Archive | depression RSS feed for this section

Crab People (Introverted vs. Extroverted)

31 Jan

People drain me. Physically, emotionally, figuratively… they suck.

I’ve read in several articles about people with introverted characteristics that this phenomenon isn’t unusual. Introverts can be socially outgoing, but we are inwardly super self conscious. For example, I LOVE to share or answer questions in my grad classes. I dont shy away from that. However, it may take me several minutes to formulate thoughts, to feel out the room, to make sure that raising my hand wont be construed as me being “pushy” or “dumb.” At parties, I’ll be fine (if not a bit of a background character), but I’m often full of dread in the car ride over or I will spend days in advance thinking of talking points and reviewing my friends.

It’s all soooo much to do and take in.

That’s why introverts lose energy from other people.

That's pretty accurate.

 

It doesn’t help when you are in a serious relationship with someone who is so clearly an extrovert. B, a great guy and all, is a bit clueless on my little introverted quirks. He doesn’t understand my need for space, privacy, warmth, and time outs from the world.

Most of all, he doesn’t understand that I process the world in solitude. I dont share, partially because I am terrified of being a burden. The other reason is because I know how much my own problems can overwhelm me, so why would I want to share these experiences and emotions with someone who is not actively involved?

When there is an issue to be dealt with, I go through stages: 1.) Outwardly emotional. 2.) Inwardly emotional 3.) Inner reflection 4.) Conclusion 5.) Resolution. If there is no answer to a question or problem, then I skip over conclusion and get to resolution. And from there, there is nothing left to be said. It’s done. The problem is that all but one of these steps is accomplished internally. So I often cannot address the reflections or resolutions I have made.

And it’s a communications break down from there.

I worry. A lot. I worry that I am unable to verbalize what emotions I have and when I have them. But I am even more worried that because I have built up this wall where people know I process emotions internally instead of externally, when I do verbalize what I feel… well, it’s not trusted or understood. Does that make sense? Probably not.

Here’s another analogy: You’re the popular girl at high school and you’ve made wearing pink the “it” thing to do. Everyone expects you to come to school in pink. One day, you decide to wear black and while friends see that you are wearing black, they think you are still wearing pink socks under your black pants or that you are wearing black as some joke on the goth kids. The point of you wearing black (to show that you are diverse in your choices or to get a point across) is lost because you chose to wear pink every single day since freshman year of high school.

 

Poor B has to deal with me flip-flopping on how I address my emotions. One day, I am sharing every bit of my day with him. The next, I am locking myself in my bedroom or sitting in my closet so I could have a moment alone.

(And this is when I tell you the horrible story about how I once laid under my bed for six hours straight after a particularly long day at work. Nothing was inherently wrong. I just wanted to lay under the bed and soak in the quiet and dark.)

But, the truth is that interactions drain me. Right now, if someone was asking, I’d say my stress level was at an 8 out of 10.

Look like Crab. Talk like people.

Why so high? I HAVE NO IDEA. All I can say is that my time around people has increased. And while none (except for a few dim moments) have been negative experiences, being around people for an extended period has turned me in to a complete crab-person. I’m emotional and uneven tempered, and I really just want to sit in my shell and listen to dance music (yes, I know…) till I feel better.

So, fellow introverts, how do you deal with your extroverted love ones? Are they soul-sucking hell beasts, too? Or are they understanding, lovers of crab people?

 

Pumped Up Kicks

6 Sep

Ahhh the holiday break… so relaxing… so freeing… so full of tears.

Frack. That’s not right.

I’m really not going to go in to it here. It’s not helping that I am slowly sinking back in to the abyss called depression.

I’m honestly not sure what is wrong with me besides whatever chemical imbalance/genetic disposition is naturally there. Things are good. I’m active, in a city I love, working a job that is a blessing, AND I’m starting my Master’s degree in 2 weeks. I am loved to the core, and I’ve done a stellar job at distancing myself from people I feel will take away from that love.

And yet, here I am: Writing about depression like it’s my day job.

Frack. That’s not right.

Yesterday, I got up for my second attempt at an 8 mile run. The day before, my run turned in to a 5 mile therapeutic walk/cry. Thank gahd for sunglasses and naturally being sweaty. It kept most prying eyes off of me. But anyways, my second time around was similar to the first. I got out there and, almost instantly, everything started to hurt.

My heart hurt. My shins hurt. My brain hurt. My knees hurt. My thoughts hurt. I hurt.

Frack. That’s not right.

So I turned around and went home. No use trying to get a run started when there is obviously something bigger at work. I wish this blog could be about how I pushed through it and broke down some huge emotional wall. But, it’s not. I didn’t break anything down. If anything, I built some walls higher.

