That’s me, the fat one.

I scroll through Facebook, pausing at a picture of sun-tanned friends, in bikinis, together on the beach. Their kids are playing nearby in the sand. My fingers pinch the picture to zoom in on their tummies. How did they even have kids, I wonder. I see no signs of that!

I pause next at a photo of a friend, standing next to her husband. She’s wearing a sundress, her teeth are gleaming white. She could shake her hair and be in a commercial. ┬áIt’s thick and wavy-it looks put-together even if it’s just tied in a knot on her head.

I see a comment that an acquaintance made about stubborn belly fat and how she’s gained 6 pounds from the beginning of cover, now weighing in at a whopping 120 pounds.

I read a thread on reddit where a guy is asking if he’s the asshole for wanting to dumb his girlfriend of 2 years because she now has love handles and he’s too grossed out to touch her around the waist.

I watch someone who has confided in me her struggles with anorexia post weekly side-by-sides of her weight loss while men comment with fire-emojis and women comment #goals! #perfection

Selfies everywhere. You are so beautiful. Look at you. Amazing. Gorgeous.

I would not even be able to give you an estimate of how many times a day I wish I were beautiful.

If you follow my facebook page, you may have noticed that last night we had a little chaos with a mouse loose in our house. I was chronicling it online so all of you could laugh at me, and my husband said, “Turn on your air drop. I have the BEST picture of the night.”

So he sends me this picture. My mom is standing on a chair. Avery is mid-run. I am standing on a chair, with the phone to my ear, making a horrified face like I’m screaming into the phone, while also bending down so the ceiling fan didn’t chop my head off.

IMG_0041

And all I could think?

I am so fat. Look at my disgusting stomach.

Look at how it hangs there. How can anyone look at me?

You better believe I did NOT share that photo on social media.

This has been my thing for so long that it’s just become a part of me. I dream of being beautiful. Of being thin. Of having hair that isn’t so thin it shows my scalp. Of being someone who actually got to have style when it comes to fashion instead of “whatever fits from the plus size section at Kohl’s”.

Brian chronicles our summers on Instagram. He’s done it for years now, taking pictures all day long of our activities and posting them. Twice this week I have angrily grunted something in his direction for posting candid pictures of me. I cringe when I see them and demand them to be removed.

This morning in the shower, though, I really wondered. How would my life change if I were beautiful?

Would I get more superficial compliments? Sure.

Would my author page go viral if I had a thinner face and a thin body? Maybe-but for how long?

Would my husband love me more? Nope.

Would I gain more respect from anyone? Big nope.

It’s time for me to be done.

To be done desperately trying to explain to people how UNlazy I am, how I eat the same as you, exercise, yet I stay fat. Even now, I want to tell you, when you see me–I walk 3 miles every day! I dance with my kids and swim! I drink a protein shake for breakfast and limit my carbs! I’ve been to all the doctors!

She’s lying. She’s lazy. She’s setting a bad example for her kids. She’s this and she’s that.

I’m done wishing I could fit in with everyone else. Done carrying it around like even MORE weight.

I’m done wishing that men would notice me, hold doors for me, want me. I don’t notice them, LOL! My life is amazeballs and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Isn’t it strange to think I want to be wanted just for funsies? To feel desirable.

Why do I spend so much time trying to be thin, fixating on it, worrying never endlessly? Sure, I’m trying to be healthy! But that’s not my main reason. Nope. It’s the shame I feel from others. The moral hierarchy where if you’re thin and beautiful your life is worth more.

Isn’t it about time I just enjoy what I’ve got? Dang, this all goes by so fast (minus perhaps the groundhog’s day feel of quarantine) and I think it’s about time I move on from all this self-loathing. It’s not a very beautiful quality, after all.

XO

Christy

 

 

 

 

You are not alone (sung in the michael jackson song way)

Several years ago, I was riding in the car with my mom, and, as usual, tears were streaming down my face. What was I upset about? Who knows. Was the reaction I was having too big for the problem? Probably.

