Wordy Wednesday

This post is incredibly difficult for me to write-I touched on it before but after all your amazing support I figured I would further elaborate. If you don’t like sad and serious blog posts, divert your attention elsewhere. If you ever have found yourself struggling with depression and overcoming severe life changes, then read on. I hope opening up about my experience will help you in any way. Caveat: I am leaving out some details as they are just too personal for me to discuss. If you want to discuss it further or have questions you can contact me via e-mail (kcriemer AT yahoo DOT com)
 
For months I thought I could ‘hide’ the depression or that it would magically disappear on its own… My thoughts were ‘well maybe if I exercise more the endorphins will make me HAPPY’. If I spend time doing things that make me happy I would be happy… only to realize that I don’t even know what makes me happy or ‘tick’ anymore. By having these thoughts rather than just accepting the truth I was more wrong than ever with thinking that I could fix it and only causing more harm.
 
By covering it up, not only was I lying to myself, but I was lying to all those close family and friends around me that love me and support me through the good, the bad, the happy & the sad. While deep down I knew and have known for months that I do indeed have depression, to possibly even a severe extent, I refused to grasp or accept it. I didn’t want to be the girl who needs medicine to be ‘happy’. I didn’t want to be the girl who is unstable—one week being so happy and the next being in complete misery.
 
Then this past weekend I had a moment of clarity. Unfortunately it took a night of darkness, sadness, and being alone to realize I HAD to get help. It wasn’t an option anymore. As mentioned before I will spare some of the details but the jist of it is I had that breaking point that I needed that lonely night.
 
I spent the weekend with my family back at home and got back to my apartment early evening on Sunday. I had a rough weekend to begin with and Tyler is vacationing with his family in St. Thomas—the guy who I can tell everything to and know that he will still love me the next day and be supportive wasn’t here. I didn’t know what to do. My friends are few and far between these days and I was too embarrassed to talk to my mom about how deep these issues truly resonate.
 
My parents know I have had depression since this past summer, but only Tyler knows how bad it really has been these past few months. With him being gone I didn’t want to ruin his vacation anymore than I already had by telling him how bad of a place I was in. So I turned to a bottle of hot apple pie (read: heavy on the everclear, heavy on the vodka, medium on the apple juice) and drank glass after glass after glass. Alone. On the living room floor. With an empty stomach. Listening to the saddest music possible. When I knew I had more than enough to drink I said ‘what’s one more?’. That happened numerous times. I tore my apartment apart. I cried for hours on end until I finally drank enough and passed out in bed.
 
I may have felt better for a little bit before the drinking got excessive that night but like all “remedies” I was doing myself-it was temporary. And now I was putting myself in danger too.Monday morning, hungover at work, I decided it was time. I couldn’t do this anymore.
 
Tyler has been urging (but not forcing) me to call to actually see a psychiatrist and a therapist to discuss my depression and body dysmorphia with someone qualified to help me. Making that phone call was quite honestly one of the hardest things in my life. As if I didn’t feel embarrassed before-now I felt weak for asking for HELP. Today I still sit here and don’t see how getting the help makes me a strong person. Tyler, my friends and family all remind me that I am being strong by getting help, I truly hope that I can see the strength in it. I can tell you that finally realizing and accepting the fact that depression is not something that will just go away and get the appropriate help has lifted a weight off of my shoulders.
 
This will not be forever. I WILL be happy again even if it is by taking the right medication indefinitely. I can’t bear the thought of putting my amazing relationship with Tyler in jeopardy because I refuse to get help, I don’t want to scare my friends and family anymore. I want to wake up every day and ENJOY this life that I am so privileged to have.
 
I may have a job I don’t fully enjoy…but I have a job.
 
I may not have the dream body I want…but I’m working hard towards my goals and am physically healthy.
 
I may not have a ton of friends…but the ones I do still have are the best people I could have in my life at a time like this.
 
I may not know what the future entails…but that means I have a lot of options and so much time to figure it out.
 
Until I see the doctor and therapists I am doing a lot of self-reflecting and journaling to record this process. Some days are good, some are bad and I want to get to the bottom of it. I will get to the bottom of it.
 
If you’ve made it this far-you really rock. I hope that this wasn’t too dreary for you but as I mentioned-I want to help anyone I can by sharing my experiences.
 
Happy Hump Day—half way to the weekend!
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Weight {To Be} Lifted

This post is full of raw emotion.. and took a lot for me to put out there. Even though there’s only about 4-5 faithful readers of my intermittent blog posts-it’s very personal stuff.  And long—so bare with me.
 

This past fall I struggled a LOT mentally. I  alluded to it on the blog but was debating whether I ever wanted to delve into it any further. One word:

DEPRESSION. I fought with myself for months as to whether I actually was depressed… or if it was just a phase. Life after college was so anti-climatic and un-fulfilling. I guess I expected to be happy immediately with life as an ‘adult’. Suddenly (apart from Tyler), I felt completely alone. All my friends went off to their duty stations around the world (all went Active Duty), started jobs as teachers and nurses… and here I was. Confused to what I want to do job-wise, friendless, and lost.

