Tag Archives: depression

A Reason & A Season… I Guess

There have been lots of moments this past month where I’ve thought “Oooh, I’ll blog about that!” but nothing ever comes to fruition. I’ve been hitting the gym hard when I go, and I feel good about that. I’ve started working on a really awesome project at work that could pan out to be sometime even more awesome. I’ve got a trip coming up soon to Las Vegas, somewhere I’ve never been, and I’m excited to see all of Nate’s family when we go. I’m starting a fun personal project that I can’t wait to share with everyone. But no, I just don’t feel like writing about any of those things. Each time I think I should write I just don’t.

There has been something on my mind for about 3 months now, and I’m guessing maybe I just need to write about it. I brush it off as something that just happened, but then it comes back into my mind all the time. As often as I’ve brought it up “in passing,” and have gotten confused looks from my family and friends… I think I just need to get it out as best as I can.

Have you ever heard the term “Vaguebooking?” If not, this will be similar to it, but on a larger scale, I guess, since this is my blog.

About three months ago I got my feelings hurt by a good friend. I’ve been working for a long time on being more honest, less timid, and on addressing things that need to be addressed, even though it’s painful for me. Instead of stewing about it, I mentioned it to my friend. Now, three months later I’m down one friend. I don’t understand what happened, and it wasn’t until recently that I realize how much this has effected me.

I try to remind myself that people come into our lives for a wide variety of reasons and for all lengths of time. I try to remind myself that all friends can successfully be “easy” friendships, made up of times where you visit and see each other often and times where it doesn’t work out, but it is still okay. I remind myself that people have lots of things going on in their lives, and that sometimes there just isn’t enough time for people to be present for all of their friends. I guess it just doesn’t feel like any of these things are applicable in this situation.

When I was a teen I remember crying to my dad about my personality and how awful it is. I got tired of not being able to be what people wanted me to be. I clearly remember him telling me a memory he has of me standing at the end of our driveway just watching a group of kids walk by with this look of longing. I remember doing that. I’ve never forgotten that moment or his recalling that moment, because it perfectly sums up the way I feel. I’m always looking on, waiting for friends to come to me, or waiting for friendships to get better, wanting to be liked and appreciated by everyone.

I think about that defining memory a lot, especially when I’m having a day like I’ve been having for the last few days. I don’t have to wait around for people to be my friend: if I want someone to be my friend I have to first be a friend to them. I have to give what I want to be able to take. I feel like I’m pretty good at doing that with my friends, and when I’m not being a good friend, I enjoy that my friends feel okay telling me so.

It is HARD to tell people how you feel, especially hard to tell friends. What if that friend doesn’t take it well and gets upset? Or worse, what if that friend apologizes… then disappears from your life? The life cycle of a friendship is something I’ll never understand. I’m trying, though.

Over The Hump

Well, I finally made it over the hump! Or at least a hump.

Let me backtrack a little. When I first decided to lose weight and get in shape it was the result of a doctor appointment in September, and my goal was to lose 14 pounds by my next appointment 3 months later, in December. I didn’t make it, and while I had been feeling really good about the changes I’d been making (eating better, tracking calories, working out 3 or more days a week), I started feeling bummed that I hadn’t done better. I didn’t make my diet bet, and I didn’t make my December goal. I slowed down my progress after that… got busy and didn’t make it to the gym, stopped paying attention to what I ate.

Today I renewed my membership to the gym for another 3 months. Today I weighed myself and found I’d made it over (or would that be under??) the hump.

I’ve been a little depressed the past week because I’ve been sick, my kids have been sick, and I have missed a lot of work. I made some goals for myself to start the year with a fresh beginning. Many of the goals were work-related, and not being able to do much this week on top of being off the last 10 days before have me really stressed. I feel a little like I’ve blown my chance for a good start.

But seeing the scale this morning made me think. I didn’t make my goal in December, but almost a month later I did. I was so disappointed, but now… I’ve met the goal, so what’s to be upset about? A win is still a win, so I’ll call this one. I’ll start work off with a bang when I return this weekend, and who knows? Maybe I’ll meet some of those goals on time!

Now, onto my next health-related goal… Let’s go for another 10 lbs!

This is my new beginning

Please bear with me, as this is really hard to write. My life is going to change, starting now. 

On Monday I had my yearly doctor’s appointment. I stepped on the scale, as I always do, and couldn’t believe my eyes. I wanted to die. 

I have gained about 25 pounds in the past year. I am heavier than I ever have been (and I’ve been through two pregnancies). I surpassed the 200 lbs mark.

