The saga continues…
If you are jumping into the middle of this series then be sure to go back and read Part One.
Things will make a lot more sense that way.
I feel like there should be a voice over. like those you see on TV shows that have an ongoing story line… Kinda like the Game of Thrones… At the beginning of every episode, the dude you never ever see but who has that wonderful deep voice and starts out saying “Previously on …”
Yesterday, actually around 2 am this morning, on Wed, I presented you with two thoughts / concepts:
- My body, is NOT happy with my most recent determination to become fit and healthy and to enable myself to dance again.
- As a writer of a blog about fitness and health; as a writer telling the story of one persons journey toward fitness and health, starring well “Moi”, I am faced with an ongoing question about just how much to share. And right now I’ve reached a point where, in order to further the “story” of my journey, I am about to go past my comfort zone and share what to me is embarrasing.
We will assume that the deep voiced dude that you never ever see is finished with the voice over and that ya’ll are caught up — And this episode is beginning:
So.. here it is.. In plain ANGLISH as it were…
I am out of shape.
Disgustingly out of shape.
I am NOT fit.
I am NOT healthy.
Even though I understand that there are reasons for why I am where I am,
the bottom line is that I,
the spirit that inhabits this suit of flesh…
I, have become so out of shape that every day simple tasks are herculean efforts!
I didn’t used to be this way. But there it is. I am a blob.
I am inhabiting a mass of muscle and bone and blood and I find it difficult to well,
. . . uhmmmmmm. . . MOVE!
EVERY movement is difficult for me. EveryTHING I do is difficult. And, I do mean EVERYTHING!!! Even sitting and typing or using the computer causes my arms to ache after a while. Showering is difficult, doing laundry is difficult, cooking a meal is difficult, going to the store or running errands or filling up the truck with gas . . . Standing or walking for longer than 10-15 minutes at a time causes my lower back to hurt and my knees and my legs and.. well you get the idea.
The oh-so-sad truth is that right now, for me, the following counts as exercise:
- Doing a load of laundry
- Cooking a meal
- Taking a shower and getting dressed
- basically any activity that involves moving for 10 minutes or more is a workout.
- Taking out the trash
- Going to the grocery store.
- Going to the drug store.
- Running any kind of errand.
After doing ONE of these things, my heart is racing. My chest is heaving. I’m out of breath. I am flushed. And I need to rest. After 10-15 minutes; after going down then coming back up one flight of stairs…
because I just did a workout.
And it is EMBARRASSING! I hate that I’m like this. I hate that I’ve allowed myself to get like this. I kick myself for it an beat myself up for it mentally and and and…….. Aaaarrrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!
and, frankly I don’t want to admit it in public to anyone.
That’s why I’ve kinda sorta “vanished” from sight… Because honestly, in complete candor, I don’t want people who knew me when I could dance for hours and shut down the ballroom or shutdown the Roundup, to see just how bad things have gotten.
I mean, come on! I’m a Eight- Time- Friggin- World- Champion! for gawds sake! But I don’t look like it any more. I certainly don’t FEEL like it anymore. I can not call myself a dancer any more – at least not in a physical sense.
And I don’t want people to know just how bad it’s gotten.
BUT… things have changed —
…some sort of mental switch has flipped. I don’t understand exactly why and I don’t really care why — the important thing is that it has FLIPPED!
I realize that before others believe that switch has flipped, they’ll have to see the results. And that will take time.
I also know that I’m embarking on a very VERY VERY extremely difficult path. And I know that the hardest part will be what at first glance seems to be the easiest: the stuff at the beginning.
And I know that in order for me to move forward, well people have to know.
The thought occurs to me that what I am facing now, and, what I’m doing by professing all this to the world, may be something akin to doing step the first bits of a twelve step program.
I don’t know for certain, but from what little bits I’ve heard about how these programs work, is first you have to (1) admit you have a problem (2) then you have to profess that problem to the people around you I could be wrong. I’ll research it later and share what I find…
BUT.. I know that if I am to achieve my goals then I have got to share all of my story, even the bits that make me blush.
I don’t want to… but I am . . .
…because I am now absolutely pissed off at myself…
AND because I truly devoutly miss dancing…
AND because I hope that this blog (all kidding aside) does indeed one day turn into a “before & after” “how he did it” story sorta like Jared the Subway guy.
In my wilder flights of fancy, I do envision myself using this material in writing a book about my experiences, then it is important that I share some of that embarrassing stuff.
AND because I “do better” when I have an audience, whether it be real or imagined — it doesn’t seem to matter; if I think I’m “performing,” uhhhhmmm, then well, I perform. LOL @ myself!
Hey, we all have character flaws.. (get it? “character” flaw a “character” well “performs” in a… never mind…)
because I want my story to be out there to connect with other people like myself in similar situations in order to (1) know that I’m not the only one and (2) to enable them to know they are not the only one. Mutual support in other words.
I want credit for doing what at first glance seems “ordinary normal day-today things” because for me right now they are not ordinary. They are not normal. They are not day-to-day. They take effort and planning and strength of character and perseverance and actually doing them COUNTS AS A FRIGGIN ACHIEVEMENT! As meeting a goal.
