NOREGRET2010   49,223
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Defining Depression

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

People are interesting. If three people witness a car wreck...a robbery...even a party or event, there will be subtle (or not so subtle!) differences in their recollection of events. "He was wearing a red shirt with blue stripes" "No, the stripes were white!" etc. Three people can watch an evening of television and one will say "OMG, Modern Family is the funniest show on TV!" The second may say it was boring and the third may pronounce it "total crap! Worst show I ever saw!"

We have varying tastes. We have varying perceptions of what is "reality". We see and hear things - the same thing everyone in the room heard - but we process it differently, assign it different importance or credence. It's part of our individuality - why there is more than one kind of music, one kind of fiction, one kind of religion or political party - we like different things, we perceive things differently, we have different belief systems.

If you asked those three people what depression was - you'd likely get three different answers - not to mention three different opinions on how to deal with it. "Take it easy. Take extra good care of yourself right now." "Have you thought about medication?" "BUCK UP SOLDIER!! You think your life is tough? Well I don't know what you think you have to be depressed about!"

Those of us who live with depression - chronic, sometimes low-level underlying depression....sometimes I-can't-stop-crying-all-I-can-do-is-sleep depression....hear so many variants on the above themes about this ever-present thing in our lives. Consider depression like a disease - Crohn's or asthma or what have you. You may not be having a flare today, but that doesn't mean it's gone, does it? You still have the asthma or the Crohn's....but today perhaps you aren't affected by it - today, life is "normal". Tomorrow could be a totally different story and your every waking hour you could be incredibly aware of your condition.

That is how I find life with depression to be. Life with post-traumatic stress disorder. One day could be fine, the next day could be painful in the extreme - racing thoughts, anxiety attack...tears that won't stop. Or...days of low-level just pushing through to make it through the day - not crying, not obviously depressed....but it's there. I see it in my thought processes, my lack of motivation or absence of what my grandma liked to call her "get up and go". She'd say when she was tired "I don't have any get up and go!"

So where am I going with all this? Heck if I know. I write here to put my thoughts in order - tho sometimes there may seem to be little order to the finished product. I'm working on defining my depression....defining what helps it....defining what exacerbates it. Realizing that some people will never, ever get it. They see depression as "self pity". Do I have self pity? Well, yeah! I'm human...I think we all do at times. But that's not how I define my depression. Self pity is a very different feeling from depression. My depression tends to be associated with over-stress, anniversary dates of childhood abuse (which yep, you guessed of those is here on my mental doorstep)...and holidays.

Self pity is associated with not getting what I want, LOL. To me, not the same thing. To you, perhaps it's the same thing.

"I tell you, the shirt had blue stripes!!" "Maybe you need glasses, buddy, cause the stripes were WHITE!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZHOPE 4/13/2010 11:06AM

  Having lived with depression and PTSD for many years (many, many of them undiagnosed), I get EXACTLY where you're coming from. Most days are good days, others, well, not so much. 99% of the time I live a very "normal" life and even the not-so-good days are ok. But, every so often, the PTSD flares up and wowzer, not so much fun. The thing is, I really wish I could learn to recognize the flare-ups before and during, instead of after. It would make my life (and the lives of my boyfriend and son) so much easier. But, it is what it is. I've taken meds, they're helpful in getting me over the "bumps" but mostly, I choose not to be and to try to manage it without. Mostly, I'm successful. And you are absolutely right, self-pity it is not. Even situational depression is different than chronic depression. And unless you live with it, it's really hard to understand and explain to others what it's like. You're not alone in this, though, and if you need a hand up, let me know :)

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SHEALUNA 4/13/2010 10:52AM

    "Dude! You need to get your glasses fixed. Those were RED stripes!"

You are so dead-on with this post. I am so blessed not to suffer from chronic depression, but I have friends who do. I very much come from a "Buck up and suck it up" background where depression is a "symptom" of "not believing enough". Instead of realizing that depression is a imbalance of chemicals in the brain and therefore an illness, it was seen as a result of that person "not having enough faith" and "giving in" to depression was a weakness.

Pity parties, now those I have indulged in once or twice. emoticon lol

My wish for you is that you find whatever works best to help you. That as you grow physically healthier, this effects your depression in a positive way. And that when those who don't understand tell you to "buck up", you ignore them and realize they don't know jack. Or maybe, just flip them off! emoticon

And remember, when your get up and go, gets up and leaves, your Sparkly Peeps have always got your back. This one does, anyway!

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Food Friday

Friday, April 09, 2010

The office has been awash with food all week, and today seems to be the culmination. Candy goodies etc. I've done pretty well just walking right by it all. It's an odd conundrum - the dieting group and the group bringing in food left and right.

Yesterday, there was a big discussion about how "everyone" was on a diet. I just kept working and frankly tried to stay out of the discussion. I am pretty much one of the biggest women here. "What diet are YOU on Lisa?" one gal asked when everyone was listing their diet of choice. I just smiled and said, "you know I'm working on just making healthy food choices and moving my body - you know, balance basically" because I've mentioned Sparkpeople to every single one of these ladies at one point or another and as soon as they found out it was couting calories and working out, they were not interested, LOL. They all looked at me and I felt.....well, it felt like...

It felt like judgement - but that could well be my own garbage. Judgement that I'm not dieting with them or talking about it or something, I dunno.

