Category Archives: eating disorder

the worst month of my life.

I wrote this in October 2013, so it’s a bit backdated, but I guess it gives a quick overview of where I’ve been and, my mental health history for anyone that might read this and not want to track back and starts to show how I got where I am I guess. Hopefully it’s not too self indulgent.

Ok so maybe this isn’t quite the worst month of my life, but it’s definitely top five. I think it’s actually quite hard to tell sometimes just what was the worst thing ever, especially in the moment. Loads of things are awful. Bereavement sucks. Being dumped sucks. Not having enough money to buy the shower gel you really wanted sucks. Maybe when you’re really old and looking back at your life you work it out. All I know is that this month has been monumentally tragic, even in comparison to a lot of my other awful times. It’s almost laughable, if it wasn’t me, In this post, I’m going to explain why.

Within the month of October 2013, I’ve been dumped by a boy I loved (who had the emotional maturity of a grapefruit), who I then got back together with for a total of four days, only to be dumped again and have him steal my pitiful amount of money. I then made that fantastic choice of fucking him, just to let him tell me how much I suck and how crazy and sad I am. Followed by him leaving the country. My housing situation is tenuous I think. Some major disagreements with the family led to me living with said boy, which has now left me living half with my family, which is difficult for them as much as for me, and living half with a drug dealer who can set me up with some tasks when I’m more than my average broke. Being broke should go on this list, but that’s pretty much a permanent. My treatment has increased – I’m now, I’m in treatment for mental health problems almost every day and I’m being offered NHS funded private rehab for at least three months. All of which means I have to face the highly likely prospect of taking yet another year out of finishing the one year masters degree I’m already in my fourth year of. Even so, I’m still barely coming to terms with the fact that I have something labelled “complex needs” by essentially all health and social care workers. This is not exactly how I imagined my life would be at 24.

Getting where I am right now has been a painfully long process. In reality, everyone’s life is just a painfully long process from birth to wherever they are now I guess. I could start my story in childhood, which my therapist says probably was invalidating and hindered my emotional development or some next drama, but it’s not important. I had a nothing but lovely childhood. My conscious awareness of some sort of emotional issue probably started in my teens. At around 13, I started drinking, smoking, getting high, liking boys and self-harming. Self-harm at that point wasn’t weird. My friends all did it too, I just took it further, and never really stopped. I think looking back, I probably was a little more nervous and a little unhappier than my peers, but at the time I wasn’t emotionally capable of looking outside my own world and hindsight is often a fallacy. I got good at self-harming, and even better at hiding it.

By 15, no one talked about it, but I still did. I also started having panic attacks all the time. I went to my GP and got my first mental health diagnosis – depression and panic disorder. Off I went to some fairly dull and pointless counselling, which may have been great if I’d engaged with it, but at 15, how many people can be fucked?

I got through college with a lot of cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, self-harm and boys. I got through it well and did really quite good considering, but that life had its toll. Too many nights of too much excess in clubs I was definitely too young to be in led to me completely crashing emotionally. Just before my exams. I spent weeks in bed, ran away to Yorkshire, spent more weeks in bed and was dragged to my GP again. Again, the diagnosis was depression. This time I was prescribed Prozac (and later citalopram), told to go to the surgery counsellor and sent on my way.

I didn’t go to the counsellor. Instead, I ran off to Bristol for university. My first year of uni was properly batshit cray. Antidepressants, a change in contraceptive pill, dropping all my hobbies and friends and family to enter the horror of finding new hobbies and friends was all a little much. My self-harm and generally crazy behaviours went into overdrive and behind closed doors (but in front of my unfortunate, but ultimately a prick new boyfriend), I became the most dramatic crazy person ever. Inefficiently executed suicide attempts, blood and sharpie markers all over me and my dorm, running away, cold showers with all my clothes still on, half a litre of vodka each night, drugs wherever I could find them. It was messy, but with no follow up from my GP, it all went unnoticed. 

When I finally cold turkey gave up the antidepressants at the end of summer, I was fucking miserable and doing seriously terrible at uni. I hated myself, I felt like a failure and I didn’t know what to do. Lucky for me, I quickly found losing weight. I focused myself on to eating healthy and going to the gym and found something I was good at. I was bloody fantastic at losing weight. It made me feel good. It made me feel proud. It made me feel in control (finally). So I did that, and I dropped self-harm, got substantially less trashed, was able to focus on university and slowly became more and more focused on losing weight. That went on for the next three years and I ended up seriously underweight and trapped in anorexia, obsessing over food and exercise. Still, I did good at uni and I graduated well, so started and MA.