It was the first time ever that I wasn’t being challenged in a classroom environment, being surrounded by people, etc. I wasn’t just a little lost-I had absolutely no idea where to go. My evenings after work were spent working out then wallowing at home-often over a glass of wine and tissues while I cried. It took a lot of discussing things with Ty and my mom but eventually  I agreed to get help. I have been on anti-depressants for a while now. They were working but I think it may be time to up the dosage or change which one I’m on because I feel myself reverting to how I was a few months ago. I just am unhappy with where my life is right now job-wise (despite starting a new job) and what I want to do as a career. But now  there’s an additional element with my depression-lack of self-esteem and severe body dysmorphia disorder.

Like most HLB’s-I do not have a healthy relationship with food/weight/body image. While I know I am not ‘fat’ (that word makes me cringe) per se, I also know that I am not thin/toned/etc. I have always struggled with my appearance. Growing up I was a swimmer so I had broad shoulders and a bigger build than all the twigs that I walked the halls with. Looking back I had a killer body, but even then I was never good enough.

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Yes even in those pictures I thought I was fat.. never was happy with my body.

Insert years of yo-yo dieting (Atkins, SlimFast, etc.) and my weight was forever fluctuating. Then came college-also a time where it was up and down. When I started running I lost a lot of weight over a summer and everyone thought I looked great. Then junior & senior year happened and I gained it all back.

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Fast forward to now, when I’m almost a year out of college-and I’ve not only held onto the College weight I gained-but I’ve put on additional weight. I guess sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day with minimal activity will do that for ya. Like before, I know I’m not ‘fat’ but I am very unhappy and disappointed in how I look. I know with how much I work out that I should be much more lean. Unfortunately it’s not just a thought when I look in the mirror thinking ‘Karla, you should clean up your diet and workout even harder’… instead of this brief thought I have a full-on and dehabilitating OBSESSION with my weight and appearance.
 

I know you’re probably thinking ‘everyone has some self esteem and body image issues’. This is true; to some extent everyone does. But mine has been blown so far out of proportion. I stand in the mirror for a good ten minutes everyday critiquing my body. Both Monday & today after I left the gym, I sat in my car and bawled for at least five minutes because I saw myself in a mirror at the gym and was overwhelmed with pure disappointment–feeling like I will never be good enough.

Tyler and I don’t argue much but 90% of the arguments we do have revolve around my self-esteem/confidence issues and always being negative about how I look. “Why can’t I eat what I want to eat? Why do I have to work so damn hard to lose a half pound? Will I always be the girl that feels guilty after eating pizza?’ The negativity surrounding myself then pours into our relationship. It’s a constant downward spiral. If he loves me and thinks I’m beautiful..why can’t I?

This is not healthy. I know this-but I haven’t been able to fix it…. Yet. I’m sure the anti-depressants do help a little bit, but it’s not enough. I’m not sure if I need to see a psychiatrist about these problems I face every single day or what I should do. I do know that I cannot keep letting them consume me-it’s stealing the normal ME and I want to be back. I want to look in the mirror and feel proud and happy.

I want to be proud of my big legs because they let me run. I want to admire my broad shoulders because it’s a reminder of how good of a swimmer I was {they carried me to state records and Nationals twice!} I want to be okay with my ‘love handles’ because it’s a part of who I am.

For now I do know one thing. I have decided to re-start my journey with Tone It Up. If you haven’t heard about TIU yet-go check it out! These two women are beautiful and incredibly talented trainers who really seem to know what they’re doing.. the transformation stories always are so inspiring! While it is a ‘diet’ it is more about a lifestyle change—which is exactly what I need. I’m hoping that through this journey and process I can learn to not always crave {& often give in} to pizza when I’m with Ty, regardless of how much I love it because then I just feel guilty and even worse after eating it. I hope to learn to LOVE healthy eating, and realize it is not as restrictive as people say. I hope to learn to experiment in the kitchen more and really restrict, if not abolish, my ‘cheat meals’. But most importantly, I hope to learn to love myself regardless the results.
 
Should I still seek a psychiatrist or a dietician? Probably… yes. I will be making phone calls soon I think.
 
I started the 7 Day Slim Down Monday.. I took “before” pictures (which be glad I’ll spare from scaring you with) and took my measurements. I’m really hoping this week, while challenging, will be the kickstart that I need to move towards the body that I want and deserve to get for myself. It will be tough eating exactly what I’m prescribed to this week but success will taste sweeter than any food I’m not allowed to eat 

 

The real challenge will be when I’m at home with Ty this weekend for a family birthday party—they have cake and some of the BEST food around scattered on the table. It will be a true test but I think I’ve finally hit my lowest. Which means all I can do is go up right? 

So… that is where my mind has been the past few months. If you made it this far-bless your soul. 

Tell Me: If you have had any issues with body dysmorphia and depression…. let me know so I don’t feel alone! ❤