Weight Gain Woes

I have gained 30 pounds in the last two years.

It sort of happened in two different spikes. The first, was undoubtedly caused by anti depressants.  The cause of the second is currently unknown.  Maybe anti depressants again, eating/lifestyle (although it hasn’t changed much, if at all in the last five years) or hormone issues.  Sadly, I’m hoping so badly that its the latter as I’d love for medical issues to actually be the excuse.  Because that would mean its not my fault. That would mean it’s treatable and maybe even easily fixable.

But maybe it is my fault.

It’s causing a lot of depression and self esteem issues on top of preexisting mental health concerns and it’s just piling up into one big emotional ball of not okay.  I’m supposed to be going home in a couple weeks to see people I haven’t seen in quite some time.  And ever particle of me is dreading it because I know they will notice.  I know how we talked about others who gained weight after high school.  It was in that smug, “They make me feel better about myself” kind of way.  Now I’ll be on the other end of the spectrum.  No one will likely say anything to be about it, with the exception of my parents because they suck, but it bothers me none the less.

We can pretend I’m going to start going to the gym and eating salads and doing planks in my living room to the soundtrack of Jillian Michaels but that’s not gonna happen. Because life happens.  I’ll change a few things, sure, but this is something I’ve struggled with before and this time I’m not going to be so unrealistic.  I’m not an easily motivated person and I will not do big drastic steps to make this problem go away no matter how shitty it makes me feel.

It’s all about the small steps.

Animals are better than people.

So if you read my last post, you’ll remember I decided to pursue a second degree in Biology because of a lot of (blah blah touchy feely) reasons. One of which is the fact that I, like most other human beings I image, love animals.  Because of this love, I have a lot of pets. Too many, some might say. But I don’t mind.

I currently have, 3 cats, 1 dog, 1 corn snake, 1 dwarf robo hamster, and 1 beta fish. I also have started a nice little collection of plants which I will focus on in another blog.

Whats the difference between having a lot of pets and being a pet hoarder? Level of care and cleanliness. IMO, which doesn’t matter much to many, as long as one provides the absolute best quality of life possible for their animals and maintains a clean living environment not only for each pet but for one’s self as well then number of pets doesn’t matter.

I don’t know about you guys but I’ve definitely been to more than one persons house back in Missouri where they had way too many inside dogs and didn’t clean up after them. You know what I’m talking about. Those people with indoor pets that go to the bathroom everywhere and their owner’s never clean up after it. That’s gross. We don’t roll that way.

That being said, my other half still is so so bitter about all the animals we have. We do live in an apartment, and we are technically over limit so I’ll give him that but they obviously don’t care as we’ve lived her for a year and a half.  Everyone is cleaned up after and well taken care of, happy, and greatly loved. He actually commented the other day that he feels like I get more joy out of seeing my little dwarf hamster come out of hiding than I do when we walks in the door after getting home from work. Ha.

I mean, what can I say? Animals are better than people.

 

P.S. Pet profiles and a YT video fting my new saltwater setup coming soon.

 

Commitment Issues: a life update

It’s been two months since my last post, yet I have four practically finished posts in my drafts folder that I never finished? Why? Because I just didn’t feel like it.  I’m so bad about that. Sometimes its depression that sucks all the life force from my soul to the point where getting out of bed to go pee seems like just another hurdle life wants me to jump over it. So I put it off. I put off peeing, just like I put off solving the world’s problems, scooping the cat litter, and yes, posting on my blog.  I like blogging. I like a lot of things. Like painting and song writing and hiking. But when is the last time I did any of those things? Yeah. Not recently enough to even consider them hobbies really.

I have commitment issues in all forms of life it seems.  I liked working online until I bought a car and actually had to continue working to afford the payments.  Its not because I wasn’t capable of making the month, it was definitely there, waiting for me to earn it. It was just the fact that I felt like I had to make money now so I didn’t want to. I end up giving up on blogs usually for the same reason.  I kept a makeup blog going for a year or so once, way back when. But I know to be successful in those types of things you need to commit to posting regularly. Weekly, if not more.  No way that was ever gonna happen.

