Champagne taste on a beer budget

As I mentioned before, when I was in high school, my dad had some kind of job change. To this day, I don’t know the details which is typical of my family. “Don’t tell the kids” even though the kids are adults now. *side eye* Anyway, all I know is Dad retired from USAF & then there was this drastic drop in income. He didn’t have a steady income for a while & things were financially difficult. I told you how I noticed this with my relationship with food.

Okay, so now that you’ve had that refresher, lemme tell you what I’ve learned in the past 20 years, more so in the past 12 or so years. I’ve watched my parents maintain their champagne taste but on a beer budget & not in a good way. I watched them struggle with bills but have the latest gadgets. Sadly, I followed their footsteps. I was living beyond my means for a few years. And like my folks, I was trying to keep up with the Joneses. Today’s post isn’t to get into those details. Maybe I will some other day. But today, I want to share what I’ve learned since I broke that pattern.

The TL;DR is that I learned to enjoy life without feeling deprived. I learned to spend money on what was important to me, especially my health. I prioritized my life, adopted minimalism, & learned what true contentment really means. Don’t get me wrong – I still have champagne taste. If you show me 5 items, I will pick out the one I like best which is somehow always the most expensive. 😉

But I’ve learned what I need to “splurge” on, what areas I need to be frugal, & what I need to toss because it’s not worth it. And I don’t just mean financially. There are some friends who I need to spend more time with because of how our personalities are. I will happily go “over budget” for them. I’m working on self-control to dismiss smaller mental issues so they don’t turn into huge monsters. Most areas of my life, I proudly admit I’m a cheap-ass. 🙂 If I can save time, money, or energy, I will.


There are those who I’ve reached out towards & they pushed my hand away. There are situations that always cause my anxiety level to rise or for depression to hit. There are times when you can’t ignore the formal dinner function & you have to spend a pretty penny. Just like a recovering addict, these are not helping me to be my very best & so I avoid those toxic issues by all means. I’ve learned I’m too important to waste my resources on those people, items, or situations who don’t appreciate me in return.

Sometimes I can’t fully avoid them. So what do I do? I maintain my beer budget. For example, let’s say I’m invited to a party. I don’t know the host very well & those I do know may be sparse in their attendance. To me, my options are clear. 1 – RSVP no & stay home. 2 – Go with a set amount of time I’ll stay before I bounce like Jim Halpert. 🙂

Before I would’ve bought an expensive gift, maybe a new outfit, spent time preparing & stressing over the event, & been uncomfortable the whole time. I would’ve gone home & gone over every detail to see where & when I screwed up. That is over my budget. I can still go to the party but maybe I’ll pick up a $8 bottle of wine instead. I can wear what I have in my closet & make small talk (God, I loathe small talk) before I leave. I go home & I don’t hate myself.

And that is how I maintain my champagne taste without blowing my mental, financial, or social beer budget. 🙂

Vacationing with mental illness

So I believe I mentioned before I left on vacation how I felt like I didn’t deserve it. That was a common thought in the back of my mind. And I get it. It’s just depression. Like a demonic shadow, it hovers over me & speaks its lies into my ear. Sometimes, I can push it away & like a cloud of smoke, it disperses. Other times, I’m like, “Hmm…that’s a good point.” Why am I like this? Who knows?

But throughout my whole vacation, I felt like it was a dream. I was waiting for the “wake up” from it all. I was upgraded (for free!) into a beautiful room but I felt like it was undeserved. I had saved money for MONTHS for this trip, specifically to do it debt free. I still felt like I needed to take a step back to reality. I’m not a frivolous spender. I’m talking stupid shit like, “Well, I’m on vacation & I want steak, but I should probably order the chicken because I’m not worthy of this.” Sigh. That nonsense kept going over & over in my head. And so, I would either shut down or try to mentally push through it. Oh, by the way, I ended up under budget, so it really didn’t matter.

It’s really hard for me to treat myself. I have flashbacks of being a child & hearing my parents tell me, “no” repeatedly. I’m not saying it’s 100% their fault but I do believe it impacted me negatively. Eventually, I got to the point where I stopped asking. I already knew the answer. Fast forward to adulthood & you’ll find me telling myself, “no” because it’s expected. I don’t feel worthy.

Again, I’m a work in progress. I’m trying to teach myself that it’s okay to relax & have fun. It’s okay to spend money on myself. And I do deserve happiness, contentment, & tremendous love.

