"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sometimes the abyss blinks

Hidey ho!

I have battled depression forever. I get reprieves, but it is something that is never not a part of my life.

Something that helps my depression is exercise, but ironically, it is the first thing to go when I start down that rabbit hole. Then I get all bitchy and defensive when friends, family, therapists, and shrinks suggest that I should exercise to help moderate my moods. (Aside: I fucking hate shrinks. H.A.T.E them.)

I wanted to write for awhile, but I just have not been able to yet. So here is my update of sorts.

I am fresh off a truly horrific foray into the world of modern psychotropic medications and their multitudes of debilitating and esteem crushing side effects. Here are the most distressing: 

1. I packed on 30 pounds in 3 months
Sadly, the end result of my weight gain was not this cute.

2. My hair started to fall out and it looked like I gave birth to a guinea pig every time I cleaned the shower drain.
The resulting drain hairballs were not this cute either

3. My skin broke out in a way that would make Seal feel sorry for me

Ok, I am kind of hoping I am cuter than this...

The best of all is that the high doses of lithium triggered hypothyroidism which exacerbated all of the aforementioned side effects. (Disclaimer: the lithium may or may not have not triggered the hypothyroidism, but I currently blaming my miserable, fat, bald, pock marked condition on my stupid, fucking shrink [SFS] so that is how I am reporting this)

After many discussions if I was going to have to go spend some time at "the spa" (yes, "the spa" with nice cushy walls, where they lock the doors from the outside.) ...

 ...finally the abyss blinked

(someone I adore once wrote that in response to Nietzsche's famous quote about "...when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you." I found it one of the most hopeful and beautiful things I had ever read about depression.)

I told my SFS that I wanted my thyroid tested and I wanted to come off all of my medication. I went back to Jenny Craig and started to really do their program, not Stacey's program. I started a running group for slow runners that meets several times a week and does hikes on Sundays.

So far I have lost 20 pounds on Jenny Craig. I am officially back to the weight where I would normally exclaim, "Holy fuck! I need to go to Jenny Craig!!" But, whatever, at least I am no longer pushing 2 bills on the scale.

No, those are not my toes, but yes, sadly, that was my weight. Jesus.

I am running again. Not as far or as often as I used to, but I am getting out there. Mostly I am making the decision that I do not have to have all of my problems worked out to start being happier and start being nicer to myself.

Mommy got a new ride!


Kate Geisen said...

I'm happy to hear from you and happy that you're feeling better and able to do the kinds of things that will help you keep feeling better. Lots of people who've never met you are pulling for you and wishing the best for you. Well, I guess I can only speak for myself, but I imagine there are lots of other RBR groupies like me out there.

bobbi said...

What Kate said. Glad to hear an update, and I'm pulling for you going forward...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Still Running said...

That was me above -- signed in to wrong identity -- long story.

I'm a total RBR groupie too, except for the sex-on-the-tour-bus thing, and am so glad to see you writing again.

Carolina John said...

Why, hello there beautiful! So glad to see you online again. You're making fat, bald, and pock-marked sound sexier than Seal ever could. Stupid Heidi bitch ain't got nothing on you these days.

(and please tell me your husband is cancer-free)

Pulling for you! Keep your chin up.

SteveQ said...


[Brilliant title, that.]

Kimberly said...

So glad you are starting to feel better! I totally get it about the abyss - I feel better when I am with friends and exercising, but what do I do when the depression creeps back - isolate myself and stop running. Wish there was a magic switch we could hit. Also wish I lived near you to run in your slow runners group! You should know that so many people you've never met are really pulling for you.

IronSnoopy said...

It's nice to see you. Another Nietzsche quote is, "In Heaven, all of the interesting people are missing." My hand basket idles quietly.

Your post only skims the Hell you've been through. As always, I'm in awe of your humor and your grit.

Did I mention it's nice to see you? Every time my foot hits a trail, I think of RBR! :-)

Lindy said...

^^^What she said! You're awesome, and SO glad to see you back here. You've been missed.

MJ said...


So sorry you went through such a tough time (hypo sucks, ppl think it's easy to deal with, but it can be a real, well, b*tch, not in a good way).

Very glad you came through to this side and are moving in a good direction. Wishing you health and happiness!

Diana said...

I love that you've come back to give us a update! I'm sorry for the darkness that creeps into your soul. I've dealt now with depression for the last year and a half and it truly sucks. The stigma alone sends a person to the gun cabinet. Being in health care for the last 25 years, I won't do meds either. Maybe they are helpful to some, but for myself, I refuse. I've given my life to God and NO, I don't stand on the street corners now handing out religious papers, I just live my life as I feel it should be. I give full attention each day to God and His Word. I struggle each and every day to "flip on" the positive switch. I spend the first part of my day digging deep into my soul. I throw heavy shit around, I bike, and when the stress fractures (again) heal, I will run. Those endorphins are the best medicine ever!
I hope things continue positive for you. I too, have a few (50) pounds to take off that I put on while living in the "abyss".
Just remember this....God didn't give us another day for us, He gave us another day because someone out there needs us! Keep on keepin on and may you (and all of us depressed whack-jobs, which I mean that in the most loving way) find peace, joy and happiness!
Bless you Stacy!

Helen C said...

So glad you feeling able to update us all - running is the best therapy :-)

Kaari said...

You don't know me...but I'm glad you're back! I have to comment on the thyroid thing, because I'm hypo too. Have you looked into it much? Many docs don't do the right tests...and if they don't do the right tests, they may not give you the right meds. The thyroid hormone T3 has been linked to depression--so it's important to get Free T3 tested! The thyroid issues may only be a small piece of your puzzle...but I know that properly medicating mine has made a huge difference for me, so I wanted to pass this along. Again--so glad you're back!

Lindsay said...

RBR!!! Always one of my favs. So good to 'hear' from you. I've wondered about you from time to time so I'm glad things are going well (yeah yeah you may try to disagree but could be worse!). Keep hanging in there and doing what you need to do. I hope things continue to improve for you.

trailturtle said...

Heyyyy...RBR, what a nice surprise ---I, too, recently returned from the "abyss" in August --I am hopeful that it is not just a "blink"---for either of us. Unlike the last time I was in CA and just "invited" you to join me and meet up, next time, I am going to MAKE you join me, even if it is meeting you at 4am at the gym and I am sleepwalking!!! Hang in there, my "FAV' TEACH"!!!!

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

Shit. You stole my post. But I'm glad you're back, baby. Baboo and I doing a trail run the day after shark fest 2014 next year...might I see you there? Xoxo, misty

Willie said...

Can we be friends again? I miss you

Unknown said...

I might love you. That is all

Unknown said...

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