No. I’m not a grinch.
I like Thanksgiving–sometimes too much. I like Christmas (not so much the stress that comes with it). It’s the time of year that sucks for me. If I lived in Cuenca with my friends Kathy and Sara I’d experience this dreadful time in July. And, as a side note, I feel like I talk and write about this subject too much, so I will not be offended if you sign off now and pretend you read the rest of this post.
I’m talking about the shortening of days, the waning of sunlight, the lessening of warmth and the increased desire to hibernate. Those are all aspects of life that can make living difficult, but imagine dealing with that pile of loveliness with depression and anxiety as the cherries on top. Then try to lose weight while doing it. I’m pretty sure the folks on the Titanic are the only souls who understand that sinking feeling more than I do.
Losing weight while depressed is overwhelming all on its own. Among the challenges are an irregular sleep schedule (I’m a night owl, always have been), an introverted personality (I don’t reach out, ever), lack of desire to do anything but sleep (couple this with insomnia and you get me–a lump in her jammies on the couch), and zero energy (ask me how much cleaning has been getting done, I dare you). All of this adds up to either a feeding frenzy when I’m feeling sad, or, even worse, not eating at all. You know you’re blue when the energy just to eat seems like someone just asked you to run a 5K. Weight loss? Enter status quo.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that my family is struggling these past few weeks. The bottom fell out of our basket, so to speak. There’s a busy school schedule for the kids, holiday madness, extended family madness, multiple weekly counseling sessions and holidays topped off with depression. Add some anxiety issues to that and you get the wonderful slurry that is me. Worry is something I do full time. I worry for me, my kids, my family, my friends and people half a globe away that I have never and will never meet. I am the gazillionaire of worry, baby. If only gray hair, scary short finger nails, and twitchy behavior that rivals the overly caffeinated were dollars, away my money woes would blow.
You’d think not eating and being wired for sound would make for weight loss nirvana, but you’d be wrong. Whatever primordial sludge made me works contrary to that thought. I gain like a champ. Once in a great while I’ll lose the arbitrary pound. Just like I did last week. Some silly little fairy magics me a negative (in a good way) weigh in and suddenly I’m thinking those depression-like thoughts: The scale is off today. Did I go to the bathroom before leaving home? All that sweat from my winter coat explains that loss. The woman behind that computer is new, so she obviously screwed up. It’s great living with the mental equivalent of the world’s most negative mother living inside your head. Just dandy.
So what do I do this time of year to chase away the blues? Nothing. I haven’t found that mixture of goodness that makes it all better. I muddle through. Sometime in late March, early April, the fog begins to clear and I see hope in the form of sunshine on the horizon. Until then, I go through the motions. I lead the existence called Barely Hanging On. I sleep more. I play less. I read until my eyeballs fall out. I go through the motions of life half-connected.
This year I’m hoping to at least be aware of what goes into my mouth. My meds are up to date and I’m taking them regularly (let’s not even SPEAK of how badly some of those are for weight loss). I’ve got a third med on back up for days when I feel like the worry is going to make my head spin off. In addition to all this, I’m going to rely on my friends, most especially my weight loss friends. I’m going to depend on their understanding that the Miranda that is walking around is a zombie. She’s there. She’s talking. She’s moving. She’s just not herself.
Come spring, I’ll be fine. Until then, expect a lot of shuffling and incoherent moaning. I’ll lay off the brains. They’re too high in points.