Hiding was easy last year. I hid behind my depression. I hid behind being fat. I hid behind my rotten teeth that made me ugly. I was 39, heading for ugly, fat and old. Nothing I did to try to change things worked and I’d started to admit defeat. I was one of life’s failures. So much potential, all of it wasted. No education, no degree, no job, no money, fat, ugly and depressed. That was me. It could have been worse. I had a husband who loved me, kids who were happy and healthy, I wasn’t disabled and I had all my mental facilities intact. So I just started to accept that this was the hand life had dealt me and I should just put up with it.
I’m not sure what changed. I turned 40 in November, I was happy as far as I could be. My mum had her 60th birthday in February. Lots of alcohol was consumed, lots of pics were taken. Bloody digital cameras. I saw a pic of me and I looked awful. The outfit I thought looked pretty good didn’t. I wasn’t smiling properly because I didn’t want to show my teeth. I was by far the fattest in the room. It was enough to make me join weightwatchers, and things started to click. I lost weight, started anti depressants, took up exercise, started going to a dentist.
I’m sitting here now, 7 months on feeling really quite low. In fact right now, I feel pretty much how I felt last year. Why on earth? I’ve made so much progress, done so well. In 7 months I’ve lost over 50lbs in weight, and am wearing the same size clothes I wore on my wedding day 21 years ago. I haven’t had a full on anxiety attack for months. I’ve had several dental appointments, and I’m only a month away from having all my teeth fixed. I should be feeling great!
I think it’s fear. Fear of what it’s like to be normal. At the end of September, my weight will be in the normal BMI range, not overweight or obese. I will have new, pain free, normal looking teeth. I wear make up now, and my nails are always painted. I wear clothes that are smart, not just the ones that fit me. I’ve never been normal. And now I nearly am. I will look and feel and be a completely different person on my 41st birthday than on my 40th. Finally something I haven’t failed at. And that is scary. Nowhere to hide. And I don’t know quite what to make of it all.