Mental Health

Withdrawal madness

Raise your hands if you’ve been affected by mental health problems.

If your hand’s up, you maybe know that medication can do a great deal – just by giving you the possibility of functioning like a normal human being, you know, people you don’t have a full-blown meltdown when they’re listening to a (semi) sad song.

At first I thought, I’d be fine. Which is the usual approach of a psychologically damaged brain. Better even, I was proven right, since I was doing so much coke that it actually did trick my brain into being happy for another two weeks. But then I stopped the hardcore partying, and I felt like shit after my last “enhanced” night. And being the wimp that I am, I actually considered calling an ambulance when I had the impression that my head would explode (no exaggeration here, it really felt like that), so fun pills or powders aren’t really my thing, even though I love the aesthetics. I mean, Heroine Chic is somewhat to die for. Pun intended.

Anyway, the last couple of days were rough, like really rough. I felt like a Dementor had sucked all will to live out of me. And since I didn’t have a new prescription for my medical approved drugs, I did some self-medication. Spoiler: It wasn’t too efficient.

I honestly thought that my brain had a kind of reset thanks to all the coke. I was under the impression that it understood for once how to react to happy hormones. After my coke adventures, it seemed like everything was normal. I didn’t have a crash, before this day with crazy headaches, I just felt normal. Btw, I still think that micro dosing could be super helpful, so I can’t wait to see where studies are going with this. I’d even offer my services as a guinea pig.

However, since I, like most depressive people, am bad at keeping track of time, I have no ability or patience to plan ahead. Logical consequence, I ran out of meds, but it still took me by surprise.

I’m not great at adulting in general. Actually, I really suck at it. It’s now been the umpteenth time that I ran out of antidepressants without having a new prescription ready to use. And even though I’ve been fine for almost three weeks, I’m now experiencing pretty bad withdrawal symptoms.

Weirdly enough, though, there’s something funny about this situation. Maybe you’ve heard of the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression. The host always asks people on the podcast if they think that depression can be funny. At first, I thought, “What a dumb question”. But now, I find it rather funny when I just start crying without any reason. For example when I went to see my therapist today. You can’t deny the comedy of starting to cry at random questions. In addition to that, my mind is usually all over the place, so I can’t even put two cohesive sentences together. It is hilarious when you think about it. Just think Mean Girls and word vomit.

Anyway, I’ve been pretty emotional this week, Emotional enough to learn that going through self-inflicted withdrawal is an interesting experience. At least that’s how I see it, looking back on how these last couple of days. It started with very apparent body dysmorphia – which I experience constantly, but it got especially intense lately. I found myself and my body just horrible, and it’s safe to say that it was definitely the lowest my self-esteem has been so far. Even when I had a phase where I was fantasizing about chopping off my saggy boobs, my overall opinion of my body was still better. It didn’t help that people confused me with a dude.

I mean yes, I’m freakishly tall, you should probably put me in a museum just to make future parents be aware of the horrible consequences an overconsumption of milk can have, but being asked about my gender still hurts. I mean, it’s being ripped off all my feminine attributes in just one sentence. All that’s left is the freak.

As a natural consequence, I fell back into binging and purging. Even though I had many friends confirming that they very much perceived me in my biological, female identity, I didn’t believe them. So now, I have an appointment for lip fillers which I’m actually looking forward to, and a couple of evenings that I can write down as ‘transformative crying’ in my diary.

To end this post on a positive note, I should probably add the following. A few weeks ago, a friend asked me what I’d do with my life if I could do anything. My reply was “End it”. My demented humor kicked in, and I’m still laughing about my answer when I think back. But now that I have these aesthetic procedures planned, I’m thinking, “Why having all the work done for nothing? This shit is expensive”. So everyone can rest assured that I’ll stick around for a while. Besides, it’s not too long until Halloween, no way I’d miss a chance to scare people with my scary and very bloody makeup.

