Understood

All along the way from when I first got sick with anxiety, through the dark days of depression and during the ups and downs and unknowns of bipolar disorder, I’ve always been comforted by music lyrics.

Probably I would have been similarly consoled by poetry, literature, plays and movies but of them all songs are the most accessible form of written word, and come with the added benefit of mood modulating sound.

Having been an avid reader all my life who could read write through the night, read in the almost dark, read with a failing torch under the covers, read in the toilet, at the beach, in the car until I got car sick, it is disappointing that I am now a very light reader. Books are out, magazines are okay if they’re mostly pictures with captions, letters are manageable, journals can be tackled in short passages, and reading my Bible is an ongoing battle.

Which makes songs perfect! I can turn on the radio and the music is fed to me song after song and takes no effort on my part. It just lilts into my ears, is filtered by my brain channels and either goes upward into storage or outwards never to be listened to again. Kind of like all the apps out there; Pandora, Spotify etc. No effort, just listening and enjoying and trimming all the gross ones while storing all the good ones.

I’ve written about some of the songs that have resonated with me: Sia’s Chandelier, Eminem and Rihanna’s Monsters, and maybe a couple of others when I was talking about the Songs That Made Me tour of Katie Noonan.

Here’s a new one: Pitbull and Neo’s Time of Our Lives. Now Pitbull in real life seems to be a very scary and possible violent person…actually I think there are court cases to show the possible is a certainty. But I can’t help it, I just love the timber of his voice. I love it!

So I was listening to it today and I want to share the lyrics that grabbed my heart and my gut and my thoughts all at once and made me say, yes!

Yes, that’s just what it’s like! I had a thought about the idea in my head but now you, creative artist, have put my muddled thoughts into clear words that are just so right to me. Yes, that’s just what it’s all about. Someone gets me, someone understands my thoughts and here they are in a cool song! It’s almost like these are the words that I need someone to say, and here you’ve gone and said it and filled that hole in my spirit.

Everybody going through something (repeated 8 times)

This is for anybody going through tough times

Believe me, been there, done that

But everyday above ground is a great day, remember that

-Time of Our Lives – Pitbull feat Ne-Yo

Isn’t that nice? I think it’s nice. And for the same reason Eminem always connects so strongly with me. There is something very soothing about a big, tough, strong, violent, criminal man saying to me through song, I get what you’re going through, and I’m settled enough in my own personality to admit that I’ve been there too, I understand it, and you will be okay. How sweet, big, tough man!

I’ll mention in a brief passing note that listening to the whole song might not exactly be the lovely calming thing I’ve made it to be. I’ve taken these words way out of context. The main point of the song is a guy in a tight financial jam who can’t pay his rent or bills or keep up with his life but he has just enough money to go and get smashed and perv on the hot bartender and maybe get lucky! Soooo….yeah. I took this nice bit out, but maybe you should just read these words and trust me that hearing them straight from Pitbull was a sweet moment for me. My recommendation in difficult times is never to drink yourself into a stupor before you get evicted/repossessed/arrested!

But I think it is always refreshing and relieving to hear anyone say that they realise others are having a rough time, that they realise you are having a tough time or that they have had a tough time. It makes me personally feel closer to a person who says this because I feel they are someone I can trust with myself because of their empathy, experience and/or care for others. A person like that seems to be one that won’t let you down, or give you a hard time over your difficulties, or expect miraculous recoveries. A person like that knows just how to be what you need most, cares about you and understands you. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?

Even if it’s just for a moment, and comes from a celebrity, and is sung in a song.

Even if you know you’ll never know the artist, and the moment of hearing the song will pass, but the world is a better place for them getting your struggle and singing about it!

For a few brief moments you and they are as one, and your loneliness and feeling of being misunderstood and people not ‘getting’ you and finding it hard to express your pain are resolved and made better and you are soothed.

That is truly wonderful.

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Pregnancy

What could I do, I had to like it! It just made me think of myself, in a kind of funny.kind of truthful way!, gorilla, grass

What could I do, I had to like it! It just made me think of myself, in a kind of funny.kind of truthful way!

This popped up in my Facebook feed the other day from Brindabella and I actually laughed out loud! The expression ‘lol’ is so overused online that it has lost all meaning, but this is one situation where it was actually appropriate.

