Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Getting real with depression

Sorry I haven't written in a few days. I've been going through a tough time (not necessarily with food, but just in general with depression) and I don't really have much to write about here. I think I still need some more time, so I'm going to give it a few more days after this post. But here is a quick recap of the last few days:
  • I quit my run streak yesterday. I never intended for it to turn into an actual run streak, but I really felt like running a lot lately, so I just went with it. Yesterday, though, I felt some twinges in my knee, so I decided not to push it. It just confirms that my body needs rest days! The streak lasted 15 days, which was the longest I've ever done. 
  • I really liked having that routine, though, where I would wake up, eat breakfast, go for a run, shower, and get ready for the day. So, I think I may continue doing that same routine, only I won't run every day--I'll go for a walk or a bike ride 2-3 days a week instead of a run. That way, I can keep the routine, but not get injured from daily running. 
  • I went for a long run with Stephanie on Saturday morning. We ran a route that I hadn't run in a long time, and it was her first time doing it. It goes right along the Raisin River, and then around a park. It's a great route!

  • I decided to turn off my GPS on my watch and see how close my foot pod came to the distance shown on Stephanie's Garmin. The route we ran was exactly 6 miles, and my foot pod ended up counting 6.55. That's a pretty big difference! When I ran quarter-mile laps at the track, the foot pod was spot-on. But, over the course of 6 miles, it was inaccurate. Back to the drawing board with the foot pod. 
  • Noah's birthday is tomorrow, and Jerry and I planned to get him a cell phone for his birthday. We'd been telling the kids that they could get a phone when they were 13 (Noah is turning 12), but he is truly one of the last of his friends to get a phone. So, we decided to get one for him now instead of next year. 
  • We got the phone activated on Sunday, and we decided to give it to him yesterday (we were just too excited to wait). My mom really wanted to be there when we gave it to him, knowing how excited he would be, so my parents stopped by after baseball last night for ice cream sundaes and for Noah to open his gift. His reaction was perfect--he was SO surprised and excited! (It's an iPhone 6 with a LifeProof case.)
  • Monica is adjusting really well to her new surroundings. She's been much more playful and less inhibited the last several days. I even found her and Estelle sleeping next to each other on my bed, and they looked nearly identical if not for Monica's long hair. 

  • On Sunday night, I was lying in bed, unable to sleep, when I heard some commotion outside. It was about midnight, and it sounded like people arguing (but in odd voices). I looked out the window, and there were about eight raccoons in my driveway! They were standing in a circle, "arguing" with each other. It was so odd! They get into our trash all the time, but usually I don't see them--just the garbage they leave lying on the ground. I opened the front door, and they all looked at me, and then scurried into the woods. 

A few notes regarding depression:

Writing about depression on my blog is very difficult for me, because depression (or mental illness in general) has such a negative stigma surrounding it. The main reason I still write about it now and then is because I get emails from people thanking me for sharing--SO many people deal with depression on a daily basis, and it really does help when you don't feel so alone. 

I've had clinical depression since I was a young teen (I think about 12 or 13). I go through phases where it feels like it's in "remission" and I don't have symptoms--sometimes several months or even a year long--and then I have times where it feels really bad. This is one of those really bad times, and it's hard to write about without sounding like a Debbie Downer, so I've just chosen not to write at all. 

Thankfully, the really bad times don't last very long--anywhere from a week to six weeks, usually. And I always remind myself that it will get better (it always does) so I just have to wait it out. 

Usually, when my depression goes through a bad bout, like it is now, I tend to pull away from my friends and become as reclusive as I can. This time, however, I've been doing my best not to let that happen. I went out for lunch with Andrea on Thursday, dinner with Sarah on Thursday night, ran with Stephanie on Saturday, and made plans with Andrea and Renee for next week. Caitlin, from my Ragnar SoCal team, is going to come visit in a couple of weeks. And I have plans to meet up with a blog reader for dinner in Detroit next month. I'm hoping that by making all these plans and staying busy with friends, I won't let my depression take over.

It's interesting, because I was just looking through some past posts on my blog about taking breaks from blogging, or when I've had bad bouts with depression, and it typically happens in July! I never realized there was a pattern before, but July must be a bad month for me, for some reason. It's odd how quickly it snuck up on me this time, though--I felt on top of the world just a few months ago. 

I stopped going to therapy, because my therapist and I just weren't meshing very well (I didn't feel very comfortable being open with her, and I found myself dreading my appointments because of it); but, I made an appointment with a different therapist that I will see next week. I didn't really feel like I was getting anywhere with my previous therapist--I loved that I was learning things about myself, but I wasn't noticing any real improvement. I know it takes time, but I'd been going for over three months, so I would have expected something to have changed. Anyway, this new therapist was highly recommended by a friend, and I liked her from the short phone conversation we had, so hopefully we click well. 

