I have been struggling for awhile now…and everything came to a head in early February. I was pushed too far and was under a lot of pressure. I was completely stressed out.
I have not been focused on weight loss – it was all I could do to make it through the day without locking myself in a room and screaming my head off.
I have been dealing with crushing depression and anxiety for about 6 months. And when I went to my doctor in January she told me that “hormonal fluctuation during peri-menopause is a myth” – that it doesn’t cause radical mood swings or any of the other symptoms that I was having. She made basically told me that I should get into talk therapy and everything would be fine.
Except that I’ve been in talk therapy before – for years. I know what that is all about. And, while it helped me deal with an old situation and understand the cause of my feelings/emotions at the time, for the most part, it didn’t change who I was – it didn’t change my personality. It didn’t make me a better person. And frankly, when my doctor was pushing talk therapy on me in January, I thought, “why? how is that going to help?” I didn’t want to go find a therapist and sit there once a week and cry and carry on about how no one understands me and why can’t I lose weight and what the hell is wrong with me and wahwahwah. I didn’t want to explore my childhood or past traumas. I’ve already done that and that has very little to do with this – this heaviness, this explosive unrelenting anger, this depression that wrapped itself around me like a fog – warping my perception and making me feel like I was really going crazy.
There was no joy. No beauty. No music.
My partner said, “you’ve stopped singing.” And it was true. I stopped listening to music – used to be I’d listen to music all day and I worked out to great playlists – a great playlist could get me out the door and walking.
Instead I woke up each day, after a night of tossing and turning, to my stomach fluttering with dread and hopelessness every few minutes. I was sick with worry. The stress was like a yoke that I strapped on each morning and trudged through my day – grinding out the same old pattern.
In the meantime, I would see all these people posting on Facebook about their amazing weight loss – and, you know, all you have to do is set goals, and count calories, and exercise, and drink this shake, and eat like this, and do it for you!!!, and keep pushing, keep trying, don’t fail, don’t fail, don’t FAIL. They’d post pictures of young women in athletic wear and write “inspirational” messages about how having a perfectly toned ass made all the hard work and constant vigilance worth it.
I think it added to my depression. Made me feel like more of a failure. It was like a chorus chanting, “You’re doing it wrong. You’re a failure.”
Maybe I should have turned it off – right?! But I was also trying to build a community of support for other women who were dealing with the same kind of thing I was. And mixed in with all that stupid crap and trite platitudes, were some messages that resonated with me. About a month or so ago someone said, “stop focusing on weight loss” — actually, my doctor said it — the same doctor who told me that I wasn’t dealing with hormones, that I was just crazy, also told me to stop focusing on weight loss – that I could not deal with that until I got a handle on my stress/anxiety and depression.
And then someone else said it and then I finally heard. So I’ve started focusing on self-love rather than self-loathing. But it was more than that, for sure – I have begun to open to healing in a way I never would have before. Mainly because I was/am desperate to get out of hole I find myself in.
Unfortunately for me, there’s not a happy ending…not yet…I’ve only just found my voice…I realized I’d started singing again — last week, through more bad news, I still sang and looked on the bright side – found the silver lining…just when I thought, “this is it, I’m done,” hope tip-toed in on stocking feet…quietly, softly.
Everything might be okay afterall.