Friday, May 22, 2009

The Big D

I don't mean Dallas, and I don't mean divorce; I mean depression.

I'm kind of surprised that I don't see more bloggers writing about this, but then again, it's probably something most people think of as private and have boundaries against talking about. Me, I have so few boundaries. . .for better or worse.

Plus, I'm not sure many of us like to claim depression. You can get away with not claiming it, unlike denying that you're fat, which everyone sees.

When I read blogs about people like me who are struggling, who know what to do but seem to have trouble actually doing it, I think they are probably depressed. I remember when I was going to Weight Watchers meetings regularly --the time I actually lost 60 lbs going, and hearing people talk and thinking, they're depressed; they're not ready. I admit I felt a tad superior. I'd been reading Prochaska's Stages of Change book, and I felt ready. I had turned on that magic switch. My husband was sitting beside me in meetings, and we were doing it. We were going to the the grocery store for the week's menu right after the meeting, and we were walking together at least once a day, and adding onto that time spent on our trek. I thought, what took me so long to do this? It's not so bad.

When I read the recent post over at the blog Stages of Change--the one that upset me about choosing to be fat--he said,

Fat people. . . are people who have eaten too much, exercised too little,
haven't created or changed their lifestyle to a healthy one, haven't gotten the
counseling if necessary, haven't gotten the regulating drugs if necessary,
haven't asked for the help, haven't learned what they needed to learn, etc.

The line about not getting counseling leaped out and slapped me in the face. I admit part of me thought. this guy is 26 years old; he's just having these realizations for the first time; good for him; he thinks, like I thought that by the time he is my age (20 years his senior), he will be over this fat thing. Just like I thought when Oprah lost all that weight before she turned 40 that I would achieve that earlier than she did. And I admit as mean as it sounds, that I wasn't sure if I wanted him to succeed or hit the wall that I have.

But the fact that I have done--I have walked the walk and stayed on the course and during that time it didn't seem like such a challenge. The challenge isn't staying on the horse; it's getting on and off the thing over and over.

And after my sad post, 3 of my non-virtual friends confronted me. One to step beside me for daily help to confront this thing, and 2 to tell me that what I was feeling was not normal. One said, you're feelings are not from being fat, it's called depression."

And the other said words that also deeply resonated because of the way she said it, knowingly, or not, she said, "You're in a depression. . ."

That made it sound temporary--from and even keel to a lower place, a depression--and most depressions in the earth are a temporary concave spot, that rises back up to even ground. And that gave me hope.

One day soon after I spent the day looking through my insurance for a new counselor. I prefer men. I looked them up online. I made a few calls. I asked a few questions. I set up an appointment that happened this past Weds. The first meeting seemed good. . .I'll let let you know how it goes.


  1. I really love this post so much. I have a family member that has struggled with weight issues for years and all of us around her have known that it is because of either depression or some other related issue. We tried once (unsuccessfully) to mention counseling, even going so far as to offer to go with her and she about had a hurricane fit. Now, we just sit by and watch her self-destruct and hope that one day she will "see the light."

    Thank you so much for sharing. I'd forward this to her, but then she would throw eggs at my house.

  2. There's not a great many benefits to being older, but wisdom is definitely one of them.

    Excellent post.

  3. A very honest and moving post that will probably help so many. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I so admire you. From all of the back stalking I've done on your blog, to the way you write (incredible!) and to this post that is so honest. I'm not depressed, but have had my years of counseling and luckily I found a really good one. That's the key. I hope your sessions go well. Keep up posted. {{hugs}}

  5. Thanks for talking about depression. I never say the word, but I guess I talk about it, too. Thanks for saying the word that needed saying.

  6. I admire you for going to counseling. I believe there can be a connection to weight loss and what is going on in our lives - depression, financial troubles and family issues. Getting to the root of it can be the key to making it (the weight loss) happen. Hope all goes well.

  7. Depression is a huge part of my weight gain... I know I hid in the food that I ate... I found friends in the food I ate.... Food accepted me as I am.. If all else failed... food would lift my spirits... A vicious cycle

  8. Excellent post! I am your age and have wondered about depression. Para menapause has set in but I'm determined not to let it hinder me and to embrace whatever is necessary. I await your follow up posts eagerly! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kudos for taking control and meeting with a counselor!

    Anxious to see how it works out for you!

  10. Such a brutally honest post and one that I so appreciate. Therapy is so underrated. I have done the meds (off them for good now, I hope) but realized that it was a temporary fix for me. Getting to what's really buried and holding me back is a constant struggle.

    For years when I've seen an obese person (myself included), my first thought is always, "I wonder what is going badly in his/her life". For me, the biggest battle of the bulge starts in my head. Once I figure that out I think most other good things will follow.

    Good for you in doing what's best for you. Good times are on the horizon for you. I'm keeping you in my thoughts.

  11. Hi, I've been trying to access your blog and eventually have been able to get onto comments. Thank you for your open and honest post.
    If you wish you can download a free book[let] called "Making Life Work" at or call their office in Cincinnati, tel 45254 - 1027 and request the booklet. I pray this will help you along with the councilling. Big {{{hugs}}}


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