Adaptability and patience.

As usual, I’ve had the desire to write but not enough to say/motivation to do it umpteen times. At last, I’m actually posting.

The past year has shown me that I am very adaptable. I’ve moved countries twice, and returned in the middle to a new family home in a new city (that I’d never seen). Those kind of big changes are always going to have some challenges, but I was able to ride out the initial discomfort and prove to myself I could do it. Patience with myself isn’t something I find easy. In fact, I’m one of the least patient people I know.

The problem with having a problem with patience, is that in life we are always waiting for something. Be it a job, a partner, Christmas, or the arrival of a parcel, it could be easy to constantly feel impatient about something.

My current feeling of discomfort and lack of patience is tangible. I’m awaiting to hear back from an audition, while also waiting to hear back from my therapist about whether I need more intensive treatment. A great combination, huh? I don’t know yet how I feel. My tiredness from my last contract plus years of ED tiredness means a next job seems daunting. Am I in a place right now where I can do it? Would a rejection be a blessing in disguise? Deep down do I want more intensive treatment? You don’t know? Me either 😂

My point is, I can mull it over a thousand times, but until I’m presented with all the choices it’s just my impatience and anxiety wasting my energy. I need to make a promise to myself to enjoy being at home, adapting back to family life, and do proactive things (however small).

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Dear the struggling friend

Dear friend,

As somebody who knows all too well how painful it is to hate yourself, I want to remind you that you are loved. What you see in the mirror or on the scales bears no reflection to the beautiful person the rest of us know. Like me, you are getting sucked in to viewing the world through a lens that focuses on thin vs fat as a decider of happiness. That lens is a liar. It blurs the other things in your life, until years have passed and you haven’t enjoyed the things you should have. Don’t let that be you, you deserve so much more.
Whatever your mind tells you, one more time (be it one more restrictive day, one more pound lost, one more laxative/sit up/purge) will never satisfy you. The feelings won’t go away by the methods that caused them.
As my friend, I hold you very highly in my life, and your happiness is important to me. In fact, seeing you succeed fills me with so much joy that it can make my own difficulties that little bit quieter.
You are deserving of love- the love you have in your life already, and the love you should be giving yourself. Body confidence and security is a challenge for many people, partly because lots of things around us are photoshopped or posed, and most people would only post their best bits on social media. It’s human nature to experience self doubt, as we all feel a little lost in life at times. However, you are beautiful and talented just as you are.
If health is your goal, your body will gain strength and vitality with you; if a diet is the focus, it won’t ever happen in the way you desire it. Of course, I’m not at the end of the journey either. In fact, right now isn’t so easy for me either. But that’s ok.

All the love in the world
Xoxo xox

Maybe some of you guys have a friend who might also need to hear this. Feel free to repost or share if you do!

GP trip (cos I’m fun and exciting)

Since returning to England and finding my way in a new city, I’ve had a register at a new doctor in order to get my meds. I’ve now had 2 appointments with the same GP, and she has given me lots of info on mental health help in my area, taken time to ask me questions, and prescribed my medication. However, today she asked to weigh me. I’m so paralysed by this fear that I couldn’t even speak. I was trying to but sentences weren’t actually coming out of my mouth. She let me tell her why I can’t, and she didn’t force it on me, but it really brought up some pretty crappy memories to be honest. 

I leave for my new contract in 9 days, and the GP asked me today if I thought I am well enough to go. Obviously I said yes, because what’s the point in giving up an opportunity and sitting about at home? As my departure gets nearer I’m finding silly little nerves popping up, so to settle my mind I’m gonna make a little list:

Positives about the new job:

  • Chance to see a lovely place
  • I will be dancing 4 nights a week
  • Having my own space, and being out of my parents way! 
  • Earning a decent wage 
  • Fewer daytime hours than previously 
  • Near the beach!
  • Being near some of my friends from before (hopefully!)

Nerves/negatives about the new job:

  • Worry of people not liking me
  • Worry of the choreography being too hard/easy for me
  • Worry that the uniform will make me look fat (yes. That has been a real thought in my head.)
  • Being away from home, and the natural moments of missing my favourite people from time to time 

These are probably my main pros and cons, and let’s face it the positives list is a much better read 😂 I just need to focus on all the excitement things that could happen instead of worrying it will all go wrong #anxietystruggs

Xoxo

Putting on a front.

One of the things I find most difficult about how I currently feel is that I am living with people who don’t understand it. I decided to tell them about my disorder and how I feel day to day (when they ask) but whatever they say always seems to become a negative comment in my head. 

Whether they say they think I’m doing well, or whether they try to say I’m not eating well, I never feel comfortable. At the beginning of my problems I often just told those closest to me that I was “fine” and so by telling them I believed I was making life easier for myself. I guess I have, as I don’t have to cover it up completely, but from now on I am just going to accept what they say. 

“You seem to be doing well at the moment” – I will agree, regardless of what I think or feel.
“You seem to be having a hard time just now”- I will shrug it off. What is the point in confiding in people who don’t get it?!

Yesterday, one of my housemates (who has their own mental issues not to do with food) was, yet again, blabbing on about wanting to lose weight. She talks almost 24/7, often just chatting shit or not even making sense, and so she said “it’s like some people lose weight so easily, like their metabolism is really high. It’s so unfair how I don’t lose weight when I don’t eat, or you don’t lose weight…” So why exactly did my family all tell me multiple times when I went home that I’d lost weight?

I know she probably doesn’t even remember saying it, and I know that my body stats mean that I have lost, but it is just plain hurtful. She thinks my ed means she can get info about losing weight out of me. I lose weight by obsessively exercising and restricting my intake. It is a very simple formula that only struggles to work when you hit starvation. Your body would probably only stop losing from restriction at an underweight weight anyway. Her problem is that she knows sod all about what she eats. She is lying to herself about how much she has.

