Last year, in an attempt to look after my mental health, I began seeing a psychiatrist. I went there for confirmation of my ADHD diagnosis, validation that I am not a disaster on purpose, and for some magic pills that would make me the world-famous (stinking rich wouldn’t hurt either) author/mother of the year/domestic goddess/size two/marathon winner that I felt sure I was destined to be.
I obviously confused “psychiatrist” with “fairy godmother.” Or the Kardashians’ publicist.
Instead I found myself hunting for spare change in old coats and couch cushions. (And not always mine.) I can’t even convince my own mother that the anthology I co-published was not, “copied directly from the encyclopedia like that grade four King Tut project of yours.” My house is a disaster, and I find even pouring cereal for dinner to be an imposition. I weigh more than I ever have, aside from when I was pregnant with the twins, and I want people to put a medal around my neck just for walking up the stairs to bed at night. To be fair, if there were a shortbread-eating marathon, I definitely set some records this year. I’ll be right back after I update my LinkedIn.
I was also diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and I’m not sure which has more of an impact on my life, the anxiety or the ADHD. Although I went into this hoping for pharmaceutical miracles, I appreciate that my doctor is also a big believer in things like cognitive behaviour therapy, and use of mental strategies. At least, in theory I appreciate it. In reality, that sounds too much like work. Ice cream with Ativan-sprinkles sounds much more like my style.
The day I set off to my pharmacist with the prescription for anti-anxiety meds I was shocked. First of all that they didn’t sell ice cream. So many illnesses could use a little frozen treat therapy. They should really just give that stuff out with the meds instead of the terrifying information pamphlets that they keep insisting on popping into the prescription bag. WebMD is currently handling all of my “was that a side effect or symptom of nine kinds of cancer” informational needs, thank you very much.
The second thing that surprised me at the pharmacy was that the pharmacist suggested that I take up yoga. He said that the meds can be helpful but he wanted to make sure that I am also using some non-medicinal strategies for the long-term. What kind of pharmacist is this anyway? Yoga. As if. I immediately sent his name to “Big Pharma” because they obviously aren’t sending this dude on enough cruises. Do your job drug man. Do. Your. Job.
My friend has been trying to
bully convince me to join her at yoga for months now. I reply with the “Laughing and Pointing” pose, with the advanced-level add-on “Flipping the Bird” manoeuvre. Even at my fittest, I was never brave enough to attempt yoga. Maybe at home, where the only people who would potentially point and laugh enjoy their maid-services too much. But at a studio, with PEOPLE, and form-fitting clothes…it sounds too close to the recurring nightmare that wakes me up screaming.
But then I saw this video from Penningtons:
We’ve all heard the jokes about how spandex shouldn’t be made above a certain size, or there’s the ongoing “leggings are not pants” war. It’s ridiculous that I would put my health and recovery on the back-burner because I don’t feel like I fit in with the yoga crowd. Who says I need to be fit in order to work on my fitness? For the record, I am the one who has been saying this to myself. Turns out that I am kind of an ass, and need to be nicer to myself.
Sitting at home eating ice cream while my friend is stretching and “ohhhmmming” is only going to lead me further away from where I want to be. And who knows, maybe I’ll surprise myself. People are always shocked to see how strong I am. I can carry a 100-pound girl, kicking and screaming, out of the drug-store…I could probably lift the yoga teacher if she doesn’t struggle.
Legal has asked me to clarify that it is my own daughter, not random children, that I carry out of stores. But I think you already know that I’d be more likely to be returning children to the store. Additional children would just eat my ice cream.
2016 is going to be the year that I take care of me— mentally and physically. No excuses. No compromises.
Now I just have to hope that #iwontfart either. The CPAP machine has not been my friend in terms of gas. Is there an aromatherapy class? I’m going to steer clear of the hot yoga classes, just in case. Because clearly that’s just a health and safety hazard.
I have been compensated to write about Penningtons’ #iwontcompromise campaign. The movement celebrates doing what you love, wearing what makes you feel good, and being who you are without compromise. As actions speak louder than words, this campaign looks to show society that a body, no matter what size, is capable of anything. Stigmas and stereotypes do nothing but hinder potential and happiness. You are invited to participate in the conversation, by following the hashtag on social media, or comment below, and share your stories of strength, happiness and inspiration.