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.

But, You Know, Whatever.

My bones are cold. There’s a constant, aching chill, and find myself shivering then try to stop myself. But I can’t feel warm.

My jaw hurts from the pressures of keeping it together. The urge to sob and scream and burst into hysterics all mingled into my ready smile should someone look my way.

It’s always the corner of my eye. Or not so much the corner, but just barely beyond perceptibility. Dark shapes, light shapes. Metamorphosing into some terrible nightmare fodder. Humanoid, demanoid. “It’s just my imagination” I tell the slowly-growing shadow. My jaw aches.

I’m quick, though. They’ve always told me I have “wit.” So while in the company of others I laugh and I joke and wow so normal until a moment’s silence and I remember everything terrible that’s ever been and ever will be while the shape in the doorway grins at me and reaches out then I think of a clever response and get a few laughs.

Silence is painful. There’s a hum, and it’s not just from all the concerts. I know. It physically hurts. Drives me to tears when I wake at night. Because they’re trying to reach me. That faint hum before the speech, the dying to say what can’t be said and I’m afraid of what they’ll say. So I put the pillow over my head try and snuggle up to the warm mass who snores and moves away from me and I’m forever left alone in my head with these new ghosts and the old ghosts who won’t leave me to a moment’s peace.

When I drink my cheap, fruity liquor I’m too engrossed in my phone and trying not to have drunk face that it’s peaceful for a moment. But heaven forbid I have to pee or go somewhere else alone because they follow me and they take advantage of my fear and my tears and they laugh and I have to pretend I’m not scared out of my goddamn mind because no one likes a drama queen.

I’ve hallucinated before. It’s been years. And I’m terrified.

I’ve been desperately trying not to be so whiney or dramatic (hence the infrequent posts) and even to friends I’m like eh I’m depressed but whatever but damn it even as I type this they’re brushing me on the shoulder and trying to whisper in my ear and I shudder and try and remember where I was in my thought.

And I thought being coherent was difficult before.

Is this the bipolar? The dissociation? The stress? Have all the many, many, long years of too-frequent nightmares started following me into daily life, desperate to be heeded?

What the fuck is wrong with me?

It’s almost the anniversary of my last utter descent. Makes me think it’s bipolar. I made a promise it’s almost impossible not to think about. Even now my pants are sticking to my hips and my sleeve to my arms and my jaw hurts and my usual hurts hurt because everything hurts but it’s “just stress.”

But you know lol everything fine it’s good 🙂  how’re you?

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.

When I Used To Live In The Land Of Plenty

It wasn’t always easy to sneak upstairs. I knew everybody’s footsteps from being a basement dweller for 4 years by then, I just had to wait for someone to go disappear so I could make my move. Hurry up and go away so I can destroy myself.

Once the creaks and swipes from my parents or a foster-sibling subsided I’d make my move. I’d head upstairs quiet as can be and start by scoping out what was on the counter. Any leftover brownies, cake, or biscuits? Eat 1 or 2 of something from that category. Then go to the pantry. Eat something similar to a Fruit Roll Up, Gushers, or a Pop Tart. Then I’m prepared to search the fridge. Then I’m prepared to find something of substance that may actually fill me. Leftover pasta? Heat up the whole tupperware container. There’s nothing weird about me using the microwave right now, right? It’s just a late night snack.

Ok. Pasta is gone. Man that was good. Very filling. Not enough. Still hungry. Time for a soda and something SWEET need something SWEET to absorb the agony, yes that’s it. So I dutifully put the dishes in the dishwasher and scout further for something I can’t find. Where were those brownies or cake? Aren’t there any Reese’s in this joint? Jesus biscuits, they want me to STARVE TO DEATH. THERE’S NEVER ANY FUCKING FOOD HERE. FUCKING FUCK. Well, shit. NOW WHAT. I’ll have another Fruit Roll Up.

So I have another Fruit Roll Up. And another pack of Gushers. And at this point there’s a Tostinos pizza in the oven cooking for its 12 loathsome minutes. Ovens are quieter than microwaves. Thank you, ovens. And I’ll have another soda. The cool  bubbly feeling helps my stomach feel nice and happy-like. It makes me feel contented; like a full without the stuffed, you know?