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Just blogging

This Will Never End Cause I Want More…

Today is one of the days where I wish I was any other person. Or at least not in my head. My day was actually pretty good, I had a good night’s sleep, had a great workout and a nice walk, ran some errands. I also made plans for the weekend (which I usually never do) – I#m going to see some Shakespeare-related performances and am actually really excited about it, even though or maybe especially because I’m usually quite lowbrow. I also received an H&M delivery today, a really cool bomber jacket I can’t wait to wear for the next shooting. So all in all, I would say it was a pretty good day. However, at some time after my workout, I suddenly felt this darkness creeping in. I think it was when I looked at some magazines and one headline I saw claimed that millenials have no money. I quickly read the article (yes, I’m that person who reads articles on magazines without buying them . That’s why I never remember my sources.) The article was depressing. It pretty much said that millenials are doomed because living expenses are constantly rising but wages stay the same. And if that wasn’t enough, one of my favorite bloggers just published a blog post about the change from analog to digital, which made me think of Fahrenheit 451 and that stuff is scary af.
My – let’s call it anxious state of mind – became even stronger on my way back home. On the train, there were two girls next to me talking about some guy they knew who was going to be incredibly successful with some app or whatever. At the age of 17. And my mind immediately jumped to the question of what I hve accomplished so far. Well, nothing, really. And I don’t even know what I wanna do in life. It sounds whiney and annoying, but I wish things weren’t as hard. I wish I just knew what I wanted to do in life instead of looking for something I’m “passionate about”. Or maybe I should rephrase that. I know a few things I’m passionate about, but I don’t know how to turn them into something that’ll make a living. Besides, I get the impression that if you wanna do something creative, you need to have a great set of skills – which I don’t have. It’s a litte discouraging, especially because I’m not really excelling at anything. And no one cares for mediocre. I don’t know if it makes sense to you, but I often feel like life can’t really provide a sense or something that I would want. It just seems too small and insignificant, which makes me feel small and insignfiicant. Because even if you have wealth and anything you wnat, where does it lead you? Basically no where. Because even the most successful people don’t have everything. And so that brings me back to the theory of anti-natalism and is also the reason why I’m listening to Fever Ray and drinking looooots of wine tonight.

 

 

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Mental Health

Ana and Mia

This is probably the hardest post to write. Not only because it’s super personal and kinda heavy, but also because it’s much easier to write about stuff that’s in the past and that doesn’t still affect me. And yet, I wanted to write about this for such a long time, now. Partly because I think that it’ll create a new incentive for me to get better, partly because I think there’s still a stigma around eating disorders and mental health which prevents people to talk about it. In case you didn’t guess it from the title, this post is about my struggle with anorexia and bulimia.

I don’t really know where to begin and this will probably be the most unstructured post you’ve ever seen. I also don’t have any special advice, since I’m still trying to figure things out for myself. (And also, have you ever met someone who actually follows their own advice?)

So why am I posting this now?
To be completely honest, I’m writing this today because I just had an episode. And after 14 years of having eating disorders, it’s just annoying to be some tragic figure who doesn’t find a way out of her dilemma. It’s pathetic. And I feel weak and disgustung.

(If you’re reading this because you’re affected, please don’t take this or anything I’m going to say as a judgement on your condition. I’m just talking about my personal feelings, I’m not judging anyone.)

A psychologist once told me I should consider my eating disorder a disease. Well, I have difficulties doing that, since I feel like it’s in my control to give in or not and that I should be better than that. Except that I’m not. So I have no idea what to do with that information. Besides, it’s been such a long time that I’m dealing with that issue, it’s been more than 14 years.

I remember that when I was 7yo, I already wasn’t happy the way I looked. When I compared myself to my classmates, I found them much prettier. They weren’t as freakishly tall as I was. They also seemed to be more athletic and have nicer features in general. (Btw, this all was way before social media.) I never was the athletic type and since I scrutinized my body in the mirror every night, I noticed that I had ceelulite at a very early age. Sounds unreal, right? However, the dimples I discovered in my butt cheeks back then are still there. After that, my New Year’s Resolution would be to loose weight. However, I never succeeded. I mean, I was a kid and didn’t know shit about nutrition or dieting. And even though I’ve always been physically active, I never got ripped. Instead, I got some very unpleasant memories from when I tried out athletic sports and failed tremendously.

