I’m in fully on insomnia mode right now. With sleep seeming so far away, I thought I’d blog. I’m hoping it’ll help me sort through some of my jumbled thoughts and stop me doing anything stupid to calm my mind down. It is possible that this will be entirely self-indulgent ramblings so I apologise in advance. It’ll probably be pretty awfully written too. And I get very emotional when exhaustion kicks in. Basically, please excuse the exhausted style of my writing.
The psychiatrist cancelled an hour and a half before my appointment. I got up early, showered and was getting ready to leave, but now I won’t see her for a month. Although I’m pleased at the lack of weigh-in, it means I still can’t get advice on the medication she prescribed and I still cannot bring myself to take. My G.P. won’t advise me, the pharmacist didn’t provide much info and now I have to wait another month before I can get the information I’d like before I take the meds so sit here wondering what to do. I so desperately want to feel better than I do, but I find the whole idea of antipsychotics uncomfortable. I swear she always cancels my appointments. It’s seriously annoying. I also really wanted someone to tell me what I should do about me current calorie intake. I’m finally scrapping the bottom of my suggested range again and still not gaining. Although I know what I have to do to gain, I just want someone to make my current intake officially off-limits. Right now, it’s an option and a huge part of me thinks that as long as I’m at the minimum, I’m doing enough. But I’m not. I really should start gaining before my next dietetics appointment. Otherwise it’ll end up eight weeks of maintaining and wasting more time on this stupid disorder. I just really wanted to be told what I’m doing is wrong.
I’ve got to this point in recovery where it’s like some sort of staring contest between the eating disordered bit of me and the healthy bit of me. All the disordered thoughts and arguments are fully operational and all I want to do is restrict and exercise. I don’t even really want to lose weight particularly, I just know that part of me would feel a lot better if I would just restrict and exercise. At the same time, I desperately don’t want to be like this forever. I want so much to not have to care about how many grams of leek I put in my risotto or finding reasons to prolong all my journeys so it counts as more exercise towards for the day. I want more of a life than this. I’m terrified of staying ill, but I’m terrified of what might happen to my body if I give up all the disordered safety nets. I’ve become paralysed by both fears and now I’m stuck. You can’t just keep a few eating disordered behaviours and reach a healthy stable though – the anorexia would always have a hold on you, ready to pull you back in. So I’ve ended up hating every choice I make and it’s entirely stressful. Right now, neither side is winning and I get stuck in the constant negotiations. They’re just staring at each other, waiting to see who blinks first. If I’m completely honest, I have no idea which one that’ll be.
Being like this has only recently really started to upset me so much. I mean, at my worst, it was obviously awful, but since I’ve been in recovery, I’ve been feeling like it’s not a problem anymore. I think it’s because I went to see the play about the summer riots at Bernie Grants. I live in London, I saw Tottenham burnt and broken – it was a massive deal and my city. Yet I hardly registered it. I think I watched it on the news whilst using my exercise bike and mentally calculating how much food I would eat that day. I was very, very actively sick at that point and I’d lost the ability to have a clue what was going on around me. It made me sad that I missed something so important and so close to home. The whole thing passed me by and I don’t remember it really. I don’t want that to happen again.
I saw the therapist today and we discussed my recent upsurge in eating disordered behaviours and thoughts and my completely stagnant recovery efforts and the whole session seemed to be me hating the idea of anything he suggested. It’s gotten to the point where he essentially gave me an ultimatum – something along the lines of “Your weight is healthy enough now for us not to be able to support you indefinitely. You can stay where you are until the treatment runs its course, but then you will not have our support to help you shake this illness. If you want our support, now is the time to start changing. You’ve made lots of progress, but further change has to be now.” He’s right of course, and I’ve been really worrying about how I’m wasting this opportunity for help on not making any progress so this just really bought it all home. He wants me to try to start taking gradual steps towards shaking these behaviours, starting with “no weigh day” (a whole day of not weighing or measuring anything. No daily check of my weight, no measuring out of cereal, no tape measures and no measuring spoons) next Thursday. Although the whole idea of this is terrifying, at the same time it seems so far away. I don’t know whether I should be trying to fight these urges now, maybe not all at once, but at least not weighing myself. And what about other things like fear foods and my general lack of variety? It seems like a long time to waste not trying to further my progress – that’d make it nearly 8 weeks of nothing until I try to move this forward. On the way home from therapy today I actually cried. I’ve only really, fully cried over my eating disorder once before, so this was a little shocking. Generally, I only really cry about the boy or the fam.
I need to get proactive. For my own sanity. I need to get proactive now.
So here’s my plan –
1) Tuesday is weigh-in day. I don’t need to keep track of my weight everyday, just the general trend.
2) Stop counting calories in herbs, spices, black coffee and tea. Realistically, they don’t add up to that much. It’s not important. Plus you know, I’m sure the slight metabolism boost off black coffee uses up that whole 4 calories. Starting now.
3) Tomorrow I am going for lunch with my Dad and I don’t care. It will taste nice and I will have cake and sure they’ll probably be a lot of guilt and I’ll probably feel rubbish, but I’m just going to have to suck it up. I literally cannot be comfortable doing something unless I actually try it and practise it till enough.
4) Start volunteering. I’m hoping to get one day a week in a year one class room as my only previous work was an early years T.A. and I could really use some recent experience to help me find an alright job after uni. And one night a week helping to run a group for people with learning difficulties. I have the connections to do this so it’s not unrealistic. I need to find something to do so that I don’t fall back on “I’m bored – What will I eat tomorrow?” like I always do. Starting small though. Don’t want to over do it and stress myself out – I do have uni as well.
5) Variety is the spice of life and I’m going to get that variety in the form of bread. so from now on, all those teacakes and crumpets and actually normal bread I have in my freezer will be used. Diet bread is fully off-limits. And I’m limiting myself to 2 english muffins a week.
6) I am really going to push myself to eat at regular, normal times. And eat the amount I’m meant to rather than consciously saving calories till the end of the day.
7) I am going to actually use my range. So what if I eat a couple of hundred extra one day? I need to gain weight and to gain a consistent pound a week I need 500 extra calories every day. I’m not sure I could handle that big jump yet, but just actually using all my range would be a good start.
9) Fear foods. Right now, I’m thinking tackle one purposefully each week and eating it at least twice in that week. Bring ’em on.
There will be more points to this plan, but I think I’m at risk of over doing it. I’m just so entirely fed up of being this way right now that I have to do something to get myself out of this. There’s a lot on my plan and I’m worried it might be a bit much to handle, but really, it doesn’t address all of anorexia’s big guns. I think weighing myself everyday counts as a big gun, but the rest are probably small and medium guns. The other big guns are calorie counting, preparing all my own food and measuring everything. Hopefully I can do this. I’m so done with being stuck and of the two ways this could go, this is the way I’d like it to head. Hopefully getting this into the world will give me a bit more accountability. I just really need to start seeing progress again as I’m getting disheartened now.
I don’t know, does this sound ridiculous to you? Does it sound unrealistic? Like I’m throwing myself into inevitable disaster and failure? Or is the part of me that says there’s no way I can do this the eating disordered part – giving me reasons not to try as it might push me backwards? Hmm.
I had plans to post about other things tomorrow, but now I’m worried I might end up posting too much. Who knows? Maybe you’ll never know the dilemmas of jeans and the joys of gender theory in practice (I seriously love anthropology). Other things always seem to come up.
Time to give sleep another attempt. Lets see how that goes.