Category Archives: depression

Migraines vs. depression

So, during the psych evaluation, an interesting idea was floated by my doctor:  that the birth control pill I was on might be wrecking havoc with my hormones and that might, in turn, be exacerbating my depression.

Okay – I can hear the chorus – “but Laura, why are you on birth control if you’re all gay and such?”  Certainly it isn’t due to all the rampant boy sex I’m having (frankly, it’s not due to ANY sex that I’m having these days…).  No, I started using birth control pills a few years back to control hormonal migraines (not nearly so entertaining, I know).

I had been on birth control pills for a bit back in the old days when pregnancy was a possibility (being gay in my head didn’t count as long as I was still dating boys), but had stopped taking them when I stopped pretending to be straight.  Even though I tolerated them well, and had loved how they made my cycle so regular, I wasn’t all that keen on taking hormones.

For a few years, I went the natural route.  I never had much issue with my period (other than the normal annoyance of it), but when I look back, I can see the pattern of headaches when it started shortly thereafter.  It didn’t get bad, though, for probably another year or two — at that point, the pattern became quite clear:  every month I would lose about 1.5 weeks to headaches.  And of those 10 days, I would suffer through about 2-4 days of debilitating migraines.

When I discussed the issue with my gynecologist, she put me back on birth control pills.  And they helped a little bit, though I was still having issues every month — just shortened the time because my period was shorter.  So, then we moved to a period-every-three-months birth control pill, and that was better — it limited my symptoms to only 4 times a year.  So, this past time around, we went full hog and I’m on a birth control pill where I never get a period.  And this? Wonderful!  I feel like I’m no longer a slave to my cycle.  I never have to worry about time of the month (or 3 months) and over the past 6 months I’ve not had even one hormonal migraine.  Victory!

I did try controlling the migraines with migraine medication, but that worked only some of the time.  I’d get a migraine, take pills for it, it would help some of the time, but then the next day I’d get a rebound headache so bad that it almost wasn’t worth it to have treated the first migraine.  Went through a series of a couple of different migraine medications (though I’m sure there are more out there to try), and never hit on anything that entirely fixed the problem.

So, now my psychiatrist is recommending that I talk to my gynecologist and go to a “less progesterone-y” birth control pill (her words, not mine)… meaning, one where I’ll still have periods.  She thinks that we might be fighting a losing battle with the anti-depressants if I’m still on the same birth control pill.

I’m torn.

It’s a quality of life issue:  not having migraines has been life-changing. I wouldn’t wish migraines on my worst enemy — and I know that I don’t even get them as bad as some people do (mine generally only last 5-8 hours).  Let me put it this way:  when I get one, if I had the choice I’d choose to be put out of my misery than have to suffer through one more minute of it.

But – of course – the depression is also quality of life.  And it’s sneakier because depression doesn’t manifest itself as an ice pick being stabbed into my brain over and  over and over again.  Which makes it seem like depression is easier to deal with.

But is it?

I’m not sure.  I’m loathe to give up my period and headache-free existence. But if that’s one of the reasons that I’m miserable and lonely and utterly disinclined to enjoy life? That’s something I need to consider.

I look back, and it’s possible that there’s a connection between my depression getting worse and when I started on this particular birth control pill.  Was I depressed before that? I think so. Did the birth control pills cause me to spiral further down?  I’m not sure, but, maybe.  I will say this, though:  I believe now that I’ve been dealing with depression on some level or another for a good chunk of my life.  This isn’t new, it’s just worse.

So, I’m still thinking on it.  Trying to gather some information, see what I can find. I can go back to one of my previous birth control pills, see if that helps with the mood.  Maybe it won’t make a difference and I can go back on what I’m on now?  That’s a possibility, of course.  I just hate the idea of migraines. Absolutely hate it.  But I also hate the way I feel now.  What to do, what to do…

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Better living through chemistry

Surprise, surprise… a real, honest-to-goodness psychiatrist thinks I’ve got issues.

The appointment itself was anti-climatic, as my the few remaining logical brain cells in my head knew it would be.  It was a typical review of all my symptoms, a little bit of crying on my part, a little bit of “there, there… it’s okay to cry” on her part.  A little back and forth, a few probing questions so she could form an opinion, and I walked out of there with a prescription for an anti-depressant. Voila! As easy as that.

