The last eight months or so have been a near epic level struggle for me. I have had a lot of ups and downs physically and emotionally (some emotions connected to the physical and some are their own things). I have been tackling some great big shit in my life and that comes with an equally large and weighty set of problems. I guess if I am being honest with myself (and that is what this is all about here), I have been hiding the things I am facing… mostly due to processing, but also because I am not feeling super awesome about myself these days and I would just prefer to hide. Hiding has never been good for me though.
I must confess that part of the reason I have been absent from this blog while wrestling with my personal life is due to a limit my therapist and I put in place. I will get into this in greater detail in a later post but I feel it is important to explain that I had to spend some time checking in with myself about the never ending list of things I want to talk about here in order to make sure I am not committing acts of self harm. In short, I have practiced some form of self-harm or another the majority of my life. As a child it was physical harm (I had a thing for biting on straight pins until they shoved into my teeth enough to hurt… I also stabbed straight pins into my scalp). As a teen I put myself in social situations that were very risky and ensured extra judgment and ridicule from my peers. As a young woman I was sexually promiscuous (by this I mean to say that I slept with partners for all the wrong reasons and made bad choices/put myself into potentially harmful and frightening situations. I am all for a healthy and safe sex life involving as many partners as one would like, but that is not what I was doing back then).
A major theme to this self-harming behavior started in middle school for me and involves a strange confessional/over sharing habit that, when working correctly, results in being shamed and ridiculed. This is not something I enjoy and basically is just a tool designed to encourage people to treat me like the piece of shit my inner self-hater thinks I really am. Again, I plan to examine this in depth in a future post here, but felt it was important to touch on now. I want you all to understand that I spent a great deal of my time away from this blog deciding if what I share here is truly helpful and healthy or if it is an extension of this self-harm. For now I am relatively confident that my motives are good. I want to work these things out by writing because that is what helps me the most, and I want to share my struggles because I want others to feel less alone with their struggles… and I feel like that is genuine.
There is one thing I have been dragging my feet about revealing because I am embarrassed and I still feel extra shitty about it and that is my ongoing brawl with weight loss. Since my ankle surgery back in November I have also had an eye surgery (in February), and oral surgery (in April). This is by no means and excuse for the fact that I have put all of the weight I lost two years ago back on (in addition to an extra five or six pounds), but I do feel it has had a lot to do with the slowdown in my physical activity. Because of my mobility issues it takes me a bit longer to bounce back from even a small illness, let alone a surgery.
But it isn’t just that… I have been fighting depression and a bout of aggravated OCD and anxiety. I have worked very hard with my therapist and my doctor to get a handle on this and I have learned a lot and I think I am reaching the crest of the hill, but it has taken its toll. This added to the facts that my marriage has been tough for much longer than I care to admit, and my husband has issues of his own that often make my struggles more difficult, well… it has created a fuck-storm of binge eating and paralyzing self-loathing that I really couldn’t handle alone.
I am now at a new highest weight ever (like more than I was when I was pregnant with my son). The high A1C I reversed before has come back even higher and I am one more high A1C level away from a Type II Diabetes diagnosis and being put on medication for it. This is a new wakeup call and I am trying extraordinarily hard to not slide into the darkness I feel creeping up around the edges of my psyche. I reversed it before and I know I can do it again. But I also know that I can’t do it alone, and I certainly can’t do with when my spouse is actively sabotaging me by bringing sweets and goodies into the house and throwing tantrums because I try to cook healthier meals for us both (he has huge weight struggles as well). And this depression/anxiety thing I fight goes hand in hand with the weight and binge eating.
It feels so good to get this off my chest because I am at a physical low and I feel like hiding in shame with this crushing physical and emotional state has been more harmful than anything else I could have done to myself. I have a plan and I am moving forward and I am back on this blog to chronicle my mental and physical ascent from this loathsome fucking shit pit I have been drowning it.
I do want you all to know that I have learned a few tricks since my last attempt to make this slippery climb. First and foremost, exercise is the very best medicine when it comes to dealing with my mental health issues. I am not at all opposed to medications. I have taken them in truly desperate times and if I ever reach that level again, I will take them again. Note that I am not advising anyone to take themselves off their meds! For me and my specific issues, exercise and eating a healthy diet make all the difference in the world.
I have also learned that I really can’t do this alone. Yes, I am in charge of what I put into my mouth, but I am also human and more fragile than I would ever care to admit. I need my husband and family by my side through this. And I can’t expect my husband to stand beside me when our relationship is sick all on its own, and he is drowning is his own piles of emotional shit. We have been going to marriage counseling for about four weeks now. It has been fucking ugly at times and I know that it is going to get much uglier before we come out of this. I am on a break from my therapist right now (I go thought the PSU Graduate School Family Counseling Clinic and they are on summer break so I will go back to her in the fall to check in for a while).
I will expand on and check in about the marriage counseling stuff as I go through it. There are so many things I have wanted to write about for all these months that I am having trouble breaking them down into their own posts. I will get to it all in time, and that is one thing I have plenty of. I will just attempt to tackle them as they present themselves in the best way that I can.