As I said in part 3, the regime of year 8 did not continue. Over the period of a few months, I began to put the weight I lost (plus lots more) back on without realising. I was slightly fed up and just wanted to be skinny.
The first time I noticed the extent of how much weight I'd put back on was Eid. My Mum had bought me this gorgeous Asian dress (shalwar kameez) for Eid and it was tight! I was so shocked, I couldn't believe it. My Mum said it was probably a restricting fit because it was made in Pakistan and that I could wear something else. But it was so beautiful. I had to wear it. I had a month left till Eid.
I think you know what's coming! Btw before Eid is a month called Ramadhan in which Muslims fast (no food, drink etc) from dawn till dusk. For a month I would have to cut down on all junk food and exercise in order to fit into the dress. And I would have to exercise whilst fasting, which is something I'd never done before.
My Mum wasn't happy about it at all. But nevertheless: I DID IT!!! I managed to lose enough weight to fit into the dress in time for Eid. It was still a little tight, but it was fine. I wore it for Eid and for the Eid party we had at school. Everyone said I looked great in it. I was so proud of myself.
Obviously, once I got what I wanted, I stopped exercising and eating healthily. Then, as expected, I put the weight I lost plus lots more back on. I felt so helpless though. Like it was out of my control. This helplessness slowly and gradually made me sprial into a downwards depression. I started wearing a lot of black, dark, or red and black clothes- BIG sign of depression. I lost my appetite for food and for life in general really. The depression did get really bad. It got even worse when I found out that my Grandmother had died in Pakistan from Gall Bladder Cancer- she had gall stones. I felt really guilty because I never spoke to her enough on the phone and she loved me so much, she said I was her favourite Grandchild. I was a lot like her. I felt so helpless because I was in school and couldn't go to Pakistan for the funeral. There was nothing I could do.. It was completely out of my hands. My family dealt with grief in different ways. My elder sister claimed that she didn't really feel anything because we barely saw our Grandmother- what with her being in Pakistan. I think that was her way. We all had our ways.
The death of my Grandmother just added to my already depressed and lost state of mind. My Dad was obviously distraught because it was his Mother and he never talked about it or cried or anything... So we never mentioned it infront of him. That way, all of us kept our emotions in, locked up, bottled up, and hidden away. We didn't allow ourselves to grieve properly or let her go. We think my Dad is still grieving to this day.
Everyone views depression as a really bad thing. Yes it clouds your judgement and completely takes over your state of mind, but two good things came out of my depression:
1) Creativity. All of a sudden, I became really creative. It was my way of expressing myself, letting the emotions out. I would write poems, stories, paint, do all kinds of art etc. Looking back on the work, a lot of it was very bright and colourful- because I wanted SO badly to be happy. To feel like me again. I'm a very optimistic person. It was letting out all my feelings and channeling them into something positive. I felt like I had really found my talent/hobby. At primary school, they used to say that everybody has a talent, but it's finding the talent that is the hard part. And that quote just kept ringing in my head, repeating itself- because I felt like I'd found mine. Here are a few pics of my artwork:
1) SOUL. This is graffiti work done with pastels. I was really inspired by graffiti work. I did a lot of pieces similar to this for friends but I'd write their names
2) PEACE. This again was done with pastels but was not a graffiti piece. It represents both peace in the world- no wars etc. But also peace of mind. I wanted to be at one with my mind. I wanted the depression to end.
3) Favourite footwear. This was done as part of artwork at school. These are the shoes that I wore with my Eid clothes btw. They are absolutely gorgeouss:
4) Signs and symbols. This was another piece of art done for school work. We were told to do a piece involving lots of logos and symbols :
5) This one doesn't really have a name. I remember when I painted it, I wanted to use the brightest watercolours. and then I made the background black to emphasize that even though depression (black) would be there in the background, happiness (the brighter, colourful colours) would always "win" or take precedence over depression. I knew that once I was happy, I could easily slip back into depression again, but that happiness and peace of mind was so beautiful and "good" that it would always be bigger and better than darkness.
6) This one is called "the world is full of different shapes and sizes." I wanted to tell myself that perhaps I would always be a big girl, and that even if I did lose weight I would never be a size zero or skinny like the girls in magazines. I used to really envy friends that would eat SO much and they could still be skinny- we all know someone like this. I felt it was so unfair. But I had to come to terms with accepting my body for how it was because it probably wouldn't change much. I used watercolour paints for this and painted lots of shapes:
The second good thing to come out of my depression was exams. Because nothing else in my life seemed to be going right, I threw myself into school work, it was like my escape. It was the one thing I knew I could always excell in and no-one had the power to take that away from me. I had always been "clever"- I was the geek type with no friends lol! So I thought I'd embrace it. I worked very hard and got great results. Lots of merits, and certificates etc. When it came to my end of year exams, I revised really hard too. I wanted to make a name out of myself. I needed something to make myself proud, to ensure myself that life was indeed worth living. I wanted to be the top of my class. So I revised hard, got excellent results and sure enough became the top of my class. It was great because people started TO NOTICE ME and congratulate me. I loved it. On top of that, my Dad bought me an iPod shuffle cos he was so proud.
The exam results had made me realise that I was a great person, I had a great life and good friends. I began to reflect on the year gone by and realised that my state of depression couldn't continue. I began to open up more to friends and family, and re-gain people's trust. During that time, I had thought that no-one apart from myself could be trusted and that all I had was "me, myself and I", I used to listen to this song a lot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z0IPpwsvOI Once I got out of the state of depression, I hated that song!!!
I felt like I was finally LIVING again. I loved it. I even did some exercise- woo! :)