The doctor told me that it would be about 2 months before I started getting anything positive from the drugs, and first I would probably have 2-3 weeks of side effects to slog through.  Nausea, headaches, diarrhea … standard fare for this type of medication.  She told me to be patient, to bide my time… basically, hang in there until the effects of the medication kicked in, and to not lose faith that there was hope out there.

I’m ramping up on the medication — half dosages for a week to ease some of the side effects — and then it’s just a waiting game.  My first 3 days have been tolerable:  vague nausea and a slight headache that comes and goes.

All I know is that I have the meds, but it’s sort of just been business as usual — it hasn’t really sunk in yet, despite the potential ramifications, both good and bad. It’s another pill to take in the morning, but without any immediate effects, it’s like nothing has changed.  I don’t feel a victory for having done what I did, nor do I feel troubled because I “gave in” and stopped trying to fix myself. Honestly, it’s almost more of an “eh, who cares?” reaction on my part.  Perhaps depression does has some upsides?

Perhaps I need to view this as simply the next step in me stepping back in and taking charge of my life.  Certainly, I am making headway:  I’ve spent the past 5 weeks eating healthier, dropping some excess weight and going through spurts of training.  And now I can tack on the fact that I made — and went to! — a psychiatrist appointment and started on some medication that has a shot at bettering my quality of life.

Little steps, small changes … but moving … somewhere … nonetheless.

Leap of faith

I have to admit:  I’m scared.

Coming up on Friday, I have that appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss getting a prescription for some sort of anti-depressant. This was my therapist’s idea and I initially was resistant to it (“I don’t need no stinkin’ help!”), but as time has passed I’ve been swayed by her arguments.  Basically, I’ve gotten to a breaking point where I know that something has to change and this seems like one of the few flotation devices left in this ocean in which I’m drowning.

So, what am I scared of, exactly?

(note:  if the doctor is any sort of professional, I understand that my fears are unfounded, but, frankly, logic has very little bearing on how afraid I am)

  • I’m scared that I’ll go into this appointment and the doctor will think that I’m either lying or it’s all in my head. This plays on a couple of fears of mine — first, the fear of asking for help, making myself vulnerable and basically being rebuffed and laughed at for my attempt.  Second, the fear that I should be able to fix this myself by “looking on the bright side” and simply “deciding to be happy” (because it’s just that easy, didn’t you know?)
  • I’m scared of being utterly intimidated and overwhelmed at the appointment. Let’s face it:  this whole situation makes me want to curl up into a ball and pretend like it doesn’t exist (see how well that’s worked so far?).  In the face of a doctor that might not have the best bedside manner, I worry that I’ll clam up and not ask the questions I need to ask for fear of sounding dumb or weak or unintelligent.
  • I’m scared about all the potential side effects — everything from dizziness to weight gain to decreased sexual desire (though, with the current state of my dating affairs, this might be a bonus) to tiredness to hair loss to extra limbs growing out of my chest (who really reads all the fine print?).  What if all I’m doing is trading in one problem for another?
  • But probably the thing that I’m scared most about is this: the appointment will go fine, the doctor will listen and sympathize, tell me that things will get better…and then I’ll be prescribed medication and it won’t work.  That I’ll still feel sad. And like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. No way out. That this pervading loneliness is my destiny.  That I’m too broken to fix.

Yea, that last one, that’s the one that keeps me up at night.  Classic fear of failure, but with stakes that take my breath away.  What if I’m just too broken.

But having run out of ways to make this better on my own, I know I need to make this leap to try and save myself.  So, I will go to the doctor’s office on Friday (after having shrugged on my bravery coat of armor) and hope for the best.  Hope that my random choice of doctor from my insurance list is someone who will listen and understand and be kind.  Hope that there’s…. hope, I suppose.

That’s all I really want.

Happy

I’m really struggling these days, so I thought I’d switch gears around here and list some of the things that make me smile, laugh and be happy.

