This post. Took a while in coming together. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. But stuff happened.
And then after stuff happened, it took me another while to sit down and write it all out. Because (sigh) I don’t want those of you who personally know me to notice my appearance more than usual, any more than if I actually talked to you about it, that is.
Hi there. This was suppose to be a friendly post/update on my health and wellness regarding my hyperthyroidism. It really was. It was going to go along the lines of:
So I got fat. Hwahaha.
I had the whole post planned out in my head because I’d found it funny. I’d found it funny that mum and gramma seemed to think that I’d put on some weight when I didn’t think so. I just couldn’t see what they saw. I honestly thought I looked the same. So I didn’t mind that they were fussing over the reading on the scale (which astonished me because it did reflect that I’d gained a bit).
I was fine with it, the gain. Because I really couldn’t see what they were going on about.
They were very insistent though, and they had the scale to prove it. And they began drumming in well-intentioned advice regarding my diet and asking if I had been exercising regularly (which I had been doing by the way. I’d never been so into the whole exercise thing as I had been then).
It finally got to me.
The irony was that even though I still couldn’t see the gains, I started to accept that this weight gain was absolutely intolerable and I had to do something about it.
Let me just clarify how this weight gain tied in with my hyperthyroidism.
So the deal with hyperthyroidism is that weight loss was one of the side effects, because of my high metabolism rate and all that stuff. What the meds were supposed to do was to regulate and bring down the production of the hormones, which would bring my metabolism down, which would make me gain weight.
After the first month on meds, I went back to the doctor’s for a checkup. I’d gained a couple kilos and the doctor took that as a positive sign that the meds were working. I was definitely less emotionally angsty as I had been before when my thyroid was going crazy so yea, the meds were doing its thing. I didn’t really like that I gained any weight at all, but since the doctor said it was a good sign of recovery for my condition, I didn’t take it as a bad bad thing. The meds were just making me gain weight as part of the treatment. It was cool.
Second month in and mother and gramma suddenly thought I looked a bit on the heavy side. Mother actually though I was ‘swollen’ or something. She was truly alarmed and she made me weigh myself cos she was really worried. Turns out I’d gained another two kilos in the second month.
I tried to tell her it was the meds. It really was the meds anyhow, that was making me gain. I didn’t take the scale seriously either because I was working out, and muscles were denser than fat. If I gained muscles, they’d make me weigh more on the scale. So I wasn’t overly concerned about the numbers.
It was probably the reinforcement around the house that did me in. I felt like I had to do something about this.
The doctor, encouraged by my latest weight gain for the second month, scaled back my dosage to taking meds twice a day instead of the previous three times a day dosage, one in the morning and one in the evening.
So I took the meds in the morning. But I skipped the evening dosage. I’d cut my daily dosage to once a day.
It was a simple solution for my weight gain. To me, taking meds = gain weight. Stop taking meds = lose weight. I don’t know why, but I seemed to think I could let the hyperthyroidism come back for a while to make me lose a bit and then go back to the two times a day dose with a much stricter diet. Basically, cutting me back to my lightest weight and then maintaining from there.
I don’t even know.
At first, there was nothing different in me cutting the doses. I was still pretty stable and all that. No extremely big repercussions.
But it killed me mentally. I was guilty as sin.
I was cutting doses which was not good for my body and I knew it. I knew it was bad for me and I did it anyway. It was a kind of self-harm, without the knife and blood. Same same but different war. I was dying from guilt, dying from not taking care of the body God had given me, his temple. I was so torn up over being a hypocrite. I couldn’t focus, couldn’t do things with one heart and mind for God because of this, this betrayal of what he had entrusted me with. I was utterly miserable. I couldn’t move on in my walk with God, not with this in the way.
And slowly but surely, the hyperthyroidism crept back in. My body was reacting to the lack of meds and I felt it. It’s not that it hurt, but I could feel it. I just knew. My heart was racing here and there. Everything molecular, every atom inside was just rushing, bubbling inside of me, pulling me in all sorts of different directions, scattered. It wasn’t just my thoughts, it was my physical body. It was unstable. I was like a nuclear reactor or something, a bomb wanting to go off but didn’t know how to let it all out. That’s actually how I felt. It’s the closest I can put it to words.
It was so tangible and it frightened me because I hadn’t thought that it would actually come back (I had been so stable) but now it did. It’s back.
What frightened me was that I realized how it was affecting me, how it was affecting my thoughts, how I was just unwell. It alarmed me that this illness, the mere imbalance of something chemical inside me, could make me so unpleasant and bring out the worst in me. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde. What’s worse, I was completely responsible for it.
I was losing control over my thoughts, my body, melting, self-destructing. I couldn’t help feeling badly about everything and everybody. I couldn’t love like I was ought. I couldn’t be patient or kind or gentle. I couldn’t. It was just. Scary. Not a good place to be.
I actually tried to implement my second dosage in the evenings. But I was too weak. By the time evening fell, I told myself to hang on without it till I got tomorrow’s morning dose. It didn’t matter if it relapsed while I slept. Just hang on till tomorrow.
It went on like that for another couple of days.
One afternoon, it got really bad. All of it was coming back. I needed a time out. I needed to sort things out with God.
I went for a walk. I was just struggling with myself. Because I didn’t want to turn around. I didn’t actually want to take my medication. I didn’t want the gain. I know what God was saying, and I didn’t want to do it.
