I thought I was going to be able to write this blog in three easy parts, making sure to keep notes as I went through the process so that I could articulate what was/ is going into it. I always just wanted to say my starting point as in past tense, and show you the improvements…But it’s been a year and its only getting messier, this is a battle that I’m fighting that seems to be never ending and only at an incline in fucking sleet rain. So this is going to get messy, and maybe it will be helpful later to reflect on what this journey was, maybe I will make it to the other side, maybe I won’t…and that’s where we’re at.
I could be a contender for that show “My 600 lb life.” and saying that makes me feel all different shades of gross. I’d like to tell you that its next to impossible to forget how big you are, but some days, when I avoid all mirrors and I’m just laughing with myself, I don’t feel like an hour glass with too few sand kernels left. That’s not saying that all fat people are facing this, and its not on me to speak on behalf of their journey, this is strictly mine. It wasn’t like this happened overnight. It was a slow build, a rapid gain yes, but a slow awareness. Door jams always seemed to get smaller, bruises on my hips, stomach from bouncing into things that I underestimated my size and got the pained bump to remind myself. The horn always blares when I try to get out of my car…I always end up leaning into it while trying to exit. I am always uncomfortable, always awkward in my movements, there’s always pain. I have functioning pain, and then nonfunctioning pain; but I usually function at a 4 on a scale 1-10 (My bad leg) Besides the physical issues I have there are social issues as well, relationships being damaged, being judged by would-be employers, doctors not wanting to treat me etc. When I’m ready to dive into that hornets nest that might be a separate post…
If I don’t fall asleep right away, I can hear myself gasping for breath and it annoys me so I try breathing deeper, slower, holding my breath until my chest tightens a little. And then I panic because I get the thought “I am not breathing enough, why am I worrying about the fact that I am breathing so much?” Maybe its the side effect of thinking I take up enough space as it were. And this is just me laying in my bed, minding my own business, trying not to breathe too loudly because it might bother someone other than myself. That’s straight up fucked.
Today was messy. I thought I would process it before writing about it, but I think the only way I am going to get through and adapt to what this all is, is through writing it down. The last few months have been hard. I have been struggling. I have been trying to be honest with my friends and creating an open environment for them to tell each other when things are going bad, but I feel like in doing so I am constantly trying to pick up everyone elses’ pieces and have been neglecting my own. And I have been doing this for years. I have been a candle lit at both ends for far too long and now- I feel like I gave all the strength that I had for caring for myself out to someone else. Because I knew what it feel like to have no one to talk to, I didn’t want that for them.
I feel like I am drowning. Honestly, I keep thinking about how much better it would be if I wasn’t around. This thought comes to me in dreams half the time, sometimes its in mundane ways. Like driving my car and I zone out and all of a sudden am three exits away, remembering none of the drive…I think wow, I wonder if turning into a tree would be that easy. Like a blink. I am not an emotional person, but lately I’ve been crying. I started crying on thanksgiving when my friend said “hey I know I’m not good with mental illness, but you know, if you need a break sometime let me know.” And I actually typed back “Yes please. I need a break.” I was bawling. I need a fucking break.
My health has always been a issue, right. So I have a clotting disorder. I figured I would write about that sometime but its hard for me to write about it without being caviler and then switching randomly to panic. I am trying to do this so that this can improve. But it seems that I can’t bring myself to care enough to get through the process as I need to. When meeting with my incredibly awesome NP for the Gastric Surgery, Sara, after a long break I explained that I went off my diet hard. That I stopped caring again, and that I had warned the dietician prior that I was struggling with caring and the depression was making it hard…the dietician told me I needed to get my shit together. She was pretty fed up with me and I can understand.
Its like watching someone drown when all they have to do is stand up to save themselves. But I can’t stand up.
Sara asked me if I wanted to die and I felt my eyes well up because I didn’t want to lie. So I said I had no intent to do it, but that I was tired. That I frequently think about it. And she started crying and thanking me for being there, for trying. And I felt so sad because I felt like I was losing for admitting I was struggling. I always struggle with the dealing with emotions. Emotions are sticky for me. I feel like If I say that I’m feeling bad, I’m just asking for attention or that I am making it up. That I laugh too much to be depressed or thinking about killing myself. So she signed me up for the nonsurgical side weight loss to hit this damn thing aggressively. I’m participating in both the surgical and the nonsurgical side. I’m going to be taking different medicine, but I am currently on metformin. Something normally treating type two diabetes, but also has a side effect of weight loss.
