Saturday, 26 February 2011
I think I had a couple of sessions with a CPN that just didn't work out (family based therapy, bad idea!) but she eventually pulled out because 'I was the one making myself ill' and she literally told me that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was just being difficult for the sake of it and that I had 'behavioural problems' rather than mental health problems... (yeah, she was great <_<) she was also the same person who told me I'd be back in hospital within six weeks of being discharge so quite how two and two made four there I still don't understand...
So, I got discharged with nothing and it was over a year later that I went back to my GP's to be re-referred for my rapidly relapsing anorexia, she thought I was depressed and put me on Prozac and a few months later I went back to see the consultant who I saw right up until this summer. Unfortunately, he told me that despite the fact I was barely eating I wasn't in any real danger and didn't need treatment until my BMI was under 15... Even at my sickest literally dying point my BMI wasn't under 15 but these things tend to stick and affect the way that you think about yourself and your ED... I later had another relapse and pretty much begged to be referred to specific ED treatment and again got told that I wasn’t sick enough to ‘qualify’ for treatment, which is fair enough because treatment is limited, but at the time I did get treatment I really wasn’t ready to recover, I didn’t want to recover, and yet I got treatment from general psych and a specific ED unit and yet when I really did want to recover there was nothing out there for me...
Over the last couple of years under his care I have had quite a lot of treatment but it’s been largely focused on my Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis; I went general psych ward a couple of more times for brief stays, did a mindfulness group therapy type thing, crisis house, day hospital, tonnes of different medication and Dialectal Behavioural Therapy. I had a care-coordinator who recently got suspended for malpractice, so working with her was nearly always counterproductive and often destructive, and I also had ‘regular therapy’ for about a year which I found fairly useful once I’d got into it but that was only really for the last couple of months before I finished with him. I did learn quite a lot from the sessions, about being good at other things than losing weight, and a lot of the day to day leftover crap that was good to talk about but I never really got to the bottom of my ED and lately I am wondering if it would be helpful or unhelpful to go down that road.
I’m doing a lot therapy wise right now, I really like the psychiatrist I see here in Leicester and find her incredibly easy to talk to and be honest and open with, I’m still in DBT (I finish at the end of April I think...) and I’m at rape counselling (thanks to said psych) and I know that the BPD stuff and the trauma stuff have some part to play on my ED but in all honesty, I see the BPD as a knock on effect of the trauma and my problems with food started years before any of that happened.
My gut reaction is that right now is that I wouldn’t benefit from dealing with what’s underneath the anorexia, talking about it would automatically make it a big part of my life again and I’m really growing to enjoy (Hell, fuck it!) LOVE the fact that it’s not a big part of my life at the minute. At least, it’s not unless it comes to my flatmate, it’s that that I seem to be struggling to cope with, rather than my own illness.
In all honesty, it has been getting on top of me but it's helping me enough to just be able to talk about it here; it's more about venting than anything else so that I'm not completely alone with this whole situation, and so that I’m not sitting with it all building up inside. I have had a couple of bad days, a few little slips, but think it just got a bit too much on those days and I feel like I'm in a better place to cope with it now because having that slip has completely reinforced why I want to keep on with recovery.
I've figured out a lot for myself over the last couple of years, I have a much better idea now of why I became sick, and one day maybe I will go back to therapy and resolve it, but for the moment I've made peace with it and that feels like enough.
Things really are so much better for me now than they've ever been. There is no way a few years back that I would have been able to live with another anorexic and not be jealous or compete but that thought hasn't even crossed by mind. I'm not happy with the situation but I am happy and proud of myself for the way I'm trying to deal with it. I guess I've got used to dealing with it on my own and in a way I feel like I have freedom and control doing it this way. I don't want to go back to the days where I would go to an appointment and it would all be about the ED... I know it's not perfect, I'm not in denial, I just want to keep its impact on my life to the absolute minimum, at least for the time being, but is that the best thing to do? Am I getting it all wrong?
I think I'm slowly learning how worthwhile recovery is and how pointless it is to go round in circles, bouncing from one behaviour to the next. In all honesty, there are still times that the only thing I want to do is lose a tonne of weight, and because I am overweight it can be easy to talk myself into it being a good idea but I really do understand how vulnerable I'd make myself if I devoted my entire life to losing weight.
