Day 36: Holding the Line

Yesterday’s starting weight: 215

Yesterday’s calories: 1205

Yesterday’s exercise: 1833 steps

Today’s weight: 214.8

Today we have a non-scale victory. Previously I had taken the plunge and moved to a size 14 jean short in preparation for summer. I thought I could work my way towards it over the summer, since I had only just moved from a size 18 to a size 16 jean. To my total shock and joy, they fit. And they weren’t even tight.

Today, I thought, let’s see what the size 12 jean shorts feel like. I bought them, and they fit. They’re a little snug and I’d need a looser top because there is some slight muffin top unpleasantness happening. But STILL. Victory is mine!

I have, in my mind, a range of sizes I think of when I think of myself. There’s the size 8 “college size” which is about as thin as I can possibly imagine being. There’s the size 10 “pre-baby size” where I look reasonably cute, and then there’s the size 12 “post-baby pre-massive weight gain” size, where I am slightly chubby but still acceptably cute. This is a major moment.

It’s a great day over here! I hope you are all similarly happy and productive today.

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Day 35: The Sun Comes Out (Finally!)

Yesterday’s weight: 216.8

Yesterday’s calories: 1195

Yesterday’s exercise: 1320 steps

Today’s weight: 215

Last night I started tapering the sleep meds and that seems to have helped. It took longer than I’d like to get to sleep but I feel like a human today and not like my brain is encased in jello, for the first time in almost a week.

And for the first time in nearly 2 weeks, I’m not drowning in my own sadness. This is huge for me.

It’s clear and cool, the sun is shining, and I feel human.

I’m going to do some actual real work today.

I keep coming back to something my substitute therapist said two years ago when my regular therapist was on maternity leave. She said, people with a life purpose do better in recovering from depression.

And I can see that.

But it’s hard to find one. It’s not like writing websites counts as a life purpose, I’m very replaceable. A lot of people could use their kids, but I can’t, because then during the long stretches when they’re with their dad I’ll be purpose-less.

I picked up “The Purpose Driven Life” when she said that, despite it being from a different faith tradition than my own. It wasn’t as helpful as I’d hoped, perhaps for that very reason. It’s not measurably better (or worse) than any number of self-help books. And I’ve read a LOT of self-help books in looking for a purpose.

I think my favorite ones were “The On-Purpose Person” which treats life goals like a tournament with brackets leading to your primary goal. Another favorite was from a website, happyblackwoman.com, called The 31 Day Reset.

The problem with both of those is that they’re great for addressing imbalances in your life. If you’re spending too much time on work, or on your hobbies, this will help you see that and make corrections.

But it doesn’t help so much if you’re looking for a direction.

This is me, all the time:

I could watch that gif all day long, WHICH IS THE PROBLEM, obviously.

For the purpose of working with my depression, I committed to my faith even though belief and faith itself is still a major struggle. I’m not at all sure I believe any of it, but I go to the services, I do the prayers, I follow the rules. Because science says that participating in faith helps depression.

I think about that dream I had last weekend, where I was old and reading books and waiting to die. How is that measurably different than what I’m doing now? Given my choice, I’d be reading right now.

I’ve tried community service stuff, but it’s not sticking as a real purpose. I did meals on wheels for a while (until we only had one car…) and that was fine, but it wasn’t life-changing for either me or the people receiving the meals.

I spent part of the holidays volunteering at a hospital. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure how life-changing walking someone to the correct elevator is.

And that’s where I hit the wall. It’s the same thing every time I think about it.

Suggestions welcomed.

Day 34: I Bore Myself But Still Can’t Shake the Sadness

Yesterday’s weight: 216.6

Yesterday’s calories: 1195

Yesterday’s exercise: 161 steps. That’s what happens when you never leave the house.

Today’s weight: 216.8. I have to think that this isn’t right. I didn’t weigh myself till after I’d taken some meds and had some water, and I know that in the past doing that has produced a big swing in the weight from even a few minutes ┬ábefore. I finished my gallon of water yesterday, too, so it can’t be just water retention. VERY ANNOYING.

Regardless, I spent yesterday sitting quietly and being sad. It’s no good.

This morning I was up before 5am with the tooth pain–that credit card CANNOT get here fast enough for me–and it ended up taking ibuprofen plus excedrin plus vicodin to get it to go away, which means I went back to sleep. Vicodin is not conducive to awake. And now I’m up with the headache that vicodin ALWAYS gives me and feeling like my brain is sunk in a tub of jello.

It’s worth noting that the credit card will not allow me to do all the work that needs to be done. Indeed, if the endodontist is right about what the insurance will pay, it will only cover half of the root canals, not the crowns or anything. But it would take care of the teeth that have been causing me pain lately, so that’s worth something.

I could go back to sleep right now. I need to find a way to shake off the sleep meds and the vicodin because this constant groggy stupidity is killing me. I’m not working or applying for more jobs as a result of it, because I’m not smart when I’m coming off the drugs and it won’t end well.

*sigh*

I’m going to force myself to take the dogs on a walk here in a bit. That might help.

Days 31-33: Depression is SO BORING

Yesterday’s starting weight: 218.6

Today’s starting weight: 216.6

I have spent the entire week sunk in depression so deep that I was dreaming of death. I had a dream that I was old, living in an old person’s home, spending my waking hours reading, and in my dream I thought, why don’t I die now? I’m just killing time here.