Halfway through my MA, I became so critically ill that, after being shipped around various primary care therapy services, I was referred to a specialist eating disorders unit (EDU) and started actually getting treatment. I was so unwell, my uni boyfriend from Bristol wound up dumping me and we spent the next year and a half breaking up. Turns out he was an abusive bastard and I couldn’t see it. Years of domestic from someone I loved is pretty hard to deal with if you don’t have an eating disorder to escape from it.

For a while, I was still too unwell with anorexia to really noticed what it was providing me, so I was still focused and obsessed enough to complete all my taught units in my MA, but by my last assignment (two years after starting my MA), I was almost out of treatment with my EDU, emotionally disastrous, self-harming everyday, on and off of antipsychotics and mood stabilisers, back on antidepressants and in and out of hospital for stitches, glue and lethal overdoses (I’d got smarter since I was last like this, so way more efficient. Intelligence isn’t always a good thing). It was around this time my EDU diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder and referred me to my local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). By this point, I was too ill to even contemplate a dissertation so decided to defer my assessment.

This last year, I’ve been in dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT – specialist therapy for people with borderline), but I’ve also been honing my alcohol and Valium misuse to block out all my difficult thoughts and emotions, and topping them off with whatever other substances head my way. I went into another relationship with yet another person who doesn’t know how to treat their partner and wound up homeless, scarred, broke and an addict. I hadn’t realised I was an addict until a few weeks ago when I was told. I thought I was going to be able to finish my degree this year, have some time off and hopefully start a PGCE and I was finally letting myself get some hope that I might be able to catch up to my peers and actually set up some sort of life I can be proud of. That’s suddenly looking less likely right now. I’m now in a drug and alcohol treatment program 3-4 days a week, individual DBT once a week, group. DBT once a week, my day programme key worker once a fortnight, my Community Drug and Alcohol Team (CDAT) case worker once a fortnight, my Community Recovery Team (CRT – previously my CMHT) psychiatrist once a month and my CRT social worker at some point and some amount. And you know I might be in rehab in a few months.

So here I am. Worst. Month. Ever. I’m actually pretty fucking unhappy right now, but I’m sure that’s not exactly hard to guess. Apparently (according to mental health workers), I suffer ‘severe and enduring’ mental health problems, I’m ‘high risk’ of serious injury, physical illness or death, I’m ‘low functioning’ and have a limited ability to independently thrive within mainstream society and I have ‘complex needs.’ I guess I have got a kinda complex case – you can tell by the amount of people involved in my care (it’s got to the point where it’s overwhelming and confusing).

Still, I’m smart, articulate and jokes, plus try so hard to be nice to people. For some unknown reason, I fully believe this pessimist shit sells me short. I don’t want to be in treatment or care or whatever all my life. I think I’ve got potential. I’ve got through a lot and still have a load more to do, but maybe I can be more then all these unhelpful labels.

Anyway, I’ve blogged before, mostly about my recovery from anorexia. I didn’t realise it’d get more complicated after that and I let a lot of my real life friends read it. I’m not all that sure about sharing addiction and self harm problems with my real life friends yet is a good idea, but I don’t like hiding away. I found it really helpful blogging though, and I think maybe blogging more would be useful still. It might not be though. Or maybe I’ll be too high to look at it. We’ll see I guess.

If you got this far, thank you for reading. Wish me luck.

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Filed under Addiction, bad day, bpd, CDAT, CMHT, eating disorder, fuck, general, Housing, HTT, life, Mental health, NHS, rant, rubbish, self harm, therapy, university

differences and change.

So it’s been a while since I last posted and a lot has gone on. I’ve written a lot of posts and I’ve written, lots of diary entrances when I haven’t had access to computers, but like, after being kicked out, evicted, sponging off my best friend, being dumped, gaining a social worker, a suicide attempt, hospitalisation, running away from hospital, a lot of time under the HTT, losing a social worker and gaining a new one, graduating DBT group and finishing individual therapy, completing level one addiction treatment at Turning Point, more time under the HTT, completing an Intuitive Recovery course with Turning Point (getting me a level one qualification in health and social care as well!), finally getting my own flat at the end of March (all be it through the council and it’s medium mental health supported) and yesterday I finally got internet! It’s been really bloody hectic but I have some posts. I don’t know whether I should even post them as it’d be backdating so much. Or if anyone would read this. Or if I should start a new blog. This began as an eating disorder recovery blog and has definitely changed direction quite a lot, but I’m trying really hard to build up a life outside of my mental health problems, and maybe this would tie me to them, or maybe this could help me see how far I’ve really come. I duno. Maybe it could help others who have gone through similar stuff. Maybe that’s just arrogance.

If there are any readers out there, lemme know what you think.

Lovelove x.

(ps. Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with everyone. I’ve not had internet access and I’ve gone through a lot the past few months. I feel rubbish. I hope you’re all ok x.)

