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The big D (and we’re not talking donuts)

Caution: Depression 100M ahead

Last week I was watching an episode of Glee, the hit Fox show that everyone has told me to watch. The plotline of this episode involved the temporary school nurse giving some student members of the glee club pseudoephedrine, a chemical commonly found in cold medicine, which can also act as a stimulant. They were using it to feel alert and souped-up to perform. In between my laughter at the jokes and my humming along to the songs, I found myself thinking, I should totally try that. It might help me get through the day. At which point I sighed and thought, Oh, Jennette. That is so, so, completely wrong. You are obviously depressed. Because, seriously, no one should be contemplating the abuse of cold medicine as a method of coping with day-to-day life.

For those of you just arriving at the party, I have had a chronic headache for almost two years which has really effed up my life. (And OMG, do not send me suggestions. If you do, I will sell your email address to Nigerian spammers. I swear to GOD!) If 2008 was my year of pain, 2009 was my year of feeling tired. Oh, oh, so tired. All the time. I even tweeted it once, asking if anyone else felt so tired, but no one really got what I was saying. They talked about being tired after their day or tired from work, but I was talking about being tired all the time.

One of the reasons I decided to quit my job and freelance full-time was because I wanted to be able to lie down on the couch all day if needed to, instead of pretending to work while I stared at a computer. Some days life is just…hard. I’m not interested in reading, or watching TV, or writing my blog, or doing anything, except perhaps eating, but even that joy is rather empty and fleeting.

This is probably 80% of the reason I gained back about 40 pounds last year. I know how to eat healthy and exercise, but on so many days it seemed pointless. When I am sad and lonely in the evenings and don’t feel like doing anything and don’t care about anything, I like to eat. I obviously need to find an alternative coping mechanism for these feelings, either with anti-depressants or a support group or something. Thankfully, I watched the Glee episode the night before an appointment with my doctor, so we tweaked my meds, which I hope will help. I’m going to do my best to exercise and eat well, which should give my body the tools to feel better. I’ve got some other plans I’ll got into more detail about soon.

Mostly, I’m just admitting I cannot do this alone anymore – the weight, the depression, the pain – just living a good life. It has all buried me lately and I’m trying to dig my way out. I never understood depression until it happened to me, and like so many things in life, you’d don’t really get it until you go through it yourself.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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77 Comments

Lu Ann • January 6, 2010 at 9:50 am

I know of what you speak. I’m debating switching antidepressants right now. I’m functioning okay and some days I think I feel pretty good (fleeting moments), so do I stick with my current meds and hope for the best or do I try a new med and risk upsetting the applecart??? How I wish they had a thermometer to “read” how depressed a person is!!!!

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Tiffany S. • January 6, 2010 at 9:53 am

Bigs hugs as always. I love how you’ll never stop until you find a solution.

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Stacy • January 6, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hi, I’m only writing to offer support. I have no idea what it’s like to have a 2 year headache (although I did have a 3 month one when I was pregnant). But I do know what it is to be depressed. It is soooooooooooooooooo hard to find motivation to do anything. I hope you find a solution because you’re too funny/smart/just plain great to stay in the pit. I believe in medication, and I hope you find the right one for you.

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Jen • January 6, 2010 at 10:34 am

Isn’t that the truth – we never understand something until we go through it – thus never judge a man/woman until you have walked a mile in his/her shoes – good one for all of us to remember!

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Cheryl • January 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

I have sooo been where you are (minus the headache). Depression is serious, but completely treatable. I didn’t want to go on medication, but I did, in the beginning, and it helped tremendously. Before medication everything seemed pointless, and after I was able to use the coping tools the therapist was giving me. I haven’t been medicated in about 6 years, and I mostly control my mood with diet and exercise. I do still get depressed, but I am able to recognize it now and work my way through it. I hope the same for you. E-mail me anytime!

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The Merry • January 6, 2010 at 10:49 am

From the title, I thought you were getting a divorce. Glad to hear you’re staying together with yourself.

