So I had a couple of small posts about starting therapy to work on my issues including depression, anxiety, and binge eating. It’s been about 6 months now, which is crazy, so I thought I’d share how it’s been for anyone in a similar boat.
I’m really glad I am doing therapy and taking medication. I have had a massive decrease in depression and anxiety and overall just feel lighter and like “me”. At first I was just doing therapy and focused on a lot of mindfulness, self compassion, and meditation. A running theme for me was that I desperately wanted to feel something other than what I was feeling, because it was so painful. I made some good progress and built up some tools for my toolbox, but it seemed like medication was a good option for me.
I got incredibly lucky and the meds I started on had an immediate positive effect with limited side effects. (I have tried a couple others in that past that weren’t a good experience). It’s not happy pills, but it insulates against depressive and anxious thoughts/responses. I’m not numb. I still laugh and love and am creative and feel down sometimes, but I am now able to get out from underneath depressive moods before I spiral and get lost in in.
But… I still haven’t gotten myself to adopt the lifestyle necessary for having a healthier body weight. Why? In my past successes, I drew my motivations from very negative places. I don’t have that loud negative motivation anymore. I am much more accepting of myself and where I am right now, but I do want to learn how to draw motivation from a positive place now instead of staying in this state of feeling a little aimless about what I want.
My therapist recently mentioned that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy might interest me, so I have started some reading and exercises, and I think it will be very helpful.
The basic principle is about building a fulfilling life, not eliminating distress, by going from the process shown in this picture to the process shown in this picture. I would say my previous therapy work has gotten me through the first 4 principles, but now I need to relearn what my values are and how to do things that support my values. Which isn’t altogether straight forwards. But I would recommend the book Healthy Habits Suck if this strikes a cord with you.
Anyways, I hope this was helpful to at least one person, and as always, I’m thankful to have this place to share my thoughts and experiences. And I’m happy I’m to be on this journey even though my scale hasn’t changed.