them all into separate piles on the bed, and proceeded to alternate picking one item to go into the keep pile, one to go into the discard pile (depending on whether the item truly sparked joy or not). Our aim was a 50% reduction in our clothes, so this method worked really nicely! At the end, we allowed our imperfect selves to grab anything we REALLY wanted from the discard pile, so I think we probably got rid of around 40% of our clothes at the end. After doing this, me and my fiancé ended up putting away SOME of my clothes using the Kon Mari way (so that we could fit as many clothes into our storage areas as possible etc), but I basically ended up with a massive pile of clothes on top of my dressing table ever since that Kon Mari session that never ended up being put away. Finally, yesterday me and my partner put ALL MY CLOTHES AWAY IN THE KON MARI FASHION! I mean, I’m so happy I could legit cry about this achievement. I sat there for probably 4 hours straight folding and putting away my clothes. The photo is just a sample which is the drawer with all my tops inside and a few jumpers.

7.) I drank another bottle of water.

8.) I uploaded another picture onto Instagram. This time it was just a screen shot of my phone’s background, because I think one’s phone background really showcases a lot about an individual! It also allowed me to give a moment to express my appreciation about my fiancé buying me the phone 🙂

9.) I drank another bottle of water.

10.) I drank my final bottle of water (adding up to 2.4 litres in total for the day).


 

Thank you so much for reading!

Today I hope that I will do some studying, henna my ends, take a bath, upload another picture on Instagram, clean my mirrors and windows and any hard surfaces and that’s about it.

For Instagram, I think I might start aiming to upload photos of myself actually DOING things, rather than just selfies or photos that don’t have me in them at all… I think photos of people actually doing things kinda shows a little window into that person’s life and are really personally expressive!

I will update you all tomorrow to show you what I got up to doing today 🙂

Storm

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After Day 5 Of Working On Me

Hey guys!

Yesterday I achieved just 7 things toward developing myself as a type 4 on the Enneagram.

Here are the things I achieved:

 

 


 

1.) I weighed myself.

2.) I drank a bottle of water.

3.) I picked up my new glasses! So excited about this one. My new glasses are absolutely perfect for me – they are the perfect shape on my face and make my face look lifted and cute and interesting (a cat eye sort of shape), and they are a gorgeous warm green colour (which brings out the colour of my eyes beautifully. They also have an anti-glare coating on them to help me see a bit better when light reflects off of things in the room. I also managed to get them for under £50 (which is the price of the cheapest glasses that Boots Opticians do) which I was happy about because I changed from Boots to Specsavers to save myself some money. They’re a really beautiful subtle frame and don’t overwhelm my soft facial features and tones at all. They just absolutely couldn’t be more perfect, and I’m so happy with them!

4.) I drank a bottle of water.

5.) I drank another bottle of water…

6.) I used a Lush face mask! First I washed my hands super thoroughly, and I then scrubbed my face using a pair of exfoliating gloves and the Bouncy Bunny Shower Jelly from Lush for 90 seconds. I rinsed my face thoroughly and then applied the Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask from Lush thickly enough for there to be SOME opaque areas (particularly on problem areas like my nose). I left the mask on for 12 minutes and 30 seconds, and then rinsed it off thoroughly. This mask was really brightening and helps to clean the face and soften out any discolouration, but was also very drying.  Anyway, I really enjoyed pampering myself and using some of my Lush!

7.) I drank another final bottle of water.


 

Yesterday wasn’t as productive as I had hoped it to be because, well, I think picking up my glasses took a lot of energy and time out of my day honestly. Today should be a bit different I hope 🙂 We will see.

Thanks,

Storm

0

After Day 4 Of Working On Me.

Hey guys!

Here’s your update on how I did yesterday in terms of developing myself…

Yesterday I accomplished 9 things toward trying to make me be myself at my best!

 

 


 

1.) I weighed myself in the morning.

2.) I ate a nice, satisfying, low calorie breakfast.

3.) I drank a full bottle of water.

