No Walking Away

26 Nov

I am trying to restore some faith that I had in myself. Trying to make myself strong again because being that person who continues to walk away from her life is not the person I want to be anymore. It’s hard but so is destroying myself. I am tired to the bones of hating myself, of being judgemental and critical and seeing myself as nothing more than something to be stood upon. I have no self-esteem as it was pointed out to me last night. My self-worth has lessened over the years instead of growing stronger and as a result I have actively diminished myself. If it was anyone else I would be quite troubled and sad by that but for some reason those feelings don’t stretch to myself…but it has to change. I have to change otherwise what is the point? Life should not be one painful moment after the next with the only thing that you can do is endure and with the Eating Disorder that’s all that I find that I am doing; enduring. Is it so wrong to want more?

Last night I finally managed to see a member of my PNT (Primary Nursing Team) for a decent amount of time. It was needed…I needed to vocalise what has been going on for me these last few weeks without feeling like I have to censor myself or give the answer that I think they want to hear. I spoke of the anxiety which is now leaving me going through a minimum of 3 panic attacks a day. I spoke about the sadness…the suicidal thoughts, the hopelessness, the fears of not getting any better, the pointlessness of me being here and how I am trying to rationalise everything negative. I told him also that I was becoming afraid of myself but I can logically and rationally see exactly how my brain and the eating disorder is trying to trip me up to get me to go running back to it. He was nice. He always is. I think I’m losing count of the number of times he tells me that me that I’m not a nuisance. First he began though by apologising that my care has not been as it should be and that I have been missed, which I don’t blame him for…the reality is that the ward is just chaos at the moment. Secondly he was just there. My nurse has worked in general psych for a long time and he’s a good listener. I don’t think I felt better better afterwards but it helped me to see things as they are and not me catastrophizing them.

Today has been a challenging and busy day. I feel like at meal times lately I am just crumbling each time. I’m getting through them but I turn inwards. I self catered my own lunch which is always a challenge because somehow making an actual choice about what you’re having rather than ticking something on the menu seems like I’m defying the Eating Disorder a little bit more. Yet it’s important that I keep doing it because I’m going to have to be able to make my own meals and be ok with that when I get discharged. I also met with my dietician who is also lovely. Again it was more of a catch up of everything that’s been going on and talking about grading things rather than just expecting myself to be able to do things instantly. She told me that it was going to take me a long time to get better from Anorexia. I know she’s right even if I don’t like it. I trust her though. I trust her judgement and her methods and how she’s trying to help me. She was my dietician last time too so that makes it easier. I can talk to her. Dinner was the hardest thing though and I’ve been sick with nerves about it for the last four days. It was a dessert that incorporated two of my main fears into lots of my other fears. I spent the whole 10 allocated minutes shaking with fear and anxiety…but I did it. I didn’t let it win and although I am trying to reign in the anxiety now, I just keep telling myself that so far it’s been two hours since I ate it and nothing terrible has happened. I think it’s working. I’m not in the midst of a panic attack so I guess I’ll take that.

Sometimes it can feel that we reach a point in our recovery and we start to fall backwards. He trip slightly but then that trip turns into a free fall with no way of stopping ourselves. The thing is though that sooner or later you do hit solid ground again and despite how horrific and painful that may feel, you still have to get up on your hands and knees and start climbing back up. You could stay down…you could give in but that is not life. That is not a place that you can make into a home.

I hope your day has been kind to you.

Generally Uncertain

25 Nov

It has felt like my world has been crumbling for a while now. Treatment has tested me beyond what I thought it would and as you can imagine, it has left me uncertain as to how I carry on. I swing between apathy and frustration, wanting to leave and staying. I want recovery but as I am beginning to learn, I don’t really want the journey so much. It still amazes that I can not just click my fingers and turn the Anorexia off or that no matter how much positive thinking I inflict on myself it won’t make me wake up the next morning and find that my disordered brain has corrected itself through the night. I know this is going to take years to fix. I won’t be one of those people that has a light bulb moment and it suddenly makes enough sense for me to eat whatever I want without any anxiety. I’d like to…no I’d love to be like that but that is not my reality. Somehow I have to make enough peace with that so that I don’t destroy me entirely. Recovery will be a slow burn for me but I can’t deny that it hurts at the moment when I look around and seeing people fly by me in their treatment programmes. It annoys me that I can’t get excited about food, or that I don’t have genuine likes. It hurts that food still feels alien and like the enemy rather than something needed for my survival. There are so many things that I wanted to be able to do here to get me past this but those things by the looks of it are not going to happen.