I’ve never been satisfied with my appearance. I’ve had moments where I think I look great, moments where I don’t care what I look like or what others think, moments where I’m comfortable… but none of those feelings come naturally to me. I’m not a confident person, and I’m not typically content with myself. 

In high school I hated my body. I wore a size 9, weighed about 125-135, and was (still am) 5′ tall. I did marching band (and don’t you dare tell me that isn’t considered a strenuous workout) and ate poorly, but I maintained my weight, mostly, though I wished I had been about 110. In college I was closer to 140, and after I got married I was around 160. I don’t remember what I gained while pregnant with Trent. With Atticus I got to 199. After I had Atticus I lost more than I had gained while pregnant… so I was around 180. That means that in the last 18 months I’ve gained 35 pounds.

Here is a picture of me a year ago, about 25 pounds lighter. I can’t wait to get back to that, and eventually even past it.

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My weight isn’t a surprise to me. It winds me to walk up my stairs. It hurts my feet to stand up and take the first few steps after sitting for awhile. My knees pop more than they used to. My boobs choke me when I lay down, and it’s a workout to clip my toenails.

It’s depressing when I realize that the reason I rarely take my kids to the pool is because I’m humiliated to be in my suit. It sucks to have to avoid skirts and dresses because my thighs rub together. It’s embarrassing to walk up the stairs with someone at work and be noticeably breathless. And worst of all, I hate that I’m not as active as I could be with my children. I want to sleep better, feel happier, play harder and look sexier.

And I’m going to. Starting now. This is my new beginning.

I have an appointment in three months to get back with my doctor and evaluate things. My goal is to have lost 15 pounds by the time I see him. That’s 5 pounds a month, and just about 1 pound a week. I can so do this! Once I reach that goal I’ll set another. For now I want to take small, reasonable steps by creating realistic and attainable goals. I’ve started using the My Fitness Pal app and have also begun using the Pacer app. Pacer will track my steps and link the info with My Fitness Pal. I’ll log what I eat and my exercise in My Fitness Pal and keep track of my progress there.

Yesterday was day one. I stayed under my calories for the day and did some activity. I plan on eating healthier meals and smaller portions while being realistic so I don’t get discouraged. I’m hoping to start walking for 15-30 minutes at work as I’m able via my breaks, and I’d like to walk with the boys when I get home in the evenings also. I think I’ll get the wii fit out again and try using it to keep it fun.

I want to look at gym memberships and see if I can make something work with my schedule and the fact that I am basically operating as a single parent most of the week.

I’ve talked to some of my closest friends and to Nate and I already feel very confident that I’ll have ample support. I’ll be tracking some of my progress here. I can’t wait to see what the next few months holds for me and my health.

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Just when you think you’ve had enough

Everyone has times when you think things are bad, and then they just get worse. It’s been like that for me lately. I hate to be a downer, but my job is hard. Being a full-time working mom is hard. Getting housework done is hard. Personal issues I’ve recently had are hard. Stuff’s just hard, man. But just when I thought I’d had enough things start to get better: stuff at work that wasn’t working for so long is… better. Just when I was feeling crappy, a coworker took the time to tell me I’m appreciated.

I know a woman named Jennifer. Jennifer is calm, hilarious, peaceful, sarcastic, smart, sympathetic, and thoughtful. I love working with her because she is always ready to listen, share empathetic stories, give her honest opinion, and take action in whatever way you need her to. Jennifer always has a funny story or humorous idea; some of my favorite work moments involve Jennifer’s humor. She purchased some bump-it’s once and tried them in my hair. Now, if you know my hair, you know why that’s funny. I probably had the highest, tangliest, bumpiest bump ever. Another time I brought in one of my wraps (my Dolcino, my first real woven) and she photographed me posing with some library babies. She’s such a great photographer… I can remember helping her get pictures off her digital camera a few times, so of course I got to check out her pictures. She’s amazing at taking pictures of anything! I’m lucky to be her Facebook friend, because I constantly get to read stories and see photos she’s taken while on nature walks.

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Before my 30th birthday last fall I started thinking a lot about what happens to us when we die. Morbid, I know, and yeah… I’ll save the details for another post. Jennifer is a co-pastor for a Quaker church with a lot of theology knowledge, an open mind, and a peaceful demeanor. I talked to her briefly about my concerns, and I’ll never forget how she responded when I told her my fears, and asked her, “what happens to us when we die?” Her response: “I don’t know.” She told me her thoughts and hopes, but she never made me feel stupid, or like I should be fearful, or like I was bad or wrong for not already having a firm belief. I still don’t know what I think, and I wonder about it a lot. But I’m not as lost anymore, and I know I can depend on her to talk it out any time.

