overly worded, inconcise reflections from an overly foggy head.

So I’m going to do a proper post as well. I’m going to fill your eyes with my words today apparently. Not that I have all that many interesting facts to say or anything, but because in my very limited world, lots of things have been happening.

Heads uo – trigger warning.This post contains dress sizes. If that’s not for you, duck out.

Tuesday was traumatic. Why? Because I needed to buy clothes. Sometimes I hate recovery. Most of the time, I feel kinda ambivalent, but happy that I’m able to eat food. I’m not over the moon about my body and right now, I certainly don’t feel mentally better. I’m more engaged, but that just means more engaged with the things that make me feel negative emotion. Most of the time, when I feel like shit, it’s not because I’m fat or because I had a biscuit, it’s because I fucked up/I stopped knowing whether my thoughts or actions or words are actually real or something I want to think is real/I feel like nothing really happened/I think everyone is laughing at me or hates me/my face doesn’t feel like my face and I’m so self-conscious I can’t look at anyone. It’s not like the eating disorder stuff is gone. Anorexia still likes to make me feel fat every morning, makes me judge my size in comparison to the size of every woman I see, makes food way more of an issue than it needs to be etc., but it’s often not the predominant fact of the day. Wednesday it was. Yesterday it was.

There is nothing like the feeling of having to buy clothes a size smaller when your trapped in anorexia. Nothing. It’s not something I’m proud of and it’s doesn’t make it worth while, but it’s not like anything else really. It’s not just that you’re happy, but it’s a huge relief. It’s solid fact that you’ve done something right. You may have messed up a couple of times and eaten too much/not exercised enough, but it’s solid fact that you’ve done enough and for a whole hour or so, a massive weight is lifted because you know you’re doing it right because you have evidence. Pure relief that everything is ok. That lasts up until the next meal/work out when suddenly, it’s not enough anymore and you’re back to the standard high levels of anxiety. And there is nothing quite as horrible as the feeling you get when you realise that you can’t buy clothes anymore because you’re too small. That still feels like relief, but at that point I knew that it could not possibly be good. For me, there was a lot of disbelieve and trying to rationalise evidence saying I was small with the fact that I was definitely too fat to be worth loving. You can’t rationalise that though and I freaked out every time, not believing it could possibly be true. It also hit me with a whole load of fear. Fear I couldn’t listen to because the fear of food and weight gain were bigger.

Clothes shopping was traumatic, and as far as I can tell, doesn’t seem to get less traumatic at any obvious pace.

I’ve grown out of a whole load of my clothes. Clothes I absolutely love. Clothes that were bought for me and were always too big, but I saved for when I gained weight that I now don’t feel comfortable wearing. Clothes that entirely missed opportunities to wear. Clothes I spend quite a bit of money on that are in perfectly good condition. I went through my entire wardrobe, storing 4 pairs of trousers and jeans, multiple shorts, a few skirts, dresses etc. It felt so horrible. I can’t bring myself to throw them away, so instead store them in a drawer under the bed in the spare room. I know I should remove them, and I intend to, but the pile has been slowly growing during this whole weight gain thing and I just didn’t want to have to do it more than once. I think that was a convenient lie I told myself though because I do seem to be maintaining alright now and yet I’m still holding on to them. Just in case. In case I can fit my small person clothes again. Even though I know I absolutely never can. I don’t know what to do about them. They’re there though, out of sight and hopefully out of mind. Maybe one day I’ll be able to completely destroy them. I could give them to charity, but the idea of someone else being able to fit them makes me really upset and seems so fucking unfair. I know it isn’t. I know it’s irrational. I don’t care enough for those facts to change my gut reaction though.

So essentially I needed some new clothes. Jeans and shorts to be precise. I’d like to feel comfy with the idea of charity shopping again, but when it comes to bottoms, I really need some sort of regular sizing. I’m kinda unsure of what size I am and trying on different sizes from different times and different shops seems too stressful. English sizes used to be way smaller, so like a 12 would be roughly equivalent to a 10 or 8. Marks and Spencers clothing fits about two sizes bigger than H&M, though H&M are incredibly varied in sizes. An identical pair of jeans in a different colours can come up in very different sizes from there. Plus only one size of everything in charity shops. Seems like way too much of a mind fuck for me right now. But I actually needed to buy some clothes that fit and on some level, kinda felt I deserved to buy clothes I could feel good in now I’ve gone through all this fucking drama of changing my body to be healthier. It’s not like I really wanted to change physically, but I had to. So I thought I should just spend a whole load of my benefits on some jeans and shorts. And a few tops and some sunglasses but that’s beside the point. I wanted to look nice.

