Aug 7, 2013

Anhedonia

I knew I had some kind of problems with depression.

Heck, I've taken Prozac for like 10 years.

But I thought that was neatly wrapped up and in the past.

Maybe not.



You see, I've been gaining weight over the last few years.  We all do, but I did maybe more than one might expect.  And I kinda hate myself for it.  Maybe not kinda.  I know I should control portions better, but I just don't.

And though I write about bikes, and post pictures of bikes on my facebook page, and actually still love looking at bikes both real and digital, I find it hard sometimes to actually get out and ride.  One of the greatest passions of my whole life and I'd rather take a nap.  No joke.  I remember when I was 17 or so, going out in the summer heat and riding for an hour, coming home, sitting down in front of the TV, and in 15 minutes or so, wanting to ride so much I just got up and went back out.  Part of that change is age, family, responsibility, etc. on and on.

I thought maybe the two were related.  Maybe my poor self-control had made me so fat that I was too tired to ride a bike anymore?  It's true that its not as much fun when you're carrying around 40 or 50 extra pounds.  Maybe I'm just getting old.  Mellowing out.  Maturing.

And all of those things are partly true.

But yesterday, while talking with my brain tuner, she came up with what you might call a unified theory.  Turns out some of the symptoms of depression include weight gain, lack of pleasure in things you used to enjoy (technically called anhedonia), lack of sleep or too much sleep, etc.

Wait, what?  Do you mean to tell me that after all these years of "treating" depression, my problem is... depression? 

Yeah. 

It is at the same time soothing and incredibly frustrating.  A bit like being told that the answer to the question you've been asking over and over through the years has been tattooed on your back.  You were the only one who couldn't see it.

Soothing because it explains a lot.  And yes, takes some of the blame off of me.  Not all.  But some.  And suggests that there just might be a practical way out.  And it's called talking to a professional about these medicines rather than just having my general practitioner dole it out.

I was beginning to feel a little powerless, a little desperate.  Not full on panic by any means, but just realizing I truly didn't like eating my veggies, I knew I should eat better but simply knew that I wouldn't.  And I have a history of heart problems in my family.  Not a good strategy.  I know I should be running this engine as lean and clean as possible.  But that don't make it happen.

And that damn bike.  Do you know what it's like to KNOW you love something, and be not bored by it, but to have to make yourself do it and still not like it?  It's not that I don't have moments when I love the bike.  It's lack of desire to get out there.  "Welp!  It's a rainy day, guess I'm not going riding today!"  [said with a grin].  Don't say "He just doesn't see it- he just doesn't like mountain bikes anymore and is afraid to admit it."  No.  I've considered that and it's just not that.  I have moments out there where I know this is what I'm meant to do.


Why do I tell you all this about myself?  Arming you with the ability to do so much potential damage to me?  Opening myself up to you?  It's simple- because there may be someone reading this and feeling each of these things, who doesn't have the opportunities I have had to understand them.  Who blames themselves for some of these feelings.

Pardon the drama, but someone who's locked into something they're afraid to talk about or don't even realize is happening, and here I am holding the key.  Maybe this doesn't apply to you.  So blow it off.  But imagine if it did and no one had told you any of this? 

Potentially life changing realization.

So there you go.  Enlightenment Ho!

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