As I’ve mentioned things have been rather chaotic here. I haven’t seen someone on my team for a good few weeks. I haven’t really spoken to anyone about all the noises in my head that seem to bounce around every moment I’m awake. Yet I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to say anything because that would make me needy(?) or a problem….or just a pain in the ass. I don’t want to be those things. What’s more the two groups that I really needed to do and wanted to do because I didn’t do them last time and they are big things for me are now things that I can’t do. One of them was a body image course and the other an eating out group. The body image group won’t be starting till January now and the eating out group has just restarted but I’m not ok enough so it will be another 7 weeks before it starts its new cycle. I won’t be in treatment anymore for either of them. This admission is feeling a lot like the last one in terms of missing out on a lot of important work. I’m not even doing the one to one work either and I guess I’m really concerned that when I leave here, nothing will have changed mentally for me and I will just fall back into restricting straight away. I see myself unravel on leave when I have to do my own meals…how incapable I am of feeding myself an ok amount and it worries me. I won’t live my life on some eternal loop. I refuse to. So the question is what do I do to break it once and for all? I haven’t got an answer yet but I am working on it.

I do however have some time booked in with one of my nurses tonight!
One of the other nurses who was doing the medication last night asked me if I was ok and instead of saying yes, I actually said no. I didn’t really think she would say anything in response to be honest so I wasn’t expecting it either. She asked me what was going on and I told her that I don’t know what I’m doing here anymore. It feels like I’m just being made to gain weight and that’s it. I haven’t seen anyone. I’m not doing anything. Why am I here? And she just kind of looked at me and told me how that isn’t fair. That it didn’t matter what was going on on the ward, that my treatment was just as important and that meant being able to seek staff support. Anyway she passed it over to someone on my team and he came to my room straight after his obs and said he wanted to book in some time for tonight and not just 5 mins but some actual time to go over everything that’s been going on. I didn’t realise how much I needed it and how much of a relief it would feel to have that arranged. I have felt so unanchored that I have been thinking that even if help did come, I don’t think it would even help anymore. Something is telling me that I just have to lay all my cards on the table and be as honest as I can. One of the things though that I don’t know whether to talk to him about is the issue of self harm. It’s something I’ve struggled with for 16 years and mostly I’ve had it under wraps but for the last couple of weeks I have found myself returning to it. I don’t want that to be an alternative because I can’t restrict my intake or engage with the Eating Disorder, which is what it feels like. Some days it’s like I’m just doing it until I can go back because I have to do something to balance out all the crap I feel and think…it’s just I don’t want to go back so I don’t know where that leaves me.

I guess still uncertain.

I hope your day has been good to you.

The Letter

23 Nov

It is clear that I have lost my motivation for recovery lately, or rather I have lost the self belief that I am capable of seeing it through. I need to get it back. I need to remind myself why I ever came into treatment in the first place and what made me think it was a good idea. A while back I wrote an emergency letter to myself for times such as these. I re-read it yesterday and the day before that…I am trying to cling on to the words that are on the paper. I wanted to share that letter with you today because maybe as well as it helping me, it might help you too.

Dear You,

I would ask you how are you, but I think that if you’re at a point where you need to read this then you must be struggling. That’s ok, that’s the point to the existence of this letter. I’m sorry that you’re finding things hard and are more than likely questioning whether to just give upon yourself. Lets just take a moment to really think about that. I know what you’re trying to do isn’t easy and that constantly challenging all those negative thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself is draining. It’s perfectly ok to be exhausted by it. it’s kind of expected. If it didn’t hurt than you would have done it a lot sooner and at home on your own. The thing is though that even before you started this you were more tired than you ever thought possible, at least this tiredness will eventually come to an end. You won’t be just sat there on your own anymore waiting to die. Surely that is something that you can hold on to – even if it’s just for a second.

I’m writing this and as of yet you haven’t gone into treatment. You are on a waiting list that might not end for another few weeks. Right now, you are barely hanging on. It’s hurting you, but it is worth remembering that that is nothing compared to the day to day battle that’s been going on for months. Lately you have had to cancel a lot of plans because you were not strong enough to get off the couch. Your stomach hurts all the time, you’re struggling to breathe and on a night you lie in bed, your whole body riddled in cramps and try to figure out which one is a sign that your body is about to fail. Despite you not thinking your weight is that low, there is an awareness that this could kill you or at the very least destroy every hope that you had for the future, You’re not having fun love. There are days that you crave death again because you think it will be the only way to stop the torture going on in your head. This isn’t how you pictured your life, is it? Whilst you still insist on holding on to the Anorexia, you won’t ever be happy. You can’t be.

