All posts in the depression category

Australian Fat Studies Conference: My Paper

Published September 10, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Well, day one of the Australian Fat Studies Conference down and one more to go.  I have no words for how awesome it has been – but I will attempt to find those words once I’ve been home and been able to think about it.

Instead, I am going to share with you my paper, which I presented this morning to the conference.  I feel it went well, though I was very nervous!

So here you go:

Collateral Damage in the War On Obesity

A perspective on how the “War on Obesity” affects someone who is obese, and whether any of those effects are of any use to the obese person.

I need your help.  I can’t live like this.  No matter what I do, the weight keeps coming back.  I know, I know, I’ve lost 25 kilos already, but it won’t stay off.  It just keeps creeping back.  I exercise every day for before I go to work, then again during my work day at the office gym, then again for a couple of hours at the local pool when I get home.  All I do is exercise.  I have no life.  My friends won’t talk to me any more, because all I talk about is the gym and dieting.  I don’t go out or socialise or anything anymore.  All I do is go to the gym or the pool or walk around my neighbourhood by myself.  I keep getting in trouble at work because I can’t keep up, I can’t concentrate, I forget things and I cry all the time.

My doctor gave me these pills, but… they frighten me.  I took them just like he said, and all it did was make me crazy.  I haven’t slept for four days.  I haven’t eaten anything in four days.  I keep forgetting to even drink water.  These pills, they make me climb the walls, all manic and hyper.  The doctor keeps asking if I’m lying in my food journal, if I’m not writing everything I eat down.  I have been lying.  I’ve not been writing all of the exercise down, and I’ve been writing food in there that I didn’t eat. But the weight keeps coming back, no matter what I do.

I don’t know what to do.  I don’t want to live if this is living.  Please.  PLEASE, I need help.

“Hmmm… do  you think you could add another half hour of exercise in the evenings?  You just need to ramp it up a little to get over the hump and lose some more weight.”

That was me begging for help.  The response was from my psychologist at the time.  Over 5 years later I still don’t have any words for how I felt at that moment.  But I went home.  I filled my water bottle, I took this packet – this is the packet for the Duramine, the prescribed amphetamines for appetite suppressant, I still have it – and I sat on my bed, with the pills in one hand, and the water bottle in the other, and I decided that this would be the end of all of this.  I sat there, with the decision made that I was going to stop this life, that I was going to end it because I couldn’t live like this any more.  The world didn’t want me, a fat woman, to be in it.  I was meant to be invisible, to not exist, unless I could be thin.  So I was going to just kill myself, because what better way to lose weight and keep it off, than to be dead.

Just as I popped the pills out of their packet and put them in my hand, my mobile phone went off with a text message.  I looked at it, a message from one of my oldest and dearest friends, and it said “I’m worried about you.  We haven’t talked in a long time.  I love you, call me.”  It saved my life.  It reminded me that someone cared about me, that someone had loved me for so long, even at my fattest, I was loved by ONE person in the world, and it would devastate him to lose me to suicide.  That one message made me decide that life was worth far more than spending it trying to be something I simply was not, and that’s the moment I walked away from the War on Obesity.  The war on myself.

None of us can miss the “War on Obesity”.  It’s in the media every day, splashed across headlines and the lead item on bulletins, it sells tabloids, books and magazines.  Studies are released with regularity that are then tweaked into news items, telling us how obese people are to blame for global warming, rising health care costs, the high price of airline tickets and even the failure of the American mitten industry.

But in this war, it’s foot soldiers are not those who volunteer for duty.  The troops drafted involuntarily into the war on obesity are those who live it.  Who get up every morning, look in the mirror then to the newspaper or radio bulletin to be reminded that not only are they the ones expected to fight the hardest and bloodiest in the war, but in fact that the war is on them, the obese.

Like most wars, those that give the orders are rarely the ones at risk of becoming victims of the war themselves.  In the case of the war on obesity, where the ranks are fighting their own bodies, how can there ever be victory?

Instead, the troops are going to the grave earlier than they should be because of self loathing, depression, self harm and avoiding seeking medical treatment out of shame.  Even those who survived are permanently maimed – be it damaged bodies from eating disorders, yo-yo diets and weight cycling or the post traumatic stress of having to live their lives in a war that they never asked for.

Today is International Suicide Prevention Day.  How many people have to opt out of the War on Obesity by the only means they believe is possible, which is to opt out of their lives all together, before we end this madness?

We need to end the War on Obesity before one more person dies needlessly.  Just like the “War on Terrorism”, the terror isn’t out there, for us to fight.  The terror is here, right within us.  The terror isn’t fat, it’s hate.

As Professor Paul Campos says in the introduction to his book “The Obesity Myth”:

Nothing could be easier than to win this war.  All we need to do is stop fighting it.

Discussing Depression

Published July 10, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I’m suffering through a bout of the black dog at the moment.  Depression has crept up on me over the past couple of days, and I’m feeling really yuck.  I know I talk a lot about living positively and not letting shit get you down, but there are times even now that I find that creeping black cloud hovering over me, and life gets hard again.

This is usually the time I go quiet when it comes to blogging.  I figure nobody wants to hear depressed me talking, because it’s such a downer.  But this afternoon, while lolling on the sofa playing Animal Crossing for the 6th hour (catching bugs and planting flowers is so much nicer than listening to my own head when I’m like this), I had a bit of a lightbulb moment.

Everyone goes quiet when depression is biting them on the arse.  Nobody talks about how they feel, what they’re doing to try to get past it, and why it might be kicking in.  While nobody is talking about it, everyone is feeling alone in what they’re going through when it comes to depression.

I have to admit, I am one of the lucky ones.  My depression has been diagnosed for some time, and I am well supported both by friends and my health care providers.  I’m lucky enough to have had about 5 years treatment on mine, and I’ve moved out of that scary, bleak, seemingly endless phase that is untreated depression.

Thanks go excellent mental health care, I no longer let depression take it’s toll on my self esteem.  Once a bout of depression would have had me tearing down all of the mirrors, starving myself, wearing baggy, black clothes and basically believing that I was worthless and the cause of all of the worlds ills.  This is not how I suffer any more, though I do have moments that reflect on that, where I can’t bear to see myself in a mirror or I start thinking stupid negative thoughts about myself.  The difference is now that I recognise those thoughts for what they are, my depression talking.

But that is not to say that suffering a bout of depression is any less awful now than it once was.  Instead now I just feel bleak, like nothing matters and everything is grey and drab.  I usually get physical symptoms with it, like headaches and fatigue, aches and pains.  Also, I get sensitive to light and sounds, all I want is to sit somewhere silent and dark – any bright light physically hurts and I find most sounds annoying.

The worst thing is I’m unable to laugh.  I love to laugh, I do it every day and it’s the thing people know me for the most.  But when the black dog of depression has it’s teeth in my bum, the laugh just isn’t there, and it feels really horrible.

These days I know what my triggers are too.  Hormones.  Stress.  Frustration at not being able to change things.  Illness. Exhaustion.

So, what do you do when depression hits?

I used to spiral worse, because I’d let myself think all of the stupid negative things, I’d hate on myself and I’d usually make myself physically sick on top of that.  Again, I’m lucky to have had some fantastic treatment for my depression, and now I know what to do when it hits.

I stop.  That’s the first thing.  At the very moment I realise that I’m depressed again, I have to stop whatever I’m doing, sit down and just acknowledge that I’m suffering a bout of depression.  That’s the first step for me and none of the other stuff can follow until I do that.

The next step is to take care of myself.  Eat well and regularly, get sleep, relax, get fresh air and sunshine if the weather isn’t too hot, have long showers and pamper myself, and generally just do all of the things that make me feel healthy and fresh.  As much as I want to crawl off into bed and starve myself, I know that this isn’t the thing to do, it only makes the problem worse.

Another crucial step is to only surround myself with people who make me feel good about myself.  The inflaters in my world.  That goes for online too – if I can’t read blogs or talk to people on social media that make me feel good about myself, then I need to steer clear of those places.  I have to keep away from triggers that upset me or stress me out.  No reading about politics, keeping away from articles, stories and blogs about the injustices of the world, only watching things on YouTube or on DVD’s (I don’t watch television or read papers any more, they are just too full of rubbish and negativity) that are positive.

And finally, give it time.  It will pass.  I know I won’t always feel this way.

So, what about you, dear readers?  What are your remedies for getting through a bout of depression?  Do you know what your triggers are?  Let’s talk about the black dog, it’s the best way to build a set of tools to help you deal with it when he comes to visit.

But I just want to leave you with something that has made me feel better tonight:

Handing Back the Hate

Published April 26, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Yesterday I got an email from a friend (you know who you are *waves*) terribly upset because she’d been yelled at by some douchebags in a passing car again, and wanted to talk to someone who knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of such bullshit.