But then, right before my 15th birthday, my family and I made a trip to Italy. I remember flipping through a magazine and reading about this new trend called ‘Homeless Chic’. And apparently Mary-Kate Olsen incorporated it the best way possible. On the drive to Italy, I was reading a fashion magazine and still remember the exact picture, it was Gemma Ward wearing a ripped pullover from Dior. Next to her, Mariacarla Boscono in a similar outift. That day, I decided (!) that after the trip to Italy and all the pasta and pizza, I’d be anorexic.

Now people who say it was the magazine fault, stfu. In fact, do you remember that scene in SATC where Charlotte says that she can’t look at a magazine cover without thinking about her thighs? I absolutely hated it. Of course, the way how we see beauty is influenced by fashion mags and now, social media, but if a photo has that much power over you, there are probably some deeper issues.

In my case, it was the fact that I never felt beautiful or even appreciated. My father told me that he disliked the way I looked and also never took any interest in me, at least not as his child. He also let me know that he thought of me as lazy when I didn’t wanna do my homework or when I came home with a grade that was not brilliant. As for my mom, I could feel her disappointment when it became clear that I’d never be an athlete, nor good at science, especially maths. (She used to excel in both.) And her trying make me become better actually felt more like harrassment than encouragement. In addition to that, my family never had a normal way around eating and I can’t think of a single meal that wasn’t stressful in a way or another. According to what my mom has told me, I had a phase where I refused to eat when I was 3yo and since then, everyone in my family made sure that I ate enough, to the point that I was forced to empty my plate. And if all that wasn’t enough, let’s throw in the snide remarks my parents would make about my friend’s looks, some bullying at school, and a predisposition for depression that seems to run in my family.

I kept the promise I’d made to myself. When I turned 15, I weighed around 53kg (117lbs) for 1,79m (5’11”). A few months later, I went down to 46kg (101lbs), then 43kg (95lbs). One day, at a doctor’s appointment, my doctor pointed out that my state of health was pretty critical. That was when I was 16. The word she used was pathological. Yet, I never went to see a professional. I only had to go to a clinic where they did a couple of blood tests and then told me that my liver values were shit. But that was pretty much it. I never had anyone help me with a recovery plan or anything.

However, after this, I put on weight pretty quickly. I kinda happened automatically after I heard that my father was worried. This detail really annoys me up to this day. Daddy issues defining my life. Classic. And again, pathetic.

When I turned 17, my weight was up to 63kg (139lbs). Side note, the highest my weight had been before was 59kg (130lbs). And that was at a time when my mom let me know that my ass was getting huge and that a classmate said about me that he’d only consider dating me if I’d loose like 20kg (44lbs). In other words, I hated how I looked in that year. My face was puffy, everything felt huge, I didn’t feel like myself at all. So I slowly started loosing weight again, but still wasn’t happy with how I looked. Besides, shopping for jeans was a nightmare that time, my waist size being 30.

And then, I moved to Paris.

Didn’t know anyone there and later went through two rather difficult relationships. It didn’t take long until I was down to 46kg again. My mom came to see me and started to cry, which I found pretty annoying. I don’t know what made me gain weight after that, but slowly, I did and have maintained a weight of 57kg (125lbs), even though not always in a healthy way.

I still haven’t established a normal attitude towards eating yet, and probably never will, at least not completely. I’ve been in therapy a couple of times, not sure if it really helped. However, the number of bulimic episodes has decreased from 5 times a day to around twice a month. That’s at least something. My major motivation right now are my teeth. I know, it sounds sad, but I kinda stopped caring about other people’s feelings and opinions on what I should and shouldn’t do. (Probably because my parents did a great job at ignoring what was going on and especially after I had a friend tell me that the way I looked made her feel uncomfortable.) So yes, it’s about my teeth. Because even though they’re already paperthin, I would like to keep them until after I turn 50.

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