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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:

MIQUEY73 12/31/2012 1:21PM

    You are strong! You've faced a fear that you've held onto for a long time...just by walking into that doctor's office. I totally understand where you're coming from. I never felt that I measured up as a kid either. My self-esteem was very low, etc, etc. I have read a lot of self-help books. There are times that I still feel like I don't measure up, like I'm not smart enough, but I try to remind myself that I wouldn't have made it this far if I wasn't. I still have issues to tackle but I don't think there is anyone out there who doesn't. The grass may look greener on the other side but underneath may be a total cesspool. That's what I try to remind myself.

I believe 2013 will be a great year for you. Keep on doing the healthy lifestyle things that you're doing. Perfection is not the goal. The goal is to make healthy choices most of the time and forgive those times that you don't.

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JUSGETTENBY42 12/31/2012 1:14PM

    emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 12/31/2012 1:14PM

    emoticon Very proud of you for being willing to face up and come to terms with this - and not just for yourself, but publicly where it can perhaps help someone else do the same.

This took as much inner strength as taking the first step running did.

Every single step you have taken on your own? Don't negate that at all. It TOOK every one of those steps to get to this position where you have the courage and wisdom to start this new journey of self-healing.

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OHSNAPITZKAT 12/31/2012 12:53PM

    You are stronger than most admitting you have a problem and trying to get it.

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ADARKARA 12/31/2012 12:34PM

    You are most certainly not a failure! Everyone needs a little help sometimes, and you are doing what's best for you in going to see a counselor. There's nothing wrong with that!

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HOUNDLOVER1 12/31/2012 12:21PM

    I don't have much to add that hasn't been said already, except you can see by the responses to this blog post how we can reach so many more people when we are weak rather than when we are strong. I've had that experience several times when dealing with cancer and other problems.
I do know that there is a strong link between wheat consumption and ADD as well as a variety of brain-based emotional issues.
Best wishes in finding out the next step on your journey. emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/31/2012 12:22:30 PM

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GARDENCHRIS 12/31/2012 12:19PM

    you are very couragous! emoticon

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LISBETHSALANDER 12/31/2012 12:10PM

    Anxiety and depression are no joke. Why there is such a stigma in our society about treating them is beyond me. Having suffered from both and from the stigma of getting them treated, I will tell you it feels so much better to have gotten a handle on this with professional help. It is a strength in you that you recognize that you are ready to dig into this and work with a professional . . . because it is you who will be doing the work. I attribute my success at losing weight this time (as opposed to all the other failures) to working on issues with a professional whose focus is on wellness and treating obesity.

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SUNFISH25 12/31/2012 12:10PM

    "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 read your blog and cried -I could be writing this, but you are far ahead of me because you tool the first step to make a change.
We all think the other person is "normal" because we are only looking at the surface of their life & don't know what they feel inside. There isn't a "normal," normal is a range & we all deal with different problems & work to bring stability to our life.
Life has been awful the last 3 years, & hard as I have worked, there are 2 more years before getting to part of my goal. You have done the hardest part by taking the first step. Worth it? Yes, and we can all celebrate together as we reach our goals & work to keep the positive changes in our lives.
You are doing great. Keep looking forward and enjoy the journey. emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 12/31/2012 12:01PM

    It takes more courage and guts to do this than about anything. Robert I have struggled with anxiety since contracting Lyme disease. I have tools that stop a panic attack dead in its tracks. if you would like, i will share them with you..just email, sparkmail, or facebook me. It took me 4 tries to get a doc that had the key for me...
And just so you dont think...it does not involve meds. just you. i'm here..i can help..i was in hell for 10 years before i found the way out...literally couldnt leave my house alone. Not ashamed any more..it happens more than anyone would like to admit.
i'm here..if you want and need me!!
hugs
Holly

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NCSUE0514 12/31/2012 11:59AM

    This is nothing to be embarrassed about. It's not the hardest thing - it's the bravest and the smartest. I've done it, and it was one of the best decisions I've made, It was tough opening some of the crap I'd hidden from for a long time, but it also led to freedom from it. I've never, ever regretted the decision.



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SMANISMELL 12/31/2012 11:50AM

    Thanks for sharing. It took a lot of courage to admit that you need help and that you are seeking help. I hope that things get better for you.