My heart hurts for her, because yes, it happens to me pretty regularly, and I know how it can really pierce through to a very vulnerable spot.  I remember the humiliation, the hurt, the shame, the tears, the shock very clearly.  And I remember just thinking “Why?  What do you have to gain from being so hurtful to me, a complete stranger?”

I sent her an email telling her what an awesome friend she is, and how the opinion of random douchebags on the street is no reflection on her as a person.  But I know it’s still hurting and that her self esteem has taken a pretty full on hit.

The thing is, knowing why someone has to randomly hurt a stranger doesn’t help.  Even if you were given the opportunity to ask knowing that the answer you would get would be honest (and let’s face it, douchebags are not really forthcoming with the honesty huh?) the answer wouldn’t be enough to you and I, to those of us on the receiving end, to justify being targeted with such hate and humiliation.  Because usually, it’s such a pointless reason that we can’t imagine someone would hurt another person for it.

My friend asked me how I stopped it happening to me, and how I got to the point that it doesn’t hurt any more.

It doesn’t happen any less to me now that I have stronger self esteem and confidence.  It still happens pretty much on a daily basis.  Sometimes it still hurts for a bit, usually with the shock, you know?  Though why I still feel shock when it happens, I don’t know.  You’d think I’d be used to it by now.

But what has changed is me.  I’ve found a resilience I didn’t know it was possible to have.  Though I didn’t just lift up one of the sofa cushions and there that resilience was, I had to learn a lot of lessons and practice.  I still do, believe me, I fall off the resilient wagon from time to time.

Plus any of you who blog will know, having a presence on a blog as a fat woman is always target to trolls and douchebags.  Thank God for WordPress huh?  It cleans up so many of them so effectively.

A valuable lesson I learnt is that when someone treats you badly, it’s not your fault and it’s not your baggage to carry.  It’s not about you, you’re just the whipping girl/boy they’ve singled out to dump their baggage on.  You’re not the one that is flawed or broken… THEY ARE.

I have an analogy I like to use.  I was sharing this one with another friend recently, it’s a little more blunt than most therapists and other professionals would express it, but it works for me so I’m going to share it with you.

When someone is hurtful to you, think of that hurtful behaviour as a big steaming turd.  I told you it was blunt!  Think of the hate, or anger, or nastiness they are slinging you as a big steaming poo.  Now ask yourself “Did I do anything to earn this big steaming turd?  Was I nasty or rude to this person?  Did I say or do something to them that would have hurt them?”  Usually the answer is no, because hey, they’re a random douchebag right?

When the answer is no, as it usually will be, think to yourself “No, that is not my big steaming turd.  I didn’t produce it.  It’s yours.” and metaphorically hand it back to them.  Refuse it in your own mind “I am not taking on your shit.  It is yours to carry.”  Imagine yourself handing them back that big stinky poo, on the end of a shovel so you don’t get any on yourself, and washing your hands of it.

It works.  In two ways.  Firstly you hand back all the hate, negativity, anger, prejudice and bad behaviour to the person who owns it.  And secondly, I always get a giggle out of thinking of some douchebag standing there with a bit stinky turd in his or her hand!  If the douchebags of the world knew what I was thinking about them!

It’s wrong that we have to deal with this.  It’s wrong that we have to suffer through people treating us badly for whatever reasons – but it happens and you can only deal with it as best as you can.

Feel free to try my method – if it works for you, I’m really happy to have shared it.  If not, have you found another method that helps you get through douchebaggery?

Taking Care of Emotional Health

Published April 24, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Yah I know, I’ve been quiet this week.  Between buying a new computer (I got a big mo-fo of an iMac!) and working my arse off, I’ve not had a real lot of time to myself this week, and sadly that means this poor blog has to take a back seat for a bit.

Mostly at the moment I am dealing with a high stress time at work, what with trying to juggle multiple projects to be finished by the end of the financial year (June 30th in Australia) and a colleague turned food-stalker who will not leave me alone about what I am having for lunch and how delicious it looks compared to her diet shakes and Chinese herbal weight loss “remedies.”

Of course, with rising stress levels, comes higher anxiety levels, but lower self esteem.  I am lucky these days that after years of working on my self esteem, depression and anxiety issues that I can recognise them for what they almost always are – symptoms of overwork, not enough sleep and un-resolved problems.  I am far more resilient to these down times than I have ever been.

