Friends. As I’m sure a lot of you know, eating disorders and maintaining friendships don’t often go hand in hand. For me, socializing became linked to possibly gaining weight (alcohol, changes in routine and God forbid someone offer me a chip), I grabbed hold of the belief that everyone only pitied me and that I only made people uncomfortable and fully believed that in the presence of other people, I lose control of my ability to self-monitor my actions and end up hating myself for being an idiot. Thus, I stopped seeing people. At all.
I was invited to things, some persistent friends kept calling, but most drifted away as it’s not easy to always be rejected. My social life was whittled down to a few friends, the fam and the boy, then the fam and the boy, then the boy, then no one really. I’ve been building it back up since starting recovery – the boy, the boy and the fam, the boy, the fam and a few friends. I still don’t see people very often and usually back out of social arrangements. I’m very uncomfortable with who I am in front of other people and spend way to much time dwelling on how awful I appear to people who it can zap the fun. There are only five people outside my family I am comfortable enough to see, but only one who doesn’t make me at least a little self-conscious.
Except now, I really want that fun.
There have been some pretty hard events in my life over the last week. I’m left feeling incredibly alone and now I just want to be involved in the world again. I want to start creating a new little place for myself in all these groups and people I left behind and in the process, am (probably naively) hoping to start crafting myself into a person I want to be rather than who I am through interactions with other people. In my mind, identity is shaped by how others perceive you. This might be wrong, but I can’t see how else to become new without the validation of others. Self-identity exists purely in the gaze of others. This probably isn’t healthy but I just want to be a new person now. I’m not going to lie, my first attempts have been pretty soul-destroying and have made me feel like an idiot, but I’ve realised that most people are willing to be involved again if you only give them the chance. Whether or not I can manage it is another matter. Yesterday, I was in a full-blown panic and ended up texting a whole load of people to get some plans together and I even reactivated my facebook (the horror!). I’m trying so hard not to think that I’m feeling a little out of control and am not giving myself time to reflect really. It felt like a good idea at the time – like a statement of being ok and getting through. The psychologist thinks I suffer from derealisation and I can safely say that this is applicable to the entirety of the last 48 hours and it completely feels like it wasn’t me that did this and that I’m not in control of my actions therefore being an idiot. Ah well. It’s done now and it’d be weird for me to take it all back.
This week, I have social plans every day and it’s really scary. I think it might be panic-induced and all too much, too soon. All I know is that nothing really feels like it’s actually happening and nothing feels like me, like I’m living once removed and am not conscious of my actions therefore not in control. This is my biggest SI trigger but so far, I’m managing it. I made a pact to myself that I would be able to tell the psychologist this week that I hadn’t injured myself since I last saw him (something I haven’t achieved since the SI started up again). I intend to keep that pact. Hard work but hopefully it’ll make me stronger in the long run.
I really just don’t want to be left alone. Recently, this has become all too much of a real possibility. Do you think this whole social malarkey is a silly thing or is this good? Is it too much right now? Or just right? I’m not sure I can trust my instincts right now… I could use some advice :(.
I’m having difficulty getting at my thoughts and feelings right now. I’m just avoiding them and I know it. I can’t even journal which is a very rare occurrence for me. I literally cannot reflect. I’m getting really worked up and everything spinning. It’s hard to describe. It’s like everything is going really fast and you can’t really realise what’s going on because your mind is so far ahead of your environment that nothing connects making everything unreal. I know it is real and it is me, but it all feels like it’s happening without me really being there. But I’m keeping on top of the practical aspects of my recovery regardless. I think this makes things spin a little more, but it’s better to feel completely unreal and scared than it is to start self-destructing all over the place. Hopefully this is me doing alittle more learning how to exist in the world without feeling compelled to do some sort of physical damage.
I’m kinda aware that I’m running as fast as I can. At the same time I think it might be a positive step. Being scared and pushing myself to uncomfortable scenarios will be good for me in the long run. As long as I don’t self destruct.
Yesterday, I got a package from Holland which could not have come at a better time. Sooz sent me a package full of weird little chocolate sprinkles to put on toast. Apparently it’s a typical Dutch breakfast. It seems a little odd to me, but I intend to try it soon. Needless to say, the card and the “nutritional facts” really helped to cheer me up and calmed me for a while. I really appreciated this. It made me really thankful for blog-friends.
So today, to make myself feel better, I did what any girl in my position would do. I got some ridiculous piercings and dyed my hair. Getting the piercings made me almost late to uni and I had to do a lot of undignified running for various types of public transport, but sometimes it has to be done. I think it says a lot about me that one of the most comforting and secure things I can do for myself when I’m freaking out is pay someone stupid amounts of money to put needles in my body then stuff the holes with metal. It is soothing though. It calms my panic levels for a while. And it’s really addictive. The majority of my piercings map emotional difficulties in my life and I love them regardless. What do you think? If you’re not a piercing person, you’ll probably hate them, but still. They have made my day. Possibly my week.
My hair turned out crap though. I might have to dye it again (except now I have to wait awhile due to the surface hole). I wanted it to be dark and stormy but the henna shines through too much so although it is darker, it’s still basically red. Which is a shame as I wanted to look noticeably different. It’s running away I know, but I don’t want to look in the mirror and see the same girl I saw last week. I want to be different so I can feel like I’m starting again as a new thing. Maybe I’ll just start working my way back to bleach blonde. I think blonde definitely looked good.
This post is a bit all over the place. I’m not making much sense at the moment. I don’t want to think. Therapy tomorrow is going to be difficult.