Folks, don’t slam me for this comparison, please, but I wonder if this is how an alcoholic or drug addict feels?
For such a person, every single day sober is a victory. Every single time “saying no” is a victory that should be recognized. There is a parallel — for me, every moment of movement longer than I did the day before is a victory. Every time I eat healthy sized portions or whatever “IT” may be that is positive then that is a friggin victory and should be recognized as such even if I’m the only one doing the celebrating!
I would really like for you folks reading this to send me warm fuzzies and positive comments and applause and “attaboys” and kudos to help keep me moving forward.
At least at first.
I know that in the final analysis that this is a battle that I have to face on my own. I know that it will be a battle that is largely unseen, but right now, at the kickoff, at the beginning, well… warm fuzzies would be really really nice.
The beginning is a tricky time; a critical time. I know from personal experience how quickly one can become sidetracked and thrown off course and well, defeated.
I don’t want that to happen. I really need a support group and for now, well you, my dearest readers, are it….
To do this… to make all “this” to really work this time round, for me to succeed, I need help. Wherever I can get it. From my friends, from my readers; from everyone.
I need all of you guys to understand that when I write in my blog and say something like:
“I did laundry today”
That task is not some simple mundane curiosity, a mere routine chore, a passing thought, a whisp of activity.
It is a frigging OCCASION! It is a monumental ACHIEVEMENT! It is a goal met!
It is something that should be applauded and recognized for what it is, the product of a MAJOR FRIGGIN FFFin EFFORT on my part!!!!!
It is in every sense of the word. Exercise!
An educational moment
— depression in men isn’t discussed in the media as often as depression in women so dearest readers, this may be news for you. It was for me:
I learned an interesting thing when I first started reading about the “signs” or symptoms of depression in men: Depression in men often manifests itself as anger and aggression.
Being, basically a nice guy, at least in my own mind, I see things like anger and aggression as NEGATIVE things.
Things which I do not really wish to display, either in person or in my writing.
So when I find myself saying or typing things like “MAJOR FRIGGIN FFin EFFORT” well that is a big deal and it is a symptom of the depression rearing its ugly head.
MOST of the time, as I type them an they appear on the screen in front of me, I go back and take them out. I mean, there are choices in how to present things and well why make you guys suffer through poor choices?
But not in this post. I want them there. Because it makes a point. It adds emphasis.
I want my readers to understand just how REAL this is to me. In other words I’m not trying to put a happy face on things for the sake of lighthearted entertainment.
My goal is to give anyone reading this a real honest to goodness taste of the kind of stuff that is running through my head.
Because what is running through my head cycles into what I do with my body
which cycles into what goes through my head
well I think you get the idea.
…right now, because of the awful combination of all too frequent bouts of depression combined my truly disgusting awful terribly low level of fitness, means that
quote-unquote “normal things” that most folks do every day
are just not “normal things” for me. Each one is a goal that has to be set, a task for which one must gird one’s loins and put forth maximum effort in order to achieve.
And as a reminder, I’m sure I’ve mentioned that currently (in regards to the whole dealing with depression thing) I am in a “GOOD PHASE” right?
The bad phases were the months where nothing was posted to this blog. It wasn’t pretty. Trust me on this. I know. I was there. I DO NOT WANT TO BE THERE AGAIN.
And that dearest readers is where we are going to leave it for today.
One final thought…
As I write this I’m experiencing something of a relief. I feel as if I don’t have to pretend anymore that “things are going great..”
No, they are not going great. But I feel as if they are going “better”
Watch for part three tomorrow morning on the 8th…See ya on the dance floor (eventually)
I’m sharing this post because, well, it hits very close to home for me.
I’ve been following David’s blog for a while now and I’ve admired how he’s managed to succeed and do what I’m trying to do. I never new until this post that he too suffers from bouts of depression.
Right now, I’m in the midst of one of those bouts myself. Think “Le Brea Tar Pits” and you kinda get the idea about where I’m at right now.
When this appeared in my inbox today, I don’t know what made me click on it. There’s nothing in the title that would lead me to think that the article speaks to being depressed and the never ending battle of fighting for fitness and NOT being depressed… …but click on it I did.
I’m so glad I did. It is nice to know I’m not alone. And that success is possible. And that even when you’ve “made it” that you’ll always have to “keep” making it.
Bravo David! And thank you. I’m not in the fight alone. Knowing that means a lot. Especially now.
And if Uhmmm… someone could maybe throw me a rope… the tar is kinda up to my nose and if you’d tell me how to get this tar out of my clothes, I’d appreciate it.
Isn’t depression the best? I was first diagnosed with major depressive disorder after a scary hospitalization when I was a teenager, and depression has been a visitor that I suspect will come a-knockin’ every so often for the rest of my life.
Depression has been a recent house guest. I’m getting over a funk that I’ve been in for the past couple weeks. It might be some post-holiday blues, perhaps, and it could be related to the bruised or cracked rib that I’ve been healing from. Whatever the cause, it held on to me for a good solid two weeks, and it planted a thought in my head that got stuck there. I kept on thinking these five words over and over again, like a song you can’t shake:
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