Not every run is life changing, soul altering. Some runs are complete failures toppled with a scoop of dog sh$t. We can promise ourselves otherwise, but we never know what tomorrow will bring… if we wont spend the next day crying over a party sized bag of pita chips or will be dining on steak and potatoes.

You cant promise yourself that it will be better. Especially when you are clinically depressed. Your lows are going to be real low. And your highs will be fleeting. Everything can and will change within a second. But you’ve got to deal.

I’ve been trying my best to take mental pictures of the good while it’s there. It’s like the Office wedding episode. I’ve been taking pictures of B and I playing monopoly and laying around Millennium Park. I’ve got a couple of my nephew running to me (he just starting walking!), and another of my niece making me a little stuffed animal craft. There’s one of me looking out at the water last weekend and another of me opening my acceptance letter for the Master’s program. I’m essentially trying to remember and preserve what it felt like to be truly present.

As for the lows, you promise yourself that you will try. Tomorrow is a new day, no matter how many times you try to pray it away. I tried to run again this morning, even after two emotion-fueled fails. And I did it. It wasn’t 8 or 6 miles. It was my normal 5K training run. And I did it in 35 minutes, a new PR. I, for the first time, averaged a 11:40ish mile for all 3 of them. And you bet the moment I looked down at my watch and realized what I had just done is staying in that mental photo album with the rest of the good.

Frack. That’s right.

Better Son or Daughter

15 Jul

Oh Lord, I was on a high this week. And by high, I mean finally feeling normal. Yippee!

And then, two days later, I’m back down.

Yippee.

I would really love to be out of this- to feel normal, happy, proud. Oh, and I’d love to look at myself and see someone who is smiling rather than looking like the Ghost of Christmas past.

If you can believe it, I spent so much of yesterday just staring at nothing with no thoughts in my head. I spoke more words to the man on the L asking me about the book I’m reading (Last of the Mohicans) than actually communicating with anyone else.

Today, well, it’s no different. I feel, uh, better. But I seriously think it’s because I’ve spent much of the day planning for my niece’s visit and trying to find Alex’s 1st birthday gift online. Seriously, how can you not smile when looking at adorable babies in cute outfits?

Anyways, B sent me this song yesterday while I was in the thick of things, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. It eerily sums up exactly what is going through my head.:

Oh, and I ran 4 miles yesterday. I should throw that in someplace, so why not here? 4 miles is a pretty easy undertaking, but I ran it after work yesterday. I usually do all of my runs in the morning, before 8am, so there was a huge difference. I obviously felt more self conscious with the added amount of people on the trail. I guess there was more pressure to get through my intervals without looking like I’m about to fall apart or die of heat exhaustion.

Only 3 days away from my tune up 10K- or as my runner friends are calling it, RunHades 10K. I had really wanted to pull a PR (personal record), but with the race not starting till 7:30 and the temps as it is, I’m going to stick with just finishing as my goal. 

This is a great test to see how I will do in the heat with my half marathon. Only 4 weeks out! I’m feeling more and more confident as well as freaked out. My motivation is at a high with my training, but to make sure that I keep on running after I cross the finish line, I’ve decided to pay myself. For every mile I run, I’m giving myself a dollar and doubling it if it’s a race. For July, I’ve already deposited about $21.50. Cha-ching!

Anyways, have a happy and healthy weekend. I’ll be back, I’m sure, with a race recap on Sunday night or Monday.

Remeber When I LOVED It?

17 Jun

I awoke to the sun shining, birds twirpping (twittering?), and the breeze blowing through my window. Perfect weather… if it wasn’t 5am and time to run.

4-5 times a week, I do this to myself. I sleep in parts of my workout outfit and lay out the rest of my gear the night before. Everything is in the living room so I dont wake up slumbering SOB. My Garmin 305 is charged, my Ipod is synched up to my ever rotating playlist, and I have the bad weather gear nearby in case. It’s all routine.

My alarm goes off right at 5:02am and I typically roll out like a rodeo clown from a barrel. I’m out the door at 5:20 and stretching outside on the benches by 5:30. After a couple minutes of searching for a satellite, my Garmin locates me, and I’m off.

My pace is always much faster on my first run interval… typically at 9:40-9:50 min/mile. In my head, I kid you not, I’m counting down seconds until my walk break. When I get bored, I make a deal with myself that if I make it to the next lamp post in 5 seconds, I’ll check my watch. Oh, and I do some heavy duty people watching. Nothing like hot ass runner watching in the wee morning hours.

This goes on…and on…and on until 2.5 miles or around 30 minutes. I’d go longer, but I just dont have the time. 

