Monday, April 23, 2007

Math is Hard

One of the toughest things I've been dealing with the last month - aside from (and relating to) negotiating personal relationships - is depression. It's not bad enough that I can't function, but the longer I go without a job, the worse my health gets, the less money I have for stuff like meds and food, the more down on myself I get.

There have been good days. My recent depression is related to stuff in addition to all of that, but no matter the cause, it's something I deal with. Chronic illness, starting three relationships and ending two in a year, losing one of my best friends, getting laid off, dealing with a crazy homelife while coming to terms with the chronic illness stuff (physical and emotional), and a sudden and rapid move to another state without the benefit of moving here with... well, with anything to do but keep going (no job prospects, living on the good graces of friends)... it gets to me.

I remember trying so hard, in the beginning, when I was first diagnosed, to just get up and brush myself off and carry on. But that became impossible as I began to feel terrified and constricted in my personal life and started making all sorts of crazy decisions in order to set back the clock to my pre-illness days. But you can't erase a year's worth of pain that you've put other people through while thinking you were doing the absolutely most rational thing in the whole world. And that all took a toll on me, and on other people in my life.

If somebody cares about me, I haven't exactly been a fun person to be around for the last year, because when I'm in a high stress situation, what I want, more than anything, is to be left alone. Something that I've realized the more I've dealt with the diabetes stuff is just how wacked out I can be when my sugar's off. Overly anxious, sometimes hysterical, so *certain* that my hyper-crazy feelings are totally *right on.* Panicky. Cloudy. I've learned to shut up when I'm feeling this way. It's best just not to talk to me when I feel like crap, because if I start getting all sorts of questions, I'm likely to explode.

Which means, something innocent like, "Are you OK? Are you sure you're OK? Do you still like me? Do you hate me? Are you sure you're OK? Is there something I can do? Why aren't you talking right now? What's wrong with you? Is it me?"

Is likely to get a response like, "NO I'M NOT OK I FUCKING HATE YOU AND I NEVER WANT TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN," and at the time, that feels like a totally valid response.

I've gotten a lot better with just saying, "It's not you. I just don't feel well," or "I just have low sugar, so I'm over anxious," or "I can't talk right now, I have high sugar and I'm fucking pissy," but it's taken me a lot of experience and a lot of effort to get there. One of the great things about living with Ian and Stephanie is that they don't ask a lot of questions, they give me a lot of space, and there isn't somebody hovering over me asking me all the time if I'm all right.

Frankly, if I had to answer that question, half the time no, I wouldn't be all right, and then talking about how not all right I was would make me feel worse, and then I'd get really depressed, and then I'd start resenting whoever it was who was pulling all this bad feeling out of me.

And around and around.

I've been putting on weight again, which, once again, is an issue because I can't afford to buy new clothes, so I'm giving up some things that I've come to use as a crutch - particularly stuff like candied nuts, which aren't great for my sugar anyway. The upping of my food consumption directly cooresponds to my decreasing bank account. The more I spend, the more I want to buy more food, the more I eat, the less money is in my bank account...

So I'm cutting out some of that stuff. I need to wean myself back off that crutch. Including all those morning pancakes. I've had a couple of bad weeks out here, and my initial couple weeks were just getting settled in. Back to weights *every* morning, 6 days a week of cardio instead of just 4, that sort of thing.

You know, it's a funny thing. People are always asking skinny people how they stay skinny. They're not asking heavier people how *they* stay in shape. I don't think anybody looks at me and goes, wow, she's only 200! She could be 270, but she takes care of herself! How *does* she stay at 200 pounds!!???

Cause yeah, you let it go for four weeks, and whoa boy, time to get back on track. It's something you have to be aware of all the time, if you want to have cool biceps. And feel less doughy. And keep your pants on. This is what it's like to have no metabolsm. The diabetes doesn't help. Reasonable eating and exercise just doesn't cut it. It's 6 days a week, and no peanuts. And that's just to keep me in pants.

In the meantime, yeah, my sugar could be better. I keep vaccillating between 16 and 18 u a day of Lantus, my long-lasting insulin. I don't want to go all the way back up to 18 cause back when I was working all day in a high rise and biking to work, I got away with 14 u a day, and that was pretty sexy. Going back up to 18 feels like a defeat.

The solution would be 2 workouts a day. Or, you know, just taking 18 units of Lantus.


Anyway, this post isn't really about anything at all, except to say that boo-hoo, life is hard, and I'm sick of giving myself shots, and I'm going to miss my cinnamon almonds, and I need sexier shoulders, and I have enough money for about 3-4 more weeks of groceries, and some days life really sucks and boo-hoo math is hard.

I'm sure tomorrow will be better. It usually is.

6 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Greg van Eekhout said...

re: diabetes

The first couple of years are the hardest, but it does get easier. Still, sometimes I fucking hate this stupid disease with the stupid monitoring and stupid shots.

Hang in there.

Greg (23 years of Type 1 and counting)

Jackie M. said...

I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but I look at you and think "200 lbs?? I'm 190. How the hell is she so skinny at 200 lbs? God, she must be solid muscle. Remind me never to get into fight with her!"

Ditto on the hang in there.

Simon Owens said...


As someone who has been slipping into depression for the past month and a half, reading posts like these can easily affect me.

I know what it's like to want to simultaneously want to fight your way out of depression, but at the same time lack the will to do so.

I recently came across several different studies that show that fish oil capsules can significantly help with depression, and it's sometimes more effective than Prozac and other anti-depressents.

Yesterday, I purchased a bottle of the stuff and will begin to take it regularly. Have you tried it?

It's good that you're still exercising. I do the same, I try to do a half hour on my stationary bike and I also go on walks every day. And I know how frustrating it can be to work out regularly and still not be super thin.

Anyway, as others have said, hang in there. I subscribe to your blog on bloglines now, so I'll be able to keep up with it a little better. There was a while there when it became hard to keep up with everybody in the blogosphere.

This is going to sound corny, but things do get better. Remember how depressed I was after the Ashlie break-up? Well, I eventually pulled myself out of it and had a good run of relative happiness before this latest bout of depression.

Nettie said...

It took about 2 weeks before I actually started getting assignments from the temp agencies I applied at and there is still one agency that I think hates my guts and will never call, but that's neither here nor there. But, good luck to ya; I can definitely relate.

Kameron Hurley said...

Greg - thanks, seriously. I hate that I still have bad days but you know.. yeah. Exactly.

Jackie - I'm tall. :)

Simon - I do already take quite a few supplements, mainly stuff that helps with the diabetes-related stuff. At this point, a lot of the depression has to do with external stuff. Personal stuff, unemployment, but also fluctuating sugar levels. If I can hammer down all of those things, and I'm *still* depressed, then I'm going to need to look at other alternatives, but right now I'm working hard to clean up my life/money situation and my health.

I think the rest will fall into place.

Doesn't make these fucking low days any easier to get through, but I'm looking forward to fewer of them.

Jackie M. said...

Kameron: bah. You know martial arts and you lift weights a heck of a lot more frequently than I do. All your tallness buys me is the slight advantage that comes with a lower center of mass.

(Have you considered that weighing 200 lbs. instead of 174 means that you're 26 lbs. heavier to drag kicking and screaming into an alleyway? Any serial killer who mistakenly assumes that he can just throw you over his shoulder like a sack a of potatoes is in for a pleasant surprise.

And that's assuming he caught you by surprise and you never got a chance to deploy your machine gun leg.)