It’s true that you are funny, smart, and just plain great. The trouble is that side of you is the side we see, not the one you get to enjoy.

If I had a suggestion that I thought would be worth a damn, I would offer it even at the risk of getting introduced to a lot of really friendly spammers. This sucks.

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Sheryl • January 6, 2010 at 11:04 am

Ditto to the earlier comments — I have been on an antidepressant for MANY years, and I’m sure very few people would ever guess it. I don’t feel fantastic all the time, but it has made it possible for me to get my Master’s degree and hold down a good job for over 20 years. I’m sure without medication I would have dropped out and/or quit my job because it just didn’t seem worth the effort.

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TOWR • January 6, 2010 at 11:07 am

Amen and AMEN! Honestly, I’m impressed at all you’ve been able to do. You might need to drop me a line sometime and tell me how you managed to get health insurance while you were on antidepressants because no insurance company will touch me. :( I hope your new meds get you feeling normal again soon.

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PastaQueen • January 6, 2010 at 11:17 am

@TOWR – Uh, I didn’t :) I’m on COBRA for another 12 months, and then I’m fucked.

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Larkspur • January 6, 2010 at 11:44 am

No thoughts on the depression, just cyber hugs for one of my favorite bloggers. Okay, well, maybe therapy– my husband is a psychologist, I have to say that. Plus it helps. And people. Good, stimulating people.

I think that’s enough advice to qualify me for the Nigerians…

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JEM • January 6, 2010 at 11:44 am

:-(

I am sorry. That sucks.

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Diana • January 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

Depression is a serious illness. Even though I’ve never experienced it to it’s depths, I have felt down and sad about life. My understanding about depression is it’s those feelings times ten and not just for a few hours or days but for months and years.

My niece suffers from clinical depression. She’s currently in the mental ward of the hospital because she checked herself in. She was contemplating suicide again, for like the tenth time in about ten years.

I’ve seen how depression can destroy lives. There are meds that seem to work, at least for a while, but then they have some unpleasant side effects, like weight gain. My niece has gained 100 pounds since being on them.

Geez, I’m depressing myself with the comment. I meant to cheer you up. :)

All I can say is hang in there. Love your posts. Can’t wait to read about your new plan.

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Jody • January 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Just sending support, hugs and a smile.

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'Drea • January 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Good luck with digging out…

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Leslie • January 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm

You are so right about not getting something like depression or chronic pain until you go through it. No way we can understand what it’s like, even though we think we can. From my own current bout of knee injury, resulting in surgery, resulting in a very sluggish painful recovery, I’m aware that I was clueless about someone in continual pain. And my knee is small potatoes in the big picture, and will get better eventually.

Maybe it’s good to know you can’t do it alone. Opens one’s mind to actually asking for and being able to gracefully receive help. UGH! I hate being humbled!

Hope you feel more like your best self soon.

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Quix • January 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I in no way can know what you’re going through, but just wanted to say – *hugs* I hope things get better for you soon. Any time I hear of someone considering a website redesign or something, I try to pass them your way.

FYI, you inspired me to start running even though I wasn’t a perfect weight, and now in 2010 I’m planning to run my second half marathon and tackle a marathon in the fall. I just wanted to thank you again for that. You rock!

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Suzie • January 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I’m not going to even pretend that I know what kind of pain you are going through, but I do know what depression feels like and I know what it is like to feel tired, like you never want to wake up because you’ll just be tired again. I went through this a few years ago and the meds helped, exercise helped but mostly my friends who refused to let me become a hermit helped. I hope that you get the help that you need! Thanks for sharing your journey.

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jennywenny • January 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Oh dear, I hope you manage to dig your way out. I’ve been just exhausted recently and I’m wondering if there is something deeper wrong, so I empathise.

I hope you find something that makes you want to get out of bed….

