Tag Archives: PTSD

phone and rubbish times and lots and lots of babbling about geeky rubbish.

Saturday 3rd November 2012

I caved and joined the masses of people with iPhones. I was gonna get a GS3, but then once the iPad happened, the inevitable just followed. I’ve been an android girl since the first Samsung Galaxy, a Samsung girl for years before that. It’s weird when you change phone brands. It’s less comfy, but the prospect of everything just syncing nicely and hooking up to my iTunes made me too much sense. Most of the Internet think the SG3 is better because its more customisable, with a bigger screen and a better battery life. To be fair, the battery life thing is a big pro, but I don’t want to watch anything on a tiny screen anyway – I have a T.V., a desktop, a laptop and an iPad for that. Plus the iPhone 5 is just prettier anyway. The memory thing is a big pro for android phones more generally (SD card options), but I never filled my S2, but with cloud technology, my iPad and the ease of backing up onto iTunes on my laptop, it doesn’t really matter. Plus I have a 160GB iPod classic so music space is no issue for me. I think the GS3 is kinda butterz personally, but it’s all opinion I guess. Plus I like the smaller screen because its easier to use, and the display is better. Widgets and GO! Themes etc. are pretty much useless, clunky and annoying on android, so I never went for the customisable thing really. That’s what happens when you make apps to match multiple phone brands. I also watched a lot of YouTube videos showing how the iPhone is actually faster, regardless of what tech specs suggest. And it fairs better in the drop test. I am a geek about things like this. A massive geek.

So I guess this is me welcoming the apple era of my life. Maybe just a year or so.

I realise I’m probably boring you with this post, but suck it because I am.

See, I’m close to perfecting myself with gadgets, which seems silly, but it’s how I feel anyway. With my 4th generation iPad, iPhone 5, DSLR camera, iPod classic and normal digital camera, I’m only my slim PS3 and new telly (Christmas list init), 3DS and digital Polaroid camera away from being content in my gadget world. With my brother’s Sainsburys discount reaching 20% around Christmas, this will all happen soon I hope. With new glasses, great eyeshadow and aces hair, I feel like I might reach some sort of amazing level of being brilliant. I probably won’t though. Some other amazing thing will turn up that I’ll need to be amazing or I’ll realise it didn’t make me amazing. Goes either way really.

I’m making this out to be a jolly post, but today was dramatastic. My S2 broke yesterday, but my upgrade date was the 5th, so O2 said they’d put it on the system that I could get an upgrade now. They didn’t. I almost signed up to orange because they have quite good deals, but for no reason I think that orange is a nerdy network. Then, thinking my upgrade date had been changed, I called Carphone Warehouse to order an iPhone on O2 as they’re deals are cheaper and I should have been able to upgrade through them and then have a phone within 10 days rather than 28. O2 hadn’t sorted it though, so I called them again and after a few hours on hold, was told the department had closed and I had to wait till this morning. I woke up at 8am today to call them as I knew there was one white 16GB iPhone within ten miles from my house in a Carphone Warehouse. The woman said that Carphone Warehouse could call O2 to get the upgrade clearance. I was there by 9am to get this phone, but the store manager was like “there’s nothing we can do for a few days.” Determined not to lose out on a phone for a month or something, I called O2 again and they did actually upgrade the system that they’d said they’d upgraded the night before and actually could get the phone. The account is in the Dad’s name though, so he had to be there. This process took over an hour and yes I did win in the end, but the Pa sacrificed his running club run because it took so long. It didn’t feel like a win. It felt like a loss because it was at the expense of someone else’s happiness. I felt sad and guilty and cried a little.

The next layer of drama to add to the day was sorting out my application for the London only “you’re so mental you need to travel for free” pass. I’m too poor for stamps right now (especially because I’m changing banks and can’t go into my overdraft), so I basically decided to walk my dog to this business park place I had to post it to so I could post it myself. This took an hour, considering all the time I spent looking for a letter box on top of walking. There was no letter box, but there was an annoying post box right next to it which I couldn’t put the bloody thing in without a stamp.

One of the joys of walking to Walthamstow is the absolute abundance of shit phone shops selling badly made phone covers that are probably the least ethical thing in the world. I’ve already ordered some hilarious iPhone covers on amazon, but I don’t know when they’ll show up and I managed to haggle a deal of £2.50 for a cover and screen protector. I also got to go to the 99p Store and get three cans of Diet Coke for 99p. Apart from that, the mission was useless. And by the end of it, it started getting dark and I started freaking out.

PTSD is a bitch. I literally cannot hack the dark when I’m outside. I’m mostly ok indoors, as long as I have my fairy lights or lamp for sleeping, but outside darkness is the worse. You are not safe in the dark. No one cares about you in the dark. You’re alone and vulnerable. Then came the panic and the flashbacks and the really shit time going as fast as I can and calling the Pa to come and rescue me in his car so I would be safe again. It was bloody horrible.

Still, at least I have an iPhone, and the Ma used her stamps and told me I was silly for not asking, then posted it for me, and I have a really cheap phone cover. It’s not hilarious and covered in horrible plastic jewels, but don’t worry – that’s on it’s way.

