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Half an hour, and completely terrified - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Half an hour, and completely terrified [May. 24th, 2011|10:15 am]
Zoethe
Guys, I'm going to the doctor today. This is huge for me. Because of my depression, I've been hiding in in a steadily deteriorating state, growing so inert that some days I feel cast in amber.

Today I'm going to my physician and doing something that's damned near impossible for me: asking for help. I know my cholesterol level is high, I have continued to gain weight, my exercise has been almost nonexistent, and I'm deeply depressed - not the "I'm sad and miserable and constantly crying" depressed, but the "I don't need the world; I can just hole up here in a dark room and sleep" depressed. Which is harder for me to recognize and acknowledge as genuine depression. After all, with enough motivation I can overcome my inertia for a while and I still enjoy some things in life. But I also feel like half this year has slipped away while I've been mostly asleep.

So I need to make changes. Changes for my physical health and changes for my mental health. I've fallen into appallingly bad eating patterns because food is comforting - even though I know that comfort is ephemeral. I haven't been doing anything creative, because it's too much effort. I think about getting out my bike, but somehow never do it.

I avoid journaling, because I find myself repugnant just now and why should I burden all of you with this.

See, I'm supposed to be with-it and together and capable. And in my mind you guys must only like me for those qualities. So if I'm not those things, then I disappoint people - people here, my family and loves, my friends. I don't believe I'm likable just for me, only for what I can give.

I feel like I'm a fake, and trying to hide being a fake. And that has made me alternate between apathetic and cranky. I'm sure I've hurt people's feelings with some abrupt and cantankerous comments that weren't deserved. If I owe you an apology, please tell me so that I can try to make amends.

Mostly right now, I'm scared. I'm scared that I won't be able to make the changes that I need to make to improve my life and health. I'm scared because right now every part of me is screaming "I don't WANNA!!! I wanna eat Cheetos and melt into the couch." I'm scared that I'll make changes and then backslide again and it will all be worse.

Now it's time to get in the car and go to the doctor. And I'm scared of doing that and posting this. But I'm going to do both.
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[User Picture]From: firebirdgrrl
2011-05-24 02:18 pm (UTC)
Many good thoughts for you. You're doing a great job already.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-24 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'm making progress. It's just difficult to feel like I'm having to keep doing things over and over again.

I guess that's the definition of insanity.
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[User Picture]From: mamculuna
2011-05-24 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you have the strength and courage to realize that change is possible. I hope each little step makes the next one possible for you.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:00 am (UTC)
Two steps today: the doctor, and making an appointment with a therapist. It feels a bit like jumping off a cliff with the expectation of flight.
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[User Picture]From: unmutual
2011-05-24 02:25 pm (UTC)
Thinking good thoughts your way.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:04 am (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: madlori
2011-05-24 02:28 pm (UTC)
Gini, I could have written this entry. Not so much the depression bits but the difficulties in asking for professional help, and the identification with having my Shit Together. I finally decided about two and a half years ago to seek help myself for my weight problem, which I've had my whole life. I decided to have gastric bypass surgery. That option isn't for everyone but it's been incredible for me and it's reshaped my life and I am now someone who can moderate her eating and hikes and exercises and fits into places and has fantastic blood pressure and good blood numbers across the board.

I'm also a huge proponent of food journaling. That's the only thing that helped me lose weight before I had surgery.

You're strong, you can make the changes. The key is not to go overboard and try to do too much too fast. The most important thing about any lifestyle change is that it is maintainable. Make modest changes, and once you've got the hang of that, make a few more.

I'm not an expert but I have lots of experience. I'd be happy to talk privately about what's worked for me and my surgical experience if it would be helpful.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:08 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for these insights. I will definitely keep you in mind for help!
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[User Picture]From: pachamama
2011-05-24 02:31 pm (UTC)
You are very brave to be taking these steps. You feel like you're a fake, but you clearly are fundamentally at a deep level "with-it and together and capable" because you are doing what you need to do to care for and heal yourself. I know it doesn't feel that way right now, but truth is, I like you more for this, not less. Courage isn't being unafraid; courage is being really scared and doing it anyway. You are courageous. Good luck! I hope they can give you the help you need.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:13 am (UTC)
Thank you. I feel like I've been very brave today, but worried about keeping it up.
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[User Picture]From: hooloovooo
2011-05-24 02:32 pm (UTC)
I wish I didn't relate so well to everything you've said here. I was already feeling like that before all of our recent stress, now it feels like a good day if I manage to do anything at all. Your kitchen remodel and whatnot is probably not helping matters for you either, even though the end result will be great.

