Outback Overflight kicks off. I'm sitting at JFK, waiting to board a JetBlue flight for LAX. Flight to Sydney is Tuesday July 1st. Was surprised and relieved when I left work on Friday - I've been getting more and more stressed about the upcoming flying (which is sort of normal for me, whenever I'm about to do things I haven't done before). But when I left work, my stress level dropped massively. Turns out I was mostly misinterpreting work stress. When I left, my brain emptied of work things in that euphoric way it does when you quit a job and realize how much of your emotional and rational capacity is being taken up by things that don't directly involve you and your life.
One other really cool thing happened this morning. I've been trying to lose enough weight to be under 300 lbs by the trip, having started at around 348 on March 1st. It was ambitious. Early on, I was on a trajectory to do it, but I had hit a couple of plateaus, and the past three weeks have been fairly bad. I've learned to just continue on when plateaus hit - they have, every time, eventually (and suddenly) broken. But this one was long; they've been getting longer as I lose weight. This one broke a few days ago (Monday) and I dropped from around 310 to around 305 early in the week. I was prepped for the bounceback; yesterday, I was 302.1. I figured I had a small chance of losing the rest in Los Angeles before Tuesday, but it was a moral victory anyway.
Got on the scale this morning. 299.5.
Fuck me, I did it. I'm a licensed pilot, I'm on my way to fly the Australia trip I've been dreaming of for at least five years, and I have lost 60 lbs from my high weight - and 48 in the past 4 months.
I'm looking back on my depression over the past ten years, and this - this right here, this feeling, this moment - this is the feeling I would dream of and consider unattainable. Reaching for it anyway was the hardest fucking thing I've ever done in my life. Ever.
Standing - not on the top, but up the side of the mountain, still looking down at the valley - I feel that no matter what else happens, I've done something I can be proud of.
Thank you to everyone who gave me support, advice, sympathetic ears, or just tolerated me during this period. I'm not magically a better person; I'm not 'no longer depressed' - I've learned depression is a life condition.
But I'm on my feet, and I'm managing it - and I know now from experience what I can do.
You are all awesome.
-The Custodian, JFK Airport Terminal 5, 12 noon 6/28/2014