Tag Archives: smoking

stuck.

So I want to say “I’m not going to write any more miserable posts about how everything is rubbish” because chances are, that’d turn out to be a lie. I don’t actually want a misery blog though so I’m going to try to keep all my “woe is me” to myself. It’s important to me that what I’m typing is as honest as possible because otherwise, what’s the point? But I’ve said I’m really struggling right now and I don’t see the point in rehashing the same story. It’s been this exact story before and what’s really annoying is that it’s the same people in the same place with the same thoughts and feelings as it was before, just with treatment, recovery and an ex who shouts at me and tell me I’m doing everything wrong and don’t try hard enough. And the absence of help. I had a lot of help from all the people in my life before, but they are all pretty reasonably busy now that we’re not teenagers so they don’t really have the time to help or be in my life in a way that I’ll allow. I think I’m possibly too full on. I can’t seem to hack anyone half in my life. You’re either involved or not and there’s no middle ground. I like people to behave by my rules, and when they don’t I get upset and can’t see them. Even though they’ve done nothing wrong. That kinda leaves most people out of helping as they can’t come over when I’m freaking out or hold my hand when I cry. It sucks that people don’t hold hands. When you’re little, you hold hands all the time with friends and fam and I was basically still doing that till a few years ago, but everyone went to university and you don’t know who’d mind when you’re surrounded by new people and then when everyone comes home you wonder who’s grown out of it. I still hold hands with people who let me when I’m really nervous. I duno though. It sucks that it’s kinda a couple thing when actually, I don’t think it’s remotely romantic, but I’m quite a tactile person and I’m not so keen on hugs anymore because then people know what size I am and can make judgements. Plus the sneaky getting picked up move has left me kinda scarred. Platonic hand holding seems entirely logical to me. It’s entirely safe, within boundaries, tactile support.

This is what happens when I start typing. See I actually have a point I want to get to. Hands have nothing to do with that point, but it popped into my head and I wanted to think about it so I wrote a whole paragraph. I need to start having plans for posts because really, they are far too long. I need to reign my thought process in a little.

So anyway, I went to my GP yesterday. He told me I had to speak to the Access Team. The Access Team told me my GP was wrong and I had to talk to the psychiatrist at the CMHT. I called them and obviously was told by a secretary that someone would get back to me. Seriously, trying to contact a psychiatrist is such a difficult task. I also saw the psychologist today. He told me I looked bundled up which is true because my face is disgusting and I didn’t want him to see, but that just drew more attention to my face. I stuck with it though and wore my hood up and scarf round my mouth and sunglasses the whole time. It was quite warm today so I must have looked like a proper loser, but it’s better than having my face out. He told me I was stuck and need to start challenging my beliefs. That’s all well and good in theory but seriously, how the fuck do you do that? It’s not like these beliefs pop out of nowhere. Honestly, these are the same things I felt for longer than I can remember. What’s annoying is that it’s so arrogant as well. I spend a lot of time thinking about myself and sure it’s not exactly a positive spin, but seriously, there are way more important things in the world than my sorry life. I have guilt for thinking things about myself. That’s not really the point though. The point is that how the fuck do you challenge beliefs? It’s not like food beliefs where you just see what happens when you practically test it. It’s thought beliefs. It is years and years of evidence that turns into fact. Plus how do you even know if your beliefs are wrong? You have to think on some level that they might be wrong to challenge them, but if you just cannot comprehend how they aren’t true, what are you supposed to do? I think this is why the psychologist thinks I’m stuck.

