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.
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.