Anti-psychotic medication is "Heavy duty" medication, my psychotherapist tells me. Lately I feel like she looks at me with a degree of pity, and treats me very gently. In therapy terms, she tries not to treat the illness specifically, but treat the person and their symptoms, and avoid labels. She bangs on about drinking water all the time so "I can flush it all out of my system". I must admit, I feel like a sloth has inhabited my body and I zone out on a regular basis. I'm used to being all high speed, sharp thought and energy, but now I am struggling to get motivated and I cannot hold on to many thoughts at the same time. I find myself standing around quite a bit, not knowing what exactly I was doing, or where I am going.
Something else is happening too. I wake up and feel like I haven't eaten for a week. I am absolutely ravenous and instead of slowly warming up with a coffee and the news, I am head stuck in cupboard, pouring myself a sink full of crunchy nut cornflakes and ramming them in at a speed of knots. Then I'm still hungry and so it goes throughout the day. I was warned about this, so I make a promise to myself that when the mania, depression and side effects ease, I will then look at my diet and health regime. Being borderline suicidal and not eating anything that tastes nice is like punishment. I don't have the joy of alcohol, drugs, inappropriate sexual relationships and other mood changing bad habits. Food is all I have left and I am now nurturing a very unhealthy relationship with it, and be damned....
I slowly turn in to a very large shadow of my former self. Everything gets a bit tighter, I feel a slight sway as I begin to waddle (this may well be my imagination I hasten to add), and when I see myself in the mirror I look like my great grandmother. Lovely though she was, chubby is more accurate a description. Its not pretty. Intellectually I know I'm not up for a morbidly obese award, or a gastric band - I see other women who are most definitely larger than me, but in my head I am the most enormous person alive. If I keep going I am going to be wearing leggings and large sweatshirts and have cankles!
My cpn tells me that although the medication is slowing down my metabolism and increasing my appetite, its me who is putting the food in my body. I agree with her in a very resentful manner. She may as well have said its all your own fault you fat bitch. My husband also puts a very loving boot in when he reminds me of how nice and confident I am when I am smaller. He was practising the whole, "Lets be honest and open" thing, but I'd rather he was less honest about my appearance quite frankly. It was a day when he knew as soon as it had come out of his mouth, it was the wrong thing to say. Poor old men. They are always caught between a rock and a hard place. So CPN and I discuss my weight and my options. She tells me that the side effects will ease, and I will "Level out" at some point. Its at this point I can join the "Healthy living group."
Introducing mental health fat club. A club for the insanely fat!