Tag Archives: choice

what i’ll be thinking about this valentine’s day.

There are a few blog posts I want to do. I want to put up the skills I’m learning in DBT, I want to look at some of the stuff I’m doing to actually try and stuff, but for now I’m going to talk about relationships and BPD because that’s what’s on my mind. This is a bare long post. Sorry.

The Internet is literally full of people giving their opinions on dating people with BPD. Most of these opinions are pretty fucking negative. There are websites devoted to “How to tell if you’re dating a crazy, borderline girl”, why you should never get involved with someone with BPD (it’s been suggested that we have no empathy and are actually evil), and even a “How to train your borderline” site for those stupid enough to take us on. Apparently we make bad girlfriends, boyfriends, fiancés, husbands, wives, partners, whatever really.

Now, I really fucking hate the internet sometimes. It seems to be full of guys that hate that they got dumped, seeking revenge by writing out how their ex “must have BPD”, but at the same time, some of the hateful articles out their do have some elements of truth I guess, and that’s what makes me really upset.

I’m starting a new relationship right now. I have no real expectation of where it will go. I like Gym some ridiculous amount. He makes me laugh and tells me nice things and is very silly and jumps around my bedroom with me and thinks it’s a good idea to take leftover drugs at 4am because its lolz and I find him bare attractive and its all kinda good right now. I didn’t want to like him. I was looking for an easy fuck. I was ready to inevitably feel a bit rubbish or decide that maybe he liked me too much and run off. In the end though, he won me over. And it was all him – he kept asking me out in a joke/serious way until I eventually got annoyed at him and gave in. We are not the world’s most romantic couple, but we’ll do.

The problems come in when I think about how I relate to him. I knew exactly how to get him to want me and on some level and I do believe I kinda manipulated him to catch him in some sort of web of my spider-evilness. I don’t know how much of it is premeditated because it doesn’t feel like some sort of plan, but sometimes it feels that way. It feels like it’s a mixture of the perfect amount of filth, the perfect amount of nonchalance, the perfect amount of emotional distancing. It’s about being physically attainable, but mentally cut off. You show the right amount of flesh and the right amount of guarded psychological distress and you’re in. Its basically shouting, “I’m emotionally vulnerable, will sleep with you and expect nothing in return.” I think a lot of guys don’t expect that. I’m really upfront and confident in what I’m doing and men seem drawn to it, often because they secretly think that they can break through all the emotional defenses and maybe get to know you. You make yourself super buff so you know and they know your fucking desirable, then you feed them a slight bit of emotional drama and suddenly they’re interested. It like they good “hot AND deep…. Shit she’s different and worth knowing.” Men can be very predictable.

What makes me sad is this is what they say in all these helpful “How to spot a borderline” articles. At first, we manipulate you with sex and being damaged.  I don’t exactly do it on purpose, but at the same time, it is kinda what I do. I don’t think, “here, have this calculated amount of my drama”, but instead I try to hide the drama as much as I can. Unfortunately, a body covered in scars (old and new), regular psychiatric appointments and having mental health workers visit you daily can sometimes make hiding it hard. And I don’t look like a stereotypical sket either. I wear DMs almost everyday, cut up t-shirts, and long sleeves, it’s just I also wear a lot of eyeliner, lipstick, tacky jewellery, shorts or little skirts and have my belly out. I look obvious and I like to think it makes it seem like I’m hot, but don’t give a fuck. It might not though. And that’s just how I dress for everyone. Saying that though, every time I go out is an opportunity to meet a boy so that’s not saying much. Still, I dress with getting men in mind so I guess that this is me behaving seductively. I feel like a right idiot writing this. I don’t think I’m necessarily super attractive or anything; I just work what I’ve got.

Apparently, this sort of behavior is common in people with BPD. As a group, it seems both people writing for and against dating someone with BPD, sexuality and seduction are apparently something we do well. I don’t know if I do it well, but I know I can be a tad… inappropriate (?) to get a man’s attention. You can read a lot about how people with BPD use overt sexuality to get what they want. It’s a validation thing. It doesn’t really matter if you even like someone, they just have to want you to validate that you are attractive because they would sleep with you. You crave the validation that you can be attractive and people would want to be around you in some way, so you pick the easiest way to seek validation from people you don’t know – look shit hot and flirt like a motherfucker. When you’re turned down, you feel like fucking nothing, but most of the time you get at least some positive attention. I really hate that I do this because really, it can make you feel worthless in the long run, and also it’s gross and also it makes me a bit of a bad feminist. I disagree entirely with the idea that anyone’s worth is based on his or her levels of physical attractiveness in the eyes of others, but I apply it to myself anyway. I wish I actually didn’t give a fuck rather than sculpting an image like I don’t.

My next phase of starting a relationship is one you don’t see on the sites warning you away from people with BPD. It’s the “SHIT! RUN!” phase. You start to actually like someone and worse of all, they start to like you back. Except they don’t like you back because you suck so much and all they actually want to do is hurt you. Liking people is something that comes naturally to me. I actually pretty much like everyone, especially when they’re new. There are rules to like people (obviously). Like, if they are someone else’s (because yes, people are kinda possessions in my mind), then you can’t get too close because they’ll always be someone they like more and you’ll always be inferior so are likely to want more than they can give because other people are in the way, so you distance yourself because they can’t like you enough. You don’t want to get caught out liking someone who hates you, so you let them lead to start with. You don’t start conversations, text first or call people because they probably hate you and would find it annoying. Sometimes, when you get really caught up in someone, you break this rule with disastrous consequences. You break it when you at your most agitated, say and do thinks you regret and punish yourself for doing it later, then resolve to deliberately stay out of that persons way even more so you can’t be vulnerable. You have to take the stance that they probably don’t like you, so you protect yourself by being proactive and deciding to not like them first. This is how I make friends and to be honest, it doesn’t work very well. It takes a lot of effort to get me to loosen my grip on the rules, and generally a lot of time. In this phase, you have to be prepared to run the fuck away from people. At all points, you have to have an escape route planned. If someone actually likes you, they’re lying so you have to run. If you actually like someone, you’re vulnerable and you have to run.

