Monday, August 19, 2013

On Being Real

This post is all about being real, transparent, vulnerable-- authentic.
Whatever you want to call it-- it isn't easy to do.  Even when you pretty much trust the people in your life you don't always want to be open to rejection or judgment.  No one does.  But it takes a lot of energy to keep your issues private sometimes.  I am not talking about blabbing everything to the whole universe about every little thing.  But sometimes it is really good to just relax and let the armor down.  Let the mask slip a little.
My very good friend Kathy (with a 'K') is being bravely open about her current battle with clinical depression and I want to commend her here for doing so.  I know how difficult this is for her to do because she is not a depressive type person.  She is upbeat and funny and encouraging and she has a chemical imbalance in her brain that crops up every so often like a big dark ugly rabbit hole that you start slipping down into and cannot stop.  And you don't want to admit it to others and you don't want to admit it to yourself because it feels like failure.  But like so many more obvious physical ailments, it just happens.  And you have no control over when or why.  All you can do is do the work to climb back out. Sometimes that involves medication and therapy and time.  But it is hard, scary work.  I have been there.  I hope to never go there again and I take meds every day to do my best to keep the chemicals in my brain balanced.  And I try to let others help me even that is hard because I would much rather be the one helping them.
For me, at the moment, it isn't about depression but about my obesity I will address.
I mean it isn't like you guys haven't noticed that I am, well I call it Manatee-like.  Blubbery.  Etc... but I call that out first so no one has a chance to shock me with it.  I am right now probably the heaviest I have ever been and that is saying a lot.  In the past few weeks I have had a lot of scary and humiliating experiences.  I fell and couldn't get up. Screamed for help until I was hoarse to no avail and bruised up finally got up again.  I flew on an airplane and couldn't buckle myself up by myself.  I avoid looking in the mirror and when I have to I just don't let it register.  I rarely wear makeup or fix my hair too elaborately so I don't have to look at myself.  I am in extreme pain pretty much constantly and don't really feel as though I deserve real treatment.  I feel disgusted and angry and worthless of myself.  And I project that every single person that looks at me feels that way too or worse.
And I am not fishing for reassurance here or denials.  I am just being real here.
Today I started Nutrisystem.  It is dang expensive but so are my daily trips for fast food.  It doesn't taste all that great but that is okay.  Being a foodie doesn't do me any favors.  What it does is control my portions and take away a lot of the decisions or thinking which is something I need right now.  I wish I could control myself.  I wish I had a better way to deal with stress than I do.  But so far in my life I have never figured it out or made it work for any great length of time.  In the past my best method of weight control was my bouts of depression and anxiety which always make me nauseous and have do desire to eat.  I drop 50-60 lbs in the time it has taken to get out from under it and then I gain it back.  I have ridden this roller coaster at least 4 or 5 times and you have probably noticed my ups and downs and not had a clue what was going on. 
So anyhow.... Kudos to you Kathy.  Kudos to everyone else who has 'come out of the closet' on facebook to open up and help us all feel our own humanity.
Reminders to all (especially me):  be kind to each other.  Say the encouraging words.  Back them up with hugs.  Don't believe that you are the only one with problems or that yours are the worst or that everyone will turn their backs on you.  Give your 'family' (choosen family that is) the blessing of loving on you and don't be selfish in stealing this from them by isolating and hiding.  If you are depressed get dressed.  Make yourself do things that you don't really feel like doing.  Perform an act of random and secret kindness.  Lift up your eyes to see around you not just at yourself.  Draw strength from those around you and from your faith.  If you have no source of faith, think about finding some. 
Me--- I am going to eat my little tiny can of chicken noodle soup and send my love to you all!

1 comment:

ltlrags said...

Most people can be opaque and no one knows. People hide their depression, I hide my weakness for cool electronics and power tools, etc. You've never been able to hide, and we would all be poorer people if you had. And you're a strong person to wrestle with this publicly. I have seen, do see, and always will see you as a beautiful person and a wonderful friend. Here's to many more years for our friendship [glasses clink].