I have been wanting to write for a while now but my difficulties with looking at screens still continues. I am still waiting on that referral for a CT scan. Christmas leave really screwed me over on that one. It was supposed to be done yesterday…I am trying to be patient and understanding but there is only so long I can do that for.
In some ways I wish that I had written this post on Sunday or Monday, when my head was in a better space, still, I think it’s ok to reflect on the days before yesterday. As you know treatment has not been the easiest ride for me. I was expecting it not to hurt this much, I thought the Anorexia was weaker and that my brain was less clouded by it. It was a mistake to think like that. So after weeks of feeling horrible and like I couldn’t cope anymore it finally hit me that I’m not very well right now. That may have seemed obvious as I’m in hospital but not to me. I’ve never been able to in the present admit to being unwell. Once I had that information though, it was a “shit, what do I do now?” moment. What could I do? Continue to let the Eating Disorder in every sense eat me alive or change it?
I woke up the next morning with an energy that I haven’t felt since coming in to treatment. I realised that it wasn’t my programme that I was tired of but the Anorexia. I no longer felt ok with being that person curled up and crying, feeling nothing but defeated. That isn’t who I am. The first thing I did was write a list of what I needed my nurse to do for me…arrange the CT scan, sort out my meds and book in time to start some practical body image work. It felt good to be pro-active again. We also talked about the reality that if I had continued as I had been doing then I would have been discharged before meeting my target weight which without a doubt would have led to relapse. She also brought up some behaviours that I had been engaging in and the necessity for me to stop them. I have done that. I told her that enough was enough and essentially what I had to do now was stop dicking around it. I didn’t have the energy to keep doing this to myself and land up still being frustrated as hell at the end of if it because nothing feels like its changing. I had to get back on track. I had to figure out how I was going to break things down again and work my way through each meal without using anything to compensate for them. I think it’s kind of been working. I think what’s really helped mostly for me has been a shift in my mood. As the days after that talk passed I found that smile came back. I stopped isolating myself so much and engaged with the other people around me. I began to complete my meals rather than leaving them half uneaten and as a result was granted New Years leave.
New Years was a bit of a washout for me with the whole head thing going on and I spent most of my time on leave drowsy and half asleep. I did better with food which is something I guess.
As the beginning of this week I did my first practical body image session and it completely messed with my head. The task was to draw a life-sized image of how It thought I looked and when that was done, I was to lay down on the paper and have my nurse draw around me capturing my actual size. Lets just say that I wasn’t exactly right. Instantly my mind thought of how she could have fixed it but that wasn’t feasible, I felt the pen. She asked me what I was thinking and I told her that if I have been so wrong about this, what else have I been wrong about? What do I trust? Could the perception that I have about myself be that far? It was a hard session and thinking about it later it made me see how fixed some of my beliefs are because even with evidence I didn’t want to believe it. It was later that night that I caught up with a different nurse and I told her some of the other things that I had been thinking at which she pointed out were the lies told to me by my eating disorder. I couldn’t disagree with her. I also started some self-esteem work. Mine is apparently non-existent. When reading my answers in some of the workbooks that I had completed, my OT was genuinely shocked that I could say such terrible things about myself. Again I Was hit with the reality of how much work I still have to do.
All in all some pretty big stuff happened and it seemed like I was waking up…and maybe that was the problem with yesterday. I am awake now and it hurts in places that I never thought it could and there is nothing left to hide behind. I cried for most of the day. I sat and listened to the horrific things that my mind has been screaming at me. I have thought about irrelevant I am and alone, how I deserved every ounce of this pain and that being free is not something within my reach. I wanted to scream so badly because it hurt that much and I thought that that if I did I could keep screaming until I Was empty and I became a blank slate again. I couldn’t though because I don’t do stuff like that. I held it in and sobbed in private, knowing that reaching out would cause it to hurt me. I wanted to be held so tightly so that I didn’t have the chance to shatter into any more pieces. I separated myself so that no one could see that I am not strong enough for this process. Yet I know that that is not going to help me recover but only drive me back to the Anorexia who is waiting impatiently for me.
I don’t have much time left in this admission. Sometime in the next week (maybe Thursday) I will reach my target weight. I will have two weeks after that point to fit in as much as possible. Am I scared what happens after? If I can sustain this? I’d be stupid not to be. I think of all the weight that I have gained and how permanent it needs to be and I panic. Can I live with this? I know I can’t go back. Yet more than anything as my weight still feels like it’s jumping up uncontrollably, I need to remember that it is not my weight that is making me miserable. It is the Eating Disorder. I just have to keep telling myself that as the new day begins.
I hope your day is kind to you.