It is something that I want, to get back to a healthy weight, but it's definitely something that I want to happen in the right way and for the most part I can cope with my body being the way it is. It's just much harder to rationalise the negative thoughts when you feel that they're justified ie I am medically overweight so I should lose weight or I eat too much so I should stop eating etc etc but I think I'm doing an okay job, it's been over a year since I used anorexic behaviours at all or bulimic behaviours regularly, and when I do slip and fuck up I feel awful about it rather than nostalgic and 'pleased' and since New Year I've even got a good handle on the binging, been eating regularly and get straight back up when I do fall down.
Seriously, there are things I want out of life that have nothing to do with food and weight and those things just keep growing all the time. I'm not denying that I still struggle to get that balance right and to have a 'normal' relationship with food but it doesn't impact the rest of my life like it once did. Food is food and weight is weight (whatever it is or isn't) and the everything else that's going on in my life is so much bigger than that.
Some days it gets me down or gets too much but most days it's just a small part of a much bigger picture.
Thursday, 24 February 2011
I don't really want to introduce myself or the whole history of my ED in detail to people that don't know me; I know from first hand experiance that detailed accounts of what you or ate or weighed are destructive and also largely irrelevent, but I should probably give a brief oversight as to where I'm coming from. I've been eating disordered since I was 14, I was severly anorexic by 18, since then there have been hospitalisations, COE, anorexia, bulimia, anorexia, COE and so on and so for a decade. I decided that I wanted to recover in September 2007 but I never really cracked it or sustained it until late 2009. I haven't fully recovered from parts of my ED, I still have problems with COE and very occasionally bulimia but I've been free from anorexic behaviours and regular purging for about a year.
Okay, so! Today here's something that I wrote in response to frequent question of the relationship that the media has with eating disorders.
I have been working on this for nearly two days and I still don’t think I’ve articulated myself as well as I would have liked. I’m not very good at writing out of anger or irritation; I tend to come across as harsh and bitchy and completely up my own arse which I apologise for. I’m not a journalist, I’m barely a fucking writer!
Today is Campaign Day and the whole of this week had been Eating Disorder Awareness Week, as well as the 21st birthday of b-eat, the UK’s biggest eating disorder charity which is a fantastic organisation that provides amongst other things information, help lines, and pressure on the government to provide more treatment. A lot of people are writing/blogging/making videos/promoting and generally making a noise and raising awareness about these diseases that are stigmatised, glamorised and still largely misunderstood by society.
I am happy and more than willing to give them my support and to take part, and something keeps coming up time and time amongst all the interviews and articles that have taken place this week that I especially want to contribute my own understand and experience to: That is how much responsibility the media have over the development and rise of anorexia and bulimia.
It has been said that the media are not to blame and that eating disorder’s have nothing whatsoever to do with girls wanting to lose weight. I disagree.
To say that a media that consistently promotes thin as in is blameless is wrong. They are NOT the cause of these illnesses; people are born with a predisposition to develop ED’s, just as they may be to develop cancer, but the bombardment of images of skinny, successful women, of the Special K diet and Weight Watchers, of Jamie fucking Oliver and his healthy eating plans for school cannot walk away scot free from the rise of anorexia and bulimia, from the average age that they develop dropping and from a culture that gives super skinny a pat on the back and makes perfectly healthy, average sized people feel clinically obese in comparison .
We all have problems in our lives that are at the root of our disorder; whether its trauma, bullying, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety or just the wrong thing said at the wrong time. But I honestly believe that the reason that some of us turn to food and weight loss as ‘the magic cure’ to everything is because of how thin is promoted and celebrated amongst our society and our media.
Beauty magazines promote low self-esteem, and if you’re young and vulnerable and feeling a little bit bad and insecure about yourself and the way that you look, this wall of dreams at the newsagents can easily fuel your distorted perceptions.
Every single person is an individual, with their own story, their reasons, and to say that it is never influence of the media that made someone sick is as big an invalidation to their illness as it is to say that someone is ‘too fat’ to have an ED.
Friday, 18 February 2011
That seems like a really long time and like 'a big deal' but I end up in a huge fucking state when I think like that because seriously, where's the fucking news? Why should you feel pleased with yourself for not doing something that the majority of the population don't even think about doing in the first place.
