It’s been a week since we made further changes to my medication. Increased the Vraylar (mood stabilizer) and stopped the use of the Wellbutrin (anti-depressant). I am neither manic nor depressed, so I suppose I am in the sweet spot. I feel a bit subdued though, not as happy as I had been in the weeks prior to today, but also not as mellow as I was three weeks ago when I was dealing with the depression. This could be a happy medium, although, I would like to have just a little bit more sunshine in me, to be honest, but beggars cannot be choosers.
Speaking of beggars, one thing that has increased is my weight. And this is always a very touchy topic for me. Struggling off and on with Anorexia for the past 18 years leaves the subject of weight gain to be a big taboo topic. I know that in time, as we age, most people gain weight. I also know that different medications affect a person’s weight in diverse ways. I know that I am not defined by what I weigh or what I look like. I also know that my mental health is far more important than the number on the scale and what size clothes I wear on my body.
With all that being said, I am still struggling. Over the last month, I have gained five pounds. Which is not THAT bad, but considering that I have been much heavier in the last year, a gain of five pounds hits my fear center and I start to fret over whether I am going to gain back all the weight I lost previously. And this scares the crap out of me. I was finally getting used to my body, embracing where I had some curves and accepting the number that smiled back at me from the scale.
I tell my brain that I am fine, that I am beautifully, wonderfully and fearfully made. That an extra five pounds will not be the end of the world. I do believe that underneath the surface, is the issue that this weight gain is not within my control. That this weight gain happened as a result of medication that I don’t want to take for a disorder that I don’t want to have. All things that are not within my control. And let me tell you, I like to be in control. I like to know what is going to happen and when and by whom. And when I don’t, I get super agitated. So, having a mental illness that is defined by the variance between poles, makes being a person who likes to be in control, a touchy subject.
I go back to what I have learned from years and years of therapy: control what’s within your control. I think on what IS within my control?
- The way I mentally handle this weight gain.
- How much I exercise and what I put in my body.
- Ensuring I get adequate sleep
- Resisting the temptation to weigh myself daily
There’s several things that I CAN do in this situation. By changing my mindset and focusing on what I do have, instead of what I don’t have, this whole situation takes a different path.
- Focus on how my mental health has improved since making this medication change
- I have a healthy immune system and have not fallen ill despite all the various sicknesses that have been plaguing the masses
- I am a role model to my daughter and want her to be body confident and have a positive body image, and she can learn this by me leading by example
I have always hoped that one day I would not be so incredibly critical of what I look like and how much I weigh. As I have gotten older, I am doing a better job, but I still have room for improvement. However, I will give myself credit for being rational and not stopping my medication due to the weight gain, and instead of turning back to a deadly eating disorder, I am responding with a rational mind.