I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sunset Beach Day 6 - Official Tourist Day

No matter how laid back a vacation, every beach vacation needs to have its official tourist day!  Day 6 was ours.  My family spent that morning browsing in art galleries, thrift shops, and cheap beach stores.  I bought these trendy feather earrings and some cheap Bettie Page post cards - I'm so cheesy. Here I am cheese-tastically modeling in the beach store!
After the shopping, we had lunch.  I cannot remember the restaurant's name, but I do remember that it took forever for our food to arrive and that my stomach was hurting again.  My consistent stomach pain during the vacation was the one thing that I would change if I could. Fortunately, these two things did not affect my sense of humor and I had to take a picture of this:

Do you want some extra livermush for $2.15?  I have no idea what "livermush" is, but it sounds dreadful!  Funnily enough, it was listed on the menu twice!  (You can get it as a side on your "egg plate." Yum?)  I've never tasted liver-I know a lot of people really like it, but I can't get over my prejudices.

Here's another picture of me featuring my earrings, this time at the beach house:
My eyes are closed, but I really like it.

 Here's my thoughts on why we should appreciate pictures of ourselves (A common theme on this blog): You guys know that I'm going through a bit of a tough time right now-my last day on my job is tomorrow and I've been having periods of depression and anxiety for the past couple of months weeks in dealing with it and some other things. I think it is especially important to recognize the aspects about ourselves that we like and what we are doing right in our recovery during these times when we are struggling the most.  The fact that we are struggling makes it harder to see our beauty, our intellect, and our successes, but it is worth the extra effort.  Making that extra effort and recognizing our effort gives us a dose of reality and reminds us that we are really doing much better than we sometimes feel. That is why I am really loving circling what DBT coping skills I have used at the end of the day on my DBT skills sheet and I am really loving posting what I am grateful for on Facebook, instead of dwelling on all the negative aspects of my day, which sometimes would be much easier to do.  I also realize that it is considered weird for a female to admire a picture of herself and that doing so is in itself a revolutionary act.  Proper self-care during anxiety and depression is particularly hard, because the line between getting proper rest and having healthy alone time and isolating and hiding away can be hard to detect.  I talked to a friend earlier today about just how hard it is.  I think I am balancing it fairly well though.  I've let myself off the hook for not going to most of my support groups and taking extra naps this week, but next week I plan to be more active. Still, even if I am not being very active right now, as you can see, I am still taking positive steps in my recovery.  I urge anyone who is struggling with depression or anxiety symptoms to start appreciating at least the positive small things that they have done that day-that is something that anyone can do, even if they do not have the energy or motivation to get out of the house.

But back to my vacation!

So after lunch, we went back to the house and relaxed, but later I accepted my cousin's invitation to go with her family to visit Myrtle Beach.  I had never been to Myrtle Beach before and we had fun!  It definitely is a tourist trap though and I am glad that our beach house was in a more laid back atmosphere.

First, we stopped at this cheap-o beach store.

Isn't that the greatest entrance ever?  Unfortunately, that was the only great thing about the store and the store is about to close.  But what a fabulous picture!

We then played a round of miniature golf at Professor Hacker's Lost Treasure Golf.

OK, so I came in last, but I still had a really fun time. I really recommend this golf course-the kids absolutely loved the outrageous sets and everybody enjoyed the train ride to top of the course-the course is at the top of a giant hill and you putt your way down.

We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant that was sort of funny, because everyone there looked like they were vacationing from Jersey Shore.  Our last stop of the day was at Callahan's at Calabash, which is the Disney World of souvenir stores in North Carolina.  It's huge and worth visiting if you enjoy souvenir shopping at all.  It has a giant Christmas section, fudge, t-shirts, and a whole room full of Duck Dynasty stuff!
(You know you're a redneck when you take a picture of Duck Dynasty products in a souvenir store...)

I almost consider watching Duck Dynasty a part of my recovery, because it makes me literally laugh out loud.  Yesterday, I watched a new episode right before going to bed and as I was laughing I realized that it was the first time that day that I had laughed.

Day 6 was fun.  I am having trouble not wishing that I could go back to that day instead of moving forward, but I know that that kind of attitude is counter productive.  Life is not so black and white and should not be faced with so much dread. Tomorrow is also my art therapy day, which I usually enjoy and I am then going to spend the evening with one of friends, so there is still plenty to look forward to. What is one thing that you are looking forward to?  Perhaps we can cheer each other up!

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