Broken Glass (Part One: Prompt)

I knew it
I knew it deep in my gut
You couldn’t be trusted
And so I told you
But you scoffed

Crashing metal
Searing pain up my right side
I watched blood flow
From where the broken glass
Left a perfect line


This poem is a prompt/response collaboration with Auroraboros. To read his response, visit: Broken Glass (Part Two: Response)

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Smoke (Part One)

Tension releases
Dust settles
And we pack up
I with mine
And you with yours
Conversation flows
Like the smoke
From each our embers
Easily
Effortlessly
Swirling
Tangling together above us

This poem was written in collaboration with Auroraboros, of the blog Objects, and the Distance Between Them. To read the final lines of this poem, visit: Smoke (Part Two)

Reading

As I mentioned in my last post, in creative collaboration with the brilliant Auroraboros of the blog Objects, and the Distance Between Them, we created a poetry recording. I’m going to let these speak for themselves:

Poem: Inferno by Nandita
Recording Inspiration: All So Far Away by Auroraboros performed by Misterkaki (https://misterkaki.blog/2018/05/16/all-so-far-away-ouroboros/)

Our recording of Inferno can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gW1OpNv6ovsF1A5L1yr2aFf_SJHIq5xd/view?usp=drivesdk

Hope

May is Mental Health Awareness month in the United States, and in honor of that, I’ll be writing a series of posts related to my past and present struggles with mental health. For post four, I want to share about how yesterday, I was reminded of hope.  Continue reading “Hope”

Anxious

May is Mental Health Awareness month in the United States, and in honor of that, I’ll be writing a series of posts related to my past and present struggles with mental health. For post three, I want to share how I’m feeling today. Continue reading “Anxious”

Weight

May is Mental Health Awareness month in the United States, and in honor of that, I’ll be writing a series of posts related to my past and present struggles with mental health. For post two, I want to share something I didn’t expect to be a part of my journey.

I’ve battled body/image dysmorphia since a young age. Boys and girls are taught how to feel about their bodies from their parents, usually the parent of the same sex specifically. My mother has and continues to struggle with body dysmorphia and has openly bashed her own body/appearance my entire life. My biological father, who was more present in my childhood than in adolescence and adulthood, had a naturally slender and fit body and enjoyed exercise and sports. My older brother took after our dad. My stepmom is a woman who has trouble gaining weight and has a small frame. In the genetic line on both sides of my family, being thin and fit was actually more in the minority, and favored the men. I was a chubby kid. I took after the women on both sides and was always a little heavy. My brother, dad, and some peers had no problem making jokes and back-handed comments about my weight. I was a dancer. A ballerina, among other forms. I spent a good amount of my time wearing a leotard and tights, surrounded by mirrors and dancers who were much thinner than I was.

I graduated high school, stopped dancing, and began college. I was starting to get heavy at the end of high school…my Senior year I worked 20 hours a week, danced 15 hours, went to high school, and took classes at the local community college. I made some measly attempts to lose weight during my Freshman year of college, but after two months of being too scared to look at the scale (for fear of it being over 184.2) and after looking at an extremely unflattering photo of myself my Sophomore year I got more serious about weight loss. I dieted and exercised and in five months I had lost just under thirty pounds. I was 155. I graduated high school at 165. I fit into a size SIX dress! But depression was right around the corner, and it was about to hit me harder than I had been hit before that point.

I kept the weight off for four or five months before I gained it back…not so gracefully. In the Summer two years ago, I wanted to get healthy and fit. I took some “before” photos, and I was roughly 175 on a good day. My size ten pants and dresses were fitting pretty tight and my wardrobe was limited. For reasons that will be covered in various other posts over time, attempts to get fit were feeble and my battle with depression was crushing. Those two years were the hardest years I’ve ever survived.

But this is about my weight. And why I feel compelled to write about it. I feel compelled because it is something that took me a long time to understand myself. It’s something I wish someone had written out for me to read so maybe I would’ve understood sooner, or could help my family understand.

In October I weighed 175 pounds (80 kg). The first ten pounds was heart break, then I fell into an extreme depression that caused me a need to change my antidepressants. I learned that I had a gluten intolerance (I’ve experienced years of digestion issues/stomach pain) which made me hungry for nothing. Most things hurt my stomach. The switch in medication did wonders for my depression, but I noticed myself feeling more anxious. I didn’t think much of it, just relieved that the darkness wasn’t as thick and pressing as it had been. I could get out of bed more days.

The next fifteen pounds was ADHD. Within a month of getting dumped I was diagnosed with ADHD, a diagnosis my evaluation suggestions should have been made fifteen years ago, and prescribed Adderall, which helped my focus a ton. I felt more like myself again. I felt like I was able to do all I knew I was capable of. Like I could access 90-100% of my brain instead of 50-60%. However, Adderall suppressed my appetite even more. As I got a new job and my holiday hours increased at my part time job–there just wasn’t time to shop for, make, and eat food that I wasn’t ever able to eat much of.

The final twenty pounds was anxiety. It crept up and consumed me. Turns out a side effect of my ADHD medication is anxiety, on top of the anxiety I already had. My job started getting really stressful and hours became longer and more demanding. I lost my grandfather very quickly and unexpectedly. A close personal relationship developed in a way I wasn’t expecting with anyone. I was experiencing anxiety every day at levels of physical discomfort to panic. The levels of fight or flight where your digestion system slows and shuts down. My doctors gave me Xanax and upped my antidepressant dose. Well, turns out I just react to my antidepressants with anxiety and Xanax makes you anxious on the come down and it’s habit forming. So I have anxiety around the frequency of taking them–though they do help a lot to relieve the physical discomfort in my chest.

My doctors and I are working on changing my medication and finding the right balance for me. In the meantime, it’s a waiting game. Most days are bad days. Afternoons are the hardest. My medication for ADHD and my anxiety makes most foods sound and smell repulsing, no matter how hungry I might feel. Those feelings can quickly turn to nausea.

So now I weigh 129 pounds (58 kg). I think I started high school at about 145 lbs, for reference. After two decades of weight struggle, learning to lose weight in a healthy way but struggling hard to really feel like I met a goal, I had lost 45 pounds in about three and a half months. I went from a size 10 to a size 4. I get congratulations and told that I’m inspiring by people I know and people I don’t and I feel horrible. This thin body is weak and depleted. It has weathered the storms of heartbreak, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and medication imbalances. To me, this body is sick and needs to get better.

I did not know how much my mental illness could affect my body, specifically my weight. A stigma of mental illness is that it’s not a “real” illness. “Well, you’re not actually sick…”, but may I, and this post, beg to differ. My body sure does. One thing I know for sure is that I can get through this.

Until next time,
M