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Filed under Addiction, bpd, eating disorder, Hospital, Housing, HTT, life, NHS, recovery, self harm

confusing times

Hiya guys! I wonder if anyone even remembers this blog exists. I sure don’t most of the time. A lot has changed I guess. I think the biggest, bestest change is that I really don’t worry about food that much. I stay around the same weight, though I duno how much that is because I haven’t weighed myself in about six months. I know my clothes all fit the same, basically all the time. And it’s a healthy size too. So for an eating disorder blog, there seems to be a distinct lack of eating disorder happening. I just eat – sometimes healthy, sometimes McDonald’s. I still have a bit of a problem with drinking calories, but I do when I really want to and it has no real negative impact on my life, doesn’t play on my mind and doesn’t give me unreal amounts of guilt so I don’t think it’s a problem.

It’s been quite nice taking a super long time off blogging because its given me time to get away from that eating disorder mindset. I haven’t focused on it and I don’t think about it too much. It’s good. Great in fact. I’ve been moving on and I’m doing well and kinda losing that bit of my identity. I mean, it still is plays a part in making me who I am, but in a kinda positive way. I eat a whole load of junk and I don’t have mad guilt. I now just think “I’m eating this because its tasty and I enjoy it and it makes me feel good.” I don’t even think about calories. I don’t read food packaging religiously. I just eat, but whilst actually thinking positively about it and enjoying food as it should be enjoyed really. I duno if I would have got to this point without having been eating disordered in the first place. I duno if I would have actually ever been able to reach a point where food is just enjoyable and good, with no baggage. And I feel fucking awful for anyone that struggles to eat without mental drama of some sort. Being a girl that eats like a beast is now a part of who I am. I like that.

What other things are new…

Well I’m basically living south of the river now (ergh) with some friends. There was essentially this huge dramarama involving self-harm, overdosing, stitches and Gym.  It really wasn’t his fault, but he was trashed and responded badly, then he was banned from my home so we moved to his. Then he got evicted, so we moved to whoever would have us. My friends said they’d put him up for a month and me up as long as I want. It’s good to get some space from what’s going on at home and I’m intending on heading back there, but for now I’m back in the family homestead.

See, I’m not sure I even have any blogging friend anymore. I’m not sure anyone who might read this will understand me or even care. I used to have blog friends, but I disappeared for almost a year. I got wrapped up in a boy who I love and gave all I have too. I lost myself entirely and in truth, I didn’t mind. I got attached in a really BPD way. He was my all or nothing. My emotional self became entirely reliant and I began to need him in a way I guess he didn’t respond to. I find trust almost impossible, find it hard to have him leave for a little while because it feels like rejection and I get desperate for him to stay. I try and fix anything and go to completely ridiculous extents. In one argument, he wanted space and tried to leave whilst I ended up on my knees, crying and begging him to stay. He controlled all my love and all my anxiety. I can understand my illogical, broken thinking, but it still effects my emotions and behaviours. Our arguments became fierce. My whole self became dependent on him.

At the same time, his life has kinda fallen apart. He’s homeless, with terrible credit and a job with shit pay. He’s shit at saving as well which doesn’t help and hasn’t got a great support network. He needs to sort his shit out. I’ve done nothing but try to help, but apparently my help wasn’t very good. In his opinion, he isn’t in a position to have a relationship right now. I get it, but it’s killing me.

Apparently I’m also too much. I rely on him too much and became too much of a priority for him. I stressed him though. I call too much, text too much, need to see him too much. I rely on him to help me be ok. He can’t do it right now and fix his own life up. He says it’s just too much. He says he loves me and does want a relationship right now, but he needs a break. A break to fix up his life whilst I fix up mine. A break of an undisclosed amount of time.

I didn’t want a break. I wanted to step back from the relationship, but keep a relationship going. He didn’t. We decided we’d stay friends during the break. We’d still contact each other, see each other a little etc., but then I think he changed his mind. He wants to emotionally detach from me. I don’t want this at all. I don’t even know if we’re good together but I want him in my life so much. So I sent him a text telling him what I was up to, but a few hours later he text me to tell me how much it wasn’t ok. I was out at a party, having a really nice time, totally trashed, but these texts devastated me. I had to go home, in absolute mountains of tears, too trashed to deal with it and hurting too much to understand.

We ended up texting last night. He told me it’s either no contact or break up. I said I needed time to think about it and he gave me the night. Then changed his mind that I had a night and stopped communication then and there. I don’t know if we’ve broken up or not. I also don’t understand how the break would end if we’re not talking and there’s no end date. He text in the middle of the night to explain why he was being a bit of a dick, but didn’t explain anything or apologise.