So now all I have to do is fix myself into a normal looking human being. I look proper rough today. I’m tired and ill and feel skanky and stressed, but some friends have just come back from India so I should really go pub. I’ll have to scam drinks off people and maybe get my parents to lend me some money, but that could work out I guess. We’ll see. It’s just till I can actually use my overdraft again, and that’ll be soon. Plus like, in a week or something, my ESA will come through.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under bad day, life, PTSD, shopping

crying on the tube.

Thank God the Queen is almost over. I’ve got to this point where I just cannot even comprehend why anyone cares this much. So she goes from one place to another – and? Why do you need to watch that? It’s almost fascinating – people who really do get emotionally attached to seeing and old woman they will never speak to and don’t know. It would be anyway, if it wasn’t so dull. I just don’t get it. But then I’m not a royalist. I cannot comprehend the appeal. Yesterday, I went to Oxford Street and in all the little side streets were mini street parties. It’s beyond me entirely.

Yesterday was actually pretty awful in a lot of ways. I’m mostly sticking to my rules. I avoided the pub and some friendly outings due to the chances of alcohol and people who I think hate me, I did something nice for myself etc. (fabz. golden hoops with skulls threaded on them – yes please! Sometimes I think I should stop buying things because they’re silly. Then I realise life would be so boring then). It doesn’t change the fact that I’ve lost a whole afternoon and that I don’t feel like I was really there or that it was me or that I had any true thoughts. It didn’t really happen because I wasn’t there. I watched it, once removed. No control over my actions and completely void of any thoughts because I don’t have true thoughts. I ended up crying alone on the tube home.

I really hate crying on the tube. People watch you and don’t want to be near you. It was rush hour so it was packed, but people tried to stay away. No one wants to try to make it better, which I like personally as that would be mortifying, but it leads to making a whole load of strangers incredibly awkward looking. It’s not nice watching a girl cry, and no one wants to think of themselves as bad people for not helping because they’re stuck near you for so long that it seems polite to get involved, but no one actually wants to. It just becomes an exercise in awkward smiles, stepping away and glances which try to be sly, but aren’t. It’s really uncomfortable. It’s worse than crying on National Rail. National Rail travellers tend to want to be more involved. They see you cry, they offer you one of their Malteasers, or a tissue, or ask how you are, or give you an unwanted newspaper, or resolve to distract you for the whole journey (which has actually happened to me and I’m incredibly grateful for) etc. Not everyone, but someone always seems to eventually want to help. And because they cross that line, you can say no, you don’t want or need anything, so their absolved of any guilt whilst you’re left alone. That’s what I think anyway, and I act this way in both scenarios when I see someone obviously hurting. National Rail is just less awkward.

I then proceeded to cry all the way home and into my room. Then over dinner, which made it almost impossible to eat. Lots of tears.

By midnight I was pretty desperate. I felt awful and empty and I had nothing and no one. The fam were away last night, so I had no one to distract me, and Brother had ignored me when he came home from work so I assumed he’d had enough of me. I went through my phone contacts over and over, looking for someone to call. There wasn’t anyone. Plus, as it’s a Bank holiday today, I assumed they’d all be busy anyway and not have the time for me. I don’t know what it is I need, but I know I need something. I don’t know how to ask for it though, or whether or not anyone can help me with it. I’m glad I didn’t actually call. I sent a measly, nondescript text that was ignored, but in the long run, I’m glad it was ignored. I’d probably be so ashamed if I’d actually spoken. In all honesty, I really just wanted a hug. But in reality, I don’t have anyone to call when I feel so awful. No one else calls me up with the thoughts and feelings I have so often, so I assume it’s either inappropriate or abnormal or I don’t really have anyone that would consider me that much of a friend.Whatever reason, I don’t have anyone.

I really had nothing. Right then, I had absolutely nothing. I’m struggling to have something today. Sitting at home, alone, trying to rationalise that I do actually have some things, even if they are small, that make me less empty. I still feel empty though. It’s just more overwhelming at night.

So after completely ruining my day and being incredibly self-destructive, I eventually called my crisis line. It takes a lot for me to call them. I always feel like I’m not bad enough, that it should be worse. But I called them. I got put through to a woman who works on the switchboard for NEFLT, and it’s her job to put you through to the right borough. She put me through, but no one picked up. No one picked up the 24hour crisis line for my borough. She tried over and over. No one picked up. She tried other boroughs, but no one would answer me as I’m not in their care. She told me she’d call back in five minutes, so I hid under my duvet, trying some mindfulness techniques to put me in the moment. Lots of “I am in the dark. My skin feels warm. The duvet is soft. The mattress is springy” whilst I waited for half an hour, then eventually called her back. Again she tried over and over to be put through. It didn’t work. Eventually she got me on the phone to someone in another borough. This new woman just shouted “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?” I asked who she was and if she could help me. She didn’t give a name. She just shouted “NO. GO TO HOSPITAL. CAN YOU GET TO HOSPITAL? THEY CAN HELP YOU THERE. THEY’LL HAVE AN ON CALL TEAM. GO NOW. CAN YOU GET THERE? IF YOU’RE NOT OK, GO THERE. I’M SURE YOU CAN.” So I just mumbled “yer. bye.” and hung up. I can’t leave the house alone in the dark. I literally just can’t – one of the more persistant effects of PTSD. And by this point, it was the small hours of the morning, so it’s not exactly the safest of times anyway. So I didn’t go to hospital. I just curled up under my duvet for a few hours. It took a lot to keep myself there. I felt so unsafe and so empty. There was just nothing. I called Samaritans and talked to them. It wasn’t what I needed, but it was better than being alone. Destructive night. It took a long time to fall asleep.