For what it's worth, we love you even when you aren't feeling at your best, and I know that you can and will be able to overcome this. You've already taken the hardest step. Let me know if I/we can help in any way.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:17 am (UTC)
Just keep being good friends. It's all I can think of now, though I promise to ask for more if I think of something.

And thanks, dear.
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[User Picture]From: darthfox
2011-05-24 02:35 pm (UTC)
I do know how you feel - I recognize the hiding-from-my-own-incompetence all too well, lately. Well done seeking help. That is a brave and necessary step.

I'd give you a hug if you were nearby. Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:18 am (UTC)
It's nice to know we're not alone, isn't it? Thank you for being there.
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[User Picture]From: littlebuhnee
2011-05-24 02:36 pm (UTC)
Best of luck today. Just taking this first step makes you incredibly brave in my eyes. *HUGS*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:19 am (UTC)
Thank you, dear.
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[User Picture]From: sammiantha
2011-05-24 02:39 pm (UTC)
Your entry sounds so very much like one of my own from November last year. Like you I felt I wasn't classically depressed, my condition was more defined by a complete lack of motivation for anything at all - exercise, creativity, even being awake and out of bed in general. I was making myself do the things that I had always done, but I wasn't feeling them at all. I waited far too long to do something about it. I am on the mend now but I still have work to do.

Well done for recognising it and taking steps, and thank you for being brave enough to share it.

I know that this entry isn't a plea of 'Tell me I'm awesome' but I shall end with my reasons for liking you anyway. You are on my friends list because you are interesting, and many of your entries have ammused, inspired or entertained me. I am with you all the way.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:22 am (UTC)
Yes, that's it exactly. And what I want to get past. I want to enjoy again, instead of time just passing passing passing.
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2011-05-24 02:43 pm (UTC)
Love you.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:23 am (UTC)
Love you, too.
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[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2011-05-24 02:43 pm (UTC)
One of the most helpful things my shrink said to me is "everyone feels like a fake. You are not alone."

And the thing is, she's right.

While Camus and Sartre are wrong about many, many things, we are all essentially strangers only known by ourselves and the image we give out to the world is something different and distorted from what we really are inside.

That's not a bad thing. All the world's a stage and all the men and women are merely players.

What's important to understand is that unlike the theater you can change roles at any time. You don't have to be Zoethe or Gini, you can become anyone you like at any time. And, when you put on your new mask you'll feel like you've beaten those bad brain chemicals that from time to time fuck up people like you and I and make us feel miscast.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:25 am (UTC)
It's scary to think of who I might be. I mostly like me, I think.
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[User Picture]From: alpha_surfing
2011-05-24 02:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this entry.
This post of yours makes you feel more real (and kindred) to me than ever.

I've quietly admired you via LJ for years, and even more so now, for your candor and courage, to write about this and to seek help. I think as I read your entry, to hell with "giving" for awhile- You're mere existence is a gift. You're very likeable and valuable to so many, even in your despair.
Try to be kind to yourself, the way you would be kind to any suffering person.

Sending you peace and hope.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:32 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm kind of gobsmacked at being admired. I just write, y'know?

You've made me feel better. Much appreciated.
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[User Picture]From: jfargo
2011-05-24 02:55 pm (UTC)
You're doing the right thing. I know I'm just one in a throng of people to say this but I know how hard it is to get up out from that place and realize you need help; or rather it's not difficult to realize you need help but when you're in that place it's a struggle to actually get up and get the help you need.

I know, I've been there. Sometimes I'm definitely still there.

