12 Week Challenge – The Pre Challenge Essay

Pre Challenge Essay

Ah essay’s they freak me out! Every since school I have hated writing in the form of an essay, it just feels so cold and sterile, nothing heart-felt or emotional involved and that just doesn’t do it for me.

I have written and re-written this thing so many times that I finally decided to open my heart and just let it pour out, and whatever is said is said, I cannot take it back or change it so here goes (in a very non essay format!)

I am starting the 12 week challenge this week, a challenge that has excited and plagued me for the last few months at the gym, and while I have been excited about doing it, the week leading up to it was a little bit of a different story. I began to reflect on everything in my life (as to be expected with a challenge like this!) and try and figure out exactly what got brought me to this point.

As a kid I was a skinny, stick of a thing, always the tallest, always the bean pole stick figure, I always remember I could eat whatever I want and I didn’t gain a thing! Yes I was one of those people! Then in my teenage years this remained the same, nothing too dramatic happened, and then I turned 21 and it was as if my metabolism said “Hey kid, it has been fun, but you are an adult now so I think it’s time that I take a break and let you find out what life is all about!” Yeah thanks for that metabolism!

It was the same year that everything in my life just crumbled apart. My family moved to Adelaide and left me in Newcastle, I got involved in heavy drugs and spent most nights drunk and drugged out of my friends. We were doing a music course and spent our days hungover in the classroom and our nights at various pubs and clubs around the CBD finding new bands and drinking and snorting our way through it. I ended up moving to Adelaide a few months later a complete mess.

I spent my first few months in Adelaide sobering up, living with my family, looking for work and trying to figure out where I fit into the world. My family are deeply religious, devout Christians, and on the night of my Mum’s second wedding she found out I was gay and everything fell apart again. I was kicked out of the family home, in a state where I knew no-one. I had no money, hardly any possessions and was in a very fragile emotional state after the previous months.

I moved in with my boyfriend at the time and I turned to drinking again. He would work all day, I would stay home and clean, and drink. After a few weeks of being a complete drunken mess, he kicked me out and I spent the next 12 months moving from place to place around Adelaide completely lost and permanently intoxicated. I drifted in and out of very short term relationships and could feel parts of my soul ripping away with each one night stand and three week relationship I got myself into.

A month later I got a job at a department store in the city, I worked in the menswear and worked with some amazing people. It was here that I met, well for the sake of his own privacy I will call him “Him” the dream guy, the motherload! He had a great job, a great house, perfect hair, a killer smile, he was funny, he thought I was funny so really everything just kind of slotted into place. We dated for 3 months and at this time I was sharing a house with his best friend. We had decided to move in together and then a couple of days later as I was readying myself to move out of the old house, my housemate called to tell me that he was cheating on me and he had proof. My whole world came crashing down, after the evidence was presented to me I sunk into a numb coma of nothing and locked myself away for a few days. He begged and pleaded for me to forgive him and come back, and I did. I was weak, he was so important to me, he represented the family that I didn’t have so I clung to him.

For the next 2 years of our relationship he cheated on me again and again and again and everytime I forgave and took him back. We lived together for this whole period and then towards the end of the relationship I turned into a complete alcoholic. This is no dramatization, I was a drunk, I would drink all the time to drown out the knowledge that he was cheating on me, I was constantly late and hungover to work, hanging on by a thread. It all came to a boiling point one night when I decided to leave him and move back to Newcastle. I left in the middle of the night when he was at his night job, I packed as many of my things as I could, I got in my best friends car and she took me to the airport.

The whole flight back I cried, and not just cried, I wailed like a baby, I cried for the time I had spent with him and been treated like dirt, I cried for the times he had hit me and I hadn’t told anyone, I cried because I still thought I couldn’t live without him. The flight landed in Sydney, I turned my phone on and it lit up with a steady stream of missed calls and messages. I listened to my full message bank of messages of questions, then of tears, then of anger. I called him and we spoke to 10 minutes and I told him I would be on the next flight back because surprise surprise I still loved him.

We lasted another 6 months and this time he left, he was offered a position in Sydney with his work and we wanted to move, so I stayed in Adelaide to make some more money with my job and then flew over to be with him a few months later. Being new to the area we shared a house in Chatswood with another gay couple and it was during these 3 months that everything fell apart. My drinking re-ignited itself and we started eating our feelings instead of dealing with them. I went from 88kgs to 115 kgs (at my heaviest).

After we both realised that we couldn’t do it anymore, I returned to Newcastle, to home and began to deal with everything that had happened. I turned into even more of an alcoholic (if that was at all even possible!) continuing my horrendous eating patterns. It was also during this time that I started smoking a lot of marijuana. It became a daily routine of absinth and dope to numb my feelings and keep them quiet. The eating also continued and I began to plump back up again.

Several other things happened and then my world completely fell apart. I started seeing a psychologist who was bringing all of these things to the surface, who went on to put me on a strong dose of Zoloft to control my mood swings and help me not to return to the alcohol. Instead of helping it actually made things worse, it turned me into a mindless zombie, yes I didn’t feel sad, but then again I didn’t feel happy either, I felt nothing, nothing at all. So instead of taking the pills I took to the food.  I found that eating chocolate, food saturated in butter. McDonalds, KFC, Chinese, Indian, Italian, if it was bad for you, I had to have it. I was eating bacon and eggs most mornings and then laying around all day playing video games and watching TV. It really is no surprise that things got to the way they did pretty quickly.

I lived like this for a whole year and then it was as if something in the universe interjected and said “Hold up, this has to stop, so let’s do it now!” My well paying, sit around on my ass all day job became redundant, I couldn’t afford the house I was living in, I couldn’t afford to eat how I had been eating so it was time to return home (AGAIN!) and sort my issues out.

I have been here for just over 12 months now, during that time I have stayed sober, I have been working at a job that I hate, but felt like I had to have to feel like an important and valued member of society, and about 3 months ago that all changed again.  I had surrounded myself with so called friends who were two faced liars and I had no choice but to weed out the ones who were not real. I got to the point of feeling absolutely nothing for my life. I used to have a passion, I used to have drive, I used to have optimism and now well honestly most days I think about how nice it would be if it was just all over.

I started going to Genesis and working with a personal trainer who not only inspired me to change my body and my fitness, but to change my life as well. Last week I threw away the last of my Zoloft, I quit the job that I hated and am starting this challenge to not only repair the physical damage that I have put my body through, but also the emotional and mental scarring that cannot be healed with a bottle of pills. I have stayed emotionally closed off to people and deliberately keep myself at a distance so I don’t get hurt. I am well on the track of changing this behavior and being the person I am meant to be inside and out.


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