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.