Proven Facts.

Yesterday seriously sucked.

Growing up, I remember whenever I would see a commercial for any depression medication I would scoff at the actor portrayals. I couldn't (and wouldn't) grasp the concept that an emotion could take over almost every aspect of an individual's life. Up until this last year, I thought that depression was something that could be controlled and those who didn't want to try to overcome their thoughts became "diagnosed" with an imaginary disorder. I still can't believe just how wrong I actually was.

Over the past few weeks my eating has drastically improved; however, my body hasn't. I still have the 30+ pounds that I gained over three months spread all around me. I have stretch marks, cellulite and flab in unwanted places. I've been forbidden from stepping on scales to see my weight.  Even if there have been any changes, I would have no idea if any weight has been lost or (my biggest fear) gained. Lately, my reflection has taken a toll on my self-esteem. I feel like a stranger in my own body. I was thinking about this earlier today and I've decided weight gain is comparable to losing a close friend-or in other words, my old body. Although you have distant memories of that person, you know that you won't ever be able to physically see them again. Instead that void has been filled with someone who will never quite measure up to that late-friend. Along with mirrors, I hate cameras.  I still have the image of who I once was in my head, but when I have to see how the world views me for who I really am, reality sets in and gives my confidence a beating. Facing the truth is always hard, especially when all you want is to believe a lie.

My mom, brother and I ran down to Provo yesterday to watch my niece and nephew while my oldest sister ran some much needed errands. It was fun to play with my nephew (not so much my niece) and we left to go back home after a few hours of  laughing, sleeping and temper tantrums. My mom had bought our family passes to go to Seven Peaks this summer, but we needed to stop at Trafalga to have photos (barf) taken for our identification cards on the way home. I've already touched on how much I hate pictures of myself, but I was already on the verge of a mental breakdown prior to our "Pass of All Passes" photo op.

My friends S. and K. had been planning to make a "Somewhere in Time" parody for week and yesterday was supposed to be the big day we shot it. Even though originally I was really excited to hangout with them, when the time came to leave I couldn't bring myself to going. On the way to Trafalga, I was overwhelmed by the thought of having to see myself in the state I'm in YouTube or Facebook. I began to cry as my mom was asking me about the video and what my plans were for the night. I told her I couldn't handle being filmed, I was extremely self-conscious and even a little embarrassed with the way I look. I guess when I originally agreed to make the parody I was thinking I was still my old, skinny self. I sent them a text saying I was stuck in Provo and wouldn't be able to make it (luckily it had already been cancelled about an hour before I had sent the message).

As I was standing in line waiting for my I.D. to be processed (after they had taken an extremely unattractive head shot of me), I couldn't stop thinking about all of the pictures that had been taken of me recently. Last weekend I had volunteered at Special Olympics through my high school. After the games were over we took group and individual pictures. I seriously looked terrible in each one.

I'm the one on the right. I really hate this picture, but I think it proved my point.
The night Special Olympics ended, I went to a party at a friend's house where, you guessed it, more pictures were taken. I think what made me the most upset about those photos was the fact that I thought I actually looked decent.

Definitely not how I thought I looked.
You can tell I've packed on more than a couple pounds.

Needless to say, yesterday I felt more than overwhelmed. Not only because I had to see how I looked, but that others had to see it too...on social networking websites and in person.

I came home feeling really depressed. I decided to lock myself in my bedroom and fall asleep so I could just forget about my emotions and every negative thought I was having. Eventually I had to wake up for dinner, but I still couldn't get out of the mental "rut" I had put myself in earlier.

I've started to notice that whenever I feel the worst about myself, my cravings to binge become even stronger than usual. It's a self-defeating coping skill. This is exactly what happened last night. I had my dinner and then snacked on anything else I could find for a couple hours after. I guess it wasn't as extreme as some of my past binges, but I definitely overate big time. The same thing happened on Monday of this week for the same reasons. It was brought on by some pictures I had to look through from Special Olympics. I was able to stop after a few minutes and it was around lunch so I counted it as a meal. Afterwards I distracted myself with chores and yard work to avoid getting depressed about bingeing too. Most people only consider certain foods as binge triggers, but I've found that emotions and thoughts hold even more power over me when it comes to eating.

When I realized what I was doing after dinner, I went downstairs to get away from the kitchen. Prior to yesterday and Monday, I had been binge and purge free for about three weeks. Thoughts about both had come and gone, but I didn't act upon them. Last night I felt disgusting, I even went as far as walking into the bathroom downstairs and debating on whether I should pretend to take a shower just so I could purge without anyone hearing me. For some reason or another, I decided to go into my Dad's office instead to check Facebook. Eventually, I ended up on YouTube because of a link one of my friends had posted.

Here's the video it led to:

Watching this led to about two solid hours of watching Julian Smth's videos. After and during, all of my thoughts were shifted. The more I laughed, the less focused I was on how depressed I felt. I know that in the past I've mentioned that "Laughter is the Best Medicine", and what happened yesterday totally supported my belief. I know that depression is going to follow me for the rest of my life, but maybe next time I feel overwhelmed, I can turn to my new best friend Julian to change my mood and my thoughts for the better.

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