But they are still there and take some work to sort out and get back on track with my emotional health.  Where normally I have confidence in myself, during the down times I tend to second guess things, or be very harsh on myself again.

I have learned that those times are not the time to cast judgement on myself, or the world around me.  That I need to just settle back and let myself get out of that frame of mind before I make any decisions on how I feel about people and situations and myself.  There are a few things I can do that are immensely healing and are part of taking care of myself in those times.

Music really means a lot to me.  I have a folder in iTunes of music that I know makes me feel good.  I have a list of videos on YouTube that do the same thing, most of them Craig Ferguson dancing around like an idiot to some cheery tune.  It’s what Craig does best.

I know being around water helps me.  I am lucky, I live in a river city, and within 10 minutes walk of the river itself.  Or I can travel for about 45 minutes and be by the bayside.

Sleep is important too.  If I can catch up on decent sleep (more than the 4 or 5 hours per night I have been getting on average), I know it works a lot towards undoing all the negativity, anxiety and stress.

Self esteem and a positive outlook are not things that you just get and never have to worry about struggling with again for the rest of your life.  It takes a lot of work to build them up, to work through depression, bad self image and anxiety, and then you constantly have to be topping up that work, honing it, working on keeping it alive.  But that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person if you do slip up from time to time.  You WILL slip up from time to time.  You WILL have times that the black dog of depression gets you in his teeth, and that circumstances lead you down the path of feeling bad about yourself.  But with work and support, you become far more resilient and conscious, and able to pull yourself up or find help to do so, back into positive, confident, happy you again.

Do you struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, poor self esteem?  How do you work through it to get yourself in a better place?  Do you recognise it when it sneaks up on you?

Let’s talk about it in the comments – knowing you’re not alone is one of the best tools you can have in your good emotional health toolkit!

The Easter Bunny Brings More Than Just Chocolate

Published April 4, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Happy Easter everyone, regardless of your spiritual beliefs.  Welcome to Spring in the Northern Hemsiphere, Autumn in the Southern.

This Easter has been a bit rough on me.  Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a good time and had some lovely celebrations with friends over the past few days.  But at a time when chocolate is so central to many celebrations, among other foods, I’m feeling a bit worn down by all the food is morality and disordered thinking/behaving that is swirling around me at the moment.

You see the Easter Bunny brings more than just chocolate.  He brings the all the strings that are attached to food.

It is no secret that I am recovering from eating disorders.  It’s taken me years to retrain my brain to think of food in a different way to how I have done over the first 30 something years of my life, and it’s hard work to keep thinking that way.  I have to keep very conscious of the thoughts around food I have and pull up those that are disordered very quickly, to prevent relapses into disordered behaviour.

So it’s very difficult for me to be around others who have disordered attitudes towards food and eating.

From the woman who sits near me almost every day at lunch time with her diet shake or “meal” (I hesitate to call those things food really), staring longingly at my lunch and going on and on about how good she is being to stick to her diet products.  Yet she is miserable and asks me things like “Is there chicken on that sandwich?” and when I say yes, sighs longingly “Oh I miss eating chicken, but I’m being good.”

Then there were those starving themselves and repeatedly justifying how they could go to an Easter chocolate buffet that was to be the celebration of a 50th birthday.  I sat amongst this for about two weeks, listening to how they wouldn’t eat anything in the lead up, or “I’ve been so good for weeks, I can go along.”

I went, though on looking at the menu beforehand noticed that there was NOTHING savoury, so I had my lunch beforehand and went to it as a dessert, as I can’t bear the thought of all that sweet stuff for a meal, my tummy protests just at the thought of it.

I probably shouldn’t have gone, not because of the food, but because of all of the disordered behaviour around me.  The hardest to deal with of those being the ones that starved themselves beforehand then binged when they got there.

I felt terrible all afternoon, despite  having a lovely lunch and then some nice dessert afterwards.  It wasn’t the food, it was having to deal with and process all the feelings that other people brought to the fore in my mind.  I had a whole mix of guilt, shame, anger, depression, anxiety and simple exhaustion swirling around in my mind all afternoon, that I am sure I would not have had if I hadn’t been in the company of some people who have really messed up attitudes about food.

It doesn’t help that these people are far less fat than I am either.  I can’t speak up because if I do, I know the thinking is “That’s why she’s so fat, she must be a pig, I don’t want to get like that.”  Some of them have even said so, in less harsh terms.