  1. Sometimes I forget how happy music makes me.  The other day I was feeling especially down, but proud of myself because I had forced myself to go for a run.  As a reward, I brought a big speaker into the bathroom with me, got my favorite playlist going, and belted out the songs while showering.  This was surprisingly therapeutic (though my neighbors may not have appreciated it) and I think it’s only a matter of time before I’m “discovered”.
  2. The upside to some of the insomnia I’ve been having is that once or twice a week I get out of bed extra early and take Belle out for a dark, quiet, peaceful morning walk.  We hit the sidewalk around 4:30am, so there’s not a whole lot going on, and the crisp, fall air wakes me up in a way that my alarm clock never can.
  3. I’ve always had an anti-green thumb: I’m pretty sure the underground plant network warned all plants to stay away from my house or face the dire consequences.  But since my roommate moved in a year and a half ago, I became the caretaker of the two plants she brought with (both from her mother’s funeral).  Talk about pressure!  They were both doing poorly when they arrived — her last place of residence had her (and the plants) living in the basement and both the cats and dog got at them.  Somehow, someway, I managed to turn them around — now one of them is big enough to stage a coup on the house, and the other looks all perky and green instead of mostly dead.  Every time I look at these plants I feel a slice of pride for making them grow.
  4. I work in I.T. and because it’s for a small, private company, I basically have my hand in anything computer-related, from servers to network to security to hardware to software.  But what I most like doing is helping people solve their problems.  About two weeks, I managed to salvage a guy’s computer — he had really mucked it up — and I later got an email from him:  “I’m married but I have to tell you that I love love love you… thanks for much for your help.”  That made me smile for days.
  5. I’ve started getting more consistent with getting back to running, hoping that through sheer force of will I can make myself feel better (running has always been how I’ve kept my moods in check).  Even though it hasn’t really had that overall “pick me up” effect that I was hoping for, I will say that there’s no better feeling than finishing a run — especially a long one, like the 9 miler I did this weekend — and knowing it was all me.  No one helped, I didn’t cheat it, I pushed my way through it and it’s entirely MY gold star.
  6. At night when Belle climbs onto the bed, she burrows and snuggles into my body, settles herself in and then lets out this big, contented sigh and falls asleep.  Makes me love her even more (until she starts to snore, of course).
  7. Every year, I take 3 of my best friends out for their birthdays.  It’s something we plan months in advance (they all have husbands and kids so they are notoriously difficult to schedule something with), and each one of us looks forward to it.  We haven’t done this even once without having at least one long, drawn out, can’t breathe laugh-fest at the table … and there’s nothing better for the soul than laughter shared among friends.
  8. No matter how bad my outlook gets, I know that if I ever go into a really bad place that there will be people around me who will notice and help pull me out.  The comfort I get from that is beyond words.

So, what’s your make-you-happy thing?

Full circle

Well, things got interesting late last week.

Remember how my roommate, K., had done the stereotypical lesbian two-dates-and-move-in-with-her-girlfriend thing?  That was about 6 months ago, and apparently they’ve now hit the relationship expiration date:  my roommate has left her and moved back in with me. I kind of knew that it was going to happen… they had been fighting and bickering for 5 of the 6 months they were together — they didn’t give themselves a chance to ease into the relationship and missed that special window of time when it’s easy to dump someone because you’re not trying to pick out curtains with them at the same time as you’re trying to get rid of them.

So, last week, I got a call at work:  “Is it okay if I move back in?”  How could I say no?  I knew she was unhappy — one of those relationships where when it’s good, it’s great, but it’s more often bad or worse — but I wasn’t actually expecting her to cut bait and leave.  I got home that day, saw her big ass bottle of raspberry vodka on the counter and to my surprise, knew she had followed through. K. isn’t one for being on her own, much, but end it she did — I’m proud of her for doing so.  She had been staying because it was easy, but not necessarily because it was the right thing to do, ya know?

I’m ambivalent about her moving back in, to be honest.  To be fair, she’s one of my most favorite people in the world and I’ve found that it’s good to have someone in the house again — not that talking to my dog Belle wasn’t satisfying conversation.  And having K. around on a regular basis gives me less chance to wallow in my moods — and for someone who messes with depression, wallowing is like the gateway drug for a full-on depressive binge. Wallowing = seriously not good for me.

