anti-depressant · Anyone? · breast cancer · Bubble Meds · Bubble Wrap · cancer · exercise · Fun · Major Depression · medication · Michele · money · Oprah · Scientology · stress · Tom Cruise

I’m Not Tom Cruise. I’m Taller.

A few days ago in a post titled ‘Bubble Meds, Anyone?,‘ I stated that I detest anti-depressant medications. I got several rather obnoxious comments about this (which I have been deleted, because I don’t want hate here), all telling me how evil and stupid I am to not recognize the wonders that are done by these medications. One commenter even compared me to Tom Cruise ranting on Oprah!

Let me say right now that the only similarities between Tom Cruise & I are height. And a sofa.
Anti-depressants, and medications as a whole, are a good thing. I know lots of folks whose lives are vastly improved by their blend of prescription drugs. Heck, if it weren’t for the varied anti-seizure meds I’ve been on since I was 16, I’d not be able to function. It’s quite possible that without those medications I’d be dead now. These medications save lives. I know that.
My issue with anti-depressants in the past has been simply that I’ve not yet found one that works for me. And of course, I want the quick fix. I’m not a patient person when it comes to medications–I want my pain-killers & cough syrups to work NOW!!! When the happy pills didn’t make me happy as soon as I swallowed, well, I gave up. I was young, I had time to wait for the bad feelings to go away. It wasn’t a matter of strength, so much as patience & time.
I’m not that young anymore. Many, many things have changed since the last time I had an episode of major depression. Back then I was living with my parents, I had no one depending on me for anything, my health was much better, and my stress level was lower. Now I’m living with my fiance and we are trying to start a business, my health is not good (although my seizures are controlled!), I’m in charge of a household. (Yes, I am!)
Stress, well, stress is high. My best friend, Michele, who just came through breast cancer with a smile on her face has been sick for the last few months. Two weeks ago they found Stage Four cancer in her bone marrow, the bones on her back, and a spot on her lungs. She began chemo last week. I want to be there holding her hand right now, but don’t have the money for my passport, much less a plane ticket to Toronto, where she lives. (Her mom is there, so she has help.) But can you understand why my stress level just flew up?
Anyway. My point is that I do not have anything against these medications or the people who take them. I’m not looking for a quick fix this time; I’m willing to be patient.
But if Tom Cruise shows up, telling me all I need are vitamins & exercise to fix my depression, there’s gonna be one less Scientologist in the world.
books · exercise · fat · food · Oprah · realizations · self-esteem

Wisdom of Fat

“Believe in yourself, and others will, too.”
That’s what my Facebook fortune cookie told me today. Somehow, I find it easier to believe in the wisdom of an imaginary Chinese treat than in the truth I hear in my own head each day.
I am a woman in 21st Century America. This means I have “body issues,” and “self-esteem issues,” and “food issues.”
I was not aware I had food issues until recently. As with many things, Oprah told me about it. I was aware I had problem with my weight; yes, I am a fat girl. (That’s right, I used the f-word! Get used to it.) I’ve gone up & down the scale since puberty, and have never liked the higher end. A lot of fat girls will tell you “Oh, I never eat more than a salad!” and you know they’re lying. With me, it’s true. Well, partly. I don’t eat much salad, but I don’t eat much of anything. I am the fat girl who doesn’t eat a ton.
Until age 9, I was the smallest, skinniest girl in class. Also the loudest, bossiest and surrounded by friends. My life changed between second and third grade, when I got glasses (not a bad thing–I was delighted to be able to read without a headache!) and gained 30 pounds! When school began in September, I looked like a different girl, and the same kids who had been my friends treated my like an outcast. I was stunned. Since I hadn’t changed what I ate, my relationship to food didn’t change then. The doctor only said “she’ll grow out of it,” which I never did.
I finished my years in that school miserable, and was thrilled when my family moved to a new state. It was a chance for a fresh start. I made new friends in that school, friends I still have today, 30 years later! And by high school, I realized I wasn’t as fat as I thought I was. I was still one of the bigger girls, but it didn’t matter, and I had fun! College was up & down, in many ways. I gained and lost jobs, friends, and weight, and grew up.
But I still did not realize I had issues with food. With how I looked, yes. How could I avoid that? I love glossy magazines. I am always ticked that my hair doesn’t look like the models, even when I follow the step-by-step directions! My lipstick never lasts, and my nail polish chips. Invariably, I miss a spot when I shave my legs. Yet I look in the mirror, and don’t see a goblin. I see a beautiful woman. A fat woman, too.
Watching Oprah a few weeks ago, I was struck by the stories of an audience full of women who say they’ll never need to diet again. All of them had read the guest’s book, Women Food and God, and have stopped being compulsive over-eaters. I watched, with tears in my eyes, and rushed to get a copy. But as I read, I realized –I am not this woman. I don’t eat to hide from pain, or out of denial. (I do tend to go overboard on the potato chips when I’m bored, but it’s not quite the same thing!) In spite of what Oprah and Geneen Roth say, I don’t have “food issues!” Whoo-hoo!
Turns out my issue is that I’m lazy, which my sister has known for years. If I’d get up off the couch and do some exercise, I’d be fine. Easier said than done, right? Am I willing to do an hour on the treadmill if it means I’ll be able to buy that dress I spotted yesterday? Maybe. But if it means I will feel alive again, get a grip on my life, and stop focusing on food all the time, then yes! As much as I hate to sweat, I despise feeling like a stranger in my own body more. Next stop–treadmill.