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Shannon • January 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Although I haven’t had a chronic headache like yours, I have been depressed before. I’ve been on antidepressants before and I’ve gone through the feeling so tired-not just physically but mentally. It’s an overwhelming feeling, but it does get better. As you mentioned, support groups are a great option because they help validate these feelings that make you feel so misunderstood in the first place. Often, they’re free, community services too. I wish you the best of luck, and I want to say thanks for the straight forward, honest post. It’s definitely a problem that affects a large range of people. :) I admire your strength.

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Paola • January 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I felt like I was reading something I might hae written myself. Big hugs. I hope 2010 can see us get better.

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Julie • January 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm

There’s a woman here in my office who laughs nearly all day long, at one thing or another. I keep wondering what she eats, takes or does to stay so upbeat. It only reinforces how my depression makes me feel isolated and sad.

I am taking medication and this has been a life long battle. I am sorry you are dealing with the same stuff..sending virtual hugs to you in the hopes you feel better soon.

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Anonymous Fat Girl • January 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm

(((HUGS))) girl I’m sorry you are still dealing with that annoying freaking headache. I cannot even begin to imagine how hard that must be.

I know depression is one of those things that you don’t realize you’re stuck in it until you hit rock bottom. In my case I “awoke” and there were several empty boxes of little debbie cosmic brownies and a bunch of empty celephane wrappers spread all around me. I wasn’t asleep or anything, but I was so depressed and feeding myself that it was scary (although a bit laughable looking back). Enough about me and my obsession with cosmic brownies…

I hope that you get things straightened out soon with your meds. You deserve to feel normal and the damn doctors need to figure out what the hell is going on!

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Kim • January 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

There’s not much I can say other than I’m so sorry. I’ll be sending good vibes your way and hope that 2010 will help bring you some reprieve from pain and fatigue.

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Nina • January 6, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Oh man, do I know about depression. I was near suicidal for the 8 months after being laid off, this year. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with it, and I will openly admit that if it weren’t for my husband, I might not have survived it.

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Monster Soprano • January 6, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Firstly, admitting that you have a problem is always the largest step in ANY illness (depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight problems, arthritis).

From there, one needs to find a medical team that will be there for you. I know it can be difficult in the USA if one has no insurance. Are there any associations, support groups, volunteer nurses or doctors that can provide support and help to you ?

Mental Illnesesses, like depression, are just that. An illness. I know there is still stigma to it but, screw the people that will not support you. We are all here to help you, since you have helped so many without knowing ….

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TJ • January 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm

So sorry to hear how hard life has hit you. I struggled last year with severe chronic pain related to arthritis in my neck and ended up having spinal surgery. I got pretty depressed about my situation. What helped me was talking to my physical therapist about my feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. She (and my husband) really got me through the depression, and helped give me hope that I would feel better. They also helped me accept a new normal by keeping my focus on what I could do, rather than what I couldn’t. (Of course, I also relied on my buddies, Ben and Jerry, so now I’m trying to lose the weight I regained.) Still, I’m feeling like I’ve made it to the other side and I’m so glad I talked about what I was going through, rather than just try to keep it in.

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Jen • January 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm

I blog about my struggle with depression (and weight problems). If you ever need someone to talk to, let me know.

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Kyle • January 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I wish I could tell you I know the magic cure. I wish you weren’t going through this. I can’t even tell you that I understand what you’re going through because I have no idea, aside from the whole lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight, albeit on a smaller scale.

I’m so glad though that you do have skills that have allowed you to work from home though, so you’re at least able to make the problem even slightly more manageable.

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Kate • January 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Depression sucks.

I hope it lifts soon.

Meds got me to a point where I really benefitted from counselling. A good therapist is a gift.

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PurpleGirl • January 6, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Oh, I’ve been there. I’m on Prozac, and when I don’t take it I start going nuts and feeling like all I’m capable of doing is curling in to a ball under my desk. Even with the Prozac, I still have some side-effects … like the tiredness. I could easily sleep twenty hours out of the day, and there appears to be no real reason for it. I’ve thought about switching meds, but I’m afraid of that interim period without the drugs. I hope you find something that works for you.

