I have a really rough family history with mental illness. My mother has crippling bipolar disorder and has been unable to hold a job for the last 20 years. My father has chronic depressive symptoms and has become a moderate alcoholic in the last 10 years. My brother has severe panic disorder, and at 21 years old, he still hasn't graduated from high school.
As I mentioned in my introductory post, I've faced some serious depression in the past. I gained around 60 pounds in college when depression set in and my life spiraled out of control. Fortunately, I found that once I got my life in order again, I didn't feel like I needed the Prozac anymore. For the past three years, I've managed my depression my keeping to a more active lifestyle and a normal work schedule.
But it hasn't been working lately. I've been completely unable to focus at work and my performance has slipped. I sometimes fight back tears all morning for no reason at all. I constantly sabotage my weight loss efforts because I'm unable to maintain that stride.
I have a mental health assessment scheduled for Tuesday morning, and to be honest, I'm desperate for help. I just don't feel like myself. All day today, my boyfriend has tried to get my out of my black cloud. He suggested we decorate the Christmas tree--I refused. He checked in on me as I slept all day and hid from the world. He went out to get pizza for lunch and made us big salads to go with it. He took a walk with me, though I didn't speak much the entire time.
I've never associated myself with the idea of emotional eating. I spend too much time blaming my weight issues on family history, discounting my very real issues with food. Here's a list of what I've eaten today:
- Large bowl of Fiber One cereal with skim milk
- String cheese
- 260 calories of rice pudding
- 3 large slices of extra cheese pizza
- Dinner roll
- Large salad with light dressing
- Several bites pumpkin pie
- Low-fat carrot cake cupcake
- Piece of pumpkin bread
- Several large marshmallows
- 2 large pieces Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark chocolate
- Another string cheese
I insisted on sitting in my cloud, denying that I was using food to soothe myself. Until I realized I'd been eating constantly all day. It doesn't feel emotionally-charged when I'm doing it. But then I looked at my day today: gloomy, depressed, didn't stop eating all day. There has to be a connection there.
Even writing this post tonight was a step in the right direction. When I'm off the wagon I just want to hide. Admitting to my action today and putting there out there took a lot of guts for me. I like to pretend these days don't exist, then turn around and bellyache about not being able to lose weight. Well it's time to break the cycle. I will NOT think of myself as a victim to some weight-loss-preventing demon that I can't name. I am overweight for a reason, and hopefully after my appointment on Tuesday, I'll have some perspective on the depression that seems to be at the root of these issues.
Now I'm going to make a light dinner, do that yoga and put up the Christmas tree--this day doesn't have to end the same way it started.