Only to be awoken at twenty past seven by the crisis team. Apparently if no one answers, they’re supposed to leave a message. The switchboard woman didn’t leave a message. If she’d done so, I would have been called back hours earlier, whilst I was scared, devastated, alone and (most importantly) awake. Instead, she told the team at seven am this morning. I was groggy and didn’t know what was going on. She asked if I needed her to come round. I said no, though I probably should have said yes. She told me she’d contact the CMHT for me and they’d call me when they open after the bank holiday. Apparently, I also have to call the psychological services to try to speed up getting a new psychologist. I don’t know if I will. I already have one, even if I haven’t had any contact with him in almost two months. I couldn’t tell her anything. I should have. I need the support. But I really wasn’t awake enough. Two hours of sleep will do that to you.

After a meaningless few hours in bed, I eventually got some more sleep. I woke up at one this afternoon. The not so funny thing is, whenever things go so badly, food becomes so easy to focus on. I put too much cereal in evening snack last night. I shouldn’t have had so much cereal. I’m more hungry than I should be. Why am I hungry? Is it because I’m ill. I am ill, but generally that makes me less hungry. Why did I eat that much cereal? I should eat less today.  Don’t need a snack. No one will know. No one is watching anymore. I’m already fat, no need to get fatter. That cereal has caused me to gain weight. I’m so much fatter than yesterday. How the fuck have I managed to think it’s ok to not count calories/weigh myself etc.? It’s not ok. I’m going to gain weight. Fuck’s sake Ellie. Plus I’ve stepped down a nicotine patch this week so I’m burning fewer calories. Maybe that’s why I’m hungrier. I shouldn’t eat more cereal because of that. I’ll be fat then. I’m already fat. I’ll get even fatter. And quickly. That’s what happens when you quit smoking. I need to lose some weight just to be sure. I can drop a few pounds easy. Greedy idiot. Why did I eat that cereal? Why? Now everyone will think I’m useless because I have no control. Everyone already does. It was too much. So what I’m hungry and thinking about food a whole lot more. Doesn’t matter really, it’s not a reason to eat. It’s because of quitting smoking. I have to eat less anyway because my metabolism is slowing anyway. Useless person. Can’t even get my body right. Everyone knows I’m useless. They see my failure on my flesh. If I can’t get my body right, how can I get anything else right? Why did I eat that much cereal. I’ll make up for it today. I have to make up for it. Fuck

This is my brain. All day. Whenever it stops, I just have nothing at all. I’ve managed a small breakfast and lunch. I’m starving now. I don’t know what to do. I did manage a diet hot chocolate though, on top of what I’d planned. Even that was hard today. But if I stop for just a second, I don’t have anything. I don’t know. This is a rant and a mood I think.

7 Comments

Filed under general, rant, recovery

sometimes, you just need a good vent.

Recently, I feel like I’ve been making a decent amount of progress in my recovery. I don’t by any means feel like this is all fixed, but I think I’m doing ok and that parts of me are starting to get fixed. I feel like I’m starting to get the pay off for all this painful work I’ve been doing and it’s quite nice really. It does get less hard and less painful and sometimes you really notice.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s always easy now because it’s not. Although this isn’t exactly positive news, I think it kinda is. If it wasn’t for the times which make you want to curl up and die then you wouldn’t be able to see what aspects of recovery need more work. The psychologist wants me to be working on three issues with him – food, body image and self-esteem. Sometimes I think all of this is unnecessary because I’m obviously well now, but I guess the past few days have really highlighted some problems for me.

Yesterday was one of those days. It started badly and only continued that way I guess. Yoga was fully booked so my usual Sunday exercise wasn’t available to me, so the slow build of freaking out started. I decided pretty early on I was going to walk and did a little brisk walking almost straight away to make sure I was getting some in, but it didn’t feel like enough. Thankfully (or not. I duno really), a few of my friends were meeting for sunny times wine on the flats (for those of you without East London geography knowledge, the flats are like a huge bit of flat grassland in a part of Epping Forest which reaches into London) so I figured I could walk there and back to get in some more walking so I would be at least close to two hours for the day. I really know that my attitude here is not good, not by any means. I mean, I could easily get a bus there from outside my house, but I knew I wouldn’t go if I didn’t walk because I’d have to walk regardless, so it was either walk there or not go  so I could walk somewhere else (I cannot stress how much I know I have to work on this, but it just seems to be something I cannot do).