As the thoughts have gotten louder these last few months, you’ve wanted to turn inwards. You don’t have the energy for family or friends. Everything irritates the hell out of you and it’s been making you mean and short tempered. It’s painful to talk and let’s be honest, you could be doing so much better workwise if your thinking wasn’t so clouded. All you want right now is to be healthy. You want a body that works, one that runs so well that you don’t even notice it. Most of the time you want this more than you want to be thin. Although thin for you doesn’t really exist. You’ve never felt it or seen it whether you were XXlbs or XXXlbs. So if that’s one of the reasons you want to walk away now, because your body image is unbearable and you feel uncomfortable in your skin then don’t be so damn ridiculous. That comfort feeling for you has never existed and no matter how much weight you lose or how many times you have to break your body down to nothing, you will never find it. Haven’t you learnt yet that being ok with yourself has nothing to do with what’s going on externally? It’s not your body that you need to change, it’s your thought patterns. It always has been. Look kid, the purpose of this letter was never about making you feel worse about yourself. It’s an honest attempt to make you see that if you give up now then you will keep reliving the same shit in one continuous loop. It won’t ever be better. And you can tell yourself that this time it’ll be different, or your better off on your own or that if you go back to ignoring it then it’ll go away. None of those things are true. Instead all you will or may have is a degree but an inability to work. You will have a body that will hurt and has the potential to give up at any point. You’ll have love still but you won’t be able to really feel it. I know that’s not what you really want and if for one second you can forget about how much you hate yourself right now then I think you’ll see that’s not what you want either.

Anorexia has had such a big influence on your life, don’t you want to see what you’re capable of without it? I know you’re scared and angry and knackered. I hear all that but they can’t be a reason to walk away. At some point I hope you can start to believe that you deserve better. Two years ago you went into treatment the first time and you cheated yourself. The entire time you were there you had one foot on the exit ready to flee. You started screwing with your meal plan thinking that you knew better but you didn’t. You just couldn’t let go. Since you’ve left there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that you haven’t regretted your actions. Don’t make the same mistakes again. Use what you’ve learnt before.

I want you to be happy and that may mean that you have to be miserable for now but that’s fine. If it has to be that way in order for you to finally recover then that’s how it will be. There are no quick fixes hun. You can’t bypass how brutal this process is but if you trust it and stick with it then you will never have to do it again. It’s time to stop punishing yourself. I have faith in you and it is it within you to get through this. You already did one of the hardest things which was to admit that you needed more help. You would never have done that before. You know what you need to do…so stay. If this letter doesn’t have the effect that it is intended to then please go talk to someone. The worth thing that you can do is isolate yourself because all you will do is listen to the Anorexic voice telling you to come back. That can’t be an option. If you listen, you will end up killing yourself. I’m already getting closer to that with each day that passes and the only thing that stops me is the possibility that it will end, that I won’t have to spend another 10 or 20 years living this way. You give in now, you take away that possibility.

Stay. Fight through this. Don’t give up. Do it for you and because somewhere inside of you is the knowledge that you deserve better.

I am your past self and I am scared. Don’t carry that through to your future. Are you convinced yet to not give up? Or at least give it one more day? I hope so.

Keep going. It’s the one thing you won’t regret.
From You.

I hope you the day is good to you.

No Leave

21 Nov

I didn’t get my leave for the weekend.
I thought I would. I thought that for some reason that the rules would not apply to me, so that even if I didn’t reach the target weight gains then because I’m not unwell like everyone else I would be still be able to go on leave. That theory was obviously wrong. By now you’d think I was used to being wrong but still I am not. The thing is I don’t particularly want to be on the ward at the moment. It’s a pretty crap atmosphere at the moment, though I guess it’s been like that for a while. The difficulty with any space like this is that people can begin to feed off of each other and I’m not sure how much more I can sit and watch it happen. People are falling like dominoes and as one goes down they take several others with them too. I’m not sure when we last had a meal here without someone walking out. It’s not cool. I even thought about taking my 72 hours this weekend just so that I didn’t have to be here but I know that I am not in a secure enough place to go home and sustain my nutrition for 3 days on my own. I’m not even back on track from last week yet. I should be worried about this seen as though it’s not going to be that much longer before I get to my target weight and get discharged. I need all the practice of leave that I can get before then but weirdly I’m not. Maybe that worries me more?

