The Topomax reign of terror has ended and, thus, so has my depression.
I knew I was feeling better when the person at the store asked how I was doing, and I said, “Good” and meant it.
It’s the little things.
So yes, I am back to feeling like myself and am trying to get back into the swing of my regular life. This has been a lot harder than I thought because the depression totally threw me off my game. I had been on top of hydrating and exercising per my doctor’s orders, and I am still not back to where I was before. Which is to say that before, I was meeting–if not exceeding–the goals set for me and now I am struggling, often, to make it to the halfway mark. Before, I went to the gym three times a week and walked a half hour on at least three of the off days and now I am trying so hard to get to two days a week at the gym and one day walking. I also have not made it to/through an entire hour of my water aerobics class yet.
Don’t worry, though: I am being gentle with myself and reminding myself that it really is coming back from an illness. If I had had the flu or pneumonia or even a really bad cold, it would take me a while to get back to physical activity with the same intensity, and because I was barely exercising while depressed, it’s pretty much the same thing.
I learned a lot during the depression, but the most important thing I learned is that I always felt better when I shared what was going on with me. When I was honest about why I was not participating or why I was in a bad mood, I felt just a little bit better each time. So I figured that I should be honest about something else that has been going on with me that I never talk about related to my IBS.
Eating is really hard for me. I am still struggling with the restrictions placed on my diet to the point that I have little to no interest in eating or cooking meals. I always hated meal planning anyway, but now it is so much harder, and I just do not want to deal. Everything is so much harder and is such a hassle, and I hate it. Almost everything I used to eat or that I want to eat, I cannot eat. All of the meals that I used to rely on as go-to meals, I cannot eat. I can’t eat the fruits I want, the vegetables I want, or beans. Going to restaurants is a hassle, going to eat at friends’ houses is a hassle, going to work events is a hassle, etc. These restrictions are all so weirdly and oddly specific and there’s no broad coverage for how to deal with them. It’s not just no dairy or no wheat or no meat or no whatever. It’s so fussy and annoying, and I hate it.
I also cannot rely on or use shortcuts because they almost all include some ingredient that I can’t eat. So I would have to make everything from scratch all the time, and, again, as someone who doesn’t like or enjoy cooking, who already struggled with doing it when it was easy, this is a whole pile of things I do not want to deal with. I don’t want to take the time to research meals I can make when I had already done that work. Because it’s not like I can just tweak the meals I already ate because they all contain ingredients that I can no longer eat. So that means I am basically building my library of recipes from zero. IT SUCKS.
I especially hate when people try to be sympathetic by saying, “Oh that’s just like my vegan friend who has to bring meals places.” Because NO, it is NOT like your vegan friend who CHOSE that life. I did not choose to be able to eat 95% of my regular diet. Like, that is literally NOT A CHOICE I MADE. So, no. It is not remotely the same.
It is also supremely hard to talk to people who say they understand because they’ve had to reduce their intake of this or they have cut their intake of that because, again, I don’t really think they understand because they can still basically eat most if not all of the foods they love or can easily make substitutions. Reduced intake is not the same. Cutting one ingredient is not the same.
So I basically eat the same thing every day and very often don’t enjoy what I eat. One of my friends is concerned I don’t eat enough because my portions are often small–not because I’m full or satisfied but because I just do not want to be eating what I am eating anymore. It’s just “that’s enough of that” and then sitting there wishing there were something else I wanted to eat.
So that is the truth of that.