Anyway, I got my new counsellor and time through for LRC and went this afternoon. It was alright, she seems nice enough because to be honest I really didn’t like the one I was seeing before because she was always bloody pushing me into 'talking about what happened' when I was halfway through talking about something else (and I don't mean something random and off-topic but just about how that week had been) I know that it’s probably way off target but I got the feeling that she was after really graphic details and going over the past which I guess is fair enough, but I only met her three times...
I’ve been finding it really hard to physically talk when I’m anxious, like when you’re drunk and think you’re saying things right but you’re not, everything I say just sounds wrong, and then I get stressed out because I don’t want people to think that I’m stupid and inarticulate, and then I forget what the Hell I wanted to say in the first place.
My flatmate’s still around but I hadn't had that much contact with her until yesterday when I was sick in bed all day with some kind of bug... she kept offering to go to the shop to buy food for me or to cook and I know that she was just being nice and kind, I do genuinely do know that, but for the slightest second I thought ‘she’s just trying to make me eat so she can watch while she doesn’t’ which is so fucked up and wrong and since then I’ve been really weepy and shaky, bursting into tears randomly, because I hate myself so much for even thinking like that, even if it's just for a second, it's too much…
[EDIT: INSERT TANGENT]
I'm just so sick of it. You get past a point where it stops being 'romantic', where it stops being some rose-tinted page of your past that you're desperate to get back, it just becomes old.
I am too old.
Since I was eight years old I wanted to be thin. I thought that if I lost weight then everything else would be perfect because it was being fat that was holding me back. Ten years after that I very nearly and literally starved myself to death because the thought of gaining weight, fuck it, just the thought of eating was so terrifying that I didn't really care if I died, I would rather be empty and dead, or thin and dead, than full, or fat, and alive. Being fat, gaining weight, eating, meant that the entire fucking universe would collapse, the world would stop...
Here I am, five long years later, and I've gained weight, I eat, I am (horror of all horrors) 'bigger than I need to be'.
Here I am because THE WORLD DID NOT STOP.
The only thing that makes the world stop is your eating disorder, or at least it makes your world stop.
You can't simplify the world, your life, your problems into 'food' and 'weight' and block out everything else, and even if you could, why would you want to? Life is so much more than that, so much more madder, and scarier, and happier, and sadder, and more COLOURFUL than that.
Life with an ED is a bit like when you take a photo of something without the memory, you're there but you're not really there, because you're behind the camera and afterwards you can look back on it and tell yourself you were there, but it's not going to be the same as actually, physically, being there. You can look back on your ED, like a photograph and kid yourself that you were there but you weren't... Photos only work when you have the memory to go with them.
Which basically comes round to it being National Eating Disorder Awareness Week...
I don't really believe in that many things, I'm a pretty ambivalent creature about almost everything, but I do 100% believe in this.
I'm definately not perfect, or on some kind of crusade to make everything better. I'm not saying that I'm particularly eloquent and articulate and able to offer huge, inspirational insights, because trust me, I'm not and I can't. To be fair, I'm even that great at 'being recovered' some days...
But I do know that the world doesn't stop just because you eat.
I don't know what I'll be talking about/doing over the next week but I'll do updates on here and tumblr - to be honest it probably won't be anything impressive but I just want to do my little bit
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
I feel like I'm being unrealistic, I feel like the person that I want to be and the person that I am are a million miles apart, I feel talentless and aimless. I want to believe that I am good at things, I want to believe that I'm good at writing because it's the only path I want to ake, that I've always wanted to take, and I'm incredibly insecure and fustrated about the whole thing.
On the plus side I got a phone call from the Social Inclusion team to meet up with them next week and I'm quite looking forward to finding out what they offer and it feels productive to get back into doing something again.
On the down side rape counselling haven't go in touch with me over a week and I have no idea when I will meet up with the new worker and the longer it is the more I am talking myself out of doing it. Right now I want nothing more than to pretend it never happened because for some reason in my head that translates to me being able to get on with my life and be happy. I know that's fucked up logic but it's pretty damn convincing.