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CICELY360 12/31/2012 11:41AM

  Good blog

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DEE797 12/31/2012 11:37AM

    You are not weak. You realized there is a problem and are seeking help for it. Wishing you all the best on your journey! emoticon emoticon

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TURNINGTABLES21 12/31/2012 11:21AM

  We are all behind you 100% !

Every journey starts with the first step. Your journey has begun!

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LELERS 12/31/2012 11:19AM

    I have a few friends that have felt similarly and have sought out help to work through these feelings. I also have friends that won't admit to themselves that they need to at least try and talk to someone.
Thank you so much for sharing and I wish you all the best in your self-journey.

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ALWYS-LKN-UP 12/31/2012 11:18AM

    Weak, I think not. It takes IMMENSE strength to ask/seek help when you feel you need it. You have just shown all of us, once again, how STRONG you are. I have no doubt that 2013 will be yet another break through for you. You should be proud of yourself!

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TUBLADY 12/31/2012 11:10AM

    You are not weak , you are stronger for the fact that you recognize you need to talk out your issues and seek help.
If you had a heart problem you would not hesitate to seek medical advice and help. Why should depression and mental issues be any different. this is not the middle ages.
I have had a complete break down. I finally dragged myself out of bed and sought help. But it wasn't enough, for I later fell back in to depression and gained to over 335 lbs. Only when faced with dying did I seek help again and with good doctors ,medicine and work on my part, for I wanted to feel good again , am I the person I am today. I still take medicine, just recently went back on Prozac for I felt some of the old demons were still lingering with the other medicine I was on.
Without the wonderful doctors I have, the understanding family and close friends i might not be here today.
Seek the help you need.
You will be a stronger person for the moves you are making today.
i wish the best for you and look at this as a start to a new door opening up, 2013, will turn out to be a year of purpose.
Be strong, stay positive.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/31/2012 11:12:24 AM

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NILLAPEPSI 12/31/2012 10:26AM

    You are NOT weak. It takes a very strong person to admit that he/she needs help. And you know what? It's ok. We all need some help along the way. It's nothing to be ashamed of at all.

I have never had anxiety issues, but I have had depression issues & didn't even realize it. I was diagnosed with a medical problem about 3 years ago after being in so much pain for nearly a year. I could hardly move. Going to the gym was horrible. If I didn't work out hard enough, I felt worse but if I worked out too hard, I felt like I'd been hit by an 18-wheeler. They gave me meds to treat it & after the 2nd week being on them, I realized I had also been very depressed. I felt like a new person -- so much happier & no more pain. Now I can go to the gym & totally kill the workout with no problems.

We're here for you!! I will be praying for you. emoticon emoticon



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HEARTS116 12/31/2012 10:24AM

    Good for you!
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PATTILYNN224 12/31/2012 10:18AM

    Sometimes, you just need a sounding board. Counselling is a good way to bounce ideas off the wall and find clarity when it's just out of your reach. You are a strong man filled with knowledge and compassion. Attributes to be very proud of.

The stigma of counselling and mental illness is changing - slowly- but it is changing. I applaude your efforts even though they are uncomfortable for you. The signs of a champion!

I look forward to reading about the glimmers and self discovery that I know will help others as you journey forward. God Bless.

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CLAYARTIST 12/31/2012 10:15AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/31/2012 10:00AM

    It has nothing to do with "not strong"! When you have problems you can't handle, you go to a professional for help. Kudos to you for doing so! That is awesome. emoticon

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HFAYE81 12/31/2012 9:48AM

    I think its safe to say we are all behind you. You keep saying that you aren't strong...but you have made the effort to lose weight, even if you don't think it was that much of an effort. You've run a marathon, and I don't know anyone who has done that. You are brave enough to admit your need help, which I think shows a strength beyond measure.

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JENNIFERWEIDEN 12/31/2012 9:45AM

  Going to therapy or getting some outside help absolutely does NOT negate the fact that you have brought yourself very, very far. It doesn't mean all the work you did was for nothing - it's just another kind of work and another piece of the puzzle of health. No man is an island, and who wants to be? We all need each other.

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MOMMY445 12/31/2012 9:44AM

    i agree. you are a very strong person! all the best to you and your family in 2013! happy new year!

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KANOE10 12/31/2012 9:39AM

    You can do it..hard and uncomfortable as it is. A professional will help you see things that will help you heal in your life. Good for you being strong and courageous and posting a very hard blog.

