Hello mental health champions, how are you doing?
Well let me tell you, I am not doing so well. I think it is fair for me to say that we all have bad days/weeks/months… Well as I always remind you all, mental illnesses can be chronic and can flare up from time to time. In the sense of intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and depression, I have honestly been doing well. I have to credit this though to my Lexapro. I wish I could say this was all my doing, but it was definitely helpful to level off my brain chemistry. So knowing that, let me tell you what I am struggling with. I always will want for this blog to be a safe space and an uplifting, helpful one. However, I am a mental health blogger and let’s face it, I didn’t come to write a mental health blog from NOT struggling...LOL So since being on Lexapro, I have had an up and down experience. The first week, I was puking, passing out, nauseous, diarrhea, all those pleasant things. I knew it had to be the medication because it always happened after I took the medication. I also hadn’t had any other changes at that time with other meds/life events etc. I was so freaking close to stopping taking it because I just knew it was my whole entire body and brain adjusting. However, I ended up in the hospital (long story) and had an E.R. doctor that completely changed my life. I swear to this day that he was a guardian angel. I had told him about my Lexapro and that I really wasn’t feeling well. He sat on my hospital bed (while I was alone I may add *thanks covid*) and talked to me about MENTAL HEALTH as if it was health for the first time in my life. I was so used to doctors dismissing me or telling me that it was “ just in my head”. He told me that mental health is HEALTH and that this means that my brain chemistry is finally balancing for the first time probably ever. He told me I should stay on it and watch my life unfold before my eyes-without mass anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and panic attacks every couple of hours. I listened to him and stuck with it and guess what? I absolutely fell in love with myself again. I was never so stable. I actually even lost about 10 pounds when I started Lexapro. However, things began to change a couple months in. Now listen here, I still adore Lexapro and all it has done for me. I don’t see myself coming off of it because I know how much this has drastically changed my life. However, I have now gained over 25 pounds. It is so hard. My whole life I have been blessed to be pretty thin. I honestly felt like through all my struggles, at least I felt mostly confident in my own body.
For a short time in high school, I was having issues eating because of my tonsils being so swollen. However, I think I did kind of end up enjoying my body type at the time. I felt valued being thin. I liked that it was part of my identifier that I was always “little chach”- for those who know what that means, I love ya! But for real, my weight has always been such a drastic part of my identity and one of the only things I felt proud of. But, here we are, almost 4-5 months now on Lexapro and I have gained 25 pounds. And get this- I AM EATING THE SAME- IF NOT HEALTHIER. So I bet you can imagine how frustrating it is to not only gain weight, but gain weight that you literally have ZERO control of. I mean I am talking that I have been eating less than I was when I wasn’t on Lexapro and I literally cannot lose weight. This is a huge adjustment for me. And honestly, I hate my body right now. I don’t feel like myself and it breaks my heart. But then I remind myself, I never want to be a hypocrite. So how is it that I can cheer others on and genuinely love their bodies but hate my own? How can I belittle myself when I would never belittle someone else for their weight? How can I promote body positivity and love but not be able to love my own when it changes? I think that although this experience gaining so much weight in a short period of time has been very hard on me mentally, it is also helping me grow as a person. Although I may feel like I don ‘t love myself right this instant, I know that I am trying to love and embrace myself for what I look like today. I am realizing that sometimes, health really does come first. The juxtaposition in all of this is that I have never felt more calm, more balanced, and more reasonable in my life. But I have now traded that in for body image issues. Sometimes you genuinely have to weigh the good and the bad. My whole point of this post though, is that first off-never judge someone’s physical appearance. Being skinny doesn’t always equate to good health. Being heavier doesn’t mean someone isn’t healthy. If someone gains weight, don ‘t poke fun and belittle them. There can be so much going on behind the scenes that people have no control over. I worry what people will think of my body now. I worry about what I think of me. But guess what, just like anyone else, I am a work in progress and I AM DOING MY BEST. And guess what my friend? That is all you can really do when things are out of your control. So I am really going to try and practice what I preach. I am going to try and maybe not absolutely love my new body, but I am going to try and embrace it. I once saw this video interview with Demi Lovato talking about body positivity and it was so empowering to me. I remember her saying that she didn’t love her body currently. She just didn’t. But instead of falling into unhealthy mental patterns, she decided that even though she didn’t love her body, she was going to try and accept her body. She mentioned that body positivity and love will always be a work in progress, but it is worth trying to keep up . I absolutely loved that. I am going to work on loving myself the way that I so I deeply love and care about all of you. I am human and may falter from time to time, but at least I know I have an incredible community behind my back for support and love. I also wanted this to remind you that even when you feel like you have mostly recovered from your illness, you can still have flare ups and rough days and that is okay.
Talk to you soon brain battlers <3-Gracie