I am hurt by her comment, even though I know she is utterly crazy and talks crap quite a lot anyway (e.g she told me a girl we know is like really skinny but fat at the same time!! The girl is skinny, end of. ) I wish she would keep her thoughts about her own body and everyone else’s to herself. I don’t want to know what some teenager with adhd has to say.

Ran over.

I don’t know my own body….?!

I look, obsess, analyse at it all the time, yet my perception of myself is constantly questioned by those around me. I feel my bones, I take every measurement I can, I perpetually compare myself to people, and so it is hard to believe that the view of my body I have created in my mind is wrong….

I have a notebook which I write in multiple times a day, in order to track food, body measurements and exercise etc.. it is my obsession. This evening I have got a new notebook and I have started writing in it (old one was full) which is what has got me looking back and thinking about how my body has changed.

Emotion-wise, today has been pretty rough. I was sat with my family in the pub for lunch. Nobody was making me eat, but my incredible hunger was fighting with my ed. I wanted to eat, but at the same time I wanted to stay empty. The hunger made me unable to think properly and the social eating scenario made me anxious before I even thought about maybe trying to eat something. I ran out and had a panic attack, then walked down the road with tears streaming down my face. I felt angry for not fighting the ed and eating- like I had let myself down, and I also felt hugely upset that my ed controls me so much. A lot of the time I’m able to imagine that I am in control of it, as I avoid so many situations which challenge its “rules.” It’s one thing when it leaves me feeling a state, but today was worse because my parents and siblings just had to sit there with me unable to form a sentence before I ran out. I just feel stupid I guess.

I don’t want a casual lunch with my family to be an impossible task; however I don’t want to confront the issues that make it one until I have justified it by losing more weight. A few months ago I was proud of myself for being able to understand and articulate my problems, but I don’t seem to be able to go any further than it. If I’m not doing anything positive with that knowledge then what the hell is the point?

I really couldn’t say whether or not I want to get better. Ambivalent isn’t even the word- as I know every ed sufferer feels that at times- I am just so utterly lost.

Going on a diet.. or not.

I know a few people that are currently dieting and it got me thinking about one of my biggest fears about being recovered: what if I can never lose weight again?

I believe that once you have had an eating disorder, the thought patterns will still be in your mind, so surely any attempt to control food intake or decrease body fat would trigger those patterns. I am afraid that if/when recovered I will be unable to place limiations on my diet without falling back into being extremely obsessive about it.

This isn’t some crazy worry I have manufactured in the disordered part of my brain in order to let it continue by the way! A friend of mine has had an ed, became a little too heavy, tried to diet years later and relapsed. This is just one of many reasons I have for wanting my body to reach an “acceptably” (to me) low weight before I permit myself to engage fully with changing. Right now I’m toying in the middle, by challenging some things while allowing other things to get worse…

The more time goes on, the more important it is that people notice my eating disorder, which is twisted, since I feel pretty uncomfortable when they actually mention it! But I’ve had a tonne of time on my hands the last few hours and I’ve come to the conclusion that this want reflects the increased inner anxiety and stress, and so if they notice, I’m no longer carrying this pile of crap in my brain alone. (Just a theory, not too sure…)

Tomorrow is a fast day and I just can’t wait to feel empty. I just want to get to this end point weight wise so everything can be normal again. I know it isn’t that black and white, but if it were that is what I’d whittle it down too. Ah too stressful.

Random thoughts (same as usual really!)

I have a big rant to go on to start with, so going to get that out the way first…

Today I saw a friend who I haven’t seen for quite a while. She asked me how things were going ed/ depression/ anxiety wise, and I said that they were up and down but “fine”. Obviously they aren’t, as I feel totally unstable, but it wasn’t the time to say! Her response was “well you’re obviously doing some things right, like, you haven’t ended up in hospital”

My ed reaction to this was OH MY GOD SHE DOESN’T THINK I’VE LOST WEIGHT, SHE MUST THINK I’M FAT. This thought has been playing on my mind since the moment she said it. I suppose she may not have been referring to weight at all- I hope now! But I just hear the ed telling me that I’m tricking myself into being ok if I believe that.

On quite a different note, my evening ended with a family member commenting how thin I have gotten since I was home at Christmas. As usual, I couldn’t formulate a response and just kinda shrugged. Part of me is delighted at their statement, while part of me wants to curl up in a hole of confusion as I get less and less able to know what the hell I actually look like anymore!

My next worry is the coming weekend. I’m going with my parents to another town to see some relatives. We are going out to lunch. I don’t have to eat, but after the “are you eating? you’ve gotten thin” fiasco this evening, maybe people will leave me be if I do eat? But then there’s the possiblity I might have a panic attack if I try which I frankly don’t have the energy for at the moment. Ah what to do?!

I’ve been thinking a lot today about how food impacts my family generally. Since a young age, eating out and eating bad foods has always been a treat, a birthday thing, a celebration of an achievement. And I guess I do classify food as a treat, yet it has become something that I can never do enough to earn. Both my parents have quite focused relationships with their bodies and food: one has been phasey and researched into health and dieting extensively, while the other has only recently managed to successfully lose excess weight. My whole life I have watched the latter do a hundred and one different diets and always put the weight (and more) back on when it eventually fell apart.

I would never blame anybody else for my problems, but I suppose it isn’t surprising that I have developed pride in being able to lose weight & attached a sense of achievement and necessity in doing so. Couple that with a perfeccionist personality and lack of confidence and BAM…

As it is 11.30 pm I think it is time for bed. Zzzzzz