4.) I uploaded a photo to Instagram! This one is exciting because I have accumulated SO many photos in my life but haven’t really done anything much with them – even on my Instagram I only have 20 photos uploaded! It is a photo of my kitten Kepler 🙂 I think this is definitely a step toward expressing my personal self and little things like this will help me develop into a healthy version of me for sure 🙂

5.) Drank another bottle of water.

6.) Drank ANOTHER bottle of water.

7.) Put a load of laundry in the washing machine and switched it on.

8.) Hung up a SH*T load of laundry! I had 4 shopping bags FULL of laundry needing to be hung up – with another being washed and that finished being washed before I had finished hanging up the laundry… I just really let this pile up due to my mental health, so this was definitely a challenge.

9.) Drank another bottle of water (totalling 2.4 litres). I know this one is boring to you guys but I’m really proud that I haven’t slipped yet with keeping my water intake as 1.8 litres or more each day, since the first day I started working on myself. I used to despise water so even though it’s such a basic thing, I’m proud of myself for trying this hard!


 

That’s all! I have no idea how today is going to go because today my fiancé is home, and when my mental health is bad I always find it much, much more difficult to do anything at all when he is at home. I think maybe it takes more energy to do things when someone else is watching or hearing you doing it? Well, I think that’s definitely the case for me at least!

Regardless, my hopes are that I achieve drinking my 4 bottles of water today, taking my weight today, having a calorie controlled breakfast, having a calorie controlled lunch, have a calorie controlled dinner, take a bath, do a face mask, henna my ends, hang up another load of laundry, pick up my new glasses, starting on and making very good progress on my Differential Equations assignment, buy some protective accessories for my new phone, post another Instagram picture, and quite frankly that sounds like an awful lot for the day!

I know for some people it would be super basic, but man, I’m not well! I wish I could easily do more than that, but just the thought of doing all of those things today is bringing on a headache, genuinely.

Maybe I could also put my pile of clothes away into my drawers, because that’s also been really bothering me.

So, those will be my focuses for today. Wish me luck! I will update you all tomorrow as per usual 🙂

Storm

 

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After Day 3 Of Working On Me

Hey guys!

Here’s my daily update of how working on me went yesterday…

Yesterday I only achieved a measly 6 things toward me developing myself – and 4 of them were just drinking water! Super boring, so I’ll just go over what I did quickly so I can keep my momentum up for today:


1.) I weighed myself in the morning! This daily habit I feel has kept me really motivated and has kept me feeling a bit more put-together. It’s the little things that help!

2.) I drank a full 600ml bottle of water. Again, this is one habit that I’ve kept all of these days and it’s something I’m actually pretty proud of. Some people find it hard to drink water, but not me!

3.) I put on a load of laundry in the washing machine. This has always been “my” job, and is something I’ve fallen really behind on recently because of my poor brain being unwell. It hasn’t had a massive impact on me really because I mostly stay at home in pyjamas anyway, but my partner has really been needing some clothes! Doing this really helped me feel useful.

4.) Drank another bottle of water (600ml).

5.) Drank another bottle of water (600ml).

6.) Drank another bottle of water (600ml).


 

Super boring yesterday – sorry! I’m trying my best though which is what matters, so if my best was to just drink a bunch of water then so be it! That’s a bunch of water more than someone not trying would have had!

Hopefully today I’ll to better – I was out of bed today 4 hours earlier than I was yesterday, and also started writing this blog post around 4 hours earlier.

Here’s to hoping that the day brings lots of enjoyment, excitement, productivity, fun, happiness and health.

Storm

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After Day 2 Of Working On Me

Hey guys!

Yesterday I did 10 things that I feel kept me moving forward in terms of self development.

Again, please don’t judge me guys! I know that for some of you, some of these things are super basic but please understand that for some people, like me, these things are BIG achievements and are steps toward us becoming us at our best.

 

 


 

1.) Again, I weighed myself first thing in the morning. This is a step toward staying disciplined and having some sort of a routine, and is also a step toward caring about my health.

