As an Atheist; I will go to my grave knowing that I lived the best life I could not because I was afraid of eternal punishment or because I was hoping for eternal reward, but because I knew I would only get one shot at doing it right.
A year ago I was 227 pounds. That was 64 pounds less than what I’d weighed about two years ago. I should have been ecstatic about that. I was only a couple pounds from my original goal of 225. I’d worked my ass off, literally, and it was one HELL of an accomplishment.
Unfortunately, this disease sucks. I felt no joy in what I’d accomplished. I felt no joy in the fact that I had managed to shed 20% of my body weight. I felt no joy in knowing I had dropped three pant sizes and was knocking on the door of a fourth.
I felt nothing.
I bought new jeans.
In that fourth size down.
They didn’t fill the hole inside me. So I bought more. I kept trying to push myself to keep going and to feel something about it. I never did. No matter how much denim I threw down that hole it never seemed to hit bottom. And like most people; when I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment, I stop.
I’ve put 30 of those pounds back on. Tomorrow, I will get up and try to start that journey all over again. I hold no illusions on how I’ll feel along the way and when I get there. But I’m going to do it anyway. I worked too hard for it to just let it go.
Reblogged from Literally Darling
Absolutely fantastic and 1000% nailed it. Also check out the link on the bottom because it’s spot on as well.
On May 29, 2013 by:
I’ve never been depressed. I’ve had my share of crazy, and sure, I have my bad times. I have those times where I start crying while brushing my teeth, and I’m not sure why. We’ve all experienced this to an extent. You go through a patch where staying in bed all day isn’t just the better option- it’s the only one. But as blue as things may look at that point, a lot of us are lucky enough to have the ability to say “I’m feeling depressed,” as opposed to “I have depression.”
There’s a big difference between those statements, and the key word is feeling.
Like I said, I’ve never been depressed. But I know a lot about depression. Over the past few years, someone very close to me who I love dearly became depressed. And I had no idea what I was getting into.
Let’s call my friend Hubert. Why? Because Hubert is a funny name, and nothing about this situation is funny.
Hubert went through some life changes. Some things turned out less than desirable for him, but all in all, Hubert would agree that nothing terrible happened to him. This is a common misconception about depression- you don’t have to have a traumatic home life or a horrible experience or a death of a loved one to become depressed. Depression has no rhyme or reason. It just happens.
I didn’t understand this at the time. I found myself wondering at times why Hubert was taking things so hard. “He can get past this,” I thought to myself, “all he has to do is just try.”
But he couldn’t. Because despite the fact that Hubert’s life mantra is “I can do anything if I try,” he couldn’t bring himself to. He couldn’t even bring himself to care. He couldn’t even try to try.
You know those commercials for the antidepressant, and the tagline is “depression hurts more than just you” or “depression hurts everyone” or something like that? It’s true. Loving someone with depression is almost as hard as having depression.
We’re not inside their heads. We can’t understand why they are doing the things they are doing. We can’t understand why they won’t listen to reason, and they don’t have the ability to articulate why.
It took a long time, but I finally figured some of it out. Strangely enough, a webcomic put a lot of things into perspective for me. It was hard, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but as hard as it is, your loved one needs you. And when you’re through the thick of it, your acceptance and help through that time will mean more to them than you will ever understand. Here are some of the things I’ve discovered along the way.
1. Your loved one isn’t depressed or sad.
Depression isn’t a state of being, it’s an affliction. Like a cold or the flu, it can come out of nowhere and hit them. Or think of it another way: your friend is in an abusive relationship with depression. Depression has cut off their ability to have other friends. Depression has crippled their social life. Depression is constantly putting them through hell, making everything more stressful, making them doubt themselves, making everything difficult. Depression has beaten them- to the point where they will have actual physical pain. Depression has taken control of their life, to the point where it’s easier to just feel nothing.
2. They’re not depressed because of you, so don’t take it personally.
It’s hard not to take things personally. It’s even harder to not wonder if you did something to make your loved one depressed. When you’re depressed, you feel this complete and utter inability to be yourself, and it makes it ten times harder when you’re around loved ones; ie. people who know the real “you.” Being with strangers can sometimes be easier for them: they get to put on a show. They get to pretend that they aren’t depressed for a short amount of time. It can really hurt you to see this, and you sometimes wonder if it’s just you causing the depression. But it’s not. If your loved one is acting depressed around you, its a good sign- in a strange way. It means that they love and trust you enough to share this with you. Sometimes they try to hide it- sometimes they’ll push you away. The only thing to do is just be there.
3. You can’t “fix” them.
I know you think that by being positive and following them around like their personal cheerleader, one day it might occur to them “yeah! life is great and things are awesome and I’m fixed!” But it won’t. Endless supplies of positivity aren’t helpful- they actually do more harm than good. It’s frustrating. It’s reminding them that they aren’t full of cheer. And most importantly, they aren’t sad. I know it looks like they are, and sometimes they can feel incredibly down, but cheering up won’t help. They’re experiencing a complete lack of emotion, and you can’t fix something that doesn’t exist. All the funny animal gifs in the world aren’t going to cure them. Just be there. Remind them that this is temporary. Don’t tell them to keep trying, just remind them that there’s a light out there. Listen and validate their feelings, but don’t try to explain them or cheer the person up. Don’t offer opinions or advice. You don’t have to walk around like a complete sad sack, of course- that won’t help. Just be normal, but be supportive.