Topshop is hell. The big one in Oxford street makes me kinda want to die. I know that’s over the top and dramatic and I don’t really mean it, but I feel dramatic about it right now. I wanted some black denim shorts. I tried them in a 10, They felt snug. I honestly don’t know how clothes are supposed to fit seeing as I mostly wore clothes that were far too large during the worst of my restriction, but also before that too I think, though I can’t remember properly. They felt weird. I hated it so much. I tried them on over and over. I got a 12, but they were well too large and fell down, but the fact that I even tried them on made me cry. I tried on the same two pairs of shorts over and over again, trying to work out which ones were best for me. I took loads of pictures of me in them because sometimes I’m better able to judge photos than my reflection. I sent some of these picture to my friends to ask them whether the shorts looked to small. I spoke to the assistant and asked her. I ended up sitting on the floor in the changing rooms crying. Genuinely crying. Like such a dick. I was in there for over an hour. I ended up getting the 10s ad feeling shit because they weren’t an 8 even though I have been aiming to be bigger than an 8 for a while and have been refusing to buy bottoms in smaller than a 10 for a while. It’s just that when I bought the other items, the 10s were still big.

I also picked up some jeans. They are really nice – pale blue and white vertical stripes. I’d tried them on before, but at that point the 10s were too big by quite a stretch so I resolved to buy them once I had grown. Whilst I was in there for shorts though, I saw one pair on the “Last Chance to Buy” rack and they happened to be a 10 so I picked them up to try on. I was scared I’d be too fat for them. Like terrified. Turns out, they’re still a bit big and fall down a bit, but they’re a more baggy fit so they look fine and they don’t actually fall off. I cried about them too though because I didn’t really have the money for them and they were the last pair and I have absolutely no sensible, plain jeans so I kinda need them more. But I was waiting to grow for them because I’d liked them so much I didn’t want to grow out of them, so I figured it’s going to be getting warmer now, I don’t desperately need sensible jeans in the sun. In fact, I hardly ever used to wear jeans. I had one pair and that was fine because I only wore them once a month ish. Skirts and dresses were the way. That changed in recovery though. I think I just got pissed off and hormonal so wanted to dress more like I could get in a fight and win, even though I definitely can’t. I don’t think I really achieve this, but when I feel close to tears so often, I don’t want to look girly. Which is kinda sexist of me and makes me feel bad, but I want to look more like I can hack being alive so that other people don’t think I’m pathetic. Plus it makes me feel more unapproachable, which makes me act more unapproachable, which means I end up never talking to anyone I don’t know so feel a little bit safer.  Dressing up is the one. Seriously.

So anyway, I got the stripy jeans even though I don’t have much money. Then proceed to buy floral cycling shorts, two crop tops, a £14 plain white t-shirt (it is really nice for a plain white t-shirt I promise. Plus it’s baggy so covers all the discomfort. Not exactly worth it, but I wanted something that’d hide me too) some sunglasses and some golden nail polish. I can’t really afford it, but I felt like shit and wanted to buy some nice things. Plus I can’t afford it because I’m saving my benefits as much as I can, not because I don’t have the money in the bank, so I figured what am I saving these benefits for if not for things that make recovery more comfortable? Clothes that fit make recovery easier. I still feel insane guilt. I’m wearing the jeans now. They’re actually pretty comfy, but they’re stretching as denim does so I might need a belt. In a bit of a sadistic way, I really hope they do.

I then sat in Costa and waited for Samani to finish work and get to me so I could try on my clothes for her and she could verify the fit. If they were too small, I was right next to Topshop to take them back. She said they all looked good and were fine.

Fucking clothes. Fucking body. Fucking money. Fucking weight gain. A whole load of fucks because they really all do deserve it. Maybe they don’t. Maybe it’s more ‘fucking anorexia’, but it all gets kinda confused. All the frustration and anger gets directed at all these things, but I wouldn’t need to spend money on new clothes to fit a new body if I’d never had this illness, so really, it’s the root fuck. It’s hard to blame the illness though when the things that need to happen in recovery are the things that make you feel like shit.

