Where The Hell Have I Been?

Subtitle: I f’ed up.

Over the last 6 months, I have made 8 posts. 8 ÷ 6, carry the…

While I don’t need to explain this pitiful output and have ruminated about disclosure for the paucity of posts, I decided finally to out myself. Not that kind of outing. Anyone who reads more than one post knows I am out.

Also, everyone knows that I am a yo-yo’er. I have, however, maintained or lost weight consistently over the past 2+ years. Not this winter. My bingeing returned with a vengeance as my SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) burst into major depression. So here comes the “outing” part. I have recurrent episodes of depression that are more significant than regular readers might have thought. The occasional mention of “my therapist” refers to the amazing woman who has been treating me for over 12 years with a myriad of meds and analysis. (Hey, she is the only one allowed to say that I have a form of bipolar illness. I don’t even get to say it.) No, I do not get manic – too bad because I could use a creative flair now and then. I have had episodes of hypomania that usually manifest as irritability (OK, more than usual), insomnia, and anxiety. One could call it Bipolar II – but we aren’t using the “B” word 🙂 I could provide history of my disorder and the amazing family history that snakes up both sides of the family tree. (It’s in the blood as the Amish say.) But that is boring and not the intent here.

Life had been smooth sailing until the end of December when I hit one of my lowest episodes in recent memory. No matter the cause – I like to blame it on my trials as a breast cancer surgery survivor – I tried to sooth myself with food. Even though it didn’t work, I kept trying and not writing and not weighing and gained almost 20 pounds.

Why should you care? Folks with depression and other forms of “more common and less severe” mental illness receive less support, acceptance, and tolerance from family and friends. My own wonderful partner called my lazy during this episode. I was suicidal.  People do not get treatment because of societal judgment of these common mental conditions that can lead to major bad outcomes.

Moral of the story: If you are depressed, get help. It is a major illness. Treatment is effective. Most of us are highly functioning members of society, even. If you know someone who is depressed, please be understanding, ask what you can do to support them. For god’s sake, don’t call them lazy.

With some tweaking of meds, support of my partner (who finally saw my distress), and other changes, I managed to stop bingeing and get back to monitoring. In one month, I lost 13 pounds eating on plan. Now it’s time to write again. Honestly, part of the reason for this post is to remind me that the next time I feel like bingeing, I need to check in with my brain AND my body.

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Funky Me

puppy peeking from under blanketWow, 18 days since my last post. Seems like a million…

Not much has been going on in the Old Pueblo (the traditional name for Tucson) or in my brain, unfortunately. Along with our summer thunderstorm season, I’ve hit a bit of a low pressure in my spirits and haven’t had the inclination to post or even write outside of blogging, which is probably when I need to do so the most.

Thanks tremendously for the caring e-mails and phone calls checking  on me.

Here’s an update. Breast cancer Stage 0 is a breeze – breast cancer surgery for some folks completely sucks. At least the reconstruction process is sucking. I continue to have constant discomfort from the tissue expanders that are meant to stretch a space under under my pectoralis major muscles for soft, comfortable silicone implants – in another 3 months! One more fill of saline tomorrow then waiting for the final surgery while the stretching and internal repairing continues. My body still doesn’t want to heal the incisions completely, and I remain confined to no vigorous activity, especially in the heat. HEY! I live in Southern Arizona. Guess I could become a mall walker – as if….

I think the lack of activity is contributing to my brain funk – that and my difficulty with sleep because of chronic discomfort (hard to call it pain when I don’t take any pain meds). Driving is unpleasant because the foobs mash into my arms when turning the steering wheel. Got a little rap for ya – use your best urban poet voice and repeat after me: I got tits in mah pits and drivin’ is fo shitz

Added to the reconstruction blues was the first anniversary of my mom’s death (how dare she die right before my birthday?). Maybe this little down turn in my spirits isn’t so hard to understand after all.

I continue to lose weight, but that doesn’t bring much satisfaction because I just don’t feel healthy sitting around most of the time except for stretching and brief walks. (Now down 134 pounds – 9 pounds lighter than at the time of surgery 2 months ago.)

So, that’s where I am, in limbo-land trying to regain my sense of humor, some hint of positivity, and a chance to be active again. Oh yeah, not feeling these foreign bodies inside my chest would be a huge (and I mean HUGE as in they are way too big) step toward feeling better.

How do you climb out of brain funks, assuming you have ever had one?

Special thanks to our chihuahua-terrible mix for allowing his most honorable visage to represent my current state of whatever.