I don’t have diabetes, I’m going to clear that up right here. I have insulin resistance, so I’m pre-diabetic which is why Metformin may help.
Since I like lists so much, I am going to formulate a health list of current issues that we are tackling here. (And this is the list that is of my current understanding)
–MORBID obesity. (Yep. Always hated the idea that anything about me but my sense of humor was morbid.)
– Depression (of some kind. These were are going to be looking into.)
–*Potential mood disorder of some kind.*
– Lack of vitamins
–anemia/ iron issues
– history of DVT and PE
–Factor V Leiden
– Chronic Cellulitis
– Severe sleep apnea with hyperventilation and hypoxia (I pant and not get oxygen to my brain apparently. That shoe dropped tonight.)
– A eating disorder
After my last bought of Cellulitis I told my primary that I needed to see a therapist, after all I had promised Sara that I was going to seriously look into one and I also made a therapist pact with my best friend who is also drowning. I needed to hold up my end of the bargain. So I met with a woman on Halloween. She was a Psychotherapist and she decided that I needed long term therapy not just short term which is what she only does. She referred me to the CEDM, the center of eating disorder management. I looked at her surprised like REALLY? You think I have a eating disorder?
She was like “Alex, how could you not? It is not normal for someone to go over 12 hours of not eating.” I say 12, because honestly, I’m not even sure when the time frame I ate was back then. I do go 12 hours easily, but usually its longer. And I used to think that was something I could brag about. Like LOOK. I DON’T EAT ALL THE TIME. But apparently…that’s an eating disorder. Oh.
So I was willing and so gun-ho about improving everything that I called them up and scheduled an appointment. I’m like YES. Let’s keep fighting the fight! Doing so good! And then the last month of waiting for today I have increasingly got more agitated, annoyed, angry, and thinking that I was going to be wasting everyone’s time. That they were going to be wasting mine. That I was going to go in there and they were going to tell me that I didn’t have an eating disorder, recommend me another therapist and I could move on again. And for a little while it looked like that was how things were going to go. But apparently my behaviors surrounding the binge-eating disorder means that I am a candidate for their program. And they gave me the choice to either start with outpatient services and integrate slowly into Intensive outpatient services or just jump head first right into Intensive outpatient services. I chose outpatient because of my work schedule…IOP is four days a week for four hours…and eating in front of people…that sounds HORRIBLE. But I assured the program manager that should my therapist think that I need something more, that I’d listen and try it. But for right now I will try this. And so next week I start therapy and group. Oh yeah, group is part of it.
And then the week after I have two appointments for the gastric program, the nonsurgical doctor and the dietician. But I haven’t been good on my diet this week. And the guilt turns my stomach a little. I need to start doing better. The idea of not starting to do better is making me think that I am going to die before this is all said and done and it sends me into anxiety. The manager of the program tonight told me “You are too young to feel this bad, this miserable.” “You sound very tired of fighting.” “You are too young to be this tired.” And the compassion and empathy felt relieving. I signed up for appointments for the next three weeks, twice a week. I keep feeling that claustrophobic feeling that everything is too much and overwhelming and I know something is going to have to give eventually. I hope this is will give me some helpful tools.
Then they told me tonight about the sleep apnea/ hypoxia/ hyperventilation. So I am going to need a Cpap machine and my anxiety is cranking out In regards to something else being added to my list of “FUCKING HANDLE YOUR SHIT.” But I know if I sleep better, maybe I wouldn’t feel like I can’t handle anything anymore…so they are going to start working on signing me into figuring that problem out.
I’m so tired. I think if I could sleep for a month and just let this all go away, I would. But nope, I have to be accountable for my actions, and now I’m going to have to face this down. Here we go. I am not at all confident, I am freaking the fuck out, but I am going to fight and try.