You are an amazing woman and I have faith in you that you will be able to control this. Asking for help is a good first step.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:33 am (UTC)
Thanks, and you know you're always welcome here - once we're entertaining again!
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[User Picture]From: firerose10
2011-05-24 02:57 pm (UTC)
I've been in te same position - but mine wasn't classical depression either - it was angry depression. It wasn't until my hubby and kid BOTH asked me to get some help that I recognized how apathetic and angry I had become. Asking for help has gotten easier for me - I call it going in for a "tune up" - ever since I completed a decades worth of therapy and medications and MASSIVE life changes (Hello divorce!). But it is still hard to admit I am not a capable, independent woman with my shit together. YOU CAN DO IT!! I have a lot of faith in your ability to help yourself, along with assistance and pointers from the shrink.

And also, I would enjoy seeing you journal about this process and where you are now - I don't follow you and Ferret for your great moods, constant humour, or other upbeat things - I follow you both because I LIKE the people you are, with amazing insights, an inspiring relationship, and a complete relate-ability no matter the situation.

And, I second the offer that if you ever want to talk privately with someone who has gone through the ups and downs of weight loss surgery, severe depression, GAD, being permanently disabled, PTSD, and other mental, physical, and social issues - feel free to contact me anytime. Soon we will be closer together and I plan on coming to hang out with you and the ferret, to help cement the strong friendship I pray continues to develop....
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:44 am (UTC)
I am hoping that one of the things that comes out of this is that I start journaling again regularly. If that's the case, you will definitely be hearing about this in my journal.

And any insights you have are most welcome. I may be contacting you!
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2011-05-24 03:00 pm (UTC)
Even if you don't have faith in yourself, and are scared, you have the most amazing team out there. It's something I learned to accept over the years, and even embrace. The support around me.

I didn't even LOOK at the comments, and I know you've got it. And not just 'internet support' which, let me tell you, has sustained me as much as people in my walking world do, but people that you can call, and visit, and can visit you, and hang out with you, who will help you come through this to the other side.

So I have faith in you and those around you. Holding you ALL in the light (if that's ok with you). I just don't have that sinking feeling in my gut reading this because my first thought was straight to all you have around you. You made a step by going for help and accepting it with a doctor. Don't forget the medicine of friends and people who want to help (and the medicine of those hired to help, i.e. when I'm in a rough patch and can pull it off, having someone clean, or getting a massage or manicure or mowing the lawn or WHATEVER is cool too).
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 12:46 am (UTC)
I do have a lot of support, and that's awesome. I am happy to be held in the light. Thank you, dear.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2011-05-24 03:03 pm (UTC)
you are taking the first step. A journey always begins with a first step.

I have been where you are. I won't say I know how you feel, because no one knows exactly how another feels. But I know it's awful and I know what you're doing takes GUTS. Go, you.

Of course you are scared. But you know somewhere I read that a truly brave person isn't someone who isn't afraid. It's someone who is afraid, but does it anyway.

You're brave. I applaud you and admire you.

Really.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 01:09 am (UTC)
Thank you, it's deeply appreciated!
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[User Picture]From: plinko
2011-05-24 03:06 pm (UTC)
You can do it! We believe in you. :D :D

I know these feelings all too well. Your doctor can definitely help you, so it is VERY worth it to go. I was in your same position about a year ago, and my doctor gave me both advice and medication and, while I'm not always peppy, I do feel quite a bit better now.
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[User Picture]From: tylik
2011-05-24 03:25 pm (UTC)
Just a slightly differently perspective:

There are medical support for many of these things. That all having been said, if a doctor tells you to just stop whining and suck it up, or keeps telling you to do things that just aren't working, or tells you everyone feels like this, and that's just how it is... don't beat yourself up, don't give up, don't despair... just fire the doctor and find someone else.

I think it's pretty likely you won't have to take that measure, but it's important to know that if your first consult doesn't work, that doesn't mean you are out of options. (Eleven years ago I was told my prognosis was "you need to accept that you're never going to be able to live an active life again". Ha! I mean, yeah, my spine issues are an ongoing process of negotiation, but you can't say I'm not active.)