I’m just here to get it done. Train. Move my butt. Make it easy… whatever. This certainly isn’t a Nike ad quality workout. It’s just work.

Nike: King of Inspiration Marketing.

And if you read through all of that, I’m surprised. I’m even boring myself. And that’s the point. These training runs are not important or interesting to me anymore. When people ask how my morning runs go or how I could wake up that early to run on some gravel path, I lack the enthusiasm I once had. I dont share details of how my pace was or if I got any hellos from hobos. I just did it. It’s become a no motivation, low energy, get-it-done-and-shower kind of deal.

I once read that people who do sports or work on their fitness should be proud. I mean, how many people are honestly up at 5am and running? How many do it in rain, snow, fog, wind? How many do it, period? In this city, there are 2.6 million people- 239,000 are my age, half are female. I’ve already bested the majority of those people by just stepping foot outside the door and walking at more than a 19 minute mile.

But I certainly dont feel like it’s an accomplishment anymore. It’s become so routine and mundane. Even moments of pure beauty, when the sun is rising off the lake or birds seemingly chase me down the path, I cant find energy in it. It’s all tired and old news.

I’m blaming it on my current relapse of depression. Currently, everything is nothing to me. Just a big blank empty slate that I am not willing to fill up. Maybe running, my once favorite thing in the world, has fallen to it. I’m hoping my 12.5 mile long run on Sunday will help me get it back. I never feel better than when I hit a new accomplishment or when my leg muscles feel like they are peeling off the bone.

In other news… I’m selling two or four PAUL MCCARTNEY tickets for his July 31st, Wrigley Field show. You want them? Bid on Ebay!

Get At It

15 Jun

Wow. Gone since March.

Well, dont I feel like a fool.

The last time I wrote, I had just finished running my first 5K of the year. Since then, I ran a 10K and another 5K, moved to a different (and more awesome) neighborhood, officially started living with my SOB (significant other Brendan), and learned a whole bunch of awesome sauce things about myself that are too plentiful to list.

The one thing I haven’t done, though? Lost weight. Me, High Empress of Consistency, hasn’t managed to make the scales budge. AT ALL.

Oh sure, my 5K time is 5-6 minutes faster, run 11 miles straight, swim three different strokes for 300 meters without a rest, and constantly beat everyone in the mileage challenge at my regular spin class.

But that scale, yeah, it’s a fickle bitch.

It hasn’t been without trying. I mean, my schedule is pretty awesome:
Monday: 120 minutes of high intensity cardio (run, hill climbs, spin class or by myself, row machines, kickboxing, elliptical of doom, etc.)
Tuesday: 5am recovery run, 40 minutes of full body strength training
Wednesday: 60 minute swim training and possibly a spin class if I get there on time and can be persuaded by the teacher.
Thursday: 5am speed run, 40 minutes of more strength training
Friday: 60 minutes of yoga, pilates, and walk or hill runs
Saturday: SPIN CLASS FROM HELLLLLL
Sunday: Long run of 5+ miles or races and another 40 minutes of strength

I devote over 500 minutes of working this body till it’s covered in sweat and screaming for a break. I’ve pushed it to some insane (and often smelly) limits.

But nada results.

I need a cookie. Fine. I want it. Damnit.

How’s my eating… well, you can check out my sparkpage for that info. Just look at my food logs. I get in some decent food. I’m working on more veggies and less carbs thing. It’s a process, I hear.

So, what am I doing back in blogger world? Well. On spark, I sadly have to censor myself. Sometimes I want to use the “f” or similar singular letter’d words, but get the big error button when I try to submit it. Other times, I want to talk more about my personal life, but I feel a bit off doing it there. Sure, I’ll keep doing my weekly updates, but I’m hoping to keep this ol’ blog alive. This is my space to vent about the joys of weight loss and fitness training. I’ve got some big goals to accomplish, like running the Chicago Rock n’ Roll Half in August, and this is my space to be like “fuck it, I wanna run freeeee.”

Another confession before I hit the “publish post” button? See, I have this thing called depression. Me and 9.5% of America suffer or make ourselves suffer through it. It’s dark hole suckage and it sadly encompasses more than my personal head space. It grips and pulls at everyone and thing close to me until we are all nothing but couch dwellers, sheet hiders, and stagnant robots. It’s been over 10 years since my diagnosis, and yet I still haven’t found the perfect mixture of coping methods. Running myself in to a frenzy and punishing myself in spin classes have oddly helped me over the last year. But, lately, I’ve felt more detached, more tired, and more nothing. There will be times when this blog will be nothing but a space for me to be a whiny bitch, and I apologize in advance. I know that my depression lasts for months at a time and then will go away, so just know, it’s temporary. Seasons change, and so does my mind. We are all evolving creatures.

