I want to talk to you about 2015. The year I ‘came out’ of the ex-Muslim closet to my family. I was depressed and had no idea how to cope with the emotional turmoil I was in. I remember my walk to work was 20 minutes. I used to have to sit and take a rest halfway as my legs felt like they were too weak to carry me. I realised this was lethargy - my body feeling like it isn’t strong enough to carry me. I used to sit on a wall halfway on my walk and cry thinking that I am in my 20s, why can’t I even manage this 20-minute walk!?
My life felt shit and food made me happy. My diet consisted of Greggs for lunch, and pizza in the evening. I did this almost every day, for 2 years (of course I would switch it up and get Wagamama or Nandos now and then). Needless to say, I piled on a few pounds (okay, it was stones). Honestly, I didn’t really care because nothing mattered to me at that point.
Flash forward to January 2021 (a lot happened in that 6 years – no one has time to read about that!) I was moving out of London!! Yay. I no longer lived somewhere where I spent my whole salary on rent, to live with 5 other people. I was living on my own. I had accepted the situation with my family and my symptoms of depression had started to lift (with help from Sertraline too). So here I was, heavier than I’d ever been and now that I had started caring again, I wasn’t feeling too great about it.
I started walking 30 mins to my new job, everyday. I was also cooking my meals most days. 6 weeks into my new job, lockdown hit. Now you’d think I would have gone back to my old ways, but honestly, I was so grateful to be away from the place I was (mentally and physically). I realised that now is the best time to work on myself. There were literally no distractions (apart from the world slowly crumbling around us all, but hey I couldn’t do anything about that). With help from a few Instagram accounts ran by Personal Trainers, I learned about NEAT, calorie deficits and why you should pick training programmes over random YouTube exercises.
Here we are in October 2021. I am walking at least 10k steps every day, working out at least 4-5 times per week (using the training programme I got from a PT!) and so much more aware of what I eat. I have come a long way from the girl who ordered 7 Uber Eats a week and couldn’t walk 20 minutes without needing a rest.
Do I feel great? LOL – nope, not at all. There is always going to be a hole in my life, something that should be there but isn’t. To clarify, I mean my family relationships, not the Uber Eats. But it isn’t all consuming anymore. I am prioritising myself and set myself small goals to work towards, which gives me focus and a sense of achievement.
Now here’s the bit people don’t like to hear. Research shows that over 50% of people who have had an episode of depression once, will have at least one more episode of depression in their life. This percentage increases with each episode. I have lost count of how many episodes I have already had, so basically, at some point, I am almost certain I will have another. But I will again pick myself up. Afterall, isn’t that what life is, finding ways to cope with the shit it throws at us?
So in summary I don’t think everything will be okay, but I think I will be okay(ish), and that’s okay.