2.) I thoroughly washed our my kitten Kepler’s food bowl and gave him a nice meal, and also gave him lots of dry food and his cat treats. This was a step toward being more compassionate and putting others before myself (this was the second thing I did in my day) which can be really hard to do when you’re so absorbed in your own bad mental health.

3.) I drank one of my 600ml bottles of water! Sticking to this routine is another step toward improving my self-discipline and having any sort of routine is very healthy for us fours.

4.) I had a mahoosive, delicious plate of heated up leftover spaghetti bolognese for breakfast. Now I know that for some of you, you’ll be like, how is that an achievement though? Isn’t that a BAD thing? Again, for people with crap mental health, just HAVING breakfast routinely is an achievement – let alone a nutritious, tasty breakfast that they heated up and ate hot.

5.) I cut my fringe! I’m super excited and happy about this one. All throughout the day I found myself getting very, very angry at constantly having hair in my face, so I thought “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” I pulled all my hair back into a nice high ponytail to be sure that I wouldn’t cut any of my long hair that I’m trying to grow, and then I sort of put my hand on my hair and pushed forward toward my face, to get all of that irritating loose hair in my face so I could clearly see what I was dealing with. Once I thoroughly did that, I put any longer hair that I wanted to grow out of the way and behind my ears, and then separated the section which I knew I actually wanted to be part of my fringe. I got myself a good mirror and just started cutting away. I just cut it until it was pretty short honestly, but still sort of long… I can’t explain but you’ll be able to see in the picture. I’m SO happy about this!

6.) I got myself ready to go out and went into Uni. A super big deal for me, this one was really difficult!

7.) At Uni I went to a wearable electronics optional workshop, wear I made a little circuit with 3 LED’s that respond to vibration! My idea was to put the circuit in some sort of chunky bracelet or wristband, and that the LED’s would light up in response to a musician moving their wrist to play an instrument. Although I was really rushed to make the circuit, I’m proud that I made it. It was originally to have 5 LED’s but I just didn’t have the time to solder the last 2 on, and also didn’t have time to actually program the circuit to light up in any sort of sequence so it doesn’t really work as it is, but it does work, if that makes sense?

8.) I drank another bottle of water! Yay for health! Yay for routine! Yay for self-discipline!

9.) I plucked my brows. Another thing I’m really chuffed about. It had been a while since I had last plucked my brows and they are so much prettier now!

10.) I drank another bottle of water! So same as yesterday, I had 3 bottles altogether making 1.8 litres. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to keep up this little routine so far because it is really difficult for me.


 

That’s it for yesterday! I know for some of you it will be hard to see but I have achieved a lot in the past two days. I went from someone that felt disgusting, fed up of life, extremely depressed, having low self-worth and low self-esteem to someone that actually feels pretty, and feels like they deserve to be pretty and look decent enough to go out into the world, and deserve to have their health cared for… I feel much less depressed already although I still have a super long way to go to climb up the levels of self-development that four’s on the Enneagram have.

Tomorrow I will update you all on what I achieved today. I don’t expect much though because it is already 13:11 and I haven’t done anything yet! I will do my best though 🙂

Storm

1

It’s Time For My Tryptophan!

And I’m scared.

Not scared of the pill itself, I’m just…

Scared of this journey.

I’m scared that it will actually work, that self-medicating myself with Tryptophan will actually make me feel better.

WHY DOES THAT SCARE ME?!?

I’m scared of losing this massive part of me.

I’m scared of not being ill enough to have my struggles diagnosed…

It feels like I’ve been through SO MUCH, and that pretty much NOBODY has helped me, nobody has listened to me, nobody has given me the support I’ve needed (besides my partner) – I didn’t even reach the point of being brave enough to have a Student Need’s Assessment so that I could have more time for exams or some leniency with deadlines (I don’t think I’ve ever finished an exam paper due to time constraints and my mental health problems.)

I’m disappointed in myself for not having sought out more help than I have done while struggling, but at the same time, I’m disappointed for all the times I’ve sought out help and HAVEN’T been helped.