So now I’m just confused and hurting and I don’t know what to do. It sucks out really. Apparently I love him and he loves me, but maybe we can’t talk and maybe we can. Maybe we’ve broken up, maybe we’re on a break. I can’t ask because contacting might make him angry and hate me more. I don’t know what I want or what he wants and I’m desperately sad. I’m so sad because I’m so confused. It’s so unpredictable and unstable and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know whether to move on or keep where I am. I feel really horrible and I can’t turn to the person I care most about to help me.

Logic and emotion always fighting.

And what sucks the most is that I do think I’m making progress. I’ve been in treatment essentially since I met him and I am moving forward. My risk behaviours are way down. Almost none at all. I haven’t taken any really damaging overdoses or self harmed in months. I’m relying more heavily on drugs and alcohol to get through, but that’s less damaging. Maybe. The other day I was too trashed, slipped on a space hopper and broke my nose and possibly my teeth so it’s still a little bit damaging. My treatment is going good I think. I’m getting a new psychiatrist who I’m seeing tomorrow. I’m going to ask for maybe a mental health social worker if I can. I have housing and money problems now. My family home is supportive right now, but I don’t think it’s helping my mental health. After the drama, I feel kinda at a loss here. I love my family dearly, but after the drama and all the talk of not wanting to support me and how it’d be easier for them if I wasn’t here, it makes me need to go. I don’t know. I’ll be south of the river againIn a few days really. I have to learn to rely on myself. Money is a problem. My lack of structure is a difficulty. Basically, I’m in need to carving out a little life for myself.

So we’ll see. I’m going to hopefully start blogging a bit more about treatment and the steps I need to move forward and all that business. I want to start this up as a recovery blog again, but right now I’m not feeling strong in recovery right now. I thought maybe if I got this self indulgent stuff out of my system and started to find an outlet to talk about recovery techniques and skills and stuff again, maybe I could find some independent recovery focus again. I duno. It might not work and I might not keep the blogging up. We’ll see.

I’m going to read some blogs now. Distract myself from what’s happening right now and hopefully feel a little better. I think I need a lot of distraction right now. A lot of self soothe techniques, and general distress tolerance skills. Maybe I’ll blog about them soon.

I doubt anyone will I read this but maybe it’ll help me. Maybe write again soon.

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Filed under bad day, bpd, CMHT, coping strategies, eating disorder, general, life, rant, recovery, therapy

back again

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Filed under bpd, coping strategies, eating disorder, IMPART, life, recovery, therapy

things in the last few days.

Wednesday 14th November 2012

So I’ve been having a bit of a blog break. My world has been a moody, hectic and stressful. I withdraw from the blog world when things are rubbish. Things are a bit rubbish right now.

The biggest rubbish thing is that Juno is very, very unwell. She started vomiting everything she ate and got really weak and feeble. The Fam took her to the vets last night and she needed an emergency operation, which she had in the middle of the night last night. Turns out, she’d swallowed a peach stone and it’d got stuck in her intestine. It’d completely blocked her gut and her gut had started to grow around it, so it was becoming a part of her. If we’d left it any longer, her gut would have probably ruptured overnight and she would have died, but she’s healthy and young and got there in time so she looks like she’s going to be ok. They had to remove six inches of her gut, and they also spayed her so she’s pretty unwell right now. She’s still at the vets to be monitored, plus she’s super doped up on painkillers, but me and the Brother got to visit her today and she seemed pleased to see us. Her bat ears stuck up and she rested her head on us and ate a little food and drank a little water. Hopefully she’ll be home on Friday (if everything goes as smoothly as it seems right now), but we won’t know for sure if she’s fully healed till a weeks time. Luckily, they don’t think there’ll be any lasting complications. Fingers crossed.

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Juno at the vets, snuggling the Brother

So yer, right now I have no dog and I’m worried and sad and have no one to look after me in that way that dogs look after you. They really do save you sometimes. I miss her and she’s only been gone a day. I hate not having a dog around. So much.

On top of this, our kitchen has just started being redecorated. This is stressful in an eating disorder way (obvs.), but also because my house is full of people and its loud and hard to feel comfortable. They turn up, bump into HTT, smash things and generally lead to me hiding away. I hate people in my house, especially when I’m meant to be home alone. I like my alone time. It’s important to me. I like empty space sometimes.

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The £2,000 peach stone

There are good points to it though. In one of my more hyper moments, I decided to create an incredibly selfish Facebook event in which I invite myself to people’s houses for dinner so that they can cook me nice foods to make the transition a little easier. I’ve been struggling with food a bit recently and I’ve lost a couple of kilos, so I think it’s important to try keep my eating up regardless. I figured what better to kick an eating disorder sneaking back in than letting other people cook me normal people meals. I used to find other people cooking for me horrific, then uncomfortable, but now fine. I figure this way, I’m less in control and will probably at least maintain a vaguely healthy weight for a while. Maybe I’ll even gain some weight. That’d probably be a good thing if it does happen. It’s only two weeks. Plus I’ll get to spend a little more time with my friends, which is always fun. Yesterday I saw a couple of people and their aces gecko Ricardo and we ordered Thai and drunk wine and gin and I had a nice time. It was good to see people. Especially people I don’t see enough and actually really like.

