If I were to add up the amount of money I spend every week on quick trips to the grocery store or gas station to get things like candy, Monster, donuts, cookies, and other things I shouldn’t put in my body, the number would shock most people. It has become so much a part of my routine that I work that amount of money into my budget. I’ve had a binge eating problem as long as I can remember. I’m addicted to sugar, and it often consumes my brain.
Turns out, this is not just a self-control problem. My brain is wired to crave carbs. Having bipolar disorder means I have a monster inside of my brain that is trying to kill me. One of his tactics is to make me eat unhealthy foods in an attempt to make my body unhealthy.
I’m aware that there is not actually a monster living inside my brain. It just doesn’t function the right way all the time. There’s a chemical imbalance because, unfortunately, mental illness runs rampant every side of my family. However, I like to think of this illness as a monster because that makes it not about me. It gives me something to blame. In reality, the behaviors I exhibit as a result of my illness are not me.
It’s not me who gets in my truck at 10pm, when I should be going to bed, simply to go to the gas station for candy. It’s not me who decides to buy a Kit Kat and Reese’s Sticks and eat them both before I even get home. It’s not me who eats Wendy’s late at night because I know I won’t sleep when I’m too fixated on craving a cheeseburger and fries. Here’s the kicker: I do all of this and then get to feel ashamed about it. I feel guilty for doing it.
It’s not me when I’m out of control screaming at my boyfriend for no reason. It’s not me when that screaming turns into me in a ball on the floor sobbing. It’s not me who imagines what the world would be like if I were no longer in it. None of those things are who I truly am, and people that really know me can attest to that.
There’s a monster inside of my head, and he’s trying to kill me. As hard as a try, as many medications I take, as many hours I spend at the gym, as many therapy appointments I attend, he’ll never go away. He’s here to stay for the rest of my life. He was born with me, and he will die with me. I will forever be in a constant war with him. Sometimes I’m winning, but I also lose a lot of battles.
I often feel alone in all of this. Because no one understands, I’m in this fight all by myself.
I don’t know how to conclude all of this. Thanks for taking the time to look into my world for a minute. If you can relate, you’re not alone in this shit. If you can’t relate, at least you know a little more information about what it might be like for someone you love to fight the monster that lives inside their brain.