For more than three years, I felt like I was in a dark pit, trying to find my way back to the outside world. I’ve been in fighting against complex PTSD and anxiety disorder for a long time, even before I knew what I was up against, but have been treated for only about three years when my symptoms were so severe that I needed to seek professional help.

This year I was well enough and decided to claim my life back. Little did I know how deep the pit was. I remember when the symptoms were more severe, I hardly wanted to get out of bed. I couldn’t focus on more than one thing per day. I had no energy. I was afraid to go out. On top of that, we had the pandemic to worry about.

The medication I received made me feel lethargic and hungry. I binged eating and gaming to cope with life. Before I knew it, my physical health was ruined, along with my mental health. I gained weight. My blood cholesterol level was out of control.

Worst of all, I didn’t want to live. The only thing that keep me going was my husband. I was afraid of losing that last thread that kept me alive. I follow Camus, so I knew that suicide wasn’t the answer. There might not be the ultimate meaning in life, but you don’t kill yourself to prove that. Meaning is something you create. I realized after a long time that it wasn’t the absurdism or nihilism in me that made life so bland but the mental illness I had.

I’ve been trying to change my diet and doing everything I can for months, but my weight just won’t budge. I won’t give up, but I have to admit that it was hard to keep trying when you didn’t see the results that you wanted. I’ve tried several things now. I took an online course, I went to see a nutritionist, and read everything I can.

Then I realized how deep the pit was. This is what three years of mental illness did to my body. I can’t do anything but keep doing my best. It took several years to damage my body this much, so I think it will take some time to undo it.

Even now my weight hasn’t changed a bit, but I’ve seen other results. I can wear clothes that I was unable to fit into before and noticed my strength has improved.

I was lucky to be able to receive the medical treatment that I needed. I finally found the right medication for my condition. I’m undoing the damage from mental illness. And all I need right now is patience.