Tag Archives: clothes

“your love is gonna drown.”

I typed this out a couple of nights ago. I didn’t post it because I wasn’t sure if it made sense. I think maybe it does make sense, but I also didn’t want to be a reader spammer. You know how it is. Plus I wasn’t sure if it was too personal. I hope it’s not…

Friday 19th October 2012

Today, me and the Psychologist went over the weeks happenings as normal – the usual “any drugs/alcohol/self-injury/sex/shopping?” questions as standard. Then we went over the assessment and the group. He knew how much I’d been stressing about it and how scared I was, so he was nice and kind about it – not pushing too hard. He said it’s totally normal to feel kinda ambivalent about the whole diagnosis thing and to find it hard to settle with it. It’s both good and bad. Good because there’s a comfort in knowing that some of the things that make me hurt can be treated and that I’m not the only one and that I’m not just bad at being alive. Bad because it means I’m broken all through my brain and have been for a long time. Broken in a way that may never be fixed. He was nice about it though. He said he’s known me for over a year and knows me pretty well now and he doesn’t think I’m broken or bad. He explicitly said “You’re not at all a bad person Ellie” , which made me feel a little reassured.

We talked a little about how my suicidal thoughts and impulses are increasing right now. He thinks that partly it’s to due with the treatment changes, but mostly to recent life dramas. There’s things going on which I find really too difficult to manage. I’ve had horrible things said and done to me, and horrible things I’ve said and done back. My insides feel disgusting and I’m sad and feel pretty hopeless. Love and intimacy are funny things really. They break you up from the inside out. Caring always seems to be where sorrow starts to drip inside from. We talked a lot about what I get out of relationships and how I view relationships in general. I always think in terms of the other persons needs and desires, not the things that I legitimately need in return. That doesn’t mean that I don’t get angry and argue my point, but I’m always left feeling so fucking horrible inside if I get what’s best for me, and I give in quite often to things I don’t want to because I just get full of guilt for being selfish, even if its simply because I know they’ll hurt me instead. It’s not just the way I few the world, but also the ways others view and treat me. And the problem is that I just can’t get away from it. I can’t let it go. I start to hate and be angry and get away, but the barrage of guilt quickly build up and I cave all over again. Each time it’s worse and I honestly don’t even know if I get anything but hurt by doing it. I don’t even know why I want it so much. I just can’t let go. I can’t let people leave.

And then I got confused and upset and really began to think about some of the damaging things that I keep let happening to me and because of me, but time was up and off I had to go. I hate when therapy leaves everything unresolved, raw and opened up. I had an optician appointment straight after, so I had to go to the nearest decent town centre. However, there are shops there and after therapy is my worse time to shop. I buy waaaay too much when I’m stressed and sad. I get it into my head that stuff will somehow make me more acceptable. I’m the ultimate gullible consumer, even though it goes against a lot of my beliefs. I just want to be better so I can get things right for once and I think things that I buy can help with that. I have literally got no money right now, so out of my overdraft, I had to buy a new pair of glasses because lost one pair and smashed the other when I was angry, so haven’t been able to see properly for a while. That was a necessary purchase, but I walked past Topshop and there was a sale and well… I had to buy these stripy dungarees that I’d wanted for about 6 months but had always been too expensive (now down to £10!) and holographic silver leggings. Then I went to Boots to pick up some prescriptions which should have been a totally free shop to visit, but there was a 3 for 2 sale on Barry M nail varnish… With the glasses on top of that, I spent over £50 I don’t actually have… I have so much guilt – especially after the iPad incident. I felt better though.

I mean, you have to admit my buys are awesome.

20121023-123907.jpg
Plus, you’ve got to admit, the dungarees look really great.

20121023-124051.jpg
See?

Then it started to rain and I was dreading the walk home, but I’m way to poor to take bus luxuries, especially after these buys. I didn’t know what to do. I was tired, hungry and didn’t want to be wet, so I decided “fuck it. Bus it is. Considering how much I’d spent already, what’s the difference now?” Luck was one my side today though because the Oyster machine on the bus wasn’t working, so they didn’t charge me. Plus the dungarees were only £10. It was as if the world had aligned to understand the pathetic situation I was I and gave me a tiny gift to make up for how shit I feel and give me a smidgin of faith that sometimes things work out.

So yer, I’m not even feeling too bad right now. The drugs and shopping might be helping, but I’m able to block out how horrible today has been for a while. Tomorrow, I’ll deal with money issues and the guilt and how horrible I feel every day. Tomorrow, I’ll worry about the dirt and what to do to fix all these broken situations. Tomorrow, I’ll worry about what I might have to do.

Later that afternoon…

I typed that before I walked my dog in the rain. By this point, all the Valium had made the rain really fun – comforting and atmospheric. It started to get s bit dark on the walk. Not fully dark, but a bit dark, and I had to walk for longer than usual because I’d promised the Ma I would and I didn’t want to upset or disappoint her. The good thing about Valium is that it didn’t cause a panic attack. At points, I was shit scared, hyper vigilant, making every movement into a catastrophe in my head, flashbacks. It was shit and hard, but I didn’t fully break down. I didn’t stop freeze, tense up and close my eyes to just give in to the inevitable, I didn’t have a panic attack. That is a serious up point of Valium I hadn’t noticed before because I just don’t go out in the dark by myself. Ever.

Then in the evening…

I couldn’t just leave it all till tomorrow. Receiving phone calls I didn’t know If I could avoid without ruining everything, stressing out and a lot of awkwardness. I just need time to clear my head – a little breathing space to think. Maybe I’m unreasonable. Maybe I read into thinks too much. Facial expressions, tone of voice, verbal misunderstandings. I don’t know. Maybe I’m the problem. Therapy sometimes makes you get that feeling where you start to feel like just maybe there are other options. Maybe you’re not always in the wrong maybe it’s ok to think about your own needs and stick up for them. Then, in just one second, something comes along and all that hope for the smallest sense you’d thought you could maybe start to believe you’re not just rubbish and your needs are valid, you suddenly realise just is not true and your therapist makes you believe in lies. Some people are just bad and therapy can’t fix that. You were a bitch all along. Nothing can ever change that.

