Apparently that’s what I am. Who’d of thought it? In the words of the psychiatrist – “You’re such a different woman from when I met you. You were so anxious. Now you are positively chirpy!”
Essentially, she’s very pleased with me. I’m eating a lot a lot and actively so. I told her “I’m just trying to eat as much as possible so I can be done with it all” which I probably should have been doing since the get go, but hey. I may have to get to a much higher bmi than I’m comfortable with, but I will get there if it means I get to be all healthy again. I’m in a very positive mood today. I’m not going to lie, it’s because my weight gain was shockingly little this week, but that makes me feel like I must be a pretty ok weight right now else my body would be trying to store a hella lot more. In a week of 3000+kcals I gained a measly 100g. I cannot believe it. I thought I would have exploded by a few kilos at least. But no. Which is ridiculous really. But it makes me happy because my God that’s a lot of food and my body can hack it and not explode. I’m hoping that it just means I’ve lost some water weight and gained some extra tissue weight because if that’s the case, I won’t have to eat even more. For now, I’ve been told to keep doing what I’m doing. If I gain – great! If not – wait till the dietitian weigh-in and see where to go from there. I’m pretty sure I’m a large framed woman with a fairly slow metabolism and if my body does this, then I can’t see why everyone elses wouldn’t too. I duno. It feels like I must be getting close to an actually fully functioning body. That makes me excited.
I was going to do a massively in-depth post today, but I don’t really feel like it now. I feel like being happy. Finally I think I’m getting somewhere in recovery. Somewhere really concrete. I can see myself actually being properly recovered. So I’m going to explain why. I’m guessing to my real life people, these things might not make much sense so I’m going to try to explain bits so apologies if it’s at all patronising. This is going to be a super positive annoying post, but I don’t care. Sorry.
- I’m eating a lot and it’s actually uncomfortable. I didn’t really think that was possible. I knew in theory it was, but also, for a long time, no matter how much I’ve eaten, I’ve always been drawn to eat more. I’ve not responded to that at all in recovery because it scared me. It made me think that I had to control myself or else otherwise I would vastly overeat and get fat. I didn’t think I’d ever want to not eat. Not really. I know this is actually really normal for people coming out of starvation because if you’re underweight, your body wants you to eat as much as possible to get to health. Still, I thought that it was different for me and that was just how I was. Turns out I get full. I eat past that now in order to keep my calories up, but I am so full.
- I’m also hungry though. If I don’t eat regularly enough, I get properly hungry. My belly starts to feel all funny and I kinda want some food. A couple of weeks ago, I wouldn’t really get hungry, just starved. I’d get irritable, really lethargic, nauseous and exhausted. Now I just get hungry and I notice it and although sometimes I don’t work it out straight away, I’m starting to notice.
- There is such a thing as too much chocolate. It isn’t an amount, it’s a feeling. In order to get my calories in, I’m eating a lot of chocolate because it’s really tasty, but you can actually eat so much chocolate it becomes unpleasant physically. I didn’t really think this would happen to me either. I thought that if I ate things like chocolate, I’d always want more. I don’t. Eating more than 50g a day starts to make me feel a little ill. Most days, I eat more than that anyway, but still, I don’t actively want too.
- My original 2500kcal meal plan was bang on. I didn’t think it was. I thought it was a huge underestimate which made me scared to follow it. It completely wasn’t, but the calorie estimate given for the meals were off. Now I just follow it properly and still have to eat more chocolate than you’d think was humanly possible.
- This all means I get to eat all these different foods. I have more fish and meat, use more oil, started using real butter, bagels, bread from proper bakeries, unknown calorie foods etc. Basically, my diet is beginning to vary more and more. I still have serious fear food, but the list is getting smaller and smaller. I’m drinking real milk sometimes. Real milk.
- A lot of my food anxieties and rituals seem less compulsive now. At the moment, the only thing I’m weighing is cereal. Just cereal. I still measure out my oil and dressing, but apart from that, there’s no measuring. And less than a year ago I was weighing salad leaves. I’ve come far from that.
- I had a creamy pasta sauce the other day. To be fair, I didn’t realise it’d be creamy when I ordered it. I’ve never in my life had a creamy pasta sauce and I was in a restaurant (so unknown calories) with a friend (who is always full really quickly, which I find difficult as I feel greedy next to her) and someone I’d never met before (so I was scared I’d be judged). I almost didn’t even go, but then I thought “Why not? It’s only the eating disorder that wants to sit at home to my usual lunch. I want to see my friend and have some nice food!” It was really nice as well. I ate it all and enjoyed it. Then I got dessert as that’s what a weight-gainer should do really, even though no one else did. And I ate it and enjoyed that as well. All for lunch, not dinner! (I have issues having a big meal before dinner, just incase it makes me want to eat more later and I don’t have the calorie space to). Then I felt good. Really uncomfortably full, but good. I thought to myself “boom! Look what I did! Ker-fucking-ching! I fucking did that!” And because I was really full, I thought that my dinner was probably a little small, so I ate a whole load of chocolate to be sure I wasn’t under-eating by accident.
