authenticity.

I’ve had a nice day the other day. It was hot, but not too hot. It wasn’t sunny. I went to St. Katherine’s Dock and had some really nice food and walked about, looking at all the posh yachts and things. I accidentally found the Denmark cultural market thing (lots of countries have cultural markets dotted about London during the Olympics). I walked from Tower Hill into the city to do some vintage browsing and a little shopping in Brick Lane, then grabbing a tarte aux fruits from Patisserie Valerie.

All good things. Except none of it feels like it happened. I know full well it did. I remember it. The memories don’t seem real though. The feel like someone else’s memories. It wasn’t really me. I wasn’t in control, I wouldn’t want to act that way, the things I said are things I don’t think etc. I have problems feeling connected to my memories and past feelings and thoughts. It’s not just past events and actions, it also happens in the moment. My brain starts questioning my actions. It’s most scary when it starts questioning thoughts and feelings. Everything becomes lies, except I’m not lying. It’s like I can’t not lie. I have to because there’s no facts and no truths and no person. Just stories I started telling myself years ago so I could pretend to myself that I wasn’t so terrible. Now whatever person there may or may not have been has gone and all that’s left is the narrative. It’s such a hard thing to describe and I keep trying to, but just can’t seem to find the right words. It’s just so distressing. It’s like suddenly you zone in to what’s happening and you’re doing something you don’t really feel is true because you’re not in control. You’re saying words that aren’t your words and don’t describe your thoughts. Then you start to try to work out what your thoughts are, but there are none. Each thought you have isn’t true. Even the thought that your thoughts aren’t true isn’t true. And because nothing is true, you have absolutely no choice but to keep making things up and pretending and lying because without the falsities, there is literally nothing. No thoughts, no actions, no emotions. You just wouldn’t exist. You become something entirely constructed. But the construction isn’t perfect because you just can’t create concepts that tightly mesh to make a coherent whole. The concepts don’t fit together properly and you get terrified people will push at the cracks and expose the fact you’re nothing and then they’ll laugh at you. So you panic, covering cracks with more concepts, digging the hole deeper and deeper. And the person you’ve so consciously, yet so entirely unconsciously, created is rubbish too. You’ve failed to make someone worth being and killed the truth completely. You’re just completely unable to be or feel anything true. You’re only a performance of a person, constantly performing even when you’re all alone.

It’s really horrible.

The Psychologist wants me to keep an authenticity journal. Every time I do or think something that feels authentically me, I’m meant to write it down to keep a log of what keeps me grounded. The problem with this task is that as soon as I reflect on whether I was authentic or not, I start questioning myself and my reality. It becomes lies. The question becomes how the fuck do I even start this task? I start freaking out about the task itself. I’m so stuck.

I play with Juno because I love her. But do I love her? Or do I pretend to love her because it’s nice and girly and cute to completely love baby animals and I want to believe that is who I am and I want others to believe it to so I’m just pretending to love her because I think that’d make me better? Do I really want to self-injure, or do I just want people to think that I’m not coping, even though I am, because then they’ll want to help me more? Did I ever really have an eating disorder, or did I actually just want to believe I did so that I could get attention? Every section of my brain becomes something to doubt.

On top of worrying about all this nonsense, I still have to actually worry about it. I have to worry when I’m lying in the dark, calling people up to tell them things I know I shouldn’t and might not even be true with no control over my actions. I have to worry when I’m running down the road, pounding my feet on the pavement till my whole body aches so I feel more present and can rid myself of the burning emotions I don’t know if I feel. I have to worry when I’m shouting at the people I love. I have to worry when I’m tearing my room apart.

