Posted in Memoir, mental health, Physical Health

An Update on School and Self-Harm

Hi. it’s me. I know I haven’t written for a long time, I think it’s been two months, and a lot has happened. Some good. Some bad. I want to apologize for the lack of updates. When I entered into North Island College’s Graphic Design program I never realized the workload that it would entail. The labs and projects due every week. Assignments. Quizzes and Tests. The last two months have been a lesson in time management. A lesson that I failed for two months and now I am struggling to catch up.

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I get to work on creative projects like this one (logo designs)

Let’s start with the good. I love this program, it allows me to be creative and work on designs while also learning about marketing. I have learned more about the creative side of marketing in the last two months, than I have in three years of North Island College’s marketing program. The profs are better. They understand of students and allow our creativity to flourish.

I realize that this was something that I needed. Other people have noticed that too. A lot of people come up to me and tell me how good I’m looking. How happy I am. It’s not that I hated myself, it’s that I hated the state that I was in. I learned a lot about theory. I can recite “Porter’s Five Forces” or the “Boston Matrix”, but throughout the Business Program there was nothing on creativity, no assignments to create ads for a business or helping with their marketing endeavours.

Being in the Advanced Communication and Interactive Design Diploma has taught me that I can be creative, look at different ways of thinking about how the world works.

Now the bad side. These past two months have been hell. Depression and Social Anxiety. It’s tough to be on a campus with a lot of people, especially after you were afraid to come to school because of the bullying that happened two years ago. I know there are good people here. Still being on campus for long periods of time causes my anxiety to flare.

It doesn’t help when you run out of money, like I did while repaying student loans and paying tuition. I ran out of money for counselling and towards the end of September I ran out of money for medication. I went a week without Citalopram. That was the week where I found out I should never go a week without Citalopram. Luckily I didn’t inflict self-harm during that time.

hank moodySelf-harm would come towards the end of the month. This past weekend I slept and had nightmares. Saturday night was the worst. I woke up inflicting self-harm. Last night flashbacks started. Nightmares about being bullied. It’s weird because you see the faces about who did it. You hear their verbal assaults. Get scared to go to work or school all because of what happened a couple years ago. They cycle repeats with depression and anxiety.

As November rolls on, I find myself back to where I was. I’m seeing my counsellor again. Somehow I think this month is going to be my hardest, it’s been a year since I tried to kill myself. I’m also writing more which I hope will counteract that. Hopefully to the point where there are 2 pieces a week.

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Posted in Physical Health

You’re Just Big Boned

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Yokozuna was an amazing WWE Champion

When I was little I believed everything. My mother told me that I was not overweight, but big boned. Throughout my life being “big boned” became an excuse. Instead of making healthy choices I allowed myself to eat anything. I made the wrong choices as a teenager and young adult in the way I ate and the way that I took care of myself.

Food is an addiction. Eating is one of the few things that makes me happy. I would eat and gain weight. Weight gain would further my negative self-image. I would feel bad, then eat more to feel better. The cycle would repeat. I felt bad without food. I felt great with more food. By Christmas I ballooned to the largest I have ever been, 261 pounds. That’s great if you’re a Sumo-Wrestler, or Yokozuna, a WWE Champion in the early 1990s. Not if you’re 36, a writer, and want to start dating.

In January I decided to walk. Every day for at least an hour each day. It was a personal goal. It was a slow struggle. I lost a pound or two per week. I wasn’t satisfied. I changed my diet in February. I finally started eating right. Black coffee for breakfast. A salad for dinner. I could have what I wanted for lunch as long as I cut out snacks. I began to lose more weight.

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I started using Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal. Each day, I journal everything that I eat and the exercises that I do. It’s tedious, but the app totals my caloric intake and gives an indication of the nutrients that I consume. The app makes me think about the food that I eat. It yells at me if I don’t eat enough, and if I eat too much. It’s shown me how food affects my body and my mind. Through walking and eating right, I have dropped 30 pounds.

With self-image problems you worry about what others think, like the looks that you get when going to the gym. If I signed up for fitness classes in January I would have quit. It wasn’t until early March that I started to feel comfortable with myself. Others saw a difference in the way I looked. I felt better. Then Shane McMahon returned to the WWE, after 9 years, and I made another choice.

Throughout March Shane posted Instagram videos of his training in Muay Thai and boxing. My counselor suggested that I take self-defence classes. It was a course of action to overcome my trauma. I started researching online. I found Gracie Jiu Jitsu classes in town and signed up for them. I also signed up for spin classes. They would help with my cardio. I found a gym where I could feel safe. One that offered and fitness classes, kick boxing and MMA training. I’m determined to get fit. Finally, I could begin to fight my weight issues.