So the pizza is done and by then I’ve had (why the hell not) 2 string cheeses and I’ve doused the cardboard-with-ketchup-on-top that is Tostinos with hot sauce, and I fold it in half and wow that was gone fast.

Wow I’m almost feeling contented. Still need something sweet. There’s NEVER ANY ALWAYS TOO MUCH FUCKING FOOD HERE. I need something to sink my teeth into that’s ooey and gooey and satisfying.

Too late to bake brownies so I start to feel sad and I make a peanut butter toast and sprinkle some chocolate chips on top and head downstairs to my cave of self destruction.

Back in the day I still was able to keep a supply of ipecac so down the hatch it goes and up the hatch it comes bringing along the last hour or so of my shame. Then I sleep for 3 hours before the high school is starting bell rings and all I want to do is die.

Altoids are so Weird

First public display of anxiety overload at my new job: complete. They officially know I’m a basket case. Luckily, they didn’t fire me. Hooray! I’m good enough to keep even though I’m emotionally unstable!

If the general public didn’t have to be such a RAGING CESSPOOL OF ASS-FLAVORED BITCH BISCUITS it’d be a lot easier to contain myself.

Don’t be grumpy at people who have done nothing to you to deserve that. PSA of the day.

At least I have my cat. And I’m hopeful that one day this place will allow me my dream: working from home with the degree I drunkenly achieved. (Literally all my online classes had at least 30% of its work completed while I wasn’t sober.) That didn’t sentence very well but the cat being all cozy next to me makes me not care to correct it.

I’ve been socializing almost every weekend night for the past few weeks and I’m so happy to be having a me night. Not that I don’t love my friends; I do. Very much. That happens to be why we’re friends! Weird! But damn I get peopled out. I need me time. I need a 3-day weekend every weekend. I need friends days (the normal weekend…) and another day for Shley day. A day where I can read and blog and be with my thoughts.

Without my thoughts I get more anxiety-y, I think. Not like the rush of the day and the social calendar filling up shit I have all these things to do and I’m broke thoughts, but I should write a poem damn that tree is good looking I’m so happy carpet is soft thoughts. Those thoughts are good thoughts. I need me time to have those thoughts.

When I’m with friends and I talk too much what’s in my head people just tune me out then I feel shunned then I get sad then I remember I’m fat and worthless and moral of the story is I sabotage myself when I don’t get sufficient social recovery time.

Yayyyyy

I still hate being tired all the time. I’m tired all the time. I still hate how far I let myself go. I still hate the 2 relapses I’ve had in the last 2 weeks. And I still hate how alcohol is so many calories when all I want to do is forget but it makes me gain weight sad face.

My cat is soft. My cat is soft.

I wish I was cat. I would be the most boring, persnickety cat. If I were just a cat version of myself, I’d be like a regular cat. Touch my belly NO DON’T TOUCH MY BELLY ok rub my head not THERE rub THERE god you’re worthless *struts away* feed me.

And those are my thoughts for the day my tongue hurts on the side from salt and vinegar chips good day.

Look at this Photograph

Okie dokie so I’m taking the plunge with today’s topic. Belive it or not, I don’t enjoy sounding like a whiney whine-face. I do like whining, though….

Damnit.

Anyway I wanted to blog about my issues with my mom and my dad’s divorce. This really ought to be old news by now, seeing as they  divorced almost 24 years ago, but I feel like it affected a lot of my personality and traits and important skills like coping and knowing how to trust and all that and stuff. Mostly because I was around 1 year old and I literally grew up with it. (And I still had to deal with fighting, damnit. So much fighting).