But yer, the kitchen makes life more difficult. It’s annoying and makes eating hard. Especially with Valium withdrawal. Valium withdrawal symptoms come and go in varying intensities, but it basically sucks out. I occasionally break and end up taking more than I should, but it is so hard you have no idea. It’s like the worst flu ever – tremors run through your entire body, you’re exhausted but can’t sleep, you get extreme fluctuations in body temperature and mood, my brain is louder, my appetite is just gone, there’s dizziness and generally feeling like you could collapse at any point, your head gets foggy and everything gets less real, you shake and have that not sleep you get with a fever, nightmares, increased urges self-injurious thoughts, anger, irritability, feeling like you literally might be about to die because you can’t breathe, feel nauseous and so dizzy you literally cannot stand. It’s shit. Another reason blogging has been a little rubbish recently.

Another stress had been the major amount of life admin I’ve had to go through recently. Sorting out my freedom pass, upgrading my phone with O2 and Carphone Warehouse, sorting out the Ma’s new phone contract, switching banks, sorting out a new student bank account, trying to work out uni, sorting out deferring my Professional Careers Development Loan due to being in benefits, having no money. It basically means I’ve spent what feels like years on hold. On hold to O2, Carphone Warehouse, NatWest, Co-Operative Bank, Tesco Mobile, Job Centre Plus, university etc. Urgh. I actually feel like I’ve done so much, but it’s probably haven’t done all that much really. I still haven’t decided if I want to insure my iPhone and iPad, so that might be a little bit more admin, but it’s like the least important bit left.

Treatment is also really bringing me down. I’m hating on the HTT, arguing with CDAT, telling the Psychologist I hate him more than anyone else and how he can’t help me, telling everyone off, shouting at the IMPART group that I’m never coming back because they suck. I don’t even know if I need help, but everyone thinks I do and I don’t know what to do about it. Double urgh.

Thursday 15th November 2012

So I did my finish my post yesterday – I got too Valium ill. Sorry.

Things are a bit brighter today because I got to pick up Juno from the vet because the recovery has been going so well. She’s going to need special food and special medications and special walks for a week, but she’s doing well. She’s very confused from all the painkillers and I think they make life a little difficult, but she’s beautiful and home and the vets all really like her and she doesn’t even have to wear a cone on her head because she’s been so good and isn’t even touching her stitches because she’s so well-behaved. I love my puppy so much. I’ve been appointed supreme pup watcher for the next week so I’m going to be well on watching her to keep her safe. She makes me so happy. I’m still scared, but it looks like she’s going to be ok. I now have a purpose again – keep Juno safe and healthy and happy.

I also actually went to my IMPART group today. It wasn’t as bad as the past few weeks, but I think I’ve realised that I’m actually quite behind where a lot of others in the group are right now. I’m pretty sure I’m the youngest and I’m pretty sure that I’m not as good at managing my emotions and impulses as most of them. What they are showing us seems impossible right now. Today, it was anger and anxiety management, but it was all like “in between the trigger and the behaviour, you have all this time to intervene and stop your thought processes etc.”, but all I could think was “what time between trigger and behaviour? There is no time between trigger and behaviour.” It made me feel pretty useless. I don’t think I can stop my impulsive behaviours. I honestly don’t know how. In showing me how, I got to listen to what other people do and it was all like “exercise” which I can’t do without going overboard, or “learn to be assertive” or “step outside the situation.” I am really not good at being assertive and have pretty poor interpersonal skills. I do ok with the people who know me really well, but not so much with new people, and even when the people I’m in love with make me feel too much, I often react in the wrong ways. They deal with it though. I think there’s a general feeling within my friendship circle that I’m not actually the problems, which makes my friends super aces. I’m just realising I really don’t have any coping mechanisms for managing my emotions. Except self-harm, spending money, not eating and getting fucked. Way to go Ellie – fucking useless at self-regulation. Triple urgh.

I am actually complying with treatment though. Kinda. I struggle with the Valium thing a bit, and I drink too much and smoke too much, self-injure too much. I know this, but I’m not trying to fix it because I don’t have any other ways too. Still, I actually went to all my appointments. On most days, I do actually get dressed and out of bed, even if I haven’t slept much. I am really trying to be budget and to eat lots and to stay as safe as possible. I don’t call the HTT as much as I should, but I don’t like them as a whole unit. They can’t keep me safe from myself and I won’t let them really. Maybe I’m half complying.

