I have a very determined spirit and when I set my mind to something I accomplish it. Right now, I am really focused on getting better and I have come a long way since I was discharged from Brookhaven: I actually have some pride in myself; I am not constantly worrying about what people think about me; I haven’t been pushing myself to be perfect as much as I used to (especially at work); I’m letting go of the self-hatred I have carried around for so many years; I am starting to care about myself and realize that I am not inferior to others; I don’t feel as worthless or unlovable anymore; I’m trying to come out of my shell; and I’m learning that I deserve happiness and love just as much as anyone else. I’ve been happier and I feel better each day that passes when I don’t run away from everything, cut, or want to kill myself.
I haven’t cut or gotten drunk since New Year’s Eve and I haven’t bloodlet since a couple days before I went to Brookhaven. I used to do those things semi-frequently (depending on how I was feeling). There have been a few times I have had to struggle with myself to keep from picking up a razorblade, bloodletting needle, or bottle of Jager. I still have all three on hand because I haven’t had the strength to get rid of them yet. However, I have had the strength to resist the urges. I’m not sure why, but knowing they are there if I need them makes me feel better.
I didn’t quit drinking because I’m an alcoholic – because I’m not. I quit drinking because it adversely interacts with my medication – it makes me extremely depressed and makes me hurt myself (i.e. New Year’s Eve). Another reason I quit was because it drastically lessened my inhibitions – which got me into some very sticky and painful situations.
I’m still doing the intensive therapy (I see a therapist 2-3 times a week) and see my psychiatrist and medical doctor 1-2 times a month. My therapist is proud of my progress and so am I.
In addition to the therapy I have to take several pills a day. It’s a major pain in the ass and I fought it for awhile, but now I realize that I have disorders that sheer willpower and determination alone cannot overcome. However, the pills do not do the work for me or make everything all better. I do the work myself.
The pills balance my brain’s chemistry, which helps me focus my attention on what I need to do and how to do it. They also: curb my self-harming and suicidal tendencies, lessen the severity of my bipolar episodes; reduce the number of anxiety attacks I have; and help me get restful sleep.
Currently, I take Wellbutrin XL (anti-depressant), Benicar (high blood pressure – stress related), Lamictal (mood stabilizer), Neurontin (anxiety and insomnia), Bontril (diet pill), and Adderall (everyone knows what this one is for) every day. Unfortunately, the pills cannot cure my emotional issues; I have to handle them myself.
Right now I am trying to deal with emptiness. I need to explore the emptiness within myself. I have to find out where it comes from instead of ignoring it and trying to fill it up with anything I can find: alcohol; sex; marijuana; men; material things; or food (my drug of choice).
Through therapy I have learned that I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m bored, mad, hurt, sad, happy, etc. I’ve also come to realize that I was using my weight as a defense mechanism to keep people from getting close to me. Subconsciously, I thought if I was fat and unattractive people (especially sexually abusive men) would leave me alone and let me suffer in peace. It hasn’t worked; in fact I think it attracted even more abusive people.
As young girls we’re indirectly taught that we are supposed to be skinny. We’re taught that fat people are ugly, lazy, and stupid and it is implied that they don’t deserve to be happy or to find love. If we are overweight we are ridiculed, treated like second-class citizens, and conditioned to hate ourselves and to be ashamed of our bodies. Despite all that programming I am not ashamed of being fat and I still believe overweight people deserve the same respect as skinny people.
I have been a gung ho fat activist for years. Some women starve, purge, torture themselves, and even risk their lives, just to be accepted by a shallow culture with an amazingly narrow definition of beauty. I didn’t want to lose weight because I thought I was taking a stand against society. I believed that if I lost weight I would be giving in to the pressure to be thin and I didn’t want to give “them” the satisfaction.
If I feel this way, why am I taking diet pills?
The diet pills give me energy, which makes me want to be more active. They also make food less appealing. They aren’t making me starve myself but they help me to eat only when I’m actually hungry. I’m not going to be on them forever. I’ll stop taking them once I am confident that I am over the emotional issues that have kept me fat.
At first, I had mixed feelings about taking the diet pills. It seemed hypocritical to me until I examined my reasons for wanting to lose weight. I’m not taking the diet pills to become paper thin. I’m not doing it for cosmetic reasons. I’m not doing it to fit in or attract more men. I’m not doing it to please anyone except myself.
If I wanted to lose weight for any of the above reasons there is an easier way for me to do it than taking diet pills. I meet the criteria my medical insurance company set forth to qualify for gastric bypass surgery – meaning if I choose to have the surgery they will pay for it, but I’m not taking that route. I lost 100 lbs on my own once and I’m certain I can do it again.
I’m getting better emotionally and I’m trying to develop a healthy attitude towards food and my weight. I want to lose weight because I have realized that I don’t need to use it for protection anymore – it obviously doesn’t work anyway and it’s jeopardizing my physical health.
“Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can’t prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you’re presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power.”
About BipolarChick (599 posts)
I’m a thirty-something bipolar woman, an advanced tech agent with a pay tv provider, tax preparer for a local charity, current Tulsa inhabitant, and I’m one credit shy of an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. I’m working on recovery from self-injury and working toward stabilizing my bipolar symptoms. Recovery is very important to me. I’ve been mostly single the past few years and plagued by a seemingly never-ending series of jackasses, assholes, and married men. I have no children of my own, but I have lots of nieces and nephews I love to spoil.