By the time mom and I stopped visiting Dr. Prince, it was already too late for me. I had a new job. 9-5 sorts. I was no longer teaching. Except occasionally. And I began to take walks early in the morning to lose all that weight. But you know how it is with exercise – some days you do it and other days you just give up and curl under the sheets.
After two months of being miserable and missing training and all the adrenaline rush it brought, I was finally in love with my job. I was doing all the things I ever wanted to do. I had my finger in every branding campaign there was (and there were plenty; and when there wasn’t enough, I’d create some) and I’d realized I was damn good when it came to event management, and being an MC. And all this positivity was because I had the most glorious of friends at work, and I never felt fat or ugly in my head.
In my head, I was me – stunning, beautiful, bold, and brilliant. My friends and colleagues had officially begun calling me ‘The Queen’ or ‘The Purple Queen.’ I was terribly imperious and very particular about getting work done in just the right way. I was chasing perfection, I was raising the bar, I was refusing to fail. In short, I was a remarkable pain in the arse. And people still loved me – that was the beauty of it all.
It would have all been perfect. Only I went and fell in love with my best-friend at work. We decided to give the relationship a try. We were forever around each other. We had the same interests; we were working on so many things together. And when we weren’t, we were on the phone constantly. For as long as I can remember, the idea of getting married was a scary prospect. But with this man, I was actually looking forward to it. It was all hunky-dory. But my man had one thing to tell me – I love you the way you are, but my parents and particularly my dad does not like women who are fat. So you should work on losing weight.
Now I see how I should have asked him to take a flying fuck right there. But I was so deeply in love with him the thought never even occurred. I hired a personal trainer to come home and work with me. We tried that for a few days but it didn’t work-out. Staying at the boondocks with its constant traffic jams took a toll on my trainer. I joined the gym at work but gave up because there was just too much work to go have fun in the gym.
So I continued to take walks. And we continued with the relationship. I met his folks, he met mine. And I just couldn’t rid myself of my fear of his parents, particularly his mom. I just knew she didn’t like me. And there was so much stress there. And I didn’t even know it. I tried to win her over. I tried to be the sort of girl every mom-in-law would want as a daughter-in-law. And with the son too I changed. He hated me swearing. I gave up. He didn’t like my occasional smoking – ‘Your lungs are ours now. You can’t go and spoil them.’ I gave it up without a qualm. I tried to be more subtle and less in-your-face. I started wearing pale pink nail polish. But thank the Lord; he had the sense to tell me he liked me in darker, bolder colours. He was my dress consultant. He didn’t like the fact that I showed cleavage so happily and smugly. Out went cleavage clothes and in came collared ones.
You realize only later in life that these things can stress you out.
My periods were always problematic. This time the PMS was excruciating. It used to start around 15-20 days before I actually got them. I’d be angry, irritable, moody, and prone to floods. I took all that irritation out on him and Husband G. And this I must admit, they were very patient and very supportive.
Then I got a job offer from another company that everyone and their brother said I’d be a fool to turn down. My instincts just didn’t feel right. But absolutely everyone I knew kept telling me to take up the offer. Except the man. He was very upset and very mum throughout. So I put in my papers. And even then he had nothing to say. This, even after I told him he had the power to veto the decision. I started winding up my work. Telling others what they were to do in my absence. I was obsessed about leaving – and leaving behind a great impression. I was terrified about quitting.
A day before my last day at the company, I had my final event. And we were to anchor it together. And then during the event – it was a reward and recognition event, when the prizes were being given and we were on the stage waiting to announce the next set of awards – he leaned into me and whispered in my ear, ‘Don’t quit. Don’t leave me’.
It was so unfair and so stressful. I see all this only now. Back then it was just so much pain. Mind-fucked didn’t even begin to cover it. He missed my last day on the pretext of getting a tooth extracted.
Joining the new job was so stressful. I was convinced I’d done something terribly wrong in moving companies. But he was there throughout. Being supportive. Calling me every half an hour to check on me. He wouldn’t give me the words though. Nor would he meet me as often as I wished. He always had chores to run around the house, his mom needed him pretty nearly all the time. His dad was forcing him to play golf, and be seen at the many clubs where they had memberships. Meeting me? It happened when it would. He loved clichés and he always quoted ‘patience is a virtue’ or ‘Good things come to those who wait.’ I loved him. So I waited. And the words? That was okay too. I didn’t need them. I knew. But how I stressed about losing weight and looking good. It didn’t help that he was extremely good-looking even if he was a slight build. He looked like a model in photographs and I’d just look like me. And I knew his parents would want someone hot and downright sexy for their son. That wasn’t me. It didn’t help that people who didn’t know we were together (we both didn’t want to let others know, only our closest friends knew) always tried to pair him with the hottest looking girls in the company. And I, I was just the Queen – no one dreamed or fantasized about sleeping with a Queen or even finding her a mate.
And then I began to get irregular. I saw my friend’s gynecologist this time. I had Poly Cystic Ovary Disorder. She asked me if I were married and planning to have kids. I said no. She didn’t ask me if I was sexually active. Few gynecologists in India ever bother to ask that. And that’s really pathetic, I think. If you are not married sex is forbidden to you. Only it’s not, you see, and your gynec must know that so she can protect you from Ovarian cancer or other such things. But most of them won’t. And so my gynec just said, ‘As long as you are not married, this won’t matter.’ She put me on birth-control pills. It didn’t help. I started to tire easily. So we went to another hospital where the doctor said that I was severely anemic and that I also had a B12 deficiency. A month of painful injections followed. My medicine count increased to about 11 tablets per meal.
My man began to get seriously alarmed. And he was dealing with his own stuff. His family was insisting that he travel to the US to visit his sister. He just didn’t want to go. I forced him into it telling him family was important and that obviously it seemed like his sister was missing him. I actually convinced him to go. And he went. For 20 days. He told me that contacting me would probably be difficult once he was there. I was upset but I put on a brave front. I had to.
I had earlier fucked up our relationship on a similar issue when he was in London for fifteen days bang in the middle of an event we were working on. And then he went and fell sick in London. Like any normal girlfriend, I was hyperventilating and calling him every few hours to check on him. It drove him mad. Feeling so intensely made me madder. I’ve never bothered about anyone’s health. It’s only a problem if it were mine. I was very blasé about the health of others, including that of my parents. And here I was acting hysterical, worried out of my wits that my boyfriend was in London in the winter and had the flu. It was too much emotion for me. So I broke up with him on a mail a day before he came back. He came back home, read my mail, and was furious. It took us a month to get back on track and act normal around each other. And of course we realized that we really loved each other.
So when in all those 20 days, there wasn’t a mail, a message, or a phone call, I did panic but I was trying to be very brave. I reassured myself with the conversation we’d had just before he left. He’d warned me not to see other men while he was gone. It was obvious that if anyone was more prone to cheating, it was me. He used to feel very insecure about that. He told me he’d be back soon and it would all be fun and fine like it was.
Did this affect my health? You bet your arse it did. But this was nothing compared to what followed.
Read more about Poly Cystic Ovary Disorder here.