personal.

I have been a rubbish blogger. I can’t even remember my last post. It wasn’t that long ago, but I have a pretty shonky memory so it’s kinda gone. I should probably read it to catch up on where I am on here, but I can’t be bothered really so I’m just going to go from where I am right now.

I had a deadline today – 4,000 words on gender theory in practice. I did it and I think it’s ok, but not great. I picked a topic that made me literally want to die a little bit (Women’s bodies as sites of improvement – how the rhetoric of body modification exerts control over women in two contexts – cosmetic surgery and female genital cutting. No joke. 4,000 words of utter soul-destroying sentence after sentence). The workload I set myself for no apparent reason was obscene. I have so many books and articles I didn’t even mention because I just read so much more than you can possibly put into 4,000 words. It’s not really that much space. Basically. I’ve worked pretty solidly for the past few weeks and have therefore been neglecting every type of social contact I engage in. Sorry for that. I have a week of relative freedom, then next Tuesday I get my take home exam – 2 essays in 2 weeks. It’s going to be another 2 weeks of hell and another 2 weeks of completely neglecting every person I know. Sorry in advance.

I know chances are none of you will notice, but I can actually see the fact I’ve been waist deep in academic writing in my sentence structure. Annoying. Academics write like smarmy bastards. I’ll be extra wary of adding any “thuses” (is there a plural for thus?).

Aside from that, I’ve been struggling with what to put in a post. The practical sides of recovery are going well. Workloads mean I’m walking less and even though it sometimes makes me cry, I’m eating. I think the stress of work has made the stress of eating ten times worse. It’s displacement stress, but it’s led to a lot of tears, a lot of meals which have taken over an hour to force in, a lot of meals that have ended up 4 hours late because I just can’t face it. I do have a habit of making myself sick with study pressure and this was no exception. But I actually think that’s pretty damn impressive really. Essay writing has always been a time where restriction comes particularly easy and is incredibly useful at mitigating stress levels, but I didn’t restrict once. Go me! I see the dietitian on Tuesday and I’m hoping that I’ll be done with weight gain and able to switch to maintenance. I don’t think I’m the best judge, but hopefully she’ll think I’ve got to a point where this is a good move. I feel pretty ugly this weight and don’t really want to get heavier, but I guess I’m not the most trustworthy source of information when it comes to appropriately sized, healthy bodies, so I’ll let her decided. All I know is that I’m so much bigger than I’ve been in so long and I just don’t want to be big and I hate it.

And on top of all this, it’s been two weeks smoke free! Ker-fucking-ching! It’s not been as hard to quit as I thought. I think it’s because I’ve really set my mind to quit, so I’m just not going to smoke. I might change my mind, but right now I’m just not going to smoke. I have mad skillz at denying my body something it craves, so I figure I’m using that skill for something actually good for me. Plus NRT is a Godsend. Patches are really great and I may look like an idiot chewing a tampon, but my inhaler is really useful. It’s full of menthol so it even kinda burns like a cigarette. Plus it keeps my hands busy.

However, although my eating disordered thoughts like to tie themselves up in basically every type of thought I have, they’re not really my main concern. I actually have other things on my mind, many of which are painful and hard for me and none of which I feel comfortable discussing here. I honestly have no real problem discussing eating disorder stuff. I don’t want to share it with every man and his dog, but I figure my friends all either know about it from me freaking out a couple of times over the years (lots of middle of the night phone calls with me scared and crying and not knowing why all this food and body stuff was so fucking awful because I couldn’t bring myself to believe I had anorexia) or probably guessed it through my weight changes, so I may as well be open about it. Especially as I’m trying to get healthy. I’m comfortable talking about things which I know how to work though and am taking steps to manage. I’m not ashamed of my eating disorder because I’m making progress and leaving it behind. Albeit slowly.