On top of that, I’m starting to believe the Ex is really sick. Everyone deserves support for mental illness. Everyone deserves to get healthy. I don’t want to leave someone to fend for themselves. If I’d been left, I might have died by now. I want to help as many people as I can to feel better, regardless of how they effect me. That’s what nice people do right? ANd I don’t want to be bad anymore. I want to do the right thing.

So now it’s just bad all over again. I can’t keep fucking up. I fuck other people up too. And I need to help.

The Brother is entirely angry. Angry because he loves me. And he’s sad because he thinks that some day soon, he’s going to find himself in a situation he wants to avoid. He’s scared because he thinks that at some point, a line will be crossed and he’ll feel forced to round up my supporters and hurt someone. The Ma said she’d take a brick. I think they were being dramatic. I hope it’s all just being dramatic. Now I’m scared that if I end up destroying myself, it’ll be all my fault if someone gets hurt. And it not stable enough to know that won’t happen. Not right now.

I’m so full of guilt and shame and confusion. Fuck this.

So there you have it – a day in my life really. Obvs I missed quite a bit out as you can tell though. Right now, I appear to be living in an incredibly destructive cycle and I can’t get out of it because I don’t know how. I do try to do good, but I can’t seem to. I can’t sit with how I feel at all. I can’t cope with how horrible it all is, so I use destructive methods of coping with it and then let it all happen all over again. Reading over this made it seem so clear how I fuck this up time and time again. Yet I know it’s already started again today. Same every day. Except sometimes there are parties involved…

8 Comments

Filed under bpd, general, life, rubbish, shopping

vanity.

So I think some people might hate this post, but I also think its part of an actual problem when it comes to human beings, especially those with eating disorders. I don’t even think it’s just a body image thing either because I think a lot of it for me was based on what I had achieved rather than whether it looked good. But anyway I’m going to put a big trigger warning all over this because I can see how it could be ridiculously triggering. I like to think that it won’t, and I know this makes me feel better and could have saved a lot of tears, but none the less…

TRIGGER WARNING – This is basically going to talk about clothes sizes. Over and over again. And my size. If you’re not comfortable and happy with your size right now, it may cause you some upset, though it may do just the opposite. I duno. But it’s going to involve lots of numbers.

So anyway, I went clothes shopping yesterday. I’m pretty glad about it really. I know it must seem like all I do is clothes shop, but I don’t really. I’ve (obviously) grown out of a lot of my clothes. I think I’m going to sell like 8 pairs of jeans and trousers, 3 pairs of shorts, 2 skirts and 1 dress. It’s a lot of clothes, lots of which are really bloody nice and are in really good condition. I spent good bloody money on those clothes just to have to get rid of them and it’s sad really. It’s also meant that I’ve been without both basics and statements. Until yesterday, I literally didn’t have any standard jeans or trousers. I have great striped jeans and fabz patterned leggings, but I’ve lost 3 pairs of chinos, my blue jeans, my grey jeans, my black and grey striped cropped trousers, my black jeans etc. I still owned more trousers than your average person, but how I look matters a lot to me and I’ve always had a whole load more clothes than I should really.

No joke of a lie, this is actually the label in on the the pairs I’m selling. They’re Topman and used to belong to the Ex. Trust me, they are actually really triggering. Being bigger than the Boy was really hard for me and I hate that I don’t fit these now. To be fair though, I don’t think they’d fit him anymore either, but still, massive trigger jeans lolz.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to get any more big clothes items till after summer seeing as I’ve replaced two pairs of shorts and grown into two old pairs and I really don’t lose all that much from the skirts seeing as they weren’t basic and I have a whole loads of skirts anyway. The dress is just sad seeing as it’s my Auntie’s old dress from the ’60s. She is very, very short and did that whole tiny ’60s lady thing. I have a lot of her old stuff, most of which still fits great and its excellent clothes. I’m babbling again. So yer, I was just gonna stop seeing as I live off benefits and the fam are feeling a lot less wealthy right now and we’re scaling back a lot (both the parent’s work in the public sector, plus the Ma recently took a lower paid position seeing as she hated being a head teacher), but then I saw the summer sales and realised that actually, I could get identical plain jeans and chinos now and for half the usual price, plus with student discount, which I’ll probably lose before the next round of sales. And also, it’d make me happy to have the basics down so I can actually wear everything I own again. I have serious shopping guilt, but the fam put some money in seeing as I actually had to grow, so had to get rid of a lot of clothes, plus I figured I’m on benefits because I’m deemed unfit for work. Really, I should be spending this money on things that celebrate getting healthier and make being healthy easier. And I’ve quit smoking so have lots more money than I’m used to. So I trawled the internet, looking at all the jeans and chinos in various sales, picking out the ones I liked from various shops then headed out to the shops to try them on. In an ideal world, I would buy them online, but it’s not an ideal world and sizes are a mess.

I know my measurements. I don’t know all of them anymore so I couldn’t tell you the diameter of my thighs or anything, but I know my basics – inside leg, hips, waist, bust. I also know what size that makes me. Due to my new-found waist, I firmly believe I’ve got a pear shaped body as my bust is a 6, but my waist is an 8 and my hips are closer to an 8 than a 10 in fairly standard measurements, but I could probably wear either size. However, the width of my shoulders means I don’t look all that pear. In fact, I look incredibly boxy. My shoulders have always meant that fitted tops are a no go seeing as my bust and shoulder measurements do not match up. But anyway, seeing as I refuse to wear anything labelled with a 6 and I may have some weight gain in me yet, I go for 8 on top, 10 on bottom which makes sense. Or so I thought anyway.