To sum this awkward rambling of a blog post up, if you read these furthermore posts, feel free to comment. I dont expect it, but welcome it. Give me feedback. Yell at me and my confessions. If I take more than one rest day in a row, send me hate mail. And if I eat more than 2000 calories a day, please, feel free to come on over to the Up and Up apartment complex and steal my bucket of fried chicken from under me.

What I Will Say At My First Therapy Meeting

24 Aug

Dear Therapist To Be,

This isn’t my first time. I’ve seen one of you. Well, 3 of you. There was a god-fearing portly woman during junior high, a lady with a smoke machine in high school, and one of the most articulate Italian ladies ever during undergrad. All were smiley, almost too much so, and one even gave me hugs after every session. I’d leave feeling satisfied and placated. I’d come back feeling worse.

So, please excuse me if I’m skeptical at first.

I tried not to contact you for your service. I’ve gone four years without really needing you. I got in to yoga, found an amazing job that fulfilled my soul, and even dated around just to play- just like the three of the past suggested. And it worked, to my surprise.

For four years, I wasn’t anxious about impending car accidents or various fatal injuries. I didn’t dwell on my regrets as much as I tended to, and I certainly didn’t re-visit details of my parent’s divorce like they were a well-read magazine. I even felt ok enough to let go of a person who meant that absolute world to me just because he wasn’t the one anymore. Oh, and I stopped being so dependent on comfort food, ambien, and late night tv to put me to sleep. For four years, I was happy.


And to an extent, I still am. Frankly, I’m not sure if I should even be here, sitting on your couch, fighting for an excuse on why I need to shell out my hard earned money just to talk. I’ve still have a great job- even if it is not that dream job I worked so hard for. I have a just perfectly swell boyfriend who holds my hand at night. And I finally feel stable in the realm of finances and living quarters.

Over the last few months, things have changed. I’m more agitated and frightened, and I cant even muster up the courage to sit at the front of the bus. I cry over the silliest or mundane things- youtube videos, inspirational sports wins, abandoned or missing children news stories, and even episodes of “What Would You Do?” My fear of abandonment makes it even more difficult to let myself go around people. My even larger fear of not being liked makes every friend de-quest seem like a shot to the heart. And nights alone are dark and void of thoughts.

When I talk to you, I will be defensive, even over people I dont want to defend. I will make excuses for them and then for why I am making excuses for. I wont do your exercises that will force me to confront someone. And I certainly wont be making phone calls or composing emails that apologize for my actions.


For awhile, I will agree that I am a child of divorce and all my abandonment issues and occasional codependency come from the fear of losing my family. But then I will grow tired of talking about my parents and will want to focus on me. This will be my breakthrough. I wont mention the person I’ve been dating or my ex. I wont cry over the loss of a particular friend. Heck, I wont even mention a certain person’s suicide as much as I did at the start. It will be all me speaking- working through my issues.

And when I come to the realization that all I need is to stop blaming past events and others for my depression (because that’s what it is)’s current state, then I will be ready to let you go. It could take four sessions. It could take four months worth. But I’ll let you know.

Now, when do you start evaluating me?

Optimism v. The World

4 Aug
A few days ago I had a revelation. I’m happy. It’s taken a lot since I’ve graduated college to move from part A of my life to part B. And the road hasn’t been a smooth crossing either. But now, I’m doing just fine. Financially I am stable and emotionally, I am above average. There’s even a new addition to my immediate family that I got to meet this weekend.
However, I had a set back yesterday. While it isn’t definite and it could mean nothing in the long run, it put me on edge. Extreme edge. If it comes to fruition, my current lifestyle would almost dissolve if I did not find a quick fix.
In my most heated moments of worry and doubt, I kept flashing back to major rejections in my life. From depressing moments where I messed up a line in a play to another where I was turned away from a party by a group of grade A college douches.
The problem is that I always do this. It’s like my brain takes note of the moment and then places that note in the file entitled: Disappointments. Because I’m curious and bored, I have to go through each one of the memory notes starting with a 1st grade teacher telling me that my hair was too messy… all the way through to my last time a guy ignored my phone call. It’s exhausting in its own right.
I’m sure I am not the only one who does this or has a problem dwelling on the past. It’s just that I cant stand how alone it makes you feel and how empty your heart becomes. It only emphasizes your pain and complicates your worries. In the case of last night, it turned an issue that should have been a second thought in to a full frontal issue.
I dont have a solution or advice for similar sufferers. I just wanted to put this out there and see who else becomes Egger like in self-pitty and loathing.
But to those who just want baby porn, here you go: