Month: May 2016

Being Understood

I set out on a quest, today.

I won’t call it a new quest. I’ve started this quest many times. I have always stumbled, fallen, and abandoned the quest, before returning to the quest-giver and trying again. I’ve restarted this quest so many times, even the quest-giver has started rolling her eyes when I return (tip: the quest-giver is ME). I don’t care, though.

Well, that’s not true. I do care. It’s disheartening and painful and demotivating when people I love and trust, including myself, start doubting my sincerity and ability to actually succeed.

This time will be different, I swear!

It will, be, too. That’s not just fluff. Every single time, the quest is a little different. I try different techniques or different support networks. I try to be more aggressive or less so. I try listening to this camp instead of that camp, and reading those books since these books didn’t help. It’s always different. So what makes this time different?

Understanding, for starters.

Before I go on, I suppose I should elaborate on the mysterious ‘quest’, for which I am my own ‘quest-giver’.

Contrary to my character’s appearance, I am not a slender, healthy little thing. I’m fat. Fat, diabetic, and afflicted with a small laundry list of issues both physical and psychological. What? Fat isn’t a bad word, people. It’s all in the way it’s used. I am fat, there’s no getting around that fact. I’m 5’4″ tall and weigh a gloriously jiggly 368 lbs. That’s almost 167 kg, or just over 26 stone for you folks in the rest of the world. I’m not happy to be fat, though I am happy with who I am. Fat doesn’t define me anymore and I won’t let anyone or anything change that. It is, however, a fact of my life that I need to address in order to come to a healthier, happier place where I am able to do all the things I desperately want to do.

Several times a year, I embark on this quest to shed the pounds and become that healthier, happier person. I’ve probably failed and tried again so many times William E. Hickson would have given up on me already. I’ve certainly lost the faith of a few people around me, I’m sure. I’m used to the hesitations, long pauses, or rolled eyes when I say I’m trying again. They have caused me to give up faster, in the past, but not this time.

This time, I have understanding. Not my own, but that of someone near and dear to my heart.

Yesterday, I laid out my newest plan before my sister, in full and glorious detail. I braced for the rolling of eyes that I was sure I’d be able to ‘hear’ right through my chat window.

…and waited…

………and waited……..

It never came. Instead, in return for my trust and enthusiasm, I received several statements of utmost patience, kindness, and understanding.

She told me how she would support me in any way she could. She told me she was glad to see me feeling ambitious. Then, she told me that the only thing that worried her was seeing me fall into another depression and give up on myself again. She told me how it pained her to watch me give such a sincere effort and then give up when the depression hit. She told me how she knew that I really wanted change, because I never half-tried or gave it a half-assed effort, but depression is my clever and relentless enemy along the way.

Woah! Stop the wagon. Say what?

People have told me they knew I’d just give up, before. No one has ever mentioned my bi-polar depressions as a factor, though. Not many people fully understand what being bi-polar means, or what depression really means for that matter. Then there’s the natural bias that causes us to attribute our own failings to less shameful sources while attributing other people’s failings to laziness or other negative sources. No one ever seemed to consider that my brain might also be tricking me into believing I deserve to be fat or that food will somehow solve all my problems. The same brain which plays horrible tricks on me including making me hallucinate on occasion and making me think I don’t deserve to live.

I had to thank her. That one moment of realizing that someone understood what was really going on in the battleground that is my mind changed my entire outlook. In that moment, I was reminded that there are people who care and want me to succeed, even if I fail a thousand times more. I was reminded that just one person who truly understands me and my struggle can be a truly great source of encouragement. I was reminded that I have an actual disease that causes my mind not to connect entirely with reality or logic at all times, and diseases can be treated.

This time, I’m going into this quest fully aware of the challenges I will face along the way. I am going in with a full team of medical and mental health professionals at my back and my best friend, my sister at my side. I know I’ll have the support of a number of family and friends, as well, even if some have lost hope that I’ll ever succeed. I’m learning a lot about how my brain works, and I have recently started to really learn and believe that it doesn’t matter if everyone, or anyone at all for that matter, believes that I can do this, so long as I believe it.

