Monday, January 28, 2013

the elephant in the room

I've had a lot on my mind as of late.  And I think I'm ready to actually deal with it, and share it.  I've been in denial for the last couple of months, and I'm ready to deal with it, and hopefully reach out and get some help.  I have a lot of issues I think I need to deal with, and although none of them are "major" they are definitely effecting me, and what it is I think of myself.  Chris said to me over the weekend that he wants me to be happy.  We were driving home, and his statement gave me this light bulb moment.  For so long, I've been the one responsible for my happiness.  And now I have this man who wants to make me happy.  The concept is a little bit weird.  As much as I appreciate his focus on me, and wanting to make me happy.  It unfortunately doesn't work that way.  I need to make me happy first.  He could give me everything that I've ever wanted, and it in the grand picture of life, it really wouldn't matter, because I have to make myself happy first, before I can accept any of his givings to make me happy. 
In the past (once in HS, and once in 2006) I've been diagnosed as depressed.  In 2006 specifically I was  depressed, eating fast food for just about every single meal, heartbroken, had no friends, and had no social life.  I started seeing a counselor and she diagnosed me with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  It was the beginning of the year and she put me on some pills, and advised that with the slowness of the season, and hardly any sunlight out, it was affecting my mood.  That with the change into Spring time, longer hours, and more sunlight, I would notice a change in my mood.  Thankfully she was right.  Come March of that year I almost noticed an immediate difference.  I gradually took myself off of whatever anti-depressant I was on, and felt better.  It makes sense really.  Everything around you in the fall and winter are sweet and savory items.  Everything seems dark.  Come spring and summer, everything turns light and fresh.
If I had to make a educated guess I would say, that I'm currently experiencing SAD.  Combine that with my recent weight gain, and I'm not feeling all that great.  ...There I said it, weight gain.  It's horrible and disgusting and I hate it.  Ever since I got married, I've let myself go.  I didn't get to where I wanted to be on my wedding day, so once I went from Bride to Wife, I just stopped caring.  I've known that the fall and winter are difficult, that there is no point in even trying.  And without my gym routine to keep me maintaining I've gained weight.  I've had to go buy new clothes, and just about everything I wear is uncomfortable.  I've even stopped wearing makeup, and I don't want my picture taken.  I'm beginning to recognize myself.  ...I never really got used to seeing me as a "thinner" version.  I never really looked like "me" because that wasn't who I was used to seeing.  And now?, well I'm starting to see "me" again, and that scares me.  It's bad, and I know it's bad.  That is the big.fat.elephant. in the room.  Phew - I'm so glad I've finally gotten that out of the way.
It came to a head this weekend.  I was forced to no longer live in denial, but to deal with reality.  I had seen it coming for awhile now.  Some looks and comments at work, but nothing like what happened Saturday night.  At the beginning of the year I tried to put together a birthday celebration get together for myself the Saturday before my birthday 1/12.  Unfortunately nobody could attend, so by default I just sorta canceled it.  I was bummed.  As you know my birthday is a big deal to me, and I was sad that none of my friends could go.  But then, a couple other of the January birthday gym girls put together a get together for this past Saturday.  I was immediately excited.  It had been awhile since I had seen my group of friends, and I was really looking forward to going out and having a good time.  Almost immediately I could tell this wasn't going to be a good night.  The warmest welcome I got was from a woman who I met at Dena's Christmas party and her introduction of her husband.  Two people who don't know the thinner version of me.  I felt invisible.  It was a unwelcome feeling, and a feeling I've had many times in my bigger, fat past.  Even someone whom I consider a good friend didn't even stop to say "hello" to me.  It got so bad when the one other couple sitting at our table of 6 got up and left to go sit at another table.  Do I blame some of this on myself?, absolutely.  Could I have gotten up and mingled, and been more outgoing, created more conversation?  Definitely.  But I felt as though I was being judged.  That they were just waiting to say "Have you seen how much weight April has gained?"  At one point in time I got pissed.  I've shared so much of my life with this group, and now they are all pretty much ignoring me.  And then I realized all of that was post weight-loss.  They don't know the bigger version of me.  They don't correspond with "my" kind.  They think of us as lazy.  I know I'm being dramatic and I'm pretty sure that none of them actually had any of these cold thoughts.  But if anything, these are the thoughts going on in MY head.  Which is good.  Because I need to look at this reality I've creating for myself, and do something about it.  This is my struggle. My weight is my struggle.  This will be my struggle of the rest of my life.  Of course just as I had decided the night was ruined and that I wanted to leave, the table across from us asking if we wanted to move the two tables together.  I declined, held my tears back, got up and left while Chris paid the tab.  I was devastated.  I used to be this fun outgoing girl, who would have so much fun with this group of friends.  How did this happen?  Have I changed?  Is it because I'm married?  It is because I'm fatter?  I would say probably a combination of all of the above.  I would've never guessed that Saturday night would have gone the way that it did.  I was looking forward to staying out late, having fun conversation with my friends, and flirting with my husband.  Instead, we were only there for about 45 minutes, and home with my husband comforting me while I cry.  It's a familiar picture, and one I don't like.  I do have other issues going on and I need to make that extremely difficult phone call to get some professional help.  But that's scary.  That's admitting out-loud that something is wrong.  I've never been perfect, but I think that is what I have to do if I want to not feel like how I felt Saturday night.  And that is a feeling I never want to feel again. 
I've fallen down a lot over the past few years, and I continue to get back up. I've been down for the past couple of months, and it's time I get back up...again.  I know it won't be easy, but if I know anything, I know it isn't meant to be easy.  So here is me getting back up.


Summer said...

I get SAD too. After I realized what was going on, I started going tanning a little bit. It made a huge difference to have some 'sun' time.

I'm so sorry. I hope that this journey is successful for you. It's hard to have the courage to change.

Emily Foley said...

I left a long comment and it disappeared! Ugh. are you no matter how much you weigh. You are beautiful and kind and funny. You're a great friend, a loving wife, a beloved daughter. Get the help you need and remember that. Also, get back to the gym! You need those endorphins! :) you can tell a real difference from when you're working out or not. I'm so sorry you had a bad night.

Andrea Lane said...

A great personality and sweet heart is not something you find at the gym, it’s just part of you. And by part of you I mean YOU! Some gym time would do us all some good and you are right that it’s just harder in the winter, not just for you! You are very strong but allowed to be weak. Professional help is for people who are serious about making themselves better and I think you are that kind of person! Actually I know you are because I have seen your before and unofficial after pictures. I watched you plan a wedding (not for the faint of heart) and I will watch you get through this too.

Nikki said...

Life can be challenging with the ups and downs of emotions, especially when we get stuck in the downs. I think it would be a very brave and worthwhile investment in yourself to see a professional, like you said. I like to think of the mental health professionals just as I would a medical doctor. You need a check up every once in a while to make sure you are healthy and happy. I love you dear, and you know I'll be praying for you!

Jimmy said...

April you're awesome and you've built a life for yourself and your husband that you should be proud of. --That's what you should be telling yourself when you go out with anyone.

sarahlove said...

That's right April! You fall down, you GET BACK UP. Life is not always up. It's so much faster to fall than to take that climb because there is a rebuilding process that occurs on the way up. I believe in you. I welcome you to yoga with me via Skype! :) My friend has already lost 5 or 6 lbs from the comfort of her own living room.