Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Crazy and The Fat

Marianne over at The Rotund's post on how her crazy interacts with her fat and her fat acceptance has inspired me to write about how these things interact, for me personally.
I specify that it's personal because each individual's mind is as complex and different as everyone's bodies (because, you know, your mind is part of your body, people). Also because my particular version of crazy does impact fairly dramatically on my treatment of my body and my acceptance of my fat.

Fat acceptance, to me, is part of the road to recovery from mental ill-health (by which I mean not that my crazy has magically disappeared, but that I am finally in a position where my crazy doesn't affect every single moment of my life). Only in accepting myself for the person I truly am (fat, prone to bouts of serious depression and periods of elation, subject to migraine and gum disease) am I able to treat myself in such a way that my crazy doesn't rule my life.

I have to be quite vigilant about my own needs, and do the right thing by myself to reduce the risks of a major depressive episode. This includes ensuring that I eat enough, sleep enough, don't drink too much, that I listen to my body and trust it to tell me what it needs.

The biggest risk to my health has, and probably will always be, a major attack of the crazies. I have to prioritise my mental health over physical risk factors - even if being fat was the fast-train to an early grave we're constantly told it is, the risks would pale to insignificance next to the very real risk of death from a bad attack of the crazies.

I don't pretend to have the true full picture as to the origin of my fatness, but I do believe that spending half my life on various anti-depressant medications has been a major contributing factor. These medications have saved my life many time over. I have no desire to be a skinny corpse, I have no desire to risk my mental health to fulfil your pointless cultural ideal. I've been your fucking cultural ideal, it nearly killed me.

For me, personally, dieting and body hatred is a very real danger to my health. My fatness is not.

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