I am going to tell you the truth. My anxiety has been taking a toll and my mental health has been suffering. I’ve found myself avoiding writing because the truth tends to come out when I do. I don’t like to share this because there is so much suffering in the world and for me to expose mine feels so small. I realize just because there is a lot of pain in the world does not mean it diminishes mine.
So, here it is, I have been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and high functioning depression.
For the longest time, I knew I had a problem. I tried to work it out myself along with my significant other. I’ve tried avoiding it, I’ve tried distractions and kept busy by adding more and more to my to do list. It reached a point where I felt exhausted physically and mentally. My partner felt like he couldn’t help me like a therapist could so I sought help.
So, this is why I haven’t written or shared anything on the blog. Anything I thought of or came up with just seemed meaningless, fake, exaggerated even.
Yet, here I am writing and not giving up. Now, I hope over time I can begin to heal.
This post is not going to be about anxiety or depression. I shared this with you because I want to be honest and open, no matter how uncomfortable I feel sharing this. Mental health needs to be acknowledged, so many of us suffer silently and alone, even when many of us have loving people who want to help and understand. I know this first hand. I just told my family and I dreaded every minute of it. I felt like they would judge me, think me weak, or even look at me differently. I felt like they would not know how to act around me or if I would have to act differently. I really didn’t know what to expect but I think it went well and I think we will learn along the way. Remember, your mental health does not define you, it does not make you any less of a person.
Anyway, due to my anxiety disorder and eating habits it has caused me to lose a lot of weight and indulge often on sweets. Since starting therapy, I’ve been able to realize just how bad my eating habits are. You would think with all the sweets and carbs I consume on a daily basis I would gain weight but the problem is that I don’t eat enough. This made me realize something I NEED to share with you.
Your body size does NOT determine your worth or your happiness. Yes, I do think it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle- a lifestyle that keeps you feeling strong and happy. No matter what you go through you only have one body. A body unique to you.
Now, I know we live in a society that praises thinness and believes being skinny is a blessing, but in reality it’s nothing special. You might look at me and say it is so easy for you to say that, you look slim.
I want to try to get my point across clearly and I hope I explain this well because when it comes to weight and looking a certain way, so many of us are sensitive; mostly because we have been hurt and it’s understandable.
So, there was a time when I was fuller. I weighed about 125 and I’m 5’3″. That had been the heaviest I had ever been and I felt disgusting. I saw all the excess fat I wanted to lose and I didn’t like how my body looked. I constantly obsessed how clothes looked on me and I wanted to be thinner.
Fast forward to when I found out about my gluten intolerance and out of necessity I changed my diet. I suddenly lost 10 pound and found myself at 115 pounds. I thought, wow I finally lost that weight I wanted to lose and I was happy for a time. Until I kept losing. The lowest I reached was 109 and I have been able to stabilize myself at 110. I hope by some hard work at toning my body and eating more balanced meals I might reach 115 again.
With all this weight lost I still found myself unhappy. I felt like I lost my shape and curves. I feared I would keep losing weight without wanting to and I didn’t know what to do.
Even though I looked a certain way, I felt like my body betrayed me. I felt like I didn’t know it anymore. I might have looked a certain way but I didn’t feel it. I felt unhealthy, weak, tired and fragile.
This comes to show it doesn’t matter what your scale number is, it matters how you FEEL. Do you feel healthy, strong, energetic, happy and motivated? Are you happy with your diet and your lifestyle? If you are not, then you have the power to change it.
Yes, society glorifies thin bodies but just because you look a certain way doesn’t mean you feel healthy and happy.
Instead, glorify yourself. Appreciate all your flaws, whether they are mental, physically or emotional, they are yours to work on and to overcome. They are yours to hate and to love. They are there to help you become wiser and stronger. It is your right to feel proud when you grow and reach your goals.
Even though I felt betrayed by my mind and body I know it won’t let me down. I know it will be there to catch me as it does every day. No matter how I feel about it, it will do its job and keep working until the day it stops. The same couldn’t be more true for you.
People say, women will never be happy with their bodies. I think as a society, if we constantly tell each other we need to change, that we are never complete if we don’t lose more, gain more or tone more to look a certain way, then I think they are right. In those circumstances I don’t think we will ever be happy with how we look. Don’t forget to add comparison and social media into the mix to help distort your self-perception.
So, screw it! To hell with all of it. Do what helps you feel free, empowered and happy, and please don’t forget healthy. For without health what do we really have?
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Until next time,