When Good Diagnoses Go Bad

Sometimes when I’m desperate that people know “I used to be skinny, I swear” I’ll often jump right into telling them how when I got my bipolar diagnosis they threw a bunch of drugs at me that made me gain a lot of weight very quickly. Also I started using a steroidal nasal spray (that no one told me not to use every day for 2 1/2 years) around the same time.

My appetite soared, I got more busy with my professional life, I got married and moved out, and suddenly I’m 60-70 (ish? timelines are hard) pounds heaver than I’ve ever been.

Even my fingers got fat. I look at my hands and I have slobby fat person hands. 10% of my clothes still fit, and I’m constantly wondering just how my thighs compare to all the other thighs. Who has the bigger thighs? Life’s biggest question. (I do. Easy answer.)

Now I’m looking at old selfies I had taken back at the weights I wish I still was wondering how the fuck I didn’t just enjoy it (because eating disorders), and I’m realizing that this recovered/fat me just isn’t sustainable.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it, and I’m going to do my best to not fall back into the super-disordered behaviors, but I’m so full of self hatred I could scream. Bipolar made me fat.

Also my school life is shit and work life is hard and personal life is 50/50 shit/hard and I just. And I just.

LESS THAN A WEEK UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY and I don’t feel festive at all. Goddamn life circumstances.

Criticizing Nostalgia

*Contains BMI-related numbers. I don’t normally make trigger warning announcements, but I also do not usually mention my own BMIs. Do with my warning what you will.*

Admonishing my reverie for my bathroom scale’s golden days. The slightest of gravitational strains. The purest state of ingesting.

I have never been truly sick. That is to say, I’ve never been “on death’s door” because of my eating disorder. I’ve only ever flirted with the idea of living dangerously. My blood tests and vertigo were terrible. My pallor profound and my eating only precise. But I always skated away when doctors and therapists started to wonder. Dodged and ducked my way into an EDNOS diagnosis and unmonitored food trays during most of my psychiatric ward stays. That’s good, right? It’s kind of bad. It’s bad-good. They didn’t even make sure I didn’t purge. *high five?!?

I’ve only ever maintained a normal or slightly under normal weight. BMI of 17, rest in peace. Now that I’m fat and old I can’t help but look back and miss it. I don’t miss the crying and the late night, long-winded workouts before I was old enough for my own gym membership. I don’t miss passing out or almost getting caught sneaking out to the gym.

That’s right. At 15ish I snuck out to go the gym. When I wasn’t secretly boozing. Ahem.

When I could see my ribs and my hipbones protruded too much to lie on my belly at night I didn’t even get to appreciate it. Even a few years back when I was BMI 21 I didn’t have a belly “pooch” wearing spandex running clothes and I could wear TANK TOPS without hating my life. TANK TOPS. And shorts. Ugh, I miss shorts.

And swimming! Haven’t swam in years. Last time was in a gym. Before that?…. I don’t even remember. Probably childhood.

Even when I met the standard for “thin” I thought I was too big for the world. But I guess that’s usually in people with a literal disease preventing them from knowing their relative size.

Did you know there’s a euphoria that can come with not eating as much as you should? No wonder eating disorders (restriction, mostly) are such a slippery slope after recovery.

None of this was supposed to mean much. I just wish I could go back in time with a decent body and/or get skinny again.

Damnit.

Of Broccoli and Manic Episodes

Why can’t I be the type of mania that volunteers at assisted living facilities? Or soup kitchens? Why can’t I be the type of mania that cleans every dish in the house? Why can’t I be the type of superfreakspazmanicbitchmachine that does something FUCKING WORTHWHILE instead of the kind that spends too much money and overeats?! And then PLANS DIETS. WHY WHY WHY.

 

Buy a new tote to carry snacks in, that’ll help you lose weight. Buy a new gym bag. Buy new gym clothes! Buy vitamins! Buy pre-workout! Buy ALL THE SNACK FOOD! BUY ALL THE VEGETABLES THAT WILL GO BAD BEFORE YOU EVER REMEMBER YOU HAVE THEM BECAUSE YOU WERE A MANIC PSYCHO WHEN YOU BOUGHT THEM.

 

Jesus, self. You’re BROKE. GET IT TOGETHER. And you wonder where your money goes. Because you space out. Do you have manic episodes? No. you have grocery shopping episodes. Those are normal. But control be DAMNED. You WILL get your act together.

 

Things will get better once you’re skinny. Trust me. 

 

(Why does it always go back to third person? Oh yeah.)

 

I fucking hate me.

Louder Than Words

I had few healthy ways of dealing with high school life. By high school life, I mean life. By had few healthy ways, I mean have no healthy ways. Basically, I’m reiterating the fact that my coping skills suck and I’m not a good writer and I’m close to giving up.

(Flawless introduction, I know.)

A mix of hating whatever string of words fell out of my mouth (or pen or keyboard or whatever), and having a lot of issues left me desperate to find an outlet. Blank notebook pages have always been an inspiration for me, and though I hated my writing skills, my stick figure skills allowed me to start my “visual journaling”.

I had a very particular brand of notebook, sets of pens, markers, and crayons, and had very specific rules for dating content and how I best utilized the pages. Other than these rules I set, it was anything goes.

I had better luck expressing thoughts, or moods I guess, through visuals. I was proud of almost all those pictures. Some pages had words to help express my feelings, other pages had no words, and every now and then I had a page full of words.

Then, my already pretty-bad depression got even worse, so I burned all the notebooks and told myself I’m an unartistic loser head and put down imagery for almost 6 years. My most recent therapy session helped remind me of how useful of an outlet it was. So I’m kind of back into it. I made 4 “entries” the first night.

Hopefully it’ll be therapeutic again. That’d be cool. (The power of the stress compels me.)

Some Weird Feelings

So, I think it’s well known through this blog that I have had a few issues with mental stuff. Mental stuff being a very broad term meant to encompass the eating disordered stuff, the anxiety stuff, the depression stuff, the psychosis stuff, and the mania stuff, and all that other stuff. All of it’s been a part of my life for a while now, and that’s not all bad. I’ve learned a lot about the brain and how it works, so that’s led to a better understanding of my own self which is nice. Luckily, the past couple years they haven’t been so overbearing because I got help and a support system that works for me (Thanks Matt and Mickey!). This introduction is shit.

What I was going to talk about is how it’s been since 2010/2011 since I’ve been on brain medicine of any kind, other than the occasional Xanax. The last batch was a group of 12 pills including SSRIs, anticonvulsants for mood stabilization, sleeping pills, antianxieties broadly, antipsychotics, and duplicates… There were a lot. So, just this month when my doctor suggested I take a medicine again it was kind of an odd thing to process. I am all for taking medicine when your brain needs it. Obviously, I know depression and other mental stuffs are real, so it didn’t bother me to take it, and it didn’t make me feel weak or less capable necessarily. It just kind of felt like I could go back to that sick spot in my mind again. It was scary for a few days.

I’m not sure what I’m complaining about. To my doctor, I expressed my frustration with my inability to focus and make sentences go together and do homework and not forget everything. She contributed it to my anxiety, so I’m taking prescribed Xanax and Lexapro now for its antianxiety stuff. It’s weird being medicated again. I guess I’m just not sure how I feel about it. I know I’m better off than I was last time I was medicated. Where am I going with this? Maybe my stupid way with words isn’t part of my anxiety. Maybe I’m just dumb. Sure does feel like it sometimes.

On a lighter note, I wrote a 4 1/2 page paper in 2 hours this week and I was so proud. Research papers are 230948% better than having-to-have-an-opinion papers.

Happy Wednesday, friends. Stay sunshiney.