I actually find myself asking people, after years of knowing them, if we can be friends now. This more often then not shocks people a little as they thought we were already friends. I however, thought they hated me the whole time.

The next phase is what I think of as the test phase. It’s not tests you plan or want to give (in fact, I try really hard to avoid them because I think they make me a bad person), but once you like someone enough and start to believe that maybe they like you, they start to play on your brain. When you get distressed, you want them to fix it, but you have no idea how to ask or what it is that needs fixing, so you start acting out. It seems pretty common for people to have an increase in BPD behaviours when starting a new relationship and I don’t think this is because we’re all horrible and manipulative. For me, it’s just I want to get someone to understand how much I hurt and to believe someone cares, so self-harming and other impulsive behaviours start escalating, and you start pulling people in to help you. It’s those blood all over you, pills across the floor, in need of hospital attention moments. If someone helps you, then maybe for a little while you think they understand, care and that maybe they can fill whatever it is that is missing. So you act out more, desperate for someone to understand and then fix you. They can’t fix you, but you hope anyway. It’s kinda like you’re testing them – seeing how far you can push someone to know they care. In the moment though, what you’re thinking is “shit. I’m vulnerable because I like someone and they hate me and I got everything wrong. Best do something to feel better. Well now I need help so I’m going to involve the first person to pop into my brain. Of course that’s the new person I’ve been upset about. Now they’re coming to my rescue. Maybe they care.” It’s a temporary release from the constant stress of not knowing for sure if someone likes you.

There’s also the obsessional, idealization phase. This one’s on those horrible websites too. The new person seems to do everything right and they quickly become the centre of your world, so you treat the accordingly. You shower them with everything positive you have to give, not for some manipulative, mean way, but because that’s how you genuinely feel. There is nothing they can do to change the fact that they are amazing, even if they really fuck up and you know that. They get all your attention, all your thoughts, all your time. You change your whole identity to fit with them, which of course doesn’t make a difference because you don’t have a real identity anyway and they are so perfect that you want to steal their identity for yourself. You start to rely on them because they are so different from people that have come before and they can give you everything you need and will save you from yourself because they have the answer to the unknown question that’s been bothering you your entire life. Apparently, this makes people feel wanted and special and is all part of the evil borderline’s plan to ruin someone’s life by luring them in through being nice.

This is me and Gym. I think this is an appropriate picture because I look like I completely adore him. I’m mostly putting it up to show off my new hair though. (He doesn’t always dress like that by the way – fancy dress party).

This is me and Gym. I think this is an appropriate picture because I look like I completely adore him. I’m mostly putting it up to show off my new hair though as the only pictures I have of it are with him blah. (He doesn’t always dress like that by the way – fancy dress party).

But like everything, this phase ends too. This is kinda where I think I am right now – that place where things start to change, inbetween the two phases. Every little thing is a sign that the other person hates you and wants to hurt you. I think it’s to do with beliefs. If you fully believe that you are awful, then you fully believe your can’t be liked. Everything becomes an attack. Youget over it because the other person does something lovely or you forget about it or whatever, and suddenly, you start to feel happy and comfy again and it’s all good. Again, it’s not even thought about, it’s just how you feel at the time. It’s constantly being on the look out for slights against you that prove your own opinions of yourself. When you get signs, everything is over; when you don’t, everything seems perfect. You’re always waiting for those signs that they’re going to hurt you though, and it’s better if you can push them away before they that happens. You avoid the future abandonment by pushing away the person who might abandon you. Then they prove they’re not going anyway and you stop pushing.

Today was a bad day for Gym and me if you hadn’t guessed yet. I got upset because he woke up unhappy and therefore he was bored of me. Yesterday, I decided he didn’t actually want to sleep with me enough so he thought I was ugly. The two thoughts together wound up in me telling him I’m considering breaking up with him because he is done with me and won’t admit it to me yet. Obviously, he responded by saying I’m an idiot and he really like me and thinks I’m super hot, but I didn’t believe him and we had this massive talk where he decided I have to just try and talk to him more about my worries rather than ruminate on them till they get too big. Maybe then I’ll trust him. Although I don’t think that’ll work, I eventually agreed to try because I actually like him and didn’t want to upset him. It was ok for a while… until I was trying to explain why I was sad again because I felt like I was ruining his day because I made him an omlette, but it was too big and he got too full. Yes, this really upset me because I ruined everything and he hated me. He told me he didn’t want to have the same conversation again because it was just long and went round in loops. I took that to mean he finds me boring so asked him to leave. As he was walking to the front door, I started raging, which he heard so came back. It went down hill from there. I was shouting and swearing and hitting myself in the head and crying and telling him how much I was failing and how much of a cunt I am and how I just fuck everything up and how much he hates me. I went on and on till he got super angry at me and started shouting “I just want a normal girlfriend. I want a girlfriend that can trust me and doesn’t tell me to leave when she’s upset and actually believes I want to be near her.” Even in his anger, he’s kinda nice. He was shouting “Why do you just think you suck at everything? You could do so much. You’re so smart, but you don’t think you can do anything when you could do anything. It makes me so angry.” The normal thing stung though. He hates it when I get worked up because he thinks I just shut down and make it difficult for him. I don’t know if I do, but still. Then he got really angry because I wouldn’t tell him I wanted to see him. I never ask to see him. Ever. He has to make the call to see me. He told me over and over to give him a straight answer, but all I could say was “There is no right answer. If I say yes, then I’m pressuring you to see me. If I say no, then I’m not giving you the attention you might want.” Eventually I just said no because it was easier than actually saying I wanted to see him. I’m vulnerable if I admit I want to see him, plus the prospect that I might become a burden is something that I’m so scared of, I’d rather not see him at all. Again, he was pissed because he just wanted me to be able to tell him I want to see him to show I care. Got that wrong as well I guess. I then asked Gym if he thought I was cut out for being in a relationship, to which he responded, “No one likes to hear this, but I just don’t think you’re trying hard enough. You’re doing everything right, just not enough.” Again, I freaked out. That just means I’m doing it wrong because I’m actually trying really hard, but it’s just not enough because I’m not enough and I suck etc.