But that’s why I’m getting a blood test tomorrow. The HTT are putting me on mood stabilizers to try to dampen my moods. They have to check my blood levels first, but then I start a new medication on top of everything else I’m taking. I’m scared of them. I don’t want to dampen all my moods, just some. I like when I feel great because I get really excited and jump about and cannot contain my happiness. It can be good to not be able to contain an emotion, but it can be awful too. In some ways though, I think it might be good to contain some on the good emotions too because then I’ll do less things that with hindsight make me feel so much shame. I like to share all my uncontainable emotions and although the good emotions are great, it’s in the sharing that I find the shame. So much shame. I never understand why I do and say things. The Pa is organising for me to have some sort of terrifying conversations with my Uncle about what mood stabilizers are actually like. He’s suffered from bipolar in the past and had a lot of experience with those medications, plus seems to be pretty darn stable so might have positive stories. I’m already feeling shame for that conversation and it hasn’t even happened.

To add to it all, I’m really struggling internally with my eating. I gained some weight I think, which should be fine seeing as I’m on new meds and cutting back my NRT and still have no periods so probably need a bit more weight anyway. It makes me feel awful though and it makes me want to control my eating more. I’m struggling to keep up my progress. I am obviously eating more than I need to, but I’m also hungry quite a lot and I don’t know what to do about it all really. Restriction keeps playing on my mind, but I don’t restrict. I keep eating regardless so I don’t wind up going backwards. It’s hard though. Like actually. I really badly want to lose weight. Really badly. My thoughts are getting more and more caught up in food and diets. I’m ugly and I suck therefore I must lose weight so I can be prettier and people will like me more. Whether or not this is actually true is neither here nor there. It’s not logical, but it’s how I feel. I feel dumpy and ugly.

It’s hard to eat. It’s hard to not exercise. I’ve spent a good portion of today looking up adult gymnastics and ballet classes. I want to be strong and flexible. Yoga isn’t enough anymore really. I’m not getting pushed enough. I’ll probably not follow-up on it, but today I’ll dream of exercise.

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7 Comments

Filed under eating disorder, home treatment team, Juno, life, recovery, rubbish

7 responses to “authenticity.

  1. ‘It’s not logical, but it’s how I feel’ If we all relied on our feelings, especially where ED is concerned, we wouldn’t get anywhere. Keep going. Keep using that strength that tells you to keep eating. It is hard to eat – but where does the alternative lead? We both know, amidst all the lies our ED voices would tell us. KEep going
    x

    • I know I know. The lies can be so tempting though, so it’s hard to ignore. It’s not worth it though. Obviously. At least I hope it’s not. Argh.

      So I keep eating and eating and eating. Standard.

      Love x.

      • It’s not – the journey to ED-freedom is ridiculously difficult (I know, I’m on it too) but the end point is much more appealing than the alternative.
        x*hug*x

  2. “It’s like suddenly you zone in to what’s happening and you’re doing something you don’t really feel is true because you’re not in control. ”
    I have these moments, and usually they end in complete dizziness/panic attack, I start feeling, “Why am I here? What is real? What is life? How did I get to this spot right here because I don’t remember getting here, but I am here? Where am I going? Why am I saying these things? Who am I? Is any of this real?” and it is entirely horrible.

    The “grounding techniques” do work for this, I have this self help book and I was totally skeptical of it, but I find just simple things like saying to myself when this happens, “My feet are on the ground, the ground feels hard under my feet, I’m not falling, the temperature is warm/cold, I can hear [thing] I can smell [thing]” Kind of does help with that whole “reality questioning” thing that is extremely difficult to describe.

    Mood stabilisers, I think I’d feel exactly the same way as you, I LOVE it when I’m in the zone of being all excited and hyper and funny. However, I think if I was you, I’d tell myself how much I don’t like it afterwards because I end up embarrassing myself. They may numb you out to start with, but you won’t feel totally “zombie” forever.
    My dietitian said that in hyper stages it is entirely normal to be more hungry, and has said that sometimes you do actually need it because generally your adrenaline is pumping, your heart rate increases, you sleep less, and you’re more active (and doing too much exercise and wanting to i.e looking at classes, is entirely normal in this stage too).

    The last few weeks I’ve been where you are at, with the “feeling I want to lose weight” and I know you know this already, but you’re going through a proper emotional time right now and it might be just about that. You wont gain and gain and gain.