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Robin • January 6, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Finding the right depression medicine is as much fun as finding the right headache medicine! Just remember depression is about chemicals in your brain and not something to feel ashamed about.

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G.G. • January 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Depression Sucks. And Sucks. And Sucks. Hope the med fix helps and that you feel better soon.

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Jenny • January 6, 2010 at 9:51 pm

You rock for being open about this. Good luck as you look for solutions. I know your tenacity will get you there.

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The Chubby Girl Diaries • January 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm

(((HUGS)))

I’ve been there before (minus the headaches). Trying to lose weight and get back on track while being depressed and handling an illness is difficult. Kudos to you for taking in all of the information you can and lifting yourself up from all of this.

You can do it!

~Kellie

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Rahim • January 6, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I can cope with what you’re going through. I think we ALL hit those points where we question the validity of what we’re doing and if it’s even worth it. Keep on keeping on, I’m with you.

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fc • January 6, 2010 at 10:49 pm

sorry to hear it. :( thinking of you!

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That Kind of Girl • January 6, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Just writing to send hugs, and say that it’s so brave of you to blog about this in the public sphere, and a smart move to seek outside help. This dude is sending you good vibes (and the psychic equivalent of advil).

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Aimee • January 6, 2010 at 11:07 pm

So sorry to hear that you’re overwhelmed. I’ve got nothing to add, except you’re right: people shouldn’t comment unless they’ve been there.

I’ve struggled with chronic fatigue, and you’re also right about people not getting it when one speaks of being REALLY tired — like perpetually-fatigued-even-after-just-waking-up-from-8-hours-of-sleep tired.

I hope that you’re able to find a resolution this year.

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ChrissyS • January 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Don’t know if you are reading comments, but-

As always, thank you for your openess, honesty, and sharing with us all.

You inspire so many ppl….I wish the best for you Jennette.

Hugs to you.

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Samantha • January 6, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Depression sucks no doubt about it. I went through a minor little epipospde recently that I’m kind of snapping out of. My bigger problem in all honestly is anxiety, I have a generalized aniexty disorder- but sometimes the two seem to be interwined. My Neurologist told me that the dpression and anxiety are related to my migraines in all likelyhood. They put me on Topamax (totally loving the appettite supression side effect) as well as an additional antanxiety/anidepression med, as I was all ready taking one that seems to help me. I had taken a different one before but it caused me to regain 50lbs so that is the only thing I would caution you on. I don’t regret taking it, because I needed it at the time, but losing the weight I regined has been difficut…I’ve lost 15 with 35 more to go! Best of Luck…After 4 months of chronic headache pain I have an idea of what you mean about being tired, it really grinds you down aftera while…I don’t want to imagine having to endure it as long as you have. (((hugs)))

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Katharine • January 6, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Hugs and understanding, from someone who’s been there (except for the chronic headache part).

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Jenny • January 7, 2010 at 12:06 am

I wondered to your blog because of a review of the body bugg…..reading your post about the headaches. I too had headaches years ago….everyday, all the times….I had new glasses, pills, massages; it was crazy being a senior in high school with a headache every SINGLE day! But I had a brilliant doctor that figured out I was allergic to Nutrasweet and all artificial sweeteners…..not sure if you drink diet soda or diet food, but since I gave it up…NO more headaches (or at least very rare)

Good luck!

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Jocelyn • January 7, 2010 at 5:35 am

My thyroid decided to go apeshit about three years ago, and it’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. For a while, I was 165 lbs (I hadn’t seen a 1 in front of my weight since 9th grade) and had more energy than a 5-year-old on pixie sticks. Then I had to get treatment because my heart was racing, I was nauseous from walking to the bathroom and my legs were wobbly.

The treatment destroyed my overactive thyroid function in order to allow supplements to replace it, and I literally had no metabolism for about 6 months. I promptly regained 75 lbs and began a battle with life-crippling fatigue. My couch has permanent dents from the summer of 2008. It was a chore just to shower, let alone work, eat, shop, or have a life. I never truly understood chronic fatigue until then.

