Scorned by Pants

pile of pantsThis is ridiculous. I have allowed this pile of pants to taunt me and delineate my self-worth. Several months ago, I had to pull out a few pairs of jeans from storage. They remain on this chair because they are, solely for me, not an acceptable size. I cannot allow them to occupy the space reserved for the correct size of pants. The pants residing in my drawer are the ones I am sure that if I could just [fill in the blank] I would be able to wear. The pants on the chair are evidence of binge eating during depression, the only form of self-harm left to me.

Being somewhat intelligent, I realize that this type of thinking is not how I should base my value. I have read all the body positive information on which I can lay my eyes. I do not use this same measurement on others, it is strictly personal. Whatever size you are is not an accurate measure of what kind of human you are, it’s only applicable to me.

Because my BMI is 20 lbs higher than “healthy,” I have tried to convince myself that the only reason I want to lose weight (this time, anyway) is because I want to be healthy. Placing blame on outside influences seems like a cop-out. As far as I’m concerned how I was raised, why I was loved, or how the media portrays the “perfect” woman, should not enter into the equation. But when I see how my own self-image has affected my daughters, I can’t help but wonder if how I view myself is somewhat based on the example of my anorexic mother. Yesterday, in my psychiatrist’s office, I said “I’m beginning to think my depression is not a medication issue, but a result of self-loathing.” But then I laughed, like it was a joke, and I took the prescription for an increase in my antidepressant to the pharmacy.

When I wipe the steam off of the mirror after I take my shower, it’s with the hope that what will be revealed will not be the same thing I saw the day before. This kind of thinking is ludicrous. I don’t understand why I can’t change how I feel about myself. I don’t understand why I can’t see the beautiful, kind, loving, caring, smart person that others try to convince me exists. I don’t understand why I can’t get those stupid pants to stop yelling at me.

 

 

Life with bipolar disorder CAN be good

With the help of two little pills, learning it’s ok to ask for help, increasing my activities, and Weight Watchers, I’ve dragged myself out of my depression.

I’m guessing the Trileptal has a lot to do with it, helping me to jump-start the other areas of my life that had died from the deep depression I’ve been in since October. The anniversary of my mother’s death is coming up, but I’m certain I can get through that just fine.

I’ve learned quite a bit about myself over the past couple weeks. Accepting that I’m not a failure if I ask for help was the most important, as well as learning that having bipolar disorder doesn’t have to control my life. It’s a disease, like diabetes or heart disease, and I can take care of myself by taking the right meds, eating right and increasing my activity in a fun way.

“Exercise” is one of the most unpleasant words in the English language (at least in my opinion). Learning to just increase my activity a little at a time, and in a fun way, is much more pleasant. I skip sideways and walk backwards around the house; and I took my iPod grocery shopping and danced up and down the aisles. I received a lot of stares, grins and giggles; but after all the horrific things I’ve been through, I’ve earned the right to be silly in public. Making people smile, whether they’re laughing at me or with me, helps me feel good. I’m also increasing my time on the elliptical by just one minute each day. After my surgery, I could barely get through five minutes (way before, I was doing an hour!). I’m up to 10-15 minutes, and I’m certain I’ll get up to that hour before long. Listening to podcasts or audiobooks helps the time fly by.

So I’ve learned if I keep my endorphins up by moving, ask for help when I need it, and take good care of my body (including taking my meds on time), this awful thing called bipolar disorder can be beat into remission (I highlighted that because I’m fully aware that there’s no such thing as “recovery” from this disease. I’ll probably still have some bad days, but I’ll get through them).