But her being around makes my relatively new healthy decisions a little more difficult to make on a daily basis:  K’s one of those lean, muscular, in-shape types who eats junk food non-stop and has some of the unhealthiest habits I’ve ever seen (especially for someone who’s in the fitness industry — she’s a personal trainer).  She’s aware and supportive of my situation, but unfortunately I like to use food to bond with people.  Nothing like spending time with someone eating pizza and ice cream to cement a friendship, right?  See, I know K. won’t say no to that kind of invitation, while if I cook all healthy and such, she’s likely to go out and find someone else to have dinner with.  I’d rather her eat with me.  See how that works?  Companionship wins out over healthy eating every damn time. I suppose I’m feeding one of my needs, just not necessarily the healthy one.

And then there’s the whole bit about how I have an on-again-off-again impossibly unrequited crush on her.  She’s not interested — this much I’m quite sure of — but that doesn’t stop me from occasionally having weird bouts of jealousy when it comes to her bringing home girls.  I can’t help it, I know it’s not rational, but I don’t like her being with other girls while she’s in my house. It also doesn’t help that her bedroom is directly above mine… it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what’s going on up there, if you know what I mean.

With her having moved out, the crush was a thing of the past — out of sight, out of mind, basically — but now that she’s back, it’s like I’ve got to go through the withdrawal process again. Which kinda sucks. At least there are no sex buddies hanging around yet, but that’s just a matter of time.

Overall I’m hoping for good things from this second round of roommate-ing together.  She’s the extrovert to my introvert and it’s good for me to be actively pulled out of my own head like that.  I also know this is a challenge for me:  instead of going out of my way to do things for her, I’ve got to live my life the way I want to… if she comes along for the ride, great, but if not, that’s okay too.

I need to do things to like myself, rather than doing things for K. to like me, if that makes sense.  And I need to let her live her life without my judgment or interference.  Be K’s best friend and not her weird stalker, wanna-be-your-girlfriend friend.

That’s all.  Easy, right?

If nothing else, day to day life just got a whole lot more interesting.  I’ll take it.

Back with a vengeance

Over at The Bloggess, she says something incredibly wise:  depression is a lying bastard and life will be brighter again.

(an aside – if you’ve never heard of The Bloggess, go there right now and read! She’s awesome and it’s much better than being here.  Plus, I’ll wait for you to come back.)

I’m struggling to keep this in mind — that this monster that keeps climbing on my back is doing nothing but whispering lies in my ear.  Nothing good or positive or healthy comes from this voice.  You’re boring.  And ugly.  And will always be alone.  And never have sex ever again.  No one in the world wants you.  That’s what it tells me.  Among other things.  (I mean, if it could toss in something helpful, that’d be nice, though.  Perhaps a reminder to change the filter on the furnace or something like that?)

When I’m at my most logical, I can see the fallacy behind these words.  No, I haven’t found someone to be with, but does that mean it’ll never happen?  Of course not.  And I’m quite sure that my stable of friends would argue with me if I told them I was ugly or boring.  If I were as awful a person as the monster tells me, I’d be utterly alone in this world.  And that is far from the truth.

And yet, I’ve been really challenged to work my head past these feelings and move forward. It’s hard to battle something that doesn’t play fair, ya know?

I had made an early August appointment with a psychiatrist to talk about going on some meds, but in the end, I cancelled that appointment.  See, for a few weeks at the end of July, life was good.  Really good.  I had met a girl.  Someone I liked! I thought she was cute and good company and everything she said to me indicated that she felt the same.  The only downside?  She lived about 2.5 hours from me.

It ended up being the relationship that never was.  After the initial date, we made — and she cancelled — 5 more, all with good, plausible reasons.  But fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me 5 times, who’s the idiot?  Whether the excuses were real or not, it was clear that I was a very low priority and if it’s that way in the beginning?  It’s never going to get better.  You can’t make someone love you. Or even meet up for a drink with you, as it turns out.

After that I went all to hell — much worse than before.  But I had already cancelled the psych appointment.  And when I finally called back, she wasn’t taking new appointments anymore.

