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The Hardest Blog Ever Written.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

I have met the enemy...and he is me.

I have made the decision to go for counseling. That one sentence embodies the toughest decision I have ever made. It goes against my very fibre of "I'm gonna do it my way". I guess I got that way from years of feeling like no one understands, or cares for that matter, so therefore I must handle everything myself.

How, where, or why I guess is a moot point.

I did talk to a clinician last night and after reviewing my physical symptoms as well as the emotional side of things, I am absolutely for sure struggling with anxiety and depression. I hate that truth, but it has grown to where I really can't afford to be a John Wayne any more. From a weight loss perspective, I don't believe I can go any further until issues, however painful, are addressed.

When I first started at 385 lbs, my calorie requirements were so high that I could make small changes, get off my rear and do something and lose weight in spite of the emotional eating episodes and binges. Not so any more.

There is a part of me that doesn't want to admit it, and certainly not in a public forum, but there is safety with my friends and I have had nothing but support here.

It's ok to admit that I am not strong.

So much of this stems back from when I was growing up. I was one of "those ADD kids". I was failing in school and I was put on Ritalin. My grades instantly skyrocketed. I could focus, think again, mom cancelled her reservation at the loony bin and life was good.

I hated it.

I hated the fact that I had to take a pill to be normal, that I was defective and could not measure up to the normal kids. I would always be substandard unless I took a pill. Between that and being the fat kid, being bullied, and not being well to do in a preppy school, I never measured up. A day late and a dollar short in everything I did.

Once I got out of school I vowed I would never do that again. I would be capable.

I has worked...for the most part. I delved deep into tons of self help literature (as if you can't tell from my writings) and really looked inward. I learned goal setting and the empowerment that comes from doing big things and it really helped.

But that is also why I feel like a total failure because for me to go to counseling feels like all that I did to try to help myself was pretty much a waste of time because ultimately it came full circle and here I am in some shrinks office.

I feel like I am weak and all of the talk, the stuff, everything I did was just so much piss and wind...pardon the French.

However, I have learned that when you know what you must do in your heart of hearts, you must do, no matter how uncomfortable, how humbling, how un-manly it may seem.

Maybe I just need a friend.

Maybe if I can come to grips with those things that are really hurting me, that I will come out more battle ready than ever and will finally reach my destination.

It is for that reason alone that I will go because I am tired of floundering. I have proved that I will stop at nothing to see it through but this......this is hard.

If I can run a marathon, I can walk into a doctors office.

Link To My Public Blog: mailboxes2miles.blogspot
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thumbs up for having the courage to share your thoughts.

    I, too, have always been a "do it my way" person. If I'm honest, though, "my way" although self sufficient and often effective, does not always work and during those times it's important to ask for help. I am better at that now than I was when I was younger, but it has taken time to get to that point.

    I commend you for recognizing what you need to do and taking the steps to get there. You have the strength, you can do it and you are worth it.
    1302 days ago
    I know you will find the personal strength necessary to look within and tame your dark side. Go for it!!
    1302 days ago
    I may not know you personally but feel the need to say I am proud of you. That what you wrote here on the blog not only helps you in your life but will help others know it is okay to seek help when its too big to fix yourself. Good for you. I hope you find what you are looking for. HUGS!
    1302 days ago
    Been there, done that and doing it again. I have nothing more to add that wasn't already said. One piece of suggestion from my experience would be to make sure you find a counselor that "fits". If the first one doesn't get you and your struggles, go on to the next one.
    Best of luck in the next phase of your life journey.
    1302 days ago
    As I hoped you noticed from all of the comments. You are not ALONE here!!! Admitting that you need more help than you were getting is a huge step for anyone. Just take one day at a time and feel free to ask for support here.
    1302 days ago
    Why would you be ashamed to ask for professional help? It's not a fallback position- it's a step forward. We are not Superman all the time. Good luck in your search for answers. You can do it.
    1302 days ago
    Please don't be hard on yourself. everything you did has value and has added up to your decision.