I laughed because over a few months I gradually increased in weight  until suddenly one day I looked in the mirror and realised I looked like this! Not a fun realisation! I mentioned it to my hubby and he agreed that he’d thought for a while now that I looked pregnant! Always helpful but he was kind about it. But its the truth so what can you do.

I should clarify here that I’m not pregnant; the weight is due to indulgence, medication side effects and the symptoms of mental illness. Just to be clear.

But anyway, somehow being that shape and seeing this gorilla translates to funny in my brain…not sure why, but I guess it’s amusing to see yourself mirrored in another species, and to see a big round belly, flabby arms and a double chin on a cute-ish animal looking equally unhappy about the situation!

The weird thing is, I know I’m overweight to the point of exploding over the obese line. But somehow my brain hasn’t caught up. Maybe because it happened so fast and unexpectedly, maybe because I’m in denial a bit…not sure why. I kind of knew already that my brain was lagging behind, but it became most apparent when I was in Thailand recently. Sitting on the boat in just my bathers, swimming in the pool, jumping off the boat into the water carefree and happy in front of everyone else, walking around at lunchtime feeling completely comfortable with my body the whole time. Which was a really nice feeling instead of hating it and wanting it to be different.

Until…I looked back and saw the photos! My big round tummy, double chin, fat cheeks and eyes deep in puffy sockets…ergh! Then I was not happy! Then I was not comfortable with my figure! Photos are kind of the cold hard truth that shoot you down out of your dreamy sky and bring you down with a big hard bang to reality!

I can kind of understand the idea behind body dysmorphic disorder now. I don’t have it and I’m not suggesting I do…but the brain is powerful and can really twist reality sometimes. To be one way, and consider yourself to be another way is…well in this case it’s kind to me to a point, but I guess when it comes to addiction or something like that it is very unhelpful, because you think you’re okay when really you are not. It can be unhelpful to me too I suppose, because when I’m looking at a block of chocolate I think it’ll be okay instead of considering my obesity and how chocolate is really not okay!

Here’s the other thing. When I was first really unwell, the psychologist and the doctor and all the self help websites told me to do nice things to and for myself to help me feel just a bit better. Have a bath, eat your favourite food, watch your favourite show, go to your favourite place either physically or shut your eyes and imagine you are there. So chocolate, a hot chocolate, a bowl of yoghurt…whatever you love, was okay to eat anytime and all the time to help get you through the difficult days.

Except there was no limit put on that habit…so I just kept going and going. A limit would have been good, but realistically I was unwell for months while we tried fluoxetine, venlafaxine, sertraline, sertraline plus mirtazepine, sertraline plus quetiapine, desvenlafaxine plus quetiapine, reboxetine plus quetiapine and full circle to venlafaxine plus quetiapine and finally venlafaxine plus quetiapine plus lithium, the best yet! All of those antidepressants working a bit or not much, until finally the correct diagnosis of bipolar and the life-changing prescription of lithium.

And still the end date for self indulgence hasn’t been set.

I’m better; I’m not back to where I’d like to be. I have more energy; but still need my daily naps. I have more resilience; but some days I just need something external to make me feel better. I’m trying to cut down on my treats and snacks; but it’s hard!

And here’s my shortlist of how fatness that looks like pregnancy is different to pregnancy:

1) In pregnancy, you know what to expect and you prepare your body. You moisturise and Bio-oil your belly to prevent stretch marks. In fatness, stretch marks pop up out of the blue completely unexpected and you have no warning to prepare for that.

2) In pregnancy you get the baby most times, not always. In fatness you just have the rumours, the questions, the look without the baby at the end. To be honest, I haven’t decided whether I think this is a bad thing or a good thing….I’ll get back to you.

3) In pregnancy you deliver the baby and the belly size reduces a bit, then gradually reduces slowly back to somewhere near where you started. In fatness, these is no initial tummy reduction; you just start from wherever you are and gradually reduce it hopefully also to somewhere near where you started. So actually, the two conditions can be pretty similar in this regard.

Well that’s about all I have to say about fatness and pregnancy at this point in time.

I started and stopped the gym, I did a few food coaching sessions, I returned to pilates for a bit, I go on and off calorie restriction, we’re trying to do daily walks, I’m trying to get back on my bike on the trainer in the shed, I’m trying to walk past my favourite snacks.

It’s a work in progress; I’ll get there one day. And for now, my attempt is to be kind to myself and remember why I came to be where I am, and whenever I can, to do bits and pieces to help me along the way to getting where I want to go.