So yer, I’ve been really worried about how BPD affects my ability to form healthy relationships. The Therapist told met trust issues are part and parcel of BPD. On top of that, a lot of this stuff seems pretty standard as far as the internet tells me. However, that doesn’t make it easier. All the information I find seems to say it is possible to have a relationship with someone with BPD, but it’s hard work. I don’t want to be hard work. I don’t want to be difficult. I want to be worth it and it just seems like I’m not. In a lot of ways, I’m beginning to think that maybe I just shouldn’t be in a relationship. Possibly ever. I’m upsetting someone I care about because I don’t know how to trust him, assume and look for the worst and have so little self-worth I can’t imagine that he even likes me. It upsets him. I find it difficult to understand why because it’s not like I don’t like him. I duno. I’m just worried I’m broken in some fundamental way that makes this all impossible. It doesn’t help that he really doesn’t understand BPD and thinks I don’t actually have it. I’m just really scared if I don’t shape up quickly, he’ll leave because I can’t give be a satisfying, “normal” girlfriend and he just has a bad time with me. I don’t know how to be different, but if I don’t learn how, I’ll probably be alone forever. I’m fucking up something good because I can’t hack being alive. Urgh.

Happy Valentine’s I guess.

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tantrums.

So  yesterday was excruciating. Seriously so. After all my talk of feeling a lot better, I get a surprise kick in the teeth from anorexia and end up in a heap on the kitchen floor, sobbing like an idiot. Beware – very long, rant of a post ahead.

I don’t think I’ve been eating enough recently. Stresses of break ups and alcohol have led me to play it a little too safe on the eating front and I don’t think I’ve been hitting my targets. Scratch that – I know I haven’t been hitting my targets. I suddenly just became really, unbearably full all the time to the extent that eating anything makes me feel sick. I’d begun to think (yet again) that maybe my body is done with gaining weight. Stupid I know – my weight was way higher than this, even before I gained weight at uni. I mean, I’m still a stone away from my target weight, which is a stone lighter than the weight of my eighteen year old self, before this whole weight mess started. I’m hoping I don’t have to get that high, though I probably will. But anyway, as I was just so physically full all the time, thought I was eating loads more than I am, maintaining my size (don’t know about weight) and feeling better mentally, I was beginning to hope that maybe I was done with the gaining thing and that if I continued the way I was, I’d probably get my periods back eventually. I was even toying with the idea of intuitive eating rather than sticking to my meal plan because I’m just so full all the time.

In a search for possible answers as to why this fullness suddenly popped up, it was suggested that I may be lapsing and under eating, thus further suppressing my metabolism. After balking at that suggestion, I went back and did some quick calorie math for the past few days. I’ve been eating a lot less than I should. Not starvation levels by any means, but never above my maintenance amounts. I thought I was eating so much more than that, but no. Not even on the days with copious alcohol and drunken crisps. Or even with chocolate pancakes covered in peanut butter, maple syrup and full fat yogurt. Not good.

I’ve believed entirely that I’m doing well, and kinda still do because things have been nicer and I do feel more cognitively sharp and I can actually concentrate on uni work now (finally! Just in time!). But I’m also not sure anymore. In yoga yesterday, we were doing a visualisation exercise where we visualised achieving our main goals. I tried so hard to think of eating more and committing to recovery and I just couldn’t. Not even to myself. I couldn’t bring myself to say in my head “I am committed to recovery”. So I burst in to tears. It didn’t help that I was next to a very small lady and spent the whole session feeling fat and ugly and very close to having a panic attack. Tears at yoga is not good. And the thing is, I have no idea whether she was actually smaller than me or not. Everything is too distorted.

This made me stop and think. Maybe things haven’t been nicer. Maybe I’ve been pandering to anorexia too much and just ignoring it. Maybe I’m just not pushing hard enough. It’s quite obvious I’m still not doing so well if the idea of eating more and being near small people makes me panic and cry in public.

So I really tried to push myself yesterday. I picked some higher calorie options and even had one of those 50g packets of McCoys that had been sitting in my cupboard for a good few weeks. I didn’t feel ok though. Not by any stretch. Eating those McCoys made me want to self-injure more than anything else. I didn’t (thankfully) and am still adding to the number of days self-harm free. But it was hard. Really hard. Just the same thoughts running through my head over and over again without any way to control them. Urgh.

Then came the dreaded discussion with the Mama about it all. I told her I think I’ve been under eating and that I’m struggling to push myself any further. That the idea of actually pushing myself further is something I’m can’t seem to get on board with. I asked her to many count calories for me, but she wasn’t keen on that idea. I asked her to cook my dinners. She said she’d maybe cook for me on Sunday, and maybe a couple of times a week to see how that goes. What I wanted her to say way “I will cook you all your dinners. I will help you make better food choices. I will take away the room for negotiation that your eating disorder likes to take advantage of”, but I let the disordered part of me have a least half the conversation, saying I like eating my meals alone, a couple of dinners a week is more than enough, I could do this by myself, she had to follow my meal plan exactly when cooking for me with no variation right now. I didn’t tell her what I needed. All the while I was trying to formulate a grocery list, knowing I needed to get away from some of the safe food options I’d been making and having no idea where to start. I asked her what I should get, but she told me we needed to rush and we’d sort if out for the next shop. I needed it to be now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it in a couple of days time. I tried to vocalise this but it got lost in eating disorder babble, so it’s not the Mama’s fault. I ended up so angry trying to plan my meals and groceries that I ended up saying “I don’t give a fuck. What’s even the point?” and storming out of my own room to cook my dinner.