What’s annoying about the psychologist is that for him, this is all kinda new. Never mind the fact that I’ve been trending downwards for a few months because it’s not like I saw him in that time, but also more generally. It really concerns me that this is just what I’ll always do and always feel because this is exactly the same as before. He sees it as a new development. I see it as the same old issues. There’s nothing new about it. He only knows me in this tiny, brief and absolutely bizarre moment in my life when I’m completely numb and disconnected and only think about food, then as my whole body and mind switch on again. It’s such a specific thing and doesn’t really give an accurate portrayal of who a person is. Even in a purely biological sense, that’s a pretty bizarre thing to put your body through and it does impact your brain and hormones in strange ways. None of this is eating disorder driven anymore though really. I still have a lot of hang ups and issues to deal with and am by no means fully recovered, but it’s not the thing that bothers me right now. I guess that’s progress, except it purely feels like I’ve switched one shit thing for another, equally shit thing. Still, it is progress actually, even if right now I honestly don’t know why I bothered. Anyway, it concerns me because I think that I’m going to be like this forever. He asked me what I use to cope. I think that is a naive question to ask someone in recovery from an eating disorder with a known history of self-injury. Getting high, cutting holes in my body, pulling my hair out, punching things, starving myself and exercising till I physically cannot move aren’t exactly killer ideas right now, but they all help me to manage thoughts of how much I suck and help me have a kind of life. He then told me that “they are only short-term fixes” and sure, self-injury and exercise definitely are, but really, you can stay high for an incredible amount of time if you set your mind to it, and you can starve for even longer. I managed to not have to deal with this for a really long time through starving. If it was only a short-term solution, I wouldn’t have gotten so ill. If I had better solutions to the problem, I’d probably use them right now rather than feel horrible, but seeing as I’m trying to not do these things, I have to kinda flail about till I work something out. Shouldn’t that be obvious? I wondered today if he knew what he was talking about. Didn’t solve the fact that I don’t know how to fix it.

Except with medication that now, I’m not allowed to have. The psychiatrist called me back and she thinks that my psychological assessment on Thursday may give me some acute help. How? I asked how and she said it would. I told her how my actual therapy isn’t giving me acute help but she didn’t listen. I asked her if I just have to feel awful for till therapy maybe works and she said “No – your assessment will help” even though I’d told her that I didn’t think it would. I fucking hate taking medications and the fact that I asked really means I’m doing badly. I’m hoping to sneaky sneak past her back and pick up a prescription for the psychiatrist at the EDU next week. I cannot see how an assessment is possibly going to make things anything but worse. I get so worked up about assessments. Urgh. And it took so much fucking courage for me to even ask because I hate calling them up and asking for help. I hate it because I never feel like I deserve help. Well apparently, I don’t.

I don’t feel like I got anywhere or learnt anything in therapy today, though the psychologist tells me I was actually challenging my assumptions – whatever the fuck that means. I also think that’s a shit thing to say to someone. I think it’s shit to tell someone they are stuck. It’s hardly motivational to tell someone that they are unable to move forward. I then cried on the overground like a moron because he asked me things that made me really hurt, yet I refused to cry in front of him. Then being told that I can’t have access to something that sure, won’t fix a damn thing, but might make me able to have a fucking life right now and actually do things and stop upsetting people and stop ruining my relationships, pushed me into full on water works and panic attacks. Medication might not have worked, but I really wanted to try something to make my life a little easier whilst I do the work in therapy to fix things. I duno.

So I came home and did the same thing I’ve done for the past few days which is watch far too much Made in Chelsea on 4od. You know something? It’s really awful. It’s annoying people who really already have enough money that they don’t need royalties from the show, but just actually think their lives are that interesting. Every single person is irritating. Yet it’s pretty numbing and easy to watch. Plus you don’t have to look at it as nothing happens, so I’ve been sewing at the same time to keep my hands busy.

At some point I have to be able to do more than watch bad catch up television and sew.

See I know this isn’t exactly a positive, upbeat post, but I actually think this is a lot less “I HATE MY LIFE.” I’m thinking of doing some more abstract, what helped me in recovery posts maybe. Break from life posts. I duno. Most of the people who read this are probably more interested in recovery and eating disorder stuff than how much I suck. I duno. Lemme know if you hate the idea.

I really wish blogs had chat. I want to chat, but actual chat rooms are full of twelve-year-old boys who pretend to be seventeen so they can “enter private chat” with fourteen year old girls who think they might find someone who older, more mature and understands them. There should be chat for only cool people. I don’t know how you’d enforce that membership rule though, and it’d probably exclude me. I’m kinda lame.

