Archive for mood

hiatus (2).

I typo’d that title as “Siatus”. Sigh-atus.

During the past six months, I have

  • been back off and back on the sugar-wagon many times. Currently off, but it’s only been about 5 days.
  • started taking higher and higher doses of sertraline (Zoloft) because it stopped being effective. Several times.
  • decided to stop taking sertraline because it was getting fucking ridiculous.
  • started taking Cymbalta. Loved it.
  • stopped having obsessive thoughts about when my next sugar fix was going to be.
  • started having obsessive thoughts about when my next sugar fix was going to be.
  • started taking a higher dose of Cymbalta. Loved it.
  • stopped having obsessive thoughts about when my next sugar fix was going to be.
  • started having obsessive thoughts about when my next sugar fix was going to be.
  • started taking a higher dose of Cymbalta. Loved it. (see where this is going?)
  • realized that I was on an anti-depressant and I was still very fucking depressed.
  • stopped taking the Cymbalta.
  • put my doctor in a half-nelson until she gave me a scrip for Wellbutrin.

We’ll see how well this works. I am fairly confident that it will do great for the depression, but I’m not sure how well it’ll do for the food. Luckily, I got a nice reboot in the last week: Critter brought home a sweet little 24-hour flu, so I’ve barely eaten anything in the past 5 days, let alone sugar.

Oh, and I’ve started jogging. I’m not actually sure that you can call it “jogging”, however, because I’m not actually sure that both of my feet are completely off the ground at once at any point during my stride. So it’s kind of a jog-walk. But you know what? It gets my heart rate up higher than walking does and it looks like jogging (although nobody actually sees me because I wait until it’s dark outside) and I feel good about it, so who cares?

I’ve gotten up to jogging 3/4 of a mile, which was my 2-block-by-2-block route, and now I need to do a longer route. I’m probably not going to do that until I feel a bit better, though. I’m still dealing with vertigo from Cymbalta withdrawal and fatigue from being sick (and from Cymbalta withdrawal. And from insomnia from Wellbutrin acclimation. Oh yeah, and from getting up 15 million times in the night every night the past week from some combination of me/Sean/Critter being sick, Critter teething, or whatever. Oy).

Back on track soon. I can see the track from here, at least.

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punishment.

Today in therapy (I love my therapist), I talked a lot about the binge eating cycle that I’ve gotten myself back into.  I eat. A few cookies, a little bit of chocolate, something. And then I feel bad/guilty for eating. And then I feel that I need to be punished for being bad. And so my punishment is to eat more. Finish the box, or the bag, or the carton. And I don’t enjoy that at all. I’m sitting there, stuffing M&Ms into my face, and I’m feeling physically sick.

One of the things I’m discovering is that, sure, it’s emotional eating, but there are fifteen bajillion different emotional reasons. It’s not just one emotion there. I don’t just binge when I’m sad. I binge when I’m happy, when I’m tired, when I’m frustrated, when I’m anxious, when I’m excited, and when the moon is waning gibbous. It’s almost like there isn’t a pattern… but there is. There’s a lot of patterns, is all.

I just need to deconstruct and unravel them. And then weave the scraps into something more useful and pleasant.

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comfort.

Everyone has their own very special comfort foods. I have a lot of them. Depends on what kind of comfort I’m looking for. Miss my mom? Something savory and creamy, like fettuccine alfredo. PMS? Peanut butter cups. General depression/angst/cloudy day? Ice cream.  I’ve had to work on reconfiguring my comfort food needs, because a lot of what I consider to be comfort food is now mostly off-limits these days. I have been eating much more in the way of salty snacks lately. This is probably sub-optimal, but it’s probably also better for me than eating lots of sugary snacks, so I’m going to let it slide.

I was talking to Sean during dinner tonight about food (no, really!), and how Christopher was eating pretty much everything we put in front of him (cheese, bananas, pasta, salmon, roasted red peppers, eggs), and how I was pretty sure that he wasn’t going to grow up being a picky eater (knock wood). I was a picky eater as a child, and I know it was probably difficult for my mom to deal with. Heck, I was a picky eater well into adulthood. I still am, but it’s not nearly as severe. I’ll try almost anything, as long as it doesn’t have strawberries in it. Almost.

Sean observed that a lot of my reluctance to try new foods comes across as fear to him. I thought for a moment, and realized that he was right. There is fear there. See, because I am such an emotional eater, just about every food I eat is comfort food, to some extent. If I try a new food, I might not like it, and if I don’t like it, I don’t get any comfort out of it. He’s learned to introduce new stuff to me slowly, and almost always when I’m in a relatively good mood to begin with. As long as I feel safe, and as long as there is something familiar that I can eat as a back-up, I’m comfortable trying new things.

I was talking to another friend earlier today. She has similar food issues with regards to emotional eating and boredom eating. She and her husband were enjoying an Ecstacy trip together, and she said something that really struck me: “I’m filled with joy, and I’m not eating anything!” Made me realize that I really need to get to work on figuring out where else (other than food) I can find reliable joy. As long as I’m on Zoloft, Ecstacy’s not really an option (not to mention, it’s a pretty damn temporary fix).

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chocolate.

