Krissie: Gluttony

Crusie and I have been blessed. During all our gluttony we each only gained about 2 pounds. Jenny a definite two pounds, and unfortunately I cracked the 230 mark at 230.5, but considering the muffins, pecan braids, fries with gravy, etc. that’s a blessing. Plus I drank a lot more DC than usual. So as a thank you to the Goddess of Fat, Adiposia, I will now remember what I wanted to do. Remember how I started. No fast good (though we didn’t do much of that). No more fries and gravy and that kind of crap. No. More. White. Sugar. Read my lips.
Now can I do this while I finishing a book and living with depression?
I think I need to not be rigid, but I think the sugar, so prevalent during this season, should be a zero tolerance issue. I can and will bake with alternatives. I can even have white potatoes or white rice occasionally, possibly even a white roll. But if I can get away from the sugar, which became quite strong in the last few weeks, that will be a big help.
Urgh. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at being home, of course. Too many things to do — food shopping, make a path through things, finish the book, figure out Thanksgiving. Well, figure out what I want to do about Thanksgiving.
And I miss Jenny. Miss her part of NJ, miss getting up, talking about what we’re going to do, heading into our corners.
But this is a really good time for her. She’s going to get her eating back under control just as I am (I nobly ate the last pecan braid from Panera’s so she wouldn’t be tempted. It was a great sacrifice on my part).
But Jenny can now find her own rhythm. She can sit in the living room and crochet when she needs a break from all the work for McDaniels and writing. She can go through the things at the house and put things where she wants them, in the garage or the attic, loft, head-banger suite upstairs. She can start organizing her life, particularly since she doesn’t have the daunting size of Squalor on the River to deal with. Casa de Rental isn’t a bad house, she’s got a good workspace set up (the leaves to the table are in the closet in my room, Jenny) and the living room is comfortable now with more lights and two tvs. So things are good.
I came home to Squalor Holler. With stuff like grief and pressure about money and depression and chaos and deadline pressure and the holidays bearing down on me, I have to figure out a way to deal with things.
I will. I do know the med change isn’t enough. Or maybe it is. I’ll give it a few days here. No, I don’t think so. I’m very snappish, and that’s not like me.
WE’ll figure it out. Bird by bird.
But no white sugar is a definite. You crash from white sugar. Yes, white other stuff turns to sugar in the body, but it’s not as dramatic, and you don’t get the same sugar rush which keeps feeding itself.
At least, that’s what I think.
God, I’m overwhelmed right now.

Krissie: Maybe, baby

It’s too soon to be feeling better, but in fact I’m having glimmers. The toxic disease is now just a nasty-sounding cough, but my I’m past the worst of it. I’m lucky in that things don’t cling. An average cold for me (which I get every four or five years) only lasts about 4 days. I guess my body sends so much trouble to my stomach that it doesn’t want to bother with colds.
But more importantly, I think I’m feeling better. It’s only been three days on the changed meds, not really long enough to start feeling more hopeful, but I seem to see a slight glimmer up ahead. Maybe not feeling better, but able to look through a window and see better times. Which is truly wonderful, because I’ve been pretty damned hopeless.
But you know, change is hard, and I started this year ready for major changes. It’s time to change, and you pay a high price for change.
So. Moving forward, inch by inch, row by row.
I think my plan is to finish the book in NJ, then work on my Spanish one. My plan is to nest in Crusie’s rental place. She and I don’t drink, so we have to come up with something to drink at night while we talk. Pellegrino? Maybe peppermint tea! that’ll be good, sitting around talking and drinking tea.
So today I will neaten some things up a bit and do some sewing. Nothing I don’t feel like doing, nothing that feels like pressure. I’m picturing myself (don’t laugh) like a Dresden ballerina figurine — all princess-y with those stiff skirts. I had a couple when I was young and I loved them. Anyway, I’m a fragile princess ballerina who must be handled carefully this week, and since I’m the one who handles myself, I need to keep that in mind.
I think a lot of us have an inner ballerina-princess inside. I think she’s going to be an alter-ego for me, for the elegant, delicate, beautiful dancer who hides inside me. But she’s gonna need a name.
Something glorious, strong, pretty. Marguerite? Lucia? Something French?
Anyway, she’s my new totem. Gotta think about this some more, but I really like it.
So, that’s the news from Lake Woebegone, which might not be as woebegone as I thought.

Krissie:Big D

I call this photo The Dying Swan. I seem to have some kind of low-grade throat thing. It isn’t coldy– I’m just feeling faintly rotten, a tight cough and throat pain.
I did a little baking yesterday, a little business. Tried to get in to see my doctor earlier and got nowhere, but I’ll see Brendan on Monday, and I feel too rotten to feel rotten (if you know what I mean).
I got up, sat down and fell asleep in my chair for three hours. I think that’s more sick than depression, but hell, who knows.
Anyway, low-key weekend till I get to see Brendan and get some change in my meds.

