Lately I’ve been a spectator in life. I think it’s because I see moments of my former self in people around me. I see these moments everyday and I have to say, it makes me sad to see how far I have slipped away from…well…me. I see people enjoying normal day-to-day activities such as running, hiking, being involved with the start-up of their kids spring sports, going to the cinema, dinner, etc..
I remember how much I used to love football/soccer season. It was such an exciting time in our house to be back to sports. This year has started back up and I haven’t been able to face it. My husband has had to do the practices and socializing with the other parents. I can’t bear to put on the fake smile, make the small talk and pretend that in some way outside of football/soccer we would all have something in common. I’ve lost a certain strength and fire in me that I once held. I lost my sense of adventure to conquer and explore. I guess I am still living with the hospital mentality of “let’s just survive today.” My therapist assures me that my “core being” is still in there and has never left. She tells me that my “core” is stronger than most people she has worked with. Whether she says this to everyone or not, I’m not sure. What I do know is that I have had to overcome a lot of traumas in my life so far and I am still here and standing. The thing is, I want to do more than just stand and exist. I want my life back. I want to feel involved, “switched on” and above all I want to feel strong, mentally as well as physically again.
My body seems suddenly as weak as my mind, which feels about as fragile as a piece of glass blowing in the wind during a storm. I have taken a hit on my self-esteem with my most recent psychotic break. I no longer have the faith that I once had in my resilience to come back from life’s everyday let downs, large and small. I have put on so much weight on since my medication cocktail they put together for me upon my discharge from the hospital in early December. My medication also makes me tired and I feel like a zombie which makes me want to sleep most of the time, this doesn’t help with my weight gain because of a simple lack of motivation for exercise. I have always had a slim figure but it’s been a slim, lithe figure.
After my hysterectomy in February 2013, my body felt weak and completely foreign to me. I felt let down not just by this one isolated occasion but more to do with a series of events that had built over the course of the last decade or so. My hysterectomy simply put, was “the straw that broke the camels back.” It took me about three months after my surgery to decide that I wanted to feel strong. It wasn’t enough to be slim any more, I needed to feel strong because I felt completely let down by my body. It was at this moment that my strong “core” seemed to have kicked in. I began to walk our Siberians everyday and then even that wasn’t enough. I began to walk them further distances everyday. I had to walk at least 2 1/2 to 3+ mile stints at a time. Before I knew it I had joined a gym (it had become too hot outside during the summer and I am allergic to just about everything out here) and was running on the treadmills. I even began to workout my arms and other parts of my body. I began to love the shape of my body and loved seeing and feeling just how strong I was getting. I had never felt better in my life both mentally and physically. Life was good.
It was to be short-lived. By the end of August I hit a wall. I had fallen ill with a sinus, double ear and chest infection. I didn’t want to fall behind and so I continued to push myself and just accepted a slower time. Little did I know that not only was I not healing, but I was also making myself more ill. It was also at this time I found out that my brother was issued several warrants for his arrest and was shooting up heroin. Everything seemed to be going wrong. My body was failing and my mind was unable to cope with all the stresses being thrown its way. I was eventually told by the doctors that if I didn’t take time to heal, I was going to come down with walking pneumonia and my mother used me as her crutch for everything about my brother and her depression. So with all my nervous energy and no physical outlet, I became completely unmanageable. I was unmanageable for myself and my family. My psychotic break was inevitable.
I have been really hard on myself lately with regards to the way I look and feel about my body. I beat myself up about my looks every single day. I hate to be touched and I hate to be looked at. I want to hide and blend into the background. This has never been me…ever. I used to believe I was born to stand apart from the rest. I miss those days and that feeling of confidence. I have allowed myself to slip so far physically (and mentally) that I no longer feel attractive and fear I will never be able to get back to looking AND feeling like I once did before all of this had started. Before my descent into my own personal hell that still has me in its grip. I feel like it’s easier to hide and sink deeper into the depths of medications and side effects than fight against them. I have given up emotionally and physically. Things will never be the same.