Speaking of which, I've gotten several emails from blog readers who are interested in starting psychotherapy, but are overwhelmed about choosing a therapist. I felt the same way, which is why it took me so long to finally do it! But a friend of mine said that choosing a therapist is like dating--you may have to go on several "first dates" before finding the right one. (And even though things didn't work out with my previous therapist, I still feel like it was worth the time I spent with her--I learned a lot about myself!). 

I have a lot going on later this summer and this fall, so I want to be in a good place mentally when things start getting busy. August 2nd is when the From Fat to Finish Line documentary is being released. Angela, the producer and film company owner, decided to turn From Fat to Finish Line into a brand, and she's asked me to join the team. Rik and I are both certified running coaches, so we'll be writing training plans and leading online training groups--a dream job for me! ;)  I don't have a ton of details yet, but I'm excited for this new project. 

I'll also be coaching cross country starting mid-August; and then over Labor Day weekend, Jerry and I are taking the kids to Virginia Beach. Then school starts when we get home! It's crazy--I feel like summer just started, but it's already halfway over, and the rest is going to fly by. I think that staying busy will be a good thing, though.

Anyway, I'm glad that I took the time to write this! Like I said, it's hard to write about depression, but writing this post actually helped me feel a little better. Hopefully, I'll be back in the normal swing of things soon. 


  1. Thank you for sharing, I hope you feel better soon.

  2. I know it must be tough to write about depression but I do appreciate it when you do! I suffer from anxiety/depression and it's so easy to feel like an ungrateful whiner, but when I read about other people's ups and downs it makes me feel more normal. I love reading your blog!

  3. Don't push yourself too much. I find that the more I push myself to participate in life when I'm depressed, the longer it takes for it to go back into 'remission' as you termed it. Sometimes it is just best to take the time you need to be alone.

  4. It's good to hear from you. Put your needs first and take the time you need. Know that everyone here is supporting you even if you choose not to write about it. You aren't alone. Happy Birthday to Noah!

  5. I am glad to hear you are taking such good care of yourself right now. Depression and mental illness are so rough. My sister in law is struggling right now with depression being a stay at home mom. Her friends and church basically dropped her when she came out about her depression and started writing her blog. It's so hard to talk about, but it helps all of us realize we are not alone. So good for you Katie. Take care and heal fast <3

  6. Glad you checked in and I want to take a minute to thank you for your honesty. I appreciate being able to relate to real life, not some candy-coated version!

  7. As a therapist, I am so thrilled to see you being open about depression! 👏🏼 so many people need a voice, and you are paving the way. Also way to Check out other ones. I'm always telling new clients were just "trying to see if we're a good fit" as I am super direct compared to my colleagues - which isn't always the best fit for someone. Love your blog!

  8. I love your honesty Katie, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. I have been reading your blog for many years now & your openness is why I will continue to read it.

    I hope your new therapist works out for you, my friend had to switch hers because she didn't click with the first one and the second one was so much better.

    Is Noah playing Pokemon Go on his new phone?

    Love the photos of the river & the kitties :)

  9. Happy Birthday Noah!

    Thank you for always being so real in your posts. Hang in there <3

  10. Glad to see you posting! I've been thinking about you. {{hugs}} Now that I know my pace won't make you want to rip your eyes out ;) we should run together again soon!

    I can imagine Noah's joy!! :) And I'm super excited about you affiliation with the FFTFL brand--that's awesome!!

  11. Thank you for sharing, as always! I always respect your honesty. It sounds like you're staying positive right now which is a very good thing! I hope things starting feeling up for you soon.

    Also, happy birthday to Noah! That's so exciting getting a new iPhone! (I don't even have the 6 yet lol.) I hope he enjoys it!

  12. Funny July is your "month". August is mine. Hang in there friend! This too shall pass!

  13. Please never ever feel like a Debbie Downe. I can't thank you enough for sharing. I deal with anxiety and depression as well and I think the worst part of it is is that no one talks about it. You can end up feeling so alone and isolated which can make it even worse. My depression is like a roller coaster. I'll have the greatest of days where I feel invincible and then the very next day it will hit me like a ton of bricks. I never know when it's going to hit. I think it's great that your not isolating yourself and staying in contact and doing things with your friends. But don't forget or feel guilty to take time for you. Sometimes I'll schedule a little night to myself. I'll get my kids to bed then take a nice bubble bath, find a new show on netflix, get into some comfy pj's and just relax. I hope it passes for you quickly but know you are never alone in this. xoxo

  14. Wow--You guys are going to be a "brand." That is so cool. I hope this turns into something huge for all of you, I just find is so inspirational that each of you lost around 100 lbs., and now you all run to keep off the weight! Have you heard from everyone in the group at this point? How is everyone doing with their weight loss maintenance? We both know THAT's the hard part of weight loss--keeping it off. I love your new kitty. Monica reminds me so much of my own Neymar, who came to our house three years ago and adopted us.

    Thanks for opening up about the depression, I have not experienced it, but my son, who runs like you, fights it. I'm wondering if writing about it more often might help? You have to do what you are comfortable with and what you think might help--maybe your new therapist will be more helpful. I'm in your corner, rooting for you....ALWAYS....