I haven’t even got to my point you know, but this post will be under 2,000 words so I guess I’ll get to it some other time. Must learn to be concise and keep on task.

And for no reason other than I think everyone should have this in their life, plus you know, it’s motivational quitting music. And also she’s my new music obsession –

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Filed under life, rant, recovery

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.

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Filed under general, rant, recovery

personal.

I have been a rubbish blogger. I can’t even remember my last post. It wasn’t that long ago, but I have a pretty shonky memory so it’s kinda gone. I should probably read it to catch up on where I am on here, but I can’t be bothered really so I’m just going to go from where I am right now.

I had a deadline today – 4,000 words on gender theory in practice. I did it and I think it’s ok, but not great. I picked a topic that made me literally want to die a little bit (Women’s bodies as sites of improvement – how the rhetoric of body modification exerts control over women in two contexts – cosmetic surgery and female genital cutting. No joke. 4,000 words of utter soul-destroying sentence after sentence). The workload I set myself for no apparent reason was obscene. I have so many books and articles I didn’t even mention because I just read so much more than you can possibly put into 4,000 words. It’s not really that much space. Basically. I’ve worked pretty solidly for the past few weeks and have therefore been neglecting every type of social contact I engage in. Sorry for that. I have a week of relative freedom, then next Tuesday I get my take home exam – 2 essays in 2 weeks. It’s going to be another 2 weeks of hell and another 2 weeks of completely neglecting every person I know. Sorry in advance.

I know chances are none of you will notice, but I can actually see the fact I’ve been waist deep in academic writing in my sentence structure. Annoying. Academics write like smarmy bastards. I’ll be extra wary of adding any “thuses” (is there a plural for thus?).

Aside from that, I’ve been struggling with what to put in a post. The practical sides of recovery are going well. Workloads mean I’m walking less and even though it sometimes makes me cry, I’m eating. I think the stress of work has made the stress of eating ten times worse. It’s displacement stress, but it’s led to a lot of tears, a lot of meals which have taken over an hour to force in, a lot of meals that have ended up 4 hours late because I just can’t face it. I do have a habit of making myself sick with study pressure and this was no exception. But I actually think that’s pretty damn impressive really. Essay writing has always been a time where restriction comes particularly easy and is incredibly useful at mitigating stress levels, but I didn’t restrict once. Go me! I see the dietitian on Tuesday and I’m hoping that I’ll be done with weight gain and able to switch to maintenance. I don’t think I’m the best judge, but hopefully she’ll think I’ve got to a point where this is a good move. I feel pretty ugly this weight and don’t really want to get heavier, but I guess I’m not the most trustworthy source of information when it comes to appropriately sized, healthy bodies, so I’ll let her decided. All I know is that I’m so much bigger than I’ve been in so long and I just don’t want to be big and I hate it.

And on top of all this, it’s been two weeks smoke free! Ker-fucking-ching! It’s not been as hard to quit as I thought. I think it’s because I’ve really set my mind to quit, so I’m just not going to smoke. I might change my mind, but right now I’m just not going to smoke. I have mad skillz at denying my body something it craves, so I figure I’m using that skill for something actually good for me. Plus NRT is a Godsend. Patches are really great and I may look like an idiot chewing a tampon, but my inhaler is really useful. It’s full of menthol so it even kinda burns like a cigarette. Plus it keeps my hands busy.

However, although my eating disordered thoughts like to tie themselves up in basically every type of thought I have, they’re not really my main concern. I actually have other things on my mind, many of which are painful and hard for me and none of which I feel comfortable discussing here. I honestly have no real problem discussing eating disorder stuff. I don’t want to share it with every man and his dog, but I figure my friends all either know about it from me freaking out a couple of times over the years (lots of middle of the night phone calls with me scared and crying and not knowing why all this food and body stuff was so fucking awful because I couldn’t bring myself to believe I had anorexia) or probably guessed it through my weight changes, so I may as well be open about it. Especially as I’m trying to get healthy. I’m comfortable talking about things which I know how to work though and am taking steps to manage. I’m not ashamed of my eating disorder because I’m making progress and leaving it behind. Albeit slowly.

