It was the second year of college and I always felt so sad; physically present but not there mentally or emotionally. Was it depression? I had no idea, but it was a feeling that suffocated me. I thought it all started during my senior year of high school, however, I realized it started way before that.
It was freshman year of high school. I was overweight, a size 16. In eighth grade, a few people made fun of my weight, but I was that kind of person who made fun of myself in order to avoid people from making fun of me first. That all changed in my first year of high school when the boys started calling me chunky. Then they started talking about my yellow teeth. My dentist told me when I was younger that I had genetic yellowing, so it was only going to get worse as I aged. In high school was when I started becoming self conscious about it, so photoshop and filters were sort of my best friend. At times, I would purposely add a black and white filter just so that no one would notice the discoloration of my teeth.
I felt insecure about a few other things, but the one thing I never cared about was the size of my feet. My feet were always big, I was a size 12 in women at one point and only 5’3″ so guess who looked like Happy Feet? This girl, but I embraced it. Some of my old friends still call me Big Foot, but there were some advantages as a kid for having big feet. My mother always bought me shoes if she saw my size, that’s how difficult they were to find at times. I found it odd that I was able to embrace my feet, but not anything else.
When it came to my weight, I ate so much less. In all honesty, I ate once a day and didn’t really talk about it. In the beginning of my unhealthy diet, I felt fatigue, my stomach used to rumble in the middle of class and to avoid it from sounding so loud, I would shake my leg until it passed. Then I started chewing gum, a lot of minty gum. It helped me ignore my hunger and after a while it wasn’t so unbearable. The pounds began to shed, I dropped down to a size 5/6 by the time that I was a junior, but believe it or not, I still wasn’t satisfied. I still thought I was fat in comparison to everyone else. My parents thought I was sick, my mother suspected that I wasn’t eating much, so she would be sure to feed me once I came home from school.
To keep the weight off, I avoided school lunch. I never really liked public school lunch to begin with, so it was easy for me to skip. When senior year came, I had the freedom of going outside to get lunch, so if it wasn’t the dollar French fries with ketchup from the Chinese restaurant across the street that I ate, it was a bag of Cheez-Its with a dollar Arizona Iced Tea. I look back now and can’t imagine how I was able to stay up all day barely eating anything.
I lost my great-grandmother that November. It wasn’t the first time that I had experienced the loss of a loved one, but that was the loss that hit me the hardest, considering the fact that she was a big part of my life. She died at ninety-three, she lived a long life, but I don’t think I mentally prepared myself for it. I would visit her at the nursing home and she had Alzheimer’s so she didn’t remember my name or whose child I was. I remember her calling me Carlos’ daughter (my father’s name is Mark). Forgetting who I was little by little didn’t stop me from seeing her. In the end of May of that year, I visited her for a week straight because her doctors informed us that she was probably not going to live for much longer. She slept for days on end, so the doctors were concerned. One of those days when she finally had woken up, I was so relieved. But at the same time, that should’ve been when I started preparing myself for her passing. Maybe then it would have been easier for me to hear it a few months later.
After her passing, I had this “I don’t care” attitude. I lost friends, I started talking to guys that I wasn’t really interested in, I started dating my best friend at the time. Even though I knew it was going to ruin the friendship, I disregarded that. I thought it would be easier to date someone who knew me personally. Boy, was I wrong. On the contrary, he took advantage of my weaknesses to use them against me. Whenever he decided to play me, he guilt tripped me to believe it was my fault he was doing it. I don’t recall how many times I forgave him for hurting my feelings, but it was one too many times, that’s for sure. When I finally grew the courage to let him go, I ended up heartbroken with a ruined reputation all thanks to my poor decision making. But you know what was the only thing I remember doing?
For the rest of my post, please visit Part 2 by clicking on this link.