Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The post about some very personal stuff that's hard to write about

Left: Around 300 pounds.
Right: Around 157 pounds.
And yeah, that's a sweat mark in my pit. Made me anxious to have my picture taken.

  • This is going to be a difficult post for me to write. I have been soul searching this week. Trying to figure out who I am. Where I fit in. I have finally had to admit some things to myself and my husband that I have been bottling up for months. I am depressed. Again. I was diagnosed with depression when I was in university in the mid '90's. I took anti-depressants for a couple of years and was able to eventually stop taking them. This happened following a traumatic event in  my life. I also had to attend counselling for six months. I remember taking them again for a short time around 2004 (due to my mother's death), but I haven't been on anything since. 
  • I had a panic attack during my long run on Sunday and I felt like my chest was tight and my throat was closing up. I was able to control it, but it did scare me. And although I completed the run, I felt defeated. 
  • I can't sleep at night. Although I wake up super early for long runs 3 days a week, I wake up at 5 am regardless of what day it is. That is because I am anxious. My anxiety sometimes stays with me all day long. The anxiety prevents me from eating proper meals too. Eating enough to keep fueled during my training has been a struggle. I have never had to force myself to eat in my life. And even clients have commented that I am not eating much.
  • Then there is the daily battle I have with my self image. I know that everyone around me thinks I look great. There is usually one time a day where I think I look good. But that normally goes away the minute I leave my house. All day I am consumed with the negative thoughts of what I picture myself to look like in my head. You see that photo above left? I found it yesterday while looking through some old pictures and it was hard for me to see. I don't know if you've noticed that I don't often share pictures of myself sideways. That is because I don't like the way I look from the side. In my mind I have back fat, and a protruding stomach. 
  • I know these thoughts are unfounded, but I have lived in a morbidly obese body the majority of my life. It's hard for me to forget and let go of how I looked for most of my life.  I tried to explain this to my husband today and the best I could come up with was that although I felt physically bad when I was obese, I was emotionally comfortable in that body because it was all I had ever known. My new body is very foreign to me. And I can't shake the images of my formerly obese self. I'm not used to my smaller body. And although I fit easily into size 8 clothing, I still picture myself as being obese most of the time. 
  • I realized today that I haven't been happy in a real long time. I actually can't remember the last time I was happy. I know that depression started to creep back into my life in the fall after I broke my ankle. I lost a lot of confidence as a runner. I still haven't regained the confidence I used to have. I seem to be struggling a lot with my runs lately. I have 4.5 weeks until I run the Bay and I'm already super anxious about it. 
  • I was trying to explain to my husband that it doesn't matter how much people tell me I look good, I can't accept that compliment in my head. I always thank them for their kind words, but I secretly question their sincerity. Again, very unjustified.  No rhyme or reason for me to think that everyone around me is disingenuous. 
  • So now what? I can't keep going on like this. I am at a pretty big low in my life. And I need to work on myself. Tomorrow morning I'm going to make an appointment to see my doctor to discuss medication and I am going to get myself into therapy. I haven't been in therapy for 17 years. It makes me anxious for sure. But the way I'm feeling is affecting my day to day life. It's going to start affecting my son. Maybe it already has. I know I'm not the fun mom I used to be. 
  • I am also going to take a bit of a social media break. I'm still going to write my blog three days a week and post it to my social media outlets, but I'm not going to be on Twitter very often and I may be quite absent from Instagram. I'll still try to keep some recipe and inspirational quotes going on my Facebook page, but I'm going to stay off of my personal home feed. I need to take some time to find myself and focus on my family. 
  • Thank you for all your on-going support. My blog family has always been such an amazing outlet for me and you are all so kind and generous with your compliments. Especially when I'm struggling with myself. Unless you have had body issues, it's hard to understand the thoughts I struggle with. My husband said this to me tonight: "Don't you feel amazing? This amazing thing you have done for our son and your health?" Absolutely!  But this is about my self image. How I feel inside. Emotionally. Not how I feel physically. Physically I feel great. Emotionally I feel devastated. I feel broken and damaged. I need to become the healthy, strong woman others see me as. Right now I feel like a fraud.  It's exhausting.