I wanted this blog to not have any commitments. I didn’t want to set a schedule for myself or certain topics. I just wanted to say what I wanted to say when I wanted to say it.  And I guess that’s what I’m doing. And in case you’re wondering, the drafts include my trip to Virginia beach, an open letter to a guy who wasn’t in my life anymore, a review on the prescription glasses I bought online super cheap from china, and a solo road trippers packing list.  But that’s going to be happening another day. Yet again. 🙂

Today marks day two as Trump being the 45th president of the United States of America. I feel like maybe I’ll talk about how I feel about that at some point to. But now I can’t be bothered.

What am I doing with myself lately? Well honestly, I decided to go back to school. again. And the reason it kind of complicated and honestly embarrassing so I don’t even like talking about it to people but I’m happy with my decision so I wan’t to get it out there on the interwebs.

I graduated in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s in Anthropology, Biological, to be more exact. I like bones and stuff.  I was worried about what I was going to do after graduation because I transferred from my past university so I didn’t feel like I knew the professors very well. I’m also quiet and antisocial with anxiety. I pretty good student, but not one of those charismatic, chatty kids that all the professors basically end up adopting.  Basically, I was worried about references. Asking, or really having anyone to ask period.

Then I went to Spain. And met some cool people. Saw some amazing things and wasn’t worried about references anymore. So while I was there I started thinking about jobs.  What were my options once summer was over? It would have to be an entry level position. Try and get into field work? Maybe. That’s temporary. Then what? What were my long term goals? I didn’t know anymore. And I don’t know that I ever did.  Paleopathology is my passion, and my five weeks in Spain looking at 1,500 year old bones every day only increased that.  But in order to be the person that researches that and conducts those excavations and gets the credit for the cool stuff are the people with doctoral degrees who almost exclusive work in academia.  That involves 15plus page scientific papers subject to scrutiny from professionals I admire from around the world.  It involves conferences and presenting. and Networking. Always, never ending, networking.  That sounds like absolutely nothing I would be interested in.

So I thought about Medical school.  Radiology was an idea I toyed with for awhile senior year of college.  It was mildly related to anthropology, the fact that it was bones. I’ve always really been interested in trying to diagnose things based on xrays. And its not a profession that’s very patient-contact heavy. We won’t even get into discussing that salary. So I did a lot of research in spain on the net and even more for a couple months when I come back to the states. I decided to move forward with the idea. I applied to a post-bacc pre-med program and was accepted.  All was well.

But an though kept occurring to me, nagging at me until I was forced to consider it.  Sure, I loved anthropology, I loved medical science but I had to be in the mood to really care about it. It was a rare occasion that I would read more of an interested anthro article than just the title or click on a historical documentary.  But if I were to come across a nature show? I’m all over that.  An given the chance between a nature reserve and a museum, which one do you think I’d pick? Not the museum. I’d said for ages that my favorite place was the St. Louis Zoo.

I considered zoology in high school but I felt like it sounds kinda of silly telling people you want to be a zoo keeper when you grow up.  But you know what. No, it does. Nature, Animals, traveling. Those are my passions.  So, I’m getting a second degree in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies.  I would love to get involved with wildlife rehabilitation or conversation at some point. For now I’m aiming to get a gig at my local science center zoo or some neighboring zoos and aquariums.

I feel so much more dedicated to school this time. And although I only took a semester off I just feel refreshed and ready to do exceptionally well this time. I’m so excited for this and I know its irresponsible and the second bachelors is probably not even necessarily but honestly, I’m not ready to adult yet. So yeah, I’m going back to school to learn more about things I love and open up a new realm of opportunities.  My heart aches with a loyalty to archaeology and anthropology, but this is where I want to go with my life right now and I’m not sorry for that. Its a lot of money that I’m kind of wasting here. But I’m happy. I’m young and I have my whole life to pay it back. Whatever.

I’m gonna go nowww.

