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No Shame

Sorry I haven't written in a while. School just started back up and I am having a difficult time with time management. This semester is going to be a big challenge for me, so bear with me!


The last few weeks have continued to be a struggle. I had hoped that starting school again would help put me back in my groove, but it hasn't; it has only made things even more stressful. So many days have gone by where I have felt so spent and emotionally and mentally exhausted that I didn't even know how I would wake up and do it all again the next day. But, with the support of my amazing support system and supportive words from you all, I have managed to do so.


Not only have my ED behaviors remained strong in the last few month, so have my depression and anxiety. Being that it is dead of winter where I live, there is the added seasonal depression on top of the regular depression and added isolation of the pandemic. In my case, my depression's best friend is my anxiety. I will do my best to paint a picture of what the last few weeks have been like.


On a work day my first alarm goes off at 5:45. I have three alarms set because I know that getting out of bed is a battle no matter what my mental health is like, I just love my sleep! The first alarm ALWAYS gets hit to snooze. Sometimes I can fall back asleep, but sometimes I am already awake but lay in bed and feel the anxiety take over. As each additional alarm rings, my heart rate increases and breathing gets more shallow. When it is inevitably time time to get up, my first stop is into the spare bedroom to get a hug from my boyfriend who is already at his desk working. I turn on a podcast (normally some true crime story) do my hair and makeup, take my antidepressant and then head to work. At work I have to turn "it" on. A smile is planted on my face, open my google calendar and begin making my to-do list for the day because the list of things to do can become too daunting if left alone to float in my mind. By lunch time I am ready for a nap. Not only because I love taking naps, but not eating the way I should leaves me running on fumes. I make it to 4:00 and head home. If it is a Monday or Thursday I get set up in my office for grad school which lasts until 8:00. If it isn't a school night, I help make dinner and work on homework for a little bit. When it is finally time for bed, I lay my exhausted body in bed only to be kept awake by my racing mind. Thoughts of tomorrow's to-do list, upcoming deadlines for school, and worries about what I will eat the next day the meet the bare minimum of my meal plan without triggering judgmental thoughts and urges.


The weekend is when I get to take a deep breath. The demands of the week are behind me and I get to charge my dead battery. The depression tells me to stay in bed ALL day. I usually emerge from my cuddled up cocoon around 10:00 and by 12, if not sooner, I am already ready to take a nap. If I do manage to do something I am not mentally present. I am in my head feeling absolutely nothing.


Wednesday I went to see my primary care physician. My mom and dad have been very concerned and with not seeing much improvement, they encouraged me to schedule an appointment. I didn't want to because to me it was just something else I needed to find time to do, but when I was there I knew it was necessary. Waiting on my doctor to come in my anxiety soared. I was bouncing my legs and coaching myself to take deep breaths. Her first question to me was simple- "what's going on?" I said I really don't know and she said "it's okay not to know" and I broke down crying. She made it clear that you don't have to have a reason for feeling depressed or emotionally exhausted. You don't need to justify your struggle. Counting your blessings does not take away the pain of depression. I had spent so much time denying my feelings because I know there are people that have it so much harder, that I wasn't allowing myself to feel what I was feeling inside. Her words gave me permission to feel. She suggested I start seeing a therapist within the same office to keep care internal, plus it is right across the street from my work so it I very convenient. She also adjusted the doses on a few of my medications.


I left feeling like a weight had lifted off of me. The weight of my health was no longer on the shoulders of myself and my parents. We again have the help and support of a medical team. The worry of monitoring my food intake, weight stability, depression, and anxiety is now in the hands of professionals.


I have seen so many accounts on social media that advocate for "natural" ways of controlling depression and anxiety without the use of pharmaceuticals. Things like clean eating, rigid exercise regiments all in the name of "taking control over your illness." That's great, it really is, good for you! However, many of these accounts come across as judging those that depend on medication to control their mental illnesses and that, my friends is not cool. I have had to unfollow many people because of this. I found myself wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn't just "control" my illness myself. Well the truth is, mental illnesses like depression are a result of a chemical imbalance. It isn't a bad habit that requires discipline to break. You wouldn't tell a person with a vitamin D deficiency not to take a supplement because they can take control themselves without a pill. When you put it that way, it sounds ludicrous doesn't it? What I'm saying is, whatever route you choose to take to care for your mental health and that works for you is fine and I support it, but don't preach it as being the only or right and "natural" way. Without even realizing it, you are putting down those that are not following in your path. And if you try the holistic route first and you are not finding it as effective for you, then there is absolutely NO judgement or shame in seeking medical intervention. You should not feel as though you are weak or have failed. Every body, mind, and person is different. YOU. DO. YOU.


I close tonight feeling more optimistic than I have in a while. I am hopeful that with the adjustment in my medication that I will have more mental energy to put towards my recovery.


Thanks to all of your beautiful readers for the support, likes, comments, and subscribers. It helps keep me going. Knowing what I write matters and helps others makes it all worth while.


<3 Stay Strong and Beautiful

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