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May 29, 2003: Reflection

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Last night, after I posted the entry, I got myself calmed down and I went off to the Admin Council meeting at the church. I did really well all through the evening and even managed to hold it together after one of the attendees (who also goes to Weight Watchers) asked me how I'd done at weigh-in. She wasn't being nasty she's an incredibly sweet lady and she was asking out of curiosity, and also as a topic of conversation. I made some inane reply that somehow managed to refrain from any bit of snarkiness or tears and then I went home and dug the remaining coupons for meetings out of my purse and gave them to Richard and said. "Here. You can use these. I can't use these anymore." I still intend to stick with the healthy eating plan and there is no way I am going to quit working out. But I think right now I should focus on monthly measurements where the focus is more on BMI and overall fitness than on numbers on a scale. I can worry about the rest later.

Reading back through the entry I am almost embarrassed by the tone, if only because if I were reading this without knowing anything else about me I would get such a petty and shallow picture of the writer. But I have had to wrestle with a rather difficult fact lately which is that I think I need help. This thing goes far beyond my reaction to the numbers on the scale. This overwhelming feeling of sadness has been crashing down on me more and more frequently lately and I find myself on the verge of tears over the most inane things. And I hate that. I hate crying. I never used to be the crying type.

I have always been proud of the fact that I am always the strong one; the stable one. I have watched people around me fall apart but I've somehow managed to keep it together. I was somehow above all of that emotional, hormonal hoopla. I could do it myself, unlike the rest of them. It's not that I ever discounted the strength and seriousness of true clinical depression; it's just that somehow I always thought myself somehow immune to that. Not that I was any better than the others; just that it wouldn't happen to me.

I think the worst part of this has been that I cannot seem to find a reason. Because to my logical mind, there *has* to be a reason. To be so incredibly sad with no reason at all defies everything. I have, by all accounts, suffered with depression before but at least then there was a very clear cause. After working so hard to get into graduate school I hated it; hated the research, and felt helpless and trapped, with no way out. Changing career paths was my way out. By jumping into something so radically different, I managed to 'fix' it all myself. However, this time I cannot seem to find the trigger. A passing comment can be all it takes to set me off. No matter how hard I try to prepare myself for the next onslaught, when the wave hits, I am bowled over and no amount of logic and self-lecturing can make it go away until it's good and ready to release me.

Tomorrow I turn 34 years old. I could wish for better timing to realize that I may need professional help to get through this, but sometimes life has different plans. It may take me a little more time to work up the courage to actually make the phone call and put something in motion, but I am finally realizing that I cannot put this off much longer. This is something I have to do.

Every year, for quite some time, I have always bought myself a present for my birthday. One year it was the tattoo; one year it was an emerald necklace; three years ago it was the land on which we built our house (escrow closed on my birthday). This year, I may not be able to take out my self-purchased present and show anyone. But right now, finding a way to 'fix' myself seems far more valuable than anything else I've ever given myself before.

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