I’m just not handling things very well at the moment and yet I am bored of saying that I’m not ok. I have spent most of the day trying to pretend that I’m something I’m not. What I want is to stop feeling like I have to stop being so goddamned polite and scream and let this shit out of me. But I can’t. I can’t let my emotions get that unchecked. I can’t vocalise all of those thoughts that bounce around in my brain. Yesterday it did catch up with me again in the afternoon and I spent a good few hours crying in bed. One of my nurses came to discuss the no leave thing and found me that way. All I could think to do was apologise for being upset and when she asked me what was going on, there were very few words that actually came out which explained what I was feeling or thinking. In the end she asked me to go back in this week and see Dr J. When I did, I told him I didn’t know how he could help me anymore. I was out of answers. I am running out of hoping for something better. He suggested two things. The first was adding a new medication. I’m not keen on this plan because it would be an anti-psychotic and I didn’t really like them before. I’ve said to leave that one for a while and see how the next week goes. The other option which he doesn’t think would actually be useful would be the 72 hours. Yet I don’t need that time to tell me anything that I don’t already know. I know that going back to the Eating Disorder and walking away from recovery will not make me happy or allow me to even survive. I would regret the decision. Always.

So I have to figure out something for myself. I have years of knowledge and of tried and tested ways to get me through things and so I am going to have to write some kind of plan to implement them and pretty much bombard myself with everything that I have ever learnt. It’s not going to be easy and I may not be ok with that but I accept it. I accept that I made this mess and I have to climb my way out of it. I am the expert on me. I have the answers somewhere inside of me and I need to find them.

I hope your day has been kind to you

Bit Broken

19 Nov

I never knew that I was so capable of crying so much. I don’t find it particularly freeing or as though all this crap that I’ve been storing up and letting out is making me feel any better. In truth, all I feel is exhausted. How many more nights can I stay hid away in my room, curled up on the worlds most uncomfortable bed and feel like my world is ending. Repeatedly? There hasn’t been much support on the ward lately and I haven’t had an actual one to one with any of my team in a couple of weeks (except for half an hour when someone walked in on me in tears and later having a panic attack). It’s like I’m just here, being fed, taking all of the hurt and living with it inside of me daily where it continues to grow. The Eating Disorder side of my brain has exploded and now I am struggling to finish any of my meals. Some times I want to leave, shut myself off again, let it destroy me, let me destroy me and then there are the other days when the thought of living with this illness for the rest of my life terrifies me. I remember how much I hate it and want it gone. I think I’m worried that one day my care team will wake up and realise that I am not cut out for this process and they will give up on me, just as I have given up on myself so many times before. They almost did last time. They thought it was too much for me and asked me to take my 72 hours leave to think about whether I wanted to be in treatment. I don’t want them to do that again. I don’t want them to confirm the thoughts that I already have and those 72 hours will not tell me anything that I don’t already know. I know that if I go back out there now then it will all unravel faster than I can blink.

I don’t know what happened to the person I was when I came in. It was…11(?) weeks ago and I was so sure of myself. I knew what I wanted and I thought mostly that I was capable of it. Yet somewhere along the line my confidence has been chipped away. The self-belief that I had almost seems quite foolish now. I admit that I am disappointed in myself. I expected more and it frustrates the hell out of me. I know that this whole thing isn’t really over yet and that hopefully I will figure out a way to pull myself out of this place but I am losing the hope that that is going to happen. In the last few days I have been reading over some of my old posts, trying to see where all of this went wrong and I went from managing to barely here. I can’t pinpoint the moment. I think that’s what pisses me off. If I can’t identify that time then what is to stop me from continuing to come back here over and over again? Is there even a point to this? I fear I will be one of those people that keeps making the same mistakes and never learning my lesson.

I want to come back to you, as the person you first signed up to start reading. I want it for me too. I want me back because I don’t like the person that I am right now and I mean that I don’t like what misery has turned me into. It’s not fun.

I hope your day has been good to you.