For weeks I wallowed and dwelled and hated my life.  It was crying binges during the day and spending entire weekends where the only conversation I had (talking to the dog doesn’t count!) was with the checkout person at Trader Joe’s.  I ate with abandon and my only exercise consisted of using the remote control and doing 12oz bicep curls with my drinks. It wasn’t much of an existence, that’s for sure.

But very recently, part of me woke up and decided that if nothing else, I could control my eating and health.  I decided that even if I didn’t have the motivation to work out, I could eat healthy and watch calories.  I think things got so out of control that I picked the one thing that I *could* control.  If even just a little bit.

And so, I joined myfitnesspal.com and started tracking food.  Joined in with the community.  Even managed to get myself a dozen or so friends that check in on me.  And that’s been good.

In the spirit of trying to take care of myself, I also went through my insurance and found another random psychiatrist who was accepting new patients and made an appointment (I have another 3 weeks to wait)… one of those things that sounds easy as pie but is impossibly difficult for me to do (that’s a blog for another time).

So, we’ll see what happens.  This mood/depression/whatever has been hanging around most of the year, and it’s definitely been bearing down on me lately. Despite the fact that a potential girlfriend made me feel better, I don’t believe getting rid of the depression is that simple.  I think the uplift would have been temporary and would have gone away eventually, with or without someone in my life.  In the end, I need to fix myself, not distract myself.

So, while the depression has been back with a vengeance, perhaps I might be crawling back up as well.  At least I feel like I’m making some healthy decisions in spite of myself.  With every good choice I make, it makes a little easier to make the next one.  I’ve started doing a bare amount of exercise.  And I even promise not to cancel the psych appointment, no matter what’s going on by then. Because I need to remember how depression can lie … life will get better. Sometimes you just need to take the first steps.

More on anonymity

I was reading yet another poignant article on The Rumpus and it got me to thinking again about how I’ve chosen to remain anonymous in this space (you know, as anonymous as one can get on the big ol’ world wide web).

And I’m starting to think that one of my problems — something at the core of everything that I deem “wrong” about myself — is my basic inability to share myself with other people.  Ironically, not complete strangers, mind you, or people that I meet only virtually — you guys probably hear more than you want — but with anyone that holds a spot in my “in real life” life.

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who simply was private.  Someone who took a little work to get to know really well. But as I look closer, I find that with the exception of one, perhaps two people in my life, no one really has any idea what’s going on with me.  I’m not private, I’m utterly closed off.

Most of my friends would respond, if asked, that I was just fine and doing well.  “Sure”, they’d say, “she’s still single and I know she’d love to be in a relationship, but her job’s going great, she’s always busy and up to something fun.”  In fact, many of my married with kids friends would probably admit to being a little jealous of my lifestyle, as theirs no longer allows for the independence and spontaneity that I enjoy.

Now, my family?  None of them have absolutely any idea that there’s anything even close to out of place in my life.  Depression?  They’d never think it. Lonely?  They look at all my friends and activities and would it would never cross their mind.  Struggling with being single?  They’re quite sure I’m single by choice.  I’ve never been one to share much of my social/dating life with them, so no information now isn’t a change.

This leads to the question:  why?

The answer is a little complicated, but it boils down to a few bullet points:

  • I don’t want anyone to know that there’s anything wrong with me.  I don’t want the pity, the knowing glances, the “oh you poor thing”.  I don’t know how I would handle anyone wanting to talk to me about the problems I’m having.
  • It’s easier to just act happy — I think it makes me more fun to be around.  And it helps me — sometimes putting on that mask makes it become reality for at least a little while.
  • I already think bad things about myself and hate myself for them — why would I want the people I love thinking those same things and perhaps coming to the same awful conclusions as I have?

Seems a little ridiculous once I put it in black and white.

A little background:  growing up, my family didn’t talk much.  We joked, we laughed, we teased, we had fun, but we rarely talked about anything of consequence.  When I came out to my parents, that was one of the first times that I had spoken frankly and openly with them. So, for me to, say, make this blog public to friends and family?  A little terrifying.

