I have suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember dating back to my early teens. I started taking sleeping pills that were prescribed by my pediatrician at 13 years old when I watched my grandmother wither away from esophageal cancer. I didn’t know how to express what was wrong with me but I knew it wasn’t normal.
A few years later 6 weeks before graduating from high school my grandfather lost his battle with lung cancer. This is when the depression really kicked in. Although I was still going to school every day I felt defeated and was so disappointed that he did not live long enough to see me graduate. The years following the depression came and went. I would be okay for a while but then BAM! Here it is again. This has gone on for all of my adult life and it has had an effect on my weight loss in so many different ways. In 2014 I separated from my husband and we divorced in 2015. Throughout this process I kept a strong face; I did not have time to fall apart because I had to take care of my daughter. This past summer every emotion that I did not deal with came crashing down on me and I had a nervous breakdown. I went through increased levels of anxiety, changes in my appetite, depersonalization, isolation, the inability to concentrate, insomnia, mood swings, rapid thinking and a lot more. All I did was go to work and go home to sleep even though I had trouble sleeping. Some days I wouldn’t eat and barely drink. I would have no motivation to do anything besides lay around the house; no one knew what I was going through except my supervisor, Latasha. To others, I was normal because they didn’t know what was going on behind the doors of my home. I went to my doctor to ask for a behavioral health referral. Three weeks later I was able to see a therapist and nurse practitioner. I worked through my grief in therapy for a few months and during that time I was able to focus on myself and I went back to doing something that I absolutely love which is tennis. At this time the weight began coming off a little more quickly and I played until it became so cold outside that I could no longer stand it. This brought a great amount of joy to my days, I would get off work, pick my daughter up and head to the courts 2-3 days a week. My friends would sometimes join me on the courts and eventually at the gym. From September-December I lost a total of 17 lbs and my confidence was boosted tremendously. I have been working fervently ever since to stay on track; during the month of December, I was able to drop another 10lbs. I was off track that month so I really don’t know how I did it but I’m happy I did. Today, 15 days into the new year and I am 205. I remember seeing this number 8 years ago and slowly watching it creep higher and higher; but not this time.