I want to share a lot of personal stuff, which I don’t normally do, in the hopes it will break the seal and keep me checking in here, and maybe even support or encourage some of you, too.
I started meds for ADHD back in the summer, in addition to therapy, both of which have helped a lot with focus, prioritization, mood, sensitivity, misophonia, etc.
I’ve also been working on my relationship with food which has been an issue most of my life. Type 2 Diabetes is not uncommon in my family and after my stroke it was apparent via bloodwork that I was on the same road. By trying several strategies together (with the help of my cardiologist, who I still text every Monday with my progress or lack thereof) I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds since last June.
I honestly never thought that would be possible and am still not fully comfortable in this new body, but I’m also pretty proud of myself. (I actually like no one in Portland knowing me 50 pounds heavier because I don’t have to hear, “You’ve lost so much weight!” over and over. Can we just not mention people’s bodies unless they ask?)
It’s been somewhat marred by a handful of people equating my weight loss with taking Adderall, which has definitely contributed in that I am able to focus and not wander to the kitchen every 30 minutes looking for a dopamine fix, but I’ve also, literally, worked my ass off to get healthier.
Side note: It all clicked for me about a month into taking meds for ADHD. It was the first time I’d eaten something really decadent in a while, I think it was something like a cinnamon bun. I took one bite and realized that the rush I got from it was identical to the feeling I had when I first started taking Adderall. It wasn’t hunger. It wasn’t emotion. It was dopamine. Plain and simple. I was seeking reward and happiness from a reliable but temporary and unhealthy place. Knowing that kind of put me in the driver’s seat of my eating. It was really eye-opening to realize it wasn’t just nebulous moments from my upbringing, or growing up poor and sometimes without food, or my mom not hugging me, or whatever. It was also chemical. Concrete. Tangible. And I felt empowered because of that.
This year, after the past few years of the universe welcoming me to my 40s with a deathly flu, stroke, heart surgery, two frozen shoulders and subsequent shoulder surgery, I’m finally starting the next level of work on myself, which is a focus on getting stronger mentally, emotionally, and also physically. It’s definitely not a linear progression, and some days no amount of therapy, planning, medication, etc. can beat down my unique brain chemistry, but I’m trying.
I’ve never in my life really focused on me, my safety, my health, my overall well-being. It’s been rewarding to explore that, and I want to continue giving that a shot in 2021, because it’s been nice. I don’t know if I’ll be posting progress pics or anything, but I’ll definitely check in here, at least monthly, to share what’s going on with me and offer support and encouragement for all of you and your journeys.
We’re in this together, even if our stories are different.