I was lucky however with Good Friday, I spent the day with friends by the bay, talking over a barbecue lunch and the day spent in good company.  Nobody had screwed up attitudes towards food, or none that were apparent anyway, and I could feel my soul floating back to where it should be, and my mind at ease and comfortable.  Being around people who do not beat themselves up about food was very healing.

However I will confess there was a hangover from the disordered talk of the day before.  The friends who I visited on Friday happened to have a set of scales in their bathroom… which, despite my promise to myself that I would never do so again unless it was medically vital, I weighed myself on.

And I survived.  I surprised myself by not hating myself for the number I saw on the scale.  I saw it, thought about it for a bit, and let go of it.  So I am getting better, I am recovering.

Of course Easter is still here, still happening.  On Twitter and Facebook I am seeing status update and tweet over and over again of messed up attitudes towards food.  People are “pigging out” and hating themselves for eating chocolate.  There are all kinds of crazy bargains being dealt, where one can have chocolate now if one does something later, or has “been good” up until now.  Then there is the remorse after eating the chocolate, or the hot cross buns, or whatever else they have deemed as “sinful”.  Talk about how they’ve been bad, how the chocolate was evil for tempting them.

I just want to scream “It’s just chocolate people!  It’s not the anti-Christ!!”

I have got a ton of chocolate in the house.  People have been so kind giving me Easter gifts.  I am being very conscious of reminding myself that it is not Kryptonite or nuclear waste, it’s just chocolate.  It won’t hurt me, and I am not a bad person if I eat some.  I can have some any time I want some.  Strangely enough I don’t want it much, I prefer cheese to chocolate any day.

How do you cope when the people around you are displaying disordered behaviours and attitudes?  Do you struggle with it?  What are your coping mechanisms?

Taming The Black Dog

Published March 20, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Remember my earlier post asking what you, my lovely readers, would like me to write about on this blog?  Well, another one of the subjects that came up repeatedly was self esteem/depression as a fat woman.  So let’s talk about that one today hmmm?

It’s a subject I know only all too well.  Not only do I suffer clinical depression (the black dog – what fun that is) but a lifetime of being a fat female with all and sundry telling me I was worthless meant that my self esteem was absolutely non-existant for most of my life, up until a couple of years ago.

I’m really lucky in that I found a wonderful doctor who took me under her wing and took my depression and low self esteem seriously.  She worked with me at first but soon decided that I would benefit from some good counselling.  She referred me to a psychologist who specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy and I’ve been seeing her now for three years.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) basically has you learning ways to change how you think and then behave.  It undoes all the negative messages and self loathing you’ve built up over your life, helping you learn to recognise when you’re having these usually irrational thoughts, and the behaviours that follow them.  Of course every therapist practices differently in method, but generally that’s the gist of what you’re learning to do with CBT.

For me, it was learning not to be so damn hard on myself.  A real pivotal moment for me was the realisation that I was asking of myself things I would NEVER ask of another human being, especially not one that I actually liked, such as a friend or prospective partner.  I was somehow expecting myself to be this superhuman being, yet was happy to accept everyone else for who they are, flaws and all.  When I learned just how irrational and unrealistic that was, I could literally feel a change in myself around my self esteem and the levels of depression that I suffer.

That doesn’t mean that it’s all sunshine and roses all the time, but it means I recognise low self esteem and depression for what they are, and just kind of wait it out until those things leave.

One of the best things about having built my self esteem and confidence up is that I am far more resilient to the difficult things in life.  Even the downright awful things in life.  I can’t say that there is any less fat hate and douchebaggery in the world, but I can say that I don’t carry around the burden of all of that anymore.  If someone wants to be hateful and a douchebag, it’s on their head, not mine.

I have learnt to be responsible for my own behaviour and attitudes, yet not take on board the behaviour and attitudes of other people.  It’s been one of the most difficult but most rewarding lessons in life to learn.

The more I like myself, the better life is.  I know that sounds wanky, like “Yeah, I rock!”  But it’s not like that really.  It’s about realising that I do alright in life, and that I am as valuable as anyone else.  It’s about doing the best I can with what I have at my disposal.  It’s about learning from my mistakes.  And it’s about cutting myself a break instead of being so critical.

There’s no magic bullet for finding good self esteem and confidence, it takes time and practice and learning from mistakes, but it’s worth every minute.  Because we’ve only got one life and we can’t waste it waiting around to be something we aren’t.