The problem with this is that the flats terrifies me. In my mind (and I also think this is actually true), any patch of green land in East London is pretty dangerous as they are prime places for attack. This is the PTSD speaking I know because I used to be totally fine with it, but these days I can’t step into Epping Forest alone without major panic and anxiety, so I avoid it. I love Epping Forest, but I’ve lost all my confidence within it. I can’t run there anymore, so any running I do has to be on streets only, I can’t go sit and read there in the sun, I can’t take shortcuts through it. The whole thing is too scary, even in the daylight.

But yesterday, anorexia trumped PTSD and I walked across the flats. My heart was racing, my head was spinning, my body tensed up, I practically ran across them, I blasted my happy playlist as loud as possible and I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. I felt physically sick the whole time but I did it. Part of me is proud because I challenged my avoidance and felt like I was reclaiming a bit of my life, part of me feels stupid because I let the urge to exercise push me to do something I hate and found kinda traumatic. It was horrible in every way, but I managed it. I don’t really know how to feel about it. At least I had someone to walk me home though, so I didn’t have to go through the panic twice. I’ve done this sort of thing before though. I’ve gone walking in the dark because I haven’t walked at all that day in an effort to stay sedentary and ended up walking and crying and struggling to breathe. It’s ridiculous really, but I cannot tell if it’s good or bad for me. I feel like I’m just lining myself up to get hurt every time I do it and I feel like an idiot, but at least I walked.

I don’t really talk to my team about the walking issue. I probably should. It’s getting ridiculous. My feet and legs ache constantly because of the amount I’m doing everyday. And it’s building up slowly. Over time, it’s gone from a minimum of one hour, to a minimum of two and right now, it’s definitely closer to three on most days, if not more. I think my recent record is more like five. I’m literally wasting hours of my life away, but it doesn’t feel like exercise, so it never feels like enough. At least when I was really going for the calorie burn, there was a point where I felt like I’d done enough (albeit after more exercise than can possibly be good for you), but now I’ve never done enough. There’s always room for more walking because it’s not exercise so it doesn’t really count. The amount of time spent walking is pretty close to the amount of exercise I was doing in the depths of anorexia, but the intensity is so different that it doesn’t feel like it’s an issue. But it is exercise and it is an issue and I’m being an idiot.

On top of the stupid exercise thing, the social anxiety started to creep in whilst I was with my friends. I have mad paranoia about my voice. I hate it so much that it makes me want to cry. Yesterday was one of those days when my voice becomes something I fixate on then find talking something to be ashamed of. It built and built until I just wanted to stop all together. I don’t know if it’s noticeable when this starts happening to other people, but I notice the changes in myself. My voice starts to shift. It gets quieter, my answers shorter, my pitch higher, I start to lose my ability to articulate coherent sentences and instead chose to mumble key words in an effort to make my voice something less offensive. I’m still feeling the effects of this particular instance so I found it impossible to call my GP surgery today even though I need to get a repeat prescription.

I don’t really know how social anxiety works for most people, but for me, it goes one of two ways. Sometimes, I just don’t talk. I get twitchy and start fidgeting because I’m so tense, I can’t look anyone in the eye and I get painfully self-conscious and uncomfortable. Route two is the polar opposite. I start to dissociate from the situation and lose all control, so end up overcompensating for my anxiety by blabbering a lot and saying things I really shouldn’t, getting embarrassed and feeling like an idiot, which I then beat myself up for over the course of days. Yesterday was route two. I’m ashamed of myself for speaking at all. I shouldn’t have gone because everyone will think I’m an idiot.

Body image is also causing a problem. I know a lot of people with eating disorders don’t have the stereotypical body image problems, but I really do. I started dieting because I hate my body. I continued dieting because I continued to hate my body. I ended up severely ill because I hate my body. I don’t want to simplify it for those of you that don’t know much about eating disorders because there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s not some sort of vanity project spurred on by desire to look like great or anything as current research indicates that there are a lot of physiological adjustments within the brain caused by genetic bad luck and stimulated by starvation itself. For me, starvation makes me less anxious, helps detract from my depressive tendencies and makes some of the more distressing PTSD symptoms more manageable, but I narrate it all in terms of my body. It stopped being something I could just stop easily because eating led to fear, anxiety and panic. I wasn’t in control at all, but this fear and anxiety and panic was all directed towards my body image.

I feel like I’m genetically unlucky. I read about a lot of people with anorexia being naturally small and recovering to lovely, feminine bodies. I’m not like that. Like really not. I’ve never been small naturally. It’s hard work for me to be small. I had to really bloody try to even get my bmi to 20. I don’t have a nice figure and never have. I think it’s actually impossible for me to. I looked awful whilst underweight, but I didn’t look better at a healthy weight. I have always held my fat in bad places. I don’t get a waist, hips, a bum or breast. I have belly and thigh and that’s about it. Even when I was overweight, I never really got out of an A cup, so chances are I never will. The refeeding body is my natural body shape and I don’t think it’ll improve with time like it does for most people. I’ve always been this shape, whatever size or weight I am. I will always be this shape and there’s nothing I can do about it. Dumpy and boyish. I read about how people are so upset during early refeeding that their stomachs stick out more than their breast. Well mine always does, regardless of weight. I hate it and it makes me cry. I promised myself that I’d never let it get so bad again when I initially started to lose weight, and I’m back there now. My body does start to even out when I’m at really low weights. I look disgusting but at least I’m more even. I don’t want anyone to see me now. To be healthy, I have to go back to the thing I hate and have hated for as long as I can remember. I would fantasise about cutting my belly off with scissors during childhood, in my teens I’d dream of getting exotic diseases that’d put me in hospital because I just couldn’t eat and would get such a high temperature I’d be burning all my fat so I could come out and everyone would be amazed because I was small. There is nothing I can do to make my body something I find acceptable. It’s genetically rubbish. To be healthy, I have to be the body I find repulsive.