Oh, yeah, and if you have any interest, I do teach Taiji, which is a pretty darned fine way of re-making friends with your body and getting more active. I'll be starting another beginning class after we move... though recently a few folks apparently decided that they didn't want to wait and jumped into an ongoing class, so it's a mixed group there. (And it's free.)
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[User Picture]From: etain
2011-05-24 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'm proud that you're taking the steps to go to the doctor. I know it's really hard, and really awesome that you're doing it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 01:12 am (UTC)
Thanks so much.
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[User Picture]From: forestmaster
2011-05-24 03:21 pm (UTC)
Knowing is half the battle... and being willing to do something to change this path. My day calendar has this message today: "If I truly want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control - myself.".

Hope the physician can help you get back on the right path of who, what and where you want to be. I got fed up with my weight last year and the time was right for me to find something new. I found a crossfit gym and started eating differently - following more of the Paleo Diet. In many different types of diets, the common denominators seem to be eating more lean protein and lots of veggies. Fruit, too... but lots of veggies.

Paleo in particular talks about getting back to what our ancestors evolved to eat over the last several million years... hunter/gatherer lifestyle. Getting rid of most/all gluten, legumes, dairy and sugar (including artificial sweeteners). Side effects of this happen to be that by eating this way you eliminate a lot of food allergies. After trying this for say a month, you might start adding in a certain food or type of food and then seeing how you feel after eating it.

Keeping a food log was mentioned above and REALLY helped me to see the effects of certain foods after not having them for a while. Staying hydrated (recommended to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water/day) and getting sufficient sleep also help a lot (am doing a challenge through my gym at the moment that includes getting a certain amount of sleep/night and the last couple nights of warmer weather with the windows open to prevent using AC resulting in less sleep have been instrumental in reminding me that yes, sleep is critical and makes a difference on state of mind, health, and well being, too.)

Anyway... as others have said, if you have questions or want to bounce ideas off me, I'm available. I like you. I have never met you, so I'm not sure what you've given, other than sharing your thoughts on a wide variety of topics and admitting to being human with a lot of stellar qualities and some areas where you'd like to do better, just like a lot of other people here on LJ and elsewhere.

Change is scary, but necessary. Some quote I read that I can't remember who said goes something like - What a caterpillar considers the end of the world, the master considers a butterfly.

[hugs] Thank you for having the courage to post this and go to the doctor to take the next step toward getting or finding the help you need.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 01:17 am (UTC)
Paleo is interesting to me, except for no bread, and I've just gotten really good at making it!

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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2011-05-24 03:22 pm (UTC)
You have friends in person and online who love you and want the best for you. I'm happy for you that you're reaching out. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2011-05-24 03:32 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 01:22 am (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: custardfairy
2011-05-24 03:36 pm (UTC)
Sending you so much love and support. I like you for you, warts and all. We all have them, you know. ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 01:22 am (UTC)
Thank you, dear!
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[User Picture]From: enderfem
2011-05-24 03:40 pm (UTC)
I know how hard all of that can be (though not how hard it is for you individually, no one else can know that.) Just. Sending you support and love and good thoughts and hoping something works.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 01:23 am (UTC)
Much appreciated.
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[User Picture]From: twinkelbelpeach
2011-05-24 03:45 pm (UTC)
I recognize that depression; the one where your brain feels like it's covered in cobwebs. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I spent over a year just sitting in a rocking chair with a bowl of fudge. If the house had caught on fire, I don't think I would have reacted more than to observe "interesting." It took a combination of the right shrink and the right medication to get me on my feet again. Please search until you find that combination for yourself because it can be done. I can't begin to tell you how much I have loved life in the years since those cobwebs went away.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 01:25 am (UTC)
I haven't gotten quite to the rocking chair phase, but it's been close. Thanks for the support, I can really use it.
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[User Picture]From: teaa
2011-05-24 03:46 pm (UTC)
*love* I hope you find some relief soon. I wish I could offer something more substantial than internet support. But I'm here with all the e-love you could want, baby! *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-25 01:26 am (UTC)
Thank you for what you can give, dear.
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