If anybody has watched Kati Morton on YouTube, you might remember her analogy of her we cope with stress. She describes it as waking up each morning with a certain number of poker chips. Stress or unexpected events take away your chips, and so if you suffer with a mental illness, you start with fewer chips and run out before the day is over.
Obviously things like sleep quality or big life change can affect stress tolerance quite a lot (I know I’m a million times worse if I’ve had a particularly bad nights sleep!) but I guess the question on my mind is how the fuck do you get more chips?
This crossed my mind at around 2pm, after I’d been unable to collect something I’d ordered from a shop (screw you machines that were out of order). I then went to 4 supermarkets and failed to get what I needed from any of them. I was anxious, had a tight chest, racing thoughts- you know, the whole party of feelings- and I knew it was ridiculous to be this stressed. Why was I feeling like the world was ending over small things? And why couldn’t I make the feelings go away?
I’d clearly run out of my imaginary poker chips.
Self care could earn me some more, as could recovery in the long term. Thing is, the in between parts of the recovery process aren’t stress free, so I need ways to temporarily boost my ability to handle things like today.
What do you do to tolerate difficulty?
I hate being tired. I hate that I bailed on a friend today because I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Does my body really look small enough for me to get this exhaustion?
I find myself making excuses for my tiredness a lot, when my eating must have a part in it. I’m not sure why I still excuse myself even with people that know about my disorder; perhaps I’m trying to convince myself I’m fine…
Sometimes I don’t even trust that I’m truly exhausted- like I will wonder if I’m just lazy, or if the people around me just have a lot more energy than average. These days, I doubt everything.
Today has been a day where I was craving reassurance from others, but one of my goals is not to do that as much. That being said, I cannot count how many times I looked in the mirror today.
Does my collar look prominent enough?
Is the bottom of my ribcage sticking out like I like it to be?
What do my hip bones feel like?
Just 3 of the ever burning questions on my mind. I know that I can see x bones, but I don’t trust my own eyes. It’s ludicrous.
The photo below is about 4/5 months old now, so I should be smaller, or at least not bigger than here. It was taken on one of the best days, although I do remember feeling very fat that afternoon.
In my session today we spoke a lot about how my doubts about my body and if I’m sick enough can make me feel really low. The thought that I’ve somehow failed at my disorder is so distressing to me. Eating Disorders love it when you get one upsetting thought, because then they just add about 10 more thoughts about the thought for you to worry about as well!
She said something that has got me thinking, because it doesn’t tie in with my black and white view of the world. It isn’t really a case of you are anorexic or not, bipolar or not, depressed or not, because each person with any mental illness is different, aren’t they?
Woah. Mind blown and very confused.
This makes sense, as I know that my anxiety is different to other people I know, because everybody has a different set of worries and triggers. My problem is that I’m not sure if she was implying whether or not I’m anorexic now. I would have asked, but I had a lot of things on my mind at the time.
What do you guys think?
My mum just said how you wouldn’t gain weight if you eat healthy food and exercise so there’s no reason to worry about weight gain. Oh right. So you don’t think I’m thin and need to put on a bit? So you don’t think I’m anorexic? Can’t even be bothered.
My dietitian has had to cancel our session tomorrow. On the one hand, this cuts my travelling slightly and means I can lie in tomorrow; on the other hand, I actually felt like I wanted to go to it. I had things to talk through and also a few small successes with food.
Basically, whenever I’m travelling to an audition in London I book a session, as the clinic is near where I lived when I was studying. That being said, rearranging isn’t as straightforward as when I lived a bike ride away! I feel guilty about having some negative feelings over the last minute change because it is totally not her fault, but at the same time I had mentally prepared for the session.
Right now my Eating Disorder is a huge focus in my life. It has been for a long time, however the lack of certainty in many aspects of my life at the moment make it feel like obsessing about food is all that’s there for me. I’m really not sure if I’m fat or thin either and it’s driving me crazy. My reflection changes all the time and my body dysmorphia is tiring due to all the ruminating and body checking.
I’m extremely conscious that my body feels tired and sore very easily after the gym, and things like that do worry me. Problem is, I don’t consider myself a “good” anorexic. My illness has never had me in inpatient treatment and I also feel like people don’t really worry that much about me anymore. I wish I had the answer and could just know how I look and how people perceive me.
Tempting as it is, I know that writing a to do list with a billion things on it makes me much less likely to actually be productive. In one of Kati Morton’s YouTube videos she talks about how studies show 7 is the limit of things we can do in a day. Obviously, this does vary if one of your items on the checklist is something enormous!
The last few days I seem to be fantastic at making these lists, then fail to do the things that are most important on them. Whyyyyyyyy dammit 👎🏻 the cycle of hate then commences:
Write a list, don’t complete it, feel unproductive, get depressive thoughts, lack the energy to attempt to do the tasks.
Wake up the next morning & start again. Joyous.
Tonight I managed to film a song for an audition which I’ve been putting off for days now. Editing and sending it off is a job for the next few days. Even though I have “achieved something”, I still feel crap. Now I just feel as though what I did wasn’t good enough and obviously that’s because I’m lazy and not good enough, oh and don’t forget too fat.
It’s nearly 10pm and I’m working an 8 hour shift tomorrow, so I’m just sitting in bed wishing I was somebody more talented, more attractive, and more confident. *sigh*
Good question, self. Why are you so blue?! And that’s the funny thing about depression: you can have a good life, but feel bad.
I’ve felt considerably more depressed in the past, but it’s a feature of my everyday at the minute nevertheless- and that’s annoying. Most mornings I wake up and I’m ok. Not happy or sad really. I will get a few things done (sometimes with a lot of procrastination and questioning whether I have the energy to do them first), and then this nothingy feeling comes over me. I get in a state where I feel almost empty and I want to cry or talk about it, but in the moment I don’t even have the energy to do either.
I have this imagined life in my mind where I’m able to get up with relative ease, begin the to do’s for the day, eat without too much thought or guilt, and also do the things that fulfil me most. There are occasional times when I feel like I’m a superhero and my whirlwind of getting anything and everything done happens all at once. I will be in a flow and feel really good about it. Unfortunately, I don’t often feel like I’m doing enough with myself. I don’t know if this is being worsened by the fact there are so many big life changes that are recent or upcoming at the moment, but it’s on my brain a lot!
Depression likes to sneak in there and make me think my best bet would be to lay in bed and hibernate.