 

Mini road trip and sleeping in my car

I want to touch on that spontaneous road trip I talked about taking. As I mentioned, I’m at a place in my life where my depression is at a high, I can be somewhat hostile, my self-esteem is incredibly low, I feel very unsettled, and kinda of dysphoric. I was having issues with my relationships on top of all that and I felt like I just needed to get away. Sooo I did end up going on a little road trip AND sleeping in my car like I talked about. It was meant to be kind of a dip my toe in the water kind of thing in preparation for my road trip to the west coast that I plan on taking when the weather warms up again. So anyway, I decided to go to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on the coast of Virginia up by the Maryland state line. They have a couple of wild horse herds up there that I wanted to see and beaches of course. Every time I visit the beach I find it to be such a peaceful place for me. And since I lived in land-locked Missouri for two decades, the beach also promotes such a since of wonder.

I got to Virginia Beach at 9pm and took a moonlit walk along to beach. Parking was free and easy to find, and the town was basically dead. It had the whole boardwalk to myself. I spent the night in a Walmart parking lot. It went okay, I had issues with finding a comfortable spot but I finally did get a few hours of sleep haha. I was up by 6 and back on the road by 7:30. I was able to catch the sunrise at Virginia Beach. It was the most magical experience. As I was looking through my camera lens, I spotted something break the surface of the water out by some rocks and go back under. I remember whispering “Oh my God”. I’ve never felt more genuine “awe” in my entire life. Dolphins. There were a handful of dolphins coming up out the water, backlit by the pink and lavender glow of the sunrise. Seeing dolphins (outside of an aquarium) has always been a dream of mine and I just couldn’t believe my luck. So I got some cool footage of that.

After sunrise I drove to Chincoteague which was another 2 hours from VA Beach. I got to go on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which is either the 2nd longest or the longest bridge in the country. It’s 23 miles long and sections of it actually go under the water to allow barges to pass. Its kind of a terrifying concept but it was actually a super cool experience. What wasn’t cool? The bridge toll. $13 to cross BOTH DIRECTIONS. So that hurt my non existent trip budget like…a lot. That’s basically what I spent on a gas for the entire trip. I spent several hours on the beach. I found some massive conch like shells that were whole as well as several moon snail shells. The beach was beautiful and so relaxing. I saw 3 horses, one I easily could have petted and got lots of shots of and then two more in the distance. The close one was so sweet. Just because they are “wild” doesn’t mean they aren’t used to or totally okay with human company. I literally sat on the ground at took pictures of him while he was openly standing a foot in front of me. He gave no fucks. It was cool.

I went home later that night after deciding not to go to Salem, MA next against my better judgement. I think I’ll take it in the future though. I love history and darker things like that.

Speaking of darker things, I’ve been looking into Wicca/Paganism a lot lately and I would like to touch on that in a future post. Also on the dark subject, I got into podcasts on my road trip because driving solo is boring. I started listening to Lore which is a podcast basically about creepy historical stories and folklore. It’s really well done and there are tons of episodes to listen to so I recommend you give it a shot. I personally use podcast addict but there are other apps/sites you can get it on.

That’s all for this post. I need to post images but meh. If I save this as a draft until I put images in it will literally never go up. Making a mental note to add them soon! In the meantime, check out my instagram feed. 🙂

Working Online – October Earnings Report

octoberearnings

Hey rebels,

I come to you today with another earnings report from my working from home endeavors.  This is the second published earnings report on this blog thus far and you can find the first one here. That post is from September and I recommend checking out as it gives a background to when I started trying to earn money online and how I got started.  Basically, I this point I’m earning money to make payments on my car that I purchased in July.

I’ll admit that making money online using the methods I use is super easy after kind of a learning curve but somehow I seem to make it the most excruciatingly difficult thing. Depression has been no friend of mine and I find it so hard to motivate myself to get up and sit down and work for a couple of hours.  It makes me feel so lazy. It’s honestly something I’m still trying to work on.  My earning potential if I could only focus is easily $600/mo yet I’m finding pushing out a third of that extremely painful.  Self discipline is definitely something I need more on.  I’m trying to actively plan trips and make shopping wish lists to give me something to work towards. Sigh. Hopefully next month will be better.


