I’m going to be off work for a few weeks with a depression flare up. It’s probably the worst one I’ve had since my last breakdown 4 and a half years ago and the first time I’ve had to be off work since that time. Part of it is my own doing and part can be blamed on others. The last time I was off work for this reason I gained 2 stone and as an emotional eater on a diet I’m very conscious of this as I won’t have the business of work to keep me out of trouble.
I’ve already had 2 lots of binge eating this week alone. However I have noticed one difference that I will take as a positive that hopefully will not result in such a drastic weight gain this time. As one of my stress issues is financial I’ve not been able to join a gym so have, while I diet, tried to get my exercise through walking. Apart from Saturdays (a day off) I do 10,000 steps every day. Sometimes on a quiet day this means walking my estate twice to get the figure where it needs to be.
Even while I’ve been emotionally eating this week there seems to be a good angel on my shoulder fighting with the bad one that wants to disappear in a food mountain of self pity. This good angel makes me keep walking. Today for example, so many things have gone wrong so I decide I was going to the local shopping centre for a cup of tea and some cake. The good angel said I could go wallow in that cake as long as I walked there and back… And I did! Then I found myself looking for the cake with the lowest calories to stuff my face with (see photo). Somehow I managed to pity eat in a positive way. I even asked for skimmed milk!
Then while I was in the mall I decided to buy some family Easter eggs. That was the bad angel talking as with three weeks to go to Easter there would be no way the eggs would stay uneaten in my current frame of mind. I ended up with a box of fruit tea and 3 books. Not good for the finances but at least they won’t make me gain weight.
I think this change is down to not wanting to go back to how I used to be. I’ve lost half of the 2 stone I gained and with all the walking I can run for a bus, walk up the stairs to my office at work and run up and down the stairs to my house without being out of breath. Not to mention being almost a dress size smaller. Up until the negative mood swing I was feeling very confident of my slightly smaller size and if I give in to these feelings I also think I will be undoing so much of the good work I have achieved this year.
What I am struggling with is ways in which to feel sorry for myself that don’t involve self harm. I refuse to give into the constant urge in my brain to spend a week eating nothing but pizza and cake in my PJs but its hard going and the mental battle leaves me exhausted. I rarely drink now and have never been one for drugs (being constantly inside my own head is a freaky place without adding mind altering substances plus I witnessed an overdose at 17 that scared me away from drugs of any kind for life).
So I need to find a way to wallow but also at the same time not give in to too much wallowing that I spoil the good work already done. I need to be outside if I can- let the sun and Mother Nature start the healing process. Hopefully it will be a shorter road to recovery this time.