Sunday, September 9, 2007

Please make it better

Pushing through life. Effort. It takes so much effort to get through the day lately. I'm exhausted. I'm sad. Really sad. I don't feel well physically. I think I've made a more-than-reasonable attempt to clean up my life, but I'm still not getting my return on investment.

A while back, I got a pedicure and the nail tech was gonzo Jesus-happy. She had just read the latest Oprah-endorsed inspiration fest, The Secret. She insisted that if I would just accept Jesus into my life (sorry, not taking any deity applications right now) and focus on what I want to bring into my life, it would happen. If I just click my heels together three times and understand that I have the power, all will be right in my world! Norman Vincent Peale was right!

Um, it's not working. Despite the doctors, the therapist, and the ungodly amounts of medication, I still have bipolar disorder. I keep visualizing my brain being free of this defect, this burden, but I must be doing something wrong because my hard work and eager anticipation of positive results has yielded nothing so far. Nothing. OK, minor improvments, but not enough to declare the effort a success.

I'm tired. I'm sad. I'm so fucking busy, I can't seem to come up for air. How many people have said to me, "just keep busy. Don't think about yourself so much. Find something worthwhile to do." I believe I fit the definition of busy. I'm sure I'm doing things that are worthwhile to someone. I'm still sad, though. Still exhausted. Still finding it hard to connect with the world.

I went to the doctor a few days ago. I've had a sore throat for three months, but last week it was so bad, I could barely swallow. I felt like I was being poked in the neck with a sharp stick. I felt that perhaps it was just going to go away, but when it didn't I finally admitted it was time to see my family practice guy.

Here's what happened. He told me I'm not sick, but I am fat. He checked my neck and said it wasn't swollen, it was just fat. The doctor told me to exercise. I told him I'm too exhausted to exercise. He told me I'm not exhausted, I'm depressed. And fat. He was really focused on the fat thing. I pointed out a weird and uncomfortable skin eruption covering my throat and part of my chest. The doctor checked it out and said it was a fungal infection that I got because I'm fat and that if I weren't fat, my skin would stay cooler and not be so prone to rashes.

The doctor went on to tell me that I need to exercise. Not just exercise, but put in an hour a day of "heavy, sweaty intense aerobic exercise." This is equivalent to telling me I should make the trip up Mount Everset on a daily basis. I explained to the doctor that he had given me the same advice about four years ago. At that time, I joined the YMCA and literally tried to work my ass off. Instead of just envisioning a better me, I worked. I put in 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer every day. Every once in a while, I cooled off by putting in another 30 minutes on the rowing machine. Four days a week, I grunted my way through Body Pump classes. When, after 18 months, it appeared that my new body wasn't emerging, I sought the services of a succession of personal trainers, but to no avail. Eventually I realized my body wasn't going to change, plus I had to accept that I had been soundly defeated by my moods, and I commenced a life on anti-depressants and mood stabilizers.

I have no empirical evidence that vigorous exercise, positive thinking, or psychotropic medications will change my body for the better. Could my diet be better? Yes, but in my own defense, my diet is better than that of most Americans. I eat too much fat and sugar but I believe I would feel even worse without these things. I don't eat fried food, snack foods, meat, most dairy products that contain fat, donuts, bagels, chips, fast food, or much crap at all. I do, however, hear the siren's song of chocolate, peanut butter, cheese, cookies, and low-fat ice cream. These things bring me comfort.

I hate exercise. I don't enjoy it and never have, no matter how positive an attitude I've tried to maintain, no matter what activity I've tried. In my opinion, exercise ranks just one notch above algebra and eating portobello mushrooms. I have been known to just burst into tears in the middle of a workout because I was that miserable.

The cherry on top of this mess is that I am homely. I'm not plain, I'm not just unattractive, nor are my looks unique or a little off. Fat, ugly, really bad hair, little eyes, huge forhead, acne, little chin, and a weird shape. On top of that, I am depressed, prone to irrational mood swings, a compulsive talker, and often a flaky idiot.

I have tried to pursue a life of self-improvement, but age just makes me even worse every year. So, can somebody else please fix this for me? Take these burdens and make them go away. Knock me out and wake me up when I am no longer fat, ugly, awkward, or afflicted. I can't do it any more, even if it is against medical advice to give up.

Giving up is looking pretty appealing right now.


CharleyS said...

Exercise = algebra and portabello mushrooms.

God that's genius. You're fantastic.

May Voirrey said...

And yet, I was being totally serious.

A fan! I have a fan!