Bipolar Disorder · mental health · self esteem

My Favorite Shirt

About 5 years ago, I bought a shirt. Just a simple baseball t-shirt that was a little form fitting.  At the time I bought it I weighed 135 lbs. The most I had ever weighed not being pregnant. I never really had a good or bad body image until I couldn’t lose the weight from my second child. I wasn’t overweight by medical standards, but when you’ve been a size 3/4 your whole life and then you jump to a size 8 and you just can’t lose the weight it can be frustrating.  So I  didn’t really wear a lot of form fitting things. This t-shirt was so comfortable and the person I was dating at the time loved how it looked on me. He just gushed at how flattering it was. This made me feel good. I was not in a good place. My depression had continued to get worse and anything positive helped. At this point I had been diagnosed with bipolar for 5 years. My medication was still being adjusted and the anti-psychotic that worked the best caused me to gain weight. In the year after I bought my new favorite t-shirt, I had gained 15 lbs. I did not feel good about this. I felt fat and now I was considered overweight. The guy I was dating wasn’t very kind about my growing size. He actually told me that he had never dated anyone who weighed more than him and told me that my favorite t-shirt no longer looked good on me. I put the shirt in the very back of my closet and didn’t wear it again, until today. I didn’t realize it at the time that I put up with this behavior because I was so desperate for love and I was too depressed to do anything about it. The problem was, even though what he said really hurt, I still believed it. I had no self esteem even though I always tried to look my best. I have come so far since then. First, I got rid of the negative people in my life including that terrible boyfriend. Then, I got right with myself by taking the time to like myself again. My weight has fluctuated, however the pain of my depression has eased. I am finally mentally back to where I was before I had my kids. I don’t feel good or bad about my body image. I weigh exactly the same as I did that day I put my shirt in the back of the closet. I wore that shirt today and I didn’t see the same person looking back in the mirror as I did 4 years ago. Today, I saw me and I look amazing!

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