Eating Disorder Recovery · Uncategorized

Life Changes…Maybe

It’s been a few days since I last wrote and I think that that has been quite intentional. I have been re-evaluating my life largely and within that I guess I have hit some pretty crappy thought patterns. I have swung between feel completely hopeless and as though things won’t get better to this place where I am now which is telling me to change again. I haven’t been able to process my own line of thinking let alone be able to articulate them into sentences. I also wanted to be sure that when I reached the end of this evaluation period, what I decide is what I actually want and not what I feel is expected of me. The truth is that I have felt disillusioned for a long time about me, my capabilities and this system that I have lost myself in. I was 14 when I entered psychiatric services and in that time I’ve had one year away from them when I was 18. That’s nearly half my life being watched, analysed, judged and ultimately being made to feel that I didn’t have any say in what was happening to me. ‘I’ was this idea that belonged to everyone else, that could be picked apart by them because I was unwell and part of that meant that I didn’t have chance to figure out who I was. The thing is that it was not something done to me entirely. I did it to myself too. I put myself in that position and I didn’t stop it. Sure I tried to run from it but that wasn’t the same as taking back ownership. We talk about Mental Health problems not being the persons fault and there not but the way I chose to respond to those problems was. I want to change that.

Clearly there are things that I need to do in order to make that happen…like be well. The Eating Disorder is still raging in my head all the time. It doesn’t understand what it means to be silent or to give me a break. It is just relentless and cruel. I’ve been trying to listen to my team and make the alterations to my diet in order to stop the physical slip but it’s nearly two weeks in, my panic is rising as is my weight and all I want to do is run back. I want to react to the weight gain and restrict, even if I know that logically this is what I wanted. My team said to trust them, that these increases would only stop the weight loss but that hasn’t happened and I want to say “Look! I was right. I know my body. Make this stop…change my diet again”. I am doubting my team but equally know that the only way to break this cycle is to let my body do what it wants to do without me intervening and trying to get it back under control. It’s hard to believe that I haven’t lost control. I don’t see anyone from my team this week but I feel like I need to just keep going in order to prove to myself that this will stop. I will eventually be able to eat normally and my body will settle.

The darker thought patterns of the last few days came in part because of the bank holiday. I never know what to do with them or myself. They feel like useless, unproductive days where the world simply stops. The entire weekend I felt horribly unsettled and distant. I think I still feel like that but it’s more manageable. I guess the struggle is that I feel neither terrible nor good which is in some respects ok but in others it makes me uninterested and like things are muted. I’m glad things are not horrendous, I can see how it is livable but I want more than that. I don’t want to just be here, even if for now being here is alright. It’s not enough. I’ll admit I have fallen in to the cycle of wondering what the point is…if this is it, if this is all life will be then why stay? Why fight so hard to exist? Here’s the thing, I don’t know if it’s always going to be like this. It might become different. I might figure it out. I don’t think I can write everything off because I don’t feel right. I should be just happy that the pain is not as all-consuming as it once was. However, back to where I started to where I started this post, there are things that I have decided from these few days which will probably impact my life quite a lot. The first being that I have to find my voice and start doing what’s right for me now. I won’t be this little person who appears weaker or incapable of making decisions. I am not to be picked at or over anymore. The second is that I am thinking of coming off my medication. I don’t think there is anything wrong with needing to be on meds but I can’t remember life not on them. It’s been a decade of my brain being altered by chemicals and I am curious to know what it would be like without them. The thing is that the only reason that I haven’t started this process yet is because I am scared of the withdrawal. I have tried to come off them before to change them but I lasted two weeks with my body feeling like it was melting down on me and then we had to stop. Yet I don’t think being scared of coming off them is a good enough reason to stay on them. I’m still thinking about it. The final change I guess comes from feeling the need to find my identity. Everything I do or have done is around Mental Health. It’s the work that I do, I’m studying psychology, it’s part of my private life and social life. There is no distance. I have nothing else and that makes me really quite sad. I don’t know what is going to be left when you take it all away but I think that’s what I’m going to do. I am going to leave the work that I do at the September because I need to just be me. Also, whilst I still do what I’m doing, I’m always going to be seen as a patient or service user. It’s also going to be tainted and I am going to question whether I am good enough or there is less expected of me because of my history. This will be my career but I can’t build that based on being a patient and everyone knowing my story. I want my private life back. I want me to be me because I’ll never know if I can learn to like her, if I’m never her.

So yea…lots of thinking but it’s good. It’s weird and I’m unsure but it’s also alright.

I hope your day has been kind to you.

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7 thoughts on “Life Changes…Maybe

  1. This somehow sounds familiar to me… Even though I have only had half a decade of mental health issues. And only 2 years of medication. And i wasn’t in therapy all the time. But still I can feel your fear. I had the same thoughts. I’m off my antidepressants for about 1 month now. I just wanted to see wether I can go without them. ‘Can I be happy without pills?’ (I wasn’t always happy with them but… Yeah things have changed within the last 6 months, thank god)
    I can really feel you. I also have to get to know myself, me, the girl (or woman?) behind the disorders. Who is she? What does she like? What does she hate? What does she dream of? Where does she want to be? All of these questions have to be answered some day. I have to get to know myself. And I think you are in a similar position. But your physical health is a problem. I am weightrestored and quite purge free. I have the freedom to explore who I am. I don’t have to fight over pounds and meals with doctors anymore. Sure, I had just been hiding my struggles sometimes but after being off the meds I finally chose to design my own recovery, I’m no longer in therapy (weightrestored!), but I will probably have to seek help again some time. But without meds. Because I feel different. I AM different.
    I believe that you can do steps towards this too! But as you said, you have to trust your team. The ED is one of the main reasons why you will not know yourself. I have to discover the girl behind several disordered patterns and I guess you too, but the ED eats up your character, your personality, YOU. You get lost behind the ED.
    You can fight it. You will be Strong enough. You can do it. And you are not alone! Stay strong ❤️

    1. Your story certainly made me smile this morning purely because of your strength to fight through what you have been through and to still keep searching for yourself. I really do hope you find the person you are looking for and that you can be proud of her. Do what you need to do and be well x

      1. If I can do it, you can too ❤ you were given this life because you are strong enough to live it. I say live, not survive! And yes I know this quote has been published so often that it lost its meaning but I still think it's so meaningful!

  2. Hi there! You’re article was very enlightening and well-written! Keep up your strength and you will succeed. There is life after ED and you will have the opportunity to enjoy it. I don’t know much about being on meds but it sounds horrible. I wish you strength. I can’t imagine what you’re going through but I sincerely hope you can overcome this terrible illness! Be strong! Hugs, J

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