Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A secret

I have only shared this with one other person in my "real" life...and he was a therapist. I used to be a terrible binge eater. I used to suffer from severe depression.

I used to fantasize about getting in my car and driving away from my life. Never suicidal thankfully, and never actually got in my car and left, but always thought about it. "I'm a miserable person, and if I'm miserable then all these people in my life must hate me so they'd be better off if I left and never came back." It gives me goosebumps and tears well up in my eyes remembering the darkness I had in my life.

I used to think, "I'm fat. I'm not ever going to be skinny again. Why not eat whatever the f*&k I want and see how fat I can actually get?" When I would go to lunch I'd go through - sometimes - up to three drive-thrus. I'd hit McD's for a #1 and eat that. Then I'd pull across the street into KFC and get a four-piece meal. I'd eat that. Then on my way back to work if I was still "hungry" I'd go to Burger King and get a double Whopper for dessert. It makes me full just remembering it, but at the time I still felt empty when I got back to work and would sometimes eat M&M's all afternoon.

The whole time I was having these thoughts and doing these terrible things, I was lying. To my family, my friends, my coworkers, myself. "What did you do for lunch today?" "Oh, I went to Subway and then I took the sandwich down to the beach and sat on a bench and ate it. Then I went for a walk." I'd always tell myself, "Oh it's just one time, you'll be better tomorrow! Enduldge yourself once in awhile!" ENDULGE MYSELF? WTF?!?!?! Killing myself is more like it.

Getting help for my depression was key. I think if I hadn't gotten through that then I'd still be binging and I'd probably be living in an abandoned rail car somewhere in the rugged outback of Canada so my family wouldn't have to put up with my miserable self anymore.

My doctor helped too. He wasn't a therapist, but when I went to him to get a prescription for anti-depressants, not knowing me at all, he said, "I make all my patients suffering like you make me a promise. If they don't make this promise to me, then I don't give them the prescription and instead I send them to inpatient care. You have to promise me that if you ever feel like doing something bad, even if it's leaving, or if you ever do think about suicide, that you'll call me. I'll give you my home phone number. You call me. Do you understand? If you can't make me that promise, then I'm going to refer you to inpatient treatment."

I don't know why an almost-stranger was my breaking point, but I crumpled in his office. Sobbed hysterically. It was that one moment in his office where it finally hit me. "I'm really worth something. Whether it's to my coworkers, or my husband and child at home. Or to this silly doctor I just met. I'm worth more than this."

That happened 4 years ago. A few weeks after that meeting, I joined a health and wellness program that my health insurance partially paid for. That's where I met my therapist, my nutritionist and my personal trainer. After I got laid off and lost my health insurance I couldn't afford to pay out of pocket for it anymore, but what I took away from it has helped me tremendously.

I still suffer from depression but it's on a more "normal" level now. I get depressed over "regular" things...I'm not saying that I'm 100% cured and well adjusted (Hello? Have you met me?!) but I'm definetly in a much better place, and well on my way to increased mental health, which I firmly believe is going to be key in helping me lose weight.

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