Apr. 7th, 2013

jeanvieve: (Default)
Fat people like me (for over 20 years of experiencing it) don't really understand what it is like to be a skinny person. Fat people live in a world of silence and envy of those chic, lovely gazelles with their perfect perky derrieres and resent how they're just skinny with no effort. I was one of those fat people, living in that world, truly not believing in or understanding the world of the skinny girl because I'd never really been it.

Well, technically I was slender enough in high school. Not like the gazelles, mind, but I was active and eating at home so that mom's decently balanced food was more or less on par with my high school sports and marching band activities.

College started to see my decline, when I was eating on my own. I remember the box of cheese nips and 6-pack of coke being sustenance in a day while working. Oh yes. And I thought nothing of it - not realizing really how much I was shooting myself in the foot. I ate them, and was still filled with resentment at those pretty girls who, in my own weird brain, did nothing to stay so adorable. This wasn't helped by having for a while a roommate that was desperate to gain weight; she went on the dark beer, cheeseburger, and fries/corned beef hash diet only to fail to gain an ounce.

She led me astray, and I never knew it. What I learned later is that MOST of the skinny people fight every single day of their lives, trying to be skinny. How they feel their pants get tighter, and go on salad diets all unseen. Being thin for most, you see, isn't really a matter of genetics as it is choices on a daily basis. Of choosing to get out and move and fight to stay skinny. I had 10 full years of ignoring what I ate, and exercising only when it sounded like fun.

Today I read an article written in angry response to the '21 habits of happy people' slanted from the point of view of unhappy people, and a lightbulb turned on. Depression is a chemical game the same way fat can be. Your brain/body will, in fact, fuck with you. It fucks with me every time I get on a treadmill at precisely 20-25 minutes in, telling me that I've worked hard enough. I'm done. And doesn't chocolate sound nice? With caramel, yes. Why am I exercising? What's the point, when I'll still see basically the same thing on the scale tomorrow?

So I'm opening up to the deluge here: Dear depressed people - happy people are depressed too. Happy people have crappy days/weeks where they're stressed and pissy and want to tell those of you that only tell them sad/depressed things that you're killing little parts of their brain with your constant negativity. Happy people just learned how to cope with it all better. Happy people occasionally look at themselves in the mirror and despair. Happy people sometimes can't even manage to get fully dressed in a weekend, and really don't want to call any of you because they're down, and hearing about how crappy your life is makes their own seem worse because it's hard for them to be happy when everyone around them is in pity party mode.

Fuck you bitch, I can hear you say. You don't know what it's like in my chemically depressed brain. Don't I, I counter? I hate you all from January 1 to the time change late in March. I really do. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, make anything, or really get out of bed. In an ideal world I'd be fed by servants and helped from one nightgown into another without having to get up for months. I'd be a chronic invalid if I could figure out how to pull it off when the sun is gone.

But I plaster on a smile and I press on and I listen to the tribulations of others because, frankly, by faking it I make it through to when the sun comes out again. I know intellectually that my depression is just bad chemicals, and my brain is lying to me, and my body doesn't hurt as much as I think it does. Okay, sometimes it does. But that's only when it rains. And I realize that if THIS Is happiness, which it really is most of the time - that happiness is practice and making yourself think the right things even when you don't want to. Even when it's exhausting and seems pointless.

Being happy is just like being skinny by choice, when your family genes say you're going to be heavy and your brain chemicals say that you're doomed to fight depression. The fight never ends. Not the fight to be skinny, not the fight to be happy, not the fight to create beautiful things, not the fight to have wonderful people in your life. Life, good life, requires effort. All of it requires me to sometimes put on pants. And I read the 21 habits of happy people, and I laugh at the 21 tips to avoid depression, and I realize they're exactly the same thing with more comedy to get the spirits up.

So there it is. My version of truth. I am open to you saying I'm wrong a thousand ways.


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