But then I was faced with the daunting task of having to choose my dinner. The task I’d been trying so desperately to say I just couldn’t do.

I just stood there, tears welling in my eyes. I could not for the life of me chose. I didn’t know what I wanted, was not at all hungry, didn’t know if I should have my usual or aim for a bit more variation (should I eat meat? Or fish? Or should I make a sauce? What sauce? Noodles or rice? Or spelt? Maybe I should just have my usual? But I know that’s not ok! But what is ok? I’ve had crisps and a higher calorie cereal bar, so maybe it is ok? Maybe that’s enough for today? But is it actually? I don’t want too much… I don’t know!). Anxiety levels rose, which led to a full-blown panic attack and me crying on the floor. I was entirely paralysed by choice. I ended up just repeatedly punching my head, struggling to breathe and essentially wailing. Full blown eating disorder tantrum. It is not dignified in the slightest. It’s completely embarrassing. A twenty-two year old woman freaking out over dinner – who does that? It got so bad I’d all but given dinner up. I don’t know whether this sort of extreme choice anxiety is seen that much in people without mental health problems, but if you’ve never experienced it, I cannot describe how awful it feels. It is just so crippling. There are too many variables and too many choices and you just don’t know which one is going to be right and which one will make everything worse and there’s nothing you can do to get the answers you need. This is why people with eating disorders often need meal plans and structure – just eating more can be literally impossible because this happens. It happens to me outside of the realm of food and weight aswell, but because there is just such an overwhelming amount of food to choose from and because of my eating disorder, it mostly happens around food. The only way to lessen the anxiety becomes inaction, which in my case often means not chosing and thus not eating. Which isn’t an option anymore, leading to further panic.

And the thing that gets me is that I do actually want to gain weight. I don’t want to at the same time and I feel really huge but I know I have to. I’m 5’6.5″ and still a size 6 for Christ’s sake. Regardless of the fact that I’m the highest weight I’ve been inyears and that it’s technically regarded as healthy, this can’t possibly be a normal size. And I want to be healthy. I don’t want to settle for anything less than full-blown recovery. I don’t want to manage the illness or still be trapped by rules. Yet I think of gaining weight and my head explodes into incoherent panic babble. It doesn’t even come up with reasons why it would be bad. It feels like an instinct rather than a thought. A couple of days ago, someone said to me “I wish I had your restraint and control.” What control? Honestly, I have no control at all. I’ve managed to beat back any reasons why being small is good, but I cannot control my reaction to more food and active weight gain in the slightest. It’s so physical. I tense up like a ball, start panicking, my mind starts racing, I can’t realise the physical tension, stop being able to think. There’s no control in that. That isn’t restraint. It’s a bloody disaster.

In the end, the Mum did decide what I should eat. If she hadn’t, it would have been a write off. I had to cook it though. God forbid she add too much oil.

By the end of the day, even with the screaming and making higher calorie choices (even at dinner), I was still behind. Not enough higher calorie choices I guess. I did manage to up my calories in the end, but through tears. Tears over 25g of chocolate and half a serving of cashews and cranberries. Is this really what my life is? It’s so rubbish. I hate being like this. Still, at least I’ve learnt that my meal plan may actually be pretty accurate on the calorie front rather than the vast underestimating I’d previously assumed.

All in all, I don’t think I’m doing as well as I previously thought. My diet is still dictated my calories, even if I’m not counting them. I have so many fear foods it’s ridiculous and I’m just not challenging any of the consistently enough to break the pattern of avoidance. I really don’t eat enough fat or protein to promote the most effective repair of my damaged body because they scare me too much. My eating is most definitely not free and easy.

I’m so scared I’m going to end up at the same weight I was at eighteen. I can’t get it out of my head. I don’t want to look like that. I don’t want to be that. There is no reason why, other than the fact that I think it’d be way too big. I don’t want to be big. I’m big enough already. Too big. Except I’m not. And I know that. And I’d probably look better a bit bigger. And I want to be bigger. Except I don’t because I’m definitely getting bigger than Saturn these days. Except I’m not. But that’s what I see. My arms are huge, my thighs sometimes touch in certain position, my face is rounded and my belly is swollen like a hot air balloon. I looked at pictures of my upper body from the other night and all I see is arm. Way more arm than is necessary. I shouldn’t wear strappy tops right now. I have to hide my fat arms. And belly. And face, but it’s quite difficult to hide your face. Maybe I shouldn’t go out. My face is a disaster. All my friends are so beautiful and small. I’m just this ugly, fat planet that stands next to them and everyone wonders why I’m there because I don’t fit. I should really learn to set my aspirations lower and find people who are my level of worth rather than surround myself with people who are better than me. I’m not even funny. I can’t even bring that to the table. If I’m not small, how can I mitigate my broad shoulders, deep voice, wonky face, manly jaw and brow areas, lack of feminine shape etc. And I’m boring. I have nothing of worth to say. And my voice is so off-putting that even if I had good things to say, no one would like to hear it because my voice makes offensive noise. I don’t do anything good. And I look like a boy. And sound like a boy. Being small makes me more feminine. Most people are more feminine and attractive bigger, but I’m not. Because my body is genetically useless. Can’t fight the genes. It can’t be better, only smaller. If I’m not small, I’ll lose the one thing that made me marginally more acceptable. If I’m not small, they’ll all see how useless I really am and reject me. But I want to be healthy. I want to gain weight. I’m being an idiot. Except I’m not. Everyone knows ugly people are only acceptable if they’re small. But I don’t think that. Not about anyone else. But that’s just because the vast majority of people aren’t as horrendous as me. They all have better genes. etc.

