Mental illness isn’t just being moody and taking anti-depressants come with a lot of side effects which can go unnoticed even to the person taking them. They manifest themselves slowly over time and you don’t realise the negative effect they have on your health until you are drug-free.
Like many people, I have neglected my physical health over the last few years. Okay, if I’m totally honest it is a lot longer than that.
In my younger days, I played a lot of sport and went to the gym 5 days a week and though I always looked big I was carrying a lot of muscle even if it was covered by a duvet of fat.
As I got to my thirties and I began to take certain medicines, in particular anti-depressants, the underlying muscle went from being invisible to the outside world to being invisible to the inside world.
Hitting rock bottom
In the summer of 2018, I reached rock bottom mentally and physically. I was in a hell of a lot of pain most of the time and I couldn’t ignore it any longer. What I didn’t know then was that my gallbladder had (basically) disintegrated inside me and became gangrenous. I got so ill that on 27th November I was admitted to hospital for emergency gallbladder removal. I almost contracted blood poisoning.
While I was in the hospital I was put on morphine and given a lot of other medicine intravenously to (basically) flush all the shit out of my system. It was a chance for me to go cold turkey, to stop taking all the medicines I’d been taking for depression, anxiety and everything else because with those medicines you can’t just stop taking them. You have to wean yourself off of them over a period of months in the same way it takes months for them to start working.
Having your gallbladder removed forces you to have a new relationship with food which I won’t go into here. So, during December and over Christmas while I was recovering I decided that I would give getting fit and losing weight one last go. A serious go.
This might sound dramatic but I thought it was my last chance. I was 47 at the time and it was now or never. Did I really want to be this overweight for the rest of my life?
Sure, anti-depressants played their part, I’d say 25-30 kg and having a toxic body part dying inside of me didn’t help either but they weren’t the issue now. Give it a good 6 months, see how things go and take it from there.
A glimmer of light
Today, at the time of writing this on 14th May 2018, I have not been sticking to a good diet. But I never intended to. I did intend to be a little more sensible and I did intend to stick to my regime of going for a long walk each day. By long walk, I mean 2-3 hours!
Yesterday, when I weighed myself, saw I’d lost 16kg since January 1st!
Like I said, I am not eating sensibly. I am eating a little more sensibly. I enjoy all the bad things I did before, I just don’t go overboard and I think not being on medication is responsible for that.
As the year goes on and I am going down in weight I still have periods where I need medicine. I can’t just take them as and when because it takes weeks for them to take effect. So I know I am faced with a decision.
Is it better to be happier and overweight or borderline suicidal and less overweight?
Answers on a post-card…