I don’t know, it just feels really scary and like…

It’s like I haven’t been able to function as a normal human being – my partner does everything for me, I’ve never had a job and I’m 25 years old, I’ve had to take FOUR DIFFERENT LEVEL 3 COURSES (Access to Higher Education Diploma, two University Foundation Years and Intensive A-Levels,) to FINALLY get onto the first year of a degree.

It’s just been so dysfunctional and abnormal – but that’s become my normal.

I think I’d find it hard to live up to the expectations of being a healthy, intelligent, high functioning adult with the world as their oyster.

I know this all probably sounds ridiculous and at my worst I do wish that it would just go away, but now that that might become a reality, it just feels very odd.

I’ve lost all my friends over this, I’ve lost all my hobbies to this, I’ve lost SO MUCH TO THIS.

What if just taking Tryptophan solves it all? Would I feel like all I’ve lost to mental health problems was just… For no reason at all?

Bearing in mind aswell that this is a depressed person speaking and depression, for some reason, kinda wants you to spiral downwards, to make the choices that exacerbate the situation etc. It’s self defeating. It WANTS to win.

The idea of just simply being happy, healthy, capable, sounds…. Uncomfortable.

I’m literally trying to convince myself and talk myself into trying to treat my mental health problems. How stupid am I?

It sounds so petty, doesn’t it?

It probably won’t change anything by taking this pill anyways, and this is what I’ve wanted for years so what the hell am I hesitating for?

It’s the right choice, so I’ll just do it.

Here’s to hoping my dodgy brain actually sees some improvement over the next few weeks.

I’ll update you all tomorrow, maybe, if I feel like it 🙂

I know, I’ll up the ante.

If I see improvement, I can treat myself to something I really want, like… I don’t even know… Something I’d actually be able to enjoy if I weren’t mentally ill – like a good book or something! Been years since I finished a book. Kinda impossible to focus with my racing, anxious, overbearing, over-thinking, repetitive, stressful thoughts!

Storm

 

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Taking Tryptophan For Mental Health.

Okay, so first thing’s first.

I’M NOT A DOCTOR.

I am not the most intelligent, infallible human in the world or even anywhere close.

I don’t know the legitimacy of Tryptophan.

I’m aware that the sources I have found my information from have advertisements on the page trying to sell nutritional supplements.

I’m aware of all the different articles that have found Tryptophan to be dangerous, or ineffective.

I’m aware that it isn’t supposed to be taken without your doctor’s advise.

I’m aware that you can receive Tryptophan through diet and that most people receive much more Tryptophan daily than I would since I’m on a plant based diet.

I’m aware that it shouldn’t be taken with other forms of medication.

I’m aware of the side affects of Tryptophan and of serotonin syndrome.

Bottom line: I do not really know about Tryptophan on a professional level at all, and you definitely should do your own research before blindly following what some random human online says they think is a good idea for them.

I haven’t even been diagnosed with any mental health problems.

Seriously guys, take what I say with a pinch of salt. 

Okay, so I think I literally can’t express the illegitimacy of my post more than this, so let’s move on to some more more positive statements about my opinions on Tryptophan 😀

 

 


 

 

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid needed to synthesise serotonin, a neurotransmitter known as the “happy molecule”.

Serotonin pathway:

5-htp-pathways

You cannot increase your serotonin directly as serotonin molecules themselves are too large to enter the brain, apparently, so smaller molecules must first enter the brain and THEN be converted into serotonin.

One of those smaller molecules that you can take is Tryptohan!

Now for a lot of people, low levels of Tryptophan intake isn’t a problem – and don’t try to fix what isn’t causing you issues!

BUT.

Depression, anxiety and many other mental health issues HAVE BEEN CORRELATED TO LOW LEVELS OF TRYPTOPHAN.

Studies have shown Tryptophan to be as effective for depression as antidepressant drugs, but is a completely natural molecule found in food.

