Thursday, December 2, 2021

The ups and downs of my mental health (and my weight).

I'm not one to make excuses. When I gain weight, for example, I chalk it up to me eating a ton of cake. But that's not entirely true. It's just easier to say that than to admit that I'm on meds. It's even harder to admit that I'm on meds again after having so proudly written about being off meds in a blog post not too long ago.

But my recent weight gain came so incredibly quickly, I feel like it needs to be addressed. Especially since I had been posting about my weight loss journey every couple of weeks prior to this. "Weight loss journey pero ang taba naman niya," I heard someone say without them knowing I had heard them. So here is the part of my life you might not know about, dear judgmental creature...

After four whole years, my psychiatrist had recently weaned me off of Risdin, an anti-psychotic that I need to take to quiet down the voices in my head. Voices that tell me I'm not good enough. Voices that tell me to drink a little more alcohol than I should. Voices that tell me to hurt myself. Voices that tell me to hurt other people. Without Risdin, these voices get so loud, I can't hear or think about anything else but what they're telling me.

And the most common side effect of this drug that keeps the voices away? Weight gain. Weight gain that happens so quickly, you probably won't believe it's possible unless you had actually seen me a few weeks ago and then saw me again today.

On average, people who take Risdin gain about 12 pounds in two months. So, it might have come as a shocker for those who cheered me on during my short-lived weight loss journey to see me all blown up like a balloon again in such a short amount of time.

See, I had a mental health relapse recently. One that caused me to check myself into a hospital to stop myself from trying to take my life again. Yes, the voices were back with a vengeance. And so, Risdin is back in my life with a vengeance, as well. In less than three weeks, I had gone one size up and gained five whole kilos.

The only difference this time is that I no longer feel bad about the weight gain. I'm no longer ashamed of it. Well, maybe I am a little. I actually did Photoshop these photos to make the weight gain look less shocking, after all.

But I don't complain about the weight gain as much anymore. I kind of just live with it. And then I go home and Photoshop myself and remind myself that the body I currently live in isn't really mine. It's the body I have to live with in order to survive a little longer.

47 percent of schizophrenics usually take their own lives within a decade of being diagnosed and (right now, at least) I refuse to be part of that statistic. If being chubbier for a time is what it takes to heal and to keep on living, then I'll take this weight gain and wear it for as long as I need to.

I'm also telling this story to remind you that you don't know everything that is going on in a person's life so please don't be so quick to judge or make conclusions. This is my story. And it might sound like an excuse to you, but it is what it is.

At the end of the day, when my dose is lowered and I'm back on track with my workouts, I'll be able to shed this weight and look and feel better again. Can you say the same about you, dear judgmental creature?