But there are aspects of my mental health I don’t discuss because I am purely ashamed. I’ve never been great at dealing with the world and I still have quite a lot of work to do before I’m stable. Sometimes I think I’m doing ok, but when fam start threatening to take you to hospital, you’re confronted with the fact you really are a crazy person. Only a couple of the people who read this blog have experience with me in these states and that makes me embarrassed enough. Luckily, I have a million (well four) appointments this week to try to get me back to some sort of level. There’s talk of lots of different medication options, which I find distressing, but if it means I start to feel better, I’m more than up for it. I really want to feel better. I’m finding it increasingly hard to keep my shit together right now – pressure me in one area and everything starts to crack I guess. I like to think this’ll all ease up on its own, but it’s a recurrent issue so we’ll see what the psychiatrist no. 2 (I have two now. Who needs two psychiatrists seriously? Ridiculous)  says this week. I think I might like her. She calls to check I’m ok and schedule appointments around my needs. Plus she says she’ll find me the medications with the least weight gain side effects so I’m more compliant, which I appreciate. I know it’s pandering to disordered thoughts, but I’ve gained weight on medication before and it was that weight gain which caused to me start dieting in the first place so it settles my anxiety somewhat. If I’m scared of weight gain, medications make me worse so I just don’t take them. Or I start taking them, but at the same time start engaging in disordered behaviours. So yeah, I think it’ll be positive in general if they don’t affect my weight.

I could write about some of my anxieties over social stuff that are causing me problems right now, but that isn’t so simple really. Now I’ve actually stated seeing people, these anxieties are not being projected onto hypothetic scenarios, but actual situations with real people, some of whom read this blog. I’m not really keen on talking about those things because it puts pressure on to people that they really don’t need. None of it is cause by other’s behaviours, but purely through how I internalize their interactions with me,  but still – discussing what’s difficult might make people feel they have to change or interact with me differently and I’d kinda like my friendships to not be like that. I don’t really want my friends to feel they have to act a certain way with me or pander to my anxieties. I’d much rather they reacted to me normally and I worked to fix myself. Plus when I do start doing stupid anxiety things, I don’t really want people to look at me and think “she’s doing stupid anxiety things. Let’s try to make it better.”

I guess I’m also coming to terms with some really difficult events in my life as well (not like childhood trauma or anything exciting, just more recent stuff). I’m questioning a lot and to disentangle truths from a lot of difficult beliefs and memories and to be honest, it’s quite painful. It’s also a massive part of my life at the moment and it keeps nagging in my mind. I’ll be doing something else, then suddenly burst into tears because it hurts and I’m confused and I don’t know what to do with those emotions. Again though, I’m too embarrassed. I’m not sure of myself and what’s right or wong in this instance and I’m not prepared to possibly set myself up to look like an idiot. Equally, I also don’t really want people to have opinions on this part of who I am. Not the people I actually know. I don’t want them to see me in this light.

Basically, I don’t want all this shit in my friendships. I want to keep it to myself. I don’t really know if it’s healthy or not, but I know I have people to talk to if I need to. I really don’t want to broadcast these things to everyone though. My blog is the least anonymous thing. Sometimes I wish it was anonymous as I think getting some of this out in a coherent way could be useful. I have a journal, but when writing for an audience, you have to actually explain how you get to certain points, which helps to untangle thoughts and difficulties. You don’t have to do that in journals seeing as you already know and understand what you’re feeling. You don’t have to explain it to yourself, even though you probably should. But it’s ok. I have a psychologist to talk this all through with and I’m hopeful he’ll be helpful. The thing is, I don’t really want my problems to be what my friends think of when they see me. I want them to think about the good bits of me. Sometimes I feel like all I am is messy fucking problems and it’s nice when other people treat me like I’m not. I don’t want to be judged or perceived as a mess or sad or whatever. I want to be perceived as how I am when I’m happy and laughing and with my friends. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it does to me.

The problem is that I don’t experience all these things as separate from one another or from the eating disorder stuff I’m more comfortable talking about. Understandably, their not bounded issues, but all just mingling in my brain as just one mind. I’m struggling with food and weight and exercise right now, but explaining it needs prior knowledge of things I’m not comfortable posting about. Food, weight and exercise become part of how I experience social issues, difficult emotions and other aspects of my mental health. I can talk about how I spent most of yesterday crying because I’m ugly and fat and it isn’t fair, but in reality, that was just the narration for something far more difficult for me to manage. Eating disorder thoughts have narrated a lot of my life and still do. Not too long ago, they weren’t just the narration, but the difficult thoughts I had to deal with and basically the problem in and of themselves. However, as I’m getting better, they play less and less of a part in how I perceive myself and the world more generally, and what fills the gaps that they leave is often something more easily damaged. Behind the eating disordered thoughts is just me and I’m something I’m far more protective of. I’m just not comfortable leaving myself exposed.

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14 Comments

Filed under general, recovery, university

14 responses to “personal.