But there are aspects of my mental health I don’t discuss because I am purely ashamed. I’ve never been great at dealing with the world and I still have quite a lot of work to do before I’m stable. Sometimes I think I’m doing ok, but when fam start threatening to take you to hospital, you’re confronted with the fact you really are a crazy person. Only a couple of the people who read this blog have experience with me in these states and that makes me embarrassed enough. Luckily, I have a million (well four) appointments this week to try to get me back to some sort of level. There’s talk of lots of different medication options, which I find distressing, but if it means I start to feel better, I’m more than up for it. I really want to feel better. I’m finding it increasingly hard to keep my shit together right now – pressure me in one area and everything starts to crack I guess. I like to think this’ll all ease up on its own, but it’s a recurrent issue so we’ll see what the psychiatrist no. 2 (I have two now. Who needs two psychiatrists seriously? Ridiculous)  says this week. I think I might like her. She calls to check I’m ok and schedule appointments around my needs. Plus she says she’ll find me the medications with the least weight gain side effects so I’m more compliant, which I appreciate. I know it’s pandering to disordered thoughts, but I’ve gained weight on medication before and it was that weight gain which caused to me start dieting in the first place so it settles my anxiety somewhat. If I’m scared of weight gain, medications make me worse so I just don’t take them. Or I start taking them, but at the same time start engaging in disordered behaviours. So yeah, I think it’ll be positive in general if they don’t affect my weight.

I could write about some of my anxieties over social stuff that are causing me problems right now, but that isn’t so simple really. Now I’ve actually stated seeing people, these anxieties are not being projected onto hypothetic scenarios, but actual situations with real people, some of whom read this blog. I’m not really keen on talking about those things because it puts pressure on to people that they really don’t need. None of it is cause by other’s behaviours, but purely through how I internalize their interactions with me,  but still – discussing what’s difficult might make people feel they have to change or interact with me differently and I’d kinda like my friendships to not be like that. I don’t really want my friends to feel they have to act a certain way with me or pander to my anxieties. I’d much rather they reacted to me normally and I worked to fix myself. Plus when I do start doing stupid anxiety things, I don’t really want people to look at me and think “she’s doing stupid anxiety things. Let’s try to make it better.”

I guess I’m also coming to terms with some really difficult events in my life as well (not like childhood trauma or anything exciting, just more recent stuff). I’m questioning a lot and to disentangle truths from a lot of difficult beliefs and memories and to be honest, it’s quite painful. It’s also a massive part of my life at the moment and it keeps nagging in my mind. I’ll be doing something else, then suddenly burst into tears because it hurts and I’m confused and I don’t know what to do with those emotions. Again though, I’m too embarrassed. I’m not sure of myself and what’s right or wong in this instance and I’m not prepared to possibly set myself up to look like an idiot. Equally, I also don’t really want people to have opinions on this part of who I am. Not the people I actually know. I don’t want them to see me in this light.

Basically, I don’t want all this shit in my friendships. I want to keep it to myself. I don’t really know if it’s healthy or not, but I know I have people to talk to if I need to. I really don’t want to broadcast these things to everyone though. My blog is the least anonymous thing. Sometimes I wish it was anonymous as I think getting some of this out in a coherent way could be useful. I have a journal, but when writing for an audience, you have to actually explain how you get to certain points, which helps to untangle thoughts and difficulties. You don’t have to do that in journals seeing as you already know and understand what you’re feeling. You don’t have to explain it to yourself, even though you probably should. But it’s ok. I have a psychologist to talk this all through with and I’m hopeful he’ll be helpful. The thing is, I don’t really want my problems to be what my friends think of when they see me. I want them to think about the good bits of me. Sometimes I feel like all I am is messy fucking problems and it’s nice when other people treat me like I’m not. I don’t want to be judged or perceived as a mess or sad or whatever. I want to be perceived as how I am when I’m happy and laughing and with my friends. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it does to me.

