At my biggest, depression has been a big factor in the way I look. The more depressed I am, the less I care about the way I look. I reached my biggest size, whilst working for Brickworth Corner Service Station, running my own business. This happened during the first two years. Interestingly I also reached my smallest, size 26" waist during the later half of my time at Brickworth. All of this taking place over a four year period!
So what happened during those eight months, what was going on with me, in my head, with my business, what was the cause of all this weight loss?
Up until 2003, the business was doing fine. It was making money, we had more than enough to live on, although I was depressed. We spent every minute of every day working and living at Brickworth. There was no let up, no break, no escape. In reality I guess I was totally unhappy with my life. The Bipolar made the situation, much, much worse. I was suffering from deep lows, was extremely unhappy about my situation. Myself and Jason lived in a confined space, 24/7. It was far from ideal and made me extremely unhappy!
Mid way through my ten stone weight loss. For me, at that time, I was happy to be loosing weight. In my own mind I was now accepting my fate and had decided on a future without the business I had been running up to then.
Sometimes relief is the best way to move on. Acceptance is the first step in going forward for most people. When you have Bipolar it can cause other problems. For me it bought on Manic episodes!
I was loosing weight for many reasons at that time. I was also bulimic at that time, unable to keep any amount of food down, I was spending a fortune on going out for expensive meals, only to throw up everything I had eaten. Jason was also unaware of my bulimia. I would throw up in plastic bags, when nobody else was about and hide it in the bins outside. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I just had to do it. I had no real idea why I was bulimic, but it was keeping me thin, although every time I looked in that mirror, I was still that fat person I used to be.
If I look back over my life, at the periods when I was at my biggest, I realise now, just how unhappy I was. I have a series of mental health conditions, and this makes this situation worse. At my largest, I think the darkest, most awful thoughts. Unhappy with myself and my life, I do not have a care for my future. In fact my future does not exist and I begin thinking very short term. Hating oneself becomes self destructive and causes self harm.
It's strange. I don't know if this is Bipolar related or not, but, I have to do everything to excess. I can't just gradually loose weight, I have to do it as I do everything in life, by binging! However, whatever the reasons, I was quite happy at the time and just continued to loose weight rapidly. My health was suffering as I know now, but my health has never meant anything to me. I have always looked down on myself, often comparing my physical health to that of my brothers, who is everything I am not. He is physically fit, works in physical education, has kids, a life and prospects, everything I am not!
I have always felt inferior to that of my Brother. This was exaserbated by my parents desire for me to be more like him. Why wasn't I successful? Why didn't I own my own house? Why didn't I have a decent career?
Here I am at 7.5 stone. This was the smallest I had ever been. I was ill and getting worse. My Doctors told me I was killing myself and I really did think it was the end for me. I felt trapped. There was no way out and I was just falling apart.
Once again it was Jason who came to my rescue. We had bought a house up north and in the end he literally forced me to go up there with him, to try and get well, without the influences of others around me in Southampton!
I am horrified, looking at this photograph now. I can't believe how small I got. If I hated my body when I was fat, I hated it even more at this weight. I was practically a skeleton.
I have to live with it every day of my life. I hate what it does to me. I hate the huge highs and deep dark, black lows. Bipolar made me 7 stone, it also made me 18 stone and all I ever wanted from my parents was understanding. Sadly I never got it. One day they may look past their own prejudice and understand what my life is about. My partner of twenty years lives with me and my illness every day and he did not deserve your contempt!
This is me now, today. The photograph was taken within the last month. I probably weigh about 14 stone. Not the largest or the thinnest I have been.
At the point of relapse I was about 11 stone in weight. I have discovered over the years that weight loss is very closely related to Mania. The fact I was loosing weight should have been a warning sign for me.
Part of the reason for writing this blog is to offer me tangible proof of relapse and to help me learn from that experience.
Hopefully in the future I can learn from these pages and make myself fully aware of a situation and how damaging it could be for me. Writing is good for the soul, it is also good for my health
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