depression

Head Space

Once in a while, or many whiles, our heads get into a funk. Mine gets into a funk. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish what’s a real funk and what’s a funk that I can push through. Are you close to the finish line and can muster up some strength to get you past it? Or are you lost somewhere on the trail and don’t know how much further away that line is?

Image from headspace.com

Image from headspace.com

It is a skill, a very important skill, to build some self-awareness and introspective skills to determine what the best course of action should or could be. There are days where I can see the finish line, but I’ve run out of the energy to run and push through. So I walk. It’s long, it’s slow, it’s not very comfortable, but I walk. I let myself feel all of those things until it changes at that finish line.

Image from headspace.com

Image from headspace.com

Some days, I just don’t know what to do. So I get scared. I get nervous. Then my head space gets really crowded. Everything starts to look murky and all of the doubts have started creeping in. They’ve busted through the doors and are having a party in my head. Those days are really hard to come out of. It takes a lot of energy and mental space to clean all of that mess up. What helps the most is when you have great resources in your life that can help you clean up and kick some of those doubts out of your head or make a plan to address them.

Sometimes I’ll think about what I can do differently the next time this happens. And sometimes, I just say that it’s part of the process of life and I keep on going to the next thing. The great thing about it is the ability to learn and grow from all the times my head space changes. Maybe the doubts will come back and maybe next time, I won’t need to panic when they do.

Losing Weight

I came across a post the other day where a woman’s photo that was used to illustrate the effects of anorexia was misused in a “listicle” for photos of successful weight loss. There was a lot of commentary about how people who suffer from emotional dysregulation (e.g. depression, anxiety, anorexia, bulimia, etc) are often “celebrated” for their good looks. They would often get comments such as, “Did you lose weight? You look great!” In reality, their weight loss was very unhealthy, yet still rewarded and showered with compliments on their “good looks.”

That got me to thinking about how one could approach another who has had a change in weight. Can you come from a place of concern? “I noticed you’ve lost/gained some weight recently, is everything okay?” Or can there be a neutral ground? “I’ve noticed you’ve lost/gained some weight recently, has something changed for you?” Or is there another way?

It’s definitely got me to reevaluate how I view others’ weight loss/gain. I can’t assume that others’ weight changes are done in a healthy manner. In order for me to stop rewarding or complimenting bad behaviors, I must reframe my commentary and/or not comment at all.

But for now, here are some examples of things I will not say:

“You’ve lost a lot of weight. You look great!”
“Please tell me how to fit into your pants!”
“You look so skinny!”
“Your face looks skinnier!”