Today is when.

So, if you go to a consult with a surgeon about a breast reduction (I AM NOT GETTING A BREAST REDUCTION) they encourage you to try losing weight first as surgery may not be necessary. If you go to a consult to have a lap band procedure they make sure you’ve at least tried changing your diet first. In general – the rule of thumb is always try the lifestyle changes before the medical solutions because medical solutions are not always a good answer and have risk of other problems.

I tell you all of this because today I’m going to try to find a therapist. But, because of my fear of prescription medications (another entry for another day) I want to go ahead and make sure I tackle some lifestyle changes so that if it comes to that, I can feel certain I’ve really tested out my running theory about my eating habits and my emotions. BAD FOOD MAKES ME FEEL BAD.

I know, it’s a crazy theory and probably won’t pan out.

But I’ve been feeling really bad lately. And I’ve been feeling really bad at some level for awhile now and I’m certain it runs much deeper than my diet but I’m just as certain my diet is not making it any better. Here’s a sidenote: The funny thing is about my emotional plummet is that I feel like I’ve been a much better Mom lately. Somehow as my sadness grows and taints my every thought, I’ve become more patient and understanding and involved with my kids. So, that’s interesting. Let’s hope as I work through these issue the good parenting sticks around as I’d hate for the kids to be all, “It’s weird. Mom is so much nicer when she’s randomly crying all the time.”

IMG_3414I know the extreme sadness relates to this month. March will always be “the month we watched Dad die” but it’s only March 10th and that means I have 3 more weeks and if my sadness has darkened my days this much already? The next 3 weeks are going to be terrible. SO. Today is when. Today is when I try to get a handle on my health again so I can tackle the sadness that has engulfed me. TODAY IS THE DAY I INGEST THIS VERY EXPENSIVE POWDER THAT LOOKS A LITTLE LIKE DEHYDRATED POOP.

I tried to do a sugar detox a few years ago and I didn’t even make it 24 hours before my anxiety and depression flared up so bad that I thought I was going to need to be sedated. It was BAD, y’all. I joke about it all the time, “Proof I’m addicted and probably should give up sugar…” but it was NO JOKE. I’m not trying a full detox (and I had plenty of fruit on that terrible day) because I need my coffee how I like it so I don’t lose my will to live (that’s not too much of an exaggeration) but I’m reducing the sweetener I use a bit and I’ll still use my energy powder mid-day because without my other stimuli I’ll need that (and it has some sweetener in it) but other than my sources of energy, I’m removing sugar from my diet. I’m removing beer except for one at Anaheim Chili when we eat there on Saturdays. I’m going to attempt clean eating as much as possible, but since I haven’t tried, I’m not sure what road blocks are out there. I want to show up at my first therapy appointment and be able to say, “I have not been eating crap for X days” so that they can rule out any chemical (food related) cause for my emotional instability.

And if that emotional instability wanes with the bad eating? Then my theory was right and hopefully I won’t need any prescription treatment for my current episodes of anxiety and depression. And if my theory was wrong and I still feel terrible, I can carefully walk into that arena (because of the aforementioned fears) knowing I did everything I could do first.

But I need you all to hold me accountable. If I don’t come back tomorrow with a follow-up outlining my progress in finding a therapist (it took more than a few days when I was looking for one for Wesley) and a report that I’m sticking to my “Eating for Happiness” nutrition plan, then I need you to call me out. I NEED A THERAPIST, Y’all. I don’t feel like outlining the exact reasons why, just please trust me. Kim’s brain in March is always a bad place to be but this March is a million times worse.

And the damn time changes this weekend which makes it all SO MUCH MORE TERRIBLE. I love the early sunrise, I hate our stupid daylight savings takes that one joy away from me.

So, here’s to braving the phone and calling to find a therapist. Here’s to Eating for Happiness. Here’s to trying to go for a run this morning (having some issues after running 40 miles on Saturday) (those “issues” are me not wanting to run) and hopefully succeeding. Here’s to finding joy and not losing the good parenting habits I’ve picked up while engulfed in my own sadness. Here’s to f*cking daylight savings. Here’s to surviving March.

28 Comments

  • Elaine C. B.

    And here’s to you. (And also the dehydrated poop fruit protein powder, because that made me laugh.) Sending some long-distance good juju your way!

  • Steph T.

    I think therapy is a great thing. It’s one hour (or 45 minutes) that’s about you. You may tak about others…but it’s about how to cope, work with, resolve, etc. all the things around you. I’ve been medicated, I’ve been unmedicated…both function, but function differently. I prefer unmedicated…with that being said, this time I’m doing it with the help of acupuncture. It has helped tremendously. I still cry (but that’s okay, because medicated I couldn’t), I still get stressed and anxious…but I calm very quickly. I’m okay with that. Right now this works for me. I hope you can find what works for you! Hugs!

