depression

Weight

After 3 years, I am finally at a place where my mental health seems steady. My emotions are mostly under control. This has been the best I have been mentally in over 20 years. I’m (how do you say this?) happy. In fact, I’m very happy. I left a job that was draining me and found a job where people appreciate my talents and input.

The downside? I have gained a lot of weight. I can see a significant difference in my appearance. I spent the first 30 years of my life on the edge of being under-weight. After I (briefly) quit drinking at 30, I gained over 10 pounds. When I quite smoking, I gained more. But with those, the weight gains weren’t overly visible. The weight I have gained since the new meds is very visible.

I don’t want this to come across as a judgement on weight. This is more about my self-esteem and the fact that I can’t climb a flight of stairs without being out of breath. Once I fixed my teeth, I was a hot commodity. It went to my head. Once I started on the meds, my self-esteem went up and I was a hotter commodity. Now, I’m happier than I have ever been, but my self-esteem is close to my lowest.

For now, I’m not going to change anything. My overall happiness and mental stability is far more important. But I wonder if my weight will become an issue later on and lead to me changing meds once again.

depression, emotions

Judgment

I’m a very judgmental person. I think it comes from being judged growing up. Back then, depression was sadness. It was a phase I was going to grow out of. It was a “minor inconvenience”. Alas, it was not so easy. So many horror stories and memories can be tied back to that.

They say that doctors and parents just pump kids full of too much medicine these days, but so much could have been different if I had only been diagnosed earlier. So many embarrassing memories. So much bullying. So much judgment. I think this is where my judgmental views come in to play. Or maybe it’s my christian background. Who knows. I surely don’t.

When I judge you, and be sure that I will, take it with a grain of salt. It has more to do with me than it does with you. I grew up being told that who I am is bad. Being the top of my class wasn’t enough. Being beautiful wasn’t enough. Being me wasn’t enough. I was judged and I carry that torch still.

Moving to California was the best thing that ever happened to me. Well, other than meeting my husband. I was thrown into cultures I didn’t understand. I was tossed into situations with people I didn’t understand. I had to grow. I had to ask questions. I had to become a better, more informed person. I am still growing, but I’ve come a long way. I have met amazing people throughout my life that have helped me to grow.

With that said, I’m still judging not only you, but myself as well. I’m judging the moon, the stars, and even the sun. It’s part of my DNA at this point. The good thing is that I can learn and change. I’ve shown that over the last few years. I may judge you, but I still love you.

depression

Looks

I won’t post a lot of memes, but this one was too good not to post. It’s sad how often we hear people say that the person didn’t look depressed. Suicidal people don’t have to look down or sad.

If someone tells you that they suffer from depression, don’t use their outward appearance as a gauge on how they are doing. We have had a lifetime to practice looking like nothing is wrong and that the world is rosy. Our laughter is often louder and more frequent. Talk to your friends.

depression, Motivation

Falling

It’s funny. I can spend weeks building myself up and getting myself into a positive minds space. I can meditate, take meds regularly, talk to my doctor, and focus on good news. It’s a lot of work, but worth it.

It’s not funny that weeks of hard work can be destroyed by a single encounter with a person or a negative experience. And now I have to get back up and start climbing that hill again. Maybe someday I’ll reach to top of the mountain.

Then again, maybe Charlie Brown will finally kick the football.

 

*Edit: I posted this from my phone so I fixed a few words and corrected some grammar.

**Update: My brain bounced back really fast today. I put on some Cyndi and walked outside from one store to another. I kept listening to music for the rest of the business day with my headphones on, and voila, I was back in my great mind space.

anxiety, depression, emotions

Functional

I am functional in many ways. I have been most of my life. I’m a functional alcoholic. For most of my life I had functional depression. I was great in school and at the top of my class. I was going to be a nuclear engineer. When that didn’t work out, I went into retail. I worked my way up the ladder over the years and was very successful in my stores.

Nobody really knew what was happening in my head. I was moody or sad. I was emotional or distant. I was shy or unfriendly. But in reality, I was suffering from depression. People couldn’t tell because I was so good at masking it and I was successful.

That all changed a few years ago. My walls starting crumbling faster than I could rebuild them. My success was starting to falter. My skills were becoming dull. My bed and my bottle were becoming my sanctuaries. All of the tricks that I learned in my life to mask and deal with my depression were failing me. I was failing. My career was failing. This was a new dimension that I had never dealt with.

I now know that my depression worsened. I was no longer suffering from functional depression. I was becoming less functional in everything. I was suffering from MDD (major depressive disorder). I was trapped in the walls of my mind that my depression built. Instead of my containing it, it was now the key master. I was the one being contained. My cage was a fiery pit while my body continued on throughout the day. People noticed that something was different, but my depression was able to fool even the best ones.

I ended up in therapy because the idea of being on medication for my whole life was too much to fathom. I was young. I didn’t want to be involved with anything until death. Well, except my husband of course. So I did therapy. It helped. I became functioning again, but not for long. After a couple of years, my walls keeping me prisoner were thicker, taller, and stronger than ever. I needed help and I couldn’t talk my way out of it this time. I couldn’t snark or schmooze my way past this gatekeeper.