Jennifer knows how hard work has been for me lately, and today as I headed back to my office to get my things ready to leave I was surprised to find her in there. “Hey, I was just writing you a note,” she said. “It says ‘I bought you some cookies. Of course I had to try one. Then I had another but I couldn’t finish it, so I only had half.'” Totally Jennifer. So giving, but so honest and funny at the same time. I told her she didn’t have to so that, and she said, “it’s just some cookies.”

Jennifer lied. It was more than cookies. First of all, the gift came with a hug. I’m not one to ask or offer hugs often, but each time I share one with someone I remember how great they are. Once I got to my car I opened the gift bag and shared some cookies with Atticus and Trent. I told Trent that Jennifer had given them to us. He knows Jennifer because he likes to share his crazy jokes with her and play shy with her. We went back in to thank her, then left. It wasn’t until later that I saw what else was in the bag: a delicious looking tea drink I can’t wait to enjoy. I love tea! And the best part… a Jennifer original photograph.

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I first saw this picture when Jennifer shared it on Facebook. I showed this to Trent and asked what he saw and he said “some trees.” Then his face lot up. “A heart, mommy!” He said that it was nice of Jennifer to give it to me.

Jennifer also included a note, which made me cry. She said something really important, something I want to remember and something I hope others take away from this.

I think people don’t realize that they are making an impact on others unless the ‘others’ tell them. So, I am telling you!

She’s right. And I bet she didn’t know how much her thoughtfulness meant to me, how hard things have been and how wonderful her words felt to read, and just how perfectly timed she was. Actually, I’m sure she knew. Jennifer’s too smart not to. She always notices the little things.

She is a good woman. I’m so glad to know her. Thanks, Jennifer.

A lot of nothing

I feel bad that I’m not writing as much lately. When I started this blog I feared it would be yet another thing that I get all gung-ho about and then abandon after awhile. I really don’t want that to happen.

Work has been kicking my butt lately. There are technology issues that even our IT support company are having problems solving. It feels like I’m failing in this position. When I don’t know how to fix something and the help can’t help… it comes back to me and my inability to get it done. It’s a real downer.

My house is pretty much a mess lately as well. Actually, it just is a mess. I don’t care to work on cleaning it. We did get lots of yard work done this weekend and that felt really good. We finally got the rest of our garden planted, and boy is it a doozy! I have 13 heirloom tomato plants, 16 pepper plants, a few varying cucumber plants, zucchini, cabbage, celery, dill, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, Greek oregano, 7 basil plants, corn, and I think a few other things. It was satisfying getting everything in the ground, finally. Hopefully things produce before the frost starts killing it all off.

The boys and I hit my parents strawberry patch last week for some of the first crop. I’ve offered Atticus strawberries before and he hadn’t cared to eat them, but he loved eating he ones he picked himself! Yesterday when I went to my parents’ to pick up some tomato starts my mom gave me some strawberries and both boys have been all over them.

Trent was sick last week, feverish, sore throat and and upset stomach and headache. Also a rash. He says he’s been feeling better but he is just being whiny and kind of a jerk. He’s currently in his room because he can’t stand to be around Atticus. It breaks my heart to see him acting this way. He gets so upset but also so happy. He’s such a feeler. I am too… I’m crying right now as a matter of fact. I just want him to be a happy child. I don’t want him to deal with the difficulties of anxiety or depression.

Lately I’ve just been in a funk. I’ve talked about my anxiety and depression before here. I feel like I’m not succeeding in anything I’m doing, and I’m incredibly disappointed in myself. I can’t say why, other than how terrible I am at my job and how I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing as a parent. Oh, and I’m out of shape and I am an awful housekeeper. I just want to feel okay with things and not worry or be sad about it all. I promise I’ve been taking my prescription the right way lately but it just feels like it isn’t helping anymore. I don’t know. Maybe I just need to stop thinking about it. I just have so many feelings and I can’t sort them out. And I don’t want to. I’m too tired to deal with it lately; I just want to sleep all the time.

So, there’s my bloggity blog for today. Sorry it sucks, dear world. I promise I’ll find something positive and fun to read to blog about soon. Maybe I’ll sort out all the things I plan to do with my garden harvest.

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In which I spill the beans

Well, today ended up being both rewarding and difficult all bundled together in a big, messy, wonderful and awful ball. I had a discussion with one of my closest friends that has since left me thinking and feeling.

Before I begin, I feel like I have to say some things.

1. The friend with whom I spoke today is a wonderful friend. She and I have this agreement where we’re just honest with each other. Our friendship has been through some weirdness but we’ve gotten really close in the last year. I appreciate her tons. She keeps me sane and compliments that sanity frequently. I wouldn’t have come as far as I have this past year were it not for many of my friends, and she’s definitely at the top of that list.