The thing is, although I’m taking some action to get better, I’m not sure if I believe I’m ill or deserve help or need to get better or have the motivation to. Intense emotions suck out, but sometimes they are great because intense love and intense happiness and intense excitement are really fabz. However fleeting and uncontrollable these emotions may be, I honestly believe I feel them stronger than other people. I know black and white thinking can be bad – everything is all or nothing. However, I have a strong sense of right and wrong and I like that. When applied to myself, it sucks, when applied to outside circumstances, I have a strong opinion and without the grey, I gain passion. Sure, my identity and opinions can change rapidly depending on my surroundings, but I think it means I am more able to empathise with other people sometimes as I really do absorb their views so whole heartedly. My impulsivity around things like drugs and alcohol and shopping etc. make me more fun to be around sometimes. Sure, the dissociation, negative self-beliefs, parasuicidal behaviours, impulsivity when alone etc. suck, but there are positive things about the way I am now. And that’s the thing – this is who I am. I don’t know if I want to be anyone else. I’m taking action, yet I see the positives and don’t know if I’m ready for change.

Still, being unable to work and being unable to do the things I want to do and struggling every fucking day might make this all worth it. I just don’t like knowing what’ll be left of me when this is all done. Will I even be me? I hate not knowing.

But finally, some other great news – my uni have decided to waive my fees and make me a part-time student so I can access all the support I need. This makes me supez happy. It’s also scary as it means I’ll actually have to finish my degree this year, but I have a whole year to do a dissertation so hopefully it’ll be ok. I’m scared, but at least I’m able to access any support I need. Fingers crossed. Once my freedom pass shows up, I’ll be back at uni to try sort it all out.

So goods and bads and lots in between. This is some sort of update I guess. I hope you’re all well.

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Juno having a nap – home again :)

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Filed under bad day, bpd, CDAT, coping strategies, eating disorder, HTT, IMPART, Juno, life, recovery, therapy, Uncategorized, university

when i leave my journal at home.

This is going to be a very long, very personal post. Most of it is going to be in my handwriting so if you can’t read it, I apologise. I think it’s reasonably legible, but who knows what anyone else will think. It’s fine if you can’t be fucked. I write quickly and in a lengthy manner and because it’s handwritten, it’s not edited or anything. I’m also going to put lots of pictures because photos are nice. If there’s a photo of you and you want me to remove it, just lemme know. Here goes…

Then, in order of mention in these pages (most of these pictures come from my camera. The ones that don’t, I have no idea who took. Even some of the ones that are could have been taken by anyone. Sorry if you read this and you know it was you and I didn’t mention):

Juno chasing a ball in the park.

Juno being incredibly cute. German Shepard/Border Collie cross pups are too lovely!

Now I start my actual today drama, but in photos:

Me before university and before any weight issues.

First year photos:

An intense and completely mental relationship with the Boy in first year. Obvs.

A very small amount of my first year crazy. I’ve never taken pictures of my self harm, and if I had I wouldn’t put them online. Sometimes, when I’m feeling strong, I cover myself in sharpie marker to express how I feel.

Which the Boy tried to make better. Excuse my icky toes. I know they are bad.

That was a bad year. But second year was actually ok see?:

The beginning of second year – Three stone overweight (not in BMI terms, though I was overweight, but in terms of what my set point seems to be now) and at the very beginning of losing weight. At the zoo. Looking at the lion.

Christmas Eve 2008. I’m about the weight I am now and very excited (obvs. because Christmas Eve is the best day of the year ever!).

Being normal(ish) in love.

Having fun times with the Fam and famo friends (that’s the Brother eating a snail in France btw).

Visiting home friends.

And them visiting me.

Making uni friends.

And dressing up for bad club nights with them.

And going to pubs too!

That was my normal second year. Here are some pictures to illustrate how nang Bristol is:

See? Bristol is very pretty.

Ok so this isn’t my department, but I didn’t take any pictures of my department. This is where I graduated though. It too is basically a castle.

Brilliant clubs: Lab.

Motion.

I think this was Shit the Bed or Tribe of Frog at Lakota. I was too high to take a good picture so the quality is rubbish, but you get the point.

1920s Hip-Hop night at Lab. This was really good. Like really really.

Hallowe’en at Black Swan. I really love this photo.

These are now just going to be pictures of and from Clifton Suspension bridge in all its glory. They’re all from the day I graduated (so all these pictures were taken by the Dad obvs.). It’s so nice there. One of my favourite places in the world to be ever:

And for the hell of it, because it’s not on the internet anywhere – This is me at graduation:

This is like the only nice picture of me that day I swear.

And finally, me now:

Well kinda. I’ve cut and dyed my hair since. Plus I was so drunk and high and on a lot of Valium. I mostly don’t look this silly. (I have to give Walker credit for this photo).

I still have a thing about sharpie marker pens… Trust me, most days its all over the places you can’t see.