That Anxiety Thing

17 Nov

I don’t know how long it is going to be before I can write a good post again that’s got a little bit of optimism in it. I’m not sure if I ever will again. There is a sense of hopelessness which has settled in to my bones and instead of it easing, it is only getting worse. Part of me wants to take myself away from everything that is causing me pain but in truth I know that that place does not exist. As long as I carry myself with me then I will be hurting. I spent this weekend on leave, sure that a break from the ward would give me sometime to remember who I was and why I was fighting this but instead the Eating Disorder caused havoc in my brain. I fell to it so many times. I listened to the words that it told me and buried them in my chest, feeling like this is my life and I should find a way to live with. I think one of the hardest things that I am experiencing right now is the anxiety. Constantly I am trying to talk myself out of panic attack but it is growing tiresome and my energy and patience with it is running away. One of the main anxieties that I have – and which I’ve talked about on here a few times in the past about – is this idea that I am going to randomly develop an allergic reaction to something. That one day I will eat something and my body will respond in a way that it’s not supposed to. The anxiety is making this worse as you can imagine because it also manifest physiologically. It feels as though my airways closing up, my throat goes dry, my heart palpitates and that thought that something terrible is going to happen will not go away. I can logic it till I’m blue in the face but it doesn’t make the anxiety any less. I keep trying to figure out where it comes from and so far I have come up with two possible answers. The first being that I don’t know this body that I have anymore. I don’t know what feels normal or not. I don’t know how to make it comfortable again because I can’t go back to restricting and ultimately I don’t have much control over anything to do with it right now and the only thing that I have is developing these fears in order to cut things out of my diet. I can’t eat x because I might be allergic to it. May I point out at this point, that no I have never had a reaction to food except for possible strawberries. The other possible reasoning is that I don’t trust my body. It’s like I am expecting it to retaliate against me and make me pay for all the years of abuse that I have put it through. You can’t cause such great harm to something and not expect it at some point to seek revenge. However, whatever the reason I can’t continue living with it like this because I can’t keep feeling the way that I am doing.

The anxiety is also spreading to everything else too. This weekend it was the heaters in my flat and whether they were safe, the fact that I can’t smell and wouldn’t know if something bad was happening, the guys that stood around my car as I came out of the supermarket and I was convinced that they had followed me home and were waiting to break in. Initially driving. I kept seeing all these scenarios in my head and I wanted to make them stop but no matter what I did, they kept hitting me like a tonne of bricks. On Saturday night after the whole car/guys thing I went home and could not get my heart to settle. I felt like I was just waiting for someone to come and get me. I tried to distract myself. I tried to talk myself round. I restricted at dinner. Nothing was working and by 8pm I was ready to break. My Mum called to check in and I told her about that fear and so in the end I went round to hers for the night. The sense of failure and disappointment I had for myself was ridiculous. I wanted a night at home, in my own bed and yet I could not even do that. I should have stayed and rode it out but it’s more than possible that I couldn’t. Spending another night at my Parents was hard too though. I felt like I had to push everything away and no let it show how much I’ve been struggling these last few days. Every syllable I spoke took such effort so that she could not hear the stutter that creeps into my speech when I’m in a highly stressful head space.

Yesterday was again hard. I went shopping for a new coat and wanted to scream and cry every time I tried a new one on and had to look in the mirror. I had lunch at my Sisters and had to force myself to appear normal around the food that she made, even though it wasn’t ok. It all felt unsafe. I felt unsafe. I went back home though afterwards. Determined to at least spend the remainder of my day in my own home before my Dad picked me up to come back to the ward. That was a bit better. The anxiety of someone breaking in lessened a little during the day. My mood and thoughts still took too much from me and the Eating Disorder once again won out. I’m not sure after this weekend how capable I am of recovery anymore. Instead of showing me that I am doing ok or at least how much work I have left to do in treatment and that I possibly need to be here, it has convinced me that I am beyond help. That this brain of mine will not be re-wired and I am going to have to live with this noise in my head for the foreseeable future. Another reality I am not convinced I want to be in. I didn’t like coming back to the ward last night. The idea that I was going to have to engage with other people, use my voice, smile…it all filled me with such dread. I didn’t in the end. I put my headphones on and only came out for supper which to my shame I could not complete. The truth is I want to take my words and this weekend and bury it somewhere. I want my silence back because then at least then the only person who can be disappointed in me is me.

My morning weigh in was a loss. I don’t know how to feel about that. Anorexia is happy. I am not. Shouldn’t they balance to create something in the middle?

I hope your day is good to you.

A Crappy Day

13 Nov

So the morning broke today and with it, it also broke me. I can’t pinpoint why it’s gotten to this point only that it is becoming increasingly unbearable. I think I’ve spent a good 90% of the day in tears. People are trying to be supportive but I feel so out of reach and distant that it doesn’t seem to be helping. I had a meeting with my therapist this morning and told her a little bit about what’s going on for me, how none of this feels ok and also how memories from the past continue to slam into me quite a lot lately. She was so kind to me, so nice and all I could think was that I don’t deserve for you to be treating me in this way. I don’t deserve you to be good to me. I think it’s clear though that from todays session that at some point I am going to have to go back to doing the trauma work with her. We got into it quite a few months ago (maybe longer) but we had to stop as my physical health deteriorated and that had to become the priority. Now that I’m in treatment and have a team dealing with that side of stuff, it means that we are free to carry on those sessions when I’m ready. At first though I am going to have to find a way to be able to ground myself in the present and find a safe place that I am able to go to mentally when it gets tough. This is going to mean being able to practice mindfulness techniques. As some of you may know I have an aversion to this, not because I don’t see the validity in it but because it makes me really anxious. I guess though I am just going to have to keep trying to do it though because we are running out of other options on how to be able to do this work safely.

