Withstanding depression and not giving up
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It seems I spoke a bit too soon. I'm going through one of those "aha!" periods where things I've remembered and stuff from my childhood is coming into focus, thanks yet again to a renewed period of flashbacks. I'm fairly positive a lot of this is related to all the attention I've been receiving since losing the weight, and some unwanted male attention; I struggle with saying no but not wanting to be 'too rude' about it and I know that's out of my past. On top of that, some other memories revolving around food, and how I first began purging food when I was nine years old, have also been surfacing.
These are so disturbing and quite frankly shocking, I want desperately for them not to be true. Unfortunately, they fit too well. Like those missing pieces of a puzzle, it makes the whole picture, which has been distorted like a fun-house mirror image all my life, suddenly come into clear focus. I keep trying to find some bit of evidence or memory that would make this all just my crazy imagination, and I've been discussing it with my therapist and my best friend, who both know a good deal of my history, and they too say, it just makes too much sense. Crap. There's been many times the past week I've felt if regaining the 120 lbs would bury this crap and make me forget again, I'd almost do it.
But that's the journey. I want to be healthy, and I've known that requires internal emotional health as much, if not more, than physical. As all those layers of protection, basically fat and food for comfort, go falling away, the secrets they smothered are going to come into the light. If I don't heal those along with my food and exercise habits then most likely the weight will all come back as soon as stress or life overwhelms me again in the future. So I'm dealing.
For me, that means trying to plan a few important work appointments each week that I can't break, but aren't so intense and stressful that I can't work towards them even on the bad days--sometimes being self-employed sucks cause no one's going to fire me if I decide to take a day, or ten, and bury myself under the covers. I'm taking baby steps and this time, I'm also focusing on self nurture and care. I'm going for walks. I'm getting out to green spaces. I'm taking time to cook foods I really like, and make things as healthy as possible, but when I can't cook, I've got the spa cuisine with whole grains and twice the veggies Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. I'm remember to listen to and play music I love, and not just music for work. I'm doing bits of cardio, in smaller doses, so I stay active and don't go to either extreme. But most important, when I screw up or do something dumb, I'm not going to beat myself up. Oh that's hard, and I have a friend or two who are on the alert for that bad habit of mine. They remind me NOT to accept or believe all those negative thoughts about myself, my talents, my life that are oh so easy to believe. I still have to get them out, but I'm not going to act on them or change anything in my life right now based on them because I know the depression and stress and old ways of thinking are affecting me.
What I need to do more of is rest and sleep. I tend to run when the bad times come. Not literally, but internally and emotionally. I push myself and refuse to rest or slow down because it feels like those feelings will catch me and consume me. Sometimes I need to just sit with them and feel them, honor where they come from, that what happened to me makes them understandable, and then let them pass. None of this is easy, though, so hopefully you'll understand if I'm absent for awhile or if I don't interact much here. This is a time to dwindle life down to the basics and hunker out the storm, staying safe. So that's what I'm doing. And for the first time in my life, I am confident I can do that. I'm a master at surviving depression now, and this one will pass and I'll be stronger and still on track with my life. Nothing and no one, not even my past, is going to steal my future anymore. :)
Thanks for listening.