Reading stories of other people’s struggles help me to not feel so alone, and I hope my story has helped you. You’re not doing this alone, you have the support of all your blog readers. :)

And just to put it out there (don’t kill me!), thyroid imbalances are very common, and frequently overlooked because of their vague, general symptoms. Fatigue is a symptom of an underactive thyroid. I don’t know if you’ve ever considered this, as I haven’t been reading your blog for long.

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Lesley • January 7, 2010 at 5:54 am

Aaaah, both you and Shauna struggling with the same black dog. I’m so sorry to hear that PG as your blog has been a comfort and inspiration to me over the years. Good luck with finding a way through and I hope you find some joy and escape from tiredness soon.

(((((((big hug and doggie licks (if the cats will permit of course))))))))

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fd • January 7, 2010 at 6:22 am

just wanted to send you some support. been there. sort of am there. :-) am amused that for me, moving from workign alone to working in a big team has been crucial for recovery, for you its been the opposite! comme quoi we’re all different.

most frustrating thing about the big D, i find, is that there isn’t really a quick fix, somewhat like weight loss and chronic illness. patience with onesself is very important. anyway, all the best, and good for you to acknowledge it, say its name, say hello, look for help…

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Pam • January 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

Depression runs in my husband’s family – and I can see that you must work with your dr. to find the right meds. Talk therapy and meds seem to be the best combination, and exercise, – just for a walk, which I know sounds overwhelming, but do it. It can be managed, but initially you just sort of have to get out of your own way and do what you have to do. Even when you feel you can’t. Getting a diagnosis in the first place is huge, so you should be on the right path. Best wishes to you.

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Lorrie • January 7, 2010 at 8:29 am

I don’t have anything to contribute other than to say that I hope (and believe) one day this will pass. And you can look back on 2008 and 2009 as “the hard years”.

I was diagnosed with dysthymia (mild, yet chronic depression) several years ago and I can relate to the feeling of “what’s the point?” which I find and lose all the time. It’s hard and not many people understand it. It’s hard to explain not caring about anything, the mood swings, the eating and the isolation.

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Cathleen • January 7, 2010 at 9:10 am

Hugs and good thoughts coming your way!

Both my parents and two of my three sisters suffer from clinical depression — so I know from my front row seat that there are actually effective treatments out there. I’m convinced this will be a lot easier to resolve than that awful headache of yours.

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Alison • January 7, 2010 at 10:06 am

Just wanted to send hugs and support. If I remember correctly, you are not married or living with someone, right? Do NOT think that this is the reason for the depression/isolation. You can be married, you can have a wonderful family, you can have the most supportive friends ever, and still have that feeling of isolation that comes from depression. I had some mild depression at first when I lived alone (because my mom had just died – that’s why I was suddenly living on my own at 23), but within a couple years after getting married, I suffered worse depression and feelings of isolation that required meds.

Wishing you the best as you tackle the depression – and yes, you can get through it!

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N.R. • January 7, 2010 at 10:34 am

I usually just lurk on your site, but wanted to send you some support. I can’t imagine how difficult things have been for you and hope that this year finds you some relief.

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jancd • January 7, 2010 at 11:08 am

I am so sorry you are in the pits of big D.

There are so many things I would like to discuss with you, but you would ban me from your blog and send my name to India. ha. I have but two words: Investigate God.

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schmei • January 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I’m glad you’re not doing this alone. Get help. Surround yourself with people who can make things better, or at least manageable.

I think there has to be a connection between folks who are funny, brilliant and entertaining and folks who suffer from clinical depression. My brother is one of those people, and the combination of working for himself (stressful – with looong hours) from home (isolating) was a little dangerous, I think. Fortunately, he saw that himself and he’s made a lot of effort to get out in to the world, socialize, absorb some sunshine every day, etc. And he goes to therapy now, which I do think has helped considerably.

If you’re worried about you, I’d be willing to bet the people who love you are worried about you, too – I was, for my bro, before he got some help. So feel free to talk with them about it, too.