There are lots of nice clothes shops out there. Lots and lots. I really like Uniqlo for instance and I think they’re jeans are actually a really decent material and are super comfy. I also like some of the designs and colours of River Island chinos. In fact, there are lots of shops, many of which are really great and most of which are having boomtingz sales at the moment.

I already don’t buy anything with a fitted waist at H&M. They’re sizes are stated as smaller than most other shops, though in reality, they’re clothes run such a variety of sizes that it’s impossible to tell. I have a pair of jeans from there that are a 10 and quite tight so I wanted some new ones. I thought I’d go for the same jeans in a different colour, but the sizes in that batch are way different and confusing and I couldn’t be bothered. When I bought those size 10 jeans though, I was a 6 in Topshop so go figure. Still, I can just about still wear them so I guess it’s no real loss. The joys of stretcy denim.

After trying on jeans and trousers in a few shops, I came to the conclusion that you know what? It’s not worth it. I’m purely going to buy fitted trousers from Topshop. I know what clothes fit me there, plus they’re clothes tend to be designed to fit boyish figures better and I’d consider my figure boyish as I’m definitely not curvy. All in all, it’s less traumatic because I know the sizing there well. I’ve been buying trousers there since school times so have quite a good idea of how my body fits their clothes at various weights and sizes. The fact that I’m buying clothes that are labelled as larger than I would in other shops doesn’t bother me too much as when thinking of my measurements, they’re labels seem reasonably true to size, which is something of a miracle in  clothes shopping today. In fact, I didn’t get upset or worried or anything because it wasn’t a palava. I didn’t have to go back for a new size or anything. It was great. No drama.

I buy a lot of second-hand clothes so I’m pretty aware of the fact that sizes have been getting larger. A ’80s size 12 is a small 10/large 8 by today’s standards. Even so, most shops have size guides and most size guides are about the same measurements, give or take a few inches, so there really shouldn’t be that much difference between shops. Vanity sizing has pretty much thrown this idea out the window. I’ve gone to shops and found things that should fit too small, gone home and cried about it (during weight gain), and gone to shops and found things that should fit too big, gone home and cried about it (that’s recovery for you – you’re actually sad you haven’t grown into normal people sizes yet). I’ve done a lot of crying because of size diferences, but it’s not just the emotional silliness that comes with labels, but it’s actually completely impractical. Men’s sizes are somewhat easier I imagine as they tend to come in inches, though I guess the S, M, L sizing must be a pain, but they have that for women too. In some shops, a M is a 10, which is stupid seeing as the UK average is like a 14 or something, which would make the average woman an XL. In other shops though, it’s completely different and a 10 is an XS, which makes more sense, but is really confusing. So anyway, to stop myself getting worked up over sizing, I did some research on to vanity sizing and how it works.

Vanity sizing is essentially when you label things as smaller than they are so that when someone tries it on, they feel better about themselves as they fit into a smaller size than they thought they were. So you label something as a 12, a woman who is a 12 tries it on, but it’s way too big and she think “yuss! I’m slimmer!” and gets a 10, feels good about it, so in theory is more likely to shop there again due to the morale boost they get from smaller sizes. I see why this could be a nice thing, but to me, it’s the opposite seeing as I actually want to stay a reasonable size and find it hard to work out if I actually am. Plus I’m still on the small side so I can’t go down that many sizes as they don’t stock them. I also think it’s kinda patronising as it suggests women care more about their size than how easy it is to shop and the many returns they have to give if they don’t try stuff on. Some shops do it worse than others for sure, and it’s not the only issue with sizing out there.

Basically, the cheaper the shop, the more likely it is for their sizing to run small. I think this is likely to be true. H&M sizes are stated as smaller than most shops and I know that Primark jeans always seem to run smaller than other shops. Even at my lowest weight, their size 6 jeans were snug, when others were falling off. This is because fabric costs money and using less of it will up profits. So essentially, if you shop somewhere cheaper, expect to maybe need a bigger size than usual.

Sizes tend to run closer to true in shops aimed at younger women. In my experience, this is entirely right. Topshop and New Look and Urban Outfitters all seem to run pretty true to my measurements, whatever size I’ve been, though Urban Outfitters can also run a bit big. In Topshop, whenever I’ve taken my waist measurements to buy trousers, the exact measurement fits. Urban Outfitters tend to label as S, M, L, but you can check their size guide online and it does pretty much match up. Sizes run larger as target customers’ age. In my experience, River Island runs around a size larger than Topshop, Uniqlo (and apparently Zara) bigger still, with Next and M&S topping the size charts. I still struggle to fit M&S clothes as they don’t stock many 6s and the ones they do are still pretty loose. I am not a 6, yet M&S tell me I am. They were also the first shop I noticed I’d grown out of (I don’t shop in Next), swiftly followed by Uniqlo. However, at least I’m too big for the smallest Uniqlo jeans now (which makes me sad seeing as I loved mine so much and never got to wear them as I was always too small and now I’m too big. eBay time I guess). This is apparently because as women get older, they want to stay the same kinda size they’ve always been, but obviously babies, menopause and such changes body shape and often weight. The idea is that as you move through the market as you age, you don’t get disheartened or whatever. The labels and size guides may give you the exact measurements for each size, but what’s actually on the hanger gets further away from those measurements as the target customer ages.

The other variable is region. American brands run large, regardless of the audience. Apparently this is purely because the American population are larger than the population here in Europe. Gap is the worst apparently in the U.K.. I don’t shop in Gap, but their size 6 (labelled as an American size 0) is apparently more like a 10, so if I were to shop in Gap, I’d still be a 0 in jeans, which is ridiculous because I’m not, or a 00/4 in tops, which is even more ridiculous. Honestly, I read an article today which had a 34 inch waist man wearing a UK size 6 skirt because it was so big. European brands apparently run smaller than in the UK as we’re larger here than on the continent. I think this is true with H&M and also true when you’re abroad, but the other big European brand (Zara), runs bigger IMO.

And all of this before you get the standard deviations from size found in different cuts, materials, normal errors and such in production, and standard design mistakes.