Oh, I’m proud to say that I DID order the steak. Filet mignon, no less. 😉

Internal cleansing

I realize just reading that sounds like some kinda detox that leaves you running to the bathroom. 😉 Although physical detoxing is great, I’m focusing more on other aspects, like mental, financial, social, etc.

While on vacation, I noticed for the first time in a long time, I was relaxed & calm. I had no concerns or worries. My God. Is this what other people are like? The mind is at ease & quiet. How I envy them. The good news about my trip is I taught myself how to tap into that peaceful, carefree area in my mind.

And how do I do that?

I close my eyes & picture myself under the rain. I allow it to wash over me & to cleanse me of all worries & doubt. Sometimes, it’s more like a waterfall; other times, I imagine a gentle rain. I take deep breaths & picture my concerns as mud that is falling off of me (I use mud since it washes away easily & it’s a good visual for those who are toxic “mud slingers”). If I’m really upset, I try to visualize more detail until I feel calm. Where am I standing? Is it sunny or cloudy? Am I alone? Can I hear other animals? Is the water beating against the rocks? What colors are the surrounding plant life? and so on.

It only takes a few moments for me but I can feel myself calming down. I don’t know how it’ll work for me in high anxiety situations or panic attacks, but on a low level, it really helps me. So far, I’ve only applied to my mental well-being, but I’d imagine it would work in other areas as well. Maybe if you’re freaking out over bills or stress with your family or whatever else, it could help you as well. In my mind, I believe it will help internally clean me out of unnecessary concerns. It rids my mind of dirt & debris before it piles up. My mind is clear & I can focus with clarity.

Oh! I almost forgot – the best part! I’m sleeping better! So yes. It works for me. 🙂


Pep Talk with Kristina Kuzmic

“Each step, regardless of how small, deserves an applause.” YES! Her words of wisdom have been ringing in my ears lately. I’ve watched this multiple times. It’s so simple but it helps me so much. I can baby step this. My goals are achievable.

I can do this. And so can you!

Kristina Kuzmic – Pep Talk

Weight loss update – part 5

Hey there. I’ve been on vacation & it was marvelous. For the first time in ages, I was actually calm & relaxed. I drank my body weight in various kinds of alcohol & ate whatever the fuck I wanted to. And you know what? It was great.

And while it was great, I learned a lot about myself. I’ll probably spend the next few posts unraveling the mental tangles. But regarding my weight, I learned that as fun as junk food is, I feel like absolute shit when I eat it. I know. Obviously. But after a few days of bingeing, it lost its luster for me. I think I created an aversion which is just awesome. I found myself craving healthier food, drinking more water, & trying to get more rest. I walked everywhere (11.5 miles on one day!) & it felt great to be active again.

I lost .2 lbs which is really nothing, I know. But! I didn’t gain! So yay!

As a refresher, here’s what I’m working on for this week:

– No eating after 2100
– Hit the gym 3x this week
– Fix my sleep schedule
– Drink 64 oz of water or tea
– Get my steps in. Starting with 5000.
– Eating clean 75% of the time

I’ll let you know how it goes! Hopefully, by next week, I’ll have dropped weight & starting to feel much better!

Anxiety + Depression = Hell

I haven’t flown in years & there’s a good reason for that. The last time I flew, I had really high anxiety. I was stressed the whole time, had panic attacks, & didn’t know what was wrong with me. So even while I’m packing tonight for my trip, I can feel my anxiety rising. My head is pounding & I’m starting to shake. And the fucked up part? I feel like I don’t deserve a vacation. Like this is my punishment. Because with depression, it’s an one-two punch. I’m really thankful I have Xanax this time around to help me out. Here’s hoping I can get through traveling tomorrow without falling apart. 

Weight loss update – part 4

Blecch. This week was rough. I gained.

But I’m not surprised. I’m on my rag, I’ve been in a lot of pain, & I’ve been barely moving. My sleep schedule is still fucked up. I’m sure I would drop all of this bloated weight once my period is done & I get a good night’s rest.

I can feel my mental well-being slowly falling. This is all discouraging. I know how to fix it. I know I’ll get through this & feel better. But until then, I feel like an exhausted failure.

I’m really glad I’m going on vacation in a few days. I think I’ll spend just one day sleeping in as late as I want. Maybe then I’ll feel a little more human & a little less like a zombie. :/

♪ Hey Jealousy! ♪

Ah, yes. Jealousy. Such a motherfucker. Grass is greener-itis. What they have is better than what I have.

