solo in sydney


Down and Back Again
November 12, 2010, 8:06 pm
Filed under: dear diary, depression

J got home last night far later than he’d promised. Before the door had even closed behind him, he pointed to the kitchen counter and asked in a loud, authoratitive voice:

“How many of those have you eaten?!”

He pointed to a box of chocolate muffins on the kitchen bench. I attempted an unphased shrug and answered that I’d eaten two.

He tsked and rolled his eyes, as if this was the most despicable offence I could have committed. As if it was disgusting that in the course of the day, I had eaten two 50 gram slices of pre-packaged muffin.

“Tomorrow, you’re not to touch them. Or this, or go near here, or here!” he declared as he pointed to the pantry, the fridge, and the freezer, respectively.

His words were slightly slurred, so I knew that he’d been drinking, but let’s not beat around the bush. When I met J, I was tiny. I’ve always been petite, and I’ve never had to try particularly hard to be so. My metabolism has kept me at a healthy level for the most part of my life. But there have been deviations in both directions.

The latest one involves my medication. Almost all anti-depression medication involves one side effect in common; weight gain. As someone who has tried various medications over the years, this has never phased me in the slightest. Somehow, my metabolism kept working. Not unsurprisingly in retrospect, the medication kept failing, or at least underperforming.

Until now. Until this medication. I’m doing well. I feel alright. Not great, but okay. But that side effect, the one that had never even bothered me before, the one that I had waved off to my doctor, had taken hold.

I’m 10kgs above my normal weight, and about 15kgs over my ideal weight – the weight I was when I met J.

I’m not tall by any means, so when I carry extra weight, I feel as though it shows. When I tell people how much extra weight I’m carrying, they don’t believe me, but the comments are made nonetheless. Last Christmas, a normally somewhat tactful relative suggested that I could donate all my “ridiculously expensive” clothes I no longer fitted into to her daughters. When my sister came up behind me and subtly re-fastened a button that had come undone on my dress, the aforementioned relative exclaimed “Oh, thank god someone has finally fixed that, it’s been bugging me all day!”

Hard to believe that said relative is even remotely tactful under normal circumstances, but unfortunately it’s true, which made it all the more difficult to hear those things from her. Never mind the fact that when I had bought the dress many years earlier, I had to take it back because one of the buttons was completely faulty and wouldn’t do up at all. That wasn’t the point. It still hurt. A lot.

She obviously had no idea the causes behind my weight gain, at that stage only a mere 5kgs. J however, knows the whole story. He knows that my appetite has increased tenfold since I began this latest medication. He knows that I’m exercising more than I’ve ever exercised. He knows that I’m trying to be healthy once more, and that I’m not doing very well despite my efforts.

Tonight, for the first time since my high school days, I binged. And then I purged. I downed soft drink and chocolate and alcohol and sweets, and then I knowingly, deliberately brought it all up again. Even as some part of me screamed that it was stupid and pointless, another part of my mind calmly told me it was the only way. And I listened.

And despite the glaring obvious, it wasn’t until I started writing this that the two events became linked, that my brain finally made the connection.

Everything had been okay. Since my return to Sydney, things with J had generally been pretty great. But the last 48 hours have been far from it. These are the times that I find so easy to forget, to block out when I really need to remember just what I’ve been through to be with this man I love.

I hope I remember this time. I hope the pain and the shame remains with me, so that next time I won’t make any excuses for him. So that next time, I’ll be strong enough to leave and never return.

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