I know I probably find this disheartening for all the wrong reasons, but I really do. Shopping online is a stupid idea seeing as all the sizes are so different that you never know what you’re going to get and unless you really know the brand, it’ll probably be wrong. What annoys me is that I’ve put a lot of work into being a healthy size and I’d like to think that although I may have to gain some more, I’m still a healthy size. I don’t like the fact that I can go into shops and they’ll tell me that my hard work isn’t doing enough. I know that isn’t true, but it feels like it. I hate that I’m now a healthy BMI, yet M&S is still a bit of a no-go shop for me. It shouldn’t be. It’s so disheartening to pick up a pair of trousers in the smallest size, only to find you’re still too small. Equally though, it’s horrible to put on your normal size, only to find you need two sizes bigger. Honestly, right now, I range from a 4 to a 10 (maybe a 12 or 14, but as I’ve said, I stay away from shops that make me feel bigger), which is ridiculous. And confusing. And also, seeing as I refuse to buy any tops smaller than an 8 or any jeans smaller than a 10 purely because I know I shouldn’t be that small, it’s prohibitive and annoying.

So anyway, I ended up in Topshop, as I always do. I picked up two pairs of chinos (one beige, high-waisted pair to replace a yellow high-waisted pair, one navy, mid-rise pair to replace my dusty pink ones) and a pair of standard blue, Baxter skinnies to replace some low-rise Miss Selfridge skinnies from third year. They are all size 10, all a little bit big (especially the high-waisted ones), but all very much wearable and I do own belts. I wonder if I should have got them in an 8 seeing as I do still fit my 8 skinnies, but in the end, I’m glad they’re a bit big as I’m less self-conscious about myself that way, plus I have room to grow if I need too (and I can still wear the 8s if I want to go for that skin-tight-I-look-buff look). They fit exactly the way they should, given my measurements and what I’m after. And they all look great. I think they’re all practical items actually, espeically the mid-rise chinos the low-rise Baxters. Chinos with brogues, literally any top and a boyfriend fit blazer always makes for a half decent, no effort outfit. Plus low-rise skinnies make any casual day outfit more respectable as you can pull on a super cosy, massive charity shop jumper with them and not look like a giant sack, you can wear anything untucked without looking like you have a lumpy growth on your belly, and the lack of tuck ability means that you never end up looking too smart accidentally. Plus I won’t lie, I already own mid-rise, boyfriend fit skinnies (actually the Ex’s actually. Same size jeans, different cut). Boring, but versatile wardrobe stables. I’m really glad that I’ve actually achieved fully functioning wardrobe now. Effectively, anything I buy from here on in is added extras (like the dinosaur t-shirt the Ma got me for finishing my NHS Stop Smoking course. Yuss!)

However, I’m sad that I had to stick to one, standard shop. I’d like more options, but it’s too complicated and too hard and this way, I know what I’m getting. I really want to get these shorts off eBay, but although they’re only 99p and right close to the end of bidding, I won’t, seeing as I’ve never tried on Armani jeans (the owner customised) and the size is a mystery. She says 29 inch waist, size 8, but those two statements contradict each other (unless they’re mens jeans). In theory, that’s a 10/12. Just saying.

Now at least I can finally wear all my lovely tops and t-shirts again without looking stupid. Fucking clothes sizing.

11 Comments

Filed under rant, recovery, shopping

assessment.

I’m going to start with something really fucking positive.

Today I look properly fucking sick. At least in my opinion anyway. I have been wearing a properly boom outfit and my face is improving. I ordered a new moisturizer which came yesterday and it masks the scaling and scabbing enough to actually put on makeup. Plus I think I may have peaked in terms of skin revolt as it burns slightly less and I think less of my face (though still a lot of it) is flaking off. I wore my blue and white vertical striped jeans with a white crop top and an orange crotched crop over the top all baggy like, with lots of hilariously trashy jewellery, my DMs and my old camo jacket, multi-coloured fingernails, bare black eyeliner and orange lipstick. I looked really great when I was marching to my appointment today. My idea of really great though is probably a little bit strange, so anyone that saw me might think I looked like a weirdo. I don’t care that much though because I had my headphones on and I was listening to music and dancing and strutting and essentially performing my way to hospital for my psychological assessment. Negative body image be damned!

Sometimes I think I should put more effort into blending in. I draw a lot of attention, which in some ways is good because people actually look at you so if you drop something, other people generally point it out because they notice. Mostly though, I get weird men. Today I was followed by a man who persistently shouted at me to talk to him for a few blocks. When I had to tie my lace he just stood next to me. I had my headphones on so ignored him semi-politely. I think that if I tried more to blend in, I’d probably get less weirdos. I’m not trying to blend in though. I’m mostly trying to look really great.

Anyway, I had my assessment. I hate assessments. I get really nervous and tense. I was being assessed for the best type of psychological treatments, so it wasn’t a proper psychiatric assessment. I keep getting told by various mental health professionals’ bits and pieces of what they think might be wrong with me. I talk a lot on this blog about my experiences of anorexia and recovery, but I don’t often talk about what came before that. Mostly because I don’t know what was going on then. I think like a lot of people with eating disorders, I’ve not been the world’s happiest person. I’ve been pretty sad for quite a while. I’ve acted in strange ways and done strange things. Especially with (or mostly, at) other people. The fact that it completely involves my relationships to others means I’m not all that comfy blogging about a lot of these things. I’m deeply ashamed of the ways I acted to others. Serious shame. I find it really hard to talk about, even within treatment settings. And it’s been happening for a really long time. The first time I remember acting in this kinda way was in primary school. It caused me a lot of problems too – mostly with how I view myself, but I know my behaviours can really push people away. It’s not cool. I do weird things mostly because I fully believe I’m rubbish, but also because I don’t like it when people go so have to give them reasons to stay. I’ve done a lot of strange things to get people to stay. Sometimes it fails, sometimes it works, but it makes me feel like shit. I really don’t want to go into too much in a public way, mostly because it has involved people who read this blog. It embarrasses me too much.

