This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Well, that's a really good question.  First, I want to thank those of you who emailed me to ask where I've been. It's always nice to know I have people who care about me. You are the reason I'm back to be honest, well, at least ONE of them.

Where have I been?

The simple answer is I've been busy. The real answer is much more complicated. I've been stressed to the max in both my professional and personal life and struggling. A host of things I cannot discuss here. The problems left me spiraling down into a dark place. Depression I've known, but this one was bad. I found myself withdrawing from my life. When I saw myself even withdrawing from my family, I knew I needed help. I've started getting help now and I do feel better.

Now, I'm just dealing with the aftermath of the episode. When you are in the midst of depression you really cannot see a way out. Your world narrows until you only see the negative things. You start to feel hopeless and that there is no way out. When you're in the midst of  deep depression you are not living anymore, only surviving. When you have entered survival mode, you don't think about consequences to you or those around you. It's really a very selfish state actually. It's all about you and how bad you feel.  You lose sight of goals and desires and wants. There isn't thought of the future or looking forward to things because for you, at that moment, you see nothing but the pain you're in right then.

Now, I feel like I'm waking from a long, deep sleep. You know that confusion you get when you wake up from a long nap and you're not really sure what time it is or where you are? Ever have that? Well, that's where I've been. In the midst of my depression I didn't want to be here.  Because here meant writing about how I was and what was happening. That meant facing it. I wasn't ready until now.

Looking back on the last 2 months I see I was selfish, things weren't as bad as I thought. But, I'll tell you, for those of you who have never had true Major Depression, at the time I really couldn't see it. I couldn't be thankful for what I had. I couldn't look on the bright side because I really truly couldn't see one. And this is why I tell my patients that you can't "pep talk" your way out of depression. It helps to have a positive outlook. It helps to try to think positively, but real depression is chemical. It is your brain FLOODED with uncontrollable dark and sad and angry and hopeless thoughts. It's an onslaught that you cannot defend.

And there's guilt. So much guilt at not being really "there" for you family. I got pretty good at pretending with my kids. I don't think the kids knew how bad things were. I really try to be the Mom they need even at my own expense, no matter what. But I knew I wasn't really in the moment for them and I felt very guilty about it.  And then I'd feel sad because I wasn't enjoying those times with my kids. There's guilt about not doing the things I knew I should to take care of myself, not eating right, not exercising, not blogging. Which would make me feel worse. That whole pain-guilt-sad-pain cycle was going round and round for me. That's what I'm working very hard to put and end to right now.

And that's where coming back here is an issue. Have I gained weight? You know I have. More guilt, more shame, more frustration, more hopelessness. I couldn't come back here to wallow in that. I won't. It would only get me going in the wrong direction. I have to be honest that I am not back to where I want to be mentally or physically. I am determined to get back to where I was and I'm not talking about the scale.  I was afraid to come here and talk about my weight gain and my struggles at the risk of my fragile state. I knew attacks by those not as understanding or supportive around here would be too much. I wasn't ready for any "tough love" or especailly full on onslaught which can happen to those of us putting ourselves out there.

Over the last weeks as I've begun to emerge from my despair I've looked around and missed the support and friends I have found here. I've started to be able to look around and count my blessings. Of course seeing my friends struggle through the chaos of a huge hurricane and losing everything helps with that immensely. It puts things in perspective for sure. 

So that's where I've been.

I'd rather begin to focus on where I'm going. I've started the process of figuring out how I got where I was in hopes of never returning.  I still turn to food way too quickly for comfort. I've got to figure out why and find other outlets.  I've started to slowly put pieces in place to begin to move forward again. It's time for me to get back on track.  I'm still having some hard days, but things are better. I'm looking forward to Christmas and I had a good Thanksgiving weekend.

Today, coming here to write is another step. Putting myself out there and looking for a way back. I've still been going to TKD classes. I didn't want to at times as much as before, but I think it is very positive I've kept up with that. Now it's a matter of getting my other daily workouts back in place. That's the plan. And finally the food and tracking and the water.  One day at a time, right?

I feel better already.


  1. Well Hallelujah! I HAVE been wondering where you've been, if you're okay. I am so sorry to hear you've been battling depression. It sucks raw eggs to be in that dark place, my friend. Good for you for getting help, and major kudos for keeping your kids' lives as normal as possible. That shows some fierce Mama Love!

    Hang in there, Doc. You can do this. Want help? I'll scoot over to your side of the metroplex and take you biking.

  2. Your description of depression is spot on. Been there, done that...more than once. Drugs are a miracle in bring you out of it enough to have the energy to work on the problem, but holy moly, while you are in the midst of it, depression is like quicksand. I'm so sorry you've been dealing with this; I've seen your posts on FB and just assumed you were too swamped with life to blog. Glad you are feeling more like yourself, and I hope you continue to climb out of this rough patch.

  3. I'm so glad you are ok and going to be ok and things are looking up! :D Really glad to see you post again and in a strange "camaraderie" type of way it does sorta help to know there are hard, stressful, up and down depressive times and flat out "i give up" times for all of us. it's not all peaches and cream and watching everything fall into place magically as I do read on some people's blogs. This is real. Real life. I wouldn't wish any type of depression (there are several in my close family living with it too) on A N Y O N E. I'm so sorry you had to live with this but it sounds like you are breaking free and yes, we are all here to help/support anyway possible from across the land/internet. Thank you for catching us up. We sure have missed you!

  4. I've missed you. So sorry about the depression. I was swamped by it once, for almost 6 months after my mother died. It was a sad scarey place to be. I'm glad you're finding your way back. I value your friendship and and will pray for you. Hugs.

  5. HI, sorry about the depression... I hope the clouds around you are receding and happier days are back for you. By putting yourself out there to find your way back is certainly the surest way to see your way back to better days.

    Be strong, smile, and as for the Cowboys, well....

  6. So glad to have you back. I feel for you. You have helped so many others and I'm sure you'll succeed again. Certainly I'll be rooting for you.

    This is the point at which I'd make a crack about the Cowboys, but given the state of the Eagles, never mind...

  7. Hooray, you're back! I'm sorry you've been going through this. I had my own bout awhile back and still deal with anxiety issues that rear their ugly little heads at times. One day at a time, absolutely.

    You can do this. You know where you're going, you just ran into a detour. *hugs*

  8. I knew you'd be back, which is why I kept checking here every couple of days or so. I'm sorry that you've been having such difficulty but glad you're finding a way out. :D

  9. Yes. I know depression. And it's like that. Perspective is out. You become someone else, and you're living in this dark pit and nothing anyone says helps much, no matter how loving they are. Death looks better and better...cause staying in that big D feels like a torture chamber. Yep.

    Glad you posted and have been improving. It will pass. It does.

  10. I was so happy to see your post - I was worried about you. Depression is a devasting place to be; you're right - those who have never experienced such a depression sometimes find it hard to understand what it does to a person. I'm happy to hear you're on the road back..I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please try not to beat yourself up over what you "didn't" do --- just look forward to what you "will" do now that you are feeling better. Sincere wishes for continued recovery.

  11. I've been in that situation and understand what you're saying. I hope you're feeling better. Take special care of yourself.

    :-) Marion

  12. Welcome back Ann. I have missed you and I'm so happy to see you posting again. Sending you well wishes and prayers that you keep improving day by day.


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