    Good luck! Sometimes we have to go through a counsellor or two before we find the right match. I'll be rooting for you!
    1302 days ago
    Strong is asking for help. Never think you are weak because of it. Never.
    1302 days ago
    I'm kind of new to Sparkpeople, but your blog was one of the first things I found when I came here and it's been a source of motivation for me.

    I've been a recipient of mental health services a few times over the years, and I'd like to offer a couple nuggets of advice if you're willing to hear it (and if not, that's fine with me too. emoticon )

    One thing I've learned is that as with any relationship, there's no guarantee that you'll have good chemistry with a therapist. If you find that you don't click with this one, you have every right to speak up and ask them to modify what they're doing with you. And if they won't or if it's still not working out, you have every right to shop around until you do find someone you click with. Some practices will even allow you to interview someone over the phone before you set up a first appointment.

    The other thing is the power of peer support - other people who have been through it themselves have a unique gift for sympathy and understanding that can never come out of a textbook. I don't know where you are, but you may want to look up the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance - they have support group affiliates all over the country. NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) also has a program called Connections which is similar - support groups facilitated by people with personal experience in mental illness and recovery. Both resources have been phenomenally helpful to me, to the point that I now facilitate a Connections group myself.

    Congratulations on listening to your heart and taking a courageous step toward a better life. If you have any questions or would just like an ear, you're welcome to PM me.
    1302 days ago
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    1302 days ago
  • v AJB121299
    Best of luck with this next step
    1302 days ago
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  • v JANETTEB553
    What you have done till now is build yourself up to be strong enough to take the next step. Now Counselling has a chance.. because YOU put all that effort in and changed life so much.

    Be proud... Be gentle with yourself.

    Lots of people can empathize with you but none of them can KNOW what and where you have been and come from.

    Hug yourself and pat yourself on the back...You are doing well.

    emoticon emoticon
    1302 days ago
    Fantastic post! I needed this today!
    1302 days ago
    Thank you. Courage is contagious. % )
    1302 days ago
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    1302 days ago
    Happy New Year! Congratulations on making your decision and sharing it with others. In college I found myself in a tailspin at one point and 10 weeks of EMDR therapy helped me turn back into a person (from a villain bent on self-destruction).

    If it were an easy decision, it wouldn't be worth so much to have made it. Again, congratulations and I hope you find a loving, useful therapist that is helpful.
    1302 days ago
  • v ZIGGY122
    You are very wise...just think all your work was for brought you the light to seek what you need to continue...and that is never a failure. emoticon
    1302 days ago
    Good for you. I think it is harder for men to go to therapy. However, I think it makes you way more manly than men who refuse to confront their stuff and we all have stuff we'd rather not address. Your posting will help others get the courage to do something to help themselves. Whatever form that may take.
    1302 days ago
    You took a huge step. I'm very proud of you. I was in therapy for a few years. I learned a lot about myself. My daughter struggles with anxiety, depression and bulimia. She has made a lot of progress with her therapist.

    This will be your year. I'm pulling for you!

    1302 days ago
  • v MISSLISA1973
    I am so very proud of you. You are not weak for facing your fears, your doubts, and your pain. Doing those things makes you incredibly strong. I am so, so proud of you, Robert.

    emoticon Lisa
    1302 days ago
    I found couselling helped me to move ahead faster, and to distill the things that were holding me back, so that I could grow past them - because I had already read so much stuff I zoomed along and loved the freedom it gave me. Go for it! you won't regret it.
    Health and happiness in 2013 to you, my friend

    1302 days ago
    As you can see if you are weak then all of us that have the same fears, struggles and anxietys in life in general are weak also. I to went to counsouling and at first I to felt man I must be the weakest person on earth I dont know how to pick my head up and look into the mirror and see what a great person I am. But after talking to my wonderful Dr she made me feel like I can do anything. And YES it does take work from your end also. Be willing to look at what they say and ask you to do. All we can do is try them what can it hurt! Silly inspirational writing and repeating to myself I AM GOOD! I CAN DO THIS! I AM WORTH IT! Yep hey did you know that you can use those sayings in weight loss to ;) All it takes is just a little belief in your self! And some times when we cant do it by ourselves anymore we have to reach out to others. Because I am sorry but the other options are just to heart breaking to think about!
    Best of luck and dont be ashamed of who you are! Everyone is different for a reason and Normal is so overrated :)
    1302 days ago
  • v ARIZONA33
    You are stronger then you think! And, by moving towards doing something that scares you then you will grow even stronger then you are today.

