Trapped in my Own Body

As someone struggling with Bipolar Disorder, I sometimes feel as if I am literally a person stuck inside someone else’s body, clawing to get out. I am physically restless, often tapping my fingers or feet and kicking my legs in an attempt to relieve the tension I feel within myself, in my body and my brain. But the feeling of physical discomfort in my own body actually started long ago, from the first time I looked in the mirror and saw something other than what was really there.   

I have never been overweight, but since the fifth grade I have been trying, almost constantly, to get thinner that whatever weight I was. I have always had unattainably high standards for myself, and this meant that I didn’t just want to be thin, I wanted—needed—to be thinner than everyone else in the room. But no matter what I weighed, every time I looked in the mirror I saw a fat girl.

For much of high school, I restricted my eating, lying about what I ate (or didn’t eat) and also exercising obsessively. During this time I was told that I looked “emaciated,” and I took it as a compliment. I prided myself on how thin people thought I was, but still it wasn’t enough. While, like many young girls, I wanted to look like the models in magazines, I think that what I was actually hoping was that I would disappear. I remember thinking: I don’t deserve to take up this much space.

Over the years, I have had ups and downs with my weight, and any time I gained any amount of weight, I would reason to myself: I thought I was fat before this, so now I must actually be fat. That gave me an excuse to keep seeing what I had always seen in the mirror—a funhouse version of myself.

These days, because of my Bipolar Depression, I really struggle to find motivation to eat healthfully and exercise. And because of my experiences in high school I have trouble separating what I eat and how I exercise from how much I weigh and how I look.

Right now, although I am at a perfectly healthy weight for my height, when it comes right down to it, there are times when I honestly feel as if I do not recognize myself anymore. I feel trapped in my own body. Because in my head, I am still that underweight girl in high school, and in the mirror I see something different.

But what if that girl isn’t who I am anymore? What if being that person isn’t as important as being the person that I am now?

Think of all the time and energy I could save if I just gave all that up. If I broke free from worrying about what my body looks like and just accepted myself, the way I am. It’s not as if I was happy when I was thinner–I was just handling my depression in a different way. And I don’t need to be thinner to do what I want to do, to be caring or help others.

I’m starting to realize that there are so many better things I could be doing with my time.

And I’m planning to do them.


If you enjoyed reading this, please let me know by clicking the Like button. For more like this, don’t forget to Subscribe! I would love to hear from you in the Comments.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s