220. That is what the scale says. Either I need a new scale or I need new clothes. This time two years ago I was probably about 170. Even one year ago I was probably 190. So much regret. By September, 2014, I was 140. Most was loose skin, but I was happy to fit my hands, fingertips nearly touching, around my waist. I could see my backbone, I had chiseled cheekbones and a jaw line. I had thin wrists and you could see the tendons in my hands when I flexed them. I almost had a fly gap if it weren’t for the additional fatty tissue! For the first time since I was a teenager, I could buy clothes that said size 4 or 6 and size small. It was so much easier to find clothes to wear and I had a fun time doing it. (Especially at Savers and their awesome Alfred Dunner polyester clothes.) Now I’m back to where I was in high school, still wanting to dream my fat away. Wondering why I am this way and knowing ultimately it is my fault. It’s so easy to pass blame when you’re feeling shitty and eating frosting out of the container.
I can’t say that I had an eating disorder in 2014. So many things happened so quickly. I ate more than I ever had, it just happened to be all fruits and vegetables. I watched my calorie intake like a hawk and I was 100% more active than I am now. I was also on about six different antidepressant medications, was slowly suffering from serotonin syndrome, and ultimately lost my job because of a breakdown.
It’s taken me this long to write about this, but maybe I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, it was my own doing. Or at least most of it. It started when I downloaded the app Fitness Pal and would log every calorie possible. I was so meticulous and had my meals planned. On top of that, I was taking a colon cleanse pill every day. I didn’t work out excessively, the weight would just fall off. On the weekends I would visit my sister in Norwell and work outside in the garden and in the chicken coop. Underneath the heat of the sun one day, I nearly had heatstroke. On the days spent up north with the chickens, I allowed myself an iced chai latte. Full of sugar, I knew I would be burning off the calories by working outside, if not by sweating it out during the hot summer.
But by the end of the summer, the fall semester at my school started and I signed up for a class. I had a very difficult time concentrating at work and at school. By September I was nearly 135 lbs. My coworkers who at first complimented me on my weight loss, now looked at me with great concern. My skin was yellow and I started looking gaunt in my face. I had many breakdowns at work and ultimately landed myself in the hospital with an unintentional overdose of prescription medications.
A year later when I requested my medical records from McLean Hospital, they stated my physical appearance as underweight and anorexic. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, in my opinion. But, then again, it was an outsider’s observation. The patient is always biased against his/her shortcomings.
It is now May 19, 2016. I weigh in at 220 lbs. I am miserable, depressed, anxious, tired, weak, and full of frustration. I am not motivated at all. I am on less than half of the medications prescribed two years ago, and I’m still working on tapering off of them. I’m sitting in a Starbucks while someone, who I can only guess is a manager or district manager, interviews a potential employee for the new Starbucks opening closer to where I live. I have been saying for the last year that I would love to go back to working for Starbucks, but my illness is so unpredictable, how could I? No one would hire someone if they knew ahead of time that there would be inconsistencies in their work, despite the strength of their job ability.*
School is over for the spring semester. My new “job” will be to write a memoir over summer break. Despite the difficult times of having no motivation, I hope to have a rough draft by September. A very rough draft. Fighting my own demons and writing how I speak will be my biggest obstacles. So I will write in public in order to drown out my own negative thoughts and discouragements. Although I can hear someone whistling…
My side note of this entry is: There is a man sitting next to me. He is either picking at his nose and flicking it, or biting his nails and or cuticles and flicking that. I have such an urge to look over to quell my curiosity, but there is no way without being so blindingly obvious. And so I must take another clonazepam to help me through.
*There will be a follow-up post discussing the stigma against mental illness.