This is the noise my brain makes 24/7. All day, every day. It never shuts up. Sometimes I can ignore it better than other times, but it’s always there. Lurking. The background noise to my life.

I hate waking up everyday and feeling ugly and worthless. I don’t remember a time when that wasn’t the case. I’d like to wake up and feel neutral about my appearance. Not even good – just neutral. Neutral would be a nice change.

So here we go again – fighting the same old problems all over again. Trying to make choices that just seem impossible. I thought about eating more today – maybe having two slices of toast over a muffin for breakfast. Or actual dairy milk. I didn’t though. After all, I want to go to a party tonight, I need to save space for drinking calories. I know this logic is flawed, but I just can’t. The choice and panic are too much. Right now, it’s a “starting tomorrow” kinda deal. Hopefully I will actually start tomorrow, and not find more reasons to put it off. I don’t know though. I honestly don’t know if I can choose the right thing anymore. I cannot trust myself.

Fucking eating fucking disorder waste gash self bloody esteem stupid body stupid confidence fucking idiot.

Urgh.

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Filed under rant, recipes

the eats report #10.

I started this yesterday, in the spirit of trying to keep myself fairly occupied so I stop obsessing about what I had wanted that day to be, I figured an eats report was long over due. I’ll probably miss a hell of a lot of good eats out of this as it’s been a while, but on the reals, I’ve been having some seriously good foods recently. Challenging myself and all that jazz. If I’m honest, eating enough and trusting that my body can deal with a variety of foods and range of calories is still something I struggle with. It gets easier, but I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable. I still have no idea what I really like or want to eat, to the effect that the ultimate goal of intuitive eating still seems so far away. I still find myself making lower calorie substitutions, measuring certain foods instead of just deciding how much I want and constantly negotiating over what my intake is on a daily basis. I’m not actively counting calories anymore and I’m trying to eat new things, but it’s difficult. I wish it wasn’t so hard. I wanted it to be easier than it is by now, but I still can’t just decide what I want and go eat it when I’m hungry like other people can. I eat at certain times, regardless of how hungry or not hungry I am. I eat foods because they are easy to deal with rather than because they sound nice. I stop eating before I’m full or eat past the point of fullness purely because that’s what my meal plan suggests. I can’t just have a cake. The cake has to be negotiated in. No part of it is free and easy.

I think this post will be useful to me as I had a disappointing weigh in yesterday. My weight hasn’t increased since my freak out over the seaside, so less than a kilo in a month. I think I may be slipping back into maintaining without really realising it. I’ve felt like I’ve been gaining a lot and getting really huge, but obviously, my perception isn’t the most trust worthy right now. I think it’d be good for me to see all the good food work I’d been doing a couple of weeks ago to help push me to get back there.

Saying that though, following my meal plan (on days when I’m home and not too hungover) is actually not a problem for me right now. My usual, routine foods are fine. It’s breaking these routines which is the problem. How do you get to the point where eating is pleasurable? Every time I eat something that varies from my usual, I have a rubbish time due to guilt and anxiety and fear. Even if the food is tasty, I’d hardly notice as the whole experience is just stressful. Still, I keep ploughing on and pushing myself and hoping it’ll become less difficult. I just wish I could see how food could just become easy and nice. How can it ever be that once you’ve filled your head with pointless nutritional facts, myths and figures? Can it ever be simple?

Urgh.

So anyway, eats. A couple of weeks ago, I was making a real effort to get more into bread. I know this sounds silly, but me and bread have a fragile relationship, fraught with bad memories and difficult associations. Granted, I didn’t exactly give bread my best shot, but I did actually buy a loaf of bakery bread! And I definitely got through about 2/3 of it before it went stale. It was honey and oat bread from Tesco and entirely sliced by my own hand. I didn’t even weigh my slices. I think a big reason I chose this one was for its size – it wasn’t very tall or wide, so the slices were smaller (I had three instead of two to make up for this though). It made it less intimidating. Plus it was a white loaf so not too much excessive fibre, but it had oats which helped counter my tumultuous relationship with the glycemic index of foods. I think I might like bread. It’s kinda left the equation again now, but I think when it was around, I was enjoying it. Fresh bread is just really nice, but I’m sure most people know that already. I got a five grain pave from Belgique today though (which I’ve quarter and put 3 bits in the freezer. One part at a time feels less intimidating) and I’ve been eyeing up the little 400g Hovis multigrain bread in Tesco bakery for a few weeks. I think that might be my next endeavour.

In an effort to combat my huge desire to eat “clean”, I’ve got this really great cereal – Tesco blueberry wheats! I didn’t look at the ingredients at all but I’m pretty sure they must be riotously processed. They’re like mini shredded wheat pillow things, but stuffed with blueberry goo. They are actually fantastic guys. They have cranberry ones and apricot ones too. They’re not exactly the worlds most sugary, highly processed cereal, but they make me happy because they feel like they might be “unhealthy”, whilst still a little bit healthy looking and a safe amount of calories for me. They are especially good with warm, unsweetened Alpro (standardly though) and surprisingly filling.

This leads me to my most thematic breakfast yet I think! I had a blueberry breakfast bonanza! Blueberry jam (from Emmerdale farm shop!) on honey and oat toast, with blueberry wheats and fresh blueberries! It was so good. I think blueberries are up there on my favourite foods front. They are so tasty and so good for you and so very pretty. Plus they are the perfect fruit for cereal as they don’t need any chopping to be teaspoon size. I used to be really antsy about getting blueberries out of season, but right now I’m just trying to sod all my food morals and eat the foods I do actually enjoy as much as possible – food morals can come later. Blueberries come now!

