Tag Archives: shopping

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.

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iBalls.

Today, I have an excruciating eye. I couldn’t sleep last night because it was so bad. Out of not where, my right eye started really hurting and now it’s red and swollen and sore. I don’t think it’s conjunctivitis because I’ve had that before and your eye goes all gunky, but it isn’t this time. It’s just really really painful. I saw my G.P. about it and he’s given me some drops and told me to go to A&E about it tomorrow morning when the eye unit opens because he thinks I scratched the cornea. Gah! It’s really horrid. It made today especially stressful, extra specially because I had a hair appointment and horrible pain eye with lots of hair in it is worse than just the eye on its own. Still, my hair is pretty.

So anyway, where are we at? I had a psych. appointment yesterday at the CMHT. I love my psychiatrist there. He’s so aces and not at all up himself like other psychiatrists I’ve seen. We talked about my upcoming assessment and he was really good about it. Again, another person who thinks that IMPART will take me on no sweat, though I’m still terrified obvs. The most important thing we talked about was my serious diazepam dependence though. He’s upping my prescription to help to ween me off it slowly rather than me lying and cheating in order to get enough to feed my habit. Now I’m prescribed 30mg a day which is better. I can’t sleep without at least 15mg, and the rest I munch throughout the day. Now there’s a real effort and plan to get me off it by lowering my dosage by 5mg every two weeks which is probably good.

I sometimes think I take too much medication. My pharmacist keeps a little log of what I take and when so that they don’t accidentally give me some combo that’ll fuck me up or be really ineffective because I’m such a regular. Right now, I have seven prescriptions in my name. Fucking hell. It makes me feel like one of those little old women with their pill boxes. I’m thinking of getting a pill box now though because they seem pretty useful. At least then I’d know remember what I’d taken and missed each day. Way too many meds.

Anyway, seeing my psychiatrist was surprisingly good, but I’d been anxious about yesterday for a whole host of reasons for a while now so I simply cracked and displaced that anxiety with consumer excitement. On Monday, I decided I was going to buy a tablet. I then spent hours and hours researching tablets on the Internet. I settled on a Samsung one, but in the end I couldn’t go to sleep I was so excited. I managed about 2 hours before waking up again at six in the morning with excitement. Only to research more and change my mind about the tablet I was getting obvs. Seriously, I haven’t been that excited in ages. It was like christmas or something. Purely uncontainable, childlike, overly agitated, adrenaline fuelled excitement. I felt kinda out of control. Tuesday involved a lot of running and jumping and skipping and tripping and dancing and singing and all sorts of ridiculousness. After my psych. appointment, I basically ran to get the bus to the big Sainsbury’s to pick up my new iPad 3 (my brother works in Sainsbury’s so I used his discount. I didn’t go that far in such a random direction for no reason don’t worry). I am now the proud owner of an iPad (late to the party I know), which I’m using to type this out because it’s exciting and fun and new. I’ve got so many apps you wouldn’t believe. And also, I finally get to play this Infinity Blade my brother has been harping on about. It is actually pretty fun though. That is, until your eye starts to get stabbing pains. Fucking eyes. Seriously, what the fuck?

I have so many nerves right now its ridiculous. I’m so close to being out of stress city though so hopefully I’ll calm down soon. At least the diazepam should help. Plus it should also mean less heavy reliance on other drugs to chill me the fuck out. I hate emotions. Hate hate hate them. So much. I self medicate to keep myself stable when actually, that’s a really shit idea. It’s just that if I’m completely sober, my brain starts whizzing about to all these annoying places and I get caught up in thoughts and start to get increasingly destructive and end up doing damage and increasingly becoming a danger to myself. It’s a problem for me. Except it’s crap because if your brain is constantly fried, you can’t do much else. It becomes a toss up between fried brain or fighting off suicidal thoughts. I’m really hoping that once I’m through stress city it’ll be ok. At least I have Ben Goldacre and my new iPad to distract myself. Hopefully they’ll work and I’ll be ok. At least when my eye gets better. Tomorrow I’ll probably spam the Internet with many A&E waiting room posts. Gosh you lucky people. You get to read along with me moaning.

This whole post has been a whole lot of not talking about what bothers me most today. You’d think it was my eye, but it isn’t. It’s more to do with being a massive prick and having such changeable moods and not knowing how to predict myself and upsetting people and not wanting to be a let down, but I’m not really sure how to modify all this though. The CMHT psychiatrist guy says therapy with IMPART will help, but that doesn’t stop me from being a prick right now. Ack! I’m being cryptic so I’m going to stop now. Stupid girl.

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psychologists.