The problem is that I don’t experience all these things as separate from one another or from the eating disorder stuff I’m more comfortable talking about. Understandably, their not bounded issues, but all just mingling in my brain as just one mind. I’m struggling with food and weight and exercise right now, but explaining it needs prior knowledge of things I’m not comfortable posting about. Food, weight and exercise become part of how I experience social issues, difficult emotions and other aspects of my mental health. I can talk about how I spent most of yesterday crying because I’m ugly and fat and it isn’t fair, but in reality, that was just the narration for something far more difficult for me to manage. Eating disorder thoughts have narrated a lot of my life and still do. Not too long ago, they weren’t just the narration, but the difficult thoughts I had to deal with and basically the problem in and of themselves. However, as I’m getting better, they play less and less of a part in how I perceive myself and the world more generally, and what fills the gaps that they leave is often something more easily damaged. Behind the eating disordered thoughts is just me and I’m something I’m far more protective of. I’m just not comfortable leaving myself exposed.

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quitting.

Wowzas. So I haven’t posted in a while. In my defense, I have a bunch of upcoming deadlines keeping me from setting aside some time to do this. It’s not even because I’m having too much fun :(.

Another reason I’ve not really been posting too much is to do with the fact that I’m struggling with recovery at the moment. I am eating enough and trying to force myself to walk less, but it’s harder than it had been recently. With my treatment at my EDU starting to wind down, support from my CMHT starting up, being physically larger than I’ve been in a long time and being unused to it (therefore feeling unbearably huge and uncomfortable) whilst dealing with the stress of work without restriction to get me through it is hard. Very hard.

For me, work and starvation go hand in hand like peas in an incredibly fucked pod. In the past, when I have deadlines, I eat less. It’s partly because I have less time to exercise, and partly because I find it makes my workload easier to get through. I get on this mad concentration and productivity kick when I lower my intake, plus the structure of study and eating get all tangled in each other and end up working together pretty harmoniously. It’s all “It’s time for breakfast, but I’ll wait. Once I’ve read this article/chapter/written 500 words, I’ll have breakfast.” It makes me work faster and eat less. It’s actually more stressful to work whilst eating than it is without. Having to cut into my work time to prepare and sit and eat a full meal every few hours really gets me out of the study zone, plus now I have friends that I actually want to see which makes working even more painful. At least when I wasn’t eating. I wanted to be alone so study became the best option available. Now, actually going out tempts me far too much. Anxieties about my body, diet and exercise levels run rampant through my mind as studying is doing nothing to keep them at bay (unlike my general distraction techniques), and seeing as I’m doing everything I can to go against them, only make me feel terrible. I may have them when I’m under-eating, but at least then I can settle them because I’m doing everything I can to make myself “better.” Plus my work right now is on “Women’s bodies as sites of improvement – Comparative assessment of FGM in West Africa and cosmetic surgery in Britain.” It’s depressing in and of itself.

My mood has been dropping rapidly over the past couple of weeks. I think it started with the super amounts of fear I somehow managed to work up in myself for my assessment with the CMHT. I hate assessments. What seems to happen is I get told things are worse than I think they are. I feel like I’ve been improving, and I think other people would agree with me. The past couple of months have seen me come leaps and bounds in terms of retrieving some sort of personality, having actual fun and being less focused on eating and food all the time. However, the assessment was immediately after a bad weekend (the Westfield incident), so when she asked about how often I get myself caught up in extreme negative spirals, although I was able to say “a lot less than when my referral was written”, when asked how recently, I could only say “… a couple of days ago.” Now there’s talk of more antipsychotics (though the doctor I saw says she’ll try to find a type with minimal weight gain effects), crisis support, possible diagnosis that make me sad and probably more therapy. These things make me feel crazy, even though I had been feeling significantly less so. I hate being told that actually, I’m still not functioning normally and my brain still needs more treatment. It’s not how I feel right now and it leads me to second guessing myself constantly, trying to figure out what parts of me need fixing.