Finally, I know compliments don’t necessarily help, but they can’t hurt: You’re one of my favorite bloggers ever!

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Kandi • January 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm

PQ, I stumbled upon your blog about two weeks ago, and have been reading it from the beginning ever since. I also picked up a copy of your book from the library (sorry, couldn’t buy it, because I am always broke. Seriously. Always.).

I just wanted to let you know that I love your writing style, and I think that you are an amazing person. Also, I hope that you find a way to get rid of those headaches once and for all.

I have been on Prozac for a little over a year (or maybe longer, it’s all a blur), and there are MANY days when I feel too tired to give a sh!t about anything. I hope that this illness from which you suffer one day goes the way of your extra weight – gone, baby, gone. Until that time, thanks for blogging so exquisitely about your hardships. Know that you’re definitely not alone.

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BB • January 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Yep, it’s not fun. It seems to be everywhere. I’m having it too. Just keep doing all the right things and you’ll get through it.

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bb • January 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Yep, it’s everywhere these days. I’m having it too. Just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll get through it. My best to you.

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Alecia • January 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Props on your honesty! It’s a twisted comfort to know that you’re not the only one. Hugs and empathy~

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Jess • January 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I just came across your blog for the first time. I can definitely relate with the depression & feeling tired all the time. For some reason people think it’s just something you can snap out of. Hopefully the med tweaking will help and you start to feel a bit better soon. I’ll be here to support you along your journey.

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Deanna - The Unnatural Mother • January 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I read this and want to scream “FUCK”, just for you, I can only sympathize with you regarding the headaches, and empathize with you about the depression, it sucks big time. Man, oh man, you and Roni are just my favorite cats on the block, so honest and real. Thank you for putting yourself out there, and I sincerely hope you find that light at the end of the tunnel. Know that you do have a support system cheering you on!! Keep on keeping on!

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Melina • January 7, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I come from a family that has been plagued and devastated by depression. Just to let you know I really do know what it feels like. Now, in the second generation, we’re all plugging along, some doing better than others, but all managing to cope with our own unique tools.

Two thoughts:

1. Best thing I ever heard about depression: “Depression is anger turned inward.” This short sentence has completely changed how I view depression, how I deal with my own. and how I help and relate to the depressed people in my life.

2.Chronic pain is exhausting. It’s enraging. It’s unfair. Who among us wouldn’t be depressed if we’d expended so much effort, turned our lives around in such a wonderful, unique way, then gotten slammed down by an endless, painful illness. Worst of all…you know it has a definite cause, and a specific cure…you just don’t know what they are, and can’t find anyone who does. To quote an old friend of mine, “That would make me want to chew nails and spit rust.”

I’m astonished at what you’ve achieved under such brutal conditions. I so hope that one of these days you find some relief from the chronic pain. Sometimes the 134th “cure” turns out to be the one that works…it’s just such a long road. All my best wishes…

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CorporateWench • January 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I get it. And I also get how no one else gets it. I’ve lived with chronic pain for going on 8 years (yay for fibromyalgia) and have battled depression off and on since my late teens. How do you make people understand that *breathing* is exhausting some days? How do you motivate yourself to exercise/cook/be social when everything hurts and you feel like you might collapse from fatigue? (Email me if you figure it out – I could use the tips. And I promise I won’t send your name to Nigerian spammers.) It sucks – and sometimes the only thing you can do is go back to bed (even if it’s only 9 a.m.) and tell yourself that tomorrow is another day. (That’s not advice! I swear!)

As an aside, I’ve been following your blog for about a year now, and I thoroughly enjoyed your book. Your bi-weekly thoughts on life and its imponderables is frequently the bright spot in my day :)

Rooting for you!

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Cindy • January 8, 2010 at 1:04 am

Jennette, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It’s a lot to deal with. No advice, just good wishes for healing. You are smart, you’re funny, you’re resourceful … you will find a way through.

