Monday, February 18, 2008

Magnificent Moody Monday

I missed posting on Sacred Life Sunday. But I had a great time just chatting away in a girlfriend-esque style (which I haven't done in a year, mainly because I haven't had a girlfriend) with Annie in Australia via Skype. It was great and made the day feel special...and sacred, indeed.

On the subject of loneliness: see Thailandchani's response to Annie's post which is drawing quite a bit of commentary. I think it is hard for us loners (and I am one of them) to understand how disconnected our Amercian society has become. We all crave intimacy, yet some of us suffer more than others in isolation. I don't feel like I suffer too much anymore because of the many rich connections I have via the Internet. Still, we are a community here, and as such can reach out of ourselves to be connected. I know that I can reach out more than I do, because I love intimacy...and I know that each person out there is a part of me as well---this is one of my spiritual beliefs.

Well, as for today---Magnificent (because it is another day of being alive) Moody (because that's how I feel) Monday---today I am feeling full-force the effects of SSRI withdrawl. I decided to go bare because of the continual and unrelenting weight gain caused by SSRI's, which is causing me more problems than my so-called depression was. I had thought that this weight gain was caused by emotional eating, but I've been doing this all my life, and the rapid weight gain has occurred only since October of last year (about 2-3 pounds per week)...coincidently when I started taking an SSRI. So I've been reading about this---who knew? I'm titrating down, but am exhausted all...the...time... and so tired and unmotivated. I do think that this will pass. My SSRI helped me tremendously but has come back to bite me, and I feel like I'll do better in the long run by doing things in a more natural way. I am thinking I can tolerate depression more than massive uncontrollable weight gain. I mean, where does it stop? Years ago I weighed 250 pounds and was in a wheelchair---I've been there, done that.

Here are some old pictures of me on my honeymoon in 2000:

Then, three years later after a 90 pound weight loss:

I'm right smack-dab in between the two sizes now.

It's sort of a no-brainer. But it's not how I look as much as how I FEEL. We all want to feel good, feel healthy. That's what I want too.

One of the problems with carrying so much weight is foot pain, so that I can't walk easily for exercise. Despite the pain, I resumed Nordic Ski Walking (which minimizes stress on my legs, knees, and feet) last week because I benefit so much from the fresh air, time to think, and sheer physical movement. Plus for once it wasn't raining here (I live near Seattle). It was magnificent!! Thus I am in pain all the time. But I still feel like I'm better off this way than idle and sedentary. I feel better overall. I just feel the pain and breathe and know that this too will pass.

We all have our pain and our challenges. We're here to encourage each other. To be there for each other. Thank you to all of you who are there for me.


Anonymous said...

wow olivia! what an amazing weight loss; you look terrific!

Olivia said...

Thanks, Ruby! I DID gain quite a bit back since then (about half of it) but I'm working on going the other way :) xxoo, O

Jessie said...

I think you are incredibly beautiful, no matter what size you are, dear Olivia. I also think that you are making a powerful acknowledgment in thinking about what it is that makes you FEEL good.

I just love you to pieces. You're so fully invested in EVERY thing you do and think about. I've been thinking about you lots (as always). And, hey, I have Skype too! I've never used the video aspect of it, but I need to learn. Maybe in the next few weeks (after I've got a bit less on my table) we can talk via Skype. I would love that! :)

Olivia said...

Thanks, Jessie xxoo!

I would love to talk with you via Skype! I don't know how to use the video either, and since I don't have a web cam I don't think it's possible. But to talk would be GREAT!

Of course, I could GET a web cam---now there's an idea :)

Love you, too, O

Patti said...

You are so totally committed to your health Olivia and for that reason you WILL get to where you need to be. My weight has fluctuated over the years too for many different reasons and I can relate to your ups and downs! It's a question of finding that formula that is right for you and sticking to it.

One thing you do know for sure is that you have done it before and therefore you can do it again!

Stay beautiful!

Olivia said...

Thank you, Patti. It is a somewhat difficult place to be in, and I do need to have that hope. Thank you for reminding me of this possibility, and of course, of your support and example. Peace and love, O

Rebecca said...

Olivia, I don't know if you have read/heard about how important it is for us in the Pacific NW to get enough Vitamin D. My doc has me taking 4000 IU a day in the winter. It helps with both depression and blood glucose. It really does help.


Olivia said...

Hi, Rebecca, Yes I have and I take 4000 IU as well; I just started about a month ago, though. My goodness, I either didn't know or had forgotten that you are here in the PNW as well! Thank you for bringing it up, because there may be people who haven't heard about it yet. Thank you, and blessings to you, O

Angela said...