Since then, with the increasing workload and the decreasing support, my mood is plummeting. Yesterday, I just started to cry on the way to the library. Alone. On public transport. Like a proper idiot. Because I miss the boy. Because I’m fat and ugly and no one will ever like me. Because I’m an idiot. Mostly because I just feel sad a lot of the time for no real, tangible reason. This sort of spontaneous crying outbreak happens a lot. I hate it. I hate crying because I’ve had it drilled into my head that crying is only a form of emotional manipulation and serves no purpose except to make others feel bad. I am ashamed when I cry. Ashamed that I cannot control myself better and it might elicit emotions in others that I never want them to feel. To me, it feels like I’m committing involuntary blackmail. I’m ok mood-wise if I keep myself going and doing something at all times, but as soon as I stop, it’s overwhelming and sometimes I freak out. It’s all those little, in between times. Making a coffee has become an emotional challenge, going to the shop makes my brain want to implode, showering is positively distressing. All those times of day where you have nothing but your thoughts to distract you, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, leave me feeling entirely empty and spiralling into horribly low moods. Sometimes I’m able to distract myself again, sometimes I’m not and I just sit there with a head full of distressing, scary and destructive thoughts. All of which reflect what I believe about myself.

I’m hoping that after this next uni push is over in 5 weeks, I’ll calm down again. It’s not all bad right now. I’m still able to have more fun sometimes, I can actually be distracted, I’m being sociable and enjoying the company of others etc. It’s just that my low moods are increasingly regular and are increasingly painful and distressing again. It’s hard, but it would be naive to think this is easy for anyone. I often feel like I’m making a mountain out of nothing and this is just normal moods. I don’t actually know anymore what normal is really (still working that out). I’m not very good at regulating my emotions. The only ways I know how to end up with me slowly destroying my body in various ways, some of which have started to slip back into my life.

So obviously, I did what any complete moron would do. I decided that now is exactly the right time to stop smoking. So I have. I’m on day three smoke free now. I figure quitting smoking leads to weight gain, so better to do it now whilst I still have a little weight to gain maybe and the support of my EDU than when I’m fully weight restored and support-less. I feel like quitting at a weight restored place involves a higher likelihood of restriction, so if I can do it now, it can only help prevent possible future relapse. But my gosh it’s rubbish. I recommend the NHS Stop Smoking Service entirely though. They have loaded me up with nicotine to get me through the first few weeks and it’s all entirely free!

For now, I’m just trying to keep working and not smoking. I have no idea how much I weigh and that bothers me every single day. Especially as there are staffing difficulties at my EDU so yesterday, I was told that my next dietetics appointment had been cancelled (my last one was three weeks ago), with no appointment lined up, and possibly not for another month or two. This is seriously bothering me. I don’t know how much I weigh. I was going to find out on Tuesday, but now I have no idea when I’ll next know. And I’ve quit smoking, which I know effects your metabolism and appetite in scary ways and I was hoping for some guidance with that. Plus I was hoping I’d be told it was the right time to start making the transition to normal, intuitive, maintenance eating. I can’t stay on a weight gain plan forever, and right now another month definitely feels like forever. I cannot just keep growing and growing. It makes me want to restrict and right now, every meal and every snack is difficult. I’ll keep eating though I think. I don’t like it, it’s not enjoyable, but somewhere in my mind there’s a part of me that knows that it’s just not an option to start slipping right now when I’m so close to physical recovery. It doesn’t even feel like a choice to eat anymore, but just something that has to be done. It’s painful at the moment though. I am trying to get in contact with the dietitian, but she hasn’t called me back. Honestly, I’m not sure how long I can keep eating and not weighing myself. I’m a normal weight now, so maintenance is what I’m after. I’m closing in on breaking point and really need some direction from my team as to what to do next because honestly, I don’t even know if I am or should be gaining weight right now. And without that knowledge, starting to cut back on my intake, increasing my activity levels and trying to maintain seems like the right thing to do for my ongoing health and stability. I don’t know. I don’t think I even know how to maintain my weight. Especially as all I want to do is lose it.

My life right now is predominently freaking out. Freaking out about my mood, my body, my diet, my work, my addictions,  my social life, my treatment. It’s just a lot of freaking out.

My Bedside Table - NRT, Reading, Journals, Water and Gum a.k.a. A Rubbish Time

Uni work, confusing dietary needs and quitting smoking. Gah! Wish me luck.

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