  1. aw ellie you are a star!
    have you got my letter yet?xxx

    • Sorry about my lateness – deadlines init.

      I totally got your letter on Saturday! Thank you! I really appreciate it. Imma reply soon (while I’m between deadlines) else I’ll be too swamped for ages.

      So good to hear from you though. I’m glad you’re doing ok. Love x.

  2. “I’ll be extra wary of adding any “thuses” ” Haha, I always used to do that whilst studying then blogging, I sounded like a right toff.
    Congrats on the smoke free, awesome!!
    Congrats on the eating despite it being totally horrid and causing tears. Fact is, you’re doing it anyway, and that’s commendable.
    Totally with you on the pills causing weight gain, I have taken a few of those in the past and found it totally horrid. For one, because it’s totally out of my control, i.e if I am going to gain weight, then I want to eat, not take some blasted pills. For two, well, yes, weight gain sucks, and having it caused by medications is horrible, because quite a few of them I have taken, you cant even compensate for it with diet, it just messes with fat metabolism. Then the meds to me, are pointless, because I go to bed every night panicking that I am going to wake up huge, and yes, it stirs up even more ED thoughts.

    One thing though, you should not feel ashamed, a burden or any of those things. Hypocritical for me to say, but still. You shouldn’t. None of this is your fault.
    The memory flashback thing is severely difficult to deal with, and I ALWAYS compensate/try and stuff these down with food/calories/weight concerns, without even realising. It’s extremely difficult to get out of this habit of not letting myself feel emotions. I am hoping for you, and indeed for I, we have actual therapy for that. Because I think that’s the only thing that can effectively stop it. Not super fat weight gain pills of doom. Ha.

    To sum up my spam, CONGRATS on the smoking and the eating despite not wanting too. You rock.
    xxx

    • It is exactly that though. If I’m either actually gaining weight or worried that I will gain weight from them, I just spend a lot of time panicking. Which makes me more mental. Even if they’re supposed to help with anxiety. I like to feel like my weight is something I control. If I’m going to be bigger, I want to take responsibility for that. I know it’s all ED but I can’t help it.

      I’ve been referred to specific PTSD therapy so hopefully that’ll help with those symptoms. It’s not too bad atm – my PTSD stuff changes with the seasons, basically the darker it is, the worse it is. So right now, it’s improving. The other memory stuff. Well I’ve been offered support for that too, but I mean how many therapists can one person have? It’s ridiculous. Some people seem to really need support and get nothing, yet I seem to get more than I can manage. So I try to not take it because it makes me feel bad. Urgh. Fingers crossed we can deal with all this though. If we get the right support, I think we can.

      Sometimes I really wish eating could be a coping mechanism for me. When I’m freaking out, eating is the last thing I want to do. Instead, it’s SI and restricting and generally fucking up as much as I possibly can.

      Seriously. Brains. What the fuck? Where do they get this shit from?

      Thank you though. I hope I’m doing ok :S

      x.

      • Totally with you on the PTSD, my symptoms are worse as soon as it gets darker earlier. I don’t know whether its because the traumatic stuff happened then or whether it’s linked to something else I don’t know.
        I find it difficult and am almost scared of therapy for that, because a lot of it is stuff I would never ever talk about. “Unspeakable”, and “shameful” and I tend to have a lot of memory blanks, and get scared of saying too much in case I remember more in the forms of flashbacks and/or nightmares. But yeah, I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.
        Coping mechanisms, well, I seem to want to destroy myself. Either by drinking to “forget”, eating because I am gross, then punishing self for eating, or not eating because I want to feel physically empty. Sucks.
        Brains are totally sucky. I wish I could just use the logical side of my brain, but I seem to agree more with the crap stuff even though it makes no sense.

        Hugs scrunchy. You are a lovely person, keep fighting, have to believe that it all gets better one day. xxxxx

      • Ahww brains arent sucky! Brains rock!

  3. Haha SAME HERE!! I was with friends for a week of nonstop partying and catching up and they (independently) kept saying how silly jokes I can make about my ED. Like, they’d say, well you went through some heavy stuff past year didn’t you? And I’d respond like; Well. it was actually extremely light stuff! ;) I’ve always said I have to AT LEAST be able to joke about it because otherwise I’d have gone MAD.