  15. Hi Katie, I found your blog a couple of months ago and LOVE it!! You are truly amazing and so inspiring!!I have also checked out your facebook page and sparkpeople page (LOVE the picture of the size 4 jeans label and the comparison of the larger size jeans and smaller!! SO insipiring and motivating)but I see you are here most. I have gone back and have tried to read all of your posts but have not read all of them yet, but every single one sounds like it could be me writing since I can relate to sooo much of what you talk about. I am overweight always have been but trying to lose for the last time-like you said in one of your posts just do it and get it over with! I too am a HUGE kitty cat lover and it looks like to me Monica is very content! I don't know a lot about depression but hang in there. I love your new weekly weigh in with the weekly average it all makes so much sense to look at a weekly average etc.. I also like your running plan and I am going to try it. I have always wanted to be able to run/jog and I like your plan of running really slow in the beginning to get the hard part over with. I am going to give this a try. Sorry this message is all over the place, I just have too much to say. Keep posting I look forward to your updates, you have accomplished SO MUCH!!

  16. I just came across your site today. I can't tell you enough how much I can relate my food binging struggle to yours and I will keep circling back to that post you wrote to help me overcome this wild eating disorder. I don't have any weight to lose; in fact, I have been considered skinny me entire life (5'4" 103lbs avg), but last year in order to help my husband lose weight, I set example by running and working out every day. Before I knew it, a 3 mile run became a six, then 9, then 12 mile, and I lost my period and had eating disorder. I went from a healthy looking 100 pounder to a frail lifeless person at 88 lbs. I started binging uncontrollably. I realized the problem and decided to put back the weight by running much less and letting go of the calorie counting and . I am at 105lbs now. I am still working out every day but I am also still binging, just not as much as I used to. I think the problem lies in my excessive workout routines and I need to work on cutting it way back. I know that staying active is healthy for me but for my current situation, it's doing more harms than good. I need to let my body recover from those insane long distance running days and starvation. I need to get back my period and be mentally normal about eating and relationship with food. Eating used to not be something I cared much about, I ate whatever I wanted when I was hungry. Now eating and food have become the focal point of my life and I hate that.

    Thank you for putting your stories and yourself out there and let us follow your journey.

  17. Thank you for this post -- as I know it takes a lot of courage to post about such a sensitive topic.

    As a child of a depressed parent, I applaud your initiative and ability to address the issue as best you can. The fact that you have tried things and can see your patterns is so important.

    Not to go too far into details here, but my mother is clinically depressed and avoided all real help except medication that made her practically comatose. Growing up with this was a real challenge and it still impacts my siblings and I... and our whole family.

    During the darkest times, when it seems the hardest to snap out of it -- please remember that you're trying and your kiddos see this and will remember that you TRIED!


  18. Thanks, Katie for being open about your depression. Many of us can relate directly or indirectly to this illness. I'm so glad you can remember that you will feel better soon.

  19. Like many others, Katie, I appreciate your honesty so much. My 20-year-old daughter has depression/anxiety and struggled with it alone for several years until her high school counselor pretty much forced her to tell us. There have been some scary moments as a parent with her daughter 5 hours away at college trying to learn to manage her illness. But I told her from the get-go that it needs to be a topic we can talk about, and the more we do, the more "normal" it will feel to discuss it like any other health issue. I am reassured by the days that she texts me that she's having a hard day, but then includes a photo of her with her favorite stuffed animal she brought for support to her biology lecture. With medication, on-and-off therapy, maturity and experience, she is gathering the tools she needs to manage her illness. When I read your blogs, it gives me insight into what her struggles might be like (recognizing, of course, that everbody's depression is different!), and gives me hope that she will be successful and happy as she builds her life as a grown-up :-) Thanks again for your blog!

  20. I get what you're saying about the summertime depression. I'm also a lifetime depression sufferer (that's how I think of it--I am a wreck when I'm not taking antidepressants). I feel like I tend to get especially down in the summer, like a reverse SAD. I know you struggle more with your weight in the summer too, and that's another thing I go through. I don't know if that's related to the mood disorder or what. Anyway, hang in there. You are not alone.

  21. Katie, I found this quote the other day and wanted to share: "There is nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so don't expect to do so." A break is needed from time to time! Take care of yourself!

  22. Hey, friend. The only thing I would add to your already great notes about therapists is that, unlike dating, it is perfectly fine to say to your therapist, "I don't want to continue seeing you, but I am going to see someone else." You don't have to give any reason, don't have to have a discussion about it, and don't have to feel bad about breaking up. That might make your date angry, but a good therapist will respect your feelings and be happy that you are still willing to try therapy with someone else.

  23. Thanks for continuing to share your heart, Katie. This has been a bad year for my depression & anxiety, but I am getting better, and I am grateful! The right therapist can really make a huge difference, so I am proud of you for realizing it wasn't working with the first one, and trying another one. I love reading your blog, but it is more important to me for you to look after yourself, so please don't feel like you "have to" write if you aren't up to it!! Proud of you, as always. :)


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