- I have a whole load of energy. Seriously, my yoga has never been so good. And I love it. I can do so much stuff now. Physically and without feeling like shit. I don’t feel like shit anymore if I’m out for longer than planned. I don’t feel rubbish if I have to run to catch the train (even if I’m in my DMs!). In general, physically, I feel nang. On the realz. I don’t know if this is how people just feel all the time, but I’m not used to it. Throughout this whole recovery process, I’ve kept thinking “this must be what it’s like to have normal amounts of energy” then it just gets physically nicer so I think “I must have been wrong before. THIS is how it feels!” Then I do that again. At some point it’ll stop, but it’s really great.
- I can concentrate! And read! And watch actually good telly! I’ve just finished In Treatment season two, and I’m halfway through True Blood season 3 and I’m really watching it. I’m following it. And I’ve started to read the newspaper again. And the occasional chapter in a book. I’m getting there. I can see how I can do other things. And I’m not always distracted by recovery or food or weight or calories. I actually do stuff and am able to forget for a while about everything else. Quite often, I just don’t want to think about food or weight or calories or eating disorders. I’m beginning to find it boring. Which is seriously great as for a long time, it was all I wanted to immerse myself in all.
- My digestive system constantly surprises me because it just keeps on working. I’d completely forgotten what it was like. It just works and works without any need for me to manage it through prescriptions or food intake. It just does it. On its own.
- Sometimes I feel nice. It’s not all the time, but that’d be unrealistic for anyone. I think in general I’m still sadder and more anxious than most of the people I’m around, but it’s so much less than it was before. So much less. My mood just keeps improving. Therapy and food work wonders on fragile brains. It’s just another thing I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten what this felt like. I’ve suffered from mental illnesses for so long I didn’t really remember how to not be anxious and not be sad and not be panicked. But I’m not just born to be like that. I can be other things too. Like cheerful. And energetic. And I have proper, real fun. This is really good.
- I’m actually really thankful I’ve got this far. For a lot of my recovery process, I’ve been pretty miserable that I’m even doing this. I’m not anymore. I’m still terrified of getting too fat, but I’m glad I’m not like I was before. I’m glad I can think again. I’m glad I can eat all this food again. I’m glad I can have conversations and find people attractive. There’s a lot of things I’m glad for. Mostly, I’m glad I actually went to my EDU. I don’t think I was in a place where I could have managed to get here without that support because I didn’t really think things were that bad and I wasn’t even attempting to eat more or get healthy. I was losing weight pretty actively. I’m glad I got the support though, even if I didn’t really want it in the first place. It meant that I got to feel better quicker. And it means I didn’t get worse.
- Today was a weigh-day, so I didn’t eat breakfast (which I know is bad, but I just can’t bring myself to). I was pretty hungry afterwards, so I went to the shop on the way home. There was a debate in my head about whether to just wait till I got home or go to the shop, but I went in, expecting to pick up a cereal bar as I was going to be having a Costa with the Ma and didn’t want to “over do it”. Then I looked at the chocolate and thought “why not? I’d much rather have a chocolate bar and it only has to tide me over till I get home.” Then I looked at the chocolate some more, trying to pick one. I thought at first I’d pick one with lots of air in it (A Crunchie, Galaxy Bubbles, Wispa etc. You know the drill) or maybe a Milky Way. Then I thought “Nah – what do I actually want thought?” So I looked at the chocolate some more. A receptionist from one of the units in my EDU came in and I thought “Shit! He’ll see me buying chocolate and tell my team and then they’ll all think I was lying and was never really ill because I’m buying chocolate!” Which is ridiculous. What makes it good is that I knew it was ridiculous. So I smiled at him and picked up my Starbar and went on my way. I walked down the street munching my chocolate bar like a normal person and thought “My gosh that was a messy mind-fuck but I bloody well did it! I actually did what I wanted to do regardless of any anorexia noise. I got the chocolate bar I wanted, on impulse, even though the situation was really anxiety provoking. And I ate it. Boom!” And I thought to myself – “I’ve come really far.”
So yer. I feel good today. It’s not all sunshine and daisies all the time, but today has made me feel good. I have a lot of things to fix still. I do still panic and I do get seriously low moods which last for days, and I do have an awful body image, social anxiety is still crippling aspects of my life, I still have urges to restrict or self-injure in order to calm down and I dissociate pretty regularly, which makes me panic even more. But still, I’m a work in progress. I have more to do, but it’s started. It’s really started to get better. The past few weeks have been the best I’ve had in a long time.
There’s a real point to all this. A real, concrete point. I’m chirpy! And it’s bloody excellent!