I don’t want to write this today. Is this becoming a theme?
Last week sucked although, admittedly, the obstacles I faced were probably more psychological than real. This week I have the real ones as I’ve got some sort of cold-like with sore throat, coughing, sneezing – the works. Is every attempt to lose weight going to be like this? Only once last week did I dawn my exercise clothes and walked for over an hour just for exercise. Then everything, including diet, fell apart.
But I have been digging through my old writings again, searching for patterns. Clearly this battle has been going on for a very long time.
I flipped through some old “morning pages” to try and find answers. On March 8, 2009 I wrote: “So I started reading The Writing Diet by Julia Cameron. She’s the one who suggests morning pages.”
And so Morning Pages have been in and out of my life since then. I’m endeavoring to do them now, although I took the weekend off. I took the weekend off of everything it seems.
2009 was a significant year. It was the year I could find no other alternative but to move home with my parents after I’d been hospitalized about two months prior. This was the hospitalization that led to SSI Disability on the recommendation of two different psychiatrists and one psychologist. I felt ashamed then but I wrote it off as temporary. Sure, there was no cure for my mental illness but I could learn to manage it. I could pass as “normal” if I wanted to, or so it seemed.
Continued from that same day, “I’m tired. I never knew living at home without a job could be tiring. There is constantly something that needs to be done, whether it’s building a bookshelf with my dad or helping my mom preserve her scrapbooks….On top of that it’s hard for me to stick with one project because I always feel I should be doing something else. Like this writing. I don’t know yet how useful it will be and I’m already struggling to keep my eyes open.”
Later that year I learned I had a condition called hypothyroidism. Untreated it’d been causing insufferable drowsiness. As it turned out, it was a common side-effect of the lithium I’d been taking but it seemed to all my doctors that taking one more pill for my thyroid each morning was far less risky than trying to come up with psych meds that had fewer side-effects. And the new drug worked. The only downside is that it, too, does not cure. It only manages. So I’m on thyroid medicine for life, too (probably).
March 9, 2009 I wrote “This is the largest I’ve been in my entire life.” Unfortunately, not much has changed. The only thing I’ve learned is not to even bother searching for clothes in a store that doesn’t have a “plus-size” section anymore. Even if I’m only going in to buy a hat or a handbag, I feel like the everyone else in the store is disgusted by me.
March 10, 2009: “I weighed myself this morning and I was one pound more than I was yesterday. This trying-to-lose-weight thing is incredibly frustrating. I think that’s why I’ve given up in the past.”
That’s one reason I don’t weigh myself anymore but last week I had an appointment with the psychiatric nurse practitioner and his nurse weighed me before our session. As I’d been trying to eat well and exercise the past week, the number she told me was not pleasant. But then I asked her if she had my weight from before (last December) and she said yes and told me what it was and I was a full 3 pounds lighter. Success? Not really. There’s about a 10-pound rage I’ve fluctuated between since 2009 and I was still within that range.
I took some time away from morning pages until 2016.
On January 27, 2016 I wrote (regarding weight):
“I want to blame the medicine. Weight gain is almost always a key side-effect of psych meds and I’ve seen some of my fellow SMI folk refuse treatment on that principle alone. There’s this feeling that fat is so repulsive that we’d rather suffer depression, mania, or hallucinations than gain weight. Is that really what society teaches us? Outward beauty is more important than mental health?
“Anyway, I don’t think psych meds are entirely to blame, at least in my case. My clothes started feeling tighter around my 19th birthday. I shed those pounds a couple years later when my best friend turned me into a runner and even after a knee injury took me out of the game, I didn’t gain weight again for a little over a year. That weight gain coincided with working the third shift at a call center. Exercise became difficult and my diet was not so great either. My medicine probably played a part too, at least when I was willing to take it…”
The pages go on to explain all the more recent obstacles I’ve had toward achieving weight loss. Of course many of them are superficial or apply uniquely to my situation.
There are more morning pages to consult, but this is all I have the energy to do for tonight.
I’ll give a report next week, but I have a feeling it won’t be much better.