I’ve always been thin. I’ve been accused of being too skinny, or told to go eat a burger, but the reality was that I ate just fine but I happened to be skinny. My parents were both really skinny when they were younger so it was totally normal for me. I never hated my body, or dreaded the summer because of it. I loved fashion and my wardrobe was always my greatest asset. Throughout everything I went through with depression, anxiety, bullying and traumas I never had to worry about my body.
Last year I was put on orlanzapine and I gained 2 stone in 2 weeks. I had stretch marks, cellulite and none of my clothes fit. I went from a size 6/8 to a size 12/14. I should say, I don’t think either of those sizes are big, but they were huge for me and a massive difference for me. It felt like I lost the only thing I had left. I know it sounds self centered or vain but not having my clothes fit was honestly it for me. I’d spent so much money over the years on them. Not only that but my body shape had changed and so I didn’t even look right in the same styles anymore – in my style. My face had become chubby and I had to relearn how to do my makeup because everything wasn’t right. It didn’t look right. I didn’t see me in the mirror.
Luckily I came off that antipsychotic and was put on quetiapine instead. I lost some of the weight and got back to a size 10. But my stretch marks were still there, and my cellulite. My tummy still had rolls. My face was different. But I began to like how I looked in clothes again, and started wearing makeup and taking photos – although candid photos were out of the question. All photos are carefully posed for, sucking my tummy in and trying to find flattering angles.
This year, I’ve gained weight again. I’ve been excersizing more, eating less and still gaining weight. And my clothes aren’t fitting. I cant go through this again. I sat next to a friend who used to be the same size as me and nearly cried at the difference between our bodies. I can feel my thighs rubbing and my belly against my boobs. I hate it. I look in the mirror and see an ugly, fat version of myself. I step on the scales and see the weight I’ve gained.
This is part of mental health that people don’t discuss. That the drugs that make us better also destroy part of our mental health too. I’ve never had body issues, I’m lucky in that sense, but now it’s all I can think about. It’s the thing that in my darkest moments haunts me. It makes me question my relationship – as I used to look very different at the start. It makes me feel stupid when looking at clothes, because none of it will suit me.
I feel fat. I feel ugly. And the voices really aren’t helping.