Best wishes,

Cindy

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Shaunta • January 8, 2010 at 1:31 am

I’ve never had an ongoing headache. But I just wrote a huge long post on my blog about being tired. I know exactly what you mean. So tired that nothing works. For me it’s gluten. I’m sure someone has mentioned gluten to you, so I won’t suggest anything for fear of Nigerian spammers.

Here’s to hoping you feel better soon. As a counselor I tell my clients to remember that depression is a state of mind and not an acurate gauge of the state of their lives. As a person, I know that doesn’t help a whole lot in the moment.

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Cara • January 8, 2010 at 1:48 am

I just wanted to let you know you’re my “hero”. After stumbling across your blog and book, I decided to take my life back!! My husband and I have gained a LOT of weight since we got married. I love to cook! Also, I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, so inability to exercise regularly combined with my genetic predisposition towards fatness – well, let’s just say I was hovering at the 300 lb mark for a while. But after reading your blog (I seriously sat down and read entry after entry, soaking it all in) I decided that if you could do it, so could I. I just started the SBD – have a long ways to go, but I’m already down 15 lbs and am cautiously optomistic!! The fact that my hubby and his parents are doing the diet with me is helping a lot. And since I’m a bridesmaid in my sis-in-law’s wedding in 6 months, I gotta stick to it big time! I’m NOT going to stand up in front of a church full of people oozing out of some tent!!! So, all that to say — thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You’re my inspiration – and if it’s okay with you, I’d like to pray for you. Having chronic pain and dealing with subsequent depression is something I know VERY well – keep going!!!

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julei • January 8, 2010 at 6:22 am

Thank you for opening up on your blog..im there with you too…and i have 2 children who i am being a terrible mother to for it also..i get even more depressed thinking of how i am messing up thier childhood from always being so negative and down . im TRYING to get help but having a hard time finding it..i have not much of a support system so im kinda isolated..i got a Wii fit and am doing the 30 day challenge..its a good start but my eating is out of control too..just wanted to say you are not alone and im glad you shared now i know i am not alone :)hang in there!

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MB • January 8, 2010 at 9:36 am

I hope changing your meds helps. Having chronic pain is brutal.

I am just realizing how miserable and depressed I’ve been the last year+ now that I’m out of the soul sucking job and getting my life back.

I hope you have a headache-free 2010.

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Ardenmare • January 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Dumb question: In addition to the headache/depression/etc., do you find it harder to eat right since you’ve been working at home? I was being considered for a telecommuting job which sounded fantastic, but my biggest worry about it was that I wouldn’t have that rigid 8-5 workday to keep my eating on schedule. I get really erratic on the weekends and end up eating crap when I forget to eat on schedule. I was bummed that I didn’t get the job, but feel like a wacko for being relieved that my diet is still safe for now at the cube farm!

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Annette • January 9, 2010 at 10:36 am

Unfortunately I feel that if you have depression, it is not curable, but it can be managed. Unfortunately, you have to have motivation to manage it and then the vicious cycle begins. I am so sorry. I am somewhat in your boat. I have lost 70 pounds and have gained back almost 30 pounds. I still exercise, but not as intensively as before as now I have chronic foot issues (DUH, a 190 pound runner should have foot problems, but I do like to run). And although I don’t have a constant headache, I do have teenagers who have decided to try their hand in the drug scene so I have many obstacles. However, Ms. Fulda, if we accomplish our goals in the time of struggle, may be it will all be more worthwhile. I just have not figured out how to do it yet, but I will not stop trying every day. Good Luck. I am soooooo wish that you accomplish your goals this year and you be one of the ones that keep it off for GOOD.

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Anon • January 10, 2010 at 1:49 am

Hello there,

i used to read your blog obsessively, like, I read the whole thing from day one at work two years ago when I was eating out of control, deeply depressed, and paralyzed to take any action aside from thinking about and promising to do something later, Monday, new years, etc. I did end up finding a solution in 12 step recovery that went beyond losing weight to finding th tools to change how I deal with life and myself. I had been on meds for years, and am now off them for six months, have lost significant weight, and am not spending all my mental energy worrying about my weight, wanting to eat, etc. If you ever want to hear more about my experience please do get in touch.