After that session I went straight into MDT. I sat there and listened to members of the team giving their reports on my treatment so far and how we move forward. I don’t really remember much of what happened in it. I don’t think I was that present. All I know is that the leave I’ve requested for work stuff (except for one of the days) has been turned down. Apparently there is too much work for me to do on the ward and not a lot of time to do it, especially as things are becoming increasingly more difficult for me, which is fair enough and I wasn’t prepared to argue with them on that point. The my Consultant Dr J asked me how I was finding things, both positive and negative and I lost the power of speech completely. I tried to talk but couldn’t get the words to come out and when that happened the words and thoughts disappeared from my mind. Eventually after an excruciatingly long time and Dr J telling me that it was ok and to take time, I managed to push out a few sentences which I don’t think made sense but…it was something. When it ended, I went downstairs to the courtyard for a smoke and had a panic attack.

The day got worse. I physically shook all the way through lunch, my appointment with my dietician got cancelled and then I had a little meltdown and went over to the supermarket to buy things for tomorrows lunch. Part two of that meltdown continued when I got back. It was horrible. I’m not a fan of crying. My nurse P came to my room for some reason and instead found me a mess so we went off for a talk. I think I worried him, no I know I worried him. I hate doing that. I hate people seeing me like that/this. Here’s the thing, I’m not sure I want to be alive right now. I can’t see a way to get through this. I don’t see how I can live with myself anymore, in my head and in my body. Again I got told that I needed to seek staff support but all I could think was what’s the point? I think we’ve moved beyond that. I don’t know if I can be helped this time. By the end of it, he wanted me to speak to one of the doctors to just…I don’t know, get their opinion? Luckily Dr J was still here for medical review which meant that I wasn’t left to have a conversation with one of the junior doctors who most of the time don’t really know what’s going on. I’ll be honest it didn’t really help. I struggled to articulate anything and by this point I felt horribly drained. He asked me if I was going to be able to keep myself safe and I said I don’t know. He asked me if I wanted to go on to one to one obs for a while and I said no – because really it just eventually pisses me off. He tried to tell me that I’d been here before when my weight reached this point, that the dark thoughts had become quite overwhelming then but I had gotten through. I bit my tongue and didn’t say that the reason they had gotten better is because I had gone back to the Eating Disorder before I even realised that I had. In the end I don’t think there is a clear plan, he’s going to come back and see my tomorrow and look at how things stand.

My weekend leave is unconfirmed as of yet as I didn’t meet target this morning and because everything is kind of unsafe right now. I don’t have the strength to argue it though. Not today at least.

So all in all, a pretty shit day.

I hope your day has been kinder to you.

Walls

12 Nov

The walls, they keep on coming up. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I break them down, there is another one waiting for me to get past, to stop me and make me want to give up. I feel like I’ve hit a pretty big one this time and instead of me tearing it down, it’s only getting higher. It’s not one thing either that makes it up, it’s a collection of many little things and it is those that always undo me the most. It feels like I am no longer capable of being positive or be able to see how I’m going to get through this. It hurts to talk. It hurts to think. It’s like I’m being swallowed up by something that is too big for me to even comprehend and as a result I feel like I have reached some kind of standstill. Anorexia is bringing me to my knees and I am doubting everything. All I can think is that I am not able to do recovery. It doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel comfortable or strong. My anxiety continues to escalate. My moods are hitting some majors dips and all I want to do is stop everything. I want to rewind and change my mind and let myself believe that I was better off before. Logically I know that that is crap. I wasn’t better. My body was giving up but right now I am trying to decide if my mind or myself giving up is actually better. What’s the use of refeeding my body if I cannot bear to live in it? What is the point to this if all I can dream of is going back even when I know that I am not remembering it right? I am drowning and all I want to do is scream for someone to help me and to leave me alone. I know that eventually I am going to have to pick the side that I want to win. I can’t expect both. I’m not sure what it is was that made me think that I deserved the chance to be free from this. I worry that I have wasted everybody’s time and resources, that I stole this place from someone who actually should have had it. The guilt is kind of overwhelming but so is the disappointment. I feel it towards myself and I expect that others will feel it too. They always think I am more capable than what I am. When will they realise that I am always going to let them down?