What sucks though is that all of this stopped with my eating disorder. It peaked in first year of uni, then stopped almost as soon as I came off citalopram and started actively losing weight. I honestly thought I’d got more in control of my emotions and actions. The problem is that it’s starting to sneak back into my life and it kinda feels like picking up where I left off. It’s not quite so bad, but I don’t know if that’s because of the citalopram or I am actually slightly better now or that it just hasn’t got there yet or because I’m not letting myself or because there isn’t anyone close enough to me to act that way again. I don’t know. I feel it in me though and I find it quite scary and hard.

Basically, this is what my treatment outside of my EDU is trying to focus on. I get a lot of possibles in my treatment with the CMHT and psychological services. The same possibles keep popping up though and although no one will make a firm diagnosis, I’m keep getting told I exhibit symptoms of a personality disorder, which is kinda scary. I’d need another psychiatric assessment to get a firm diagnosis, but it gets mentioned by the CMHT psychiatrist and SHO, plus it actually fits with my experiences. This essentially means that the new therapy I’ll be starting in a few months (fucking waiting lists) is hopefully going to be more DBT based, although it will be combined with CBT. I’m also being referred to mindfulness group, but the woman that assessed me doesn’t know if that is even going to run again so it might never happen. It’d be pretty strange, but maybe good. The idea of it is pretty scary, but I duno. I’m also kinda hopeful. I feel like I’ve not been ok for quite a while and I don’t really know why or what’s been wrong with me. I’ve kinda felt like I’ve just been exaggerating. Except if it’s something that I can fix that’d be great. Regardless of formal diagnosis status, what seems to be getting pieced together is that I have got significant problems on the personality disorder spectrum that need and are going to get attention. That makes me feel kinda relieved. Maybe I’ll actually get to a point where I can actually be comfortable. I’m scared, but hopeful.

I’m going to do a private post now. I know it’s annoying, but I’d like to do some active explaining and thinking, but don’t want a lot of this known by people actually in my life. Sorry. It’s going to be pretty past heavy though, and a lot of you were there so I wouldn’t worry. I’m pretty open with passwords if I don’t actually know you though, so feel free to set me a comment to ask.

7 Comments

Filed under life, recovery

clothes.

Today I’m going to type about positive things. I tend to focus a lot in this blog on what I’m focusing on a lot in my head, and right now, I’m thinking positive.

Today, I got my piercing. It’s really buff (IMO) and I’m glad I did it. Plus it was bare cheap which is always a bonus. I’ve been going to this shonky little place in Walthamstow for a while now called Studio 69. Even the name makes you think it can’t possibly be sterile. It actually is though and the piercer is really lovely and even though it’s cheap, it’s clean and nice and friendly. So I went in today and got my cartilage rim pierced again, just above my other one because I think it’s nice. Plus my piercer looked at my nape (seeing as I can’t exactly check it) and said it was one of the best healed surface piercings she’d seen. Apparently it looks like it’s been healing for 8 months/a year, but I’ve only had it three months. She took a picture of it to put on the website and everything. Makes me happy. I also got my tragus bar replaced as I felt it was way too long and often stuck out too much, and my nose piercing stretched in order to fit proper body jewellery so I can get a serious gold hoop in it eventually and to fix the dent bad studs have put in my nose. I shrunk it over time through buying studs and sleepers from Claire’s Accessories which are less than 1mm in diameter. It has to heal around a bar first, but stage one on the road to garish, tacky gold hoop.

New hole is the most top one. It’s number 13 :D

The Ma also bought me clothes! Clothes that make me happy! Clothes because I’ve been two months smoke free! Clothes because its half-term therefore she’s on holiday and that is reason enough to buy me and the Brother pressies! I love my clothes so much I’m actually going to put pictures of them on here. I have space leggings! Leggings with planets and stars and a nebulous on the bum. They literally make my week I love them so much. And a matching space top! So I can fully dress as the cosmos (next fancy dress sorted)! So many exclamation marks but they are so good! And they make me laugh to wear, which makes them all the better! And she got me a t-shirt with an old map of London on which is really nice as well – I can go to the places on the t-shirt, wearing the t-shirt! Basically, all the good clothes. And also, some incredibly fab pants. They are good because they are very high which is actually reassuring as it’s another layer cover up for recovery bellies (and I’m one of those people that think actually, big pants are really nice). Honestly, I don’t care that I’m being weird, sometimes clothes can make me joyous. I am full of joy because I own space leggings and large pants.

Happy leggings! :D:D!

Other really ace clothes. Today has been (successful in a materialistic manner at least).

(Apologies for dreadful image quality – phones init).

I think in recovery, clothes are really important. In life more generally, I like nice clothes and I like to feel like I look acceptable, but in recovery, clothes are crucial. They can be the difference between absolutely unbearable and passable moods. Something that doesn’t fit right, or even something that still fits fine, just not the way you’re used to, can completely wreck a day or two (maybe even a week) if your eating disorder is narrated with body dissatisfaction (like mine). I have therefore come to the conclusion that right now, clothes are a good way to spend the little money I have. In fact, anything that makes me feel marginally better about my skin (after food of course) is top priority. A big problem for me was that as I lost weight, I donated all the clothes that fit my healthy body to charity, resolving never to fit them again. Now I do, and I have nothing. That’s a lie, I kept a lot of t-shirts and dresses. T-shirts are kinda fine whatever your size I think. They are either more tight or more loose, but they always kinda fit whatever size you are. Genuinely, my t-shirt collection ranges from size 4 to size 20 and the all fit fine I think. Maybe I’m just not that fussy when it comes to t-shirts. Plus most of my dresses are second-hand which essentially means they are all size 12. A lot of things had to be re-bought though. And I bought some new stuff I didn’t desperately need because I was too uncomfortable in what I owned.