Anyway, armed with new clothes that make me feel shit right now, but will probably make me feel better in the long run, yesterday was another day of recovery nonsense. In fact, it was actually just really productive for me. I woke up early, got into uni to see my supervisor. I’m narrowing my dissertation topic. Now I’m beginning to focus in on public discourse surrounding the “crisis in British identity”, especially looking at the EDL (his choice, not mine. Critically analysing the EDL is like, the Ex’s job, and he works in one of the foremost institutes in this area in the U.K. Which means I’ll be spending a lot more time with him. And he’ll probably be referenced in my dissertation seeing as he publishes on the issue). I also finally bothered to see a disability advisor as my concentration is entirely shot again. I can literally spend a whole day doing nothing but reading, and only get through about 10 pages with only the vaguest idea of what it was about. She’s going to apply for financial aid to get me a mentor over the summer. They’ll basically be someone I meet up with regularly to go over my academic difficulties and needs who’ll help me find ways of planning and executing everything I have to do, motivating me and helping me address any needs and difficulties as they come up over summer. I think that actually sounds pretty ace. I even spoke with my senior tutor to find out about anything I may need to do if it becomes apparent that I’m going to struggle with my dissertation. Basically, I can defer my assessment if I need to, push the deadline back to the spring term. All I’d need is a doctor’s note verifying why. And best of all, I can arrange that within the week of the deadline. I hate extensions. I think in all of university I’ve used one for assessed work, and one for compulsory but unassessed work. I hate them because it just means you have to work for even longer. And they kinda mean failure and not being good enough. Luckily I don’t have to decide til the very last moment though. I even got to my NHS stop smoking appointment. I’ve gone down a patch today because I’ve started stage two. So many weeks smoke-free! And my CO levels now only read at 2ppm. Yuss!

Recovery wise, yesterday had a few important steps and also a whole lot of internal negotiations and confusion. Last weigh in, I weighed myself at home to get a comparative weight as the scales are different (I way about a pound more at home, naked than I do in hospital, in all my clothes) in preperation for home weigh-ins.  Armed with what my scales should read near, I was prepared for the worst at my fortnightly weigh in I’m allowed to do at home whilst still finding my way maintenance wise. I’d completely stopped, but I only have two more appointments with the dietitian due to staffing cuts and my progress (she’s now the only dietitian in the EDU, and what with the inpatient needs, outpatient services are really suffering. Which is fucking awful because only those so close to death they might die get dietetics treatment right now. It’d cost less of the government’s money and actual people’s lives to treat them as soon as possible, rather than waiting for them to be sick enough. This really makes me so angry. But anyway) so I’m going to have to be in charge of my weight monitoring almost entirely soon. I’m set to be an outpatient for a lot longer (it’s very long-term at my EDU, but the appointments become every six months) so I’ll have access to her if I end up freaking out and needing it. I hope I don’t. To be honest, after Tuesday I was convinced I’d be huge. The prospect of weighing myself actually kept me awake because I was so scared I’d have increased by amounts that I wouldn’t be able to justify and would end up having to restrict. Turns out I’d dropped by 100g, so I’m still within the range my team say is normal fluctuations. I’ve gone up and down the same pound since starting maintaining so I think it’s fine. All in all, I felt so relieved. It was that same “phew. Everything is going to be ok” I got during the worst of restriction every time my weight dropped. My weight can still dictate my entire day, so although this attitude is awful, it set me up to feel a little better.

It also meant that I allowed myself a really good dinner. It was our last famo therapy session yesterday so I convinced the Mutz to take me to one of the bangin’ Turkish restaurants near the hospital and we proceeded to get through two bread baskets, a mixed mezze platter and a large lamb shish between us. I don’t really like baklava or that rice pudding stuff that Turkish restaurants have for dessert, so we then went to Costa and got coffees and cake. Cherry bakewell muffin. Really good cake. To be honest, it wasn’t exactly a full on eating day. I could only manage it because I knew I hadn’t had any snacks that day. I’d been busy and conveniently allowed them to slide in preparation. I was still probably over my usual intake though, so I wasn’t worried.

Until I ended up trashed and walking around the streets with the Brother for.. I duno, maybe six hours. I have blisters and my joints hurt. I didn’t do it to burn calories, but I let it go on for longer than I would have normally because I’d eaten so much for dinner.

All of this. It’s not very disordered. It’s not like it was before, so although I know some of these attitudes aren’t healthy, they are improvements. They won’t really impact upon my physical health in a negative way. It’s still disordered though. Hopefully I’ll get myself sorted eventually. I think I’m going to need a lot more practice though.

Today though, due to the sorry state I’m in from being up until seven am, entirely bombasticated and confused, I haven’t really moved from my bed. I just watched the IT Crowd and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy on the internet. I generally kinda hate comedy, but my brain honestly cannot deal with much else right now. I’ve had four hours sleep and completely tangled my brain. I feel ok about it though. Because I walked so much yesterday. And because I napped through a snack. And because I know all my food choices were kinda conservative options so I’ve probably not eaten as much as I usually do. It’s ok though because I’ve not moved and I ate so much yesterday. Plus my stomach is the size of a pea I swear. Hangovers of any description kill my appetite entirely. I feel so lazy and disgusting. If I don’t leave the house I’m lazy and disgusting and a complete waste of a human being and a life. I’m completely awful. Purely because of one day when I felt bad so didn’t leave the house. That’s black and white thinking for you. I did shower and get dressed though. I’m not such a bad person I stayed in my pjs. I haven’t had a day in pajamas for a long time. I really wish I could feel ok enough to relax for a whole day and just sit in pajamas. And maybe bath. I still can’t bath. Looking down at my naked body for that long makes me fucking miserable because I hate it so much.