So here I am again. Standing at the quest-giver’s post. I’ve changed the rules a bit, once again. I’ve definitely changed the plan of action. Maybe this will be the one where I succeed. I sure hope so. The quest rewards are too sweet to pass up, on this one.

Wish me luck!

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I Am Nobody or Why I Bother to Blog


(Trying out voice recordings of my posts. Let me know what you think!)

It’s just after midnight and I find myself staring at a blank blog post. Well, not so blank now, but- whatever. You get the point. Once again, I have returned to my little public sanctum in the small corner of the internet that I’ve made my home to spill my thoughts into some comprehensible form of alphabet soup so that others may read the strangeness that goes on in my head. Sometimes even I wonder…

“Why?”

Why should a nobody like myself bother to write my thoughts where anyone else can see them? Why bother to blog when all too often, I’m so depressed I can barely think or so anxious I can barely breathe, and that negativity comes through in my writing? Why bother to tell my sad stories instead of just writing something funny because it’s easy and happy?

I once read somewhere, though I don’t remember where, that the blogosphere is a place where a lot of people with nothing to say go to say a lot of nothing. Maybe… or maybe not.

When I discovered the blogosphere, it was my refuge. I went there to vent my thoughts where I thought my mom couldn’t possibly find them, thanks to the anonymity of the internet. Vent, I did, and with all the fiery fury the Angry Pubescent Heir to the Throne of Batshit Crazy could muster. I was an angry teen. Angry and depressed. Are you surprised? If you’ve hung out here for long, probably not.

Now that I’ve returned, I once again find refuge in the anonymity of the internet. However, it’s more than that. Every day, on the internet, new stories are shared. Some are shared by famous people, and some by little nobodies like me. The famous people obviously get the most views, but once in a rare and wonderful while, a ‘nobody’ gets noticed. Maybe they go viral. Sure, that’d be cool, but that’s not what motivates me. What motivates me is the ‘nobody’ that changes a life… or maybe just a moment.

We all have stories. We live them, day in and day out. More of us than are willing to admit it have stories that are dark and soulful and full of struggle and hard learning. Somehow, though, most of us tend to think that we are alone in our struggles. Some of us may know that others are out there, but are too afraid to share our stories for fear that the ones that don’t understand will be the only ones to read and will respond unkindly. Some of us just don’t feel like sharing. I used to be that last kind of sufferer. The one who didn’t feel like sharing. At times, it was because I was afraid, but more often it was because I was ashamed.

I’m not ashamed anymore.

As I stumbled through the internet over the years, time and again a little known blog would have a post that caught my eye, or some unknown author would write an article for an obscure publication, or some other unlikely soul would happen across my digital path and share with me a piece of their story that would touch me, sometimes very deeply. It didn’t have to be profound in order to touch me on a sometimes painfully deep level. In fact, often it was simply a story of how someone else had faced exactly the struggle I was going through at that very moment.

That is why I bother.

I have a story, too. I have lots of stories, actually, and I’m certain that no small few of them are a lot like other peoples’ stories. Other people who might not realize that they’re not alone. Other people who might need to read or hear that fact in order to believe it. Maybe even other people who just need to be reminded that it’s okay to struggle, because in struggle we learn so much about ourselves and others. If a single sentence of a single post in all my time blogging, from now to the end of my life, reaches just one person and makes them feel better or feel understood or feel a little less alone… if just one smile is made or one tear is dried by my words here, then every moment I’ve spent writing these posts is worth it.

Maybe I’ll never reach anyone. Or maybe I’ll go viral one day. Who knows. Maybe I’ll never know if I’ve touched anyone in a significant way with my words. That’s all okay. So long as there’s a chance that my words, happy or not, could help or touch someone in any appreciable way, then I will keep blogging. Sometimes I’ll be silly. Sometimes I’ll be introspective. Sometimes I’ll just be pissy, or depressed, or anxious. Always, I will be genuine. This blog has no place for lies and I’ve no place for liars in my life. This includes myself. I will always tell you, my readers, the truth in whatever I am writing. That in mind, I leave you with this, my promise to you, dear readers:

 

I promise to…

Always be honest; brutally if necessary.

Never shy away from the rough stuff.

Be silly now and then, just to break the monotony.

 

Stick with me, folks. I’ll be here all week.

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