Like most people in recovery I think, clothes have hugely effected me, but eventually, I have learnt a few things. It’s a stupid list, but these are things that have made clothes (and by implication, living in more fat tissue) easier (though not easy) to bear.

1) Stay away from second-hand.

In my life in general, I firmly believe that there are lots of perfectly good and actually really nice second-hand clothes to be had, so buying newly made stuff is kinda wasteful. And also, you end up buying some pretty nifty items this way. Obviously some things have to be newly made (like underwear and really smart suity stuff) and sometimes it’s nice to buy something new, but I like to get most of my clothes from friends, vintage or charity. At my lowest weights, I couldn’t get second-hand clothes anymore because there is a point when you just get too small for most people’s hand me downs, but with recovery, I was really looking forward to having a good rummage in my local charity shops.

However, I was wrong. This is an awful idea. Absolutely, categorically stupid. Why? Because there is no standard sizing. If I like a pair of jeans in a charity shop and they seem like my size, I get excited and really want them.  I try them on, only to realise I’ve grown, but I’d already set my heart on them, there’s no getting another pair. And even if you I on a different pair in a bigger size, they might be too big or too small as sizes between brands aren’t standard. It’s traumatic. Seriously. It’s ok for jumpers and cardis and dresses because most of these things look fine in sizes that are a bit big, but jeans, skirts, shorts, trousers, shirts etc. are a no. Anything that actually has to kinda fit isn’t worth it. It’s confusing and hard and really, there’s plenty of time for second-hand once I’m comfortable and at a stable weight. The rest of my life in fact.

2) Primark and H&M are your best friend.

Ok so there are problems with H&M sizing because a lot of things run up small which can cause drama, but they are cheap. I’m sure there are other dirt cheap clothes shops, but these are the ones I have easy access to. When my body was changing a whole load, it was kinda important to be wearing clothes that fit at different stages, but that can be really difficult money-wise, so cheap shops are crucial. The worst thing I could do is continue to wear clothes that make me constantly conscious of the fact I’m bigger and I actually think it’s pretty impractical to buy clothes that will fit “once I’m weight restored” because really, I didn’t know what size I’d be once I was weight restored. This is the one instance when I actually believe disposable fashion is the way forward. Especially with things like jeans. I borrowed other people clothes as well for interim periods. They didn’t have to be all that nice, but a plain enough pair of jeans or skirt or something for as cheap as possible is a good idea. They didn’t have to be well made or last forever because I would probably grow out of them. I just made sure they were things I was happy to leave behind when the day came.

3) Lycra

Might sound stupid, but anything that stretches is good, even if its tight-fitting. Leggings and cycling shorts are super comfortable and stretch to your shape. If I don’t want to wear them out because I’m not comfy enough with my body, thas fine, I’ve got my crappy Primark jeans, but in the house, they reign supreme on the comfort level. They are actually pretty forgiving clothes and you can buy them in a size smaller than you, or a size bigger, and they’ll still fit kinda the same. It works with bodycon skirts and dresses too for if I’m feeling a little more confident and want something a bit less casual for outside appearances. I own a lot of stretchy lycra things and actually, a lot of it looks better now I’m bigger. Wearing lycra clothes which fit baggy on you isn’t attractive, but most of it fits now. I have ridiculously small-sized skirts but really, they fit a bit better now and give me a fabz batty. Lycra is a winner in recovery because it grows with you. And also, it can be bought bare cheap (New Look even do multipack leggings) or if you fancy something a bit more interesting, it’s easily avaliable. And to be honest, cycling shorts and leggings triple up as perfect yoga clothes and pjs. Yuss.

4) If it makes you smile, it’s worth it

I get immense guilt when shopping, but I’ve found that in recovery, clothes that are a bit stupid but make me happy are worth spending a little bit more than I’m comfy on. For me, this involves princess skirts and t-shirts with dinosaurs on and anything with a lot of glitter or sequins or rhinestones on it. I like to dress up, so my taste is a little bit odd, but I think that everyone has clothes that make the a little bit more happy and anything that increases your sum of happiness is worth it. Especially if it can make something as difficult as clothes a bit more cheery. Now is the time for stupid items that make each day a little bit more silly.

5) Baggy vests and t-shirts.

And lots of them. They are cheap and can be worn with anything and basically cover up a lot of the standard uncomfortable body zones. You can get really long ones to cover bums and hips, but also tummies and upper arms if need be. And they actually look alright with almost anything. Especially the lycra leggings. They are nice and airy for when it’s hot, but can easily be teamed with vests underneath and hoodies/jumpers/cardis of any description. They look good tucked in to high-waisted things or pulled in with a waist belt. They look good with low or natural waisted things too. And jeans. And you can get them a little sheer if you want something a tinsy bit see through so you feel a bit less like you’re hiding. I like the tiny bit see through ones because I feel like I’m hiding, but I don’t think I look like I am. No one knows I’m hiding but me.

6) Jeans.

Are the most difficult thing to buy and are a little bit important to own. If they stop fitting, get rid of them and get some which fit better. Or not. I can always wear a skirt and to be honest, it’d be a lot less traumatic to buy.

7) Remove anything that doesn’t fit.

I’d be a hypocrite to say throw it away, because I can’t… Just in case. Which is stupid because what does that mean? Just in case I engage in eating disordered behaviours again for long enough to drop a noticeable amount of clothes sizes? I don’t want that to happen. In fact, I want to remove anything that makes that tempting. But I can’t yet. Argh. Still, removing it all from my room was one of my better moves. Getting it out of line of sight whilst getting dressed saves a lot of “oh I’ll just see” moments. They make me feel like shit. Replace with all the things that fit.

8) If on any day you’ve got the balls, wear it.

So I wake up one day and you think “I can actually look at my legs”, that is the day I parade them about. The more I do it, the easier it gets. Exposure therapy init. I don’t even think it’s important that it’s my style or anything. I think just being about to wear whatever I like, regardless of what parts of my body it does or doesn’t show, is a nice thing to aim for. Once I know I can have my legs out as much as I want, I can keep them covered in trousers if I’d like, but just knowing that it is really my choice, not because I’m too scared or ashamed, would be a nice thing I think. So on that rare day I’m comfy enough with my whole body, crop tops and hot pants. Why not?

