Ya know, I typed out the title of this post and I felt so nervous doing so. For someone as transparent as I am this is still such a hard topic for me to openly discuss. Not out of shame. It’s mostly the guilt and fear of other people’s opinions that are causing me to feel so uneasy. I’m not even someone who cares about what other people think, but this is just different for me. I’m not a punk though so I’m gonna finish this out though.
When I was born I was 1/2 an ounce away from being 9 pounds. My mom had to be induced because there was no room left for me to grow in her stomach. My parents brought home all almost 9 pounds of me and that is where my life began. Not to toot my own horn, but I was always intelligent. Ever since I was a child I was smart as hell. I articulated myself. I knew what I wanted. I also just knew what I knew to be true and what was true is that…something wasn’t right.
Growing in a household with someone who has mental illnesses is hard. It’s even harder when no one around you talks to you about it. Yet, you are seeing and experiencing everything just like they are. I’ve witnessed those spaced out moments, those moments of rage and anger (and been on the receiving end of them), the arguments, the school incidents, everything. I was a silent bystander to it all. Yet, I never knew what was actually happening. I just knew it wasn’t right. I tried talking to the adults in my life, but everyone always shut me down. “That’s just how she is.” is the response I would usually get. I always asked myself, if that is who she is but who she is hurts me then what does that mean? At an early age, I learned to be quiet and accept things as they were because no matter if you didn’t like it or not it wasn’t going to change so you suck it up and you deal.
How I dealt with it all was through food. Food. Food. Food. My house was a free for all. We had snacks in abundance, no one was counting portions or calories and I was allowed to eat what I wanted 99% of the time. It was that freedom to have control over what I ate that made me feel in control. The food made me happy and all I wanted to do was be happy so this can’t be a bad thing, right?
The funny thing about food is if you eat enough of the bullshit you start to gain weight. I would have to safely assume that Little Debbie cakes and Hi-C orange are 100% in the bullshit categories. I gained weight and I gained weight fast. I was always growing out of my clothes. I felt ashamed and embarrassed because while I wanted to wear the cute clothes all my friends were wearing, my expanding waist line was making that harder and harder to do.
As the issues continued and the tension was permanently thick, I just continued to eat. I would sneak food, binge, feel terrible, binge some more and then do it all over again. It was a very vicious cycle. Of course you get teased by classmates from time to time. Thankfully I had pretty good friends so I was usually defended if anyone tried to make fun of me. Funny enough, my issue usually was with adults who would speak out of turn to me. Whole, old ass adults teasing a child. That shit still annoys me to this day because I have a low tolerance for nonsense and that is top tier nonsense. You know what else it is? Dangerous, because now you don’t feel safe anywhere. Adults are supposed to be the safety net, but instead they were my bullies. So now I have to worry about home life, other students, AND adults? Someone pass the Doritos! That was truly my mood for YEARS!
Things worsened when my dad died because not only was I still battling things that happened before his death, I now had to battle with PTSD, paranoia, depression, and severe anxiety. I ate allllll the time. I was so depressed I couldn’t function and I honestly do not even remember much of my sophomore to senior year of high school. I’ve also never admitted out loud that I do not remember much of my 4 years of college either. Memory loss due to depression is real and I don’t think I was ever more depressed than I was from 2010-2018. I really don’t think I stopped being depressed until this year, and I am not even exaggerating.
Well my wrist is starting to hurt so, I’ll wrap this up now. I didn’t start deciding to take care of my body until I turned 26. People tell you 18, 21, and 25 are the most monumental years of your life. I don’t remember mine so they may be right, but for me it’s 26. 26 is when you really start to realize that you are actually getting older. Like actually. I realized that I may actually want a little crumb snatcher of my own one day, I may want to be in union with someone one day. Most importantly, I realized that keeping this weight on my body is a punishment. It is a punishment for all the things I felt I should’ve done when in reality I couldn’t do anything. It wasn’t my job to do anything. It’s a punishment for feeling like God betrayed me when my father died and so I decided to turn my back on him. I was angry at God for a veryyyy long time. It is a punishment for all the things I believed I didn’t allow myself to be, even though I’ve accomplished more in my lifetime than most adults have. I realized that I have to stop punishing my body for all the things I feel we did wrong.
Being fat is not a crime. You shouldn’t be mean to people because of their body size. You shouldn’t criticize your own body either. I am not hating myself to health. I am loving myself through this. This journey takes forgiveness. It takes feeling things I’ve repressed. It takes grit and stamina. It takes wanting better for myself. It’s a journey and it is a process, but I’ve been through worse.
My body, this large body of mine, carried me through some of the darkest, scariest moments of my life. It allowed me to push myself past reasonable limits time and time again. This body allowed me to make mistakes. It supported me when I needed to pick myself up and move on. It is one of the few things in my life that has never let me down, even when I didn’t do right by it. My body is the reason I am still here today. The least I could do is honor our journey by making sure we make it through another 26 years and beyond. I owe myself that much.