Then there’s the lingering food issues. I’m eating a whole load I know, but I’m not feeling quite so comfortable with it right now. I’m eating through it, but I’m struggling. Today, I didn’t weigh my cereal for the first time in about two years. It was terrifying and made me feel sick because I’m sure I had more than my acceptable amount. It was horrible, painful and has made me feel bloody disgusting. I feel like I’m eating disgusting amounts of everything bad right now. Too much cake and too much fat and too much chocolate and too much processed food and too many unknown calories and it’s in my mind all the time and I’m beginning to really hurt because of it. I hate eating like this. I don’t feel like I’m being healthy anymore. Argh. As I write this, I’m starving hungry and my belly aches, but I still don’t want to eat yet as I don’t think there’s been enough time between now and my last eat so I’ll just sit and ache and feel like I’m in control of my food intake. Even though it doesn’t really matter if I do or don’t in the long run because I’ll eat a lot today regardless then feel out of control and disgusting anyway.

Last night I just cried and cried like a moron. It’s all too much sometimes.

So now it’s all building up and I’m getting close (yet again) to deciding to hide away. I don’t want to speak to anyone. I don’t want to see anyone. I feel disgusting physically, I feel like an idiot when communicating with people. I just want to hide away in a tiny hole and never see anyone ever again. One of my bezzies is hosting a dinner party tonight, but I can’t go because they’ll be dinner and people and I’ll be expected to talk so people will physically hear me and I’ll say things that make people judge me and they’ll see me and know I’m disgusting and I’m not good enough for them. So tonight, I’m going to sit at home and probably have a rubbish time, but I just can’t be around people who are so much better than I am. I can’t continually put myself in situations where I feel like the perpetual other. I’m never the fun one or the pretty one or the interesting one or anything. I’m the other one. I’m the friend of the good ones, never the good one itself. And I don’t want to be that right now. Sometimes I think it’s better to stay out of people’s way and let them get on with being better than me without bringing them down.

All the things the psychologist wants me to work on definitely still need more work. I still think it’s better now than it was before, but I don’t think this is actually all ok now.

I’ll probably get through this mood in a few days. I just wanted to moan. So here’s my moan.

14 Comments

Filed under exercise, life, recovery

“on the way to some planets that were outta sight!”

So I’ve been blog neglecting some more. I’ve been having a pretty stressed with my presentation (on Reproductive Labour in Gendered Development Projects if you’re interested. You’re probably not though). Not that it’s even part of my grade, but I still freaked out a whole load though. Standard. On top of this, I’ve had some major life stresses that are probably all too personal for an all too public blog. Especially as they don’t just involve me. Needless to say, my head has been entirely caught up in the busy world of stress, anxiety and blind panic for a while now. Sorry if I’ve been a neglectful commenter – I’m hoping to more about again. Guess we’ll see.

Now there’s going to be some numbers and generally freaking out in this post, so if you’re not a comfy number person, duck out here.

Lots has been happening though actually. Maybe I’ll go chronologically.

Firstly, it was the Mam’s birthday. Again, another famo celebration I let my eating disorder ruin a little for me, but not as much as it could have been. The hang over didn’t help much (I was waaay too fucked the night before. Mixing substances is always fun. At about three in the morning, me and my friends danced happy birthday to her, then we danced it in makaton and everything. It all got a little ridiculous and I didn’t end up in bed till about six am maybe? Did manage make up removal, piercing cleaning and full pajamas though so I think I was an ok amount of out of it. Not remembering parts probably means I was a little bit more than ok out of it, but I’m chosing to ignore that). I did manage a birthday lunch with her, but couldn’t hack the idea of a famo dinner and movie. Unknown calories and changes to routine just didn’t want to happen on that day. It made me pretty sad actually. Hopefully I’ll be in a better position to deal with it by the time the Dad’s birthday comes around. I’m not sure though. Everything seems to take longer than I hope.

This was quickly followed by my birthday. The big two-three. Urgh. I hate birthdays. Don’t get me wrong, I love presents, but I hate birthdays. Birthdays mean having to eat cake and changing routines and nice meals and organising being social and stress. The few days leading up to it I was utterly miserable. To me, they just feel like some sort of popularity contest where you have to prove how many people like you by getting them all in one place or having a lot of wall posts on facebook or something. I’ve got a lot of bezzies, but not all that many friends. And I hate looking unpopular. So I didn’t tell anyone about it and tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. Turns out everyone knew anyway, but it didn’t cheer me up really.