It has also been found useful for reducing anxiety, social anxiety disorder, panic attacks, ADHD, PMS, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, eating disorders and Insomnia, mood, sleep, appetite control and memory.

So, if this molecule is so awesome and the benefits of it over using SSRIs is that it can be received through diet, then why not just eat the right foods rather than taking supplements for it?

Firstly, the best sources of Tryptophan are animal products – which makes it an especially difficult amino acid for people on plant-based diets to come across naturally.

Secondly, as the main source of Tryptophan is from animal products – those foods will also tend to be very high in protein and unfortunately serotonin and Tryptophan levels DROP after eating meals containing protein because protein blocks the synthesis of Tryptophan into serotonin.

Some foods that contain high levels of Tryptophan – such as dairy products, poultry, tuna, oatmeal, spinach and other leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, soybeans, asparagus, cauliflower, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, DO actually result in the synthesis of serotonin when consumed.

However…

Tryptophan is the least common of all amino acids in your body, yet it is one of the most necessary to be a healthily functioning human.

Things such as stress, insulin resistance, magnesium deficiency, artificial sweeteners and becoming older affect your brain’s ability to turn Tryptophan into serotonin.

 

Main point to remember:

Even if you eat a LOT of Tryptophan rich foods, LESS THAN 1% is available for serotonin synthesis in the brain. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know why – read my disclaimer above. This is just all taken from a source that I’ll link at the bottom of this post.

For these reasons, taking a Tryptophan supplement often works much better than trying to obtain Tryptophan from food alone.

Dosage:

There is no official dosage and recommendations on dosage vary WIDELY, but as little as 250mg was found to increase quality of sleep.

Mayo Clinic however recommends 8 to 12 grams PER DAY for depression.

Tryptophan comes in the form of capsules (500mg capsules are what I use) or in powder form (which is recommended if one is taking large dosages of Tryptophan.)

Most supplement manufacturers recommend 1,000 – 1,500 mg per day.

If you’re not sure where to begin, the source I’m getting this information from recommends starting from 500mg per day and then working up to a higher dosage.

Safety:

Although once upon a time Tryptophan supplements were deemed unsafe, Tryptophan is now not considered unsafe at all in and of itself.

HOWEVER…

There are potential SIDE EFFECTS of taking such supplements – perhaps for some reason your brain already has plenty of Tryptophan and taking supplements will mean essentially “overdosing” on the amino acid.

Maybe somebody doesn’t take the supplement correctly, safely or doesn’t increase their dosage gradually, and also end up with essentially a Tryptophan “overdose”.

Maybe there’s just some other reason why taking the supplement doesn’t agree with you.

Possible side effects include digestive upset, loss of appetite, headache and drowsiness.

The safety of taking Tryptophan while nursing has also not been established.

One of the biggest problems with taking the supplement that I’ve read is when people already are taking SSRIs or have recently stopped taking SSRIs and then begin taking Tryptophan.

SSRIs stay in your system for a bit of time, and the effects of these pharmaceuticals won’t just be entirely depleted from one’s system as soon as one stops taking them.

Now SSRI’s also increase your serotonin levels in the brain, so essentially, by taking Tryptophan (or another precursor to serotonin potentially, such as 5-HTP or even highly increasing your levels of B vitamins also involved in the synthesis of serotonin etc), you could very well end up having an overdose of serotonin.

THIS CAN BE VERY,, VERY BAD, and can lead to serotonin syndrome (something unpleasant that I personally experienced a while ago.)

This can cause the shakes, feeling nauseous and I even read somewhere that in super serious cases IT CAN CAUSE YOU TO GO INTO A COMA!!!

SO PEOPLE.

DO NOT TAKE TRYPTOPHAN ALONGSIDE SSRIs – PLEASE.

Cool.

Now, why should you take Tryptophan instead of the more well-known 5-HTP – also a precursor to serotonin?

Tryptophan more readily enters the brain directly than 5-HTP, and once in the brain it can then be turned into 5-HTP, and then serotonin.