4. Any emotion is good.
Sometimes when people start the long, long climb up out of depression, their emotions come back to them in weird ways. Some people get the crying, the breaking down and sobbing. Feel free to comfort them. Some people get the manic happiness that seems incredibly fake. Encourage this- but be careful. It can switch quickly. But a lot of people get the anger. Anger, for some unknown reason, seems to be the easiest way to vent the months and months of non-feeling that your loved one has gone through. So be prepared. They will get angry at you. They will scream at the cat and curse out their shoe. The strangest and sometimes smallest things will set them off. I know that this hurts more than anything, and it seems so backwards. But by getting angry, they finally have a way to vent their frustration. Encourage it, or at the very least, let them rage in peace.
5. Take care of yourself.
Your first thought will be to take care of your loved one- but loving someone with depression can seriously mess you up as well. You feel like you need to be in it with them, but you don’t. You need to take care of yourself- keep focusing on your goals and dreams. Sometimes you will feel like a horrible person bragging about your new promotion or going out with friends. You feel like you should hide it from your loved one, or downplay your accomplishments, because it seems like a smack in the face to them. But, I can’t stress this enough, don’t. They will still be happy for you. Your success and happiness might remind them of what they’re lacking, but you cannot sacrifice yourself. You need to go out and be with friends. You need to get fresh air.
In addition, sometimes you’re going to cry. Sometimes you’re going to hurt. Sometimes you won’t be able to handle it, and you feel like you need to hide it from your loved one. Don’t. Express to them that this is hard, but you’re in it with them. Don’t tell them that you cried yourself to sleep, but open up a bit. Find a healthy way to get the stress out- even if it’s ranting to your dog.
6. Be patient.
Depression sucks. Literally. It sucks the life out of everything, and you need to be careful to not let it suck the life out of you. Read about it, find out about it- it’s amazing how ignorant and misinformed we are about depression.
Check out this wonderful explanation of depression by Hyperbole-and-a-half.
It’s amazing and actually quite disturbing how quickly and easily life can come up and bitch slap you. It’s been awhile since my last post because quite frankly I’ve been recovering from that whole issue. It hit me pretty hard and the last thing I wanted to do was pick that scab.
Well… life just loves to kick you when you’re down…
I saw a commercial for Mederma the other day. So what, you say? Well… I made the bright move of trying to rescue my cat from a fight when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I was lucky I didn’t lose my eye. However, my cheek was laid open.
Somewhere upwards of 30 stitches.
In the shape of a Z.
On my face.
With my whole school life ahead of me.
And the only bigger assholes than people in general are children. I HATED Zorro. I didn’t see Scarface until I was well into my 30s. I’ve heard them all. Suffered the mental and emotional scars that make the physical one pale in comparison. And I thought, after nearly 40 years of living with it, I was past it.
Life let me know I was not.
So…yesterday was Fathers Day…
I seriously thought I was well past this shit. Apparently I was wrong. It really didn’t bother me all day long until I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a full day worth of Fathers Day wishes. I never really knew my “father”. The last contact I had with him at all was 27-28 years ago. I lost my Grandfather, the only father figure I ever had, when I was 11 or 12. Arguably the time in a young man’s life when he needs one the most. More recently, I’ve lost a substitute father figure when I was betrayed by my “best friend”. A man who treated me like a son for nearly 20 years never reached a damn hand out to me when his son turned on me. Even knowing full well how bad his son’s alcoholism had become. AND how hard I tried to help and carry him until I just couldn’t afford to do it any longer both financially and mentally.
So…yesterday was Fathers Day…
If you have a Father who has at least tried for you; be very thankful.
If you have someone who treats you like a son/daughter; be very thankful.
If you have children; treat them well, do your best, be there when they need you.
If you have someone you’ve “adopted”; NEVER turn your back on them. Some day their friendship with your child may end. That may be the time they need you most.
To the rest of the “fathers” in the world:
So…let me get this right.
Your god is the one true GOD. And so is his son. And his ghost.
Also, it wouldn’t really hurt if you prayed to his virgin mother, wife?, next of kin.
Then there’s this guy in Rome that he also wants you to bow to because he’s sort of kind of him too.
And let’s not forget about the whole host of lesser demigods, oops sorry saints, that you also deem worthy of my subservience.
Thanks, but I think I’ll pass.
Just a quick rant:
I am sick to death of Obama getting a pass for using dead children as political currency. It’s disgusting, reprehensible, and pathetic. Newtown was a terrible tragedy and I’m truly sorry for those victims and their families. But I’m doubly sorry because most of them don’t seem to understand the absolute heinous exploitation of their memories by Obama. And sending Biden to bully the Senate as they vote? “Shameful day in Washington” indeed.
And there were 28 victims, but that’s another rant.