2. I have depression and anxiety. “You and 20 million others,” you’re probably thinking. And you’re right, or close at least. About 21 million Americans have a mood disorder, actually. Maybe some of you are even thinking, “Me too.” And yes, you might, too. It sucks doesn’t it?

Depression and anxiety are nasty, vile, and crude creatures. A lot of the memories I have involve some piece of my depression or anxiety. My life is consumed with it. Every day I think about my mood, how it is affecting me, and how it affecting others. I worry… about everything. No really, everything. I worry that my kids, Trent in particular, might turn out like me. I hate that it is really possible. And I hate that my kids, family, and friends have had to deal with me like this. I hate it more for them than I do for myself.

All my life I’ve been consumed by these creatures. The dark, heavy, swollen, black cloud of depression. The bristling fur-matted beast of anger. A repetetive and pestering nit-picking anxiousness. And a confetti-and-candy-filled pinata of mania that makes me want to vomit with disgusting, giddy laughter. Yeah… I know these things sound dramatic, and they are. The drama is part of it. They’re also all really real feelings for me. A buddy of mine accurately mentioned recently that the depression is terrible, but what’s almost worse is the mania, knowing that you’re just going to plummet right back down from the high that feels so disgustingly good, too good to be true (because it is).

I’m really ashamed of who I am sometimes. Most particularly of who I’ve been in the past. I’m embarassed that who I am is because of who I’ve been. I’ve yelled and screamed and shrieked at people I love. My friends, my parents, my sister, Nate. My kids. All my life I’ve just wanted people to like me. I just want to be desired in every way. I tell my friends I love them and I want to hear it back. I tell my parents and sister that they amaze me and I want to hear it back. I thank strangers in the store for ringing up my groceries or for reaching something that my 5-foot height just can’t… and I want these strangers to like me. I want my coworkers to think I’m amazing. I want my husband to think I’m perfect. Doesn’t everyone want these things? When I don’t get these egocentric confidence boosters I feel like I’ve done something wrong. When a friend is mad at me I feel like the world is over. When a coworker is annoyed at me I wonder if I’m really cut out to do my job. When my kids don’t want to kiss and hug me I wonder if that time I yelled at them was the last straw and if they just can’t take me anymore. I don’t blame them.

My wonderful, amazing, positive and inspiring friend today told me that she was proud of me. That I’d come a long way in improving myself, in being able to resolve conflicts and not bottle things up until I explode in a childish rage. Of course she didn’t use those words; she simply said she was proud of the personal improvements I’d made. But in my head I pictured the disgust she’s probably felt about me in the past, and then I became disgusted myself.

I can remember being pregnant with Atticus and just feeling tired all the time. I woke up late and would get my poor Trent up in a hurry. He is a bear to wake up and I wouldn’t give him time. I wasn’t patient with him. “Hurry up! Why am I always waiting on you?!” I’d yell at my angel-faced, innocent 2 1/2 year old. I once worked myself up so much over him that I went outside to calm down and just threw up. It’s disgusting to recall. I remember hold newborn Atticus in my arms on my couch in the living room, Trent running around and playing and Nate hard at work at his job. I would just stare down at this gorgeous golden-haired petite baby nursing for dear life, depending on me to survive. And I hated myself. I wanted to die. I was terrified that he would grow and become smarter and see my rotten side and hate me as much as I hated myself. Nate would be short with me and I was sure it was because he wanted to leave me and my kids and the family we had together. I’d pick at the dry skin on my arm and just convince myself that my whole arm was dry skin and I’d just pick and pick until my whole upper arm was blotched and red and scabby. Everything that was anything was magnified 1,000x to me. But I kept going because I couldn’t abandon the boys that needed me, particularly the one who literally needed my nourishment to survive. So I kept going and asked my obstetrician for some meds. I’ve been on a variety of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications throughout my life but I typically stop taking them after awhile, because frankly I don’t want to take anything just to be tolerable for other people. Even if it makes me more tolerant of myself, too. It just doesn’t seem fair.

So now I once again wonder if my family or friends would still love me if I wasn’t medicated. It sucks to know that you’re fairly intolerable if you aren’t ingesting some chemical substance. It scares me to think that my amazing creation, Trent, might head down this sickening spiral, too. I worry about it all the time. I hate it for myself and I don’t want it for him.

I’m happy I’m in a better place now than I was a year ago, don’t get me wrong. I just wish it wasn’t so difficult and that I didn’t worry so much. I wish that I didn’t care that my readers might roll their eyes at this post. I wish that the feels weren’t so deeply feely.