Good morning Fatosphere and body acceptance friends! See… there is a picture of me and some lovely morning sunlight in the background - this is me coming alive and starting to feel again. Whooo hoooo!
I didn’t realize it, but over the last year (and probably longer) my emotions were slowly and steadily leaking away from me… and with them my inspiration for writing anything. Initially I thought it was happiness and healthiness that was causing the block, but I’ve felt happy recently and I can still write. In hindsight, I realize I was on meds that were so not right for me. I didn’t realize it until I came off them for reasons that had nothing to do with emotional numbness; I just couldn’t sleep properly anymore.
Will I be able to blog consistently now that Prozac and Zoloft are out of my life? I really don’t know. I am wary to make promises that I am not sure that I will be able to keep. What I know for sure is that I feel this awakening sense of a need for connection and a desire to write again and I hope that I will be able to be more consistent again. Wish me luck, friends.
Waking up from a deadening of emotion since I started Zoloft (about a year… maybe even more, since the Prozac I was on pre-Zoloft also numbed me, just not as dramatically) is no fun. The muscles I had built up for emotional coping are a bit atrophied and I feel like I’ve lost some ground. But, there is some difficult to articulate benefit… I appreciate emotion more. Before this experience, I wished to be something like a machine* and not having to deal with the constant tempest that lives inside me. I didn’t realize the good things the tempest gives me – creativity, empathy, compassion, motivation, inspiration and so many other things that I can’t think of right now. I’m waking up to realize I am horribly lonely from alienating some of the few friends I had and losing touch with this lovely blog. It is a large, painful loneliness I was even beginning to feel on the medication that stole most of the rest of my feelings. I feel like I’m living with a yawning void inside of me at the same time as the sparkly parts of me are also coming back to life.
Waking up from emotional numbness has also left me vulnerable to negative body image. I’ve searched the web and reread the basics and it has helped, but, you know… lost ground and all that. I’m remembering to look at my body as a partner, but also as a tool for living – a tool that I have to respect and take care of, if I’m going to be able to live life. I am relearning that my body is not clay that my morality is stamped on and where fatness and other imperfections are not evidence of my being “less than,” bad, or even evil and definitely worthy of abuse and punishment. Yes, I know “evil” is a strong word, but with the poor small emotional coping muscles I have at the moment “evil” is truthfully where my mind goes a lot of the time. It is very interesting that after a year or so of being nearly impervious to body negativity that this is where my mind goes. It seems like the world is so full of body hate that without my emotional coping muscle to take up space in my mind that I very quickly became filled with the self-loathing the world pours out by the stadium full everywhere I look.
Which brings me to the joy of water…
My behavior with water has travelled a pendulum’s stroke. When I was in my early 20′s, diet obsessed and riddled with an eating disorder that I didn’t know I had, I read too many articles about how drinking lots of water helps one be thin. So, I drank water – lots and lots of water. I felt sloshy most of the time. (You know, that feeling when you’re so full of water that you can hear it sloshing around inside you and your entire being feels diluted.) I was a slave to my bladder, felt so cold all the time and something else I can only describe as water sick.
When I was hungry, I drank large glasses of water. Of course, this only works for so long (if at all depending on how diet fatigued your body is) before it backfires on someone so gullible and self-loathing as to try this and, of course, eventually it did for me too. My reaction was to dehydrate myself for many years. The thought of feeling sloshy again horrified me, so I overcompensated, which wasn’t an extremely helpful reaction either really… but at least it got me to where I am now. I am drinking water. I am drinking lots of water, but only according to the wishes of my body. I am learning that it is possible to be hydrated without overdoing it to the point of feeling unwell and I’m realizing that it feels really good in the happy middle ground of water drinking. I just feel better… more energy, less stomach trouble and all that. It also feels so lovely to be doing something good for my body just for the respect and good maintenance of my body, as opposed to the old fantasy of being thin motivations of water drinking past.
In fact, I am finding a new appreciation of food in general. I am, in fact, one of those fatties who doesn’t really like food. Ironically this not liking food has caused overeating rather than prevented it. Listen well ”fatties love food more than anything else” trolls. I was often force-fed as a child and it has left me a very picky eater. Often the mere thought of eating left me feeling nausea and violated, so I left off eating as long as possible to avoid the icky emotions attached to it until my body’s self-preservation switched on and made sure I overate to compensate for the constant mini-famines. Something about having the break from major emotion and coming back to life now seems to have left me room to appreciate food again. I am able to eat mindfully (instead of in the normal zombie-state required to avoid feelings of being violated by food for me anyway) and stop when I’m full and before the nausea of overfullness (and feeling even more violated by being overfull) sets in. I can see food as fuel for this lovely body as opposed of just another torture devised by old abusers. I have also been able to recreationally and mindfully enjoy food. Yup, humans do eat for more reasons than just to fuel the body. This is normal and healthy; the sugar cookies I made for Christmas were delicious!
Maybe I needed to have this experience with Zoloft to learn these much needed lessons – the appreciation of emotions and my body. I’m starting to feel a little grateful for it… :) This feels like the beginning of a new adventure and hopefully one that will bring me more in tune with my body, a more positive body image and a brighter, more fulfilled life.
*Okay, I still want to be a machine a lot of the time, but the appreciation for emotion that I have learned has made a huge difference in my life and I wouldn’t give up my feelings right now if I had the choice to. Oh right, I do have the choice to… I could take more Zoloft and that is so not happening sleep issues or not.
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