Tonight is an insomnia post. It’s been getting worse recently. I think its because I’ll actually be seeing my team again this week and in reality, since the last time I had a proper check in, I’ve kinda allowed my life to turn fall into a more dysfunctional routine. It started at Easter and has been slowly, but surely getting worse. Before that, I was doing well actually. I was actively chuffed about how far I’d got and how much my life had improved. I am no longer chuffed. Mostly, I’m ambiguous. I don’t exactly want to go back to restricting or anything, but I’m not sure I’ve wound up anywhere better off right now. I feel less stable and less secure.
The stability of starvation is actually spiralling out of control, but it feels stable. Days come and go and they’re always the same –
Wake up early, cold, but sweating. Panicking and maybe cry because for a second, you really think you ate that muffin. Check your bones are still there. Bathroom. Strip naked and weigh yourself (jumping off and on to make sure the scale isn’t lying). Exercise as long as you can stand till you feel sick and everything hurts. Weigh yourself. Shower and get dressed (whilst worrying if the toothpaste and mouthwash should add to your calorie total). Try and fail to distract yourself from food until it’s time to eat (unless you’ve managed to exercise long enough to go past the time you usually eat. In that case, you get a gold star and feel powerful). Have planned meal (always starting by, gathering the right utensils and crockery then weighing and measuring the right amount of food. Finally, hiding away to eat. Each bite is chewed the right number of time. Smoking as much as possibly from preparing meal till after you’ve eaten. I’d always finish everything. If I was counting that caloire, I was sure as hell going to eat it). Try and fail to distract yourself from food until it’s time to eat (so end up contemplating the pros and cons of various salad dressings and whether or not you’ve done enough to warrant an extra plum). End up drawn to the kitchen so decide to clean it all. Thow some biscuits and cereal or whatever out (covering it with bleach because it looked too tempting). Go for a walk (it burns more calories and only lazy people stay in all day. You didn’t get dressed for nothing). End up walking around Tesco for hours (picking things up, looking at the nutritional info, wondering if it’s low-calorie enough. No, it’s not. Put it back. Sometimes it’s just comforting to learn the calories of all the different crisps or chocolate or whatever. No reason. It’s just better if you know). Panic so go out for a smoke. Go back in only to buy lettuce, diet coke, a Milky Way and GoodFood magazine. Go home. Organise your food (to make room for the salad in the kitchen and put your chocolate in your box/shelf/drawer of food you want to eat, but instead will just look at and decide it’s not the day. Yes. It’s hoarding food. I would line my forbidden food up a couple of times a day so it looked neat. I wouldn’t eat it, I just felt better that it was there so I could eat it, if I wanted. I wouldn’t miss out if I made sure I owned it).Have planned snack. Weigh yourself (you’ll weigh more and you know it’ll upset you, but you do it anyway). Get a phone call from a friend (but ignore it because they might want to see you and you’d rather spend time actively not eating). Try and fail to distract yourself from food until it’s time to eat. End up eating a banana (which are forbidden obviously) so cry and exercise and plan what you won’t eat at dinner. Have planned meal. Take more laxatives than can possibly be good for you so you might go in the morning (trust me, if you don’t eat enough, no amount of fibre will make you go. Plus by this point, you’re bodies dependant on them anyway) knowing that if you don’t, there’s no way know how much you really weigh tomorrow (because food weight can add up to like a kilo). Research diets on the internet. Look at food porn. Count the minutes until it’s time for bed. Plan things you’ll eat once you’re small enough. Go to bed hopeful for sleep (when you’re asleep, you can’t eat and you don’t know you’re hungry). Realise you can’t sleep because you’re too hungry. Take your meausurements. Feel sad because all your friends are at the pub, but you’re in bed because there someone may have wanted to share crisps and alcohol is calories. Check your bones stick out enough. Eventually fall asleep whilst daydreaming about what you’ll do and how wonderful everyone will think you are when you’re finally thin (maybe because you got really sick and ended up in hospital unable to eat. This was a recurrent fantasy of mine). Have a nightmare about eating a chocolate muffin. Start over.
You’re smoking and drinking as much 0 calorie caffeine as possible throughout the day. Quite often, you hurt and are exhausted, so you pop3-4 pro plus and a couple of painkillers when necessary. Plus calculating and recalculating calories. Over and over.
Believe me, this is all day, every day with anorexia. Unless you’re stuck in a binge/purge cycle – then it’s this, but worse. Or if you have a special event or date or something – then you eat specially less food and specially exercise more so you can be more empty because more empty makes your specially lovely.
It’s really boring. Honestly. It just happens every day to the extent where you essentially wake up and just wait until you can go to bed again because each day is so boring, but it’s predictable. Nothing changes. It can’t because you’re not ready yet. You’re not thin enough. Once you’re thin, you can have fun because everyone will like you and you’ll exist on nothing and you’ll be fragile and look completely unreal and people will be careful with you because you look like you might break and they’ll all think you’re beautiful and interesting and effortlessly tiny and so much better than them because you can refuse food and it doesn’t bother you and you look like you might blow away and you’ll finally be good enough to make up for everything wrong with you. No matter that you’re actually already there, except you don’t look unreal and delicate, you look scary. But it doesn’t matter what the measurements and weight say, because actually, you carry your weight differently from other people and on you, it still looks fat.