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 12/31/2012 9:37AM

    Having the strength and courage to ask for help is not a failure. You are still in control because you are taking action. emoticon

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SDLEE514 12/31/2012 9:34AM

    Helping yourself is never a waste of time. I too suffer from perfectionism, anxiety, and at times depression. I've been in and out of counseling. I have people in my life who I WISH would go to counseling so they can lead a happier life, but they are too ashamed/prideful/etc. Either with or without, you do what you can to make yourself better, nothing wrong with that.

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MAKEMEWALK 12/31/2012 9:33AM

  I just want to hug you right now. I am in tears reading because I have also come to the realization that I probably need help also. It's hard, isn't it. I haven't made an appt or spoke with anyone but know that it is needed. Like you, I need to take that next step.

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BABAOF4 12/31/2012 9:08AM

  Humans are physical, mmental, spiritual, and emotional beings. All of these components are what make us who we are and all must be cared for. At different times in life there are trained professionals who can help those areas that need extra care. We are wise if we seek the help we need to deal with painful issues in body, mind or spirit(soul) . It is important to find someone you trust and feel comfortable with, as not everyone is a " good fit " for us. God bless you on your journey one day at a time.

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CALIPIDGIOUS 12/31/2012 9:06AM

    Good for you! It can be such a hard decision but one that can be so worthwhile and freeing. I honestly believe that some therapy is something that everyone should do. I went for about 2 years. Very intensive. A two hour appointment every Saturday plus 1 hour of group 1-2 hours per week. It made an enormous difference in my life and there has never been a feeling in my life that was quite the same as the day that my therapist told me that I was done. I was healthy. I had not only unpacked all of my issues but that I had successfully put them away as well. That is not to say I don't have a down time here or there but my life has been so much the better for it! I also found that if I left therapy and didn't feel as though I had been run over by a truck (emotionally) then that was a week that I hadn't done the work. Hard but rewarding. Much like weight loss.

Great job and best of luck!

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MATOCIQUALA 12/31/2012 8:54AM

    No matter how strong any of us are, the world is still a damned heavy object to lift without help. Anxiety, depression, and ADD are physical illnesses, not moral failings--something I've had to work through to accepting on my own.

As somebody said, "If it goes away when I remember to take my medication, it's probably not a character flaw."

Good on you for your courage, and for taking care of yourself.

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OSUBUCKI101 12/31/2012 8:48AM

    Robert - as you can see you have so many friends here. The friend you are looking for though is the one you see in the mirror every morning and you are taking the steps to get there! You will find that acceptance of the most important friend through hard work which we all know you can do. You have so much to be proud of and you're going to get to where you need to be...it's just part of your journey and think how much stronger you'll be once you get there! Think of the excitement of discovery...sometimes you just need to think of things in a different way. My favorite play on words in this theme is the following...take the word "Impossible" and make a slight change to it...it then becomes "I'm Possible"! Same letters in the same order but with a complete different meaning. You can do this and I'm excited for you and the journey of discovery you have ahead of you! Hugs!

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POINDEXTRA 12/31/2012 8:45AM

    Your Quote: "It's ok to admit that I am not strong"
My Experience: It actually takes a lot of strength to admit that one can't do something alone and needs help. I think it's especially hard for guys, so you're doubly strong there!

If you had diabetes or some other physical ailment, would you think that needing to take a pill or inject insulin means that you're weak? It's the same with depression - it's an actual physical ailment, not a weakness of the mind, spirit, or soul. Some is situational and can be helped with counseling alone, some is biochemical and requires medictaion, and some is a combination of the two. Sometimes a pharmaceutical boost is needed to help one get over the hump and deal with the emotional issues. Only time and good doctors will show what it is in your case. And, if the first counselor or psychiatrist doesn't meet your needs, feel free to try others out. I'm sure you can find ones who can work with/for you, though sometimes that means test-driving more than one.

Good luck, and let us know how you're doing!

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DJSHIP46 12/31/2012 8:41AM

    You've come such a long way... hope you get your issues sorted out and find that friend!

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CJADERUN 12/31/2012 8:32AM

    As someone who once had a very negative experience working with a social worker (who was acting as a psychiatrist)...

As someone who thought counseling was for people with "real problems..."

As someone who thought that I was stronger than whatever deviancy my brain was attempting...

