I’m wearing a pair of jeans right now that are tight. And I haven’t washed them in weeks because then they’ll shrink, and I think I’m too scared to try to put them on after that. It might confirm my fear that the pants only fit me now because they’re stretched out, and if they shrink back to the original size, then I’ll know I’ve gained weight.
And I really can’t deal with that right now.
Last week I was having anxiety so bad it seemed like panic attacks. I told most people that I was just stressed out. That was true, but the more true answer was that it was because I felt fat. And I felt very uncomfortable in anything I put on. But it seemed stupid to admit that to people–oh I’m having anxiety attacks because I feel fat, and I just can’t deal with it.
“Get a grip, Kate.” I thought they’d say. “What a stupid reason.”
But that was the truth, and this is the worst it’s ever been. With the changing weather, I couldn’t hide behind my layers and jackets, and I was ashamed of how I looked, and I would suddenly have trouble breathing and have hot and cold sweats because I was so embarrassed and ashamed. In the past I’ve always been able to control this, but this time I didn’t even feel safe in my yoga pants.
I felt uncomfortable when I sat down and I felt uncomfortable when I stood up. Everything was tight, and I just kept imaging everyone judging me. And the negative voice wouldn’t shut up.
I couldn’t concentrate on conversations; I could barely smile. I was bombarded with negative thoughts that seemed to come out of nowhere. Thoughts that told me I was fat, that people were judging me, that I looked ridiculous in whatever I was wearing. Blah, blah, the voice continued.
This isn’t real, this isn’t real, I tried to tell myself, but I could only ignore the thoughts so much. It was exhausting.
This will pass, I tried to tell myself.
It was all I could do to tell myself that this wasn’t real and that I was going to feel better the next day…much less try to participate and talk to people and be friendly and what else.
I tried not eating (not recommended), I tried drinking a lot of water (do recommend this)…but I felt like I was losing it. I felt stressed out and panicky wherever I went. I was miserable.
I’m not really sure what started this for me, but I was exhausted mentally and emotionally. I told a friend…”I’ve climbed a mountain in the past two days.” That’s what it felt like. A mountain of negative thoughts, with boulders rolling at me, and steep inclines that seemed endless.
I felt stupid for being so exhausted, for not being able to stop it. But…I’ve climbed a mountain in the past two days.
Give yourself some damn credit.
Eventually, it started to subside. I went shopping and got some new clothes, and started to feel a little better. And yet I hated that I had to buy different sizes, and I hated that I had to spend money to get over this. If I was just good enough or didn’t eat, I wouldn’t gain weight. And then I wouldn’t have to do this. Again.
I’m a failure because I gained weight. Because I had to get clothes that I made me feel comfortable.
I wanted to just punish myself into my ideal body by keeping the clothes that made me uncomfortable. It’s a complicated set of emotions. Something that I’m still working through.
But today I feel alright. My jeans may be tight, but I feel alright. I feel good about myself, I feel a little sexy even. I feel confident. And I don’t know how I got here or what changed, and I don’t know how long it will last.
It seems endless while you’re in the thick of it. It seems real while you’re in the thick of it. But the thoughts aren’t real. They’re only as real as we make them. And this too shall pass, eventually.