If you follow my social media (which I assume most reading this blog must, as it’s updated exponentially more often) you may have noticed me pulling back or posting cryptically over the last two days. There are a few reasons for that, but the main one is that I’d been waiting to hear back on some test-results from my doctor (newly-acquired, along with my new health insurance). The tests came back today, and… well, it wasn’t great news.
I have what’s called Type 2 Diabetes.
Briefly: No, this isn’t (in most cases and mine) the “needle of insulin daily” Diabetes. This is a less-dangerous, manageable condition that presents basically the same symptoms – or, at least, thats my understanding of the matter, I’m really still learning. The bottom line is, I’m sick. Which is a place I never wanted to be, which scares the hell out of me and which has left me feeling beaten, depressed and (most of all) mad at myself because I’m keenly aware that it’s my own fault.
Here’s the thing: 3 years ago when I moved into my current apartment, one of the things I resolved to do was lose weight and get in shape – I had to budget myself, and I figured cutting down on food/snacks/etc would be a win-win for my wallet and my wasteline. Weight had been a problem of mine since High School, and through a combination of cutting down portions, avoiding excess carbs, not keeping sweets or soda around the house and a self-imposed exercise regimen of walking and lifting I tried to get a handle on it. I watched what I ate. I chugged water instead of anything sweet. I bought a bicycle and a heavy-bag and used both of them frequently.
And it worked. I dropped a bunch of weight (you can see the fluctuations across old OverThinker episodes) and felt great about myself. I never stopped being hungry all the time, never stopped wanting to eat a giant dish of lasagna or a full rack of ribs for dinner with cake and/or cookies for dessert (which took work, since I’m a decent-ish cook and can just MAKE that stuff if I wanted it badly enough) but I got there. I was productive, getting healthier, turning out more and better work than ever and making more time for family, friends and relationships.
Unfortunately, around the tail end of this same period, a family issue that had been building for far too long was starting to come to a head. The details are, with respect, not for the public – suffice it to say: If someone you love is doing something that is damaging to themselves and those around them, don’t wait to confront them about it until they’re so far gone that the things that need to be done to help them have to happen against their will.
So that went down. And then, shortly after (or, rather, in the midst of the rebuilding process) I lost my regular professional gig at The Escapist suddenly and without warning. The fallout from that has been getting better, thanks in no small part to the generosity of my fans, but remains unsure and a source of constant stress. And while this was going on… yeah, I got into a depression. That’s not to say that I HAVE Depression, but that I was regularly depressed. Down. Feeling bleak about the state of my life and my ability to escape it – like the man said, I don’t want to survive… I want to live.
And so I fell into the stupid trap of justifying lapses in any type of self-care that wasn’t altogether enjoyable. I couldn’t control the economy, or the lack of employment opportunities around me, or the behavior/misbehavior of loved-ones; but I could control my leisure time and my food. So I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, in the portions I wanted. And I stayed home and slept late and did anything but exercise for fun.
I gained back my weight and then some, I lost energy, and now here I am.
Thus far, it mostly… “existentially” sucks. The idea of self-improvement is something I’m all about, but I sort-of loathe the idea of it happening out of medical-necessity instead of self-drive. I love food, particularly the sort that helped get me here, and I find myself literally tearing-up at the thought of potentially having to cut certain things out of my life entirely. I know that sounds pathetic in general and especially in light of people starving elsewhere etc., but… yeah, that’s going to be rough. Walking through the supermarket to the pharmacy to get my new medications today felt like a surreal hell: Cookies, pastry, sherbert… will I ever get to enjoy them without thinking about blood sugar and medicine?
The good news is, it’s a manageable and (in my case) potentially beatable condition, under the circumstances. I’m on medication, have a regular physician and an appointment with both a condition-specific counselor and a nutritionist (NONE of which I’d have without insurance, which I wasn’t be able to afford before Obamacare, FYI) and with that plus the necessary changes in lifestyle I intend to beat this thing. I’m not terribly fond of my own mortality (one reason I’m 999% pro-science in almost all circumstances: I want that brain-in-robot-body/cloned-replacement-parts near-immortality shit in MY lifetime) and I certainly don’t plan to die early.
So… that’s what’s going on with me. I’m aware that I’m opening myself to a lot of “what’d you expect, fatty?” from the usual suspects, but the fact is I’m not good at separating my “public persona” from what’s actually going on with me, and I don’t want my profile to become a mess of cryptic allusions to “life changes” and “doctors.” I have a condition, I’m working to overcome it, the end.
Where this effects you, the fans? Hopefully, not at all. Ideally, this shouldn’t prevent me from doing my job as I have been and seeking out more of it to do as well. GAME OVERTHINKER will continue. IN BOB WE TRUST will continue. THE MOVIEBOB PATREON is still up, running and appreciates your continued support. And fans should stay tuned to OverThinker this weekend especially, for some teases about upcoming October programming that should make long-time fans very happy.
This is not going to beat me, and one of the reasons for that is that I’ve promised my fans and followers cool stuff and hard work and don’t intend to let anyone down.
P.S. if nothing else, I’m in elite company: