Posts tagged mood

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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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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changes.

I’ve noticed a few physical changes lately.

The good:

  • I have more energy in general.
  • I feel stronger.
  • I fall asleep faster.
  • My skin is clearer.

The bad:

  • My PMDD is worse. This has been manifesting not only as straightforward depression, but also as insecurity, irritability, fragility, confusion.
  • If I wake up in the night, I have a hard time going back to sleep. This would not be a problem if the kid would sleep through the night.

The ugly:

  • Really fucking bad dreams. This is probably related to the PMDD as well. So, I get the double whammy of waking up all shaky and full of anxiety from the dream itself… and then I can’t get back to sleep. Or I don’t want to go back to sleep. Some mixture of the two.

It’ll shake itself out.

And now I have a mental image of me pulling my head off of my neck and shaking it until my brain falls out on the floor. It makes a splooshy sound.

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