Friday the ex decided to handle my objection to him forcing the girls to call their stepmom “mom” by claiming he’s going to take away my time with them, again. I responded, quickly and angrily, by reminding him that he will lose my side of the deal if he broke his half. No response. I don’t know what that means.

Then he made the one with a concussion play soccer this weekend, because why should a concussion stand in the way of your life? *sigh*

Yesterday I spend home, sleeping and reading and being sad in general. I was supposed to go out with some friends but I canceled at the last moment. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I feel bad, but I couldn’t do it.

Today I feel frustrated with myself. I suppose that’s a good sign, a sign that I’m moving out of the misery and into the light again.

As for the weight–your guess is as good as mine. I’ve been well under my calories every day this weekend, so the spike in the weight is ridiculous and unexpected.

I didn’t even want to watch the new Game of Thrones last night. That should really tell you how deep in the hole I was.

Day 30: Go Ahead, Kick Me While I’m Down

Yesterday’s starting weight: 216.8 <— down almost an entire pound from the day before, progress at last.

Yesterday’s calories: 1710

Yesterday’s exercise: 3758 steps

Today’s weight: 215.0

Yesterday was so miserable. I was up too late and up again too early. I spent the entire day away from home. I got up at 6am and took the husband to work and then I went to school where I spent the entire day working on a PTA project. I should be there now, as well.

At the end of the day, the younger child got sent to the nurse because she’d run full force into her friend, bumping their heads together. The nurse thought it was no big deal, and I agreed. There was no bump and no bruise.

Until we started to go back to get the husband and she started complaining about the miserable headache, then said she couldn’t focus and read the words on the page of her book, and then she started to fall asleep.

So…it’s a concussion. That’s pretty much the bulk of the symptoms in a five minute period.

Therefore, we went to the hospital. Do you know what I hate most in this world, more than the evil ex? Hospitals. They take forever, they cost the Earth, and I was already feeling weak, dizzy and exhausted.

HOURS LATER, we got the confirmation of a minor concussion. She has to rest today and no PE for the next week unless she is completely symptom free today.

And this is how I found out that the ex’s new health insurance is outrageously terrible. The ER copay has gone from 100 dollars to 250 dollars and not a single one of the ER physicians is covered by his insurance, at all.

I was up with her throughout the night, making sure she was sleeping well, giving her ibuprofen on a regular schedule and keeping her in as good of health as possible.

The ex insisted that because it was his day, she had to be given to him in the morning, so she could rest at his house, with her two little brothers, both toddlers. Because what every recovering concussion sufferer needs is two toddlers who are excited to see them and play with them. Obviously.

The tooth pain is getting out of hand. Last night, not even the full complement of pain meds could let me sleep. This morning, it took an entire vicodin to kill the pain and even that only lasted two hours.

The husband is going to see if they’ll issue him a medical credit card, so we can maybe get this taken care of sooner rather than later. The pain is outrageous. And that is what is keeping me from PTA work today, although I led them to believe that it was because of the concussion child.

I do have to be there tonight, it’s the major fundraiser of the spring that we’re having, but I’ll only have to be there for a few hours and then I can come home and go to bed. I’d be sleeping now if I wasn’t so anxious to get the sleep schedule back into check.

Also, if you were wondering how the ex handled the instruction to stop making the children call his new wife “mom” and me “other mom” the answer is, not at all well. He told them to tell me that they would, but in his house they are required to call her “mom” on pain of severe punishments.

My therapist called in sick yesterday, so I don’t even have that going for me.

I am desperate to feel better. Desperate.

Day 29: I’m Drowning in Depression

Today’s weight: 217.6

That should be higher, really. There were chicken wings last night. For no reason. I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t need to waste the calories or the money. I was up till almost 4am and slept the morning away. Everything is wrong. Everything is in chaos.

I don’t know what to do to change where I am.

I see my therapist tomorrow, maybe that will help.

But I also have to spend tomorrow and Friday on neverending school duties for the PTA, which I despise. The women are so…annoying. They all live in the same neighborhood, have known each other for years, have never been divorced and have constant access to their children, and have soft lives with rich husbands. I don’t belong there, and we all know it. It’s not going to help my depression.

I don’t know how to make myself better. But I know that what I’m doing right now isn’t helping. I’m drinking water.

Days 26-28: In Which We Party and I Sink Into Inexplicable Depression

Today’s weight: 217.0

This weekend was so hard. We did birthday partying and I have had SO MUCH CAKE.

We did a lot of stuff. We went out and had fun times, we had friends over and had delicious cake and high-calorie delicious food, and the result is another uptick in the weight. Not as much as it could be, all things considered.

Yesterday I should have been up and working and getting things done but instead I spent most of the day sleeping, the result of sleeping pills that I shouldn’t have taken, and the rest of it reading.

This morning I got up and went to the school to help with the little one’s field trip. This is how I found out that my ex and his new wife are no longer packing them snacks for school. The little one is underweight–she’s fought her way up from the second percentile on weight to the 11th, but she’s still very small–and she was the only one in her class that didn’t have food at snack time today. I didn’t see it coming and didn’t have anything to give her. It was terrible.

They told me earlier this year that the older one was banned from snacks by her doctor. After this nonsense today, I called the doctor. That’s all a lie.

I don’t understand this at all. It takes practically no money or effort to get them snacks. They could buy a box of granola bars for less than 2 dollars and that would cover both children for a week. It could cost less if they used in-season fruit the way we do.

I don’t even know what to say or do about that.

For tonight I’m planning on walking the dogs and that’s about it. An early bedtime and maybe I can finally shake off this funk.