So I’ve been trying to both read and write posts for days. Literally days. Truth be told, I’ve been too stoned on diazepam. I’ve been in and out of naps and the world in general. I have felt nicer, but now they’re lowering the dose in the hope that the duloxetine that may or may not work to stabilize my moods is starting to work. It means that I’m more likely to be awake, but less likely to not freak out. Literally all I’ve done for the past few days is nap, watch the O.C. and have awkward conversations with people who make me hurt immensely and get hugely confused. A few nights ago I spent about four hours lying in a heap on the floor telling the Ma how I didn’t exist and everyone hates me. Purely because I couldn’t decide whether or not to see someone or not. I couldn’t decide therefore I was a failure and everyone would laugh at me and my life was a disaster and I don’t feel anything and all I am is lies. The Ma sat with me for hours because she was scared I’d do some damage. She cried. I didn’t feel much. I find it difficult to remember. I don’t know if I was there. Lots of talk of burning insides. Urgh. She wanted to call my team. I can’t call them though because I called them when I was drunk. Double urgh. So then I watched the O.C. some more. Standard day.

Yesterday was really hard for me I think. The HTT psychologist (who I’m in love with) came round and discussed some of the things that have been bothering me. We discussed complicated people and complicated emotions. Apparently I “shouldn’t trust my emotional reactions” and have to learn to take my time and be patient and think before I act. That was the general advice. And also to take less diazepam (yuss! What I didn’t realise about Valium when I only took it for lolz is that if you’re literally always on Valium, you’re always fucking exhausted. It stops being fun pretty quickly). So basically, it was a bit weird having therapy in my front room, but it was ok. I really like the HTT psychologist. Plus I’ve been having problems with one of the HTT team. He’s really fantastic and nice, but he keeps asking me questions about my diagnosis and how I feel and if I think it fits so I get confused and worked up about it. I think he’s trying to help, but it just makes me feel weird, so the HTT psychologist is going to talk to him for me, which is nice.

Then I saw the EDU psychologist (who I’m also in love with). Too many psychologists for one day if you ask me, but still, I think maybe it was useful. I was in a good mood on the way their. I was listening to a mixtape made by a complicated person who I happen to like at the moment and I was feeling happy and dancing and jumping and spinning and feeling really great. Then therapy happened. It was a lot more talk of a lot more complicated people. And complicated emotions. And complicated behaviours. And complicated behaviours. And complicated diagnosis. And complicated symptoms. Essentially it was just really complicated. A lot of my thoughts and behaviours count as symptoms. Symptoms I didn’t think I had. “Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment” was one I didn’t really think I had to worry about. Apparently some of my self-harming behaviours, phone calls, turning up in places I shouldn’t really be… It all counts. “Impulsivity in areas that are potentially self-damaging” was another one I kinda felt was not a biggie for me, but apparently my alcohol use, drug use, sex, spending etc. all count. “Patterns of intense and unstable interpersonal relationships characterised by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation” apparently means that I can’t trust how I feel about complicated people in my life. Which again leads to time and patience all over again.

It’s scary because I feel these demands for decisions and actions all around me and nothing I feel is true or fact and what I think of people changes so often and I don’t know what to do and don’t feel like I can do anything because I have to be “slow and patient” as I can’t trust myself and it’s scary. Essentially all that therapy made me feel like my whole life was out of my control and I felt awful.

So what do I do to feel better? Go out and spend a couple of hundred pound on pointless rubbish. Not just for me, but for other people as well. I just shopped and shopped. Urban Outfitters, John Lewis, Foyles, Waitrose. These are not cheap shops. I’m an idiot sometimes, but I’d saved money for Istanbul and now we’re not going so I went a little over the top. Still, I got some nice stuff. It was all essentially because I needed a new journal. Stupid stupid me. At least I have a journal now though right? Even if my bank account isn’t looking so hot.

My thoughts are fast and my memories are confused and I’m finding it difficult to place people and it’s not nice and I’m trying to be less stoned so it’s a little bit less easy to deal with. I duno.

There isn’t really any point to this post. Other than the fact I’ve been freaking the fuck out about almost everyone I know, whilst at the same time trying desperately to keep myself safe and keep on top of my emotional responses. Apparently I have “an emotional need” that I am trying to fulfil with behaviours which only offer short-term solutions and further deepen this need.

Psychologists babble a lot of phrases.

Anyway, hopefully I’m going to be slightly less stoned so I’ll catch up on some of you lovely people’s posts and see where you are at. I should probably do that before I post, but what the heck? I’m feeling self-indulgent.

Oh and we’re puppy hunting. The Fam is getting a pup. Just sayin’.

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home treatment team.

I got a visit from the Home Treatment Team (HTT) psychiatrist and psychologist today. They were here to review my care. They stayed for like an hour. In general, it made me think “Fucking yuss HTT. You’re properly nang!”