It was interesting — about 24 years ago it came out that two-thirds of the town children under six had been sexually abused at their day care. With a town of 700 that made about thirty-five kids in that age group (all my kids’ friends but not, thank god, my kids). Anyway, they had parent support groups and town meetings etc. And all the parents were prescribed prozac, which seemed odd to me, since they have every reason to be half-insane with grief and depression. But I’m guessing that even though it couldn’t fix the hideous thing they were going through, it helped them deal.

Not that what I’m going through is anywhere on that level of horror. But I didn’t think of changing the meds because that wouldn’t fix the problem. But right now that it seems as if nothing will, and my perceptions are totally fucked, and with better meds I’ll get a reality check and maybe be able to start accepting the things I cannot change and changing the things I can.

In the meantime I’m just going to take care of myself today and tomorrow. Read, sew if I have the energy (my sewing area sucks the big one — it’s in a cold, damp basement and I hate going down there).

And a week from today I’ll be in NJ with our come to goddess meeting.

And all shall be well.

Krissie: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

So I’ve been lying. No, that’s not true. I’ve been trying not to be a downer for everyone. It’s that damned “taking care of everyone” thing that I fall for, time after time. It’s that, and denial (not just a river in Egypt) and the determination to fake it till I make it.
And then I realized it not only wasn’t getting better, it was getting worse. I keep trying to ignore it, but it’s the elephant in the room.
Refabbers, meet depression.
I come by it naturally — my mother’s Danish side had crippling depression (think Hamlet) and my father’s side has depression and bipolar illness across the generations. Mini-me is lucky to have missed it, and the strong addictive gene. I missed the addictive gene myself, but not the depression one.
I’ve had a number of clinical ones — maybe four or five in my life. Ones so bad I couldn’t break free of them, where you see pictures of me and there’s simply no one home. I’ve been living on anti-depressants for oh, maybe twenty-five years or more, and they help. And when they stop helping, the doctor tweaks ’em a bit and things get better.
The meds have been such an effective combination that I made it through my sister’s death and Richie’s heart attack three months later without falling to pieces. I soldiered through. I survived two full years of financial panic.
But for some really bizarre reason my mother’s death pushed things over the edge. I can’t shake it, and it’s getting worse. I feel trapped, desperate, hopeless. I can’t sleep and then I sleep too much, my gut’s in an uproar, I’m angry at everyone and I never get angry. And I feel like my entire life’s work is a joke.
That’s pretty bad. I was on my way to see my therapist yesterday, weeping. I’ve been seeing her for a looong time, and she said it’s bad. During the good times and bad I’ve never felt so hopeless about my work.
Hey, some families get cancer. We get depression.
So we’ve got a plan.
First, I called my doctor to change my meds. I’ve had to adjust them in the past, and I think I need to again. Second, take the anti-anxiety meds that I never take, just for a couple of weeks to see if I can keep the panic and darkness from closing in.
Third, take a few days off, at least till Monday. The book feels dead, lifeless, I keep going around in circles, and while I know it’s the depression talking, not the book, it still cripples me.
Oh, and I’m going to have Alex over for the day some time in the next days. That’ll make me happy too.
So that’s my plan, Pull back from all the push push push. Be gentle with myself. Try not to get all caught up in the hopelessness and the stinking thinking.
Because this is no way to live.
It’ll get better. It always does. But strength of mind and positive thinking isn’t always enough. I either have to start feeling better fast, or … I don’t know. Curl up into the fetal position?
So here it is, truth in advertising. Even cowgirls get the blues. Even the maidens of St. Trinians.
But I’ve made it through before and I’ll make it through again, and I’m doing my best to get it before it gets worse.
I promise not to be too much of a downer. But if I just do a tap dance it won’t help.
So. Problem identified. Plan in place. All systems are go.
Onward.

Krissie: Great Expectations

Okay, you’ve convinced me. No more freaking goldfish. No more carbs that just make me sleepy and crash.
No more sugar (I seem to be alternating sugar days ever since my mother’s service). And water instead of that fake sugar.
I broke the Diet Coke/caffeine trap, but I’ve been drinking diet ginger ale and diet lemonade, and the damned stuff does a number on my stomach. We have our own well, and the water is cold and delicious, and I’m a fool to drink anything else.
Plus, soda makes you want salty crunch. The only thing to have with fruit is water.

So water it is.

Oddly enough, I didn’t feel sleepy yesterday. But frustrated! The work was crawling along — I’d write a couple sentences or a paragraph and then wipe them out. There are days like that, and I really need to let go and just walk away for a little while. It’s just so important to get this freaking book done.