You’ll only improve if you stick to the rules. If you break the rules, you’ll undo all that work, get even fatter than you already are, everyone will think you’re a failure and they’ll all laugh at you and hate you even more, you’ll be ugly and worthless and have no friends and you’ll lose your boyfriend because boys don’t like fat girls. When you break the rules, you quickly realise that it is that bad and all you can do is beat yourself up over and over until the scale tells you you’ve set it right again. You learn that it’s better to stick to the rules and keep it predictable. The alternative is hell.
Everyday, your organs and muscles are being ingested by your body, but in its own, completely broken way, it’s stable. Did you know people with anorexia often have high cholesterol even though they generally severely restrict fats? It’s because human tissue is red, fatty meat thus high in cholesterol and you’re incredibly literally eating it. I guess it’s more of a tenuous, steady decline kind of stable. Ok so it’s not at all stable, but it makes you believe that it is.
I’m probably the most stable I’ve been in ages, but I feel much less so now. Having actual thoughts and emotions and actually doing things is really complicated and hard. Especially as I don’t feel like anything ever happens. I don’t identify with myself at all. I tried to think about if I’m doing alright at the moment and I couldn’t because honestly, I remember events, but I cannot identify how I really felt. I can remember crying, but I don’t feel like I was actually sad because I wasn’t really present and it doesn’t feel like it was actually me. And that could have been an hour earlier. Then I’m was not sad – I was jumping. But was I happy? I don’t know because although know I jumped, it doesn’t feel like it was really me. I watched it happen but I wasn’t there. I don’t know what I think or feel right now for fuck’s sake. It’s really distressing and it’s all the time. I’m so disconnected from myself. I literally have no idea what thoughts and feelings I actually have. I don’t know what’s true. There has got to be facts, I just cannot access them.
Instead I just feel out of control, on edge and like I made up of lies. I live in a brain which is constantly narrating my life or having made up conversations. If I think anything, it’s part of some sort of overarching story my brain is spinning. Because the thoughts have to fit to that particular narration, am I actually thinking it, or am I just pretending I do in order to fit the desired conclusion of the story arch? And this narration never stops. I can’t read or watch or anything because I’m just too busy narrating. I don’t enjoy anything or have and hobbies or passions because I just narrate. Plus if I do, do I actually? Or do I just want to believe I do? Is it just for the benefit of other people, even if they never know or see? Honestly, the only thing that stops it is asking google questions. The monotonous fact-finding. No detail. Repeat over and over.
So I act, except none of the actions feel like me. And none of them feel like they have that much effect on how I’ll feel a couple of minutes later. It’s like living without consequences. Logically I know there are, but emotionally there aren’t any really. Cause and effect gets so disconnected. I can remember having an awful time and it being rubbish, but that has no real effect once that’s not what I’m doing anymore. Same way I can remember having a great, relaxing time, but I’ll still get caught up in freaking out about my entire existence. It can turn in an instant. My insides physically sink and I realise I have nothing and am nothing and all I am is concepts. All this makes me feel so physically hollow. If you don’t even have thoughts, what do you have? Lies can only cover up all the parts that aren’t there.
I look in the mirror, and I don’t identify with my face. It just isn’t what I thought I looked like and I’m always surprised. Quickly followed by “shit. How the fuck do I get up every day and walk around and let people see me with a face like this? Has this always been my face? How have I been existing with this face? It’s a fucking disgrace”. I think it about my body too, but then that has really changed so that’s understandable. And my voice, but quitting smoking has changed that a little too. Sometimes I just notice I’m speaking and stop half way through a sentence, turn around and walk off because it’s hurting me so much to continue to hear a voice so bad that doesn’t sound like mine.
The only thing I know I have is absolute shame of anything I ever do or say in front of other people. Why? Because it’s not me and it’s not how I actually feel and I’m not present. I’m not in control and therefore presenting myself in a way I don’t identify with, thus making me an idiot. And what sucks is that I get lonely when I hermit up, so then I reach out a tiny amount, only to feel like shit again. I just berate myself over and over and over.
So now I feel less stable. In fact, I feel like I’m going crazy. I don’t know which is better.
I think I have identity issues. Now if only one of these many mental health professionals could tell me what the fuck any of this is, I’d probably feel better. Instead, they say “I cannot tell you. Your therapist knows you better. Talk to him. He can answer.” So now I’m absolutely terrified of Tuesday. I haven’t seen the psychologist in two months. How the fuck do I explain this to him? I don’t even know what this is. I wish I had a term to google so I could research how to improve it. But I don’t want to go to therapy.