After years (literally) of dieting, after trying so many things - I am hesitant to talk about my weight loss efforts. I know - they say tell people what you are doing to stay accountable. Do you know how many times I did that....and failed miserably? I'm much happier just doing it, walking the walk of food in vs food out and not yapping about it. If I lose, I tell my partner or a close friend, if I struggle I talk to them, etc. I don't have a need for the entire building to know I'm doing something.

Feels like a TON of pressure. Right now it seems that everyone is watching what everyone else is doing, eating, etc. Like being under a microscope.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARE425 4/9/2010 2:27PM

    People can talk about diets all they want... you're walkin' the walk.

You did the right thing. Your plan to get healthy is just that - yours. It's your information to share. And why share it with judgmental people? Ultimately, it's none of their business.

Keep your head up, doll.

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SHEALUNA 4/9/2010 2:19PM

    Telling people who are completely non-supportive about your journey is pointless and, IMHO, can actually be harmful. You tell the people who are important (partner, close friend) and you tell the rest of your cheering squad (Us!!!!!!!). Why does anyone else need to know. Keep on keeping on and let all their jaws hit the floor when YOU are the one getting all healthy and fabulous and stuff! emoticon

You know what they say... I picture's worth a thousand words, so let your RESULTS speak for themselves.

And that's my two cents. emoticon

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Workplace competition

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Oh man. Spring has sprung (in our hearts if not the weather) - and my workplace is full of dieting women....complete with "my way is the best way" attitudes and comparison/competition in full swing.

A large contingence is doing Atkins. Not of fan of Atkins, personally. Watching them tons of cheese, hardboiled eggs and bacon has been interesting to say the least. I don't give my opinions - if anyone asks I'll tell them I think it's just a much too high fat diet (the way they are doing it anyway) for me, thanks.

then there's the South Beach gals. I feel so deprived on SB it's not funny and I end up binging. Is that my failure or the diet's failure? Doesn't matter to me, because I am not successful with it.

I'm behind these women making healthy choices and I've mentioned spark people then let it go. If Atkins/SB works for them, I'm really pleased for them. I just know it's not for me. SP has given me the tools I need and when I use the tools I lose weight. Good enough.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEALUNA 4/6/2010 2:19PM

    I so know the feeling! At my old workplace the big one was the General Motors diet. Basically a variant on the old Cabbage Soup diet. I swear the men were worse than the women!

Huzzah for you, stickin' to your Spark guns! I agree it's given me the best set of tools for the long term. I know I can do it short term. This time I'm in for the long haul!

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LEELEEPOO 4/6/2010 1:25PM

    Good for you, sailing under your own SP flag! You're in for life and they're in for the diet! And good wishes to everybody!


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Owning my choices

Monday, April 05, 2010

This was the theme of a recent SP email I received, with the following quote:

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.

- Wayne Dyer

Particularly apt as I am looking back to a weekend of choices I made - some good, some not so much. I made the decisions to eat what I ate - good and "bad" - I made the choices to work out - or not workout - and owning those choices and decisions is the only path for me to success in weight loss.

On Easter's past...I would have eaten and binged on candy until I exploded, basically. This year? Nope. In fact, we did't "do" a dinner. We had a regular meal and that was it. Did I have some chocolate? Yep, Yep I did. But it was in moderation and not binging and I am content with my choices.

That being said, I'm faced again right away on Monday with food at work that is not remotely on my plan, anxiety i'm struggling to control, and it would be so easy to not own my choices and say "I'm having a crappy day. I'll eat what I want today and start fresh tomorrow".

The problem with starting fresh with tomorrow is this: It is a lost day. What is a day in a life? Likely not much - but it's more than I want to sacrifice to my health. How many "tomorrows" or "next weeks" have stolen time off my life in obesity and lack of health?

So today, even tho I'd like to hide in bed, eat chocolate and read trashy novels , I choose to remain on my food plan. I choose to drink the water. I choose to sweat. I choose to remain present in my body and in the moment.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEALUNA 4/5/2010 1:33PM

    You can always read trashy novels WHILE you sweat (On a stationary bike, anyway.) or in between the sweating. lol In my opinion, trashy novels are as essential to health as an apple a day! emoticon

Hooray for owning your decisions! I'm finding that this one point is the KEY to everything. The key to getting healthy, mentally and physically. There's something so empowering in making a decision and owning it, for better or for worse.

Here's to owning ourselves! emoticon

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Blue skies, bay-bee...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Finally, a spring-like day! We usually have 300+ days of sunshine a year....this year? Not so much. Rain, cloud cover and snow have been the hallmarks of the weather. So I'm really glad to see the sky and the sun!

Yesterday I did indeed manage to stay in my guidelines - slightly over in carbs by a few grams, but I'm not going to be legalistic and shoot myself down over it, period. Got the water in to boot! So, today I'm feeling strong and capable and just aiming for more of the same.

Tried to go to Zumba last night...but the instructor "forgot". yay. That was sort of annoying - especially when we dragged ourselves out into the weather to get there - hail and crazy rain/wind. But, we will persevere and go back tonight and see if it works out.

Scale says -1.1 pounds for this week so far. Not bad eh? Gee, keeping in your calorie limits and drinking water and you lose a little weight. who knew..... emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CNICH11 4/1/2010 2:37PM

    emoticon emoticon Do I hear a Woot Woot!! emoticon

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SHEALUNA 4/1/2010 1:45PM

    Go you for staying on track! And an even bigger GO YOU for not being legalistic about a few grams of carbs. And 1.1 pounds? Serious awesomeness!!!!!!!!!!!!

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