And with that, we ensure that I will never, ever tell my family about my comic. In my family, we do not acknowledge that anyone has sex ever.
I wish I had better words to describe how foreign my body felt to me. Nothing felt real, nothing felt solid. All these human experiences of joy, grief, pain and pleasure were just stripped from me, pulled somewhere where I could remember them vaguely but never reach them. It was such an alien feeling.
Finding the right balance of medications can be so difficult. It felt like a step backwards every time I reacted badly to something new. I knew my doctors were trying to find a way to keep my moods from escalating, but at what cost?
I felt so uncomfortable with forcing myself to eat constantly. I couldn’t taste anything, everything felt like an effort. I was trying so hard to keep feeding my body, but food shouldn’t feel that hard, should it?
I feel like I draw myself crying a lot in these comics. That’s probably a pretty accurate reflection of what going through recovery is like.
Sorry this is so late this week! It’s been a really rough weekend for me (in which I felt like an invalid because my mum came around to take care of me, but sometimes you need that). These things happen, and we move forward.
I dealt with this feeling of ‘needing a head start’ a lot with my eating disorder. Any time I lost some weight, these voices just told me to keep going, based on the assumption that at some point I was going to gain all the weight back and more, and that I’d need as much of a head start as possible. No matter what I weighed, it was never enough. I always had to lose more. On top of that, feeling hungry actually gave me this intense feeling of euphoria, a huge feeling of control. I just felt better when I was starving myself.
At least by this point, I was starting to recognise that these voices may not have been trustworthy, even though they were as loud as ever.
It’s been a constant balancing act for my doctor between keeping my emotional health a priority and looking after my weight. Generally those two are in opposition - when we focus on just the emotional side, I lose weight, but when we focus on bringing my weight up, I become even more depressed. She’s trying to make sure that we always keep my personal safety as the forefront goal, and as drastic as it sounds, be realistic about which is more likely to kill me at any given time - the depression or the anorexia.
It was a truly wonderful experience to feel to ‘up’. So on top of everything, so well, so happy. I wondered if other people feel this way all the time.
Based on some feedback from some readers, it looks like there’s a possibility that this mood elevation relates more to an issue of bipolar disorder than it does to the specific antidepressant, but for those who were wondering, this is when I went on Lexapro.
This is pretty uncharacteristic for an antidepressant. Most will make you drowsy, and cause you to put on weight. But this particular one affected me very differently, leaving me with so much energy regardless of what I ate. You can see how dangerous this could have been, given I already had issues keeping myself at a healthy weight. My doctor had to weigh up carefully the benefits on my mood and overall emotional health with the effects on my appetite.
The new antidepressant hit me so differently from my first. I felt invincible. I couldn’t believe a tablet could make such a huge difference. It just shows that everyone’s body chemistry is different, and when you find a good balance, it can do wonders for your depression.
For the record, I don’t customarily throw my pills Ellen-style into my mouth. I’m not that cool.
After my initial experience with trying new antidepressants and feeling like they destroyed my creative self, I was so apprehensive. I didn’t want to turn into a useless zombie. I think it’s pretty common to have these fears around new medications. I chose to just trust my doctor and hope for the best.