“Damn it you guys!” and Also, “Thanks”

I felt a little ganged up on today, in the infuriatingly g00d-intentioned way of, “I only want what’s best for you.” It can feel all the more upsetting when we realize that the advice we are getting is, in fact, what is best for us; that perhaps we are not making the healthiest choices.

Some quick background: My appetite always gets a little funky when I am feeling depressed. Sometimes I just don’t want to eat, other times I don’t feel hungry, and still other times I am hungry but nothing sounds good. It is incredibly frustrating, and that’s without medications messing with my appetite. For the last two months, ever since I started a new medication, my appetite has been very awful. Some days it is so difficult to find something that sounds good to eat that I end up going two days without eating a meal. Then, suddenly, I am able to eat three regular meals. Then it is hard to eat more than once a day. It’s driving me up a wall, not to mention worrying my family.

So, up until 9pm, the only meal I ate was a tuna “unwich” sub from Jimmy Johns at around noon. So, nine hours later, when my mom asked if I had eaten dinner, I said no and had no intention of eating. I didn’t even feel hungry. When I started to feel a little hungry, a few minutes later, I didn’t want to eat. Nothing sounded good and the thought of looking for food and then making it repelled me. My twin came in and gave me this whole “talking to” advice thing where she said I needed to make myself eat anyways, even if it made me nauseous. I was so angry. She didn’t understand – she doesn’t have depression and appetite problems! What did she know anyway?! I asked her to send our other sister in, who came in and gave me a hug. I went through my rant, frustrated tears leaking out of my eyes, and was a little surprised when she gave me almost the exact same advice: I need to make myself eat, even if I don’t feel like it. My body needs to be nourished.

Getting the same advice from both of my sisters made me realize something: they had a point. I was being willful, not wanting to eat. I was secretly hoping that they would tell me that it was okay not to eat, that they understood how difficult this was. I was looking for permission, I suppose, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. I had gotten caught up in my depressive state. I didn’t want to eat, didn’t want the struggle, didn’t want any of it. But my family speaking up, making sure I knew what they thought, their encouragement – it all sparked  that realization in me. Motivation kicked in and I was able to eat. But those moments after, all I kept thinking was, “Damn it you guys!!” I was so angry. I felt ganged up on. And then I grudgingly felt gratitude. I made sure to say thanks and took it all as a learning experience.

Thanks you guys.

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