Making Money Online – October 2016 Earnings

Mturk – $93.03
Fiverr – $84
Perk – $10.80
Earn Honey – $0
Prolific – $5.50
User Testing -$10
Field Agent – $13
= $216.33 for October

 

Posts coming soon:

  • All about my road trip to the coast including sleeping in my car! -gasp!-
  • a review on a chinese based prescription glasses company as a source for cheap and stylish glasses
  • a hello to my trio of dwarf hamsters

Gearing Up For a New Adventure

Hey all!

Tomorrow marks the first day of November 1 and thus the downward spiral toward winter and the colder temperatures that accompany it.  Pre-med classes will start in January and with my lack of actual employment (other than odd online jobs) I have been feeling pretty restless and just overall stuck in a rut.  As someone with depression and anxiety, this isn’t the best situation to be in and I find that my relationship, eating habits, and emotional health are suffering for it.  Solution? Escape.

My family and long-time friends live in Missouri but for some reason a trip back home hasn’t been sounding all that enticing.  I’ve been wanting to go visit Colorado and a list of national parks on the west side of the country, but it occurred to me that just because North Carolina typically has great weather in November, not everywhere else will.  That means high altitudes and northern states are probably going to be a no-go.  My goal is somewhere cheap and beautiful.  So while seeing national parks in the snow may be amazing, thats not something I want to deal with atm.

The second issue with my escape idea is money.  I’m poor af at the moment and typically don’t make much more extra money than what’s needed to pay my $225 car payment every month.  I have enough on hand right now to fill up my car with gas and that’s about it.  But then I got to thinking, the work I do online could easily be done from anywhere with internet. What is stopping me from just getting in the car and going, mooching off internet a few days a week to make some quick gas+food money and getting back on the road again? I feel like it’s doable.  Also, I should mention, my idea for the this grand plan includes sleeping in my car. Which sounds hobo-y and it kind of is, but its also way cheaper than staying in hotels even if they are bare bones.  I’ve been following some people on youtube that have done it before and I’ve learned a lot of useful tips that have pretty much convinced me I could pull it off.

Currently, I’m trying to decide on a destination and thinking about what I’ll be packing.  This is somewhat spontaneous in nature, mostly because I’m just sick of everything and everyone and stress and these same four stupid walls. Ideally, I’d like to leave tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.  We can blame Spain for my never-waning wanderlust.

 

My Venture Into Nootropics [part 1 – modafinil]

[Notice: This post contains information on various prescription and non prescription drugs and supplements that may be potential harmful.  I am not a doctor. Do not take this post as medical advice.  Please talk to your physician before starting any new regimen or medication.]

Nootropics? Who whatas?  That’s right, nootropics. If you don’t already know, nootropics are a fancier word for smart drugs, if you’ve seen the movie Limitless, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  Although they won’t make you a super human by any means, cognitive enhancing “drugs” do exist.  One very well know nootropic is probably already a part of your daily routine and you didn’t even know it.  Caffeine.  As a stimulant, caffeine is responsible for providing mental alertness and energy.

I suffer from general anxiety disorder and major depression. A side effect of these to things that I personally experience is the inability to motivate myself to start tasks and the inability to focus on tasks once  I have started them.  Although I have never been diagnosed with ADD, I believe this are probably similar symptoms to those that people with ADD experience.  Unfortunately, caffeine doesn’t have the affects on me that I would like it too so recently I began searching the net for supplements that could possibly help increase energy levels and mood so that I would want to be productive while keeping me focused on the tasks at hand.

