Well, it has been just over a week since I “came out” about my current challenges, I would like to thank all those that have contacted me to offer support, encouragement or well wishes on a speedy recovery. I also realize that there are a lot of people who just d0 not know what to say or how to react to my situation and to those I say, do not worry. Heck, I am not sure how I would react if one of my friends told me they were suffering from depression/anxiety/PTSD. The one thing I do know is that people do care and they have different ways of showing it.
So what’s next? Well, the race calendar has been tossed out the window though I do plan to draft a new one in the coming weeks. The St.john’s Triathlon is still a go as I have paid for everything associated with the race. The plan is to start consistent training beginning the week of May 18th. Between May 18th and August 10th, I do hope to get in a few other race but I will be looking for races that do not have a large number of people. Luckily in Ontario, I will have a great deal of race of races to choose from.
Beside the race changes, there will also be some life changes as well. Some of those changes will be drastic, that some people will find disappointing but upon the recommendation of my doctors it is best for my overall health. Other changes will be less noticeable to people but to me, they will be dramatic. As I make those changes, I will let everyone know so that people do not hear about it through the grapevine.
In the mean time, over the next few weeks, I will be working on getting my weight down. One of the side effects of the medication I am on, is that I crave carbs all the time. For the past number of years when I go to Timmies, I would just get an extra-large tea and have no desire for anything else. Now when I go there, before I order my tea, I order three cookie, 20 pack of Tim Bits or a couple of donuts. So, it is time to get back on track and start eating a lot better than I have over the past four months. I am hesitant to ask the doctors to change my meds as they do seem to be working but if I cannot correct the carb craving then I might just have to change the meds. There is no sense in having me feeling mentally ok but doing damage to the rest of my body. One of my fears is that I will put back on a lot of weight and this might cause my depression to become deeper as I do not ever want to go back to the way I was four years ago.
As most of you know, I am a big goal writer. At any given time, I will have short, mid and long-term goals that I would be working on. Right now, my focus will be on short-term goals only, be they one day, one week or one month. Going beyond those time frames is just too much for me to handle right now. For the coming week, my goal is to get out on my bike. Ten days ago, I brought up my Trek DS 8.3 but have not had the motivation to get out on the road. I also wonder if there is some fear that is causing me to not get out there after last years accident.
Here my goals for the coming week that I hope you hold me accountable for:
1. At least one bike ride of one hour or more
2. Get at least 2 runs in of 5k
3. Stop going to Timmies to avoid the temptation of carbs
I have to start somewhere and this seems like a doable list to start with that I hope that I can get mind and body working together in unison again.
Until next time….“I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat”. Christopher Hitchens
Well, I have spent several hours trying to catch up on all the bloggers I follow but I think it is a losing battle. Not having read any blogs in months, there are just way too many posts to catch up on so I have decided to just start from today moving forward. I am sure I am missing out on some great info and great things that have happened to people, for that I am sorry.
Onwards and upwards from here.
Those that follow this blog or know me personally might be wondering where I have been since mid January . Well, I have been dealing with some health issues, some physical but for the most part, it has been mental. Those people that know me or have met me one time, would say that I am generally a happy go lucky type of guy brimming with positive energy. Well it is time to come clean, for the past four years, I have been dealing with depression on one level or another. I have done a great job of masking my depression from friends and family who had no idea of what I was going through as I tried to deal with it on my own.
In mid January, the four years of hiding what I was going through caught up to me and I went into a deep depression. At this point, I could no longer hide behind a false facade and sought out medical treatment. After consulting with medical professionals, it was determined that I was suffering from acute depression and sever anxiety disorder brought on by some form of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It has yet to be determined what the source of the PTSD is, but with continued treatment we hope to find the source and deal with it accordingly.
I will say that I am very lucky to have a great family doctor that diagnosed me very quickly and got me immediate referrals to more qualified doctors as well as put me on some very effective medication. Though my depression has improved, my anxiety still gives me trouble. It is the anxiety that scares me the most as I do not feel in control. The anxiety comes on when I am around a large group of people, especially if I do not know them or if I am in unfamiliar surrounding so much so that I become physically ill. This is the main reason for me not competing in the races I had planned to partake in since January. Though I do hope to get the anxiety under control before Ottawa Race Weekend, I am not going to put pressure on myself to run my race. Right now, my main focus is to get better and return to my active life style. Unlike past challenges, there is no defined recovery period and set backs can come at anytime so I will take things one day at a time.
My Bike Jersey In Support of Clara Hughes Big Ride
So why am I putting this out there for evryone to know about, well like Clara Hughes, I want to do my part to raise awareness and erase the stigma associate with mental illness. It effects so many people that suffer in silence and they need to know it is ok to let people in to help them. Since January, I have only confided in a select few people until I got my plan together to combat my illness but I was surprised that many of those that I confided in, have been dealing with the same illness as me for many years. These people have been a fantastic source of support and are great examples that mental illness can be over come.
So when you see me, do not treat me any different than you did before, I am not fragile, I will not break nor will I crumble. I am just the same guy you always knew that has a medical condition that is treatable. Like all my past challenges and in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger “I’ll be back”, stronger than ever, striving to reach my goals.
I am doing my part to bring awareness to mental health, I hope you will do your part, either by supporting Clara on her big ride or supporting your local mental health association.
Until next time…..Depression Is Not a Sign of Weakness It Is a Sign That You Have Been Trying to Be Strong for Too Long