I will get up and walk around the house every half hour of writing (I use a great program Lani told me about called Vitamin R where I set it so I work for 30 minutes and then get a ten minute break). I don’t have the time or the money to go back to the pool right now, unfortunately, but I can do a little walking, and that should help my state of mind if not my body (with luck it’ll help both).

In the meantime, I’m just putting everything off while I write the book. I feel like there’s this emotional volcano rumbling beneath my surface, waiting to blow, but you know, what good is a volcano? Just fire and ash and lava.

The problem is I feel trapped, and I can’t see any way out of it. Everywhere I turn there’s more trouble, and I can’t figure out what to do about it. Bird by bird, I guess. Starting with the book.

Maybe Hurricane Sandy will come up here and blow everything away. All the trouble and worry, all the anxiety and dread. Most of all, the fucking white elephant that has haunted me. It was supposed to save us, and instead it’s killing us.
Maybe one of those huge white pines will come down and crush the damned place.

One can only hope.
I’ll be more cheerful tomorrow. One good day of writing and I’ll feel better. For now, I gotta strap on my armor and wade into battle.
Onward!

Krissie: Home

This is me depressed.  The drive back was lovely — even the hour long detour (there was a rock slide in NY state) was gorgeous — the sun shining on farmland I hadn’t seen before) and the book was wonderful.  But as I got closer I got whammed down with a sense of depression.  So I just don’t feel like talking.

Interesting about the sugar.  It was harder to fight off yesterday.  I held firm and made it through, got on the scale, same decent weight (226.7) so  it’s okay.

I’m just going to go lock myself in my office and work.   Tomorrow will be better.

Krissie: Triumph


Got on the shiny new scale this morning. 229.4 I’m glad I got it. In half pound increments it might not have moved, but I’m down .3 of a pound and I’ll take it, damn it. I need all the encouragement I can get. I’ve also been completely self-indulgent when it comes to those damned goldfish. Maybe I ought to substitute something if I have to grab a crunch at times.
Yesterday I had a truly major victory. As I mentioned yesterday, I feel a depression coming on. I wrote just a tiny bit, went to see my shrink, and when I left (at 2 pm) realized I’d only had a breakfast bar and I was starving. I felt this absolutely overwhelming need for something hearty and solid. And of course that was when I went to the grocery store. I looked at the bbq’s chicken wings. Looked away. Went through the store and bought what my mother needed (it’s the only store that carries her yogurt), then went to the other grocery store and bought the rest of the stuff, and the more I went through the aisles I saw whole grain pancake mix and whole-wheat pasta and oatmeal and Mexican food and I decided I desperately needed something heavy for dinner. But I needed something immediately. Thought about Chinese takeout, which I can’t have any more because Richie can’t eat it. Fought it.
McDonald’s was nearby. I’m fighting off a terrible depression. Life has been unutterably rotten. Surely I could drive through and get a DC and one of those snack wraps without any kind of fat.
No. Absolutely no.
So then I went down the aisles, finally settling on the small bakery department. The whole grain breads felt old, but there was a boule that was soft, made of white wheat, and I figured I’d eat that on the way home. Just shove the bread in my mouth. I didn’t want to buy more goldfish because I need to stop.
I was in the line. Waiting.
And then I remembered yogurt.
So I went back, dropped the boule off, bought some containers of yogurt and grabbed a spoon and a bottle of water. When I got out to the car I ate the yogurt and then drove home, the overwhelming cravings quieted.
So …
Even with every emotional excuse in the world, I didn’t fall into it. I didn’t go face first into McD’s fries and burger (and lord, I’ve been craving a burger recently). I didn’t let my eye get seduced by a corn muffin (I’d always considered them safe) or a sweet (just this once) or chips (just this once). When we had turkey and black bean tacos last night I didn’t use the nicy crispy corn shells, I used the whole wheat wraps.
Well, maybe I was too depressed to even eat. Naaah, it never gets that bad, only when someone dies, and that doesn’t last long. It’s quickly replaced by non-stop stuffing.
So even when I want the comfort of food it no longer seems to be the panacea.
I read an article or book once where an overeater said that food had been a friend. A comfort in times of grief, entertainment when bored, celebration when things are good. It fuels the body. Food is not the enemy, it’s how you relate to it.
I guess food and I have broken up our long-term, abusive relationship and now we’re … what? Dating? Good friends? Healthy family?
Maybe that analogy can only go so far.
But the bottom line is that even with a major case of the blues hanging over my head like Pigpen’s cloud of dust in “Peanuts” I managed, without a Herculean struggle, to fight the excuse for self-medicating with food.
So even as another day starts and I try to figure out how to change my mood (and I’m going swimming first thing as one idea) I can celebrate yesterday’s victory.
I need to remember that as I fight off the blues.