They say that the change of season is the time to say goodbye to the old, and perhaps also time to bring in the new. People talk about renewal and growth and change.
We are nearing the solstice and it’s a time to think about darkness and light and the sun.
It occurs to me that right now I am sitting here at my desk and besides my lone desk lamp, the light coming from the computer monitor, and a small amount of daylight coming in through a nearly closed shade, there is no light in here. Sure, there are other lights I could turn on, and I could raise all my shades, but I choose not to.
No, I honestly feel that the “negative energy” (as someone recently put it) that I currently experience has absolutely nothing to do with “absence of light,” “seasonal affective disorder,” “holiday blues,” or anything like that. Cold, ice, and snow pose practical difficulties for me and discomfort but do not cause “depression,” if you want to call it that.
It’s my circumstances that make me this way. It’s the way people treat me. It’s the general attitude and the disrespect I get from society in general. It’s tough to live with from day to day, so I’ve become bitter.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…..Mental illness is three-fold:
1) The way we are inside
2) The way society treats us
3) The result of “treatment”
…not necessarily equally proportioned, and not proportioned the same for everyone. Some never seek treatment or are never able to afford treatment, so #3 may not apply. A few people luck out, generally those with money, and receive decent, appropriate, respectful treatment, and these lucky people improve. Most, however contract secondary illnesses or symptoms or side effects as a result of routine treatment or inappropriate treatment or downright bad treatment.
I believe that I became the bitter, angry bitch that I am that no one can stand to be around because of #2 and #3. People are not born bitter and angry and I was not this way as a child, certainly.
I wasn’t even this way a few years ago. I was searching around for a thumb drive to transfer my Nano book onto, as I don’t want to keep it on the thumb drive it’s on now. I located one I haven’t used for years. I plugged it into my computer and was surprised to find some old videos made in 2007. I viewed one of them. This was made before I relapsed with my anorexia. I was immersed in graduate school and Puzzle was about a year old.
My first reaction? No, I did not say, “Oh my god, I’m so fat!”…well, I did say that, but my very first reaction before the “f” word was to note how slowed down I seemed on so much medication. Sure enough, I took out a huge box and showed the audience all my bottles of pills, stating that I took meds four times a day. I showed the audience a pile of papers and stated that this was the work I was doing for graduate school.
I had only been watching the flick for a few seconds when the “fat” adjectives started running through my head. I promised myself I would never look like that again. I asked myself, “How could I stand to look like that when now, x pounds lighter, I still feel like I need to lose weight, and am still starving myself?”
Seeing Puzzle pop onscreen at the end of the video made it worth its weight in gold, as they say. She was such a little fuzzy floppy little creature at a year old.
Recently, as I was finishing up Nano, I found another video of myself, made a few weeks after the summer solstice of this year. Readers, you may or may not remember this, but back then, I was suffering from severe binge eating. In the video, dated in July, I am in a state of despair over my weight and the fact that I felt that the binge eating would never end. I was heavier than I am now. I had sought treatment and was unable to find appropriate treatment anywhere. It wasn’t affordable or it was inaccessible to me.
I watched the video a few nights ago. It made me so, so sad. I cringed seeing my face because (sorry, only being honest here) my cheeks seemed “fat” to me and the expression on my face was one of pure misery. And again, just being honest, I had no desire to go on living. And no, no one knew the depth of this and no one ever found out even after I was “sectioned.” I was “sectioned” for petty reasons and I never admitted my suicidality to anyone. Not that I’m going to talk about it all that much here. Again, this was a number of months ago.
I like that I have old videos. I like that today, I gave away a dress to charity. It is one of the dressed I hid in last spring. I hid my body because I was ashamed of weight gain. So in that sense, I was throwing out clothes that symbolized a miserable time. Some people, when they lose weight, toss out their “fat clothes” but this dress was more like “hiding clothes.”
And bring in the new….On my way home from the clothes charity drop box, I found a necktie on the ground. It is still wet, and I am hanging it to dry. I see no stains on it. Finders keepers losers weepers.
I am a loser and a weeper but I have found a treasure today. And it fits, too. Joy to the world.