Throughout high school and university I was thin, and happy with my body.
I was told I looked good, and I loved it. I was also extremely ill. I suffered from debilitating anxiety, depression and stomach ulcers. Due to mental and physical illness, I could barely eat, was constantly weak and felt generally terrible.
At 5'10, I weighed 127 pounds. I don't even have pictures of myself at that weight because I looked sick.
After university I started working full time, and the illness continued. I struggled to keep up at work because I was so sick.
After seeing numerous doctors, I was referred to a psychiatrist for my mental health issues. My family physician was convinced my ulcers would heal if my mental health improved.
After years of trying different medications, I found one that work. I was less anxious, the depression was more mild, and the stomach issues lessened. One of the side effects of the medication was weight gain, which at the time was welcomed. The picture on the left depicts me after 6 months of successful treatment, and I had gained 20 pounds.
After being treated for about a year, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Having new issues thrown into the mix sent me back into depression.
I was furious that I couldn't just be healthy. I hated my body inside and out for letting me down. After another year, I was still taking the same medications. In the two years of treatment I had gained 70 pounds.
After counselling I finally have a manageable amount of anxiety and the ulcers seem to have subsided, however I am still dealing with depression from my weight gain, and severe pain throughout my body.
Last week, I was able to finish weaning myself of anxiety and depression medications. I am working on treating my arthritis, fibromyalgia, and weight gain through healthy eating, exercise and more medications. I am still learning to cope with my body, and it often triggers my depression.
Sometimes I wish I was sick again, to be that thin. But it wasn't healthy and I am coming to terms with that. I am determined to get back to a healthy weight, both for my mental health and to lessen the impacts of the arthritis.