What is your first reaction to waking up and hearing the loud buzzing of the alarm? Mine is always to hit snooze. People tell me that hitting snooze and going back to sleep is bad because you don’t even get the benefit of good sleep and that throws of your whole day. That may be right, in fact I might be living proof of the truth in that statement; but come morning I hear that alarm and I’ll hit snooze. I’ve been hitting snooze more frequently now. I snooze past my workouts, past the time to make breakfast and lunch for the day and snooze almost to the point where I can only get up, get dressed and wash my face before heading out the door to be almost late for work. That morning ritual feels like an appropriate vignette for a show about a girl living in the city just trying to get by in a hectic world that lives with a grungy roommate who doesn’t care about anything just lives life in a constant state of ‘whatever. In this show I’m the grungy unrelatable roommate who’s wasting their life. That’s not supposed to be me! What the heck is going on?
Lately there are days when I wake up and I feel fine. I get stuff done. But the days when I don’t feel fine are creeping up on me. I miss the days when I’d wake up feeling great.
I’m a little depressed.
I know depression. I could list all kinds of depressed I’ve been in the past.
But mostly I’ve been functionally depressed in the past. There is this term I came across online that feels on point for what I’ve got going on in my head: walking depression (10 Signs of Walking Depression). I wake up, I shower, I work, I spend time with friends, I laugh at jokes I make some of my own. I just do it while being rather unhappy. When it comes to this stuff I mostly have a lot of questions and not so many answers.
Kind of self-destructive- Searching for the food highs
I don’t really drink, I say no to drugs, and I don’t inflict physical harm on myself, I’m clear of all addictions but one: food. I was on such a good track and slowly the problems spread. I’d skip a meal, I snack, I sleep in until it’s too late to make my food for the day, I stopped batching my meals. I started eating the bad things, the ‘delicious’ bad things and as of two days ago I’ve eaten just about anything I wanted, which involved a lot of AM/PM gas station products that are cheap and hardly constitute real food. I’ve eaten some pretty bad things. Sometimes it’s felt like an out of body experience where I’m watching myself purchasing bad things wanting to yell at me to stop, but I don’t. I’m looking for that sugar, carb high that spikes my blood sugar and gets me buzzed. Then I come down and I feel the guilt. Most people know how the cycle goes from there. It’s not a great feeling. I think another way to put it is it feels like I’m in a whirlpool. When I’m on the outside of it you can just start to feel it turn and drag you but as it pulls you towards the center it gets faster, scarier and harder to get out of. That must be what ‘spiraling out of control’ means.
Where the heck did this come from?
Pride, love and some work stress. Truth be told there’s been some heartbreak that started all this. I really don’t want to talk about it and that’s probably contributing to the problem. It wasn’t even that bad but keeping it to myself meant I let it fester and infect other parts of my life and that’s where the problems arose. That’s about all I’m really going to say. It’s been a few weeks since this started. Stuff like this, it creeps up on you. It starts off as a slow burn and it can stay like this for a long time. That’s what can make it so dangerous. A lightning bolt starting a brushfire tells you right away there’s danger. But a smoldering fire underground doesn’t alert you of danger until it’s too late.
Is speaking the truth admitting defeat?
Why is that so difficult to admit? Because it feels presumptuous to put myself in a category where I’m still getting by, I’m not in a debilitating dark place I’ve been to before and there are so many people worse off than me it feels unfair to compare myself to them. The problem is my family is starting to notice, and now that I recognize what’s going on I’m not hiding. I take that to mean a part of me is finally breaking through and reaching out to get better. So I guess that means it’s a good time write because I’m willing to talk about it.
Is it relevant to this blog?
Well yes and no. I didn’t set out to write a blog about my life for people to peer into. This is meant as a weight loss blog, it’s to chronicle my experiences and keep a record of the knowledge I’ve accumulated about the healthier life I’m striving for. So in that sense, no this post doesn’t’ belong here. The other side of this coin is my mental health is part of my overall health. The choice to start this blog was because I had made a resolution to live my life more openly. Privacy can lead to secrecy, secrecy can lead to isolation and isolation can lead to shame. Can we agree that’s not healthy? I don’t want to be isolated or ashamed. Back in the day when I dealt with bad depression the most visible side effect was my weight gain. I’m trying to avoid that. (Some good news though, I have not gained any weight in the weeks since this started. Somehow I’ve managed to maintain my current weight with little physical activity and less than stellar eating habits.) It’s not my proudest post but I think it needs to be talked about. I head someone say that the fuel for shame is secrecy, silence and judgement but if you expose that shame to empathy it cannot survive. So this is my attempt at dousing that shame with light and hope that empathy will burn it away.
‘Fail Blog’ doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
I see the silver lining in this though. There’s a reason I have a category on this blog called “Fail Blog” and it’s not to highlight my setbacks or be self-pitying. It’s more to illustrate to me that there are always mistakes to be made along the way but that doesn’t have to hold you back. Every day when I wake up my goal is to eat clean: that means eating only what’s on my meal plan which I know is good for me and avoid things that are downright bad. Every day I try to eat clean, and every day I fail. I skip a meal or more often eat something I shouldn’t have. I’ve been at this whole exercise and healthy eating for over a year now. That’s over 365 days of failures, and yet here I am, having lost over 80 lbs which some people say they can only dream of losing and challenging myself to physical tasks other dismiss at first glance. Perhaps fail blog is a misnomer. It should be called something else like ‘Stumble Diaries’ or ‘Recovery Blog’, because a stumble doesn’t indicate a failure any more than a bad day indicates a bad life. Shit just happens and we don’t always make the smartest choice. So yeah, I’ve been having an extended edition of a ‘fail blog’ , but one thing I know for sure is that this won’t last forever. I’m a strong person, and I prefer to be forgiving and resilient instead of critical and self-defeating. It’s about mustering the gumption to get myself out of this. When it comes to stuff like this it’s best to take it one day at a time, try to make one smart choice each day and most of all take the love and care that’s so often reserved for others and give it to myself for a little bit. Also need to know I can’t close myself off to the people that love me. They’re the best medicine in my life.
Know what I’m sayin’?
For my small yet precious community of bloggers and subscribers reading this (which really gets me jazzed every time I think about it, something to be so thankful for). If you have any experience with any type of depression let me say: sister (or brother) I am right there with you. This stuff totally blows right? But if you’ve read this far I’ll venture to guess you are hopeful as well. Don’t force yourself to get through this on your own. Talk it out, do good things for you, don’t close yourself off, get outside, there’s lots of ways to make it better. Take it slow, aim for progress no perfection, that’s how it gets better. If you have any advice, it is always welcomed and appreciated.