Battle of the Bipolar Bulge

2014-12-27 10.19.22

“Thin may be in, but fat is where it’s at.” – Anon.

Bizarely, when I came out of the manic-depressive broom cupboard to some friends, one told me about a close relative with bipolar. My other friend had gone out with someone with the problem.

Whilst surprising, that’s not the bizarre bit. What I did find odd was, despite the long-standing nature of their relative’s illness, my friend hadn’t connected her relative’s obesity to their medication.

Look at the two following photos. There then will follow a short quiz.

A picture from a few years back of myself, and Gerald. He's the one on the right.

A picture taken in Spring 2007. (I’m the one on the left).

Let’s call the photo above “Exhibit A”, and the next one, “Exhibit B”.

Fat Sheila 2013 with Mr TumnusNow the quiz. Which of the following responses is correct?

(1) You like to stand on the left in photos, don’t you?

(2) Whilst “Exhibit A” is in focus, “B” is not.

(3) Subject appears to enjoy hanging out with fictional characters.

(4) Wow, you got fat!

The answer, of course, is 1), 2), 3), and 4). Especially 4).

Whilst photo A was taken after I began taking psychiatric meds, it was also after I’d been on a ward for what, cross fingers, is my longest stretch, ever. (1) So my long-running on-again, off-again, meds-induced love affair with food in general, and carbs in particular, had already begun. However, periods of depression (2) also typically result in my hardly eating. At all.

Welcome, folks, to the “Depression Diet”. Also known as: “How I lost weight despite barely moving”.

One of the biggest downsides of this diet is that it is inevitably followed by the “Cheering Up Weight Gain”. Hence the above photo of me from December 2013, looking fat and happy. Because I was, and am. (3)

So, the very stuff which is supposed to make me feel happier gives me something to become desperately unhappy about: My Big Fat Bipolar Self.

Of course, as I previously observed in this rant – er, blog – it is better to be fat than dead. And eating because I’m depressed because I put on a load of weight because I was depressed is a bit counter-productive.

Hence the photo at the top of this blog. It could be taken – as the caption which WordPress appears to have eaten said – to depict my frequent despair over my size. In fact, it’s a photo from my walk earlier this morning in Hyde Park Cemetery, here in Snowy Donny.

Yes, we have snow. And yes, fat people walk. In my case, quite a lot, as I cannot drive, and am too impatient to wait for buses.

Walking is one of the ways I plan to address (4) my weight over the coming months. And, as I enjoy photography, I plan to take my camera with me, as well as write about it.

Speaking of writing, I was surprised to find out how much I missed writing over the Christmas and Boxing Day break. (5) Two days without writing any fiction, or blogs. Nada. Zipster. Since writing is a major part of how I deal with my particular brand of mental health fruitcake-ness, maybe that’s not so surprising.

Anyways, here’s to a slimmer, fitter me in a few months’ time. Good Lord willin’ and the meds don’t return.

2014-12-27 10.19.38

(1) It better be.

(2) I also find being on a ward quite depressing.

(3) Except when depressed, and/or angry.

(4) Initially typed “depressed” for “address”. How’d you like that slip up, Sigmund?

(5) A break during which I worked part of Christmas Day.


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