One of the first things I ever told my boyfriend (now husband) Jim was that the biggest indicator of "trouble" brewing in my life would be "Silence."
I am, by nature, an extrovert - I thrive on being around other people, I can (and will) talk until it is time to sleep and I am a loud talker, especially when happy or excited or telling you something important. I've heard "take it down a decibel" since I was 4-years old but it still doesn't really impact my enthusiasm - just the volume. My idea of recharging is being with people...listening, talking, sharing. I don't stop talking, ever. Some might think I am crazy, but I talk to myself a bit. (but not usually out loud) I think if I ever stopped talking, I'd probably run faster than I ever have in my life...LOL...but what fun would that be? I'd rather SING to my Teammates while running than have a PR, most days.
Silence is the first indicator that Depression is lurking by my side and as Depression sinks in and makes itself at home, my conversations become basics "I'm fine, everything is good, nothing much going on here...Tell me about you..." Redirect the conversation, because "Nobody wants to hear that your not doing great." at least that is what Depression whispers in my ear.
So I don't Blog and I barely Email and I only post "updates" on good days or for times when I know that I can't completely Drop Out, times when I know that I need to rise above and be present and accounted for.
It is ironic - that the people/things that will distance me from the influence of Depression - my Friends, Family, Teammates, CANCER to 5K - are exactly the people/things that I feel compelled to avoid because I don't want to burden the people I care about with my problems. So I keep Silent and Depression puts its arms around my shoulder and whispers in my ear...and tell me that I can sooth myself with my other old friend, Food.
Food and Depression, they are best friends and they will work together to lift you up with "comfort" and then drop you on your ass as you gain back the weight you worked so hard to lose - no matter how many miles you put in on the bike, on the road, in the pool. Doesn't matter that you were an Ironman just 24 months ago...your body can only do so much with the extra weight it carries. So your workouts suffer, you injure easier than before so you have to exercise less but your eating more - staying Silent by keeping your mouth Full.
I've had years of therapy for eating disorder, that I am proud of. I needed help and I asked for it, sought it out. I know the signs and signals and have been taught how to catch myself before it get's too bad - at least I thought I knew - but this time - well even I have to admit to my surprise at just how sneaky Depression can be. I have been staying Silent while keeping my mouth full for 5 months now and I need to break that silence - as much as it pains me to reach out and admit that. So here I am blogging - not to seek sympathy but to express freely, my struggles at the moment.
• We moved - an exciting time, for sure! But I was not prepared to be out of work this long and therefor not meeting new people as quickly as you normally do in a new work environment. And truthfully, Facebook and Email are no substitute for real people. I have been very slowly making friends - quality, not quantity - and I am thankful for that but I'm still trying to figure out how to mange my days during the week when Jim is at work and I am home alone. (and everybody else, here and away, are at work) I'm lonely when my husband is not home and then feel guilty that I need so much of his time and attention when he does finally get home but he is often the only person that I will "see" all day.
• I got injured (plantars fasciitis) while training for my Summer races - which changed my workout focus slightly - my volume has had to come way down from what I usually do and with that has come a hesitancy to seek out TRI people to work out with, "since they are all too fast for me anyways.."
• I'm the heaviest weight that I have been in 5 years - and I honestly never thought I would let myself get this heavy again - and while I know it is "just a number on the scale and does not define my self-worth" the extra weight has had a physical impact on my swimming, biking, running and overall health and self-esteem. I feel much better 50-pounds lighter than I am today but I get emotionally exhausted thinking about how hard it is going to be to lose this weight and I think that is Depression whispering more lies in my ear...
• By a completely unexpected series of events (birth control/hormones and a cross-country flight), I ended up in the hospital for 5 days with multiple pulmonary emboli in both lungs. I just thought I was suffering some anemia - having trouble breathing while running - and it turns out that I was in danger of losing my life if I threw a blood clot. I felt that way for 10-days before I went to a DR. I ran for 10-days with blood clots building in my lungs - so I know in my "heart" that somebody was watching over me but it scared me and Jim.
• I am now on blood thinners (Coumadin) for the next 9-months, seem to be suffering the rare side effect of "hair loss" and am subsequently "banned" from riding my bike outside for the next 9-months. (The risk of falling is too high) - It's OK, I can run, I can swim, I can do other activities - I can even buy a wig if the hair thinning doesn't stop (as the DR seems convinced it will) but I'm still wrapping my head around this latest medical drama. I am so done with Medical Drama in general, in case any higher powers are listening...
So, this is where I am at...and this is why many of you have not heard much from me. I am not proud of the lack of communication but I know that before I can shake Depression off my back, before I can quiet its voice in my ear, in order to stop the cycle of comfort eating...I have to start TALKING and let my own voice, thoughts, feelings and emotions fill my head, my heart and my mouth and slowly, one day at a time...Life will be GOOD everyday.
Now to hit PUBLISH before I chicken out...