And for the hell of it:

Isn’t she just the best thing ever? I really really love my dog.

So there you go. Lots of photos so this post is nicer to look at. Plus it’s lots of happy memories, which kinda makes me sad, but is what I need right now. It’s a lot of insight into my brain and also my life, but I thought it’d be nice to share a little. I hope you enjoyed it.

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Filed under bad day, bpd, eating disorder, Juno, life, rant, recovery, university

remission/recovered.

Today was a big day in terms of treatment. Like a really big day.

Firstly, I had an appointment with the Psychiatrist at my EDU. Obviously, I was weighed. It was down from last time by a few kilos, but I think that’s due to natural variation due to time of the month, what I’d eaten etc. Still well within the healthy range though. My BMI has settled to a healthy 21 (ish), regardless of what I eat or how much I exercise. I’m getting a whole load better at understanding my hunger signals – I eat whatever, whenever. Today I even had a greasy spoon sausage baguette (don’t judge me. It’s literally one of my favorite foods. Deep fried, bad quality sausage in a buttered white baguette tastes so boom its almost obscene) which is something I never thought I’d ever eat again. The Psychiatrist was so pleased with my progress. She said it was really surprising considering some of the shit I’ve had to deal with whilst with them, yet I stuck with the treatment plan fairly consistently for an eating disorder patient and that she’s really impressed with my perseverance. She has pronounced me eating disorder free! I know that my eating is something I have to keep my eye on (probably forever) as relapses are common and eating disorder behaviours can sneak back in or manifest themselves in different ways, but right now, I live basically eating disorder free. It’s actually really good. Life is a lot less tense. Plus I actually am getting used to my body and don’t entirely hate it. I’m almost sad that summer is over because I can’t wear crop tops as much any more. Today I did wear an incredibly tight, incredibly short black dress though so it’s not like I’m ashamed of my body. I don’t even think I’m that big. I look big sometimes, other times not so much. I eat what I like, but I don’t want to eat everything. I don’t have weird cravings to eat all the dried fruit or all the calcium or all the nut butter or all the honey. Some of my recovery foods seem a little bit sickly now. It’s ok though. I don’t always want biscuits or chocolate or chips, but when I do, I can eat them happily. I can and do eat whatever I like, yet I don’t actually want to eat everything, all the time. I didn’t think it’d ever be possible again. Sometimes I eat so much cake I feel a bit sick, but I don’t purge and my weight doesn’t change and it doesn’t upset me too much. Sometimes I don’t eat enough, so I grab some extra fruit or have some cereal or whatever. It is entirely possible to get to this point. You’d think it wasn’t, but it is. I’m even losing my food morality things. I used to thrive in the moral superiority in eating low-calorie, low-fat, lots of veggies, lots of fibre, lots of fruit, or nothing at all, especially when other people are eating around me. Now I’ll happily munch on some chips smothered in salt and pepper in front of everyone I know. I’ll even make chip sandwiches because they are too lovely (carbs go so well with other carbs I swear). It’s not hard to order something I know is higher calorie than what people around me eat. The best bit is that I don’t think about food or plan food or count calories 24/7. And my fat is redistributing a bit. My belly isn’t too big – it’s kinda soft and nice. My arms look so much healthier it’s ridiculous. I actually think my legs are well buff, even though my thighs definitely touch, almost entirely.

So yer, I’ve basically been discharged from my EDU. I never have to be weighed by anyone but myself for the forseeable future and that makes me happy. I hate other people weighing me. I like to weigh myself first thing, naked, before a shower which might be weird, but it’s entirely fine because it doesn’t disrupt my life at all. I’m just more comfy when I’m at my lowest possible weight of the day, but I’m also fine with the fact that that weight will increase as the day goes on, I just don’t have to see it. I’m never going to see my EDU psychiatrist or dietitian or family therapist again. It actually makes me happy. The only reason I’m not fully discharged is because I’m still seeing the Psychologist until I’m under the care of a more appropriate service because he thinks it’s crucial that I have regular contact with mental health services. I’m a “high risk” and “unstable” patient so the NHS have to know whether I need urgent intervention or crisis care. As soon as I’m under more appropriate care though, I’ll be out of the EDU. Hopefully forever. I’ll be really sad when I lose the Psychologist, but I’m happy to be out of the rest of it because I honestly don’t feel like I belong there anymore. It took over a year, but I just don’t think I need their help any longer. I am thankful to them in every way though. I know lots of people have terrible experiences of eating disorder (and mental health more generally) treatment on the NHS, but I can really only sing their praises. There are obviously issues with waiting lists and being able to contact your psychiatrists and stuff, but without their treatment, I’d probably still be sick. The treatment the offered me was all in line with the best evidence based treatment I’ve learnt and researched about. I had regular contact with everyone on my team, there was a heavy focus on refeeding as the single most important aspect of initial treatment, an emphasis on reaching a BMI over 20 and flexible care that tailored around my needs as they changed. They’ve been so brilliant. I literally could not see a way out of anorexia, but with their help I found one and I’m all the better for it.