Saying all this though, I did manage a properly nang food day. I had lunch out (chicken tikka baguette and black forest gateaux!) and an Indian take away for dinner! This was a massive deal for me. Indian take away is food I’ve been purging since before I even identify myself as having an eating disorder. Many years earlier in fact. I’ve purged large, calorific meals for around nine years maybe (I duno, it never seemed like a thing until the recent binge/purge episode), but never out of guilt or fear or after something I considered a binge. More out of misguided desire to not get any bigger as I’ve always felt huge, but it was nothing like the purging that came with the fully formed eating disorder. Not in the slightest. And it didn’t linger on my mind or bother me in any way. It just wasn’t a thing that happened every few months and I didn’t think it was strange in any way. So indian food has been something I’ve been avoiding for fear of purging since the start of recovery. But I managed it! I had to half my food with the Mama, but there was a lot of it so I think that’s fine. Lamb dhansak, rice and half a naan. Sooo good. Followed by two segments of birthday bug cake for good measure (the Mama picked one which was in little individual segments so I wouldn’t worry about portion sizes. I love her for that. Very much). And absolutely no urge to purge. I just moved on and forgot about it over a naff pub quiz and a few drinks. It was hard to make the choice to eat it, but the eating, enjoying and dealing with it part were just a bit of a non-issue, which was really really nice. After all, it was my birthday. I didn’t want major stress and I didn’t get it.

Birthday Baguette!

Birthday Black Forest Gateaux!

Birthday Take Away!

Birthday Bug Cake!

What I did get was some serious pressies though! A shiny SLR camera (even though I’m notoriously rubbish at taking pictures) which I love so much it’s ridiculous. It’s basically with me at all times, even though it’s so huge and clunky. I’m taking a hella lot of pictures right now. And a blender! Now I can make smoothies! Anyone have any good recipes for blenders for me? I’ve never had a blender before – it’s super exciting (yes I know it’s a foodie thing, so possibly a little disordered of me, but still). And a build your own mobile solar system! And a necklace with a tiny harmonica on it you can play! And many other bits and bobs, but they’d probably bore you (standard – make up, clothes, bags, jewellery, DVDs, books, cosmetics etc.), Oh and a really good CD that made me so entirely happy. I think I might be a little bit in love with about eight people because they are just so unbelievably good to me. I don’t know how I managed to wind up knowing the people I do. I have seriously aces friends. I’ll never get how I deserve that :D.

All in all, the birthday was a bit of a misery anti-climax. I actually had an alright day.

Last week I got the results to a PTSD test I did for the psychologist. Apparently it’s something I really need to work on. I kinda think it’s slowly getting better on its own and I don’t need to spend valuable therapy time on it, but the therapist wants me to start tackling this issue. Which means talking about it – something I’ve been avoiding since the immediate aftermath of it all I think. And I’m shit scared by the whole idea. I don’t want to be forced to think about something I hate thinking about that wastes too much of my time as it is. And I do genuinely think it’s slowly clearing up of its own accord. I’m still avoidant, but much less so than I have been, I’m having less of the really distressing symptoms these days. Plus winter’s kinda ended so it’ll be less dark, which will make it all easier as the one thing I’m most scared of is being outside in the dark. And bikes, but there’ll always be bikes.

I also asked the therapist to start getting aggro on all this eating disorder shit. To which he replied “Well we’ll start by letting me weigh you.” Which got my defenses up. I honestly can’t understand why I need to be weighed more than I am already. I’m a pretty good weight right now, which is only going up and up so I’m not in any physical danger. Plus he has access to all my treatment notes so knows my weight. He thinks that I need to be less avoidant of it, but I do know my weight and although I don’t like it, I’m comfortable with it going up. I never really weighed myself before university and don’t really see why I have to start weighing myself more again. It doesn’t seem like a normal step to me. I hate being weighed. I really hate it. I hate my weight. I don’t think I have to like it though, I think I have to accept it, which I do. All of these arguments I make and he says are just “the eating disorder talking. It’s not what you really feel.” It is a little bit eating disorder talk yes, but it’s also rational I don’t want to be triggered by my weight or have to worry about it any more than I already do or freak out because it’s yet another person who I have to do something I find horrific in front of all of which make eating more difficult for me. I don’t really know what to do at this point. I don’t know if I’m right or wrong here and I’m not sure whether to take a stand about it or just let it happen and hate every second of it. I might just bowl up tomorrow and just get it done. Or I might just pretend that conversation never happened. I really really hate being weighed. Any opinions on this would be really useful.

