I haven't cut corners much at this point, but I have noticed a HUGE difference in both my energy levels and mood over the last month when I moved into my apartment and am wondering if the sheer monotony of my diet is playing a role- my food choices are not 'unhealthy' per se, but I know enough about nutrition to know that eating the level of intake I do each day makes it hard enough to cover nutritional bases, without the added kicker of having the exact same foods each day.
I kind of want to avoid talking too much about food itself because this isn't a food blog, but I think it's important for me to start actually looking at EVERY aspect of what's going on right now and trying to figure out this cloud of depression. Whilst at the same time not brushing it off as purely diet-related when it could be a multitude of things.
But, back to food.
It doesn't matter to me how it tastes or what form it takes- if it meets the criteria that my ED'd brain says is "safe", I eat it. Carbohydrates I eat in the form of whole grains because I am terrified that without carbohydrates, my serotonin levels will drop and lead to binging. It's all very black and white, classroom-style...and it's boring as hell. Food isn't enjoyed- it's mapped out, almost "prescribed"- set times, set calories, set protein levels, set portions of XYZ. All with very specific purposes in mind. And it's worked- I haven't had a major medical crisis since working with the "damage control" therapy. I haven't really moved beyond that approach either (though that was never their goal). My brain hones in on certain nutrients (protein and fiber) for day-to-day comfort/satiety, whilst ignoring longer-term health impacts of a well-rounded diet (hello phytochemicals, antioxidants, EFA'S!)
Why is this relevant?..
Because it's starting to really impact on my life. No, no major medical crisis, but I guess after several years of subtly depriving your body, it starts to fight back. Bodies aren't designed to have *just* enough to tick along from day to day, and life demands more than just having the energy to get up and dressed. A nourished brain can do amazing things- a starving brain struggles to make sense of the world, of people's words, of rationalising, thinking, hoping, dreaming.
I have been ignoring this for the last couple of weeks, and it hasn't been until today when I realised quite how tired I have been lately that I started to wonder. I could well be barking up the wrong tree. The energy levels, nausea, etc could be an effect of a very real depression, but I know from experience that when I am eating more variety and a higher intake, there is a dramatic difference in how I think and feel.
Food for thought (or just needing some food for my thoughts).
What things do you eat that are truly enjoyable for you?
Something else I wanted to write about. I've been blogging daily for a while, and since I was admitted to hospital, it's kind of taken a back seat. A huge part of this has been due to the depression thing. But also because I am now working with the "Intensive Home Treatment Team" so I can be at my apartment, rather than in hospital right now. They visit me at home each evening (sometimes 2-3 times a day) so that is taking a huge chunk of my energy and time. I also feel really ungrateful because I'm not sure it's helping. I don't know. I am in such a "funk" and I just want to slap myself and say, "snap out of it" but I can't seem to shake this cloud over my head. I haven't felt like writing lately- not because I don't want to WRITE, but because I really want to keep my blog both honest and recovery-focused, and right now am finding it hard to do both at once. Hospital is being discussed because I've been struggling to make use of the treatment and they are concerned about where things are leading. I want this home treatment to work out and am so frustrated with myself right now- they come and they are GREAT but it's like there is this wall between me and them. They make suggestions about things to do or try and my brain just screams, "what's the point? what does it matter if I do a pottery class? it's all a waste of time". I am, of course, perfectly aware that a pottery class would be a pretty damn good start at 1) getting me out my head for a couple hours a week, 2) giving me *some* kind of focus other than food/depression, 3) would be a great stepping stone to then moving on to do something a couple days a week (volunteering, school, etc) but right now it just feels beyond overwhelming to even take a shower, never mind go out and be sociable/productive.
I guess all I can say about this is that I am being as honest as I can be, and trying to just hold on. I want to say that I've never felt like this before, but I think I have- it's just hard *right now* to see beyond the current waves and see that I can get through this somehow.
What helps you feel better when you are feeling hopeless?
Again, apologies for lack of comments. My internet will be sorted on Friday. YAY!