April 16th, 2017
I woke up this morning and was starting to feel kind of on edge most of the day. I wasn’t sure what was causing it. So after 3 pm, I decided to go for my daily walk early to see if it would help. It did and helped clear the thoughts.
I decided to take this path to becoming physically fit to aid in my recovery. On March 10th of this year I made a 3rd attempt on my life. The depression and anxiety that I have lived with became too much, in my mind anyway, to bear. It took 3 attempts to make me realize that I have a lot to live for and that suicide is never the answer.
I started working out approximately 30 days ago. Weight has always been an issue for me from the time I was a kid well into adulthood that and being painfully shy to the point of having panic attacks. In my early teens, I was very thin due to being active in sports and always being outside. It was at this time the depression and anxiety started taking hold as well, I was under a lot of stress due to the issues both at home and in school that I was facing every day. Abuse in any form can do a lot of damage to someone still growing and trying to figure out who they are. It destroys the ability to trust and make meaningful connections with others.
Then we moved to a bigger city and being around a whole different group of people had a different influence on me and I started gaining weight instead. This was the beginning of my weight going up and down for years afterward plus the lack of self-confidence & self-esteem issues.
In my early twenties, I started binge drinking and was dangerously close to becoming anorexic. My station chief and a fellow airman at my first duty station intervened when they realized what was going on. I stopped drinking for a very long time after that, stopped exercising and picked up a two pack a day habit instead. The weight started building back up but I had also built up some self-confidence. Then in the fall of 1992, I became pregnant with my first child. My body was never the same again nor were my thoughts about myself.
I subsequently had 3 more children after that. The weight continued to bounce up and down after each one going anywhere from a 30 to 70 pound weight gain during the pregnancies. Now being married was whole another set of issues to contend with coupled with the depression and anxiety. My self-esteem and confidence started plummeting. Rarely would you ever see me in family pictures or if someone managed to get one of me, I would never smile. I didn’t see the point. I thought no one wants to see this ugly person.
I did manage to quit the two pack a day habit in 2006 and have been smoke free for about 11 years now. I still occasionally want a drink but don’t really have any reason unless it is a social situation which I actually try to avoid if I can help it.
During the time period of 1997 until 2014, my self-esteem and confidence was non-existent. Outwardly, most did not know what I was dealing with on a daily basis because I kept it hidden. I always had this fake smile plastered across my face while deep inside I felt like I was drowning or suffocating. They could see the weight going up and down plus knew I was struggling at my job but never asked me how I was doing. I managed until it was time to retire.
In 2014, I completely changed my life’s path. I separated and divorced. I went through so much turmoil with the anxiety and depression that intensified with the life changes that were occurring. I didn’t know if I would survive it. I started counseling. I managed through somehow and feel better now than 3 years ago. I went through hell and came back better than I was before. Still gaining strength and not afraid to change. To find my life’s purpose and to find someone I can trust again. It’s been a rocky start so far but nothing will slow me down, a delay here and there, it’s okay, learning patience is my focus.
So now, I have confidence and self-esteem back sort of. I’m still learning how to be comfortable in my own skin. To appreciate my own body image and not be afraid of who I am. I have no problems with taking pictures of myself and I always smile in them. It has been a very long road to get here but it was well worth the wait and struggle. I feel like I can accomplish anything and the only obstacle to stop me, well, is myself.
I do contend with the perceptions of others that do not know what is like to live within this body or with this mind. They question whether I’m moving too quickly or overwhelming myself. I understand their concern. It’s hard to see someone changing before your eyes. Whether it’s a positive change or not. Most people are afraid of change it’s our human nature. They cannot see how the thoughts can be so overwhelming there are days when I have work twice as hard to overcome it. That I don’t live to gain fame or fortune but prefer security and stability instead. That sometimes love, peace, acceptance, silence and happiness is all that I really want.
Thank you for stopping by.
May your thoughts be peaceful and your actions be purposeful today.
Have a great week ahead!