My struggle

There’s no use in my wishing I had a normal brain… I don’t. After this most recent episode, I think it’s about time I stop pretending that I can just go off my meds and be OK. I felt fine because I was ON my meds…. Sometimes I’m an idiot.

For the past few weeks I have been off my anti-depressant/anxiety meds. Why? You might ask… Well at first it was simply because I ran out and wasn’t able to get to the pharmacy that day. I told myself “tomorrow”, I told Facebook “tomorrow”… and believe me, I was 100% sincere in this statement. My brain however, has a wonderful way of rationalizing away everything, so of course when “tomorrow” came, I came up with a reason not to go. I was busy (which is actually true, I have been crazy busy lately.. but still, my medication is important and should have been a priority), I was tired and sore, it’s a far drive out of my way.. yadda yadda, I’m really good at convincing myself to procrastinate.

Eventually though, I stopped saying I was tired.. and it turned into… well it’s been X amount of days, and I’m not acting crazy… I have the usual level of anxiety, I haven’t cried for no apparent reason, I haven’t binged.. and golly gee I am happy. Maybe I don’t actually need the meds anymore. Could it be that I’ve somehow been “cured”, outgrown my depression?

And so this continued for awhile….. before inevitably crumbling away. By the time the depression and anxiety snuck back up on me, it was already too late. I didn’t want to go to the pharmacy because of all of my original reasons… except now, rather than being minor annoyances, it felt like the end of the world to drive a few minutes out of my way in rush hour to get my meds. Think of the money I was wasting, the gas, the extra steps that would lead to further pain in my ankles… every day the reasons were the same, but the feeling behind them got stronger. I’d gotten to the point where I began to think of the pharmacy as this insurmountable thing that was far beyond my grasp. What’s the use in going anyway, my life sucks, I’m a failure at pretty much everything… can’t even get full time at my work.. yadda yadda. The evil depression monster (we really need to name him) that sits on my shoulder just kept getting heavier. It became nearly impossible to focus at work, the urge to binge kept getting stronger…. I wanted to shed my skin and curl into a ball and ignore the world… if only I could live for free…. I’d cry alone at night while Mike was at work.. oh woe is me, and all that… and come day I’d plaster a smile on my face and do my level best to make everything OK. I took the days 10 seconds at a time. I can do anything for 10 seconds (Have you seen Unbreakable yet? Anyone? It’s good).. ANYWAY…. I hid from my blog… my usual solace… because I was afraid to post. I didn’t want to whine and have you all hate me for not writing something uplifting and empowering and happy… Sometimes I’m not happy guys. Sometimes, especially lately… i’m very much the opposite of that.

I’ve also had a rotten string of luck lately, which was horrible timing on the universes part… nurses who couldn’t find a vein.. and than when he did, it kept collapsing.. resulting in me passing out for awhile… seeing a dead body be hauled away while I sat at a red light unable to escape the morbid site…. rolling my window down to get some fresh air on the nicest day we’ve had so far…..only to have a rock fly int my eye (even with sunglasses on) and nearly caused a crash due to pain and my inability to see while doing 120 on the queensway… that’s just a few examples of the fun times I’ve had lately. It all seemed to happen at once, and I retreated even further into myself.

It got to a point where I (Meaning.. the part of me that is invisible to the naked eye.. maybe soul.. i dunno.. but that… that part of you that is hidden and secret and shapes you as a person on the inside), hid. I’d built walls out of stone and cement and wood and cardboard and anything else I could get my hands on, and I hid in the dark inside feeling absolutely helpless and desolate. I missed Mike at night, and could barely sleep from the loneliness… I’d smile in a crowded room… but feel like I didn’t belong.. like if everyone knew what I really looked like inside… that they’d all go away. I made it through every day terrified to say or do the wrong thing and second guessed every single moment of the day because I felt like I was balancing on a knife’s edge and any wrong move would slice me in half.

Clearly I wasn’t OK…

As some of you know, I’m also partially back on food… on top of not having my meds, I was also doing shakes.. and the mental strain it was putting on me was too much to bare. I was absolutely miserable and weak and more often than not light headed and dizzy… So I decided fuck that shit, and I’m eating supper now, while having shakes for breakfast and lunch (mostly to use them up.. but also to help ease me into food)… I’m tired of being miserable, and so yes… i’m back on food…. well partially. Eventually fully. I miss the rapid weight loss already.. but mentally I’m not in a good place right now and I really need to focus on my emotional self….

I’m rambling… sorry.

The point is…. I was having what I thought was a pretty OK day… well by my standards as of late anyway lol. I felt less in a fog than usual and was actually genuinely excited about some news that I’d gotten regarding a friend… But I was also STARVING… I’m not sure why, but that day nothing would get rid of the hunger pangs. I had 1 shake for breakfast and that just…. it did nothing.. abosolutely nothing to ease the hunger pangs.. so I ordered a 12″ sub from subway… I’d intended on it being my lunch and supper…….. But even that couldn’t statify my hunger.. so I’d eaten them both for lunch…. by the time work was done, I was back to feeling like I hadn’t eaten anything all day… the pain… gnawing and driving me insane… and there was good news to celebrate so out for supper I went.

None of this is easy for me to write.. so please don’t judge.

I ate supper… the whole time telling myself not to feel guilt.. that I’d assessed my hunger levels and it wasn’t just eating form boredom.. that for whatever reason I needed more food. My body has been so weak lately, and I’ve been working out.. so I figured it was probably just from that… whatever the real reason, I can tell the diff from bored eating or binging to real hunger…. and this was hunger. So *slaps hand* no guilt, and no starving yourself.. EAT Shannon EAT.

