I just read a blog post by author Katina French on her embarrassing medical conditions. She points out that October is Mental Illness Awareness month. Boy howdy.
**Clarification: A presidential decree actually declared May as National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2013.
In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.
Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 6-12, 2013. MIAW coincides with the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding (Oct. 8) and National Depression Screening Day (Oct. 10.)**
She claims to be the queen, but how can that be true, given my medical history. From what I’ve seen, Kat is a delightful woman and she does camoflauge her issues pretty well. I know how she feels. Having dealt with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, I can totally get where she is coming from.
I also feel for her with regard to the digestive system, and I trump her husband’s diabetes with my own diabetes. Toss in my heart condition and the dreaded allergies that Kat fears, and I am obviously the queen. But I will give her that title in her kingdom and take the title for my own kingdom. In the land of Backsliding, we thrive on failed quests and goals. We set new goals with extreme glee and then we suffer in excrutiating emotional pain when we fall off the wagon.
In my case, I not only fell off the wagon, but I ate it. When I first got sick I weighed 309 lbs (I looked like someone stuck an air hose up my arse at full force). It was horrifically uncomfortable. I managed to get down to 206 pounds over the course of 5 years and that was pure bliss. I could not remember the time when I felt better. But alas, the land of Backsliding is a dangerous place and there are many demons to be vanquished. Unfortunately, I just ate one of them too.
In the last month or so I have gained almost 20 pounds and I don’t know how to make it stop. I mean, I know what I have to do, I just can’t seem to get over the emotionally instability that causes me to ignore the obvious. I do sincerely want to lose weight. I promise I do. I just can’t stop eating. I get upset, I eat. I get scared, I eat. I get happy, I eat. The happy eating is the only eating I really enjoy. The others are just a defense against the horrible feelings whirling inside of me.
I recently had several people tell me how inspired they are by me and my strength. Thank you, but I am not strong. I am actually quite weak and nuerotic. I have fears and insecurities like everyone else and while this post may seem whiny and pathetic, it is actually intended to let you know that I am going to kick all this crap to the curb. I just needed to vent.
And while you’re here, I would like to remind you to show mercy and tolerance when people aren’t just like you. We aren’t all crazy, we’re just different.
I know everyone offers their idea, and that’s very kind of them. I can feel your pain although I’ve never had a weight-gain problem that couldn’t be solved by dieting for a short time. Probably genetics. And as far as anxiety, read below.
I’ve heard good things about biofeedback therapy for anxiety and panic attacks. You may wish to try it. I’ve a friend who swears by it. It helped him no end. Supposedly, you learn to control your own blood pressure by concentrating on where you imagine your favorite place to be. Lying on the beach with the waves pounding and the sun’s rays warming you? That’s where I’d be. Wherever. His was in the deep of a woods, turkey hunting.
Okay, then you concentrate on your breathing and shut everything else out. He said it created an environment that calmed him. He could then use it whenever he felt overwhelmed; he was impressed.
This was initially done is his doctor’s office. He was hooked up to a bunch of wires, I guess. The incessant beeping became less and less frequent. He could actually see it happening on the monitor.
I’m always open; if I felt the need, I’d go and give it a try.
I’ve always admired your openness and honesty, Karen.
Take care. You’re a gem! 🙂
Very true Karen,
Thank you for posting this. I can resonate, with one sibling presently in a state mental hospital-the state put him there-he has schizophrenia, and one with Bi-polar, narcissism, borderline…whatever. He is more difficult then the other actually.
“But for the grace of God there go I.” My grandma set me straight on that years ago.
I actually did not know October is Mental Illness Awareness month and I am writing a 4 part blog about my poor mother and how she deals with her sons.
As for myself, I medicate with food also. I belong to a 12 step program specifically for eating disorders. Because of the anonymity factor I can’t reveal what it is. It has helped immensely.
Good reminder to us all. I’ve had a weight loss problem all my life. Right now I’ve been losing, but doing it slowly. That and counting my calories is what works for me. I’ve lost 23 pounds over that last two years. Not the high of losing quickly, but forces me to learn new habits.
TOPS is an excellent support group if you have one in your area. It’s helped me to stay on track with my slow weight loss program.
The real trick is to make changes you can live with by finding a way of eating that will help you lose weight–and one you can live with for the long haul!