Wow, Olivia. Thank you for the pictures - they say more about how much you've down for yourself than words can. I stopped SSRI's about, oh, 6 months ago now, after having been on and off of them for years. I don't recall specific withdrawals, but I know I have many days when I'm afraid THE DEPRESSION is coming back - really sad days, you know? And then it goes away. I understand it takes some time, but I think you're making the right decision!

Olivia said...

Oooh, Angela, that's really, really good to hear. I am a bit afraid of THE DEPRESSION too, but I've got to stop this weight gain and hope I can make it too. Thank you for commenting and letting me know. We have so much in our "parallel" journeys that we can share, don't we? I needed this today, thank you! Peace and blessings, O

mycreativepath said...

Hi Olivia, congratulations on quitting SSRI - that's a huge step toward healing, IMHO. I quit my medication, too (panic attacks & depression)and I found homeopathy to be a great help. I also recommend having a look at this website
Healing is a journey, with ups and takes time, courage and faith in our self, but I believe that we all have the power to heal our selves..hang in there! Cristina

Olivia said...

Thank you Cristina, very much, and thanks for visiting and commenting at the happyluau as well. I will look at the depression website for sure. I like how he describes depression as an "emotion". I believe that we have the power to heal ourselves as well, but thanks for reminding me today. I really need to hear things like that when I'm going through things like this...Peace and love, Olivia

thailandchani said...

You look wonderful! :) I just found you via Technorati, noting that you'd linked to my loneliness post.

All that you say sounds accurate to me, especially as a loner myself. At the same time, it can be a real drag when the phone doesn't ring for a while and the aloneness becomes involuntary. I was able to identify strongly with Annie's post. At the same time, I know I don't have the psychic energy to really maintain friendships if they require too much contact from me.

You really do look great, by the way! Wow. I'm looking forward to the day when I can say I've lost my extra 50 pounds. :)

(modified Rice Diet is what I'm using.)

Anyway, comment long enough now. In my Google Reader you go. I hope you enjoy the company. :)

Olivia said...

Welcome, Thailandchani! Annie and I were talking about you via Skype a couple of days ago and when she mentioned you I had no idea who you were. Can you believe it?

How could I have missed you? And you missed me too!! We are both in Sacred Life Sunday, Wellness Wednesday, and Soaring Free Souls...How did we miss each other on Soaring Free Souls?? Well, so here we are. I subscribed to your blog as well.

I appreciate your commenting and look forward VERY MUCH to your company...

Peace and many blessings,


Rick Hamrick said...

O--about 15 years ago, a doc put me on an antidepressant, and I gained something like 40 lbs in three months. When I saw him, I asked if there was a reason to suspect the meds where part of the problem, and he said, "Oh, yeah, they can cause some weight gain unless you exercise and eat right." This guilt trip from a 6'4" guy who was almost skeletal, he was so thin. I researched it, and discovered it was a really big problem, not something to be dismissed (or never mentioned, as he only said something about it after my prompting, long after I had gained lots of weight). Did I mention he was my ex-doc the next day?

Your photos are certainly illustrative, Olivia--you had made a really great difference not only in your weight, but as is obvious from your face, in your health and demeanor, too. You look very happy in the photo before you went on the SSRI.

You can do this, Olivia!

Olivia said...

Wow, thanks Rick. Our stories are so similar, even down to the doctor not mentioning it. This story helped me a lot these last couple of hours (I'm going hour by hour now). Thank YOU very much for the support, Blessings and Love, O

Jane said...

Wow Olivia! Great photos and the transformation is incredible.

I always feel that I've been cursed as a Libra. I go to either extremes: I can be a total loner and stay in the house for ages alone or I could be happy throwing myself in to a party where I know nobody. Always trying to find the right balance. I certainly am thankful though for so many warm and true connections I've made through blogging.

Olivia said...

Thanks, Jane. The blogosphere can truly be a warm and wonderful place, can't it? I know that it suits my introvert nature well. You sound just fine as a Libra---it's just you, right? We are all'll find the balance...maybe having the extremes IS the balance!?!? Peace and blessings, O

kikipotamus said...

I've had lots of friends who gained weight on SSRIs big time. Have you tried Omega-3 fish oil? I have found that works wonders against depression. I also use a full-spectrum lamp during cloudy parts of the year and parts of the year with short days. Love, K

Olivia said...

Well, now you have one more, Kelly---ME! It will come off, I feel it. I do take fish oil when I remember, as well as Vitamin D3 and some aminos. I just ordered a Happy Light, which I'm thinking will come Monday, and I'm hoping will make this process softer, although I'm feeling a little better already and starting to sleep, too. xxoo, O