Monday, May 17, 2010

Some Great Reward

One of the things that has been hardest for me while on methadone has been the weight gain that often accompanies it. For the past four years, this has been my biggest battle. Some days, I find it nothing more than a slight nuisance, while on others, I find it utterly soul crushing. I know many women on methadone suffer from this identical problem, and I know many that also stop treatment for this fact alone. As hard an adjustment as its been, this would never influence me to return to past bad behaviours or habits.

This weight gain many a time has ended up messing with my selfconfidence, especially as I had never, ever had a weight issue until I started MMT. It has been a pretty big adjustment just on its own, and there are so many days that I've allowed this to influence my overall mood. When feeling particularly frumpy or unattractive, it was so much easier to sit around all day in my baggy black tshirt and drawstring pants with unwashed hair and an unmade face. After awhile, it became easier and easier for me to use this as an excuse not to do much more of anything else.

About two weeks ago, I decided that I had had enough. No more. Just one more thing I was doing to remain a victim in one way or another that I needed to put an end to. It was now or never. As much as I wanted to return to my pre-treatment weight, I know that this was not something that was going to happen overnight so I decided to take a different approach than anything I had attempted prior. A large part of  how I was feeling was a direct result of not really having anything appropriate to wear to flatter my current shape so pretty much the only way to fix this was to start over from scratch - I needed an entirely new wardrobe! So far, I had been resisting buying much of anything convinced that one day I would be able to fit back into the clothes that were hanging in my closet. In the meantime, I had been trying to stuff my size twelve body into my size eight outfits with disasterous results.

Shocking indeed, that I never seemed pleased with any of my outfit choices or would be forced to put on yet, again, the same tshirt and pair of pants. Although it actually took me three full days to finish, I went out shopping and bought all brand new things - I literally replaced everything, everything except my socks! I got all brand new underwear. I bought myself a new raincoat and two new hoodies, as well as a new pair of sandles and runners for the summer. I got five new pairs of cargo pants and four new pairs of shorts. I got eight semi-dressy tops/blouses plus four dressier types of tshirts.

I've put all of the new clothes in the closet in the spare room and left all of my other clothes in my closet in the bedroom - we each have our own closet in the bedroom. Now, when I go to put something on, it is much less of an ordeal as I know that whatever I end up picking out will fit me properly. No longer will there be piles of discarded items as I struggled to find something to wear for the day! Already I feel a thousand times better about myself, not to mention so much more confident.

In some ways, I am mad at myself for allowing vanity to get the best of me, but it has and after four years, I know that this wouldn't go away on its own. I wasn't prepared at all for how much this weight gain was going to affect me. I'd been fortunate enough to go through my life never having a weight problem, so it was never an issue I had been forced to deal with. I didn't realize quite how lucky I was until it was too late. I think what has made it more of a struggle for me to get on top of this was the timing of my decision to start MMT. This just happened to occur while in my midforties, which is a time in a woman's life when her body starts to undergo a number of changes as it is. So the two combined together were a toxic combination indeed.

1 comment:

Nellie said...

Wow, as I was reading this post of yours I couldn't believe how close I felt to your words. I could have written ninety percent of them myself. The only difference is that I was a bit younger when I began MMT, but not by much. We have so much in common with the weight gain and the feelings associated. I know it is very common to gain weight on methadone, and many women suffer from it. But I could really relate to you because I had never had to think about weight before either. I could always eat whatever I wanted and never gain an ounce. I was never over one-twenty up until the age of about twenty-five, when I really got clean.But within six months to a year of beginning MMT I ballooned to a crazy one-seventy! All I could wear were pajamas and stretchy dresses, it was awful. And I lived like that for the past seven years.But I recently made drastic changes in my life because I realized I hated myself and my body. You know exactly how it feels, I know, because you described it exactly. Nothing fits, it's depressing and you don't want to go out because you just feel terrible. It happened so fast, too, that I didn't really notice until I was really fat. And I know that seems unbelievable to most people; how does a person not notice themselves getting fat? But anyone who has gotten clean knows that it's such an overwhelmingly intense ordeal just to make it day to day without using that it's not impossible to miss other obvious things that are going on around you.I also found myself suddenly having intense cravings for things I had never wanted in excess before. I would be driving down the road and I would just HAVE to have a donut, and I've always hated donuts.And at first I thought nothing of it because I was so skinny I figured if I gained a few pounds it wouldn't be such a bad thing. But before I knew it my clothes didn't fit anymore. But I guess being on so much M-done kind of numbed the reality of it or something. Because when I finally tried to get off it, which I couldn't do, I did end up lowering my dose significantly. I never would have gotten clean to begin with if I initially hadn't gone up as high as I did; so I don't regret it. But after all this time I find I can get by day to day on a relatively low dose. And maybe that's what's triggered me to realize that I NEED to lose weight. So my Mom and I joined Curves, this work out place here in the States. And I've been going for two months. And even before that I started making drastic life changes. I moved a pretty good distance away from where I'd been living for the past ten years. And I moved back in with my family so I could go back to school and sort of "do-over" my younger adult years that I most definitely botched. I guess the last seven years have been totally focused on reorganizing my mind into a state of "clean" thinking. But in getting there, many other aspects were neglected.I had to sort of swallow my pride to accept the help of my family, but it has allowed me to take the time, finally, to reflect upon my entire self and realize why I'm so unhappy. And a lot of it comes back, again and again, to my physical self. Having previously been so vibrant it was what you called "soul-crushing" to look at myself in the mirror, squishing my ass into over-tight jeans.But now that I've taken control, and I'm down to one forty-five, I'm beginning to gain confidence in myself.And I feel sometimes now that I look good when I go out. And even people I don't know treat me differently; maybe because I'm exuding more positive vibes. I don't know, but it just makes me want to keep getting healthier. Well, thanks for the great post. I really related to what you said. Good luck in your own quest for happiness, I'm glad you found a way to feel so much better about life.
Peace and Happiness, Nellie