So tomorrow, my life turns to shit for a few weeks. I’ve got this take home exam which is basically just like normal uni essays, except I have to do two in as many weeks with no prior time to prep. It’s going to be rubbish and chances are I’m not going to blog or keep up with anyone in internet or more conventional ways, so I figured I get a post out before it all kicks off and I crawl into a tiny hole and cry at how unfair university can be.
Basically, there’s still a lot on my mind that I’m struggling with and I’m finding myself kinda lost if that makes sense. And scared. Things are pretty scary for me at the moment. Scary and sad. I saw the CMHT people on Thursday with the promise of trying some new medications, but my technical consultant (whom I’ve never met – I see his SHO) wasn’t there to confirm prescriptions so that was supposed to be held of till Friday. On Friday I had a call explaining that my consultant wants to meet me with his SHO to discuss options. They’re seeing me pretty quickly (next Tuesday. Hideous looking day – weird psychologist and dietitian double team session including weigh-in, followed by this) and there was lots of talk of “first possible time to fit you in.” They also want me to bring my parents. I don’t know why. I asked why and they didn’t tell me. I’m 23. I don’t need my parent’s permission and I don’t see how it’s appropriate for them to be there when I potentially have to discuss my symptoms with someone I’ve never met to decide on medications. That gets to be confidential, doesn’t it? So I’m not taking my parents until I can suss out why this consultant I’ve never met wants to meet them. The whole thing is just adding to the fear and stress. I don’t really understand what’s going on and no one will explain it to me. I hate not knowing. I did see the EDU psychiatrist today. I tried really hard to explain at least some of what’s going on with her, but she wasn’t that useful either. She basically said “Talk to the psychologist and talk to the CMHT.” She did weigh me though and I’m successfully maintaining (slightly down, but no concern) so that’s good.
Basically, I’m just waiting for someone to tell me what’s wrong with me and give me directions on how to make it better. I keep pinning my hopes on appointments to give me some direction, but I just end up more upset and more confused. I just don’t know what’s going on and I really want to understand so that I can start working on feeling better. I want to feel well again.
So for now, I’m trying to think about the aspects of the behavioural traits of anorexia I need to work on. I do think about them often, but I’m struggling to let go of them and I don’t think I’m trying hard enough. However, I just want to focus on something to fix right now. I don’t know how to fix anything else, but I can see and understand what I have to do to beat these behaviours with a stick until they fuck off out of my life. Knowing what to do and actually doing are two different things though, so I’m coming up with a list to try to imprint in my mind what isn’t ok.
- I can’t eat with other people – Well I probably could, but I don’t. I find it difficult when other people are eating. Firstly, I find eating kinda disgusting. Just the actual process of eating, from cutting up food to swallowing. It just makes me feel gross, even when someone else is doing it. Chewing noise as well. Plus I find it really difficult to fit other people’s eating patterns – the times they eat, the way the eat, the speed they eat, how much they talk when they eat etc. Eating with others adds a whole extra dimension of worrying, comparisons and generally feeling icky.
- I won’t eat food other people have prepared – Which is ridiculous seeing as I will eat restaurant food sometimes. I just won’t eat the Mum’s cooking. Or my friends’ cooking. If people I actually know cook, I won’t eat it. It makes me agitated and panicky. It’s all I can think about for hours before and after the event. Sometimes, I’ll think I’m going to do it, then about an hour before I’m supposed t, it’s all got too much and I pull out.
- I’m still way scared of lots of foods – meat, liquid calories, pastry, butter, potatoes, pasta etc. The list is actually pretty long. I do try with some of them. I had a whole week once of eating meat once a day. Then I stop for a couple of days, and it’s gone again. It never seems to stick. I’m just really scared of eating and I hate it. It all comes down to possible weight in the end, but there are lots of different reasons for lots of things. I’m scared of watermelon because its high Gi even though calorie wise, it’s basically nil for fuck’s sake. I wish I wasn’t scared of so many things.