The ward environment doesn’t help right now. It’s tense and the staff are over-stretched. I don’t think anyone feels comfortable enough to ask for support. A lot of things like groups and one to ones got cancelled and pretty much everything was running late. It can’t last forever but for now and the foreseeable future it will. I was supposed to have a one to one with a member of my team last week but it got rearranged for today. When I asked whether that was still happening this evening, I got told that I hadn’t confirmed it with her therefore she hadn’t written it in the diary. I wouldn’t have minded this reality so much if  a conversation between one of the nurses that I get on well with and my team member hadn’t of happened. In that conversation was the little breakdown I had yesterday, the need to maybe implement a crisis plan and part of that was to have a chat with me today, which my team member had told this other nurse was already scheduled in. Other than being fed I really don’t know what I am doing here anymore. I have MDT in the morning and I really I am not looking forward to it. I already know that there are some issues which are being brought to the meeting which will question my commitment to being here or more specifically recovery in general. I also really don’t want to get weighed in the morning because I have this fear that that will be the thing that finally breaks me.

I’m sorry that this is not a good post. I wish I could give you a happy shiny recovery/treatment story but I am not prepared to be dishonest like that on here. So I guess this is a shout out for all of you who are in recovery or some form of treatment and you are having a pretty horrific time of it. You are not alone. This can be a very unpretty journey and it can seem like everyone else around you is doing it so much better, there is no better way to do this. You have to do it your way…just try not to give up on yourselves, no matter how much you might hate the process.

I hope your day has been good to you

Leave Stories

9 Nov

Everyday we tell stories. Some may be small and nothing more than a retelling of an event already passed, other days they can be epic ones that span whole lifetimes. We change our stories depending on our audience and we omit the things that we do not what to make real by verbalising them. If you rewrite your story enough then perhaps, eventually, it will become the truth. Yet whatever story we choose to tell, or whoever we choose to tell it to, they are all just as important. Each one creating this backdrop for who we are as people. In the end I think our stories are the only things that matter because they are what drives us to keep going each day or to not, they are our hopes and failures and dreams and nightmares. They are all that we have when we lose everything else.

I feel like treatment is for the most part all about storytelling. We look back years ago and try to explain the events that had gotten us to this point or the reasons why we are finding it so hard to move forward. With every step through treatment, you reveal pieces of yourself slowly, trying to make it make sense to you and your team. “Why is it a challenge?” “What happened?” “Tell me about this”. With each question there is a search for an answer and the only way to answer is with a story. I am now at a point where this is now more evident than ever. I am beginning to get leave. Leave is a big deal, it is the thing that makes you despair when you don’t meet your targets and there is a risk of it being denied. It is the carrot that keeps people moving towards a healthy weight when all they want is to crawl back into a hole of restriction. At times, the thought of being able to get out of the hospital for a few hours or a couple of days is the only thing that can keep you going throughout the week. I’ve worked hard to get to this point.

Last night was my first overnight leave. I left yesterday afternoon after lunch and arrived back this evening before dinner. As always when anyone gets back, everyone wants to know about it. They want to know how it went, what you did, did you manage, did you fall apart…and this is where the stories begin to change. So far when I’ve been asked, mainly by other patients, I have said it went well. I saw The Kite Runner at the theatre on Saturday which was stunning beyond words, I stayed at my parents house that night which was just nice compared to being on the ward and then I hung out with my little brother at the cinemas today (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – I recommend it). I smile and tell them it was ok and I wonder if they will see through all the things that I don’t say or if anyone ever will. I sincerely hope not but here is what they would hear if they did…