Blueberry Breakfast Bonanza!

Next up, I’ve made some totally aces granola recently. During my EVERYTHING MUST BE CLEAN phase, I figured “why should I be buying granola at all? I have the time, the ingredients and the ability, so why not?” It’s actually really good. I put pecans and walnuts and almonds and brazil nuts and seeds  in with the oats, smothered the whole thing with honey and maple syrup and bunged it in the oven for about half an hour, then added dried cranberries and dried figs and dried apricots and prunes and raisins and sultanas to it. Bloody boom. It’s really great. So great in fact, that I think I’ll make another batch when I run out (but I think I’ll use smushed up banana and peanut butter to make it all sticky and crunchy and sweet). It’s way better than the stuff you get in boxes because it’s just all the things I like, really cheap, and on an epic scale. Really really great guys.

Honey and Maple Granola

Also, I made my own hummus. I bought some tahini special (which I’m entirely glad about because tahini is great on toasted muffins) and made a chilli and garlic hummus. I roasted the garlic and chilli first so that they got all sweet, then blitzed about a cup of cooked chickpeas and 2tbsp tahini with a smidge of water, cumin and paprika, then added the veggies and it was bloody lovely. Really simple, really lovely food. Plus you get a serious amount of hummus for very little money. I eat hummus like everyday, so this was really useful to me actually. I recommend chilli and garlic hummus to all because it was great and spicy and lovely. I think smokers are inclined towards chilli and garlic flavors as they are strong enough to cut through the grime and hit the taste buds, so for anyone that smokes, it’s definitely a particularly good hummus treat.

I HAD A BAGEL! I haven’t had a bagel is so long it’s ridiculous. Granted I only managed one, but it was a whole cinnamon and raisin bagel spread with peanut butter and it was great. I’ve been genuinely eyeing up bagels for about seven months, but hadn’t plucked up the courage yet. The calorie content seems a little high considering the size of the portion, which made it difficult for me. I know they’re bare dense so it shouldn’t really make a  difference, but in my brain, the potential satiety didn’t match up to the calorie content. But anyway, I had a bagel. And it was tasty. And more filling than I’d expected, especially because I smothered it in fatty nut butter. I gave three of the bagels in the pack to the fam, and put the spare in a little baggy to eat later. I haven’t managed it yet, but it’s been there for a couple of weeks now so probably isn’t up to much. I’m still too nervous to go down the bagel route again. I liked it, but it was hard and I’m scared to go there again. I hate that I’m like this. So much. And I hate wasting food so this is even worse. I don’t think I’m really actively challenging my fears enough to overcome them. All I know is that I miss bagels.

TOASTED BAGEL!

I have, however, eaten a fair amount more cake than usual recently. I’ve had blueberry and almond tart and a blueberry blondie from Tesco, a scone with margarine and jam (I hate using more than one spread so this was a terrifying prospect for me), caramel gateaux, an apple and raisin muffin, a mystery muffin from Waitrose (I think it had carrot and walnut and seeds and maybe pineapple or something in it – really great), a raspberry and almond slice etc. (the list is long). I’ve kinda stopped eating cake again now, what with break ups and alcohol and finding comfort in safe foods again, so I need to try to rectify this. So once again, lunch with the Dad today (Belgique people – the worlds nicest local lunch place. Turkey roll, double fried chips and a strawberry mille feuille. Om nom nom). I definitely was trying to get better at cake though, even though I’ve lost that now. Got to jump back on the cake train because who wouldn’t really? Cake is too good to be missed.

Blondie

Blueberry and Almond Tart. Particularly Good

Gateaux om nom nom

Chocolate as well is something I’ve been letting slide. I have been eating some chocolate, but mostly in the form of cereal bars (Alpen fruit and nut bars and Eat Natural Lunchies bars – both of which are really really good just so you know). I’ve been buying more chocolate than ever, fully intending to eat it, but mostly it just sits around. At the moment, I’m trying to make a real effort to get through all the chocolate I’ve allowed to pass it’s best before date, which is a daunting task, but at least I am eating it. Chocolate is hard again right now, yet I keep buying it because it looks so good. Hopefully, the mass buying of chocolate will lead to the mass eating of chocolate in time. That seems to be the way with me anyway – I look at something in the shop for a few months, eventually I buy it, stash it away, looking at it every now and then for a few weeks or months, then eat it once I’ve built myself up to it. It’s a long and really annoying process. Sometimes it’s really demoralising, when you want something so much but can’t bring yourself to have it. It makes me feel stuck. But I get there eventually. Hopefully I’ll get there with chocolate. I bought a Wispa Gold recently. I’ve never had one before and I’m hoping I can eat it before it passes it’s best before date. I have a lot of chocolate to get through before that though. I did have some Montezuma Eton Mess chocolate though and that was really great just so you know.

Moving on to the predictable yogurt front. I buy a lot of yogurt. Look at my shelf in the fridge – it’s basically all yogurt. I have full fat, fat-free, fruity, desserty, big pots, little pots. I just have a whole ton of yogurt all the time. Depending on how I’m feeling, I swap and change between the types of yogurt I feel up to, but regardless of anything else, I always have a least two a day. There have been two exceptional yogurt recently though, which I think deserve a mention. They were both way higher calorie than my usual yogurt choices, but looked too good to ignore. In Waitrose, I got this Spiced Apple Yeo Valley yogurt that was entirely fantastic, and a whole grain fig and date one, which was totally lovely too! I love whole grain yogurt. Onken do some good ones, but I try to stay away from Onken as it was my eating disordered desired brand, so it makes me feel a little weird. It’s really good that other brands have some too! Why I’m obsessed with yogurt I don’t know, but I am, and these yogurt were good. Really challenging but good. I don’t like going over my alloted yogurt calorie amount, so often played substitutions when eating them (swapping one full fat yogurt for a fat-free one so it all evened out). Not good. But still, I ate them and they were brilliant.