For those of you that are less clued in to mental health treatment on the NHS, the HTT are basically a crisis resolution team. They are a short-term team designed to keep people “experiencing serious mental health crisis” (says their leaflet) from winding up being admitted to hospital. This means that they essentially provide all the services psychiatric inpatient facilities offer, but within the home environment for an average of 6 to 8 weeks (though sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on need)  during “acute crisis”. They address you medication, mood, stability etc. daily to make sure you are getting the right level of support (even if that means urgent referral to inpatient services). They have a multidisciplinary team made up of social workers, community psychiatric nurses (CPNs), medical staff, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and all sorts. They arrange to see you either once or twice a day, depending on need, with the idea of tapering down when appropriate. They are available 24/7, 365 days a year and provide you with a telephone number to get in direct contact with a member of their team whenever necessary for either phone support, an immediate home visit or to arrange transport to their offices or a medical or psychiatric facility if needed. You are seen by a psychiatrist twice weekly, weekly or fortnightly in order to review stability and medication needs. You are only given the exact dose of any medication needed on that visit and have to take it in front of them to prevent medication hoarding (something I’m really guilty of). They liaise with any other services you may be engaging with, as well as refer you to any further services they think will help you with your long-term needs is they think necessary (tending to lead to referrals being processed faster than when received from other sources due to the urgent needs of their service users), as well as alerting any relevant employers or education providers of your situation and helping you gain the correct support from them. They shape their care package to your needs and rearrange visits in order for you to keep up your daily activities so that your crisis experience has as little disruption to your normal life as possible. Due to the nature of the service, it can be quite difficult as you often end up seeing different people each day (which I find quite hard as inconsistency can make me panicky), but that’s understandable given what service they are providing. Essentially, they are one of the best ideas ever. I didn’t really know about them till a week ago and I honestly cannot stress how fantastic I think this service is. Seriously. The NHS is a constant source of joy and surprise for me. I had no idea anything like this existed before and I just find the whole idea inspired.

Today, they were really great for many reasons.

Firstly, I think I might just be in love with every single psychologist I meet. They are so good at dealing with me I swear. I kinda wish I was a psychologist so I knew how they do it, but I actually don’t want to be one so I guess I’ll never know. It’s ridiculous though. They make you feel so much less stupid and useless and dramatic and undeserving. I cannot stress how much I appreciate the existence of psychologists. Yesterday and today they made me feel so much less fucking stupid. I appreciate all people who make me feel less stupid.

For instance, I was telling them how I’m really not miserable all the time and I really don’t understand my emotions, so I never feel like I deserve to call them up when I’m in need because I don’t know when I’m in need or what I’m in need of, and probably am in less need than their other clients who are obviously much worse than me. Whether it’s true or not, he told me that he thinks I am actually in a somewhat more serious position than lots of other users as I’m so disconnected and unpredictable that I could actually end up in a lot of danger without even realising it. thinking about it or comprehending the consequences. Apparently that’s incredibly serious and dangerous. He understood just how powerful self-destructive behaviours are at connecting yourself and re-establishing your presence, but also just how that escalates and if left unchecked, ends in suicidal behaviours. He says I should just call them up as soon as I start to feel myself getting worked up and agitated. They’re going to leave instructions for others on the team to just talk to me and help to ground me. And also they’re leaving notes that “watch t.v./read a book/have a bath” aren’t acceptable types of advice for me so should be avoided, instead chosing to visit me or just talk to me. Do you know how good this made me feel? Like seriously. I felt like I was being taken serious. And like maybe I actually need this and am not just manipulating everyone. It was nice to have someone actually recognise just how scary these feelings, beliefs and emotions are, rather than just tell me it’s normal and ok. I think I liked him. I felt like he really actually recognised and understood what I was saying and how I felt and he made me feel comfortable and deserving.

And also, he actually sat and talked to me about what the fuck is wrong with me. Quite often, people avoid answering that question. He told me that four separate psychiatrists and he himself believe that I have borderline personality disorder. A couple of members of the HTT had noted that was what they believed so he specially did some research and reading before coming to see me so he could be more sure and everything, and having spoken to me says that actually, my feelings and experiences are fairly typical of BPD. Apparently it is fairly difficult to treat, but with correct treatment and my active engagement, it is possible to recover. He also told me he’s going to find me some good, informative websites to look at. BPD has a lot of haters and there are a lot of sites with people bitching and moaning and blaming and calling people with BPD cunts. He said it’s best I just don’t look and he’ll bring me the links for more accurate sites next week, as well as special sites to direct the Famo to. Serious G.

