The Year In Review

Yeah, I didn’t have any trouble remembering this one. Last day of March and all; it’s an easy date to recall.

And as embarrassing as it was to overreact and become as frightened as I did, I know exactly what was going on. The fear of screwing up a good thing, taking grace on a silver platter and forgetting you ever had it, runs pretty deep in me, and with good reason.

Funny; I just thought of a moment when I was 19, a moment I remember vividly as being an opportunity I ran away from, and part of that opportunity actually involved me getting a silver platter. I still have it, probably.

Anyway, I went to the doctor a year ago today and got scared, sure I’d completely reversed years of trying to be a healthier person. That, or some pathology was winding its way through my system, which is really what I thought after those screwy lab tests came back. They were suspicious for all sorts of possible reasons, but actually represented a pretty simple one: I was just a little malnourished, particularly for an American of my age and status and everything else.

In fact, if you ignore all of my hand-wringing behavior and just look at the events, this is how scenarios like this are supposed to play out. People go through periods of depression, probably most of us. When you lose your appetite and sleep becomes a question mark on any given night, it’s time to see a professional.

And I understand – I’ve always understood – that losing interest in eating could be called a contemporary blessing. Nobody needs to be told that if you stop eating, you’ll lose weight. And losing weight is the American pastime.

I lost, on average, about a pound a week in 2016, although that didn’t start until the beginning of summer. A total of 42 pounds, from my visit the year before. I knew all about this. I have a scale and everything.

And it wasn’t all that scary, or it wouldn’t have been if it had happened with the intention of losing weight. Sure, ten pounds or so would be nice. Twenty would put me at what I thought was an ideal place, but I wasn’t counting on that. Or what happened, as far as that goes. Still, I had a Body Mass Index of just under 22 (below 20 is considered underweight, statistically), which is where plenty of healthy, active, and happy people live. If I’d started running and had been working toward the goal of running a marathon, it would have been nothing, just a nod in the direction of cause and effect.

This all worked out the way it was supposed to, then. I took a megadose of vitamin D for two months, then a regular dose every day, and probably for the rest of my life. I started an antidepressant that seemed to jolt my appetite back into gear and helped with sleep. I thought maybe that had some sort of effect on creativity, because I felt numb for months in that regard, struggling to find anything interesting to write about. To just think about.

But that seems to have lifted. And while you can certainly count me among the skeptics when it comes to antidepressants, this is an atypical sort and, y’know. There’s a pattern here. I’ve got a silver platter to prove it.

It was stupid. It was dangerous. I was crazy for a while, and wasn’t exactly all that intimate with reality, even though I saw it every day in the mirror.

And I didn’t get a platter, but this whole thing had a lining of the silver variety. My appetite is better but comes and goes, leading to light days and more indulgent ones; it seems to happen in weeks, in fact. I’ll have a busy week and I’ll drop a pound, then I’ll get nervous and focus on calories, resulting in the longest period of stability in terms of weight that I can remember as an adult, a sweet spot that hangs around 10 -15 pounds heavier than I was a year ago. Sweet because everything fits the way it’s supposed to, which is really the only thing I’m concerned about. The battle between too tight and too loose has been won by me, and at least for the moment I’ll take the victory and you can keep the platter, which is just a fancy word for a plate, anyway. I’ve got lots of plates. I plan on continuing to use them, too.

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