Besides, I believe every human being starts out a valuable being, it’s only through their behaviour and attitude they change that, not what shape their body is or whether or not they fit some kind of arbitrary idea of beauty.

Doctor Dilemma?

Published March 4, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I’ve not been well since my last post.  I plummeted into the depths of depression on Tuesday, almost within hours, to one of the lowest points I have ever been.  It was scary as well as incapacitating.   I’ve never had depression arrive so deeply with such swiftness.  Surprisingly it left pretty quick too – the next day I was a walking case of aches and pains, along with intense fatigue, and today I’ve started to come good.

I did what I have learnt is the wise thing to do when I am very, very depressed and my body isn’t feeling right, I took myself off to my awesome doctor.  Turns out I have a flu/virus and she believes depression is a symptom of viral infections.  I spent a lifetime in a quest for a decent doctor, and when I found the wonderful Doc Jo, I really hit the jackpot.

I’m not sure she quite realises it, but these days she is a Health at Every Size practitioner.  We went through our years of diets and stuff, but there came a point where I said “Enough!” and to her credit, she has supported me on that.  She never comments on my weight (except to mention how she worries a specialist might be prejudiced against me) and looks to my health in all aspects that give her real information.  So long as my bloodwork etc comes back good, she’s happy.  She always says “You know when you’re not right, don’t you sweetness?”

But I know how hard it is to find a decent doctor.  One that doesn’t judge you because of your weight, one who treats you without prejudice, one who treats you with respect.  I was 32 when I finally found Doc Jo.

I’ve had doctors turn me away as soon as they looked at me because I was fat.  I’ve had doctors prescribe diet and exercise for asthma.  I’ve had doctors tell me I was lying, that I was cheating, that I wasn’t taking my health seriously.  I’ve even had a doctor tell me at 19 years of age when I presented to him with chronic menstrual bleeding (heavy flow for 18 months solid) to “Go lose some weight, find yourself a fella and we’ll talk when you’re ready for babies.”

I wish I was joking.

Thing is, we pay these doctors to care for us.  To treat us.  Even if you’re using full health insurance or Medicare, YOU pay for that in your taxes and deductions.  You are employing your doctor.  So if they don’t treat you with dignity, respect and like a human being, withdraw your custom from them.  Just like any other business, stop being their customer.  Take your business elsewhere!

If you were in a shop or other business, and looking to buy something, and the salesperson was disrespectful, would you purchase from them anyway?

Yes, it’s hard to get past that thing where your self esteem takes a battering and you just go with the doctor anyway.  Or walk out and avoid going to ANY doctor.  But you deserve and need decent health care.  I found my Doc Jo through a recommendation from a friend.  Ask your friends who their doctor is.  Google doctors by their names.  I have googled Doc Jo and get glowing mentions about her (some of them now are mine).

There are fabulous doctors out there.  You don’t have to put up with the shitty ones.  If you’ve got a good one, give a holla in the comments hey?

Altered Reality

Published August 21, 2009 by Fat Heffalump

The old black dog of depression has been plaguing me over the past day or so. I’m sure a lot of you know what it’s like, you go from normal to just not being able to see the good in anything very quickly, and you don’t feel yourself. Things all feel really bad, and a big sadness just overwhelms you.

I know it will pass, it’s just sucky while it’s here, you know?
What I did notice is that I’m REALLY hard on myself when I’m depressed. REALLY critical about my body, which I am not when I am in a “normal” mood. Instead of being able to see the positives about myself, and remembering that I am more than just my body, I get really critical and caught up in myself as “parts” rather than as a person.
Does this make sense to anyone?
The difference these days though is that I catch myself doing it. Once upon a time it would have been a total spiral into self loathing and further depression, but after years of professional counselling and working on my self esteem and self image, I can see when I get in that headspace now.
It was looking in a plate glass window at my reflection that I busted myself this time. I was walking back to work at lunch time, feeling crap, when I spotted myself in the window of a bank, and my thought was so full of self loathing, I shocked myself. For a moment there, I really hated what I saw and felt shame about myself. Which is something I NEVER feel outside of the realms of depression any more.
I’m glad I can recognise it now when I find myself thinking that way, because then I can work towards removing my head from that space. But it still sucks when it happens, because it’s really painful to think of myself in that way.
How do you deal with the negative self-talk? Are you able to recognise it when it happens?