Ridiculous Amount of Yogurt

Spiced Apple Yogurt and Blackberries

Fig and Date Yogurt with Raspberries

On the dinners front, it’s pretty much always the same right now. I have grain, veg, pulse combos basically every day. I change all the parts around and use different herbs and spices, so it’s different everyday. But at the same time, it’s also the same everyday, which makes me more comfortable. I like knowing what’s coming and not worrying about it. My lunches are always the same too – soup, part-baked roll with hummus, yogurt and raspberries. Always. It’s easier than having to work out what I might actually want, but isn’t exactly productive recovery behaviour. There are some great vegetables though. At the moment, I’m still eating more spinach than sense, but I’ve really been enjoying broccoli and kale as well. Kale is a really great veg, It’s so versatile and has a lot more substance than other vegetables. I’m really enjoying kale right now. And broccoli is just boom, and I’ve been avoiding it due to a miniscule amount more calories in it compared to other veg. Basically, I’ve been getting a lot of greens recently, which is definitely a good thing. I really like vegetables. I worked out I have eleven portions of fruit and veg in my average day. That’s so much fruit and veg it’s ridiculous. I love it though.  I just wish I could find a way to incorporate other nice foods into my meals as well. Maybe not always having pulses be my protein, instead occasionally having some meat or something. It’s still very rigid.

Standard Dinner. Everyday

Curly Kale and Potatoes Thought. Slightly Different….

Lastly, I’m going to mention this meal because it was so difficult, yet it made me so proud. Me and the Mum went to Leighton House in Kensington, and whilst we were there, we stopped off for some lunch. I thought I’d ordered pretty safely – a falafel and pickled veg wrap. I didn’t read the menu properly so didn’t see that it came with salad and chips. I cannot emphasise the size of these chips enough. The picture makes them look not too big but that is a large wrap and those chips were like three fingers wide. I ate every bite of them. I don’t remember ever being that full. It was like two potatoes worth! Then I followed it with the banoffee sundae. Just ’cause my meal plan says I need dessert. I was so full it was ridiculous. But it was good. Every bite tasted bloody fantastic. I’m a little bit proud of myself for that meal. Potatoes are a fear of mine and I ate like two, in one sitting. Followed by a huge dessert. It was great.

Ridiculous Chips!

So there you go. A long overdue report into how my eating is going right now. It’s definitely not perfect and needs a lot more active work, but it’s getting better. My evening snacks have shrunk down because I’m spreading my calories better and it’s a huge improvement on where I was a couple of months ago. It’s not perfect, but it’s never will be. It is getting there though. Slowly.

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food rut.

I don’t like blogging on consecutive days. I don’t know why. It feels over the top to me. So sorry if this is annoying for people.

Basically, I’m in a food rut. I literally cannot decide what foods I like or enjoy or want to eat or anything. Not knowing what I want to eat leads me to rely of foods that I find more comfortable, but these get boring. Trust me. Seven months of the same recovery foods, many of which are slightly densed up versions of foods that don’t make my eating disorder scream means years of very similar meals. I had to add a lot of foods at the beginning of recovery, but haven’t really branched out for a while and there is only so many times you can eat almonds and not start to wish for better things.

I’m ok with breakfasts for now I think, and I do like my porridge and granola. It’s dinners, lunches and snacks which are the problem. Dinners especially. So I’m putting a shout out, both in real and virtual terms.

There are only two foods I won’t eat for non-eating disordered reasons – coriander leaves and cheese. Everything else is fair game. There are also lots of foods that I have literally never eaten in my life, so it’d be good to get some ideas on where to start with finding foods I might like. I’ve never eaten a bacon sandwich in my life can you believe? Or a fried egg? All the foods I like now I discovered during my eating disorder and although fish fingers are good, I can cook now and I have much more varied tastes then I did before all this. I just get stuck when it comes to chosing and end up going for things I know I’ll eat with relatively little fuss.

So any ideas are welcome. At any point. Recipes, snack ideas, brilliant food combos, generally great products. Whatever really. I’m looking for some practical food guidance as I’m finding it hard to get it from myself right now and I’m getting really frustrated in this horrible rut. Plus I think some motivation to test out the tastes of others might help me actually eat something I’m not used to. Plus I know some of you real life people do actually eat really great foods as well. But they don’t even have to be good. Different is all I’m after right now, I can decide what’s good later.

Still, in the spirit of adventure, I’m going to eat my first ever tuna steak today. I just want to keep this ball rolling.

Bloody choice anxiety.

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what i’m looking for? huh?

I had a very interesting therapy session today. I was panicking like a lot a lot after a rough few days (following on from a rough few weeks…) and just really did not want to speak. All the things we usually go through – food, behaviours, self-injury, the boy, the fam, friends, uni etc. – are all things I don’t want to deal with right now. I’ve not got any conclusions in my head and cannot decide upon any actions so I’m doing what I do best. I’m avoiding it all through destructive ways of numbing it out and hoping that at some point in the future all these things will fix themselves. Not productive I know, but I just didn’t want to process any of this right now. Whilst in the session, I thought it was very unproductive, but the few things the therapist managed to drag out of me actually gave me a lot to think about. I’m doing some serious thinking in general at the moment, generally along the lines of “Is it better to know/see/generally talk to people/have any relationships even if all I do is upset people and make them sad? Or is it better to get out of everyone’s lives so that they can be happier (as I naturally assume they would be) without me around?” I know this is entirely broken logic but I can’t stop my mind from believing that I make everyone else’s lives less good. I feel like I owe it to people to not talk to them.