Seeing a therapist last December was the best decision of my life. I needed help, and I received the guidance necessary to make positive changes in my life. The important thing is finding someone who is helpful.

Good luck!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 12/31/2012 8:29AM

    You've already accomplished the most difficult part of the process... admitting that you need some help. That's extremely difficult, and there's nothing wrong with asking for help. You deserve to find happiness, and maybe this will be the stepping stone to finding what works for you. You can do this Robert. Hell, after a marathon, ANYTHING is possible! *HUGS*

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MIMIDOT 12/31/2012 8:21AM

    You can walk into the doctor's office with your head held high. You know what you have to do, and you're doing it. More power to you! You can do it!!!

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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KARRENLYNN 12/31/2012 8:20AM

    I also tend not to want to ask for help, (self esteem issues and all that), but try looking at it as you would a physical coach or mentor. They help you learn new things to help your weight loss and physical training or running. Your counselor would be like a coach to help you sort out mental and emotional things that are hurting you. he would help find different ways to help you in those areas too. If that helps you learn and move forward, that's a good thing.

You are strong, courageous, and very worth it,

Karen

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ROXYZMOM 12/31/2012 8:20AM

    You are still in charge and in control of your life. A counselor isn't going to tell you what to do. He/she is going to listen and YOU are going to figure things out. I believe everyone needs to touch base with one at different times in their lives.

My son has ADD (he is 24 now). I run a school. I know how hard it was/still is for you. My son never fit in - until college when he could be himself. He lived at home through college (felt more comfortable). He took meds for 18 years. Started on Ritalin (made him super quiet and it led to hair pulling ) then to adderall which was good for a while then led to anger problems then vyvanse (which he liked the best - was most like himself). Now he isn't taking them at all. Seems ok but he still has social skill deficits (always will). He went to counselors when he was in a funk. It always seemed to give him self confidence to speak up for himself. Last year he said he needed to go after breaking up with his girlfriend of 3 years. I was happy that he knew to go.

This is a positive step that you are taking and you are ready. Stay relaxed and stay honest with yourself. You may also want to share your blogs with the counselor so he/she can better understand and help you.





Comment edited on: 12/31/2012 8:21:04 AM

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FARIS71 12/31/2012 8:18AM

    You are such an inspiration. It takes a very strong person to admit they could use a little assistance. Think of all the other people who feel exactly the same and see your example and also take the humbling step of getting some extra help. If it feels better, you could park 26.2 miles from the doctor's office and run there. Ha . . . I know . . . . not very funny.

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CINDYSDAY 12/31/2012 8:06AM

    emoticon It will only help as much as you put in it! But you can do this!

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LIFETIMER54 12/31/2012 7:32AM

  Your on the right track. Keep going forward and try your very best not to look back... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDYCRANE 12/31/2012 7:17AM

    You are doing the right thing and I am in awe of you. You are right now helping others who need to make that decision to seek counseling. Thank you.

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SLIMLEAF 12/31/2012 6:54AM

    Try not to see going for counselling as a failure - it really isn't! In fact, it is yet another POSTIVE indication of your progress!

You've come such a long way, achieved so much already and now you are ready for the next step, which in this case is talking to someone else to help you move forward - so where is the 'failure' in that?!!

Having said all that, though, I can really identify with how you're feeling: I have had to go to counselling too (and still do). In my case it took a friend to threaten taking me to a doctor against my will (i.e. getting police and social services involved) unless I went of my own accord. I hated it but had no choice.

And now, although I'm still working through some painful and difficult issues, I can see what a GOOD thing it is to go to counselling (provided you get the right sort, of course). I consider myself to be truly blessed to have been given this help.

Despite what the media would have us believe, mankind was never meant to live independently - we need each other.

Best wishes on this brave, difficult but Very Good step!

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OFGREENGABLES 12/31/2012 6:53AM

    counseling is hard and for me has been a helpful step.

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BESSHAILE 12/31/2012 6:33AM

    I'm so glad you're making the choice to love yourself even more. You are so worth it.

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TRYINGHARD54 12/31/2012 6:27AM

    you are a fantasic person.... good luck......

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LUNABYRD 12/31/2012 6:25AM

    Robert, you have taken the biggest leap yet. You aren't as weak as you think. You have many, many friends here and all of us will be here to listen to you when you need us. May the Peace of God be with you as you take this new journey in your life! emoticon

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