Taking My Life Back

Posted: March 15, 2015 in Bipolar Disorder
Tags: , ,

When trying to sum up how I have been feeling this week, and for the past 10 months since my diagnosis, the only way I could accurately describe it is I have lost who I am really am. I’ve lost, maybe even willingly given up, my life. I no longer recognize the woman looking back at me in the mirror. When did I become this person? When did I give up on myself, let myself go so badly? I am only a shell of the person I use to be and this shell is not a pretty picture. It’s a tattered and old picture in a broken frame. 

I miss me and I want me back. I want my life back. I want to laugh with my friends again, to work, to enjoy my children again, to be a good daughter and sister again, to learn to like myself again. I want to look in the mirror and not be shocked or repulsed at the woman staring back at me. I realize that I may never be the exact person I was before. This disorder may have robbed me of that. But I know that some where deep inside there are still parts of the old me waiting to surface again. All I need to search deep to find her. But where do I start? 

How do I begin to take back an entire life that was so abruptly and cruelly ripped from me?

Small steps. Little bits of myself that I can fix or change to resemble the person I once was….

My hair, which is a mixture of black (a drug store color from 2-3 months ago), grey framing my face and playing peek-a-boo through my entire head, and my natural color- a blah brown that I haven’t see in more than 20 years.  

My personal appearance which has been lacking for months now. It’s been ages since I have worn makeup, tweezed my brows, did my hair, got a trim, or even moisturized. My normally naturally tanned complexion is now pale and pasty, with wrinkles forming in all the right places- crows feet around my dull brown eyes and deep lines engraved across my forehead. My eyes are now circled with dark, puffy shadows that show the signs of the personal hell I have been living in. My mom once told me that when I was a little girl I would always “smile with my eyes”.  Before a smile ever reached my lips my eyes would sparkle and shine. That was decades ago. They have long since lost their sparkle and shine. 

The part of my appearance that has taken the hardest hit, and has the most impact on my self esteem, is my weight. Since my initial breakdown in April of last year the scale has continued to regularly climb. I had not been small before the breakdown and all the meds, but I had been much smaller than I am now.  My weight tips the scale at over 240 pounds- the heaviest I have ever been in my life. My clothes that fit post breakdown are all way to small and most I have gotten rid of because it’s such a cruel reminder.  While I understand and accept why I have gained the weight- poor eating habits, medications, emotional eating, binge eating during depressive episodes- it still does not make the weight any easier to deal with and I know it is recking havoc on my self esteem and on my life. I often wonder- would I feel better mentally if I felt better about my appearance? Would I have more motivation to get back out there and start working full time again? Would I be more willing to socialize with my friends, get dressed up and go out if I weren’t as big? Which brings me to the next aspect of my life that has been lost since my breakdown and diagnosis….

My social life. Where do I even begin? It’s been months since I hung out with my friends. Months even since they have asked me to hang out. They tried, they really did. For the first few months they called to check on me regularly and invited me out each and every time they went out. I was never excluded from plans, although they knew I would most likely not show up, which I never did. I wanted to, so many times. I even tried to coax myself along at times, making plans to go out and backing out at the last minute. Then there was the one time I actually tried to go out. It was Boxing night, a night when everyone went out and partied in our small town. A lot of people were home from other provinces for the holidays and the bar would be packed by midnight. I had told myself, and 2 of my friends, that I was definitely going out. I got dressed up, did my hair and makeup, and met my friends at one of their houses. We had a couple drinks before going to another persons house for pre-club drinks. After just an hour, and  no where near enough drinks to lower my inhibitions, we went to the bar, which was about half filled to capacity of roughly 100 people. Immediately I began to feel self conscious. It felt as if every eye in the place was on me. A hot sensation made it’s way to my cheeks, a bead of sweat forming on my forehead. My chest felt tight and my breath laboured. I somehow got separated from my friends and couldn’t see them sitting at a table at the far end of the dark club. I panicked. To get to the point- I went outside and hailed and cab and was home in 5 minutes where I broke down in uncontrollable tears, the stress of the whole ordeal suddenly hitting me, along with he realization of the small deed that I had once thoroughly enjoyed and could no longer do. That was nearly 3 months ago. I haven’t tried since. 

I wish I could say these are the only things that have changed dramatically over the past 10 months but sadly, they aren’t. As I have already mentioned my marriage (although a farce from the get go) fell apart, my relationship with my sister and parents has been strained at times, I no longer feel capable of working full time which means I struggle financially, and I have become very reclusive. 
I have isolated myself in a world all my own. Now how in the hell do I get out of it and into the real world? 


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Comments
  1. hughescch says:

    Saying you lost who you really are is the most accurate description. I agree 100% x

    Liked by 1 person

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