Lonely nights & what ifs.

For some reason that I’m unsure of, tonight feels lonely. I’m not alone, but I feel that way with all the thoughts in my mind.

My routine is becoming more organised. I now have certain dance classes and support groups I attend. Lists, as always, are my friend. I write down my weekly plans, as well as silly to do’s and enjoy crossing them off.

Aside from food thoughts tonight, my brain is circling on unanswerable questions.

If I get the benefit, how much will it be?

If I don’t get it, when and where could I realistically work (health and time wise) as a temporary measure in order to pay for the classes etc that I need to keep doing so I’m still working towards getting another job in the industry?

Am I doing the right thing by signing up to try something new in January? What if my strength lets me down?

What if I don’t get better?

What if I fail? At getting better, in my career, in life?

Does anyone have any answers? People at the back? Anyone?! No… well, just me on my own then. Seriously speaking, I know I can’t answer these questions right now. Nobody can! I’d just like to know what’s coming and whether I can handle it, but life just isn’t like that.

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).

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!

Colouring for Calm

I reckon this blog post is long overdue as my current love for colouring is just getting bigger and bigger… Colouring is what all the cool kids do, and for those who don’t exactly feel cool when buying a colouring book then don’t worry as all savvy-publishers have craftily named their books ‘art therapy’, ‘calming […]

https://dearestsomeone.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/colouring-for-calm/

Irony.

Today I’ve realised something pretty ironic about my eating disorder:

In my mind, my eating disorder is integral to my life. I can only cope if it is there & my behaviours help me. Realistically though, my ed behaviours distract me from the things that are actually bothering me.

Today has been almost entirely filled with compulsive exercise. I’ve barely sat still for a minute, and I haven’t got this letter done that I was supposed to either. I got stressed about having a few too many things to think about and so set myself an exercise target. This target took priority over the letter that I needed to finish, even though I didn’t want that to be the case. Kinda ironic that my coping mechanism has really not helped me in coping effectively with having numerous things to do today.

As I have til Monday for this letter thing, I will have to do it tomorrow. I’m a bit taken aback by the sudden realisation of just how much priority I give my ed without consciously making that decision. Weird…

The waiting isn’t over.

If I were to give anybody one piece of advice about applying to performing arts colleges, it would be this:

expect to wait forever until you know where you are going to go.

It is scary, There is so much competition, so little funding, and so much waiting. You apply, you wait for an audition, you audition, you wait for a reply, you wait for all your replies, you look for funding, you wait some more, and then eventually the wait is over.

Sadly, I’m not there just yet.

I have done all my auditions except one now and have 2 offers so far. So, I’m either staying where I’m currently doing a foundation year or going to the college I’ve yet to audition at. If it’s the latter, then I can get a student loan and it’s happy days. If I’m staying here then I can’t get one… (hello writing funding letters to charities and scholarship schemes..)

It’s confusing, because I want to be over the moon about the option of staying here, but that isn’t certain yet. I know I am going to continue my training which is obviously the most important thing, but not knowing where is pretty unsettling. Months of uncertainty has been stressful and so the day I know which college I’m going to can’t come soon enough!!

That’s that little vent over.

Everything else has been trudging along as normal. My ed is no more or less strong than it always has been, I still have regular moments of intense emotion (be it anger, desperation, panic) as a result of ed stress, and I still have panic attacks. As it isn’t any different to what is “normal” for me I don’t resent it at the moment. It is what it is.

I’m starting to realise that nothing else in my life can make me happy in a way that will make me problems disappear. They are deeply ingrained thoughts and behviours and so the only thing that will change them is outside help and an inner commitment to do so. I haven’t made that commitment to myself yet. I am always learning more about myself and making different decision as a result, but those decisions are a balance of good and bad so I end up in a similar state of mind all the time. One day I imagine myself being recovered, but I believe I will make that decision when I am supposed to which apparently isn’t right now.

I am on my way (in a very slow and roundabout fashion) and that is good enough for me. Doing some good things is better than doing no good things at all.

