Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Swan Syndrome

We have all heard the story of the ugly duckling who could not find out where he belonged and how that ugly duckling finally found its place when he transformed into a beautiful swan. I have never worried about where I belong, I have never thought that I was ugly, I defiantly never thought of myself as the prettiest in the world but defiantly there were people out there way more unfortunate than me, so in a nutshell I was a pretty self-aware, self-assured teenager. That foundation has given me a gift as a woman, it has given me the confidence to concur the world, to minimize self doubt, to have never had an eating disorder, and to try and focus on the best things about me. I like to call it the swan syndrome, the fact that I know I am not beautiful but I think that I am. And as long as I believe that I am a swan then that confidence gives me added power as a woman. Power to be all I can be and the best me.

I have realized over the past four years however that I have started downhill. First it was work, focusing on my career and excessive amounts of time in the office, about 80 hour work weeks. Then it moved into my home where we started a construction project that left us with out a kitchen and eating out for over a year. Then my brother passed away and the tailspin that set me in is still present in my life today. All of these things caused me to be robbed of who I am. I know that the person I was will never be the same again, we cannot go back, but what I am hoping is that I will bet back a small resemblance of that swan. Someday.

Lately I have not liked how I look in photographs mostly due to the large amounts of weight I have gained in the past four years. I still look in the mirror and find things I like, for instance I love my legs, I think that they are one of my best features and I think that they look really great, particularly with an amazing pair of new stilettos on. So I do still think that I am a confident person but lately, particularly recently I have had to look a lot harder to find something I like in the mirror. I really need to loose some weight but it is really hard with my depression. My depression and my body are not getting along or at least they are not communicating very well and would benefit from an intense session in couples therapy. Because all my depression wants me to do is not get out of bed, not get dressed, and eat an entire box of Velveeta shells and cheese with a side of a box of Ho-Ho’s and a 2 litter bottle of Diet Coke. I have become a binge eater. I don’t do it often but when I am feeling particularly horrible I will turn to chocolate, sweets, salty foods, fattening foods or whatever I can get my hands on. Where my body wants to be happy and healthy, eat well and go exercising and with all this excessive time I have now would be the PERFECT time to get back in shape; my depression makes me fall further into someone else.

I was so excited when getting engaged I managed to bury everything deep enough that I was able to focus on pretending to be happy. I succeeded so well that I think I even fooled myself most of the time. I managed to lose 35lbs, I managed to pull off all the things associated with organizing a wedding, AND I thought that I kept it together pretty well. Over the past 7 months since the wedding however the depression has broken out of the very deep dark cage that I locked it in and I cannot hold it in anymore. Burying it I found was not the right answer.

Since losing my job I have had a lot of time to reflect on what I want out of life. I have had a lot of time to wallow in my home alone and think about what I need to do to be better. I am now 5 lbs over my pre wedding weight loss and I am going to start an exercise regiment and eating better this will make my body feel better and in return I am hoping my endorphin friends will help with the depression. I have recently been probed to make an appointment at a psychiatrist where I am hoping they can prescribe large amounts of drugs (which I really hate) to make all the voices in my head stop, or at least to make my depression more manageable so I am a happier person.

I am hoping that one day I can be me again, or at least a me that feels like a swan.


Ivy said...

This is a brave post. I am proud of you. Just remember that there is no such thing as a perfect day. The way I see it, perhaps the drugs could just give you a window of time. A brief break in the depression. Clear your head long enough to let you make some lasting changes in your life. Maybe the drugs are not themselves the solution, but they can lift that weight from your shoulders long enough to let you see things clearly enough to break free. I mean, aren't you self-medicating now anyway? But you've chosen Velveeta and chocolate as your drugs of choice. Why not use something, under the supervision of your doctor, that can actually help you solve the problem, instead of burying it under ten more pounds? You're strong. And we all need help sometimes. Being strong is sometimes about having the courage to admit that you need help. I am so proud of you. I know this was the first hurdle, and you've passed it.

paul peggy zeus said...

Try not to be so hard on yourself, you know you are beautiful inside and out. I agree wiht Ms Ivy- velveeta and chocolate is not really going to solve the problem, or make you feel any better in the long run. You are doing the right thing, and try keep your confidence up, you've always been no self-assured.

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