Drugs have helped, of course, but I don’t know if I will ever get back to being fully functional again. I think the MDD is here to stay this time. I think I have a new companion for life, but at least I have my husband as well. I guess you could say that we are in a thruple, for better or worse.

Hopefully for better.

depression, emotions, Motivation

Anger

Anger. The hot, bitter, heart racing emotion. Red faced, ear blowing steam, bug-eyed emotion. It’s an important emotion because it can motivate us. It’s a dangerous emotion because it can destroy us. What we do with it determines what it does to us.

My depression makes me many things, but deep down, I have a burning anger inside of me. Like a volcano that sleeps for centuries, my anger can hide in plain site. But like that volcano, when it erupts, it’s a disaster and people get hurt. My insides explode and spill out onto anyone and anything in their path. And when it’s done, it goes back to sleep like nothing happened. But it did. It destroyed the beautiful world that was around us.

Like volcanoes, nature too can be sleepy or destructive. It can create trees that give us our air or plants that feed our bodies. I can blow winds hard enough to throw trees that weigh tons or soft enough to blow the hair from my eyes. When volcanoes erupt, nature sleeps, but slowly wakes. The destruction isn’t permanent because nature will always come back and reclaim this planet. It just takes time.

My anger bursts out of me at times and hurts those around me. When it goes back to sleep, I feel the devastation around me like burnt soil. I also know, however, that my nature will rise up and fix what it can, when it can. It won’t be right away and it might not be the same again, but my nature will always come back to rebuild me. And that is where my hope comes from.

Hope’ is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all. ~Emily Dickinson

depression

Belief

Belief is a big part of our lives. We can choose to believe or not believe, but does it actually change what is? If I don’t believe the sky is blue, does that make it not? Let’s be honest. You want to argue that point, but the reality is that the sky is not blue. It is perceived as blue because other wavelengths are stronger and pass through the atmosphere. So, is the sky blue?

When someone tells me they have cancer, I can’t imagine what that must be like. Does it hurt everywhere? All of the time? Can they sleep? Are they supposed to avoid certain foods or activities? I don’t know, so I ask questions so that I can know. The same is true for diabetes, broken bones, and many other ailments.

I have MDD (major depressive disorder). I often refer to it as depression. Just like people don’t list the medical name of their cancer, I don’t say I have MDD. For me, it’s easier and it sounds less scary to say depression. The down side, though, is that people think they know what it’s like. They know that eating better will help me. That smiling will make it better. Faking it until you make it. They don’t ask questions, but they think they know, so their belief in MDD is not there. Their sky really is blue.

Uncategorized

Nothing

In the words of a 90s Diva, I have nothing, nothing, nothing!

I don’t have fractured bones. I don’t have inflammation. I don’t have arthritis. I don’t have osteoporosis. I don’t have bone density loss. I have nothing, nothing, nothing..

So I guess my pain isn’t real? My feet, my right ankle, my knees, my right hip. Obviously it’s nothing. The tests prove that. My doctor recommends going on a whole foods diet and exercise.

#hopelessinseattle

Uncategorized

Choices

I may have a serious choice to make soon. It seems that there is a direct link between people that struggle to find an anti-depressant that works well and high levels of inflammation.

I fall under this category. I have been on more than 6 different anti-depressants in the last two years. They help, but not enough. I’ve also been suffering from joint pain that I was afraid was arthritis (which is why I didn’t say anything for so long). After 6 doctors, including 2 Podiatrists, I have starting to get a clearer picture.

My third Party made a stunning discovery within minutes of our first visit. She noticed signs of vitamin D deficiency in my X-rays. These are X-rays that many other doctors looked at. So we started there. We got the tendons in my feet to stop hurting, but I still have a lot of pain.

My second session with her lead to discussions of pain in places other than my feet. That lead to me being on anti-depressants. That lead to an aha moment. I can’t take antiinflammatories because of my anti-depressants.

So the choice that I seem to have in front of me right now is: do I ween off of my anti-depressants so I can take care of the inflammation that is terrorizing my body? Or do I stay on the safe path and try natural remedies for my inflammation?

I have a follow up with my PCP on Monday. Let’s see what he has to say.

For the record though, this latest Podiatrist is a godsend. If you live in the Bay Area and need a Podiatrist, DM me.

Uncategorized

Gimmicks

When my depression is running high, I am far more vulnerable to gimmicks and such. I get to the point of questioning my worth so I buy a cure-all, go on a spending spree, or, like today, I spend a ton making my outside more beautiful to hide the inside from the world.

I know this is going to pass. I know this is temporary. I know I have friends and family that value me. I know all of these things and more, but my depression counteracts each of these with devious simplicity.

I’m one of the lucky ones though. I have a network of amazing people that I can rely on. If I need a compliment or help of any kind, there is always someone I can call. I typically don’t, but it’s a huge weight off my shoulders to know that I can.

Today, a vendor at a shop was extremely nice to me. He gave me a free mini-facial. He pointed out the beautiful lines and features in my face. And then he talked about how to make my appearance even better. He was good, and I barely saw it coming.

Hopefully these products will help. In the gay community, it’s easier to get compliments if you looks pretty or you have a buffet body.

Let’s see where these beauty products take me. Maybe it’s worth it. It’s definitely not Maybelline.