9) It’s not the end of the world.

In the end, clothes aren’t that important, but learning to accept changes in weight is. If all I can bare is sweats, then so be it. Having a healthy body is more important than anything else. Clothes are pretty expensive and kinda boring to shop for and sometimes you just end up crying and wanting to go home. If that’s the case, go home. There are other days and other clothes. Sometimes pjs are the only thing I can stand. There’s no rush. Whatever makes me the most comfortable as my body stabilizes is what’s best. It’s not static, it’s not the same every day and it doesn’t just get progressively easier. Joggers may as well have been designed for recovery. And big hoodies. And whatever other clothes I wear when I’ve got flu. Who cares how I dress really? If it’s acceptable to me, it should be acceptable to whoever else. Whatever makes it easier to reach and sustain a healthy body.

So there you go, my clumsy understanding of what works, and what doesn’t work, for me as far as clothes are concerned. Body image is a major part of my eating disorder, so clothing is traumatic, but I think if I stick to these rules, I’m ok. I’m kinda hoping this explains a little bit why it’s got really important, but also really hard, for me to shop the way I do. Hopefully. Mostly because I’m embarrassed that I buy things. I feel like I shouldn’t, so want others to understand why and how I’m justifying it to myself in the hope it justifies it to them too. I duno. I probably care too much what others might think of me.

(Is it bad I’m really self-conscious on my legs in that image? It’s probably bad. But still, I’d feel too ashamed to publish this if I didn’t mention the fact that yes I know my legs are chunky. I’m not too stupid to not realise. I don’t care all that much though. It’s worth it to show off my fabz leg wear).

17 Comments

Filed under life, recovery

unplanned.

I wasn’t going to post today. I wasn’t even supposed to be home (I was planning on heading partyward this evening). In fact, I was thinking that my next post would be a long overdue eats report tomorrow so it’d be all positive and full of accomplishments, but today has been really difficult and really testing for me so I thought I’d get it out of me and try to get some perspective. There will be numbers in this post so be wary if that’ll bother you.

Today started badly. I was out last night, then ended up spending a few hours cotching with the Mam when I got in, so didn’t wake up today till around noon. I know this shouldn’t really bother me, but when you have the looming “Shit – I have so much eating to fit into so little time” feelings, if can make your whole day tense. Part of you wants to make a big effort to eat a huge breakfast to catch up a little so you can maybe drop a snack and get back on time, but another part of you hates the idea as that’d mean eating scary food combos in one go, so you can’t really win the scenario in a mentally settled way. For the past few days, I’ve been trying to make the move to real cow’s whole milk rather than unsweetened soy. It’s not something I do comfortably due to the calories and fat content, but I’ve come to the opinion that actually, it’s the best kind of milk for me right now so I’m just going to go for it. To make matters harder (but better obviously), I decided to have to normal sized slices of seedy toast with Spectuloos instead of my usual muffin with Nutella with my cereal and that really whacked the calorie total into seriously uncomfortable territory for me and it actually effected me more than I’d expected, especially because it made me so full. The fact that I’d drunk last night made this even worse as alcohol always seems to destroy my appetite.

Despite my discomfort, to get back on track with my eating times a little, I had to snack an hour later. I was still painfully full and uncomfortable from my breakfast choices, so I went for this Tesco finest white chocolate and raspberry yogurt in the fridge. I thought it’d be good because it packed a calorific punch due to all the heavy whipping cream in it and the fact that it was small and soft. However, it just freaked me out more and left me feeling even more uncomfortable. It seriously added to my internal fat intake count and made my brain start to seriously freak out. I felt awful.

I think part of the reason food was so hard for me today was because I’d bought bagels, smoked salmon and full fat cream cheese for the obvious, but incredibly tasty, lunchtime treat and in my mind, I’d planned to have that today. Bagels, salmon and cream cheese are all major fear foods of mind due to the fat and general calorie content of each seperate item, but I brought them a couple of days ago when I was having a strong moment in my recovery and I didn’t want them to go stale/off, so I knew I had to at least try today (I really hate food waste). However, as I was so late, I was in a rush to get on my plans for the day and still so stuffed physically and mentally unsettled that, although I did manage the bagel, I missed out the rest of my lunch. Salad with dressing, crisps, yogurt and fruit all got ditched to soothe my mind and get me out the front door. I felt horrible, but I figured I’d get more hungry soon enough and could pick something up whilst I was out as I was heading to Westfield and there’s bare food there for whatever mood you’re in.

Now, this is where my day starts to get ridiculous. It was a stupid idea really, especially considering how distressed I was already becoming about my eating today, but I was getting antsy. There are these jeans in River Island I absolutely love. They are skinny jeans with thick powder blue and white vertical stripes. I’ve been putting off buying them due to weight gain, but I’d been thinking about them so much I just thought I’d try them on, buy a size bigger then I am now and style them out till I grow. They only had one pair left, and they were a 12. I tried them on, along with some size 10 shorts in the same design, realised the 10 was way too big and the twelve was ridiculous, so figured I’d just head to Topshop and check out their stripey jeans.

Big fucking mistake.

Topshop has always been the barometer by which I size myself. I compare my measurements to their measurements, consider their jeans to be an accurate portrayal of my size and generally just use them as a way to monitor my weight gain/loss. Last time I went (only about two or three weeks ago), I tried on some shorts. The 10s were too big, the 8s were a little big and the 6s fit snuggly, so I figured I wouldn’t buy any shorts as I still had to grow and cursed myself for still fitting into a 6 then went on my way unphased. Today, they had some aces jeans with spaceships on them, but only in size 16 or size 8. I figured the 8s would fit, but I was completely wrong. I was bigger than an 8. I also tried on some stripped jeans in a 10, and they fit fine. This really, really got to me. I had to leave the shop as quickly as possible and promptly burst into tears and found a corner to sit on the floor and hide in. I was there for at least half an hour, just crying. On my own. In a shopping centre. Like a dick.