This weekend was good but it wasn’t good either. The play was amazing but my anxiety was so bad that the only thing that could calm me down and convince me that I wasn’t going to have a heart attack was feeling my pulse throughout the 3 hour long performance. I wanted to let go and focus all of my attention on the sheer genius that was happening in front of me but I couldn’t. Afterwards I didn’t know what to say to my friends and instead ran to my Dads waiting car, seeking a place that was going to let me control my thoughts that were spinning too fast. In the car on the way back to my Parents house, my Dad told me all the things that I was doing wrong from the milk in my meal plan to how my target weight is wrong and I should be 15lbs more than what was agreed. We stopped at the shop so I could buy things for dinner and I panicked after quite some time and just put whatever into my basket that I could see which were mostly pre-treatment things. When we got back the hours between lunch and dinner had stretched for more hours than my body could deal with and as my blood sugars began to fall, I felt sick and shaky and missed my eating disorder more than ever because before recovery I could go for hours without eating and it was fine. During dinner I picked off foods that I felt brave enough to challenge whilst making it but couldn’t quite bring myself to eat in the moment. I missed out the sub pudding. The evening was nice though. I laid out on the couch with no alarms ringing or 18 other women constantly wondering in and out of the lounge. I put on my pyjamas and hooked myself up to the wi-fi connection and told myself that I was normal for now. This felt ok. I was ok. I slept well too and didn’t wake up till 7 this morning. Breakfast was difficult and I walked down to the shop to choose a cereal and then couldn’t decide so once again choose a pre-treatment breakfast. I missed part of the second part of it. Convinced myself that what I had all added up to the same and it was all adequate. I’m still not sure if it was. For weeks I had been looking forward to a bath and I managed to get one this morning which was wonderful and felt amazing but I was not prepared to have to see my body. It felt like I was being stabbed in the chest and I thought about the possibility of how successful drowning myself would be. On the way to my place, my brother had nothing but attitude but luckily once we were alone he went back to his usual way with me. He’s a good kid when it’s just us. There was a plan for us to go to a café for lunch but when we got there and sat down, it suddenly seemed beyond me. More panic, more wondering what the hell I was doing. In the end it was back to the supermarket for a mostly pre-treatment lunch…minus the dessert. I ate quickly in the car because by this point we were running late for the film and then through out the film all I could think was that something terrible was going to happen. When it was over I got back in the car and drove home, my little brothers attitude kicked back in, I smoked out my bedroom when turning on the heating and by the time my parents arrived to take me back to the hospital I was shaking mainly but trying to act as though it was all fine. I was not fine. Coming back was worse though. Sitting down to dinner, engaging with others, smiling, performing, getting changed out of my dress into a t-shirt and hating myself beyond words was definitely worse.

So I am back on the ward and I want to leave again. I want to avoid food in general and minimise my body and not recover. Yet I also want a healthy body which I don’t question and will allow me to live. I am wondering when the guilt I feel for trying to recover or the hate that burns me from the inside will disappear. I don’t know what that answer is.

There are two stories there and both are true. Yet the only people who will ever really hear the second one is you. It seems safer that way, less shameful, less like I’ve let someone down. I know I need to take this to my primary nursing team so that I can deal with it and plan better for next time but I don’t trust them to hear me…not right now at least.

I hope your day has been kind to you.

Good and Bad News

7 Nov

Let me start by telling you the good news: My back is so much better. I can feel the odd twinge permanently still but it’s not enough to be making me hide out in my room and cry. The second is that even though I didn’t reach the ward target weight gain yesterday, I’m still allowed to go on my first overnight leave on Saturday. They worked out my overall average of weight gain whilst I have been here and it works out that it has been enough to balance this last week out. I am really excited about it because I have missed my home. I have a lot of good things planned for this weekend too, like a matinée on Saturday and taking my little brother to the cinemas on Sunday. I’m also excited to be able to have a bath! The ones here are not that great and the idea of them makes me a little queasy so I haven’t had one. I’ll admit that I’m a little nervous though and it isn’t to do with the food as much, but because I had only just got used to being alone in a space again after the attack happened and then I came here so it’s going to be about getting used to be at home again alone with the anxiety that something bad will happen again. I’m hoping that I settle in quicker than I think I will and it will go back to feeling normal.

The not so great news is just me in general. I’m struggling a lot lately and still find myself disconnecting from a lot of things. I can’t be present in my mind and acknowledge that I am eating and neither can I process the weight gain. It’s beginning to worry me because until I crack this then essentially all I’m doing in treatment is eating to gain weight and that’s not cool. It won’t get me anywhere. I met with my dietician yesterday to talk a little about this and it is now going to be discussed in my 5 week review (Although it has been nearly 9 weeks). It’s never good when someone tells you something will be brought to MDT because it mean that something is amiss and will require the entire team to look at the issue as well as the consultant. These meetings assess your ability to commit to your treatment plan and if you aren’t meeting it then they begin to question what you are doing here and whether it is the best thing for you. I know that right now being in treatment is the only thing that is keep me going because if I went home, I wouldn’t be able to do this and keep up with my meal plan. Not at this point. So I don’t know how to change this. All I do know is that every time I have tried it has felt too uncomfortable and as though I am going to spin up off the table and out of control. I don’t want to have a meltdown or let it be seen that I am struggling. I don’t want to be that woman who appears to be anything less than able at keeping her shit together. But I am going to have to be…

It crosses my mind sometimes how easier it may feel to just let go of all that control and feel whatever I need to feel but that has never been my strong point. It has never felt acceptable. Generally though I have been feeling pretty out of sync with the world. It’s an odd sensation or experience but I couldn’t say what feels wrong about it, only that it does. I wonder if this will always be the case? and if it is can I learn to live with it?

I feel too unsure and heavy for the world.

I hope your day is good to you.

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