I talked to him about IMPART and how I wasn’t optimistic that they’d take me on and that I was waiting for something I wouldn’t get. He was very clear in saying that he would be shocked if they didn’t take me on and actually is pretty much positive that they will. He told me how great they’d be for me and how I’ll be given a key worker that I’ll be able to call 24/7 to help me manage my destructive urges in order to help me break the cycle and things. Because (and this is a quote) “It’s incredibly complicated and difficult to break the reliance on self injurious behaviours, so it needs a lot of intensive care and support to manage appropriately.” Again, proper G. Apparently IMPART only take people with “severe” personality disorders and he thinks that I have BPD which affects my life strongly enough to warrant their care. He has been chasing them up for me and because it’s a crisis team doing the badgering, they are trying to see me earlier. Apparently my assessment should be in a matter or “weeks, not months” which is pretty speedy for the NHS. They offer intensive, long-term support with DBT group therapies, CBT individual therapies, mindfulness group, anger management group and anxiety management group. That’d be cool.

So yer, I think it’s basically fact I have BPD. Which is scary. Very scary. I won’t know for 100% sure till my assessment by IMPART, but everyone seems to be pretty clear that they fully expect me to be taken into their care. I duno maybe it’s not so bad. I’m going to try get used to it.

Both him and the psychiatrist (who was also a G, but not quite as much) think that right now, the most important thing is to stabilise my emotions. Quite often, I have no idea if or what I’m feeling because I feel like I’m only performing it and I don’t feel it at all, but I’m performing with so much commitment that it burns me. I have no idea when or why or how to predict this happening, but I get completely overwhelmed  and confused and lash out at myself in order to connect myself to reality and my body again. It calms me, but it’s only temporary and puts me at a significant amount of risk. This idea is stabilising and muting these emotions for a while until I can access the correct treatment, though nothing they can offer is a permanent fix as what it essentially means is I’m just dampened. Intense emotions can suck, but intense excitement and joy are fantastic, so it’s sad I need to be dampened for safety purposes. Their fix is essentially to quadruple my diazepam prescription, keep me on zopiclone and start me on the SNRI duloxetine (which is still an antidepressant, but slightly different to standard SSRIs so hopefully won’t end up with me suicidal. It might, but if I’m being monitored twice a day by the HTT then they hope they’ll be able to catch any negative side effects before they become a problem).

Oh and they also said I could tie in my walking to go see them in their offices rather than have them visit. As long as I organise it with them, I could go in to see them in Walthamstow. That sounds so good to me I swear. It gives me something to do and it gives me some control over their visits. I’m only allowed to once a day, so they’ll still have to come in to see me (their psychiatrist decided I definitely need twice daily visits), but it gives me somewhere to go and a reason to my walking and it just feels nicer.

The nurses that came this evening were also great as they talked to the Ma about their role. what’s been going on etc., as well as further explaining to me what was happening. I like that I’m having things explained to me clearly. It calms me.

So now I’m just dosed up on Valium and seeing what happens. I’m worried about duloxetine, but it’s meant to be weight neutral so I’m hoping that won’t freak me out. I’m also worried that I’ll end up doing even more damage to myself, but I’m hoping it’ll be fine. It’s all just to stay stable enough until I’m getting settled in the right treatment, and with the Psychologist at my EDU keeping on till that point, plus the HTT there to help me navigate my way out of crisis, I think I might be on the right track. And I don’t need to be psychiatric inpatient so that’s good. I mean, as long as I don’t wind up in A&E again. I honestly have no idea how likely that is.

Everything is scary right now. Scary and new and hard.

It’s ok though because I bought an anklet with bells on so now I jingle everywhere I go. It’s lovely. And I bought my favourite perfume (The Smell of Weather Turning from Lush). It smells like rain in the countryside. It’s such a calming smell. Fresh and musty and lovely. And some other silly jewellery. I spent way too much money today, but it’s what I do when I’m anxious. I think it’s ok though as I’d been saving for Istanbul with the Fam, but they cancelled that (which makes me feel awful as I’ve single-handedly ruined my family’s summer because I’m a fucking mental liability. Urgh).

All in all, I hope maybe I’m ok. I hope all of this is the right treatment and course of action. I hope I’ll finally be put in a place where I can actually get better for good, rather than jump from one issue to another. I have a lot of hope. Maybe today has been positive. Or maybe I’ve just been dosed up on enough Valium to dampen all my feelings enough for it to feel that way. I duno. It’s better than yesterday, and though I’ve still had seriously destructive urges, I haven’t acted on them.

Yet I’m still scared they’re just going to reject me and tell me I’m making it all up. Because it still feels like I am. Nothing I do is true because I’m not true. I’m ideas of a person. A construct.

Gah.

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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.

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Filed under rant, recovery, shopping

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.

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Filed under general, rant, recovery