    No one likes to be LABELED. But, by understanding what is happening to us and why we can better meet the challenges that are a part of our lives. We can have that moment or moments of clarity that show us the reason behind the self talk that we have been living with all our lives that ultimately keep us from achieving all that we are meant to.

    2013 will be your year to make new discoveries about yourself and as you share your experiences with your fellow SparkFriends; we will all grow and learn together! Thank you for showing all of us that it is okay to ask for and accept the help of others even when we think that we should be able to do it ourselves. This will be a year of healing past and current hurts; so that you can continue to move forward towards your goals.

    Remember it takes a village to raise a child and since some of us did not have a village to help us when we were younger; so we still have some growing and learning to do as adults. And, you have found your village with your SparkFriends as well as the other support systems that you have in the "real" world. Together we can achieve anything!

    Believe in yourself and your abilities and know that you are doing the right thing in seeking help to move past the things that are holding you back from achieving your goals, wishes, dreams and goals!
    1302 days ago
    Robert - congrats. You've made it - believe it or not. I've been in therapy for 8 years now and it takes a person of IMMENSE courage to be in counciling. You have to look deep within yourself and be able to admit fault, and that is something not a lot of people are strong enough or willing enough to do. That you can say that you are ready to take that step is commendable. It's not a pill. It's doing it without a pill, and that's going to be extremely hard. But you know that already. I will warn you that it takes time. You think you're going to go in there and be able to bang stuff out quick, but the brain is slow to process. However, unlike the body, when the brain changes, it does it permanently. So these are the exercises that you will gain from forever. With you all the way.
    1302 days ago
  • v MNNICE
    You're doing for yourself what no one can do for you. And yes, it is strength, not weakness, that brought you to this decision.
    1302 days ago
  • v ASHPATCH11
    good blog :)
    1302 days ago
  • v KAYYAK1
    Accept all the help you can get. You are worth it!
    1302 days ago
    1302 days ago
    Simply put........I am in awe of you! Thank you for sharing. You truly are stronger that you think!!!! emoticon
    1302 days ago
  • v CHERRYM77
    Congratulations!!! You are a true inspiration to so many others. It may not feel ike it today, but you are. This will even be harder than getting your body into shape. But it all goes hand in hand. And from what I have are well loved, not for your weakness, but for your strength. And it does take a lot of strength.
    God Bless you in you journey.
    1302 days ago
  • v CIPHER1971
    Thank you for sharing
    1302 days ago
  • v ROSIEBUD111
    Proverbs 19:20
    Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. emoticon
    1302 days ago
    Congratulations on making the tough decision to seek professional help. I know it isn't easy -- I did it myself, and I am so glad I did. Medication made a huge impact on improving my occasional extreme anxiety -- and enabled me to sleep. emoticon
    1302 days ago
  • v MSGO72
    Congratulations, on conquering the notion that seeking help is a sign of failure!
    emoticon emoticon
    1302 days ago
    You have great strength, even if you don't think so. Being willing to take on depression head on is tough. Been there, done that. You can beat this!
    1302 days ago




    1302 days ago
    Wow! You speak of weakness but show great strength. Great blog and so inspiring!
    1302 days ago
  • v WORDNERD15
    great post! i bet you didn't even realize how much opening up like this could possibly help others. therapy rocks! i think everyone should go at some point in their lives. i started going recently to figure out some things in my life, too. i was feeling overwhelmed in a couple of areas. it's wonderful to have someone who is there to listen without judgment or interrupting or bringing their own crap into the mix.

    thanks for the insightful post and i wish you the best!