    And ACES on the smoking! Or, the nonsmoking! Seriously! And your essays/thesis sounds super fascinating!! Send it to me! Would love to read it. I’m swamped in research stuff as well (TWO at the friggin’ same time, whoa)

    And hun, don’t be embaressed about yourself. Ever. I think you have wonderful family and friends from what you told on your blog, so they will NOT love you less for this. I’m quite certain of that, right? Wouldn’t you agree? There is NOTHING to be ashamed of, this is not something you chose and everyone has shit going on, some more ‘visible’ than others maybe, but we’re all crazy. Seriously. So come on, no embaressment needed. You’re a star. And it’s not really fair to your loved ones either to only show them your happy mask, right?

    Hope you’re well
    Love, Sooz

    • I’m so not sending anyone my essay. It’s bad enough that my lecturers will see it. It’s not good. Seriously. It’s not even that interesting. Regurgitated nonsense really.

      I hope that they’ll all like me whatever, but when I don’t like me whatever, I can’t see how anyone else could. I’m a fucking mess at the moment and kinda need. I know if it were anyone else, I’d tell them not to be ashamed because it’s not their fault. But I feel like a fucking failure at life and I’m ashamed. Isn’t that the way though. Still, right now I’m just staying away from people and hoping they’ll all be around when I’m ready to come back.

      Thank you though. I hope I can see it the way you do soon. x.

      • Seeing things the way someone else does sounds easy, but its mostly easy to see it IN someone else. You’re not a fucking failure. You’re not even a minor failure! El you ROCK. Look at what you’ve accomplished!! And your essay does NOT suck, you’ve put a lot of time and effort in it. You’re doing friggin Uni with all of this shit on the side going on! You’re already part of the 2 percent smartest ppl that actually get into Uni, and most of them already have a hard time accomplishing just that. So stop being so harsh on yourself, you have no reason (or even excuse!) to do so. And your friends rock too (you’ve said it yourself, think about it for a sec) and they will support you through this, too. It’s what friends are for. Putting them on hold for Uni stuff is.. well, we all do that some times. But putting them on hold because you don’t consider yourself worthy of them/their attention/worries/etc is completely unfair, both to them and to yourself.

        Hugs from Holland!!

  4. Can we get a ‘Woop Wooooooop’ for the non-smoking Scrunchy? Aces. Your determination to beat the eating disorder inspired me a lot – I can only hope your determination to be a non smoker can inspire me also! (Although I love my cigarettes almost as much as I love my food these days…)

    You’ve got a lot going on right now, and I hope the psych appointments help you with this. You’re totally on track though – not using food as a tool to cope. As horrible as it is, there are issues you will have to deal with at some point – so while you have the team in place it’s a good time to start.

    I do know what you mean about wanting your friends to be ‘normal’ around you, and not make allowances for your behaviour and reactions, it’s not nice to feel as if you’re putting extra pressure on them or they’re constantly treading on egg shells around you. That said – your mates sound pretty awesome to be honest, and I honestly doubt they would think any less of you if they knew the things you are struggling with. You said you don’t want them to see you in ‘this light’ – it’s nothing to be ashamed of Ellie. Your friends aren’t going to disown you, or think you’re a divvie. (I needed a better word there but couldn’t think of one).

    This comment it too long, but you’re doing ace. Love xx

    • Stopping smoking really isn’t so bad. Like actually. If you want it, you’ll do it. You just have to really want it. Saying that, I could entirely change my mind and end up smoking again. But I don’t want that to happen.

      I duno. I just don’t like people knowing certain parts of me I guess. I hope that I’m accepted for who I am, but it’s hard to see how that’d be true. So I keep my struggles from people. Someone who’s always struggling is boring right? I don’t know.

      Sorry for this naff reply. I’m trying hard to think things through more positively but I’m stuck in a negative rut I think. Generally I’m a wordy commenter as well. Hmm x.

  5. arabelladesiderium

    Maybe if there are some things you don’t want everyone to read but you still need to get out on the blog you could do a password protected post. Or if you just want to know someone is listening, someone you don’t know, I can share my email address. It seems like you’re having a tough time right now, but you’re also doing great in a lot of ways!

    • Thank you for this. This is seriously nice of you. I kinda worry my stuff is too heavy for people really. I duno. Maybe it isn’t, but it just feels like burden if that makes sense. I’d hate to burden. But thank you. Really x.

  6. dd@googlemail.com

    I really enjoy reading your blog. Just thought I’d throw that out there!

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