Emotional Fatigue

nicole rough dayIn the last 7 weeks since surgery, I’ve had lots of ups and downs, good days and bad days. My bad days are usually from physical symptoms, but today was a BAD emotional day.

I had some rough things happen at work, got very agitated emotionally. As a result, it affected me physically. I have a headache from crying. My body aches like I had a big workout at the gym. I was feeling fine, then suddenly I couldn’t make it at work anymore. I came home and took a long nap. Naps aren’t out of the ordinary since surgery, but I woke up feeling EXHAUSTED.

One thing that I haven’t talked about much on this blog is my long-time struggle with clinical depression. I started on my first anti-depressant at 15, have been in and out of therapists offices to deal with traumatic life events, and have even struggled with thoughts of suicide. It was very out of character for me, but I stopped taking my anti-depressants, cold turkey, after surgery. My main reason for stopping was that I was too lazy to make a doctors appointment to get a prescription for pills in a tablet form. I can’t take capsules right now because my pouch won’t tolerate them.

Surprisingly, the way I’ve felt emotionally since surgery has been much better than I expected. I haven’t really had the down days like I normally have. Today was tough, but it was more of a situational sadness. I’m not going to go into what happened today, but it was definitely the hardest emotional day since surgery. My friend Simply June wrote a post today to help with my bad day. Thanks, June!

I’m getting a little worried that I’m getting another stricture. In my Bariatric Bad Girls Club, we talk about getting “the foamies.” Right before vomiting, you start to get pressure in your chest/pouch area, food and mucusy saliva starts to regurgitate up, and it’s usually a sign that you’ll be vomiting in the next minute or two. I got “the foamies” a lot right before I had my dilation for my other stricture, and I’ve had the foamies a few times this week. I’m hoping that I won’t need another dilation…at this point I can still keep liquids down.

Despair and Euphoria

nicole bullockMelancholy. Indulgent. Narcissistic. Overly-critical. Impatient. Unrealistic. Moody. Contrary. Impulsive. Unforgiving. Wistful. Confused. Irreverent.

Recently I’ve had a difficult time figuring out who I am. I feel like my life is a constant state of change, and so many elements are beyond my control. When I am in a depressive episode (nearly a year now), I have a hard time focusing on the positive traits I possess. I know I have many attributes that are admirable…it just seems like I can’t admire them in myself. Despite my greatest efforts, I find myself drowning in despair nearly every day.

I have felt so unattractive for so long. While focusing on improving my mental health and self image this year, my eternal quest for weight loss has fallen by the wayside. Other than a brief few months in high school while on Phen-Fen, I’ve always been overweight or obese. I now weigh the most I ever have, well surpassing the “Not in a million years!” weight I set for myself. I actually have no idea of my exact weight at the moment…my digital scale now reads the “ERR” error message. I have very few clothing items in which I feel confident, and little money to buy something new. It takes me so long to find ANYTHING that fits correctly, and I never seem to have the money to purchase something I finally find that works.

I have only found a few things that have made me feel happy…supportive words and good conversation, affection, the beauty of the outdoors, and time with my loved ones.  But when I wallow in the depths for so much time, I find myself seeking things that not only make me happy…I want things to make me feel euphoric. The things that make me feel euphoric…food, sex, travel and concerts. Travel and concerts find themselves into my budget more than most people, but I can’t tell you how happy I feel after I’ve gotten home. Sex…well, when you’re married to a man who is gone 2/3 of the month…you get the idea. So I’ve heavily relied on food to feel euphoric. And in the end, I weigh 50 pounds more than I did last April.

A few days ago, I took the above cell phone picture of myself for Taylor. I sent it off to him via text, and forgot about it till last night. I kept looking and looking at it…not believing it was me. After so many months of being on the edge of hating myself, it was an incredible ego boost to see a picture of me where I looked attractive and beautiful. It was a glimpse of the innate Nicole that I feel so rarely that her image was almost an enigma. After cropping out the scandalous lingerie I was wearing in the photo, I’m sharing this Nicole with you.

I am Nicole. I am talented. I am passionate. I am strong. I am a survivor. I am ambitious. I am tolerant. I am devoted. I am unique. I am sexy. I am conscientious. I am spiritual. I am considerate. I am wise. I am empathetic. I am intelligent. I am a loyal. I am silly. I am intuitive. I am enthusiastic. I am accomplished. I am compassionate. I am generous. I am witty. I am creative. I am flexible. I am skilled. I am assertive. I am hard-working. I am grateful. I am eclectic. I am artistic. I am diligent. I am resourceful. I am resilient.

But most of all….I am honest. Thank you for caring enough to share my struggles and offer support.