I am aware that many college students obtain Adderall for similar desires. For several reasons which aren’t really important enough to discuss here, I did not want to go that route.  I wanted solutions that were cheaper, for one, easier to obtain, and less addictive and potentially harmful.  During my research, I discovered a drug call Modafinil.  Modafinil is, in the US, a prescription drug that is sold under the name Provigil.  According to drugs.com, Provigil is used to treat narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or sleep disorders related to shift work.  After doing (tons) more research, reading reviews and experiencing of people using modafinil to treat ADD symptoms, I decided to give it a try.  Thus, I took the first steps into my journey.

I have taken modafinil a total of three times. Last week Monday (100mg) , Tuesday (100mg), and Wednesday (200mg). According to my research, when used to treat ADD like symptoms, modafinil has been shown to increase wakefulness in a way that doesn’t cause fogginess, severe appetite suppression and other unideal symptoms that Adderall is known for.  It’s commonly described as causing a sort of tunnel vision with the user being able to focus on a particular task for hours at a time without feeling fatigued or distracted.  It’s safe to say I had pretty high expectations. Which is probably where the issue was.

Overall, I found the effects of modafinil extremely subtle.  There wasn’t a certain time that I instantly felt focused, the effect is very gradual as it the “cool down” phase.  I did experience tunnel vision of sorts, but it was more of a literal tunnel vision than a metaphorical one.  My peripheral vision was somewhat blurry which possibly attributed to my increased focus.  So yes, it did work, kind of, just not how I expected. I was able to focus on certain tasks for an extended period of time, just not the tasks I wanted.  My biggest drawback with using this medicine is that although I was able to focus a little better, it was a very anxious-type of focus.  It could be related to the fact that I’m already taking effexor (although no known interactions exist) or it could have been related to caffeine consumption.  I had read using caffeine with smaller doses of modafinil is pretty effective and caffeine is known to cause jitteriness, it just wasn’t something I had ever experienced before.

It is recommended by those who aren’t using modafinil for narcolepsy or sleep disorders that you cycle taking the medication so as not to experience unpleasant side effect (like sleep problems or headaches) or build up a tolerance.  For week one, I decided to try three days on, four days off.  So technically, I should have taken it today but as I woke up late I decided against it.  I am going to continue to test this drug, using different dosages and caffeine amounts to see what works best for me (if anything).

During the four days off, I began doing other research on nootropics to see what else was out there.  My searches brought me to Braintropic, a super informative website with information on many different kinds of nootropics, the effects they have on your brain and why they work. This information is essential for “stacking” which is essentially creating your own ideal cocktail of supplements to boost your brain power.  It may sound scary, but there have been lots of academic researched published on various nootropics and the risks are relatively low if you do your research and make smart decisions.  I highly encourage anyone who’s interested in the subject to check out the website for more information.

I have decided to ultimately venture into stacking in hopes to fine tune a supplement cocktail to perform exactly how I need it to.  For example, a baby stack for beginners that’s commonly discussed is caffeine + L-theanine.  Both of these supplements can be found in your nearest pharmacy and at walmart.  We know that caffeine is a stimulate and is supposed to provide mental clarity, but as I discussed early some people at higher doses are sensitive to its effects and feel anxious and jittery.  That is where the miracle of L-theanine comes in.  Recommended at a 2:1 ratio of caffeine to LT, l-theanine synergizes the effects of caffeine by giving you a calmer, less anxious boost than just taking caffeine alone.  So, for the last four days, this is the route I’ve been taking and I don’t feel confident enough to make a judgment on it yet.  As a plus side, l-theanine is also supposed to be good for mood health, sleep, and other things.

As I venture more into this topic I feel like my ultimate goal is to find a daily regimen that can uplift mood, help with anxiety, and provide focus as an all-in-one stack so that I can someday wean myself off of Effexor XR, which at this point, is not really helping much of anything anymore.

This post is a novel long, but its an intro on the subject so it’s fine.  Part II of my series on nootropics will have a review on my experience of caffeine + l-theanine as well as updates of modafinil and hopefully more info on the next stack I’ll be trying. Also coming soon is a post on my experience with Effexor XR and how it has helped/harmed my depression an anxiety as well as side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

As always if anyone has any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, I’ll be here all week!