Exercise is My Antidepressant

Yesterday was a wet and dark day. It’s that part of winter where you feel it will never end. It didn’t help my mood which sunk lower and lower into the afternoon and evening.

My husband has said many times that I will end up just living with my mother and being her caregiver and he belittled me for it. This is the image of me he keeps in his mind to justify that he is the only one having a “fresh start.” Also it helps him to justify why I am undeserving of half of his settlement.

He tells me, “I’m starting from nothing. I have to sponsor the girls.”

And I think, you’ve always had nothing since I’ve known you, but thanks to me I supported you for seven years and your children will now become American citizens.

I said, “Contrary to what you might think, I, too, am starting over and do not plan to live with my mother for the rest of my life.” It falls on deaf ears.

How dare he or anyone think they know what I want and what I’m capable of. This is the problem with my husband, he can be unbelievably motivating to people, but when he chooses to do so, he demoralizes you and writes you off. It was easy for him to do that to me. And I had never experienced it from anyone in my life. It caught me completely off guard and cut me to pieces.

I said to him yesterday, “You’re not the only one starting from nothing. I had a home. I had stuff. I have nothing now.” But he feels I’m too stupid and crazy to take seriously.

It’s bad enough to face that this marriage, a struggle from the beginning, is not only over, but that the ugly bits have just begun. I wish my website were up. I wish it was Spring. I wish my bankruptcy were behind me and my taxes all filed. I wish he’d move away.

I hate myself for missing him. I think I am quite stupid because when he hurts me with what he says on the phone, my heart hurts and I wonder why he would need to hurt me further. How can he take everything we once were and make it seem that it was nothing at all? Worse than nothing, even. I feel like a complete joke.

It’s his right to end the marriage. It’s not his right to hurt and humiliate me further.


I wrote the above last night and I was spiraling down fast. I even began to feel suicidal. I’m not sure why I thought of it, but I decided to find a pool. The pool I normally go to would normally be open, but it’s closed for two days for the swim meet. I went to another pool fifteen minutes away. I’d never been there before and it was dark and rainy out. I had to do something out of my comfort zone.

I walked in and just laughed. It has a huge wave pool and it’s Friday night and Valentine’s Day, so it had kids and families, but maybe not as many as usual? Beyond that is the lap pool, not swim meet regulation, but the same length as ‘my’ pool, 25 yards, I think. Not very deep, about chest level.

I got in at 7:30 p.m. and when I looked at the clock again it read 8:30 p.m. exactly. Then I spent ten minutes just cooling off.

I am so glad I went.

The first 20 minutes were hard but I pushed through it and got into the zone. I thought about my husband and I thought about my father’s ill health, and then I would shake those thoughts away and just count the lap with each stroke, four, four, four, four, all the way across, and then five, five, five, etc.

As I drove home I thought about stopping at the store for some chicken, but I thought it was too late to eat much, so I came home and had a piece of celery with natural crunchy peanut butter on it. Delish.

And from the moment I got out of the pool until now, although it might not be visible, I have the slightest Mona Lisa smile on my lips. If you can’t see it, it’s in my step and in my heart.

Exercise is my anti-depressant.

And I will exercise as much as I have to to escape these negative, destructive thoughts and feelings. They hurt me; they make me lose hope. I have to banish them.

I don’t know if I’ll try to find another pool today, but I might!

While I was researching pools I looked up the YMCA in the next town. It’s in the more affluent neighborhood so I had planned to go there after I was under 200 lbs, so that I could meet my next man. It appears their pool has four lanes (for 8 swimmers) and they have them organized from slow to fast. They also allow more than two people in a lane and I just would not like that.

I’ll bet I’m not the slowest, but I don’t do flip turns and I don’t like feeling like I’m competing. So I put off the YMCA for now. Ironically, the one day pass to the YMCA is $8.50, can you imagine? Jeez. I’m spoiled paying $35 a month to swim anytime. Even if I were paying for a one day pass in my neck of the woods, it would cost about $3.25.

I’m just so grateful, again, that the people in this community decided that pools and fitness centers were something worth investing in. When I reach my goal I’m going to send a letter to the Mayor to tell her.

When I was investigating other pools I found this Swimmer’s Guide website, which worked well. There are folks whose blogs I read who spend their spare time trying out new pools and I think that’s awesome. Here this UK swimmer blogs about trying out a NYC pool.

I’ve had my coffee and my mushroom toast and I don’t know what’s on my agenda today. I might experience another pool or the same one. I might see a movie later. I’ll do my best to keep busy.

I’m quite nervous about Weighday tomorrow. I have no idea if I will have gained, maintained, or lost. I was too unaware of my eating this week and hope I am now back to being focussed again.


2 responses to “Exercise is My Antidepressant

  1. I think that you swim for an hour is amazing. And your determination to find a place to swim when you need it shows what a strong woman you are. Keep putting that effort into yourself. It will pay off.

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