In June, I wrote about how difficult it was for me to find the time, space, and energy for writing. I would sit and stare at the screen, typing and backspacing and typing again. Motivation was running low. My voice had all but disappeared. Plus, it triggered me to read other people’s blogs.
Three months later and not much has changed.
I got myself in a bit of a depression pit on Friday. I was talking to my dad on the phone and he mentioned how much weight he has lost since being hospitalized two weeks ago for the COVID pneumonia that nearly wrecked him. He’s still there, so we do a lot of talking by phone and when he said that on that day, I said back “wow, you probably weigh less than me.” At first, he said “well, I don’t know about that.” But because I’m a glutton for punishment, or because I’m hyperaware of just how much weight I’ve gained, I replied “No, really. I’ve put on a lot of weight.” He hesitated, but then he pretty much agreed with me in a way that shattered any bit of self-esteem I hadn’t already wiped out myself.
Truth is, I walked myself into this conversation and I don’t know why. I have put on about 40 pounds over the last year and I’m a whopping 192 now. Maybe it’s because I know others are aware of it, but don’t say anything, and that makes me anxious. Maybe I was hoping he would disagree with me. Considering I link my weight with my attractiveness and my attractiveness with my worth, I guess it would make sense that I was clinging to some false hope.
The point is, this conversation shook me. It hasn’t left my mind for more than an hour since. Even when distracted, I drift back to it: the sense memory where I can place myself in the moment. Was it small? Yes. Small, but effective. I don’t know that he meant for this to warp my brain, but regardless here we are.
In taking stock of my life, I continue to feel much like I’m out of control, hanging over the edge and constantly clawing my way back up, never to really pull myself all the way there. Sometimes I start making slow progress, but it never really lasts. Something always gets in the way and then I’m back to eating a meal that could be fit for three people instead of just one.
On top of that, my hold on my routines is tenuous at best. Depends mostly on my mood. As it’s oscillated from the extremes of determinedly hopeful to helplessly suicidal, I’ve picked up and put down even the essential self-care and hygiene acts. For example, I went a couple weeks without brushing my teeth each night because I was too tired to care.
Oh, the exhaustion. I can’t pinpoint when it began but it’s zapped away my will to do just about anything. I’ve had it medically checked out with no answers and anyway L thinks it’s from the psychological warfare I wade through each day. She says if I’m working so hard to wade through insecurities, intense emotions, and negative thoughts, plus trying to present as calm and centered, I’m going to be tired.
But anyway, because of the fatigue I’ve been sleeping a lot. I’ll typically sleep anywhere from 10-14 hours a night depending on what’s on my agenda for the day. Sometimes I think some of it stems from boredom, but I still deeply feel the need for sleep in my body as I yawn and slouch and life starts to blur around the edges. It’s just so hard to stay up.
That means I’ve spent very little time on hobbies. When was the last time I read a book or did a puzzle or crocheted something? Who knows. And as you can see, forget about writing. If the words won’t come, I’m not willing to spend precious energy searching for them.
So this is the life I’m living right now: The day starts when I roll out of bed at the last possible second. Either I’ve slept in because I’m not working or I’ve let the clock run as close as possible to the time I have to leave for work. Sometimes my lunch is packed and my outfit is picked out, but that’s not as frequent as it could be. My bed rarely gets made. The cat always gets fed, that’s the one constant before I scramble out the door, usually forgetting a water bottle or something else. Then work, plus additional hours of work if it’s not a therapy day. If I have therapy, great. It doesn’t matter, I’ll still end up laying on the couch when I get home, wishing for some interest in doing anything else but slipping into unconsciousness. Forget trying to date, there’s nothing to spare for that.
For awhile, that meant dinner was often ordered. I certainly didn’t have the energy to make something. Which meant that it was usually something terrible for you. I’d scold myself each time, promise that tomorrow I needed to do better, but lather rinse repeat and we’re back to making the same poor decisions day after day and then falling asleep early.
I’ve committed again and again to the same goals. L is behind me for each one, cheering me on, but I have to imagine she knows as well as I do that it’s not going to stick. When has it ever?
In an ideal life, I would be following simple routines daily that included exercise, meditation, reading, and focusing on wealth management and nutrition. I’d have time for the things I enjoy. I’d be reading your blogs and writing verbose responses that I felt proud of. There wouldn’t be late night cheese binges or large sums of money thrown away on Amazon purchases. I wouldn’t fret over the fact that I didn’t think of the exact perfect right thing to say. I’d be in control and I’d feel in control. I’d feel like a true adult instead of an awkward kid parading around in an adult body.
L is big on taking minute changes and adding them up to a better lifestyle. She wants me to start slow. I’m not very good at slow. I seek immediate gratification and I struggle with not seeing the results in real time. Getting started is hard, but I need to get over that. At this point, it may be Day 1 of this brand new plan, but it’s Day whatever of my overall journey towards my goals. I’ve already started, I’ve just not been making much growth.
I was working with Noom for awhile until I completely gave up on that. Dr. N thinks that I probably lost interest because I already know most of what they are trying to teach me. So I’ve downloaded Weight Watchers at her suggestion and I’m giving that a try. I’ve re-subscribed to my BeachBody account for six months. And I’m working in the Fabulous app to develop solid routines that don’t ask too much of me, but keep me moving forward.
Exercise, nutrition, therapy, and routine in addition to watching my spending. That’s a lot. Something’s got to give. Well, lots of things have to give, and I think this blog might be one of them, at least for now.
It’s not the only thing that I’m tapping out on. I’ve been away from the Calm app and meditation for a couple months and I don’t feel the need to go back to that yet. I have 17 or so different books waiting to be read and I’m not going to force myself into that. If I feel like writing, or meditating, or reading, so be it. I’ll grant myself the time. But I’m not going to beat myself up anymore for not doing all the things all the time.
As L says, I am human and I am allowed to be human.
I don’t forsee this changing very much. It’s not like I’ve been present much anyway in the last year or so. My absence isn’t a shock. But instead of wondering, if you have, whether I’m okay and what is going on, you’ll know now where the hell I’ve disappeared to. I’m off living life, begrudgingly at times and with cautious optimism at others. I’m focusing on me and aiming towards reaching the goals that I’ve been putting on the backburner.
I may still read and like posts here and there, leave a brief comment to let you know I’m thinking of you, but it’s not going to be something I prioritize, especially as reading about the trials of therapy and managing the delicate attachment to therapists is extremely triggering these days and usually ends with me texting L to reaffirm our relationship. I used to push through that pain, but now I think I’m only hurting myself and maybe there’s some use to stepping away.
So maybe a post will randomly pop up. Maybe. I still think that since this blog was one of the tools I used in my therapy with J, who used to read or be read my posts all the time, being here reminds me too much of her. Sometimes that’s connecting, but usually it’s anguishing. L and I have diverged from the blog, built our own relationship and given it an identity that often lives through our texts, not my writing.
I remain grateful for all of you and wish you the best on your own journeys. Please continue the hard work, I’m thinking of each of you.