On top of all of this other rubbish, I’ve upped my calories to 3,000 a day for the past week or so. It’s incredibly difficult, but I’m fed up of doing this so slowly and just want this done. I want to have some periods so bad so I can fix my bones and just give up on this gaining weight malarky and get to a point where I can start trying to move past this all. I still feel so stuck in this eating disorder as I’m still so stuck in food and eating and weight. I don’t want to be anymore, so I made the choice and upped the calories. I feel rubbish about it really. It makes me more anxious and more panicked and I think it led to some water retention as I feel all swollen up, though my weight hadn’t jumped as much as I’d thought at my dietetics appointment today. I’m now only 4kg away from my initial target weight and my bmi is up to 19.8. Yuss! 2.2kg in four weeks! That feels like a good amount of gain. I feel good about that actually. I may have to get to a higher weight than my target for the ever elusive periods to return, but until then, I’m not going to try my hardest not to worry about it too much. I’m not sure, but I think that at the start of uni, my bmi was around 23.5, so it might need to be that high again, but at the same time, I’m hoping it won’t. That’d mean a whole lot more weight gain. It will probably be require though – somehow, I still fit into size 6 (albeit much cosier) and I was always a 12 before all this began. I can’t see how anything less than a 10 could possible be a healthy size for my height. I am starting to get definite signs that my hormones are on the up and I’m getting general period excitement as I’m so hopeful. I literally cannot wait for the living hell that is the dreaded period to return. And as the dietician says, that could actually happen at any point now. Until that point, it’s 3,000kcals a day minimum. When I started all this back in June, I really thought I’d be weight restored by Christmas, then my birthday, and now I’m hoping for before Easter, otherwise we’ll be closing in n a year of gaining weight and that just seems like such a long time.

However, it’s not all good. Definitely not. My body image is horrific right now. I see myself and all I see is fat. It’s like a case around my body. It makes me cry. A lot. And hate what I’ve done to myself. I don’t look like me anymore. I look so so big. It’s really hard to get used to how big I’m getting. I haven’t been this big in years. I’m struggling with incessant urges to purge, invasive urges to self-injure and a marked upsurge in my desire to restrict. And exercise. Oh my gosh exercise. I’m just want to run. I keep having to force myself not to run every single morning (I even got as far as my doorstep on one occasion). And weight training. How I long for weight training. I mean seriously – who even really likes weight training? Apparently I do, but I’m pretty sure it’s a chore for most people. And gym classes – aerobics, step, power pump, boxercise. They all sound like heaven right now. Thankfully, none of that has got the better of me yet, but it’s all causing me to have to fight for this harder. It’s exhausting. Physically and mentally exhausting. Especially as I’m not really sleeping still (thank you God of Caffeine!). Personal stuff and uni stuff and treatment stuff are all a little overwhelming and I’m struggling to be ok, but somehow I’m managing to be (it feels like by the skin of my teeth). Right now, everything is painful, everything aches and I constantly feel like I’m going to be sick from stress and exhaustion and food.

And walking. It’s not really getting any better. I walk too much. I know I do. Many hours. Everyday. I do it to relieve so many different types of stress. Stress hits me physically like a tonne of bricks. I get all tightly wound and don’t know what to do to make it go away. The only things that work are physical things and of all of them, walking is the least destructive. I don’t know what else to do though. It feels like a vent that if I don’t vent, the pressure will build and worse will happen. I’m scared of what’ll happen if I don’t walk. Which is bad. I just don’t know what other options there are.

I literally cannot wait to be done with this all.

I feel like a planet I feel like a planet I feel like a planet. I’m huge and fat and ugly and horrible and everyone knows I’m rubbish and I’m stupid and I’m failing and I’m boring and I hate myself. It is most definitely not ok.

Constant noise I swear. Right now, the only thing that makes even a smidge better is listening to the B-52s really loud and dancing like an idiot (it involves a lot of jumping). I save them for really sour times so they don’t get wasted.

9 Comments

Filed under eats, life, recovery, university

and it continues…

Firstly, and this is really really sad news. On Friday – Jelly was put down. I’ve had that dog since I was 7 and I love her very much. She was incredibly old now though and it was definitely the right thing to do. She could barely walk, was blind and deaf, couldn’t keep her food down and had almost stopped eating entirely, was quite unresponsive and generally really very sick. She had liver cancer which was slowly killing her and she became so completely frail and skinny. Although it’s so sad, it’s actually less upsetting that she died in a peaceful way than it was to watch how much she was suffering. Very sad though.

I saw the psychiatrist yesterday. Although she was positive about my physical progress, when she asked about how I was doing emotionally and I told her it wasn’t too good, she sprung into action as if this was not expected. I tried to explain all this disconnected stuff to her and I guess it went worse than I’d hoped. She told me I was “losing touch with reality”, which is a possible psychosis with potential to lead to a full-blown psychotic episode that will land me in hospital. This is actually what she said to me, so now I’m entirely terrified. Way to make me more anxious. So she’s prescribed me orlanzapine which is an anti-psychotic medication and is also used as a mood stabilizer. I haven’t taken it yet because it has some pretty dark side effects that are really really common (one being an average of 40lb weight gain and increase in appetite, which is entirely scary, another being excessive sleepiness. One side effect is lactating which I really don’t want). Anyway, anti-psychotics are pretty hardcore medications and not to be taken lightly. Unlike anti-depressants, they start to take effect almost immediately and start to make you really lethargic within a few days. They might stop these symptoms, but at the same time I don’t really think this is psychosis so am really reluctant to take something with a listed side effect of sudden, unexplained death. On the flip side though, I am now terrified of falling into a psychotic episode. Both options seem entirely frightening.

