Friday, April 3, 2015

THAT is the woman I see in the mirror...

I was the bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding two weeks ago. I told the photographer, also a friend of mine, that I would happily be in any photo as long as I never have to see them.

And then yesterday happened.

The photos were uploaded to Facebook. I have been off and on again close to tears since seeing them.

I see myself in the photos, and that is not the woman I see in the mirror each morning.  The photo with this post... THAT is the woman I see in the morning. She's fluffy, but she's adorable and has a bit of pizzazz in her step.

I’m pretty real with myself about my body image. I know I am overweight, I have struggled with this my entire life… and I know it takes the world’s opinion about my level of attractiveness and kicks it in the shins. However, the photos made me feel like the ugliest and most unwanted person on the face of the earth (and it wasn’t the photographer, she did a great job on the wedding photos).

The last time I saw the clock before going to sleep, it was about 2am. I woke up multiple times during the night and come 7am, I got up with no alarm because I had nightmares about the photos all night and didn’t want to return to them. I arrived to work at 8:40am.  To most, this is a fairly normal arrival time.  For me… well, it was significantly early for my I’m-not-a-morning-person 10am-6pm schedule.

My anxiety triggers are generally anything to do with motor vehicles, and large groups of people/social situations.  Apparently, so is my body image.  I try to be strong and tough about it, but it is getting more difficult to cope with. 

I work hard to eat healthy. Heck, I eat healthier than most of my thinner friends. Seriously. Not fair? Yeah, I know. Exercise is something I need to work harder to include in my life; I know this. I have heard often that with weight loss, it’s like 80% diet and 20% exercise – so you’d think I’d be able to tackle this better.

Case in point, I am going to start a new chapter of becoming well again.

I’m tired of everything, and changes need to be made.  I’m especially tired of the last few years of being treated like a guinea pig/lab rat by various medical providers. Between the aftermath and effects of being hit by that drunk driver almost 10 years ago, my weight, and multiple misdiagnoses regarding what’s going on in my brain (currently we're down to temporal lobe seizure activity, anxiety, and possible PTSD)… I’ve been medicated off and on with several variations of poison for the last 5 years.  I’ve been put on Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), Lamotrigine (Lamictal), Tegretol (Carbamazepine), and the most recent round was Celexa (citalopram) – and it destroyed me.  I gotta tell you, the Lamotrigine and Celexa were the worst. Oh. My. Heck.

My next neurology appointment is in June, with an MRI scheduled during May.  I’m going to call my neurologist next week and tell him I don’t want to be put on any other medication until I see him again. Until then, I will be doing a cleanse and exploring some natural/homeopathic options for the anxiety, which will include working to get my weight down. I can’t control what happens on the roads, or how I react to social situations, but my weight… that’s something I can (with great effort) control. Right? Right???

Wish me luck, send over some prayers, and everything will be OK.


Stephanie said...

Those are heavy drugs. I am surprised you were prescribed several of those as there are better choices available for you. And yes, the side effects of a couple are h... to come off of. I don't know what kind of doctor is prescribing those drugs, but I know an excellent doctor familiar with all those drugs and side effects who might give you ideas for other meds. Sounds like your doses could be a little high and you weren't allowed to slowly build up to an effective dose which can be under the average dose. I know if you've been misdiagnosed and put on a couple of these drugs it would really mess you up. Make sure you allow enough time for a drug to clear your system before you try a natural approach. They can interact. I don't know the half life of all the drugs you listed. I had one drug took me 6-7 weeks to come off and was still sick. No, it's not on your list! Lamictal is used as an anti-convulsant and mood stabilizer. It can be effective on depression in Bipolar I I but it's not an SSRI. If a doctor told you that, it's not correct. Of course meds can be prescribed for off label use. I know you know I have experience with many drugs. If I lined them up, I would have a small pharmacy! Lol But they have saved my life. LOTS of prayers on this end for you...always. I'm available for walks. I can't go fast as my foot is still healing but the weather is inspiring. For anyone who walks around Far North off Campbell Airstrip, a neighbor saw a brown bear.

Joanna Dickson said...

Thanks, Stephanie. I will edit the post regarding the SSRI thing - yes the doctor told me that Lamictal was an SSRI. Sheesh. The doctors behind all the "fun" include a nutritionist, a family doctor, a psychiatrist, and a neurologist. If you're gonna get messed with, have a team, right?