Thoughts

I don’t really blog or write regularly but there are just some things I need to get out of my system.

Ive been SEVERELY depressed lately. Struggling a lot. Many external factors and an inability to deal with it in a healthy way.

I’ve done a lot of things lately that are pretty great. I competed at the Arnold. I got in a car accident (not so great) but I hated that car and I found an amazing new (used) car that I LOVE. I graduated college. I’m moving into my own apartment.

I’m really excited about moving. Well, not the actual moving…that sucks…but I am excited to have a place of my own. Somewhere I can do whatever the hell I want and not have to worry about anyone other than me. I’m excited to make it my own.

This feeling of happiness may not last long but I am going to enjoy it while it’s here and set some things in motion in case I start slipping again.

That is all

Still Battling Depression

1st phorm

This is really more for me than for anyone else. I figured maybe writing everything down might help, even if it’s just a little bit. First things first, I am in no way asking for pity or seeking attention. I got this awesome package from 1st Phorm even though I haven’t even been participating in the athlete search as actively as I should be.I haven’t been very active on any social media because I’m not one to post one negative status after another because I don’t thrive on attention and I didn’t really have anything else going on to post about. To be honest, I’ve been in denial about how bad my depression has been over the past week or so. Maybe if I didn’t really admit to how shitty I was feeling or how hard of a time I was having, things would get better. Clearly, ignoring depression is not the way to go. You’d think I would have learned my lesson by this point but I’m seriously so down and numb right now that I can’t give a shit whether I feel better or not.

I’ve been retreating hardcore lately. I’m already not a very social person but it becomes even harder to be social when you feel like this which is probably what I need. I tend to spend way too much time alone without telling anyone that I’m having a really hard time. I come across as rude, disrespectful, antisocial, stuck up, bitchy, etc which really just makes me feel even worse, which means the cycle just continues.

The worst part is when people ask what’s wrong and my answer is “everything” even though legitimately nothing is actually wrong. There’s never really a reason for these feelings. They get worse as the weather changes, if I’m really close to my period (sorry men, but seriously, those hormones are no fucking joke), or apparently because my body just hates me.

I don’t cope well. There are always people that say call me or talk to me when things get bad, but I never do because I feel like a burden; no matter how many times I’m told I’m not one. I also keep my feelings to myself because I legitimately don’t want pity or attention. This is not a cry for people to tell me that I’m great and “better than this,” because that doesn’t even work. Positivity does not combat depression. I don’t want to hear that things will get better. I don’t want to hear that I’m stronger than this disease. Right now, it’s winning and I don’t know what to do about it. I feel lost and helpless.

I rarely use alcohol as a coping mechanism. When I drink, it’s usually socially and when I’m in good spirits. Friday night got so bad for me I drank to numb everything. Which really doesn’t make sense because 99.99% of the time I’m already emotionally numb.

I have no motivation to eat right or lift. I tried forcing myself to go to the gym but it didn’t help. It has been so obvious that I don’t want to be there that even other people noticed. I really hoped that the worst of my depression was in the past but it’s not and I don’t know how to handle it and I am honestly so ashamed.

Can Science be the Root of my Unhappiness?: Part I: Dopamine and Serotonin

Originally written February 2014 – The only edits that have been made are those that specifically referenced my ex.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that aids the brain’s pleasure and reward centers as well as helping regulate movement and emotional responses. It enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them (psychologytoday.com).

Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, which is a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another (webmd.com).

I am currently on my first month of Lexapro 20mg coming from four months of Lexapro 10mg. I felt that the antidepressants weren’t working well anymore, so I asked to up the dose. I feel that it might have made a tiny difference, but I am starting to believe that I have low dopamine as well as low serotonin. Low dopamine and low serotonin are both causes of depression, but Lexapro is an SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which has no effect on dopamine. From what I’ve read, some antidepressants, while raising the serotonin levels, can lower dopamine levels simultaneously. I’ve read that that doesn’t happen with Lexapro but Lexapro also doesn’t raise dopamine levels. Some of the signs of dopamine deficiency are:

Anhedonia (lack of pleasure)
Lack of ability to feel love, sense attachment to another
Lack of remorse about actions
Distractibility
(http://drwardbond.weebly.com)
I relate to all of these. I have experienced all of them. I didn’t find pleasure in many things most days. I knew I loved people, but sometimes I just couldn’t feel it, which is one of the strangest and scariest experiences ever. Especially since I knew what it felt like to feel love. It’s one of the most amazing feelings ever. To know what it is like but not be able to feel it toward someone you KNOW you love is scary. Lack of remorse about actions? Oh boy, that was a biggie. I knew things I did weren’t great, but for some reason, I didn’t feel bad about them. I knew I should have but I just didn’t have the ability to. Most of the time I cannot focus. Especially in class. It’s so hard to pay attention. My classes are only an hour and 15 minutes and I can’t even make it through one class without completely losing focus.

I’d say I do also suffer from a serotonin deficiency, which explains why the antidepressants do have some effect on me. I just don’t feel normal because nothing is replenishing the dopamine I’m lacking.

