Where The Hell Have I Been?

Subtitle: I f’ed up.

Over the last 6 months, I have made 8 posts. 8 รท 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.ย  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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Things I Learned This Week

Reading good fiction is much more fun than writing bad fiction, but criticizing others’ work doesn’t help me write more (or better).

I love having my sweetie home on weekdays, but I really enjoy my private time.

Making an appointment with the dentist is easier now than scheduling a check-up with my primary care doctor. The last visit with her started a cascade of events that led to my breasts getting chopped off.

 

The older I get, the later in the season that I start playing Christmas music.

Lucy dog

 

I would have been a very neurotic mother. Our omega dog, Lucy, had some teeth removed. We cried together driving home. She was in physical pain. I was in mental anguish hearing her cries.

 

The closer I get to goal weight, the farther away it seems. I think my body is screaming “maintenance – soon.”

I cannot escape my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by living in one of the sunniest cities in America. The > 350 days of sunshine just delays the onset and the severity.

Light box on my desk for the season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After so many years of not wearing nail polish because of work, I don’t care if amethyst shellac makes my hands look old. It’s fun and less frustrating than trying on clothes.

Purple fingernails

 

 

 

 

 

I am very thankful for my amazing family and bountiful life, but the holidays are harder after a loved one dies. Missing you mucho, Mom.