She gently mentioned that she thought meds for my anxiety might help.

From there, it took me a year to call and make an appointment.

A YEAR.

And then, guess what? I canceled and rescheduled. Canceled and rescheduled.

Funny how when you have so much anxiety, you have too much anxiety to make an appointment to help with said anxiety.

I had just had a thing at school, the day I finally decided I had to do it. Enough was enough. I’d been accused of doing something that not only did I NOT do, I felt so angry and ashamed that someone could even THINK I could do something like that. I was sat down in an office and a parent was allowed to scream at me. I was sitting down, he was standing up. The whole thing was a NIGHTMARE.

And it rattled me. My dad used to yell at me like that. Scream. I yell at my kids from time-to-time. My dad was different. It was sharp. Angry to the point of scary.

I honestly felt like it rattled something loose inside of me. Things that I had bottled up for years and years. Things that I had stuffed down further to make room for grief.

A doctor said to me once that since my childhood was lived in fight-or-flight, that my body couldn’t really discern whether something simple like calling to make an appointment I didn’t want to have from something truly harmful.

So, I went on anxiety meds. I was one of those people before that said, “They are great. People should take them. Just not me.” The first 6 months were so horrible. I tried 3 different kinds of meds.

One made me literally fall asleep sitting up in the middle of the day, as though I as on actual drugs. One caused some trouble in an area I probably shouldn’t talk about, and one literally made me constipated.

I finally settled on one, and at first the difference was incredible. I didn’t feel so irritable! I didn’t want to yell! I hardly cried!

But then, after a while, I felt like they weren’t working. My dosage was upped.

And then again.

And then again.

And pretty soon I was on 150 mg of an SSRI and I felt like a walking ghost. It took me a while to realize that I was depressed. I was having the worst school year ever, and the stress was overwhelming. Some of my friends were pretty much done with me. Inter-personal relationships all around me were failing. I was having vivid, terrifying nightmares and not sleeping.

What’s funny is I was so close to upping my dose again, when something nagged me. Maybe, just maybe, these are the wrong meds for you.

I also bet you’re wondering what the heck my point is right now.

Today, I’ve been off anxiety meds for 5 days. I went from 150 mg to 100, to 50, to 25, to 25 e/o day, and now none.

And it’s possible because … drum roll … I haven’t been at work since March 13th. Teaching is STRESS. Our work is STRESS. During this quarantine, I’ve walked 3 miles every day (sometimes 6!). I’ve run and jumped into the pool with my kids to cool off when we arrive back home. I’ve slept in and read books and listened to podcasts and not sat with anxiety, wondering how I could cancel the thing I should never have agreed to. Ha ha, suckers! I don’t even have to answer the door, because quarantine!

Am I anxious about things? Heck, yes. But I’m not stressed. And I have laughed SO MUCH in the past 5 days. The thing about antidepressants is that they level you out. So there aren’t so many lows, but I wasn’t feeling the highs either. And the highs are what make me who I am!

I’ve been stressed since I was a small child. Will my parents divorce? What will my dad say or do next? Then a boyfriend who gaslit. Then my parents did actually divorce. Then infertility. Then cancer. Then the twins died. Then my mother in law. Then my family members hate me, what did I do?

Type II diabetes. Anxiety. Stubborn belly fat that won’t go no matter what.

S-T-R-E-S-S.

It’s time for me to attack the problem at the source. I HAVE to say no to things that don’t bring me joy. I have to say NO. I have to focus on my health. Exercise. Meditation. Nature. TAKING BREAKS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA!

If this doesn’t go well, I will 100% go back on anxiety meds. When school starts in the fall, and I have to go back in the building, which causes me to actually feel the stress rising up, and I need them again, I will take them. This post is not me advocating “Everyone go off their meds! WAHOO!” Not even a little. I’m not actually sure yet if this was the right thing.

But, like always, I share this to let you know that you’re not alone. Therapy. Meds. Stress. Sadness. Wondering if you’re normal.

You are, yo.

You are.

XO

Christy