I went for a taiwan dessert thingamajig, with the beancurd, jelly, tapioca balls and peanuts. I just went in there and sat alone with my thoughts. I hadn’t made much progress. I hadn’t been able to put my foot down and surrender it to God. Much disheartening.
Then I got a call. It was Sam. I dunno why, but hearing her detached voice breaking into where I was just rooted me back in reality. It was so refreshing and so comforting. It somehow made me feel less alone.
Sam had called because she would be playing for service on first keys in a couple of weeks and she didn’t know how that particular keyboard worked. It would be the first time for her to play on the main keys so she was asking me about sounds and stuff like that. (She played today btw and she was so anointeddd I was so ministered to by her playing) I couldn’t remember what I said, hopefully something mildly useful in my half-zombied state, and we arranged to meet earlier before that prac so that we could fiddle with the keyboard and get used to it.
It was such a short, simple conversation, but it reminded me where I was and it really made me confront myself.
Like, sorry, people are labouring for God’s kingdom out there, in their own ways, both big and small.
What the hell are you doing?
All at once, I saw the sheer and utter stupidity of everything I had been doing, how completely mindless and idiotic it was next to God’s plan.
God made me confront myself. He made me think.
There was a need out there. The harvest was plenty but the workers are few. If my hyperthyroid relapsed because of my foolishness and crippled me from doing God’s work, that was just… that was just really really selfish and really really stupid.
That was just step one of my road to recovery. For the sake of others, and for the sake of God’s kingdom, I couldn’t afford to be fighting this meaningless and honestly needless battle with him, with myself. I didn’t need this.
But I still couldn’t put it all in His hands. I still couldn’t let go and let God. I was still too weak to take my much-needed second dose. So I started taking both doses together in the morning when my resolve was still fresh and strong. It didn’t matter when I took the doses apart from each other as long as I took them.
It worked. Everything is stabilising. Yet. Even though I was outwardly pretty much heading in the right direction by now, God was still not done with me. Because my motivation to recover hadn’t been the purest. Sure, I was taking my meds now, but it was for other people, so that I could be mentally and emotionally well to help them, for ministry. Not that it was bad. But it wasn’t for God. It wasn’t enough.
Cue my previous post. I was almost done fighting this battle. I could see the light. But I wasn’t there yet.
I was still relying on my human feels to win. Like, I feel strong now, to take my meds and everything. And I’m back into my very initial mentality; I couldn’t see the weight gain on me. Clothes-wise, a little tight for the tops but I’m accounting that to all the benchpresses and chest presses I do every once in a while. (flex flex) So my confidence had returned and I was running on that to keep to my meds. But I wasn’t at the point where even if I felt fat and didn’t want to take my meds anymore, I would continue to do it, not for others, not for myself, but because God. Because I am God’s, and this body is His temple and I am charged to honour Him with it, take care of it responsibly. And that was where He wanted me to be. He wanted me to continue living right even if I didn’t feel strong enough to, even if I didn’t feel like it.
So finally finally, after everything, backwards and forwards, half steps here and there, I gave it all to God. I admittedly gave it all to Him in a high moment, but I prayed that He would help me even when it got hard for me. And I waited on Him for His assurance, that we were cool now.
What followed were pure joy and this sense of freedom, this lightness. I kind of thought it was cos recess week was coming and I was in the kick back and chill mood already, but I dunno, I don’t think so anymore. For one, I’m really genuinely glad to serve and talk to people about God, doing all the ‘God’ stuff in church and in school, in Alpha and in Nav. I had one of the most insightful and fun bible study sessions ever, HTHT, sharing and being encouraged. I’m just so excited now, to do stuff.
At the same time, I don’t want to just be moved on this high. I’m grateful for how He has delivered me and assured me with such boundless joy, but I want to keep this joy with me, this thankfulness with me, even when things get hard, that I might cling to Him, His promises, and be able to praise Him because He’s good and His love endures forever.
I’m so all there now that I didn’t really want to put this up because it’s kind of embarrassing, a bit, and I almost feel like it didn’t happen at all because I’m not in the valley anymore. But I feel like I need to put this up here as a self-reminder whenever I start to feel fat. I actually have a very healthy mindset that my weight gain is really from muscles (which I think is so sexy btw so I’m gonna work for those despite the numbers) and up till now I still don’t think I gained so visibly (unless I sit down hwahahaha). But yea, I do lapse into these periods once in a while. Not full out anorexic etc. because God always stops me in time before things get that serious but yas, really when I happen to fall, at least I have an altar of God’s faithfulness to look back on and be encouraged, to take hope.
So that’s what’s new with me. There are plenty others; the end of Alpha and the start of something new for one, renovating the house, stuff. But that’s that for noww.
Alsohh, I was so heartened cos a couple of my number one fans (cough cough Sam cough) were just encouraging me in writing and I don’t know why you guys think it’s good stuff because I just re-read a couple posts back and it was so rambly and everything ahaha. BUT THANK YOUU ANYWAYS FOR THE LOVE and for reading me. ❤ ❤ ❤
And if there was anything good that came out from this whole thing, my Lit side was very intrigued by the parallels to Jekyll and Hyde so I have pretty much conceptualized a science fic based on this whole experience. You gotta admit, chemical imbalance being the controlling factor to an individual’s character and personality is intriguing to say the least. That is how I think the mythical love potions should be constructed anyways.
Yea, I dunno. Defo back to normal. These crazy Lit thoughts oh how I’ve missed you.