Fat is Not a Feeling: Open Letter to Myself

Dear Shannon,

The scale does not know you, not like I do. And if it did it would say, “STOP STEPPING ON ME”. And no, not because you are too heavy for the scale, so don’t go there…

Fat is not a feeling and should not dictate whether you want to live. That is utterly ridiculous. No one cares about how you look, except you. Really and truly, your loved ones want to see you happy, not skinny. If it was an actual choice they could make on your behalf, they would all vote for happy. Trust me. 

When your husband holds you tight and tells you how beautiful he thinks you are—believe him. Trust his words over your distorted thoughts. 

Yes, you are not at the weight you want to be…But, have you ever been?

You have tried starvation once before, how did that go? I seem to remember you were down to 100lbs and still believed you were fat and despicable. You tortured yourself every day no matter what the scale said.

Don’t you remember that time of your life? I know you remember your families’ tears wishing for you to get better. Knowing that you hurt them hurt you more than anything, and it haunts you still today. In fact, you always tell yourself you wish you could take back those years in a heartbeat. So I know you never want that again. 

You have to stop spending your hours making grandiose plans to lose 70lbs—you will just fail. And aside from despising how you look, you despise failing. So stop setting yourself up! Life’s a bitch as it is. 

Bottom line: You are fooling yourself to think that losing weight will make you happy. It never did ad it never will. I told you before—fat is not a feeling which means: SKINNY IS NOT ONE EITHER.

Your mind believes what you tell it, Shannon—so tell it the truth.



An Imagination That Can't Be Treated

Hi there. If you are reading this please know everything written is coming from my brain—which means these thoughts are all real to me, but likely unrealistic or potentially disturbing to “normal” people. I consider a “normal” person anyone that advises me not to act on everything I think and feel. How annoying is that? They must be the crazy ones, not me!

Everything my mind conjures up seems so brilliant in that moment. My feelings seem appropriate and valid in my head. How dare someone else tell me otherwise? But, alas, these nut jobs do deserve credit as they have kept me alive, stood by my side, taught me to be strong, and there is a special place in my heart and mind that loves and appreciates them more than words can say. So, thank you crazy people—stay nuts.

Make no mistake, I despise these crazies all the time especially when they are right in matters that concern my mental health. For example, when they suggest I engage in things like physical activities, taking medication, or meditation to “calm down”. Seriously? This is how I know they are not normal. When I passionately rant and rave about my brilliant racing thoughts and ideas—these are quite literally the worst three suggestions in the world. Even if I were to admit they work, which I will not, they are still awful and terrible and should be banned as suggestions to me effective immediately.

Okay, okay, so what the hell am I getting at? After 27 years of fighting, I decided to open my mind to the idea that I am “bipolar”…

Wait…nope…I still think that sounds ridiculous. I just went back and put quotations around the big bad “b-word”. I’ll stick with the title of this book and only admit to the following:

I’m Shannon, and I am my own bipolar. I have an imagination that can’t be controlled or sedated. My mind has a great sense of humor and tricks me all the time. Medication does allow me to be a high-functioning human that can enjoy things in life, only when I decide to take it consistently (vomit). There is one big exception and that is when my archenemy strikes every month. I then become a big weepy anxious PMS bitch. My mother says, “Steer Clear!” How unbelievably not funny is that?

…Good advice to the general public though.


Right now it is 1:41pm on Thursday July 2nd, 2015 and I feel blessed to have medications, mental health professionals, and loving family and friends that have kept me alive to imagine and feel all that I do…every second of every day.

You should know I recently decided to open my mind to this whole concept of acceptance. By recent I mean yesterday morning Wednesday, July 1st while smoking a cigarette on the balcony. And then about an hour ago today, I was in Barnes and Noble looking for a book on the subject of “bipolar” and found none to my liking. That pissed me off a little. So naturally, I came home and started writing my own book. And, that’s how it goes. Taking on new projects that I have no time for is how I operate.

I’m currently in Graduate school for counseling, and normally working during the day as well. However, work is on a slight pause because three months ago I found out my husband was actively using drugs and alcohol unbeknownst to me. In fact, he even took the drugs prescribed to me that I failed to take myself. How ironic. Threw me for a loop to put it lightly. So I am in recovery working on myself in Al-Anon and very grateful for that. My husband is amazing and working his recovery too and we are just in a new chapter of life. My brain never dreamt up that whole scenario. In fact, I only brought him to the hospital because I was convinced he had a brain tumor. Dramatic, I know.

The point is that I am a busy girl with lots to do yet always dreaming up new endeavors. Did you know last week I was googling what it takes to become a foster parent? I later decided to put that on hold. The crazies advised me it wasn’t a great idea at this time. What they really mean is that it will never be a good idea, but too nice to say it. Or maybe I’m taking that personally and maybe it will happen one day? Ehhhhhh…I’ll float the idea out there again in 2016 just to see what they say and report back.

Unfortunately, I read on a chart that taking on multiple projects is a sign of the “b-word”. Crap, thanks Google.

Now, Tuesday morning I would have tried a different search engine in hopes that a different more accurate chart of “bipolar” would appear; one that did not describe my personality and behaviors. But I’m realizing, as I type, that would have been a waste of time. I have a much better idea—make my own damn chart with all the unique things about myself that only I would know. Add that to my list of endeavors—make a new chart, get Google to list that first, with a free template designed for others to complete and post. I just thought of all this in the time it took to type it. My mind works seventeen steps ahead of my fingers, at minimum. Ideas do not stop. But now I’m bored of writing and thinking about dinner so I’ll resume at some point…or maybe never…unclear.