I’ve been struggling with my most recent depressive episode since last November, so wow, almost a full year. It’s been difficult, overwhelming, debillitating, and extremely detrimental to my health. I am a creature of habit, it’s how I stay on track. I’m all-or-nothing. I need clear plans laid out, I need checklists, I need control. Last summer, control was lost.
My wife and I built a house and sold the old one; unfortunately the timing didn’t match up so we moved in with my mother-in-law for five months. We lived out of one hot upstairs bedroom over the summer. I was training for an Ironman at the time, and it was difficult to get my training in as I would have liked, but I made it work. However living in someone else’s home, with 95% of your belongings buried in a storage unit, makes it hard for a type A such as myself to function.
I also began a new, completely different job last July, which required me to commute on public transit. The Port Authority of Allegheny County leaves much to be desired, to say the least. After my six month probationary period, I was able to begin working from home four days a week. Unfortunately, the moment I transitioned to working from home, I was moved to an extrememly demanding and difficult client. My stress and anxiety sky-rocketed. I figured this out the other day – I gained 29.8 pounds since I began with this client mid-January. I was shocked that it was that much, but it makes sense. I ate and drank my feelings constantly.
Despite being in our own space, with control, I felt helpless to control myself. It was easier to have pizza instead of make dinner, so that is what we did. Countless times. And countless bottles of wine, drank by myself. Generally one per night. I told myself I was too stressed out to excercise, and should just relax on the couch. No wonder I gained so much weight.
I named this blog the way I did because obviously I am working on losing weight, but it also has to do with how far I fell away from myself over the last ten months. I lost who I was and became someone else – someone depressed, crippled with anxiety, a physically inactive alcoholic. I was just simply alive, despite many, many thoughts about remedying that situation.
I lost Lora: the person, the wife, the friend, the athlete. I am slowly finding my way back to her, while losing the literal heaviness I picked up on that spiral down into simply existing. I need to remind myself that I didn’t get to this point overnight, and to be patient with myself while I heal and get back to being the me that I like.