    1302 days ago
  • v CDP3211
    I'm so impressed that you had the strenght to post this. I never thought I would come across anyone who understood how I feel, but you clearly do, and said it all better than I could have. I have struggled with many of the same issues, wondering why I need pills to do things that come normal to everyone else. or so we think. Thank you so much for having the courage to put yourself out there like that, inspiring and helping others
    1302 days ago
    1302 days ago
  • v NUMD97
    The strong man, Robert, is the one who can admit that he needs help. We, as human beings, are not islands unto ourselves. We can go only so far on our own, and it's not a sign of weakness when we get to the point and realize that to get to where we need to be, we need some assistance.

    You, yourself, said:

    " I have proved that I will stop at nothing to see it through".

    You have an incredible depth of self-introspection. This is why, I believe, you will succeed, because with professional guidance, you will be able to take this the rest of the way.

    This whole weight loss journey, as I have said often on these boards, has so little to do with actual weight loss. The excess weight is a symptom of something much, much larger. Many refuse, or are frightened to shine a light into the blackest abysses that got them to this excess weight in the first place. I am no exception. THAT'S the task that is truly hard. And by making this decision, you are well on your way to enlightenment. Good for you for taking that horrible and scary first step!

    We'll be with you to support you if you falter, and to cheer you on as you succeed. You've certainly got this, Robert.

    Wishing you all the best, as you start on your newest journey to better health and well-being,

    1302 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/1/2013 10:19:51 AM
    First let me wish you a happy new year!

    And let me congratulate you on an open honest posting. What a difficult thing to do. You should not feel like a failure. In fact you should feel like you conquered Mount Everest. It is so difficult to examine oneself so honestly and brutally.

    I'd like to suggest one thing to you. Those words you're saying to yourself are not yours they're somebody else's that you're hearing in your mind. No one grows up thinking all these terrible things about themselves unless they were told them.

    Go to the therapist and let him or her help you hear your own true, clear and loving voice.

    May God bless you on this journey!
    1302 days ago
    By this time I suspect you are in counselling and feeling more secure with your decision. No two people are wired the same. Unfortunantly, society and life is often cookie cutter. I was intrigued when my sister who has a teaching and counselling degree told me that she taught her daughter while they were in taking a walk...because children who were hyperactive learned and thought better when "on the move"...a difficult principal to put in play in a classroom of 30.
    You are to be commended for recognising at what point you need another approach to reach your of luck to you in the New Year.
    1302 days ago
    Why on earth would you beat yourself up for getting professional help? It just shows me how strong and smart you are. IT'S OKAY!!! It is nothing to be ashamed about. You will feel so much better after. Embrace this fully and know that it will work for you and you will be better off in the future.
    You have come so far and have done so much!
    1302 days ago
  • v CYN1825
    Regardless of what life throws at us, it is important to take that next step...just one foot in front of the other. This is the first blog I read of yours and yet I see a person willing to go the next step to get where he wants to be. Changing is never easy but it is possible.
    Don't be too hard on yourself. I see your efforts to get counseling as a positive step (only 1 in your process. It took a few to get you to be able to reach out for additional help). It may not be your last step but it is a step closer to your goals.
    Keep up the good work & keep fighting the good battle! YOU are worth the effort!!
    1302 days ago
    1302 days ago
    Sometimes we need someone else totally 'unconnected' to ourselves who can point us in the right direction. You will be very happy, in the long run, that you have made this decision. Congrats on being 'brave' enough to admit you need help and doing something about it!
    1302 days ago
    What an inspirational story. One of admission, a path to the future and dedication. I am proud of you. Honesty is so important and so lacking in our modern society.

    Thank you so much for your insight and bravery.

    1302 days ago
    Wow! You made me cry (and that's not an easy thing to do). I find it incredibly sad that good people think of themselves as failures.

    Good on you for going to counselling - it's a huge step, but one that you can do. I really hope it helps. Just remember - many people take pills and meds to deal with physical issues (e.g. diabetes, thyroid problems etc.) so taking medication does not make you "different".

    Have a great 2013. Big hugs and keep your chin up.

    emoticon emoticon
    1302 days ago
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