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budicca • January 11, 2010 at 8:52 am

@Monster Soprano – Please, please tell me where these volunteer nurses and doctors are who work as a team to help people with difficult-to-diagnose/treat illnesses!!

I have surely never heard of them, and if they exist, imagine they would be the most sought out group of people on the planet.

The idea that there are diagnostic Dr. teams (House, MD, anyone?) that will work until they correctly diagnose you, for either the amount your insurance is willing to pay them, or something the average person could afford, seems an unrealized dream.

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Karen • January 13, 2010 at 4:46 am

OMG this is uncanny… I’m a 29 year old Australian girl and reading this post the further I got through the more I just kept thinking “this is me!”

The tiredness all the time, the depression, the struggling to stay motivated even when I KNOW what I should be doing to get where I want, even the headache (although thank god mine aren’t constant, but have been known to go weeks at a time without a break from them).

If you ever find the answers I’d love to hear them!

Anyhow, I got my “somebody else out there gets it!” moment reading your blog, so thought I’d let you know it really isn’t just you. And Thanks :)

K

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Lora • January 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Hi, Jeannette,

I haven’t read your blog in quite some time and I see there is a lot of catching up to do!

I am sorry you are going through a rough time and I hope you will find the solution.

Take care.

Your Beantown Buddy,

Lora

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anji • January 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm

I had chronic pain for 6 years. I still have pain now and again…but, it finally subsided enough to allow me to have somewhat a normal life.

I’m even joining the army now, haha! So… things have the potential to get better. One day, I just had to say f#&@-it, and live my life.

I was tired. Exhausted. Drained… of being tired, exhausted, drained and in pain.

I absolutely UNDERSTAND.

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Johanna • January 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Could it be this kind of depression:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atypical_depression

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Melissa • January 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Chronic illness is the pits, as is depression, its frequent sidekick.

Until I experienced this myself, I never understood it, and even at the worst of my illness I still felt guilty and down on myself for regaining 35 lbs of weight, and being a lazy slob.

It hasn’t been until recently, following the surgery that luckily cured my illness, that I’ve even really truly realized the degree to which my illness was the direct cause of all the crappiness of the previous year. Not how I dealt with my illness, but the illness itself. (I’m still alive, ain’t I? So clearly I dealt with it just fine.)

I hope you find a way to manage your illness, treat your depression, and get back on track to feeling like a fully-functioning human again.

That’s what’s important, even if you never lose another pound.

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Heather • January 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Word on depression = exhaustion. Mine hit during pregnancy and postpartum, and since I had never experienced it, I just assumed this is what everyone was talking about when they said they were tired. What I meant was I was TIRED TIRED TIRED. Like, 10 hours of sleep and FREAKING EXHAUSTED all the time.

Anyway, enough about me. I hope you’re feeling better soon!

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gypsy525 • March 15, 2010 at 12:30 am

@PastaQueen – I’m so sorry that your going through such a hard time. I wouldn’t wish depression on anyone. I have suffered from depression since I was about 9 or 10 years old and depression and anxiety run in my moms side of the family. even though 12 years of thearapy did not cure me, if you find the right thearapist it can help. That and find even one person or thing to concentrate on to pull you through the pain, lonelyness, and despair. Mine is my 4 children and my husband without them I don’t know what i would do. just remember you are special, grab on to life and fight like hell.

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Shaneequa • April 17, 2010 at 5:13 am

I’ve been a longtime lurker. Your comment about pseudoephedrine brought me out of the shadows. I have never watched Glee, but I am entertained as hell at that story line. I have been using Claritin-D as my own personal crutch for 2 years now. If the kitchen is clean, thank Claritin-D. If the laundry is done, thank Claritin-D. Don’t thank me, because I am lazy as hell. It’s probably unhealthy, and you are most certainly right to think that contemplating abuse of cold medicine is a good sign you could be depressed. There was really no point to this comment, I was just amazed by the new light shining on my dirty little secret.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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