Cloudy with a chance of confusion…

Our language needs a word that means relieved and disappointed. I need that word right now but it’s not there. Bittersweet just doesn’t cut it. Maybe reppointed? Disalieved? Umm… nah for both.

Two weeks ago I asked one of the social workers from the Canadian Mental Health Association (I deal with a revolving team) where I was on their subsidized housing list. She didn’t know but would look into it and let me know the following week. Last week it wasn’t her and that worker hadn’t been informed of my question. She had, however, heard the housing manager mention me by name and thought she saw my name near the top of the list. Cue excitement and panic in equal amounts.

When I applied for the list last year, I was told there was a four to five year wait list, which gave me plenty of time to save up for a moving truck and any extra necessities. It also gave Colin a chance to get farther along with school and college. Now, suddenly, we were faced with an imminent move. How soon was soon? July 1st? September 1st? We had no idea.

What about my plans? We get what’s called a Trillium Benefit in Ontario and you can choose to get it monthly or in one lump sum in June. I was going to save this lump sum and next one for moving expenses then switch to monthly and start putting most of that aside too. I’m figuring I’ll get around $500 each payment. One payment is meh for hiring a mover and my closest friends are in wheelchairs (plus I don’t drive) so I can’t exactly rent a Uhaul and get friends to help out.

And what about Colin’s plans? He’s currently taking an accelerated program that crams all the core subjects of high school into a matter of months. He’s struggling already. Having to pack and move while going to school every day would be too much.

So the both of us have spent the past week alternating between excitement and panic, relief and disappointment. Our own places sound great. No clutter for me and no one nagging about the mess for Colin. No getting woken up at 5:45am because the sun was up already and it’s close enough to morning (seriously Colin?). I could put up the wall art I’ve been saving and use the dishes I have tucked away. But who would help us move? And would we have enough saved. Both of us had thoughts running in circles.

And then came my meeting today. Colin called right as the woman met me at the front door then begged me to ask her right now while he was on the phone. So I did. I’m 40th on the list so it should be a couple more years before there’s a place available.

So there’s a disappointment that my new apartment will not be soon. I will not be celebrating my birthday or Christmas in my own place. And yet there’s a relief that I will have time to save up for an easier move. Now to live with Colin and his clutter for three-ish years.

Also, you should be seeing less of me soon. Not less of me posting, just less of me. Last fall I started watching what I was eating and getting 10 thousand steps in each day and I lost 37 pounds. Then winter came and I gained 14lbs. Just a setback, right? I’d lose it quickly with exercise and healthy eating. Except I didn’t. It’s been over a month now and I have lost, zip, zilch, nada. What had changed? Nothing except my psychiatrist put me on Mirtazapine this winter. So I googled and came up with this…

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I’m already on three other antidepressants and an anti anxiety medication so I didn’t really need it. And I certainly don’t want to gain any more weight. I saw the psychiatrist yesterday and I’m being weaned off as I type. I’m down to half a pill a day for a week and then nothing. I am looking so forward to getting back to a healthy weight. I’ve walked 15 thousand steps today so I know I can do it.

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A pink trillium growing beside our building

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Weighty matters…

When I first started gaining weight, I treated it like a fluke. Nothing had changed diet or exercise wise and soon the gain would stop and I’d go back to normal. Except it didn’t stop. One day my pants fit like usual then I couldn’t pull them up at all. The gain was rapid and relentless. By the time it stopped I’d gained 47lbs, all in half a year.

Emma took a video of me singing “Stay” at karaoke last night and I didn’t even recognize myself. Even my face has changed dramatically. I hate the way I look now. I miss my old self.

If I followed societies narrative, I’d be doing anything I could to lose weight. Restrictive diets, extreme exercise. Even medicine fueled weight gain must come off eventually. That’s how success happens, right?

I see the videos and before and after pictures of smiling, happy people… finally proud in their new skin. I also know the failure rate and the struggle and this is when I say “fuck it”.

Our society teaches us to shrink ourselves in so many ways. Physically is just one of them and from now on I’m refusing to shrink.

My Facebook flashback today showed a past me who bragged about only eating one crepe at work and I brought my own diet syrup so I could save 20 extra calories. This was a once only experience where our store owners came in and made crepes and pancakes, complete with whipped cream and strawberries… and I refused an extra crepe so I could lose weight. I didn’t by the way.

We only have one life to live and I refuse to live it in an endless cycle of trying to lose weight so society likes me more. And endless cycle of saying no and praising myself for punishing my body.

I will eat healthy food, exercise to keep myself limber, and treat myself when I need some kindness. And I will accept that I am no longer a size medium, average woman.

Maybe someday I’ll be that size medium woman again but I doubt it. I’m on too many psychiatric medications (including Abilify and Lithium, which are known for weight gain). I have a feeling the only way to lose this weight, other than starvation, is stopping the meds… which are keeping me alive. That’s not an option.

My life was not meant to be scenery. I was always more than a pretty face and now I’ll show it.