“The type of depressive-feeling caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain is a very low energy depression, with a complete lack of motivation, (and feeling depressed). You may feel frustrated that you don’t have any energy. How many of you deal with depression and taking medication, but still lack motivation? I bet most of you all answered yes to the question. If so, why are doctors prescribing anti-depressants that only treat a serotonin problem?” (http://drwardbond.weebly.com). This makes sense. I lack a lot of energy. I could sleep all day. Even on meds, I lacked motivation to do the simplest tasks.

I’ve made the decision that I want to taper off these meds. I have a three month prescription of the Lexapro 20mg and I don’t want to have to refill it. I have a doctor appointment in February, so I’ll mention tapering off then. I think I’m in a better place mentally right now to be able to take care of myself better. I’ll also talk to my therapist about it when I see her in a couple weeks. She already mentioned that maybe they’re not doing what they need to do and now I agree.

For the first time, I actually believe I can get better instead of just hoping what I’m doing will help.

I’m ready to be me again.

September 2014

It’s been 8 months since this was written. In a way, everything has changed and in a way, nothing has. I’ve had some really good days and some really bad days. I’ll take that over bad days all the time though. It’s still weird to know that it’s just a fault in brain chemistry and not actually me though. Sometimes it really, really feels like me. I have been off meds for about a month and a half (around there I think) and I do feel a bit more mentally aware and less foggy.

On Sponsorships

I’ve been absent from here lately but this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t understand people who complain about not being sponsored because they can’t afford certain things. ie “This would be a good time to be sponsored, so I can do (insert event here)/buy (insert item here).” I believe that is 100% the wrong reason to want a sponsor. If I ever have the opportunity to be sponsored, I can guarantee you it will be with a company who I can promote and stand behind without lying. Plus, I already have crippling social anxiety, so there’s no chance in hell I’ll promote anything I don’t like. I mean, yeah, free stuff is always cool but it should absolutely not be the reason to accept a sponsorship. And as Layne mentioned, what’s the point of free product if you don’t even like the company? There’s a lot more that can be said on this subject but I’m just going to end it here.

What No One Tells you About Recovering from Depression

Depression is something I have learned to live with. While I am not my depression, it’s something that affects me on a daily basis and something I have to deal with. 

There are so many physical and mental side effects that stay even though you feel better mentally

  • Constantly feeling exhausted 

    No matter how much sleep I get, if there isn’t somewhere I HAVE to be, it’s so easy for me to just sleep all day. When I’m not in bed, I am always exhausted. 

  • Feeling okay but still lacking motivation to do necessary things

    Honestly it’s a huge deal when I do something as simple as clean my car or get out of bed to make food. Simple things that most people don’t think twice about are huge mental battles for me. 

    People ask me what I do and I reply with “Eat, sleep, netflix, lift” which sounds like a joke but it’s actually 100% true. Lifting is the one thing I’m excited about which is exactly why I prioritize it. I don’t do it to be badass or anything like that. It keeps me sane (well, saner), and for however long I’m in the gym, I’m doing something for me that isn’t forced; something I’m genuinely motivated for.

    tumblr_n9hzhglVVO1rmjb1eo1_500
    What sucks the most is that I also still lack the ability to care. Which is a really bad thing to be enduring as a student. It was too easy for me to skip class and not study because I simply couldn’t care. 


  • My focus is an absolute joke

    Something else that isn’t helpful as a student. It’s beyond hard to focus and pay attention in class. When I actually try to study, it lasts for maybe five minutes before my mind starts wandering. Then I get overwhelmed and frustrated which takes a lot of time to come back from. Then I try again. Repeat indefinitely. 

  • I’m also definitely still very mentally unstable. Handling situations is always unknown. Sometimes I handle trying situations really well and sometimes tiny things just completely knock me off track and cause me to break down. It’s hard never knowing when your next break down will be. There’s nothing specific that causes them and what causes a break down one day could be something that you can endure just fine any other day. It’s really strange.

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Training Recap July 7-13

Monday 7/7
Squat: 180 5×6

easy!!!

Bench: 105x 6, 5, 6, 4, 5

didn’t get all the reps buuuut this is still my best meet lift and I repped it

Tuesday 7/8
Deadlift: 235 5×3

Thursday 7/9
Squat: 195 6×4

easyyyyy and fast

Bench: 105 2×4, 110 2×4, 115 2×3

110 and 115 were both rep PRs

Deadlift Cluster Set:
185 3×5

Friday 7/11
2″ Deficit deadlift: 205 4×1

Sunday 7/13
Squat: 225×2, 230 2×2, 230×1, 230 3×2

tough! But also my current 1rm

Bench: 115×2, 115xF, 100×2, 110×2, 120 2×2, 125×2, 125×1,F

bench was tough today. 115 felt so heavy I thought I was just going to have to do doubles at 100. I decided to try working back up and made it to where I was supposed to be. 120 and 125 are both rep PRs and 125 is only 5lbs below my current 1rm