looking back

Farewell 2017

2017 was one of my hardest years. I went through physical illness as well as battling mental illness. I’ve taken so many painkillers it’s not funny at all – and my biggest wish for 2018 is to need less of those.

This post is my way of looking back; Remembering, dealing, saying goodbye. It might not be worth it for anyone else, in that case, it’s just for me.

It’s not fun for me to look back at 2017. I went into the year with great energy from having lost 12 kgs – almost half the weight I was supposed to lose in total, and I was on a roll and ready to continue. It felt so doable and it felt like something I could conquer!

It didn’t even last a week. I got sick with stomach problems and the next 10 days were terrible. Stomach aches, throwing up and barely getting any sleep were some of the stuff I battled those ten days – but I was happy when the ‘bug’ finally went away and I was able to regain my energy again.

Then came the middle of march. And it started again. And it lasted almost two weeks, then, on a day where I had requested homemade pizza for dinner at my parents house with my entire family, a quick visit to the doctor turned into a hospital stay – and me on a ‘no food’ regulation, until they decided if I was going into surgery that night or not. That evening I could barely talk or think about anything but food. During a short nap in the hospital bed I even dreamed of swimming in lasagna and cream sauce.

12 days. That’s how long it took before I was released from the hospital again. It had taken a while – and a lot of pain – but they had actually found the reason for my illness and had given me enough morphine to take the pain away, until my body fought the inflammation in my pancreas. That was the diagnosis: Pancreatitis caused by gallstones.

I left, completely worn out but happy to finally put a name on what had been wrong with my body – and most likely also the reason for my ‘attacks’, like I had in January. But my body had suffered and my energy levels were low for a very long time, moths after even. Weightloss became impossible.

Along with fighting the low energy and gaining my normal body functions back, I fought my mental health. The physical pain hadn’t made my depression and anxiety disappear. It sort of felt like they had been put on hold? Does that make even make sense? I don’t know. But I know, that it felt so much harder to battle it after the hospital stay.

My energy was low and my depression was strong.

My family and few friends were the only thing that kept me going for a long time. Exercise didn’t happen at all – it was too hard to leave the house, and even when I managed, my energy didn’t reach very far at all. Something that used to be easy, like going grocery shopping to the nearest store, became exhausting. Everything was hard. It became a battle.

It’s hard living like that. Expecting one thing from yourself and the results being something else. I kept going like that through summer and fall mostly. I don’t know how life went by like that. Sitting here I remember my family holiday during summer and one during fall – everything else is blurry. Did I even live? Really live? If i’m being honest, I think I just existed. Took the pills I was prescribed. Participated in a study that might help depression, but didn’t help me. I went to see my family sometimes, but nothing major happened.

Major… hah. Well. Except I became ‘major’. No. It’s not funny. I ate like crap most of the days. Candy was easy to buy and way easier than to cook something healthy. Accessible. My weight went up. In december I reached 98 kgs again. Now just 5 kgs away from my starting weight. So much work has gone out the window.

It makes me sad. Makes me want to give up – throw in the towel. Except, I’m not allowed. I need to be down to 78 by the time my teeth have been moved enough to do my jaw-surgery. I haven’t mentioned that yet, but my teeth have been reason for a lot of pain this year too.

I got two wisdom teeth surgically removed in January, and three other teeth pulled out in October/november. All that hurts. I got braces, that a whole new battle – keeping them clean, having sore teeth, wires poking me. It’s not fun. But; it’s part of a journey that is leading to something great.

That’s how 2018 starts, I hope. As part of my ‘something great’. I even see signs of it already; 1) I might actually be on some medication that seems to work (finally), 2) I’ve been doing group therapy – which, I believe, will be a great tool for me to get better, 3) The braces doesn’t hurt as much now that they’re on – even when they get tightened it’s not as bad as I had expected – and I can actually see my teeth have moved so it’s going the right way!

It’s on it’s way. My ‘something great’. And I’m ready for it!

 

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Downward spiral – mental health

I’m not exactly sure how to start this post. But I want to share a bit about how my anxiety and depression function together, or how both started and developed together.

When thinking back, it’s pretty clear it all started with anxiety, social anxiety. I’ve always been shy and happy being home, but this took it to new heights. It started slowly.  (more…)