Posted 1/29/2010 1:29 AM (GMT -6)
Hi, one of the threads asks for new members to introduce myself so I am.
I am a 21-year-old college grad student in the heart of America. I'm one of those book worms, always did well in school, guess I am lucky. But my gifts have come at a price mentally.
Not to get into so many details, but long story short I had an abusive father (alcoholic) and have watched my mother go through all sorts of health problems.
I have a very impulsive personality. When I was younger I had a food addiction (particularly fast food) and I binged my way to 303 pounds. I was ashamed and embarrassed. Became reclusive. My stepfather ridiculed me for my weight. I never got to have much of a normal carefree youth. (Well, I'm still young.)
Then I was diagnosed with what's called fatty liver, and was told if I didn't lose weight I could wake up one day with liver failure. Admitting and facing mortality so young, especially out of my own doing, brought along a great deal of guilt, panic and anxiety. There was a period where I couldn't shower with the lights on without checking myself and freaking out over little things. The anxiety caused me to have symptoms that mimic heart attacks (dizzy spells and pain/numbness) and I ended up in the ER twice. I felt better for a while and began drinking heavily to prove to myself I was normal, and then I felt even more guilty about that.
To cope, I sometimes experience brain fog and derealization from the stress, where I have poor memory/concentration and everything feels like a dream. My anxiety meds make me so numb.
To this day I can't look in the mirror without checking my eyes to see if they are yellow, and I am convinced my arms are yellowish. My blood tests come back normal but they can't tell me for sure that I'm okay without a biopsy, and they have no reason to do one on me. So every day is constant fear. Liver failure is an awful death. I don't so much feel like a hypochondriac because I have a real history of a minor liver problem which I may have made worse.
But I try to live, and I'll offer my support to anyone who needs it.