I am not sure where to start in outlining my story. I suppose I could start with a little bit about my history and the events, both recent and past, that shaped who I am. Being the uber-organized, Type-A person that I am, I will probably find it easiest to break this “story” into phases or topics.
I am a happily married woman in my early-mid forties. In the past two years my life has revolved around a common theme… transformation.
In March 2015, my husband and I started on an amazing journey to improve our health. We had both gained weight over the years and weren’t happy with our health and concerns about our future. We began the Ideal Protein weight loss program through our local cardiology clinic that spring. We viewed this weigh loss program as an investment in ourselves and our future; and we knew we were in this for the long haul. It was not just a way to lose the excess weight, but we learned a whole new way to live and eat.
Long story short, my husband lost over 100 lbs in the first 8 months or so and phased off the program. I lost a little slower than he did, but I wasn’t far behind. To date, I have lost over 200 lbs on the program. The last 5 or 6 months is where I have experienced my biggest struggles with emotional & stress eating. I am committed to overcoming these hurdles, including a newly diagnosed (but likely long-standing) eating disorder and a relapse in my depression.
I have other outside forces and stressors (both hormonal & work/life related) that I need to learn how to cope with. I will devote journal/blog posts to each of these as a way to process and come to terms with them.
June 2014 vs. November 2016
I have an amazing support system and I don’t always remember that fact.
Yesterday, the love and caring shown to me by these people (in response to recent posts) was both humbling and a bit emotionally overwhelming. I am so grateful to have these people in my life.
I know that this relapse into depression is something I will continue to process and cope with on a day-by-day basis. But today is a good day; it is brighter and I am calmer than I have been in several months.
Today, I have my second appointment with a new therapist. We are still in that “getting to know you” phase. I am committed to being honest with her and thus myself today.
I have started smoking again.
My current rate is 2-3 cigarettes per day, 4 on a really bad day. I am rationalizing here, but I’ve told myself that this is a “crutch” to help me get through this current relapse in my depression and to help calm my anxiety. Old bad habits are so easy to fall back into. I need to quit.
I have been having thoughts of self-harm.
These thoughts revolve around taking a knife and cutting/stabbing myself. I am not sure exactly why I am thinking that way. These thoughts are quite random and are new as of this past week. These thoughts of self-harm have only occurred 2-3 times when I spotted a knife laying on the counter at home.
It is important to know that when I was first diagnosed with depression in the late 1990’s, I did act on my thoughts of self-harm. These actions were limited to cigarette burns to my hand/wrist and only occurred a handful of times. At that time, I did tell my therapist of these behaviors.
I have a history of suicidal thoughts, but have not experienced this with my current relapse of depression.
With my last relapse (2009-2010), I would occasionally think (while driving) “what if I didn’t make that turn and hit that tree”. These were scary thoughts and I never acted on them. I also did NOT tell anyone about them at that time… not my husband, not my medical doctor, not my therapist.
I have been purging (vomiting) after binge-eating episodes.
This past week, nearly ever occurrence of binge-eating was followed by purging. This is my ugly secret that no one knows about. I am ashamed to even put it in writing. I have rationalized that I am purging because my altered stomach pouch is “plugged” due to the amount of food eaten. And sometimes that is true, but not always. I need help. I know this.
Today my depression wins. I am not able to find the energy to fight it. My day has been gray and cold. I’m not really sad, I just feel empty. I have binged three times today in a misguided attempt to find some relief in this void. But the rush is short lived and I felt physically sick afterwards. I was disgusted with myself each time and ended up in the bathroom purging most of what I had just ate.
Ultimately there is no pleasure to be found, only the empty cold that makes my limbs heavy and my eyes droop. Sleep. I feel like to could sleep for a week and the world probably wouldn’t miss me.
Now, the rational side of my mind knows that this is bullshit. But my depression is a cruel bitch and she tells very convincing lies. She encourages this binge/purge behavior; tempting me with food to comfort my soul, and then chides me for being weak, worthless, and tells me that the purge will bring the release I seek.
This, I know, is very dangerous to my mental and physical well-being. There are better ways to cope. But some days I just don’t have the energy for them.
So today, my depression wins. The fight will continue tomorrow.