  • Shannon

    I’m not sure if you’re interested, but I’ve had friends rave about Talkspace. It’s an app and let’s you talk to therapists via text. Just something else you could look into.

  • Mommyattorney

    You are brave and awesome! I’m so glad you’re doing this!!! We’ll be here to hold you accountable.

  • Rebecca

    So proud of you. Wish I could physically hold your hand through this. You are doing the right thing. I am going to facebook message you my number. Call anytime. It runs deep in my family, and though I am stable, my kiddos and niece are dealing with it and that’s another heartbreak all together. Hang in there my friend. Love you.

  • NancyR

    I vote you start calling now and make an appt. – assuming you may have a wait to get in with the therapist, you can always cancel if operation food overhaul changes things or, it will show you’re committed to making the necessary changes. Also, I’m going to share an article about magnesium I saw on FB to your wall there.Be kind to yourself.

  • MrsDragon

    I in no way want to dissuade thou from making diet changes if you feel they would help, but please please please don’t feel that you have to “earn” starting therapy by exhausting all options. A good therapist will work with you on it. They are on your side.

    I think this relates to your post on self kindness. You can do this good thing for yourself without having everything else perfect first.

    <3

    • aphrodite

      I completely agree with what MrsDragon is saying here. Also, another way to look at what you’re saying here (“the rule of thumb is always try the lifestyle changes before the medical solutions because medical solutions are not always a good answer and have risk of other problems”) is – try various therapy techniques first (for example, cognitive behavioral therapy) before trying medication. Therapists work with you in a variety of ways outside of medication, and those ways can be extremely helpful.

  • Colleen

    Call or text anytime if you need someone to talk to. I can usually go for a run or walk at short notice and if you have time during the workday, I’m not too far from where you work. Clean eating has helped with my anxieties in surprising ways. I’m much less anxious driving than I used to be! The transition to clean eating was tough for me, although your gradual approach sounds better than what I did. For me I felt kind of tired and sort of hung over for about a week, but then I felt much better! I need to cut back on sugar again too, because lately I’ve let too much slip back into my diet.

  • Melanie

    Make the appointment now, I also hate taking meds but twice in my life I have had to, to get myself back on track. Both times were very temporary with many years in between. I am just always gonna have to be self aware, because I will never wait as long as I did the first time, even if you get prescribed meds it often takes weeks to start to notice any difference and who wants to feel awful for months?

  • Fraulein N

    Go Kim! It’s good that you want to try everything, but don’t be afraid to do just that. Try EVERYTHING you might need to get better … even if that means medication. There’s no shame in it, and it doesn’t mean you failed, it just means you need a little extra help.

  • Hillary

    Good luck with all of it — the dietary changes, finding a therapist, the protein powder, everything. And remember, you deserve to be happy, whatever it takes to get there.

  • Misty

    This is great! So much bravery. And please, knwo that IF you have to go on meds – work closely with your doctor of course – but it’s not the worst thing. I totally understand the fear and spent YEARS trying everything but. I am finally on meds that are exactly what I need and I can’t tell you how much brighter the whole world is. Don’t rob yourself of that opportunity. We’re all here to support you!

  • Jaida

    Hi – I’ve been reading you forever (so happy you haven’t quit blogging like the rest of the world), but rarely comment. As I’ve read about your emotional struggles, I’ve had the thought that I really wish you could have help feeling better. Of course I’d never tell anyone they should see a therapist or try medication, but I have been in that dark place, and I’m not anymore, and I know how life-changing it is to get help. I also know that it is very daunting to find a therapist, and discouraging to have to potentially go through several to find the right person for you. But I really encourage you to persist and know that you CAN feel better, that you will always feel sad because you lost your dad but it doesn’t have to be a shadow over your whole life. I hope so much for you that in the not-too-far-future you get to look back and be grateful you let a bunch of strangers hold you accountable for getting your happy back. Hugs.

  • Tamara Tedd

    I am 100% behind you in the dietary changes theory of mood stabilization- I mean how can it not be true? If you ‘feel’ good physically because you are not loaded with preservatives and all that- it is so much easier to cope with the ‘feel’ feelings that you have at any given time. It’s true for me too. You can do this Kim- you have a strong IRL community and we ‘webbers’ are here for you as well.

  • Candice

    First, you can do it!!! You’ve made so many changes in your life and this is completely possible. On the therapist note, you don’t HAVE to go on medication. Talking to someone can be a start.

