Adventures in Self Improvement

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  January 23, 2014 — 12 Comments

There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.

I’ve written honestly in the past about some of the things I struggle with. I’m overweight. I battle depression. I’m far from perfect. These things have been on my mind more lately as my weight loss efforts stalled over the holidays and my depression seems to have returned with a vengeance. After a very embarrassing crying-in-public incident recently I saw my doctor and got back on an antidepressant that’s worked well for me in the past. These things take a few weeks to start working but just taking action is helpful. I’m also, deep breath here, thinking about seeing a therapist. This is tough because I AM a therapist. What could anyone possibly tell me that I don’t already know? But the idea that someday Jack will be a grown man who could be sitting in a therapist’s chair discussing the ways in which his mother’s issues affected him is motivation enough to swallow my pride. Anybody local have an awesome therapist to recommend? No way am I going to anybody I already know!

I gained a few pounds over the holidays but am back on track now and a half pound lighter than I was at Thanksgiving. I’ve said it before and I want to be clear: this weight loss thing is about my health and well-being, not body image. I need to get healthy and strong for many reasons, but the greatest is that eventually Nick and I would love to have another child. My pregnancy with Jack was very difficult. It gave me so much respect for people who deal with chronic pain. I saw a new OB recently who gave me some great advice on preparing for my next pregnancy, including getting healthy and doing PT to fix whatever’s wrong with my back that caused me so much pain last time. So let me add “finding a babysitter so I can go to PT” to my to-do list.

So that’s what’s going on with me. Forgive me for just putting it all out there like that. This blog is my creative outlet and I actually started it as part of my effort to pull myself out of a previous bout with depression. I feel such a sense of community with the folks who read, whether you comment or not, and I love you dearly. Whatever you’re struggling with please know you’re not alone.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


12 responses to Adventures in Self Improvement

  1. I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling right now. I do, too, especially in the winter. If I didn’t have my lightbox (and SSRIs) I would be a wreck from August to March. Thanks for being so outspoken and I hope you’re back at full-force soon. x

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks, Cath. I think there’s definitely a seasonal component to mine as well. I always seem to hit rock bottom and realize I need help sometime in early spring.

  2. Hi Charlotte! Brave of you to post this! I’m proud of you.

    There is nothing wrong with getting an outside opinion; go for it! And I think it is great that you are being proactive to get healthy for a future baby! As much as I hate to do it, I have to admit that sometimes working out puts me in a better mood when I’m done.

    Love you!

  3. I have heard nothing but good things about BR Christian Counseling, located in the Presbyterian Church downtown. I actually went there for required pre-marital stuff, and a few friends go there also. I don’t remember reading about your religious preferences, but you do not need to be a Christian to go there. There are several counselors on staff, each with a various focus.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      I have several friends from grad school who are there. I wonder if it would be too weird for me to see one of their colleagues? Maybe I’ll ask one of them if there’s anyone on staff who’s particularly skilled in working with clients who are also therapists.

  4. Hey Charlotte. Sorry to hear that you’re dealing with depression. I started on medication about five years ago to help me get through my last episode, but when I experienced a relapse in November I decided to add therapy. I’m not local, so I can’t give a specific recommendation, but I would say that someone in your position (who likely knows much of what the therapist will have to say) might want to think of seeing a therapist as being akin to getting a personal trainer at the gym. It’s less that you need someone to teach you how to use the machines and more that you just need someone there who will help keep you motivated to keep doing the exercises, even when you don’t want to. Anyway, I wish you all the best.

  5. I hope you find the answers you need. XX hugs XX

  6. I am late posting this but I really wanted you to know that reading your first post about struggling with depression really helped me realize that admitting there’s something wrong is normal. And medication is there to help you.
    I have to to give some of the credit for getting me to realize it’s not such a taboo and it could actually help me.
    All that being said, I am not currently on any medications but I really do think it’s time to get back on them.
    Good luck to you and all your self improvement!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Carnisha, I’m so glad you found it helpful! Mental illness is sort of a taboo in my family and I was actually working in mental health for several years before I got up the nerve to try meds myself. In the past I’ve found it really helpful so fingers crossed it works that well again and I’ll be hoping the same for you!

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