    R.e Juno and pretending to love her questioning. Really? Because to me, from what you’ve said to me, and how you’ve commented on my posts, you come across really caring, like naturally. I wouldn’t imagine that, that was an act, but at the same time, I totally get what you mean, but I thought I’d tell you my perspective.

    Hugs lovely xxxx

    • Gah it’s awful isn’t it. You just get more and more worked up. It happens to me all the time. Argh. I try to do grounding stuff sometimes, but I always end up forgetting in the moment then going “urgh why didn’t I do that? Grr.” It’s annoying. But the non-judgemental observation thing I know is apparently really useful so maybe I should be trying more. I duno.

      I’m scared about new meds. I hate medications a lot. Im scared that I’ll completely numb out. I’m really scared of uncle conversations. It’s all scary and hard I guess. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

      I like your dietitian. I wish I still had a dietitian :(.

      I know I know. I have to feel emotions, I hate feeling emotions. I’m so much worse at being alive and getting shit done when I’m feeling though. I hate just how much world there is. Argh. I’m being moany. I should stop.

      Thank you though!

      x.

      • I didn’t get a notification of your reply. I want a refund for this free service I use.
        Anyway, the grounding crap takes a lot of practise, and stuff. I practised in my house when I got spun out because it used to happen on the phone too. I still think it’s stupid when I do it, but yeah. I tend to touch something with my hand, because that helps best. Usually a wall, or a chair or whatever, and then say “this is a wall/chair/whatever” some of the other crap I don’t find particularly helpful, but whatever works for you.
        It’s hard to “try more”, totally, so don’t put yourself down. In fact, it’s even harder if you think it’s stupid/pointless and in that moment, it feels like nothing is ever going to help/out of control.

        Everything about this is freaking scary. I hate that.

        I think my dietitian has helped me the most throughout this mood swing phase. Pity my nurse isn’t up to his standard. He set a pretty high bar though. I think I will feel a bit…. lost without him and I’m sure I will be discharged from him soon… Eek.
        Argh I’m spamming you with my shit. Sorry.

        Emotions suck, like really. I get stuck between hating being numb, but also hating feeling things, but it’s like one or the other, no in between, so, of course you’re going to hate that.
        P.s you’re never being moany.
        You’re being real. I like this. Some people don’t but screw all them peoples.
        Hugs xx

  3. Sounds like you are really having a hard time. Whilst I haven’t experienced the same fear of basically feeling as if all that I am and all that I do is a lie (which is what I think you are describing, terrifying I can imagine!) I do suffer from OCD which manifests itself in thoughts more than actions. I find that I become obsessed with an idea that maybe I don’t really like something, or maybe I should rather try something a different way, or maybe I don’t really like so and so or maybe I don’t look how I think I look and on and on I could go! What I’m trying to explain is that I don’t trust myself, don’t believe that anything I think is truly trustworthy (very similar to what you are experiencing?). I become completely caught up in an obsessive thought and to pull myself out of that whirlpool is so hard.
    So what I’m saying is that you aren’t completely alone in your thoughts and that whilst I don’t completely understand (can anyone ever completely understand another’s thoughts?) I really empathise with you.
    I’m on anti depressants which I think help with the obsessiveness but I don’t know much about mood stabilisers. You know what? I think that sometimes one needs to take drastic measures in an effort to help oneself and if the mood stabilisers can help to regulate your thoughts then you should try them. You can’t continue living like this forever, and you won’t, I truly feel that you WILL find something that helps you to feel calmer and more ‘authentic’ as you say :).
    Food related, keep on eating. When one is restricting the mood goes even more haywire, and it just makes everything 100x worse. Re the hunger, what my dietician tells me is that hunger is my body giving me permission to eat (I struggle a lot with getting ‘permission’ to eat). Your body (before you involve your thoughts in the process) is actually pretty darn clever and those hunger pangs ARE authentic!
    Good luck with the tests!!

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