posted by meowser
It’s official. A couple of weeks ago, I went in for my yearly ladybits exam that I have to have for the insurance company to keep paying for my generic Mircette, and I got weighed and measured. I don’t weigh myself at home, so at this point I kind of regard it as an interesting novelty more than anything else. (It does help immensely that I don’t have fat-shaming doctors. You have no idea how grateful I am for that.)
I’ve had a Remeron-fueled 15-pound gain in the last year (although I suspect most of that was in the first six months, going by clothing fit and body measurements), after the Remeron-fueled gain of 25 from the seven months prior to that, and now I am officially DEATHFATZ, BMI > 40. Better get that voodoo coffin ready, folks, because I’m a-fixin’ to die any second. Well, except not. A-fixin’ to die any second is what would have happened to me had I not taken the Remeron.
Gives me a built-in argument for the MY INSURANCE BLAAARGH crowd, it does. It’s very likely I would never have become “obese,” let alone DEATHFATZ (though probably, thanks to PCOS, would not have been “ideally” thin) if I’d never seen a doctor in my life. Prolly wouldn’t be typing this, or moving my fingers at all, or, for that matter, taking air into my lungs, either, but since even the MY INSURANCE BLAAARGH folks (mostly) aren’t impolitic enough (yet) to insist I should have had the good grace to die and leave a size-12 corpse while the cacking was good, what else can they say? Zoloft catapulted me into “obese,” Effexor kept me there, and now Remeron has pushed me into MONSTERBEAST range, I am coming to eat your children, hahaaaa!
And here’s what the MY INSURANCE BLAAARGH people are really, really going to hate: I’ve never felt better in my life. I haven’t had a recurrence of the killer hip-flexor problem that bedeviled me after I lost weight (while I was off meds), my internal bits are in no worse shape than they ever were, and my mental health? Off the charts better. I honestly thought that when Pendo died, I would take to my bed for a month and cease to be able to function at all, I’d lose my job and wind up in the hospital and everything. But no. Obviously it was upsetting, and I cried a lot, but I only needed one full day off to deal with it. It was a miracle.
See this fat ass? These jiggly thighs? These squishy forearms? What you are looking at is REMISSION, baby. The thing I’ve been waiting for for 35 frigging years, ever since I perched on the side of my bed with my Girl Scout knife when I was 11 and felt universally loathed, and wondered how one went about slashing her wrists. Maybe I’ll go off the Remeron one day (my psychiatrist thinks one day I won’t need it anymore), but I’m sure as hell not doing it because people think I’ve been whomped with the ugly stick. I’ll do it when it’s time to do it, thanks.
And last week something happened to remind me that I should never, ever take this remission for granted. A former friend of mine, who blew me off years ago and wouldn’t tell me why (I assumed it was because I embarrassed her — this was all pre-aspie diagnosis) jumped off a bridge. She was one year younger than me, and was in such a fragile state of mental health that all it took was one questionable mammogram, and boom. (I got this information from my ex-husband, who got it from her ex-husband, who was one of X’s best friends.) For years, I envied her because her (then) husband made enough money that she didn’t “have to” work, she just seemed really contented and together, and knew exactly how to live, and was doing exactly what she wanted to do with her life. It might have seemed like “nothing” to a lot of people, but knowing what I knew — that most jobs sucked, and that if you could weasel out of doing one of the many, many sucky jobs in this world, more power to you — she seemed far above me, in so many ways.
Apparently, after she and her husband split, she went downhill in a hurry. She’d told me once that if there ever was a divorce for her, she’d make a living organizing and cleaning houses, and I believed her. I knew — I just knew — that the reason she wouldn’t talk to me, even after I reached out to her after hearing about her separation, was that I wasn’t good enough. Wasn’t important enough. Wasn’t socially adept enough. It was all about my deficiencies. Of course it was. That was how I had always thought: Everyone else is fine, even if they’re jerks, because they’re jerks in a way that’s perfectly sanctioned. I’m the one who’s wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong. I once half-joked to X, “I’ll hear from her as soon as I get a book published. Then she’ll want to talk to me.” But I really wasn’t kidding. I really thought that was why.
I forgot. Other people are better at hiding their mental health issues than I am. By orders of magnitude. And you know what? The fact that I suck at hiding how I feel is actually what saved my ass, until I could attain the sweet relief of remission. I knew I was going to die if I didn’t contract with multiple people not to jump off the bridge, or do anything equally deadly, until I could stop feeling that way. And I came close anyway, but I honestly think that’s why I didn’t do it.
I have to wonder: How many people who could be helped by medication don’t take it (or stop taking it even if it works for them) because they are terrified of getting (or staying) fat? (And yes, I know there are people for whom meds don’t work or actually exacerbate their problems, or who have made an informed choice to deal with their mental health issues without chemicals, and I respect that, too. I’m talking about those of us for whom the drugs actually do work.) I know my ex-friend was distressed by her own Zoloft-related weight gain. I don’t know if she stopped the drug because of that, but it wouldn’t surprise me, knowing what I know about her. I couldn’t quite get it through to her that, having experienced everything that I had, I knew there were much worse things in this world than being fat. Even DEATHFATZ. And thinking you should be dead is definitely one of them.
It’s kind of incredible that this still needs to be said, but it does, and that’s why anyone who dares tell me that my weight makes me ipso facto self-destructive, is going to get an earful xe will never forget. I know what self-destructive really is; that very well could have been me jumping off that bridge, and I owe fat acceptance big time for the fact that it wasn’t.