I love chocolate. I seriously, massively, LOVE chocolate. I want to marry chocolate and have little chocolate babies. I want to elope in the middle of the night with chocolate and move to Chocolatistan and spend my days and nights lounging with chocolate by the side of a chocolate pool on the chocolate terrace while a chocolate cabana boy (or girl, I’m not picky) fans me and feeds me delectable bits of pure chocolate bliss.

That said, it has been over a month since I have eaten the tiniest shred of chocolate. That’s right, a whole goddamn month. I say goddamn because I am in a relatively pissy mood. At least, I was, earlier today. I am a PMS-monster, a raging beast full of wildly fluctuating hormones and very little rationality. RAWR. Get out of my way.

Sean and I were over at Henrik and Johanna’s house tonight for dinner and socializing and toddler-playing-together. I was cranky. Crabby. Crotchety. Henrik asked what was wrong, and I told him I was having very bad PMS RAWR GRR and he said the most intelligent and perceptive thing ever: “Do you want some chocolate?”

I was actually taken aback, because I hadn’t thought of that as an option. I guess the self-brainwashing that I’ve been doing is working. I accepted a small square of some lovely dark 70% and was blown away by the taste and feel of it in my mouth. I still felt cranky, a bit. But I was starting to feel a little bit better. The four of us stood around for a few minutes discussing really wonderful chocolate (and sampled another bar that Henrik had), and then said our goodbyes and headed out.

As Sean and I were driving home, we talked. I realized as we were talking that I did not want to binge. Here I was, right in the middle of some of the worst PMS crank that I’ve had in ages, and I didn’t want to stuff my face. This kind of freaked me out. If I didn’t want to binge, what did I want to do? I don’t know. But it didn’t have anything to do with donuts or Tim Tams.

About halfway home, I felt a kind of quickening in my blood, almost like my heart racing, but not exactly that. My pulse was only slightly elevated. I realized that I was actually experiencing and noticing the physical effects of the theobromine in the chocolate I’d eaten. It was amazing. I hadn’t had any chocolate in so long that I’d completely lost my tolerance for it, and the effect from two small squares of premium dark chocolate was so utterly blatant and noticable.

As I sit here 45 minutes or so later, the physical effects have subsided, but I am having a nice, soft mental and emotional glow. Not unlike the feeling (albeit on a much smaller scale) I remember from taking Ecstacy, actually. Come to think of it, the onrush, the initial physical effects — that could also be compared to the initial physical onset of the Ecstacy high.

I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced chocolate as a psychoactive substance, before. It’s astounding. I feel pretty damn wonderful right now.

The trick at this point is to avoid chocolate until this time next month.

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memories.

My father and his wife are in town visiting his grandson. This is difficult for me; he and I have always had a somewhat strained relaitonship for various reasons which I don’t really have the energy to get into right now. Suffice it to say that I’m stressed. And when I’m stressed, what I really want to do is curl up with a nice big pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Can’t do that.

Okay, okay, technically I can do that, but I’m not letting myself do that. Instead, I’m busting into tears on the way home after picking Sean up from work, freaking out in the kitchen, and then hiding out in the bedroom with the laptop while Sean and Critter play in the living room.

I was thinking earlier about high school. About how, once I had my license, I would stop at the store after rehearsals to buy those aforementioned pints of ice creamy goodness. About how I would sneak them up to my room when I got home and eat them furtively. About how, when I didn’t have enough cash on me to do that, I would instead mix up a bowl of confectioner’s-sugar-and-water “frosting”, and sneak that up to my room for the furtive eating.

I think there was a lot of “nobody loves me. I guess I’ll eat, because it tastes good and it’s not like anyone will notice and/or care if I gain fifteen million pounds” in my actions. And the problem is, I was kind of right. I went from a size 16 up to a size 22 during high school. My mom noticed, I’m sure, but she never said anything. I can kind of understand that; she has dealt with her own weight-related demons for her whole life, and she probably thought that if she said anything, it would destroy whatever shreds of self-esteem I had left. I wish she’d said something. I might have gotten off of the path I was on a lot sooner.

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depression.

I’ve lived with depression for as long as I can remember. At some points in my life, it has been easier to manage than others. Right now? It’s pretty managed. I’m on a small dose of Zoloft, and it really does make a difference, most of the time. The main place where it fails at all is during every month’s bout of PMDD.

Luckily, my cycle is fairly regular, and I’m self-aware enough these days to notice what’s going on, and to give friends and family warning that I’m going to be cranky/sad/introverted/agoraphobic/tired/more-helpless-than-usual for a week or so. Sean takes good care of me. The system works well.

This month is different, though. Like in the past, I can see the depression hovering around my brain. Unlike in the past, I feel like I am actually right there in the middle of it. I’m not hiding my self off to the side somewhere. I feel great clarity in the middle of what has in the past been a great fog.

I’m certain that this change is due to the fact that I’m not self-medicating my depression this month with sugar.  Normally, I’d have the initial onset of low serotonin, and reach for the peanut butter cups, and eat for a week, and come out of it a week later feeling bloated and fuzzy-headed but emotionally okay. This time, the depression seems deeper, but I feel incredibly calm about it, and I’m actually experiencing it, rather than avoiding it.

Sean’s worried about me. I’ve promised to make an appointment with my doctor and talk about possibly upping my meds (possibly even just for this one week out of the month).

I think this is a change for the better, even though on the surface I have been feeling worse. It’s really strange, the layers of emotions that are going on. Deep down, I feel very good about actually feeling bad.

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