Depression?

After my latest rant about not doing what I need to be doing, I received some really amazing messages from some of you who take time to care about me.  I was asked if I’ve ever experienced depression, and the answer is most definitely yes.  I know what depression feels like, but there’s a different word for what I’m experiencing now.

I remember the pain I felt during a period of depression in my life.  I remember how hard it was to wake up and to go outside.  I remember crying just because.  I remember what life was like as a late teen in Oklahoma.  I drove around one afternoon/evening trying to figure out how I could kill myself without it hurting too much.

I remember wondering if Tylenol would do the trick and deciding that it would probably just make me sick.  I sat at the lake for hours, contemplating locking the doors and driving the car into the water.  I remember feeling completely isolated and and hopeless.  When I looked into the future, I couldn’t see my 25th birthday or my 30th birthday.  I just wanted to disappear, and for a long time I let the horrible outside circumstances that I was experiencing steal my joy.

At one point I decided to go to therapy, and I learned a lot about exogenous depression.  I learned that the horrible things I was dealing with at the time (things that I will never share here out of respect for my family) were the cause, but it would be years before I allowed myself to move past them.

Eventually (through therapy) I began to heal and forgive, and it started becoming easier to climb out of bed.  But somewhere during that period, I became obese too.  I leaned on food when I felt like nothing else was there.  I had trouble recalling those times, and some of that time period (in my late teens and early 20’s) still feels like a blur.

I hated myself for a long time.  I hated the world.  I hated myself.  I was mad at everyone around me, mad at God, mad at myself.  I lied to myself about it, pretended to be so much more than I was because in my mind I was nothing.

I know what depression feels like, and this isn’t it.  I think the right word for how I was feeling yesterday is frustrated.  Unlike that period of time in which I was miserable and lonely and hopeless, I have so much joy now.  I have peace too and hope.  I love my life, my family and myself, and even though life isn’t perfect, I wake up so thankful for the life that I have.

I’ve been blessed with so much more than I deserve, but I still get frustrated when I realize that I’m not doing all that I can do to make myself healthier and stronger.  I mean, I’ve been a gym regular for four years.  I should have this crap figured out by now, and I do.  It’s implementing the food choices that’s hardest for me.

I don’t want to be obese.  (Does anyone?)  I love myself now more than I ever have, but sometimes I have to kick my own butt.  Sometimes I have to look at my situation, then look at myself in the mirror and throw a tantrum.  After my rant yesterday I hit the gym hard, and I felt better than I have about my health in a few weeks.

I believe therapy can work and that most of us could find something to talk about and work on if we had the opportunity.  I could definitely benefit from therapy now, but I have no plans to go until the fall (when my health insurance will pay for it again.)  My blog is my therapy for now, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me that there are people in this world rooting for me, caring for me in spite of my ridiculous flaws.

There’s no easy fix here.  What’s required for my success (in getting fit) is time, strength and consistency.  I know that.  I know. I know. I know.  I feel better about the choices I am making today, and right now, that’s enough.

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Lori
    May 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Yeah, YOU! Right now. That’s all that counts. I wish I could hug you!! Have a great weekend, Kenlie.

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  • Reply
    Deborah
    May 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I was seeing a eating disorder therapist many many years ago who (after doing some sort of test) told me I needed to start antidepressants because otherwise I was NEVER gonna be able to move forward. I was devastated at the time and went I went to my GP to get the prescription (they’d been in contact) I cried through the entire appointment. It’s funny, I don’t judge anyone who suffers depression but (to date anyway) it’s something that I’ve NEVER written about in my blog!

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  • Reply
    Laurie
    May 10, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I wonder how long I’ve had issues with depression myself. I think it may be most of my life! What I have learned in my life, my reflections and my work on myself is that depression and mood disorders can come in lots of different flavors. Specifically, I’ve had to be very mindful of a very functional depression. I maintain control and go through the motions, but things aren’t right and everything is really dull. I have no idea if that makes sense. My point is, if you feel like something isn’t right with your mood, you may be right, even if it isn’t how you’ve encountered it in the past. We’re all here whenever you need us.

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  • Reply
    Renee aka Pinky (@pinkypie)
    May 11, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Kenlie, you know what I think? When people decide to “lose weight” or “get healthy” somehow in our minds we think it should be simple. Eat less. Move more, right? WRONG. Because we are ALL different, we all have our own battles within the weight loss/getting fit battle, it can be easy or it can be hard. Do we make it harder for ourselves? Of course we do! We are human! You’ve got the exercise part down, but obviously there are reasons behind the resistance (for lack of a better word, really) to the food-change. Am I saying you aren’t trying? No. What I’m saying is, it’s not so black and white for everyone. If it were, you and I would have both been at our goal weight by now. There are outside factors. There are still changes that should/could be made. There are emotional reasons that maybe we haven’t even uncovered yet that hold us back. BUT… we will get there. YOU will get there. I don’t care when you get there, this is your life and your journey and I’m here to share it with you.

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  • Reply
    Gail
    May 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

    It really is all about the brain. It controls so much in the weight-loss fight. It gets so used to certain patterns that it starts sending the gut hunger signals even if we are not in need of food.

    Breaking that signal and rewiring the brain is so freaking hard (especially after decades of creating new wiring) that the feeling of frustration can be overwhelming. I know now that’s what I was feeling.

    But I only know that and worked through that because I go to a psychologist every week to work on the brain stuff. She keeps my head in the game, and we work on strategies together. We sometimes butt heads on certain things but she gets me to commit to other things.

    I’ve got the exercise thing nailed down, too, but that’s really a small part of the picture. That saying “you can’t outrun your fork” is totally true. A couple years ago when I went through a Cleveland Clinic non-surgical weight loss program I learned a valuable lesson: “exercise for health; eat to lose weight.”

    Right now I’m only working on one thing and one thing only — eating after 9 p.m., because that’s when things go haywire. When I stay true to that goal, the weight comes off, and when I don’t, any lost weight gets found.

    So here’s an idea (because it seems to be working for me): Pick the one thing, foodwise, that seems to be tripping you up the most and work on that. Yes, it can be hugely frustrating but I find that only focusing on that one thing makes it less so.

    (Sorry for the novel!)

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  • Reply
    Sarah
    May 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

    If weight loss were easy, everyone would be a healthy BMI. *hugs*

    I have days like that too. The important thing is that you got back into your healthy habits and recognized you’re only human.

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  • Reply
    Nina Patricia
    May 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I like what Renee said, is not so black an white. I think most of us overweight people encounter depression. and your words “I don’t want to be obese. (Does anyone?)” are so true. Is just one step at a time…

    Hugs

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  • Reply
    Lisa
    May 16, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I have a long history of depression and like you, I can recognize the difference between genuine depression and simply frustration with life. Right now I’m going through a lot of frustrations. My “depression” is really situational unhappiness that I am trying to work my way out of. It sucks but it helps to tell myself it isn’t like it USED TO BE.

    Hang in there!

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