So now I’m no longer classified as having anorexia nervosa or an eating disorder or disordered eating or anything. I’m ‘recovered’ or ‘in remission’ or however you’d like to put it and I intend to stay that way. Ker-fucking-ching.

Today was also the day of my initial assessment for IMPART. It was basically a screening for all axis II disorders, so all the different personality disorders were checked for. I can officially say that I don’t have antisocial or narcissistic or schizotypal or histrionic or avoidant or dependant or schizoid or paranoid or obsessive compulsive personality disorders. That is good news. That’s so many mental health problems I don’t have to worry about.

However, I did finally receive an official diagnosis. Only a personality disorder specialist psychiatrist can officially diagnose personality disorders and now, it’s official – I have borderline personality disorder. Although I already knew that, I kinda hoped it would turn out to not be true and that a specialist would tell me I was fine. I also hoped they’d tell me it was true so I could be given the hope that I might one day have a better quality of life. It’s a mixed bag of emotion. Apparently I score very highly on the borderline part of the test and am considered to be “severely affected” by the disorder. I guess I knew that already, but I hate when people say it. The assessment was over two hours long. It was seriously hard work and incredibly stressful, but I got through it.

So now I’m on another waiting list – this time for a psychologist to become free to take on my treatment. Apparently its six to eight weeks, though it could be shorter because I was one of the earlier ones to receive a round one assessment after the summer break and they still have a lot behind me. The psychologist may decide that I’m not suitable for treatment with IMPART at all so again, it’s scary. I tend to think that everyone will see that I’m not deserving of help so I always assume people will think I’m completely fine and don’t need their help and be told to go away. The second assessment tries to work out what the best course of treatment is for each individual. It also screens for any axis I mental health problems which may need to be treated before treatment for BPD can begin. Thankfully, because many people with personality disorders have suffered trauma, PTSD won’t rule me out, and because substance abuse is high in people with BPD, that won’t rule me out either. Both are treated within the service. If, for example, I was still suffering with anorexia, that would have to be treated for that first so IMPART wouldn’t take me on. I don’t consider myself depressed (even though I have that diagnosis right now) and I don’t think anxiety would be too much of an issue for them as it’s probably part of the BPD package. Seeing as I have no other diagnosis and don’t think anything else is wrong with me, I hope it’ll be ok. I’m worried about it though. If they take me on, I could be offered 6, 12 or 18 months treatment of CBT or DBT, but the woman who assessed me thinks it’s pretty likely I’ll be offered 12 or 18 months DBT, considering my high risk behaviours and BPD score level, with options to continue treatment if necessary after the completion of the initial time frame. That’ll involve a weekly group session and a weekly individual session. There’s also a possibility I’ll be put into other group therapies like mindfulness group or anxiety group, but that’ll be worked out at the next assessment. She also thinks my treatment will involve regular telephone consultations with whoever my psychologist ends up being. It all sounds pretty intense and apparently it’s actually a lot of hard work, but so was my eating disorder treatment so I’m hopeful I can manage it.

For now though, I have been given her work mobile number to contact her with any queries or questions, either through call or text. I’ve also been invited to join a group session specifically designed for people in this phase of treatment – all the people with personality disorders who are waiting for their second round of assessments. I don’t know if I’ll go yet. It’s quite far away from my house and in an area I don’t know that well and I get pretty scared in places I don’t know. It’s essentially a starter group for CBT and DBT style treatments and to get comfortable working in a group, as well as keeping in contact with the service in order to remain more likely to comply with treatment. We’ll see I guess. I also got a self-help pack. No lie – the NHS have stated that if I’m feeling distressed, I can comfort myself by smoking a cigarette. They also suggest making a secret code, smashing a watermelon, having a polo, trying to wake up before lunch time, building a house of cards, staying in bed, eating chocolate, asking a friend to hold me and creating my own cartoon legend (yes they did use the word legend). There are other things as well, but those are the strangest. There’s also some stuff on relaxation exercises, emotional health and mindfulness in it, as well a lot of numbers to call in a crisis. I got given a crisis card to keep with me as well (in case I ever need to contact crisis services out and about).

All in all, it’s been a very emotional, hard, happy and stressful day. So much to think about – both good and bad. I’m both optimistic and devastated. Excited and anxious. Happy and sad. It’s a lot to take in and I think I might need a little bit of time to recover from it all. Lots of sleep and puppy times ahead I hope.

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Filed under bpd, eating disorder, life, NHS, recovery