See, pre-eating disorder, I was a Topshop 32 inch waist, so a 14 in their jeans. I promised myself a long time ago I’d never look that dumpy and horrible again, and considering I’m still gaining weight, that is a distinct possibility if right now I’m already a 10. I also think that a size 12 is really dumpy on me so basically hate the idea of that too. At this point, it didn’t matter that I’d tried on all my jeans and skirts the other day and fit into all but one pair of jeans I didn’t even buy (including the XS ones and some Topshop size 6 chinos) and many were still too big. Even so, I felt huge. I felt like an absolute failure at life and I just couldn’t cope with it. It was the first time in weeks I’ve serious considered restricting. I mean, I’ve thought about it a lot and I’ve wanted to, but today I was really actively considering it for the purposes of rapid weight loss, not because food just felt difficult. Now, it’ been meticulously planned to the extent where I actually think it would be really easy and actually quite comforting. So I sat there for a while, crying and looking like an idiot with eyeliner all down my face. Then I made possibly the worst decision I could have made in that scenario.

I went back to Topshop.

I tried on every single cut of skinny jeans in the shop (and a few pairs of shorts for good measure) in size 8 and size 10 so I could really know what size I was. The jeans I’d previously tried on were the Leigh kind, so were meant to be stretchy, but the patterns on them I think were like printed on, so they lost a lot of stretch. I therefore decided that it wasn’t truly representative of whether their sizing was store accurate, so I decided to check. And I really, really did. It took a long time but I got through each and every style of skinny jeans in the shop, along with a couple of types of hot pants. My testing paid off slightly seeing as I’ve now decided that I fit a size 8 snuggly, but could get away with a 10 now. Even in the normal, non-print Leigh jeans. I have gone up one size since Christmas. It still made me feel like shit because I’d gone up a size, and I still refused to buy any of the things I tried on, but I won’t lie, I wanted to die a little less. In my mind, a size 8 is still small, but a size 10 isn’t. A size 10 is normal size and I don’t want to be normal size, I want to be small. I want to be small because being small is pretty (I don’t apply this rule to anyone else. Just to me). I know it’s vain and I know it’s unhealthy for me and I know that I won’t be this small in a few weeks so I should just suck it up but it scares me. It’s fucking terrifying.

So to make myself feel better, I picked up a cardi I’ve had my eyes on for a few months from Primark and got some nang dark purple lipstick and stay put black eyeshadow from MAC as I’ve been after purple lips for ages and my usual Benefit eyeliner has been discontinued, then headed home. Retail therapy in every way.

This whole fiasco took a really long time and (apart from the time I spent on the floor), I’d been walking, with no food stops, for 5 and a half hours. All I’d had in over six hours was a black coffee, but because I was upset, my appetite had drifted even further afield and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was eat. I made myself though, even though it made me cry (again. I swear I’m all tears and tantrums right now). It was a relatively safe meal (stir fry prawns with rice and veggies) though, which was entirely unhelpful as it meant I still had over 1000kcals to make up for after dinner. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would, but I’ve been eating my evening snack for an hour now and it’s almost done. When it’s finished, yes I’ll feel monstrously sick, but at least I would have hit my target.

I’ve mostly been writing this to keep myself distracted from the food I’m eating and to keep myself from caving in to the million and one negative urges that are running through my head right now. I feel so sick it’s ridiculous. My self-esteem is pitiful right now. I’m staying home because I’m too fat for parties. I’m desperate to never be dumpy and big again and it kills me inside because I think I’m going to have to be because of my genetic bad luck. I hate that I have to be huge to be healthy. So many other people are healthy at smaller sizes than me. I hate hate hate it. I feel awful. I haven’t felt this distraught in a long time.

So today has been pretty bust recovery wise. I did manage to eat my calories, but in such a stupid way that I now just feel physically sick. My body image is critically low right now and I’m really not sure how much longer I can keep this up. I’m desperate to know my weight and considering buying a battery for my scales tomorrow, but I don’t think that’s actually wise. I’ll just hate the weight and want to lose it even more than I already do right now. I haven’t weighed myself in at least half a stone (at my last weigh in so nearly two weeks ago now). I’ve probably gained since then and it probably means I’m over nine stone and the idea of being over nine stone makes me want to die. I’m embarrassed to even type that weight. It’s an embarrassing weight really. I know I’m being dramatic, but as I’ve said before, my brain is Lord of the Overstatement and overstatements seem to be all I’ve got right now. I know full well that I haven’t been this big or heavy in an incredibly long time and I hate myself for this weight gain. Still no fucking period now though so on it goes. I’m so desperate for the horror that is periods now. I don’t ever want to reach my pre-anorexia weight again and if I’m over nine stone, it’s probably only about a stone away. I know this is all disordered and I know if I’m going to be healthy I just have to see what happens, but I’m struggling. A lot. I’m still having the odd good day, but it’s rapidly becoming the odd good day again, rather than the mostly good days I had been having. Today, I walked for way over my alloted two hours, which is bloody terrible really. I didn’t even try. I just walked and walked and couldn’t just not. I also measure ever aspect of my evening snack. I measured milk, weighed berries, weighed cereal. Apart from the cereal, I haven’t done any of this in months now. But today, it was back. Which is a bit of a fail.

I just hate my body. It makes me so upset. It’s not even legitimately small anymore. Even if I’m wrong in thinking it’s huge, you definitely couldn’t call it small. It’s disgusting. I can literally feel the excess tissue crawling under my skin.

I’m all doom and gloom right now. Sorry. I just feel like I’m starting to fall apart. I’m not ok right now. I’m really struggling to want to recover and I’m not entirely sure I can keep this up much longer.

I haven’t cried this much in a long time. Pathetic really.

16 Comments

Filed under general, rant, recovery