Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How and why did I get so complacent?

This first part is taken directly for posts from a website I wrote on yesterday, but then I expand on this already long theme:

Why did I become complacent?

Around the time I was turning 40, my health hit an all time low. I went into the doctor's office because of daily, awful headaches. Found out my blood pressure was 220/130 (should be 120/80ish). My thyroid was around 48-50ish (should be under 3, and preferably around 1) , my fasting blood sugar was around 150 (should be under 100). My Cholesterol was 250ish (should be under 200) and I felt awful - no duh.

They got things regulated with medications and I started feeling better and one by one things got better - first the BP, then the cholesterol and blood sugars and finally the thyroid got better to where it should be. The only medication I needed after a few months was the thyroid medication - it was causing all the other problems. 

All was great - I felt great and had energy and so on. With proper medication and fitness and diet - I got everything PERFECT - better than ever before in my life.

Then... I got complacent. "eh" maybe I can eat this." or "Eh, maybe I don't really need this thyroid medicine. Maybe my thyroid was so messed up because of how I was eating." And then I stopped taking the thyroid medicine. (or so the evil voice told me... really it was about being ashamed of gaining 30 pounds and being afraid of too many carbs affecting my blood sugar levels). Well, no wonder things started to spiral out of control.

I went to the doctor yesterday - after not taking my thyroid medicine for about 9 months. My blood pressure was 200/150. They couldn't get it to come down even with medication that should bring it down quickly  and they wanted me to go to the emergency room. I declined as my husband was out of town and I had to deal with the kids and no one to really take me. They gave me more meds to take at home and made me promise I would come back in next day. I did. It's now down to 150-100 and I already feel better and my eyes look better. I will check in a few to see if it has come down even more.

I did blood work yesterday morning. I know it's going to be a mess.

What the hell happened to me that I really stopped caring? I got scared to death to jump start this weight loss journey 4 years ago. How did I forget how bad things were?

How can a smart person like me be so freaking stupid? And how can I keep myself from ever being that stupid again?


And I'm not a person in depression frequently- I have occasional episodes with some SAD winter blahs, but this started last spring - lasted all summer and just got deep/bad in the fall and winter. I've been in it for about a year - deeply so for the last 7 or so months. I have mild depression every winter. I have had maybe 2 other times these DEEP depressions.

I need to learn from this... and not get complacent, but I also need to figure out HOW to stop this cycle. (More on this below)

The doctor's office yesterday was not "convinced" I would keep taking my medications and that I would come back for followup. I didn't get it. I mean... I made that appointment, right? I came back the next day right? But then I thought, "well duh, you also didn't come in for a year to refill a needed for life medication that only costs me (with insurance) $1 a month. Without insurance it's like $3 a month - it's that cheap. That medication keeps me from death's door to healthy. Why would they trust me to take care of myself? I have proven to them that I'm incapable of caring for myself.

I have to re-build trust with everyone - family and doctors. And that can get dangerous for me too as I'm a people pleaser. I do things to make other people happy and that also keeps me away or hide things if I think it will make them unhappy. It's why I hide my hurtness/pain. I don't want other people to feel bad. Well WAKE UP MELISSA"! They feel bad when you are depressed too - far longer and much worse than a temporary "worry" that we can make better.

I'm not even opposed to treating depression or seeing a counselor, so it's not even that... it's being afraid of disappointing people - ANYONE.

And, someone on the forum asked me to maybe think back to see if there was a trigger that started the depression. I don't think there was a single trigger. It was a ton of things that just finally did me in.

1. Series of injuries. Every time I would try something else to rest one injury, I would get another.

2. I joined a weight loss team at the gym and despite working my butt off and eating right for three months, the results were far less than I was hoping for.

3. The sexual side effects of either dieting or the thyroid medicine was really bugging me after dealing with it for over two years.

4. I was having a hard time being satisfied with my caloric intake. I was hungry all the time, but if I increased my foods, I gained weight and I gained weight because I wasn't able to exercise as much and exercise is a mood booster and an appetite suppressant for me.

5. I was feeling in a rut with our life. We had to cancel several couple/date plans. My husband and I hardly had time for each other for fun. It was all - house, work, kids and their school and issues, and working out - nothing left over for fun.

6. I went deeper into depression when I could see how upset my husband was with my weight gain. And our sex life went to zero.

7. My mother in law is a constant frustration. (We all live under the same roof)

8. Winter started and my light depression sunk to deep depression with the lack of light, the wet and the cold. I couldn't even walk for pleasure as it wasn't even pleasant to be outside nearly all winter long.

9. Having to deal with my senior in HS’s schooling and college applications was a constant battle.

10. My younger son with autism was having a really hard year and hating school.

And there are probably more triggers. I don't think that there has to be a single trigger. Just sometimes the battles get to be too much to deal with - for me at least. I had a breaking point.

And... I realize, when I hit the "must not cross line" and I crossed it, then I really didn't care. That line in the sand was crossed, so oh well... I've destroyed everything, so why not just say to hell with it for now. I got over 200 pounds. All was lost.

Yet, that other voice kept speaking to me - Tomorrow I'll eat better. Tomorrow I'll take a walk. The first of the month will be a fresh start. I don't want to buy too many clothes, because I won't be in this size for long. I WILL get this under control. Yet, I never did - until now. And I wonder if I would even be here now if it wasn't for my husband asking about my thyroid medication. He asked when I last took it. I told him honestly. And that is when he forced me to wake up.  While I was feeling better and better, I wasn't to the point of 'admitting' where I had been. I don't know when or if I would have ever broken out of it on my own. I was that ashamed to go to the doctor to admit my failure. They were sooooooooo proud of me. I beat the odds. I did it when so many cannot. I somehow wanted to get better BEFORE going back to the doctor.... but with a nearly non-functioning thyroid? How did I forget how debilitating it was for me?

And, the - husband, doctor, etc ARE terribly disappointed in me, but not with what I was afraid of - they are disappointed and worried that I totally threw away my health over pride of, at that time, a few pounds - well, fewer pounds. 30 pounds is FAR less than 75!!!! My fear of letting people down was that strong which is so completely stupid. And I knew it, but I couldn't stop myself.

My new strategy is that I will make my husband my watch dog. If he notices habits sliding, I have to promise that I will call my doctor to get on an antidepressant as, I think I can know from a few lessons now, it's the depression that does it to me. I won't say, "I'll try harder." Or, "Yes, I know, I'm trying."  I will promise to really address the issue - which is depression. I'm already trying to do better with the Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), but if I feel/sense or my husband does, then I have to admit it and deal with it. There is no shame in that. The shame is in ignoring it.

I think that is the key to never sliding again - not allowing myself to get deeply depressed.

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