I wish I had her stomach & thighs & OMG that ass you can bounce a quarter off of.

I wish I could be that carefree & let issues roll off my back.

I wish they would recognize me. Am I a ghost?

I wish…I wish…I wish *cue Skee-lo, am I right? *

I had a thought the other day. While I’m being envious of others of what I don’t have or how I’m not wired, I realized that others are just as jealous of me. We live in a comparison society, which is just ridiculous when you really think about it. Nobody is perfect in any way. We all have our flaws as well as our own strengths. Life would be dull if we were all perfect. It’s through our imperfections where we really shine. How you handle those weaknesses is what others notice & inspires them to do & be better.

So yeah, maybe you can’t bounce a quarter off my ass right now but I have amazing, thick, naturally curly hair. A true brunette, my dark hair will hold romantic curls for hours & even days. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

And no, I’m not carefree because I’m deeply passionate. I care wholeheartedly about others. I will stand next to you & fight for you. When you hurt, I hurt. I want you to succeed more than you’ll ever know.

And some people are just self-absorbed assholes. I’m not gonna sing & dance to get your attention. It’s not who I am. Even in the middle of my darkest hour, I won’t do it.

Side note: And if you see others around you suffering & you don’t do anything to help, you are one of those assholes. It literally takes 15 seconds to send someone a message & let them know you’re thinking about them. You have no idea of the impact that will make on their lives. 

Again, I’m not perfect. I have a long journey ahead of me. There are PLENTY of people & things that I’m jealous over. But instead of comparing myself to them, I’m trying to retrain my brain to point out my good features instead. I don’t always succeed but I’ve definitely gotten better.

It reminds me of what Chris Cornell (RIP) said, “The grass is greener where the dogs are shitting.” 😉


Pain sucks

How cute is this Lego pain chart?! Adorable, right?

The past few days have been extremely painful for me. For starters, it’s my “womanly time” (lol) & for some reason, this month has been a fucking nightmare. I was up from 0400-0500 because I was cramping so hard. I was in a ball & feeling something like waves rolling inside of me. I don’t understand why this month would be so killer compared to the other months. My doctor offered to put me on birth control but that just makes me nauseated all the time. Hellish period 6 days a month or pukey for 30 days a month? Yeah, it’s the lesser of two evils for me.

I’m cramping so much that my back is freaking out. I can’t remember if I’ve told you but I have some major back issues. I’ve been seeing a masseuse & a chiropractor for a few years now. I get a lot of spasms that (for lack of a better word) paralyze me. I either freeze up or drop down. Regardless, when it happens, I can’t move for a while. I silently cry through the pain, wishing it would go away. To have both cramps & back pain is insane.

I’ve been taking Vicodin & ibuprofen to help but I’m almost out of Vicodin. And since I don’t have a prescription (don’t judge), pretty sure I’m gonna need to stay with ibuprofen, which at this point is like candy. I’m not sure if it’s even doing anything because I can’t tell. I’m still aware of the pain while on meds – narcotics or not. Maybe I just need some Demerol or something. Ooh! A Morphine drip! There we go. 😉

So because I’ve been in so much pain, I haven’t gone to the gym but once this week (obviously before my period started). I’m so bloated that nothing fits. I feel like an absolute failure. I honestly think the only reason I haven’t fallen into a depressive episode is because I’m too focused on the pain. Meh.

“To sleep, perchance to dream”

Maybe I should start out by telling you how I usually sleep.

After a long day, I look forward to hopping in my bed. My mind usually doesn’t shut up for a while so it might take me 30 or so minutes until I fall asleep. I rarely wake up at night (unless I have to pee) & even more rare than that are nightmares. I fall immediately back asleep. I sleep a solid 8-9 hours & get going with my morning. Sometimes I’ll take a nap but that’s not really common anymore.

Okay, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Here’s what’s been going on for about a month now.

I dread going to bed because it’s been the same shit show for a while now. My mind is firing on all cylinders for around 2 hours after I go to bed. I’m waking up multiple times (pee, nightmares, or panic attacks) & I’m wide awake afterward for huge chunks of time. I’m getting about 4-5 hours a night & that’s not consistent.

This is exhausting. Literally exhausting. I don’t know why I can’t just sleep like I normally do. I don’t know what’s changed.