Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sometimes you're just not okay

For about the past month, I haven't really felt like myself. I've just felt off. The easiest way for me to describe it is the slightly weird feeling you have after waking up from a very vivid dream. That alone would not be so bad. But like I stated in my previous post, everything has just felt harder to me. It's been so hard for me to work out and resist temptations. When I made Halloween dinner with funny Halloween food, instead of being fun, it mostly just made me tired. Things I enjoy are not as fun right now. And for the past couple of weeks, I have been crying pretty much every day, which is not like me at all. I'm sure it has been somewhat worrying and frustrating for my boyfriend Brian to watch his girlfriend break out suddenly into tears and when he asks what's wrong, hear, "I don't know!" as the answer. But the truth is that I don't know. I do know that I am under a great deal of stress right now from multiple sources. And even though some of that stress is from positive things, it's still stress.

I'm generally a very positive person, and am able to stay upbeat in most situations. I've been through some very tough things, and I believe this has made me able to weather things more easily than I could have otherwise. That may have worked against me now, because for the past few weeks, I chastised myself for feeling down and tried to tell myself that after so many hard times the past few years, I finally have so much of what I have always wanted. That I should be ecstatic. But that doesn't make it true. Just like losing weight, falling in love doesn't make everything perfect. I was so afraid Brian would think my unhappiness lately was something to do with him, when in fact, that is the furthest thing from the truth. He has been my rock. He's been my shoulder to cry on (literally), and been there for me in a steadfast way that was hard for stubborn me to admit that I needed. He's agreed to whatever I needed to get my weight loss going again. He's put up with my testiness and random crying spells. He's told me I'm beautiful when I feel anything but. I may be unsure exactly what is going on with me and why I'm unhappy, but I know beyond a shadow of doubt that Brian has nothing to do with it. He is amazing, and I count my blessings every night that we found each other.

Okay, now that some of you may be throwing up from all the mushy stuff, we'll move on. This past Saturday, as I was almost crying at work for no apparent reason, I came the conclusion that I am depressed. This may seem obvious to you after the above symptoms that I listed, but I think I was somewhat in denial about it, mainly because I was hung up on the fact that I didn't feel like I should be depressed. I decided to make an appointment with my doctor, which I did. And yesterday, I got an antidepressant. I don't know exactly why I'm depressed. Maybe my brain chemistry is a little off right now. Maybe it's the fact that winter is coming, and I truly despise winter. The important thing is that I decided to get help. And just making that decision was enough to make me feel a little better. For the first time in a few weeks, I didn't cry.

During this whole ordeal, my anxiety about my weight has been increasing. With my weight gain, I would tell myself I needed to get my act together, but I just couldn't do it. I would manage to work out, but I knew the intensity just wasn't there. And when I was honest with myself, I knew that I was resorting back to old behaviors and making myself feel better with food sometimes. I had the thought that maybe I wouldn't weigh in tomorrow, because I just can't deal with seeing a gain. But like I said, I'm feeling a little better today, and I was able to recognize that as the gigantic red flag that it was almost immediately. If I have gained weight, me not weighing in and not actually seeing the number doesn't make it any less real. I was ashamed, because my one inflexible rule has always been that I weigh in every week no matter what. Skipping weigh ins is a slippery slope that I refuse to start down.

It was finally sunny today after what feels like years of rain (probably not helping my mood either), and I had the day off, so I took myself to the park. While I think I need that antidepressant short term to get me over the hump, I also believe that I have to do things I enjoy in order to help myself too, even if I may not feel like it. And so I ran. I ran at whatever pace I wanted, without my phone to track my time or calories burned. I ran for the pure joy of it. With my recent anxiety and depression, I have become increasingly bogged down in tracking and calorie counting and protein gram counting and blah blah blah. It has been a while since I have done anything weight loss related for the sheer joy of it. I am so far away from where I started that it is hard for me to remember why I started sometimes. Somewhere along the way, I think I have stopped believing that I can reach my weight loss goals. As I was running, I had the thought that believing such a thing really dishonors the girl I was at the start of this whole thing. That girl had enough guts to believe that she could lose almost 200 lbs, despite popular opinion and sheer common sense telling her that it couldn't be done. Who I am to believe that I am unable to lose less than 30 lbs? I feel stronger today. If  I get on the scale and see a gain tomorrow, I feel like I can face it and see it as the minor and fixable problem that it is, not as a huge insurmountable crisis. I feel like I can be happy again soon, and that I am going to be able to reach all my goals, weight loss related or not. And that is a pretty amazing feeling.

I'm not quite okay right now. But I'm going to be.