Despair and Euphoria














Recently I’ve had a difficult time figuring out who I am. I feel like my life is a constant state of change, and so many elements are beyond my control. When I am in a depressive episode (nearly a year now), I have a hard time focusing on the positive traits I possess. I know I have many attributes that are admirable…it just seems like I can’t admire them in myself. Despite my greatest efforts, I find myself drowning in despair nearly every day.

I have felt so unattractive for so long. While focusing on improving my mental health and self image this year, my eternal quest for weight loss has fallen by the wayside. Other than a brief few months in high school while on Phen-Fen, I’ve always been overweight or obese. I now weigh the most I ever have, well surpassing the “Not in a million years!” weight I set for myself. I actually have no idea of my exact weight at the moment…my digital scale now reads the “ERR” error message. I have very few clothing items in which I feel confident, and little money to buy something new. It takes me so long to find ANYTHING that fits correctly, and I never seem to have the money to purchase something I finally find that works.

I have only found a few things that have made me feel happy…supportive words and good conversation, affection, the beauty of the outdoors, and time with my loved ones.  But when I wallow in the depths for so much time, I find myself seeking things that not only make me happy…I want things to make me feel euphoric. The things that make me feel euphoric…food, sex, travel and concerts. Travel and concerts find themselves into my budget more than most people, but I can’t tell you how happy I feel after I’ve gotten home. Sex…well, when you’re married to a man who is gone 2/3 of the month…you get the idea. So I’ve heavily relied on food to feel euphoric. And in the end, I weigh 50 pounds more than I did last April.

A few days ago, I took the above cell phone picture of myself for Taylor. I sent it off to him via text, and forgot about it till last night. I kept looking and looking at it…not believing it was me. After so many months of being on the edge of hating myself, it was an incredible ego boost to see a picture of me where I looked attractive and beautiful. It was a glimpse of the innate Nicole that I feel so rarely that her image was almost an enigma. After cropping out the scandalous lingerie I was wearing in the photo, I’m sharing this Nicole with you.

I am Nicole. I am talented. I am passionate. I am strong. I am a survivor. I am ambitious. I am tolerant. I am devoted. I am unique. I am sexy. I am conscientious. I am spiritual. I am considerate. I am wise. I am empathetic. I am intelligent. I am a loyal. I am silly. I am intuitive. I am enthusiastic. I am accomplished. I am compassionate. I am generous. I am witty. I am creative. I am flexible. I am skilled. I am assertive. I am hard-working. I am grateful. I am eclectic. I am artistic. I am diligent. I am resourceful. I am resilient.

But most of all….I am honest. Thank you for caring enough to share my struggles and offer support.

  • The last main paragraph is the key. You are all those things and more.

  • Jan

    Hay, Maybe I should trip out there one of these days. You can see how you’ll feel in twenty years when you hit perimenapause….menapause….peri menapause …..menapause……lol!!! U rock honey! We’ll have to get together one of these days. I have a BLM protest trip planned out to Nevada in the summer, maybe then? I’m not one to ever say it could be worse because I detest when people say it to me. Of course it can always be worse but that’s irrelevant! LOL!!! Keep writin’ …. lots of us are readin’! Now, where did I put that pill keeper…not the travel one….the one that I sort out for the whole month…you know the one that holds all ten pills for the day? ; )

  • Great post, and a good reminder. Why do we always focus on our worst qualities and not our best?

  • Funny you should mention menopause/perimenopause…because I think that’s part of what I’m dealing with as well. Depression+loneliness= You better watch out! Please come visit! Florida is on my list of upcoming trips…but I’ve got a guest bedroom ready for whenever you want to come.

  • I think there’s a part of every person, especially women, that feels like the confidence to point out our best attributes is prideful or selfish. I am seeing more and more that it’s vital to emotional survival.

  • Jan

    PS…..OMG!!!! WILL SOMEONE PLEASE ASK WHY VIRGIN ATLANTIC FELT IT WAS NECESSARY TO PUT ON AN INFOMERCIAL FOR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS CALLED FLY GIRLS???? Gimme a break!!! What a loser show!! Please girls, aspire to be higher than that. Fly the plane or be an air traffic controller and tell them when, where, how high and how fast to fly!! And if you DO want to be a flight attendant…remember your job is the safety of the passengers, NOT being a waitress! It’s not glamorous. You wear your hair in a ponytail all the time and your uniforms made of POLYESTER will make you have rashes in the summer time!!! Hava nice flight. I will now return control to Captain Nicole. Thanx for flying Insanity of Vanity Airlines!

  • This was lovely, Nicole. I’m sorry you’ve been going through such a rough time.

  • Anonymous in Ann Arbor

    don’t forget “beautiful” :o)
    I’m so glad that you were able to capture a glimpse of the truth in yourself…the person that God made and the person that God sees. Satan knows all your weaknesses and will fill you up with lies to keep you down. Praying for you.

  • Nicole, your sweet and have friends all over the place your smart and full of life, and you have lot’s to be thankful for; hang in there, we all think your awesome! Just remember we all have something we’re not too excited about ourself but only a rare few will share it so publically. (I really didn’t know that was you in the picture. I was trying to convince myself (with your blue eyes and hair) it’s a great shot.

  • Amy

    Nicole, I love your posts you so eloquently write so many of the things I feel myself. I can honestly say I know what you are going through, however, I can’t imagine not having my husband here daily and I’m sure that is very difficult, but the other stuff…I get that. God bless you on this journey.

  • So, so honest. Wow. I wish I had the chops to be THAT honest. ActuallyI’ve tried before and people have gotten after me for being too honest…on my own blog….good grief! Why do I care?! That pic of you is gorgeous, but now that i know you were wearing negligee I can’t look at it without getting a little pink in the cheeks. haha!

    Brave post by a brave lady!

  • (Evelyn is funny!)

    I’m glad you can see your great attributes. You are so personable. I loved it when you came over to visit. Not very many people offer to come over to a near-stranger’s home. You are welcome back (if you can get through I-15). Very nice picture, you are photogenic in all your shots.

  • Coral Jolee

    My dearest friend Nicole-
    All the qualities that you have published are your greatest assets, they make you the most beautiful, gorgeous, vivacious, amazing woman on the PLANET!!!!! You have been one of my heros for years!!! (yes, I said years) Unlike you I do not have nearly the accomplishments you have.
    All I wanted to say is that this is just a test, you are a traveler, on a journey, try reading the journey of Psalms of Ascents. (Starting at Psalms 122) They should help you get through this journey and give you comfort.
    I love you, and will send lots of prayers your way through my prayer teams.
    Coral Jolee

  • great post as usual!

  • This blog post touched on so many of the things I have been feeling. But I REALLY do think you are beautiful! Your daughter is beautiful too. We probably weigh about the same.

    Thanks for writing this post because it reminds me to look for the positive in myself. The only negative thing is I am morbidly obese… too bad a lot of people focus on that more than they do one what is inside.

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