But if I’m honest with myself, I’ll notice that I spend a lot of energy keeping myself closed off.  A simple example… I don’t tell people, “No, I can’t go out on Thursday because I’ve got a therapy appointment.”  Of course not.  I give a vague excuse and move on, hoping they won’t press for a more descriptive answer.

One day I’m going to have to take that leap and open myself up to friends and family.  Perhaps it won’t be through this blog — there are things in the archives that might hurt some feelings or cause some friends to be a little weirded out (do straight friends get weirded out when they find out they were the object of your love?) — but in some way I think it’ll have to happen for me to move forward.

It’s occurred to me that this might be a huge part of why I’m still single, even.  It’s funny because a way-back-in-time ex-boyfriend described me as “emotionally unavailable” when we were breaking up (oh, okay — I was breaking up with him)… he wasn’t so far from the truth, now, was he?

I quit you… or do I?

Tell me… how do you quit people?

Not the bad influence friends.  Or the ones who periodically weed-whack their way through your life, destroying everything in their paths.  Those are easy … well, at least the decision to delete their number from your cell phone should be easy (actual removal is a different problem, of course).

But what about someone who’s your friend?  Someone who would be there if you needed them.  Someone who knows your secrets.  Someone who knows you just about as well as you know yourself.  Someone that (maybe, just maybe) you’re secretly in love with?

How do you quit them?

Of course, it’s not that clear cut, either.  The fact is that I’m mostly past the “in love” part.  Due to my wildly, insanely high expectations, I’ve been let down enough that I’ve started the process of letting go.  This, in turn, is helped by the fact that this friend tends to promise big, say all the right things, and then stumble on the follow through.  She still is the person I confide in most and is utterly dear to me, but even I can recognize that I’m not a priority to her.

Of course, if I’m to be honest, I was expecting my friend to act like my girlfriend in all ways but the obvious girlfriend ways.  I wanted her around (all the time), do stuff with me (all the time) and put me first (all the time).  Isn’t that what friends are for?

But still – quitting her entirely?  That’s what my therapist is suggesting.  I knew she would — I almost didn’t bring it up because I knew this struggle would ensue.

I think I can keep the friendship; I’ve been here before, having a total crush on a friend who’s completely and obviously not interested (historically, these have always been straight friends… the fact this one is gay is an interesting twist).  And I’ve always managed to work my way through it and find the light on the other side.  Kept the friendship.  Pushed my way through to a place where the friendship wasn’t some form of exquisite torture and in return I received the gift of a true, equal relationship.

I’ll just do the same thing this time around.  Mold and manage my expectations into something that resembles reality — and what a normal “we’re just friends” friendship looks like.

I tell my therapist this; she’s not convinced.  Thinks — and perhaps rightly so — that this friend takes advantage of me.

It’s true:  our friendship is lopsided.  It used to be that I absolutely went out of my way for her. I would wait around for her to show up to go out, make her dinner, buy her things just because I knew she’d like them.  In return I usually got the attention I wanted — that’s all that I ever really wanted from her.  But she would dole it out in a manner so frustrating to me … I wanted everything, she just wanted to be friends.

But since then, I’ve definitely gotten better and reeled things in.  I’ve mostly dropped the puppy dog act (I was starting to get fleas, I think) and no longer make concessions for her.  Of course, even with this progress, I still sometimes leave myself open to getting hurt by her.  I’ll expect something that perhaps a friend shouldn’t expect and she’ll let me down.  The most recent episode of this had me in tears.

And so, do I quit her?

No matter which path I choose, there will be grieving involved — either losing a friend entirely or losing the fantasy I’ve been trying desperately to enact in real life.

I have to admit, there is some temptation to the full-on quit — I see the world in such a black and white way that act would fit my world view:  either I can have her entirely or not at all.

But the world is lonely enough without losing another friend, isn’t it?

It might not be the best decision I’ve ever made, but I’m guessing it won’t be the worst, either.  The time between now and when I’m free of the crush will be challenging, but I know that the core friendship that we share — outside of my wild ideas — is worth saving.

So, no quitting.  I’ll leave the option open, but for now?  I’ll give it a go.

