mental health

Binge. Restrict. Repeat.

repair

I have an eating disorder.

Not many people know this. How could they? I am not the typical face of an eating disorder. The smallest I have ever been with my 5’10” frame was a size 10 at 150lbs.

I am overweight. Most of my life I have been. In Kindergarten, I would chug a Coca Cola every day before heading to class. Throughout elementary school, I would curl up with party sized bags of potato chips and graze while reading. Performing in sports was awkward because of my hypermobility, so I would skip physical activity in favour of more sedentary hobbies. I knew I was taller and larger framed than my classmates, but even in the face of some teasing, this did not really bother me. Yet.

In middle school, I became acutely aware that I was different than my peers. I was larger, I took up more space. I had a reoccurring dream of grabbing the fat from my thighs and throwing it against walls. Being the odd one out led me to seek comfort in snacking and the Internet. On Neopets, I was a petite half-Vietnamese teenager who role played in a Sailor Moon guild. In real life, I was a hefty white girl barely squeezing into a size 13 jean while I would hear my sister and mother moan about how fat they were while they picked at their food. Why were their appetites so bird-like while I could crush a super sized McDonalds meal and still be hungry? Why was I different? Thus, the cycle of binge-restrict-binge was born at the tender age of thirteen.

My metabolism is shitty from this lifetime of shame. I put on weight easily, but losing it is a struggle.

The lowest I have weighed as an adult was ~160lbs in 2013 after recovery from a laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrium from my uterus left me bedridden and without an appetite for several weeks. I restricted for a year after to vainly try to remain at that weight but ultimately I ended up back around around 240lbs due to a combination of an antidepressant that did not work for me and my typical source of comfort during tough times: food. I hated myself for gaining back the weight and then some. Once again, I was Heather the fat ass, even though I tried to “own” it outwardly.

Now, I currently weigh 199lbs through a combination of exercise and logging everything I eat. It has been a slow, imperfect process, but I am happy to be making progress the legitimate way. By changing my lifestyle rather than crash dieting. I stopped buying my “comfort” foods to binge on. Instead, I seek comfort through my friends, family, and Jake. Food is not the enemy, but it is also not my best friend. I do NOT need to inhale junk food on a bad day. I DO need a balanced diet to survive.

I will never have a normal relationship with food, but I hope that I can continue to make positive strives.

mental health

Anxiety, Depression, and You!

*sings loudly and off-key* “I got anxiety and depression and I’m bringing them home to you!”

(Pfft, I couldn’t resist making a corny SC joke before shit gets heavy. It’s how I roll!)

The worst part about living with major depression is its utter lack of predictability. I’m a very “by the book” type of person. I like my life micromanaged, my surroundings tidy, and my lists conquered with a bold strike through. Depression? Yeah, it doesn’t conform to my desire for orderliness. It’s an insidious poison that pops up unexpected to drain you dry.

Even in a brain foggy haze, I could sense that things were getting ugly upstairs back in August. I tried to rationalize with myself, “Heather, you’re starting a new birth control, your hormone levels are just whacky. It’ll pass.” Nope. Denial. All the tell-tale signs were coming out to play. Little Miss Vain’s hygiene regimen came to a screeching halt. When you sleep all the time and rarely leave the house, who needs grooming? Most food had little taste and I had zero drive to mess around in the kitchen, which I love to do. Jake would often ask me if I wanted to pick up some take out because he was worried about my lack of appetite; the answer 9 times out of 10 was “no” because I didn’t feel up to changing out of my grimy pajamas or having to deal with showering. Too much energy. My hobbies, even the most cherished ones I could talk your ear off about (*cough*gaming*cough*), felt like chores that I couldn’t force myself to focus on. I abandoned my blog, my baby, because who wants to read about a girl who can’t even motivate herself?

September rolled in and my mental health continued spiraling. My anxiety kicked in; “Hey, Heather’s already miserable, how can we make things worse for her?!” So on top of feeling overwhelmingly one-dimensional, I started having panic attacks on the regular where I felt like world was suffocating, literally taking my breath away. I began having invasive thoughts, such as,

  • “No one would miss you when you’re gone.”
  • “There’s a reason that no one ever texts you or wants to hang out with you. Your iPhone is a fancy paperweight.”
  • “Every Delta Zeta that you were once close to is living a better life without you in it. Just look at their Instagrams, creeper.”
  • “People only like you on the Internet because they haven’t met your awkward ass IRL. You have zero likability.”

Just putting things into writing is hard because damn, I feel these things in my bones, y’all. My birthday is in less than a week (the big two seven) and I can’t even hype myself up to feel a tiny bit excited about it, even with my BFF Ashlea coming down to visit me.

What comes down has to come up eventually… right?

mental health

Good riddance, 2014

Have you ever had a year that was so gut-wrenchingly awful, you kind of just gave up on everything? That was 2014 for me.

My mental health has been in the toilet because when I lost my health insurance, I also lost the ability to afford the medication that is crucial for my well being. I let my personal relationships fall to the wayside because something as simple as picking up my phone and texting someone became a monumental task. I did a full drop of my classes back in October because I could not balance course work and living. I lost two of my sisters: one to an early death, another chose a toxic man over a relationship with her family. My agoraphobia has basically taken over my life; I have to do so much mental preparation to leave the house that most days, I just don’t have the energy to.

So yeah, 2014 can rot in hell for all I care.

But I hold out the hope that maybe, just maybe, 2015 will be a better year.

  • Make it through the Spring semester. Even if I wind up with straight D’s: FINISH.
  • Take the time to create art. Digital, doodles, playing around with make up, whatever. It’s good for the soul.
  • Incorporate exercise and healthier food back into my life. Talk to a specialist about my emotional eating problem. Make my family finally understand that it is a problem so they stop sabotaging my recovery.
  • Obtain health insurance. Find a medicinal routine that works for my anxiety and depression. TALK ABOUT MY FEELINGS MORE.
  • Stop hating myself for what I perceive as a lack of life accomplishments. Mental illness is a serious handicap; living is an accomplishment within itself whenever most days, you feel like you want to curl up and die.
mental health

I don’t know what grey is

Trigger Warning

This entry was written while in a severely depressed state of mind. Although it is not an accurate reflection of my every day life, it is a view into the negative spiral of feelings that I felt at the time of writing the entry. Depression is a personal, ugly thing, but I feel that experiences must be shared in order to break down the stigma that surrounds the topic.

Continue reading “I don’t know what grey is”

mental health

Seared with scars

Trigger Warning

This entry was written to express strong feelings from the adverse side effect of Lupron Depot worsening my depression. Although it is not an accurate reflection of my every day life, it is a view into the negative spiral of feelings that I felt at the time of writing the entry. Depression is a personal, ugly thing, but I feel that experiences must be shared in order to break down the stigma that surrounds the topic.

Continue reading “Seared with scars”