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.

First bit of my plan is ruined already..

I was supposed to find out whether I can stay where I am next year on Thursday. Now I don’t know when I will find out. Whoever changed their mind has no idea how stressful this is without all the plan changing.

I have waited weeks already and so waiting even longer is just dragging out the uncertainty more. That coupled with going home in a couple of days is making for a field day of anxiety and crappy ed thoughts in my head.

One day at a time, one day at a time, one day at a time..

AHHHH.

You know you have a messed up mind when a bit of you wants to be in hospital.

I know more than one person who has been hospitalised because of their eating disorder. For one of those people the inpatient time was only 2 weeks long. I don’t know what happened to initiate them going into hospital, but I just keep thinking that a fortnight is really not long at all, so maybe I would feel better if that happened to me…

I feel like an absolute idiot for even having the tiniest wish to go into hospital, but I can’t deny that it is there, and so I am writing to get it out. 

I have thought about this for a long time, and on days when I feel very low, having the validation of my disorder by being in hospital seems so appealing. Realistically speaking, I don’t want my life to be put on hold,.yet sometimes that is what I want more than anything else in the world. Sometimes everything just feels too much and I sit in a heap on the floor unable to do anything.

The “dream” would be to be fully eating disordered and function normally- obviously not an option- so when my issues are really getting in the way of my life, I feel like if I could finally hit the bottom of my ed then I could come back out of it and get on with being normal… The thing is, there is no bottom. There is always I way I feel I could be sicker, thinner, more depressed etc. There will always be somebody worse than me.

I guess part of my current worry, is that I am in a relatively new environment, full of people that mostly do not understand anything about any kind of mental,illness at all, and so it feels necessary and like it would be an “achievement” to prove to them that I really do have an eating disorder. 

Right now I am also waiting for one very, very important letter, which will probably determine what I’m doing for the next few years. I know that I will get this just before the end of the month. With that in mind, my focus is on hoping that it will say what I want to, so that I can relax knowing that my future is sorted out for a while. 

Once I read that letter (and if it is the outcome I hope for) then I will feel like I don’t need to keep holding things together, as I have been for the last months. If that pressure is relieved then I can relax a little.

The day I get that letter is also the day that I go home for Easter- busy time hey!? I have quite a long holiday and all I can think about is getting noticeably thinner for the new term.

Reading this all back just makes me feel silly. I know how bad it is to think like this, but right now there is so much pressure in my life that I can’t stop it. I WANT it there. I WANT to be eating disordered. I can’t let go of it now because it is the only thing I am holding on to.

If I get good news in that letter AND I lose lots over Easter, then I will tell my therapist I need the more intensive treatment option. Sorry to anyone who is reading all this non-nonsensical babbling, but hey, I wrote this to be a place to figure things out, and I have: I am as messed up as ever, I wish I weren’t, but right now I feel that I need and want to be. however much I want to get on with being normal.

So happy, so stressed, so angry, so scared, so excited… and all in the space of a day!!

To sum it up, today (and this week actually) has been quite a mixture! From receiving really exciting news, to feeling terrified about the coming week, to feeling in and out of control with food, it has all been going on this week!

At the moment, I just want everything to be steady whether that entails endless food/ exercise calculations or list making or whatever, all my little plans have to go PERFECTLY. When they don’t, I seem unable to hold myself together emotionally and some form of punishment follows.

Right now it is quarter past midnight and I am marching in place, where I will be for the next 4 hours.

On Monday I have a really busy schedule and so tomorrow just has to go to plan: I must reach the bottom of my to do list, I must do all my planned exercises exactly, and I must eat an acceptable number of calories (restriction-wise) in order to feel prepared for it. Reading this all back makes me realise that my mental calmness shouldn’t come from controlling my life like this, but it does and I can’t change that when I have some really important stuff going on at the moment.

I never find myself wishing life was easier; I always find myself wishing that I could have more control and be thinner, never feel like I have food in me, never run out of time to do things.