Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 83...I know what the weight is, but I'm not gonna say it!

Yes, I AM a little down today. And yesterday, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before...have you ever gone to the doctor and said: "please check this...I really think something is wrong..." And they do, and they say: "no, everything looks great." Then you leave, and you start to think you're nuts, but then you go to ANOTHER doctor because you just can't get rid of the nagging feeling something isn't right...and you ask the same question, and they ALSO tell you it's ok. So, you go to yet another doctor, while feeling crazy, mind you, and ask the SAME thing. And, guess what...they say the same thing: the issue you're talking about is MINOR, and you just need to learn to live with it and quit fighting it.

THAT is the story of my life, friends. Me, constantly feeling like something is wrong, but I can't quite put my finger on EXACTLY what it is, so I'm left feeling like I'm crazy...trying to IGNORE the nagging voices that drone on and on about how things are NOT ok...I was watching a show the other night on t.v. about trans-gender people. If you're unaware, these are people born biologically male or female, but knowing from preschool-ish age that they are the OPPOSITE sex. Meaning: they're technically male, for instance, but they FEEL female inside. They're attracted to men, but are not homosexual. They've simply been assigned the wrong genitalia. So, they try to pretend it's not true. They marry women, join the military, have kids, etc...all the while having to work SO hard to push their true selves back inside due to public scrutiny, family obligations and the like. But then they get to a point where (a lot of them) decide: I can't live like this. I would rather die than continue to live this lie.

No, I am not trans-gender. But I understand the feeling of being so overwhelmed by your true self's voice begging, pleading, crying, screaming...I try to shut out the voices by overeating. Or undereating. Or not exercising. Or by overexercising. Because the truth is too painful to deal with, I shift focus. But I can only do that for so long, because I AM NOT CRAZY. The human mind is a very powerful thing. It can trick us for quite a long time. But, then, I believe, our will to live becomes even more powerful than our mind, and our survival mode brain kicks in. Self preservation and all that, I suppose.

Can I tell you all something very, very personal? I've never even told my therapist about this...I'm too scared...Back in the late 90's and early 2000's, I was VERY depressed. I was quite functional, on a basic level, meaning I got up every day, I brushed my teeth, went to work, cooked dinner for my family, took my kids to the park, etc... but I was dead inside. I knew something was very wrong. I thought of suicide on a regular basis. I thought: I love my kids so much, I don't want them growing up with a mother who is so *&#$ed up. My first thoughts were: I could just walk away. Literally, just walk away if we were all out as a family together in a very crowded place, I could tell my husband I was going to the bathroom, and then just walk away. But then I realized that would be so mean to my kids. They'd constantly be wondering where I went. Was I alive? Dead? Why did I abandon them? They'd be looking for me their whole lives. Couldn't do that. Then I literally prayed for an illness to kill me. They couldn't be mad at me then. It would just be a sad thing that happened. But that phase didn't last too long, either, having grown up with a chronically, terminally ill parent myself...knew I couldn't put them through that kind of suffering.

SO, I concluded that suicide would be the best choice. But I'd have to make it look like a total accident. Knew I couldn't do it at home (creepy!), and I also knew I couldn't hurt anyone else in the process of taking myself out, so...hmmm...what to do, what to do...I finally concluded that single car accident would be the best choice. I'd be driving and my mind would wander...I could just hit the gas pedal and drive right into that huge tree right there. But is that one big enough? How fast would I need to be going to ensure I'd die? Because I knew I didn't want to be paralyzed. Or in a coma for 20 years. Jeez, that'd be worse than just plain old living to me.

In the end, of course, I didn't do a thing. Except get on antidepressants.

So, here I am, about 8 years later. I took those nasty pills for a couple of years. My husband called them my "happy pills." I thought of them as my "these-things-make-it-so-much-easier- to-pretend-everything-is-ok-pills." WHY was I so depressed? WHY have/had I eaten myself into extreme overweight? Because my whole life I've had to ignore the voice inside of me that kept/keeps telling me it is NOT ok.

At nearly 38, I've finally decided to listen to the voice. Things are not ok. It is not ok for me to not live a happy, fulfilled life. I AM a good person. I DO deserve to be happy. It's OK for me to stop torturing my body and mind. I DO NOT need to keep punishing myself. I CAN like myself.

I know that, friends, but why can't I embrace it? Why is it so hard? It sounds simple.

I had such high hopes the day I graduated from high school twenty years ago. I knew I could finally live the live I wanted, but couldn't growing up how I did. I started to do it, then, I drifted off course. The old habits returned, my comfort zone beckoned...and I slid right back into it. My kids are my greatest gift to myself and to the world. But I can't live vicariously through them. I can't burden them with all that I had wished I could be. I want to live the second half of my life with the vitality that I know I'm capable of. But I've dug myself into a massive hole and now I'm trying to fight and claw my way out of the hole I've dug.

Sorry to be so depressing today. It's such a process to work through all this crap. Sometimes I wish I could just a take a month and go live in the woods with a therapist and get it all done at once! Trying to work though everything while having to pretend to the outside world that life is all peaches and cream is very tiring. And very long (winded)!

Enjoy this pretty day,


1 comment:

Kim said...

I know that working your way towards being who you were meant to be isn't easy, but you do deserve to live a full and happy life. You are worth the effort it takes to figure out what you need to make these things happen for you. I can only guess at this point what you are hinting at - and I hope that you will keep talking to us, and letting go of the world that you have to pretend to be a person you don't want to be.

I wish that I had the courage to do that.