For the past few week or so I’ve been having some pretty severe PTSD symptoms, which have also been really frightening. The psychiatrist is going to sort me out a referral to specific PTSD therapy though, so at least that might clear up at some point in the future, but it’s probably a ways off right now. One-sensory flashbacks from terrifying experiences is really not fun. It’s like invading thoughts. This has all been triggered by a stupid guy on a stupid bike on the way to therapy last week who really shook me up (pathetic of me I know) and now sometimes I end up on the floor crying due to fear of being powerless and hurt. Plus it made me incredibly disconnected during therapy last week and I struggled to talk about anything constructive at all and didn’t want to mention why. I think PTSD therapy might be the best way forward. Although it’s entirely debilitating, anorexia creates a really easy and comforting escape strategy from anything remotely anxiety producing or emotionally difficult. Doesn’t fix them, but it hides them so well you forget that they were even there. Same goes with the depression and panic attacks and social anxieties. You forget they are there because you’re too busy counting calories, looking at food and losing weight to focus on them. Anorexia gives you something else to focus all your energy on – it doesn’t help you cope at all though. I do think I was functionally more capable at a lower weight though, but if I can work through these things now they aren’t being ignored, I will be the most functional I can possibly be when I hit my goal weight.

I gained a lot of weight this week, which hasn’t helped things. Much more than usual. I ended up crying in front of the dietician this week, calling myself disgusting and fat and crying about how my body doesn’t work like everyone else’s and I’m just especially biologically rubbish. This gain did push me into the very bottom of the healthy b.m.i. range but it doesn’t feel good to me. I feel absolutely huge. This hasn’t been helped by the fact that the dietician has lower the calories on my meal plan now to slow things down for me, whilst at the same time encouraging me to make steps to not count calories. I really need to keep myself in check and make sure I hit her new minimum. I already feel like I’m not going to unless I count calories because the exchanges meal plan she gave me could easily not add up. I’m really confused about what to do right now. And absolutely hating my incredibly fat self. I literally can’t look in the mirror due to the layer of new-found fat on my face. This appointment led me to writing all over both my arms with a sharpie marker so now I’m covered in reminders of how awful I am. And I look like a freak. This is something I’ve always done in times of distress but it’s been getting worse over the past few months. I have fading sharpie marker all over my body. Still, it’s not as bad as it could be. Once I circled every part of me that was too fat, including on my face. I had to scrub myself raw before I could leave my room. Luckily the boy helped by going to the shop for me and trying to gently clean me up. This was four years ago – before exhibiting many eating disorder behaviours (though I was already purging occasionally at this point, but I don’t know whether to count that as the beginning of my eating disorder as that started back in secondary school, didn’t involve heavy restriction or binging behaviours and was never a regular thing). Apparently I’ve been a disaster for a long time. Much longer than I care to imagine.

But finally, some good news. I absolutely love the therapist. At the beginning of each session he always asks me how I am, to which I always reply “I’m ok thank you. How are you?” He always goes “I’m fine” then asks how my week has been and I always mumble “Fine. Good bits bad bits y’know?” or something like that. This week though, although I did impulsively give that answer – I managed to stop myself and just said “That’s a complete lie” and then went over my entire week, starting with the guy on the bike on the way to my last session and ending with crying in front of the dietician. And you know what? He really helped. I still feel entirely rubbish and I get waves of feeling so low I’m scared of what I’m capable of, but he helped me think about some of the things I’m dealing with right now and tried to clear them up a bit. A little bit on my PTSD symptoms, some stuff on my weight, a lot on my feelings of not really being present in my own life and thinking that everything about me is just lies because it doesn’t really feel like me, and a little bit on the meds issue. Basically, he doesn’t think this is necessarily psychosis and thinks that although the meds might help, they are not critical right now so it’s entirely up to me. He said it was “derealisation” which apparently a lot of people experience in response to stressful situations. It’s like your mind saying “I don’t want to be here anymore” then cutting off from whatever is causing the high levels of anxiety, and in doing so also cutting off from everything else. It is really distressing in itself, but doesn’t mean I’m psychotic. Even if I’m not, orlanzapine might still help, especially as I have some not so pleasant reactions to SSRIs. But anyway – basically the therapist has really helped to settle my intense emotional reaction to the dietetics appointment, and though I still feel pretty dark and distressed, it’s not spiralling into a scary place anymore. It was the opposite of a good time but I think it was good because it helped ground me a little (which it has never done before). But now he wants to see me twice a week for a bit, so more therapy on Thursday. Not something I look forward to but at least it might help me deal with some of my difficulties right now.

The orlanzapine, the cut down meal plan and the extra therapy all seem like maybe things aren’t really going to plan with my treatment right now though. That in itself is scary. My team seems to think that something not so good or expected is happening and that I need to be medicated, slow my weight gain and have double the therapeutic support and refer me to an entirely separate therapy course on top of this  – all in the space of a week. This wasn’t part of the agenda. Now I’m scared things might be really wrong with me. It doesn’t help that the psychiatrist told me that most patients feel a whole load better emotionally by this point in recovery. Something is not how it should be. I’m not fixing the way I should. Yet another reason to freak out.

Jeez what a dark and stormy post. Sorry. Doesn’t seem to be much good news right now. I will try to locate some optimism.

5 Comments

Filed under general, recovery