Also, for some reason, 5-HTP has not been conclusively proven to help depression, and further, 5-HTP is not recommended for long term use, because it as it increases serotonin in the brain, it simultaneously depletes other neurotransmitters.

(I’m aware that Tryptophan gets converted into 5-HTP so this point needs expanding on but again, I’m just getting this from the source I’m using – if you want more detail then it shouldn’t be too difficult to do a quick search and find the information you need.)

This is why 5-HTP works for some people and then suddenly stops working – and why some people even end up feeling worse after taking 5-HTP for a while.

 

 


 

How this is relevant to me personally:

Well, I’m struggling guys.

I mean I’m really struggling, and if what is the most fundamental, physical and mental cause of the feeling of happiness is a chemical called serotonin, and a natural, safe way to gain more serotonin is to take Tryptophan supplements… Well, I’m all over that.

The thing about depression and mental health problems – or even how the brain works in general, is it’s all down to how our brain is perceiving things. Yes, sometimes really bad things actually do happen and the natural response to those things is to feel despair, but even then, there are many people who experience a host of negative experiences and never become depressed or feel anywhere near as terrible as those of us suffering from mental health issues.

It’s all down to how our brain is working.

I’d never want to be, like, unhealthily happy… I just don’t want to be finding things abnormally difficult in proportion to what the problems in my life are.

I want to be able to handle things that life throws at me well, and for little things that occur daily that are currently massive struggles for me, to not even cross my mind – like how they don’t cross most healthy people’s minds.

I just want to be happy, y’know?

I just want to be normal, happy and healthy – and to perceive everything in my life through THAT lens, rather than the lens my brain is currently seeing through.

I think how your brain perceives things is literally the most important thing in life. It dictates whether you live, thrive, are successful and happy, or whether you die… Problems with how the brain is perceiving things is the reason why people commit suicide – and suicide is a massive problem.

Did you know that suicide is the leading cause of death in under 45 year olds?

Did you know that over 80% of those suicides are caused by males, and that that percentage is growing?

I’m a woman by the way – just thought that this was an important factoid to throw in there.

Anyways, to literally go against the fundamental purpose of life itself, and to commit suicide – and for the cause of that to be mental health problems – and for the brain chemical that causes happiness and mental stability (serotonin) to have a 100% necessary precursor called Tryptophan that is VERY difficult to obtain through diet, and for a deficiency in this amino acid to be directly linked to a massive array of mental health problems and where studies have shown it to improve such problems…

I mean, this is really important stuff.

Like, life changing stuff.

I’m not saying taking Tryptophan supplements will make somebody who is suicidal suddenly not suicidal. I’m not even saying that Tryptophan will definitely help because again, read my disclaimer above. I don’t really know enough about this stuff to outright tell anybody that.

What I am saying is that this is just really, really important and valuable stuff to look into.

It’s really important, people.

So, I started taking Tryptophan supplements around a year ago and stopped for one reason or another. I probably just got lazy, which was very stupid of me.

I’ve been really struggling recently and did some research on different foods you should consume more of / less of to help anxiety, and bam, there it was, Tryptophan – my old friend.

I still have a ton of leftover supplements – in the form of 500mg capsules, and am going to start taking them again. I don’t know when but probably soon, and probably starting with how they recommend – just taking one 500mg pill a day at first, and then upping that to 2, 3, 4 etc, until I start to feel SLIGHT negative side effects (drowsiness was one I noticed when I took them a year ago), and then I can decrease my dosage, etc, until I find my sweet spot.

Anyway, my source is: bebrainfit.com/tryptophan-serotonin-mental-health/

It just has pretty much the exact same information on that page as what I’ve posted here but maybe you’d like to investigate the site more or something.

It was last updated yesterday (13th December 2018), and was written by a woman called Deane Alban who holds a bachelor degree in Biology, and there’s more information on her on the site aswell.

Again, I don’t really know anything – I’m definitely not a legitimate source.

I’m just trying to be the healthiest me that I can be.

Storm