(postscript:  no, I never told her I felt this way, but I never needed to — she made it clear from the beginning that she wanted nothing more than friendship from me and she’s in a serious relationship anyway)

Session drama

So, I’m in therapy.  It hasn’t been long — about a month or so — but this has been a struggle since day 1 and continues as such.

By the time I get back home after a session, know what I most want to do?  Curl up into the fetal position and rock.  Nice, eh?

Therapy hasn’t been much of a feel-good, esteem-building exercise (though I’m not sure why I thought it might be that way) and rather, it’s an hour of crying and being pushed to acknowledge that at every turn I try to sabotage myself.

And yea, yea… I know… it’s good for me.  The tears and the trauma and the drama all point to her pushing me into facing some truths about myself that I’ve conveniently opted to ignore.  A lot of the therapy centers about the fact that most of my relationships have been ones of unrequited love — you know, the typical story:  girl becomes friends with Chick, girl falls in love with Chick, girl doesn’t make feelings known to Chick, Chick is oblivious (or straight or married or in a relationship), girl tortures herself for months or years on end until she finally lets go.  Whew.

But really – that’s how my life goes.  I could easily name half a dozen of my friendships that have followed that scenario — pretty much every girl that’s been a best friend.  And in every case, Chick hasn’t had any idea (other than perhaps the feeling that I was a bit of a stalker-type and too attached).

My therapist aptly noted:  “You never choose someone who will return your feelings.”  Um, yea.  No idea.  Just happens that way.

Or something like that.

Another gem from my therapist:  “You’ve got a million excuses why you can’t change your life.”  Not quite a million, I replied.  Sure, probably in the hundred thousands, but not a million.

(And yes, I make lame jokes when cornered.)

Of course, to me, they aren’t excuses, but reasons.

A concrete example of my “reasons”:  the apartment in the city.  My reason for not having one yet?  My oh-so-lovable pit bull … apartments have breed/size restrictions, as it turns out.  My therapist pointedly questioned: why not pay more for a place that will accept the dog?  I can’t afford it.  Why not recruit the help of friends and family to watch Belle while I’m in the city and get a pet-free apartment?  Well, because I couldn’t do that.  Why not?  Because why should someone else take care of my dog?  (see how good I am at this game?)

And on and on …until I end up in tears because I can plainly see how stubborn I’m being while trying to find a solution.

I’m not sure where the resistance comes from.  The apartment was *my* idea, and I felt like it was something that I really wanted to see happen.  But as my search got more difficult instead of being creative in finding solutions, I kind of just gave up.  “It’s fate”, I thought.

All this to say that I still need some work.  Until I can sit through a therapy session, confident in the direction I’m headed and the decisions I’m making, I likely still need to be there.  Even though the sessions turn me into Humpty Dumpty who breaks apart and can’t quite get put back together again.

(An aside:  this post has spewed out of me, all jumbled and feeling a little random and unorganized.  I’m usually all about the editing, but this time around?  I like the idea of the post reflecting my own chaotic and slightly dramatic feelings about this.)

Let’s talk…

… depression.

For me, it slowly wormed its way in and set up shop before I even really noticed. It was my bad mood, just worse.  It was my PMS over-the-top emotions without the PMS.  A pervasive sense of loss when nothing important in my life had changed.  But it sneaked up on me; I lived like that for a long while before I even noticed the shift.

I’ve almost entirely stopped working out.  In turn, I spend that time eating and drinking instead.  I’ve gained twenty pounds (20!) in what feels like a heartbeat.

I had to go and buy fat jeans the other day.  Yup.  Shoot me now.

My therapist says that this can be attributed to the depression.  That somehow because of this thing lodged in my brain, I lack the ability to make the decision to exercise on a consistent basis.

Somehow, I don’t entirely buy that, but okay.  I guess it’s nice to have a reason handy if anyone were to ask why I’ve become such a fat ass.

Frankly, I think that I’ve been using it as an excuse.  I’ve been depressed before and I’ve managed to train through it (and use training to help as well).  And I’m starting to get annoyed with myself — this might turn out to be the biggest motivator I’ve encountered in months.

I feel a real sense of needing to make this stop:  no more brooding, crying, eating, drinking, and sitting around.

I wonder if I have it in me to do this on my own?