There’s a lot to the story because they both got remarried within a year, and I have what I would call “a curious history” with all 4 of my parents. It’s mostly because I turned into a crazy bitch near the end of high school. Plus there are the (half) siblings and the ≈20 living arrangements I’ve acquired on top of the occasional verbal bloodbaths that ensued between 9 of the possible pairings of these 4. Maybe even more so if you take into account the incredibly tense vocal-almost-phsycial-half-the-time wars between just 2 of them. And if you include my yelling and being yelled at 🙂

Basically from the time I started developing a clear memory my mom was dating/engaged to my stepdad. Then, by the time I was 6, my dad married my stepmom out of the blue. Surprise! My mom and stepdad married less than a year after that. I only got to be at one wedding. But boy did I look good in that flower girl dress! And somewhere there is VHS video footage of me stealing swipes of frosting from the wedding cake during the reception. And I thought I was sneaky. Imagine all the fun I’d have had at 2 weddings within a year! If I could turn back time… (is my issue with this apparent yet?)

Ahem.

I lived with Mom mostly forever, then at 16 I did that thing that teenagers do and decided to switch parents. Then my mental breakdown really happened and I moved back in with Mom because I make no sense and wanted to be 3 again cuz I was a hopeless dipshit and everything sucked and suddenly I was 23 still living with Mom. That simply wouldn’t do. Now you’ll find me in (how funny, in’t it?) Matt’s mom’s basement. Almost 24. No big deal, right? RIGHT?!

After all this time, and all this history and all of these parents having to (try to) cooperate at least sometimes for school stuff and music stuff and stuff and I only own 1 physical picture of my mother, father, and myself.

One.

It’s from my baptism in 6th grade. Though I wasn’t the happiest camper that day (another story; I won’t bore you more than what’s necessary for this 1 post ;)) I insisted that I get this photo.

I believe I got one at my wedding, but I can hardly remember because I was such an anxious wreck and I got really drunk that night so I only remember the more wedding-related things.

(Like the fact that Matt was really trying not to cry but he’ll never admit it. Or were his eyes peeing?)

Even when I made a card for my mom and my dad after the wedding as a “Thank you for Birthing Me” present, it physically felt weird to write “Mom and Dad.”

Call me weird, but I find that weird. It’s uncomfortable to put my birthers next to each other even on paper, for biscuits’ sake!

Now, I’m not saying I wish they were back together. No offense, Mom and Dad, but you would kill each other off. Honestly I don’t even remember really wishing this getting back together. I had my “father figure” from the time I was around 2 years old (thanks Darrin), so I never really felt like I was missing out? I just got bonus family on Tuesdays and holidays and stuff!

Then came the step-mom-into-the-story days at age 6 then I got to go on a plane by  myself 654,665,465 times a year and that was fun. Plus all the presents. I even got to miss a lot of school around the holidays. School hated me. And I, it.

(One time I got in trouble on a test because the teacher was reading us the questions and then we were supposed to answer, but I was 3 pages ahead of everyone, because DAMNIT woman I was in FIRST GRADE I KNEW how to READ.)

How many tangents does it take to make me feel like I’ve made a good blog post?

Like, a hundred.

I wish I didn’t hold this divorce grudge. Or rather, I wish it didn’t affect me as much as it did. And I wish divorce wasn’t so fucking prominent.

Matt, I swear to potato, you’re stuck with me.

 

 

Privilege

How dare I.

I don’t deserve the recognition and praise that comes with claiming recovery. I don’t deserve to say I’m recovered. Not anymore.

Recovery takes hard work, and I’m half-assing everything. I still let it control me. Mostly because “I can manage it” or whatever.

I still participate in behaviors, and I don’t keep the thoughts in check. I let it rule me and next time my doctor asks I won’t be able to say I’m symptom free.

At work there are weight loss challenges. There’s always someone on a diet. There is a cafe at the hospital connected to where I work with nutrition information and I can’t avoid hearing talk about fat this and carbs that.

I can’t avoid eating around people.

I try to stay good but food is always so forefront and I can’t help but let it consume me.

Ha. Consume.

It’s not the worst it’s ever been, for which I should be thankful for. But I really hate being at the heaviest I’ve ever been with restrictive/purgey thoughts.

Kind of rough on the sort-of-attempting-to-be-normal thing.

Whatever.

My fat pants are too tight.