I ate.

By the time I was driving home, my stomach was full at last, but uncomfortably so… I’d overdone it by accident (still didn’t finish my plate.. but still… too much food) and that one thing was the trigger that started it all.

I began to have an anxiety attack on the way home… I’d eaten so much food (logically I know it wasn’t SO MUCH… that if I just ate healthy the rest of the week it wouldn’t even show on the scales… my brain doesn’t give a shit about logic when my anxiety kicks in.. and it had kicked in HARD)… I’d blown it…In those moments driving home, I just knew that in one meal I’d fucked up ANY progress I’d made in the last year… I could see that evil number 355 floating by me.. taunting me… I just knew that if I stepped on the scale, I’d see a huge spike… I’d be fat again.. I mean yes I know I’m still fat.. but I’d be morbidly obese again… I’d have lost the fight… all the struggles and torture and shakes and denying myself… would have been for nothing. I’d thrown it all away. I was an idiot and deserved ever ounce of fat on my body. How could I be so stupid as to fuck up so badly.

Again keep in mind, I haven’t been on my meds in probably a month at this point… depression and anxiety in full swing… my self loathing grew exponentially. I wanted to die. I didn’t want to kill myself or anything.. I just wanted.. I don’t know… I wanted to not “be” anymore. For a moment I thought about just driving away, disappearing… starting somewhere new… maybe getting a cabin in the woods somewhere and never forcing the world to see my hideous body again.

These are all real thoughts I had that night.

I knew Mike had to get up soon to go to work, and I didn’t want to weigh him down or be the reason he had a crappy night.. so I plastered the smile on my face and sent him of his way…. The only way I could get through that was to down a box of cookies (yes a box… well I’d eaten 1 row a few days earlier… but 3 rows of cookies were now in my stomach, on top of everything else.

It was wrong. I know it was wrong, and I knew it was wrong in the moment… but all I could think was that Mike deserved to have a good night. He didn’t deserve to be woken up by some fat chick sobbing about her food issues for the millionth time… he deserved to have warm snuggles from someone who loved him, and than be sent off to work with a smile on his face. I told myself to suck it up and just get through and I could cry all I wanted once he was gone.

The only problem is I didn’t just cry.

Once he left for work… something broke inside of me. I’d had enough, and I was 100% certain, that all I needed to do to feel OK again was to finally purge. I rationalized it by saying that it wasn’t bulimia if I only did it this once. I’d just made a horrible mistake that night by eating so much… and in order to prevent it from turning into fat I needed to get it out of me…. I sat there in front of the toilet for a long while convincing myself that it wouldn’t be as bad as I knew logically it would be. Just one time won’t hurt… you just have to undo this mistake, and than you’ll feel better. I bargained with myself.. pleaded with myself… In the end, I gave in.  I stuck my toothbrush handle down my throat and tried to induce the purge.

I was only partially successful. I puked a little… it hurt like fuck, but I didn’t get much up… this actually pissed me off… but looking back i’m happy it happened like that. I’m afraid if it had been easy and pain free I might have turned to that umm… method… more easily in the future.

It is not something I ever want to do again.

My throat hurts, my stomach hurts, my pride hurts, my heart hurts, all of me is one giant raw wound and I need time to heal.

The positive I can take away from this, is that it was a kick in the pants. I went to the pharmacy downstairs from my work today and transferred my prescriptions there… which really is a stupidly easy solution I should have thought about a long time ago.. but just didn’t.

I also bought a new toothbrush… because.. EW.

Today at work, it was brutally hard to focus, to keep a smile on my face, when inside I felt so tender and broken.. like all these jagged pieces of myself were exposed and bleeding… but I made it through. It took a looooong time (and 3 trips) to the pharmacy to get my meds.. but I have them, and I took them… so hopefully my body will regulate soon enough and I’ll be back to normal.

I’ve had Mike hide the scale… I’d become obsessed with stepping on it to see if what I’d eaten caused a rise in the scale… judging if I was good that day by if there was a loss.. I’ve been afraid to eat gum because I know each piece if 5 calories… I know that 12 excel mints = 20 calories… and I became afraid of everything edible because what if that was the thing that would make me gain this week…. which in turn, weirdly, made me want to eat more.. because if I was going to get fat… might as well deserve it.

Yes my brain is that broken.

I’ve been debating writing this post or not…. admitting what I did…. I feel like I’ve relived my rape. I feel violated and shattered into a million pieces and nothing seems to be fitting back together just yet.

But this blog is about honesty, and maybe by my admitting my struggles, others will realize they aren’t alone. Losing weight is hard… eating disorders are hard… anxiety disorder and depression are hard… The road is not going to be a smooth path.. and there will be set backs… But you can’t give up.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help someone in my situation… Just be there if I randomly text or call.. Hugs heal many wounds… and be patient with me. I try not to “whine”… but sometimes even when I make a joke about something.. it comes across as whiny.. I really don’t mean to whine… Sometimes I just need to vent. Everyone is different. There is to one way to help a friend in need.. just don’t be a dick, and tell your friend that you’re there if they need you… If they need you, they’ll tell you what they need.

Loads of love

Shannon

 

Comments 2

  • Shannon,

    This was a very brave post to make and really goes to show the strength of your character. It also shows how far you’ve come in the time I’ve known you.

    Years ago this kind of thing would have never escaped you and now you’ve put it all out in the open.

    Jenn and I are always here and will always be here and Violet sends you her love too.

    Love you Shannon! Stay Strong!

    Andrew

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