    Also, you discuss approaching the dietary changes as if it something you are mentally capable of doing at this time. Perhaps that’s not the case? Consider the thought that therapy, and medication if necessary, may give you the footing you need to make the nutrition changes in your life. Who says that it has to be an either or situation. Food has been a big part of your life for a long time and finding some stability in other ways might put you in a place to address the changes you want/need to make in that area.

    Dig deep to take the first step. It’s hard but you need to do it. You may be able to improve your mental state with nutrition but that will take time (and perhaps multiple attempts) and I would hate to see you avoid other options because it’s the scarier choice. Therapy isn’t surgery and comparing the two gives some insight into how frightening this is for you and how much you would prefer to avoid it.

    If I were really talking to you I would end this with: This is just my opinion. What do I know. You can take it or leave it. Do what’s right for you. 🙂 Then I would avert my eyes, run away and be super embarrassed about offering any advice that I’m probably totally unqualified to provide. I would probably run into a door or something during my smooth get-away.

  • Megan

    You have gotten so many good responses, but I’m going to add my 2 cents. One – good for you for knowing when you need help. Therapy was a life-saver for me (and my kids). When I started getting help, I realized they needed someone to talk to as well. It was there for a period in our lives when we needed it. Right now, we don’t, but I will always support going back if the circumstances call for it. Two – I went unmedicated for years, then I tried St. John’s Wort for probably 2 years. It helped some, but when I got to the point that I was crying every day, I thought maybe I need a prescription. : )- I’ve been on Zoloft since 2012 – extremely low dose – would not want to do life without it. I can cry – I feel emotions – I’m stable. 3 – I believe that food plays a direct correlation in how we feel. I did a Whole30 last summer and my moods were so stable…I actually was happy. I woke up happy – I stayed happy – I went to bed happy. That’s not my usual MO. It’s a good 30 day reset to see what foods affect you, stabilize your hormones, start repairing your gut, etc. The SAD diet has crept back in, and I’ve started to feel icky again. I liked what another person said about March might not be the best month for a total lifestyle change like that…or it might. Would maybe help keep your mind focused on other things. Last – I’m so sorry for the loss of your Dad. I lost my Mom in March of 2009 too. This is the week that she had her stroke and then passed away 5 days later on the 14th. It’s like every day I’m counting down and remembering where I was and what was happening. It pretty much sucks, so virtual hugs to you through the rest of this month. May the month be over quickly. : ( <3

  • Julie

    little time so a bullet comment 🙂
    *I have been thinking to recommend this book to you ever since the post about self-love…..Loving Yourself to Great Health: Thoughts and Food by Louise Hay.
    *no shame in medication
    *therapy can really help
    *if you don’t want to do meds consider trying seeing a chiropractor who does Nutrition Response Testing–the all natural supplements I am on saved me from perimenapause
    *using essential oils has also been helpful
    Julie

  • Chloe

    Bravo for standing up for yourself and taking care of yourself!

    I’ve dealt with anxiety for years and have found a few things that have worked for me for my general well-being. I hope this doesn’t come off as assvice – this is just what’s worked for me 🙂

    Get your thyroid, vitamin D & iron levels. Not just tsh, but free 3 & free t4 as well.

    I feel so much calmer when I take 500mg magnesium oxide and 28mg of iron at night. I live in an area with low selenium and I notice I feel more human when I supplement with that too.

    Therapy is a marvelous tool but medication can be helpful too.

    Fingers crossed for you!

    • aphrodite

      I’m also in the camp where vitamins and checking hormone levels made a big difference in my anxiety levels. Take a good multivitamin if you aren’t already taking one. And if you’re on any sort of hormonal supplement, check with your doctor on possible side effects and alternatives.

      Good luck with March. We are all thinking positive thoughts for you!

  • Laura

    Look at you, taking care of yourself and modeling such good self care for your family!! Go ahead and start making calls – it may be awhile before you can get in with a therapist and if the calling is the part you are dreading, you will feel great t have that under your belt!

    Good luck! Good luck! You can totally do this!

  • LC

    I’ve talked to a therapist several times, it helps. Even if they’re only an objective outsider, who doesn’t judge or tell you “what you want” to hear….just to listen and ask a couple questions every now and then to help you think about things from a different perspective. It helps.

  • Roscoe Filler

    Private pilot William Maddock and his family are en route to England from Canada for a much-needed vacation when their 747 is hijacked by radicals. But the would-be martyrs don t count on the determination of the passengers, who refuse to go quietly. Instead they will go down in history, willing to fight to the last breath to save their lives.