- I time my food in a ridiculous way – My timings are way less strict than they used to be, but it’s still ridiculous to have eating schedules. When I’m hungry, I just don’t eat. I’d rather be hungry then eat off schedule. I hate that I’m so awful at trusting my body. I’m kinda hungry now. I won’t eat though. Doesn’t matter that I’m hungry. Which is stupid. I could definitely be hungrier though. And my sleep is terrible at the moment, and lack of sleep is supposed to make you hungrier. So who knows if I need any food? I don’t. I ignore my body all the time. I’d like to learn to trust it again.
- I eat repetitively – Day in, day out, I eat the same foods. I eat them because I know that if I do, it won’t be too much. I’ll also feel comfortable with how healthy it is. I still worry about eating healthy so I stick to lots of grains and veggies and pulses. I eat foods in certain orders. For instance, I eat blueberries at breakfast, raspberries at lunch, strawberries at dinner and blackberries before bed. I won’t eat any other berry at breakfast, only blueberries. And I won’t eat blueberries after breakfast either, because that’s not where they belong. Even if I want blueberries. I eat a cereal bar and apple as my morning snack. Every single day since September. I’m not exaggerating here either. I don’t chose foods I want – I eat what I know I’m ok with.
- I walk a lot – Like a lot a lot. This needs to be cut down probably. I am trying though. Really trying. It’s not just walking though. It’s standing up on the tube. It’s running up escalators. It’s all the tiny bits of the day where I think “I’ll burn more calories if I do it this way.” And trust me, that’s a lot of my day.
- I may not weigh myself everyday, but I take my measurements multiple times a week – Sometimes even multiple times a day. I body check really badly. Every day, about six times, I’ll try to work out how much my thighs touch. They do definitely touch, but I can stand with them touching entirely if I push my hips forward (I have very narrow hips), or I can stand with them not the more I arch my back. I can’t work out how I naturally stand so I can’t work out which is my usual. I try to catch myself off guard, but that’s kinda impossible. I do this with my belly too – try to catch myself off guard so to see my usual amount of breathing in/out, tension, posture etc. It’s weird and obsessive.
- I overestimate everything – Portion wise, I pretty much suck. It’s best when things come in pre-packaged portions because then I know it’s the right amount. Otherwise, I play it “safe”. I know I do this. Especially with spreads. And milk. And cereal. I try not to, but end up doing it anyway.
- Calorie counting – Seriously. I can’t not. I try not to. I really really try. Then I do. As per. Like an idiot. Gah – I fucking hate it. Which means I know I’m eating less than I’d planned to. I’m sticking to what my dietitian suggested, but that’s not even what I think is best. But add that to overestimating and basically, chances are I’m eating less than I think. Probably why I’m hungry right now.
- Displacement activities – When I’m hungry, I drink black coffee, pints of water, herbal teas, diet cokes, eat sugar-free mints, chew sugar-free gum etc. I’ve started to keep my mouth occupied without food. I think this is partly to do with smoking too, but it isn’t good. I realised that if I have a diet coke with my meals, I get much more full, so I’ve started to do that so I won’t want to eat. Why would I not want to eat? That’s a stupid question – I know why I don’t want to eat. But it’s stupid that I do it. It’s stupid that I let that thought win.
I have got to start tackling these things. Right now, they’re kinda harmless. I’m not losing weight really, my team think I’m a healthy weight, I am eating, I am trying, but I’m not rid of everything. I’ve come a massively long way – I can use normal size cutlery now and everything (that was the last thing I attempted to conquer). It’s just the more you work at it, the more little things pop up, or old habits start to sneak back in again. It’s ok. It’s not too big of a deal right now as long as I’m aware and I try to fix it. I really hope I can fix it, I’m just lacking in motivation. Uni stress plus the fact that I’m really struggling more generally and feel bloody rubbish make it hard for me to want to do anything about these things. Right now, the plan is to stop counting calories and to eat dinner the Mum has prepared with my Mum at least twice a week. She doesn’t actually know about this so maybe telling her would be a start. Also, trying to integrate more fear foods – the ever lasting battle I swear.
I wish I felt stronger right now. I feel horrible. I hate feeling horrible. I’ve got work to do on so many fronts. I really have to start channelling my need for concrete action into conquering these lingering issues. Maybe if I can act out getting better, my mood will follow. It’s all I can do right now. Here’s hoping.
Wish me luck on this godawful exam :(