The therapist asked me to think about what would make me happy rather than what’s best for others and I was actually surprised to find that I really don’t know. I’m so used to framing myself as a burden that I’ve forgotten what I want out of relationships because I’m just so busy trying to come up with ways to earn them. I have no idea what makes me happy or what it is that I value or want to gain through relationships so I have no idea if they are healthy for me or not. I never stop to think about whether others are in the wrong, I just assume that if I feel negatively about something, it’s my fault because I’m obviously always rubbish thus always wrong. Thinking about what I actually want and need from a relationship to be happy doesn’t come into my thought processes at all. And this doesn’t just stop with relationships. It’s an incredibly far-reaching attitude – I literally have no idea what I like or want. What foods do I genuinely enjoy purely for pleasure of taste and eating? I enjoy things that seem “healthy” because of the anorexia and sometimes I enjoy things that seem “unhealthy” as they make me feel rebellious, but when it comes to knowing what foods I will actually enjoy and want to eat, I freak out something rotten and walk away distressed, often chosing to not make a choice thus just avoiding the hard thing. This is especially obvious with cake. Every week I try to buy a cake and look at all the cakes and try to imagine which one I would actually like and then cannot for the life of me work it out. It’s all far too many numbers and tastes and textures and I freak out and don’t buy cake. I think I’d like date and walnut cake, but do I only want it because dates and walnuts are more healthy than chocolate? Is cheesecake too much for my meal plan? Do I like fruity things or caramelly things or creamy things? What would bring me the most enjoyments so I won’t waste the opportunity? Literally every time I go to the supermarket, I spend at least 10 (more like 20) minutes looking at cakes before I decide that I don’t want to decide. And uni as well. Does studying make me happy or do I do it because I feel like I have to and somehow it’ll make me a better person?

This even goes as far as just what to do. I never know what to do when I have free time. I just don’t know what will make me happy, so I just assume that nothing will and try to find ways of passing the time until I fall asleep. I try to think about what to do and just hit a wall. What do I even like? Do I like watching T.V. or films or D.V.Ds? Or do I actually think reading will make me happy? Do I actually want to read the Guardian, or do I only want to appear smarter than I am? Do I find the news interesting? Do I want to play some sort of video game? Or would baking make me feel happy? Or getting my Lush on and having a serious self-care session? Maybe doing some yoga? Do I follow such rigid routines about when and where and on what day to do anything and everything because I like them or do they make me feel less anxious but only feed my ridigity in the long run? I have no idea and to be honest, don’t even think about it anymore, so end up doing nothing at all most of the time but beating myself up for not using my time wisely and wasting life and being boring and rubbish. I am rubbish because I don’t do enough, but never stop to think what it is that I actually want to be doing more of. It’s not even that I’m not happy (I don’t expect my depression to lift through knitting or anything), it’s just that I have no concept of what things might have the possibility of being something I actually want to do. I don’t know what I need or know anything that might make me feel better.

Although I’m not going to lie, I think for right now I’m going to mostly focus on what I want from relationships as I have some immediate thinking to do in that area (I really need some advice but have absolutely no idea who is appropriate to talk to), this has given me a lot to think about and probably for a really long time. Where do I even begin? How do you work out what makes you feel better? And maybe even happy? How do you go about working out what’s good or bad for you, not others or some perceived ideal of what you should be? Seriously any tips would be good right about now.

On other news, the dietician is not best pleased with me. Me and my fluctuating pound that I’m really struggling to not drop below. I’ve kinda grown attached to this pound and my weight in general – afterall, I’ve been actively maintaining for over a month now, creeping in and out of the very bottom of the “healthy” range. I don’t want to actively lose, but the fear of gaining is causing me to cut further and further back on my intake, then suddenly panicking and trying to up my calories, whilst simultaneously whittling my previously super metabolism away. Basically, this has been going on for to long, I can’t kid anyone (including myself) into believing this is a healthy weight for me. I need to up my calories and if this continues, the likelihood of actually relapsing get higher and higher. If I can’t do it myself by my next weigh in (with the psychiatrist on Monday) then I start losing a say in what I eat. I am trying really hard to get my calories back up, but I’m not confident in how consistent I can be at this point. She also has made me commit to trying to stop weighing myself so much (every day, at least once) as it’s just making eating that much harder. I almost didn’t today, then got overwhelmed by fear and did. Try again tomorrow I guess. I would suggest someone hid my scales, but last time I did that I just went and bought more within a week. That’ll always be an option so I have to just stop for myself I think. She suggests down to once a week for now, with the aim to be not at all. She also wants me to be less reliant on dietetics appointments as reassurance and permission to eat enough, so we’re cutting down our sessions to once every three weeks. I think now might be a bad time for that, but I am relieved – at least I won’t be weighed for a while so to my disordered brain it means I have more time to manipulate my weight. Ah well, got to try to learn to actually trust the dietician at some point so it may as well be now. Plus I’m able to call her if things don’t go so well and she can give me some help and advice, and if my calories drop, she can send out a nurse to check the damage. This all relies on my be honest and open about my problems and concerns though and everyone knows eating disorders love to hide, so this level of honestly might be something I struggle with if the going gets tough. I don’t know.

I really should do another eats report, but at the moment I’m not eating new or exciting things. Whenever I stop eating enough, I fall back on the same foods. Right now I’m eating the same things at each meal every single day (they’re only not the same if I leave part of it out…). Hopefully I can get my calories up again and I’ll have loads of fantastic foods to report. It’s sad this happened over Christmas as it means I basically missed out on Christmas eats, but it’s done now. Hopefully I’ll report of the good new things soon!

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