Argh. Fucking anorexia. Consistently able to ruin my fucking life at any given point I swear. And I’m actually pretty far along recovery wise. At least physically and behaviourally. I’ve been in treatment for almost a year. Jesus. How long does it take for your brain to stop negotiating and calculating? Or is it just going to be this way forever?

My God I don’t shut up do I? I’ll stop now. Sorry. Goodnight.

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7 Comments

Filed under general, recovery, university

7 responses to “overly worded, inconcise reflections from an overly foggy head.

  1. I know I know there’s quite some ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ here, but generally I think you did bloody aces. Seriously. I think we’re at about a similar stage. Except for the eating healthy bit ;) And I don’t do any exersise. But the thoughts going through our heads are very similar. So yes, putting that into perspective; You did awesome! And wearing cute new stuff!
    (seriously, GOLD nailpolish? Show!!)

    • I bought the gold because I’ve had so much success with the silver. Seriously. Really great nail colours. I always have painted fingers and toes and they’re so cheap. Nails were how I decided to pamper myself in recovery. Only nail varnish, none of that weird stuff with cuticles and special balms and files and buffs that I’ll never understand because I’m not that girly. But it makes me feel nicer and involves my body in a relatively safe way. Do it! Get the nail varnish! Have gold nails. They look nang. x.

  2. Well done for braving the shops Ellie, it’s fucking horrible I know. There is absolutely no consistency with clothes sizes and you explained the ups and downs perfectly. I’ve been in a 8-10-12 bottoms for a while now and yeah, I cried too because I’ve only ever been an 8. Devastated. I have so many size 8 jeans I have grown out of before I’ve even worn them, and I have the same pile of small clothes in another room for that “just in case”. We will NEVER fit in them again. We can’t.

    Support from your Uni sounds aces, I know extensions mean it takes sooooo long, but if it means you’ll have a dissertation to be proud of then who cares how long it takes! They seem pretty spot on.

    Your meal sounds lovely to, and I’m not going to lecture on the walking. But you know you can’t compensate a meal with ridiculous amount of walking and no snacks! You need more pj days xx

    • I know I shouldn’t compensate. And I know the walking wasn’t exactly optimum, but I was with someone and completely off my face so I don’t think it’s the same as when I do it alone, but I won’t pretend I didn’t think about the calorie burn because I obviously did.

      See why aren’t clothes a standard size! I see no reason. Thing is, I don’t think it bothers most people if they have to get a size up or down due to weird sizing. Like most of my friends, if they buy a 10, get it home and it’s too small, they know they’re a 10 and know the sizing is weird and don’t think much of it. I’ve managed to get bare hand me downs in this weigh gain process that way and no one seemed that phased. I wish I could just be like that. I’m pos. a lot of non-ED peeps are the same as us, but it is possible to not care that much regardless, just by being confident in what sizee you are most of the time. I think we’ll learn that with a lot of practice. Right now though, we’re still unsure and kinda convinced it’s going to change rapidly overnight.

      We should seriously trash these clothes though. I’m thinking of burning them. Or ripping them to shreds. I know I should give them to my friends or charity, but I just can’t. I don’t want anyone to enjoy them if I can’t I’m bitter and I don’t care x.

      • SAME! I considered ebay because then at least I’d get some pennies for them and I wouldn’t have to *see* people wearing the brand spanking new clothes I want to be able to wear. I absolutely refuse to give them to my Mum as well (super-duper-horribly-selfish) but I would want to rip them off her if I donated them! Bonfire sounds like a good plan too.

        I actually had the 1st successful shopping trip in a LONG time today, might post later. It was successful because I didn’t cry, not once! Woop. Haha. I bet normal people don’t judge a shopping trip by how many times they cried :/ xx

  3. Oh I so relate on the clothes-buying front!! I had to buy a bunch of new stuff the other day and it killed me! I did my own spot of change room crying. But i’m kinda over it now and I have pants that fit me. So yay I guess.

    It sounds like you did really well – it’s so fricken’ tricky and you managed :)

    • That’s what I’m hoping for – that “actually, now I’m over it” moment. Hopefully it’ll come in the next couple of days. It always does, but it likes to take it’s time sometimes.

      Thanks for the comment though! Seriously silly commenting conincidences today :) x.

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