I'm coping with the situation with my flatmate suprisingly well. The disordered bit of my brain has died down a lot so I'm not triggered by it and I'm looking after myself and eating properly and trying not to think about it all the time. I still feel awkward and uncomfortable around her, and I still want to be able to say something that would make her see the light, as it were, and I feel guilty and useless not being able to do that, because I feel like as someone who used to be in that place I should no better what to say or ddo but I don't and it makes no difference. I still have this thing about making it all mean something, making all the shit that I went through into something productive and I can't
Saturday, 12 February 2011
The photo I have with him from Sonisphere is probably better, the light/contrast on my camera fucked up a bit so it's not great quality, I look DISGUSTING, horrible hair (thanks, epic amount of rain <_<) but it makes me smile to see his cheeky grin! Also, this gig was a complete last minute luck thing. I decided about two weeks before that I wanted to go but it was all sold out, I put a rather stupid amount of a bid on a pair of tickets from eBay and literally five minutes after someone at angry-feet offered me their spare ticket for £12!
I can't really explain what it all means; I was always the kind of person that listened to the sad songs when they felt like shit, in what was probably a rather self-indulgent and pretentious way, but laughing at silly songs has proved a far more productive, self-empowering way to deal with the crazy shit. And as ever, touring is the best antidepressent there is, I just needed to feel it again, I guess, and I'm glad that I had his shows around when I really needed that energy kick. I was so, so low towards the end of last year, desperate, I almost didn't go to the shows I'd booked up but I did and it was amazing and gave me back my lust for life, and for the live gig touring experiance.
He is also the most talented, orginal and intelligent famous person I have ever felt a connection with. There are lots of reasons why I love him as much as I do. *cough obbsessed cough* But I think that one of the best things about him is that he doesn't do what a lot of comedians do, when they tell a joke or make a statement that may come across as offensive or too close to the edge, they all tend to say 'it's just a joke' and they don't justify it beyond the laughs, but with Tim there's this whole other level of depth. With 'The Pope Song', for example, he's asking you if you are really more offended with him calling the pope a 'motherfucker', with a song that is mostly filled with the word fuck, than you are about him/the catholic church covering up child abuse; And when you put it like that it's hard to argue against, it’s so fiercly intelligent. He's not just being offensive for the sake of it, or to get a big laugh, he's taking the whole idea of offense and playing with it, to make people think about what's more offensive. It's not just a joke; it's a cleverly constructed argument.
Of course it's funny, but he has a unique ability to be as witty as he is heartfelt, to convey genuine human emotion, to take apart falsehoods that exist, whether that be in love or religion or the holding of things sacred.
And the things that really make you laugh also make you cry.
Thursday, 10 February 2011
My flatmate is still waiting to go into hospital for her anorexia and I can't really deal with it. Everything just feels incredibly raw and painful. Like having a living memory or a ghost. I keep telling myself that I should be coping with it better, that I shouldn't be triggered, that I shouldn't feel weak for recovering and gaining weight but there's still a corner of my brain that I can't fucking control that keeps yelling at me and making me hate myself for not being in that place anymore. It's so fucked up. I don't want to be in that place. 99.9% of me is grateful for the health and the life that I have now, the freedom to do whatever I like and to eat whatever I like without being accountable for it either by the eating disorder or by the eating disorder unit rules. I wouldn't go back for anything. But that 0.1% of my brain that is working overtime and telling me all the ways in which I am weak and stupid and how much being anorexic would give my life meaning and purpose and success... It's such a small part of my brain but it's also so much louder than I'm used to it being. I really thought that I would be useful, helpful, encouraging for her. But I've ran away back home and I'm hiding from the whole situation. I want to write to her, talk to her, but I feel anxious and sick just being in the same house as her. I know that I desprately need the space from it and to not be in the thick of it but that doesn't stop me from feeling selfish about it.
I bumped into Carol this morning as I was leaving DBT and I don't think I've ever felt so fucking angry at someone, that she would have the nerve to talk to me after everything, after being suspended, after I thought she was out of my life for good.
Then my counselling was cancelled after I'd spent the whole night psyching myself up to meet the new person, and to even go again after the disaster it was last time.
I just feel... cursed, it's like I can't escape any of the things I want to or need to even, they always chase up with me, even in a secondhand/through other people way.
I don't want to be anxious anymore. I don't want it to get to the point where I would do anything to just not feel so awful. Where I would do anything to just escape it for a little while. I haven't self-harmed in 42 days and I'm aiming for 90, because I read or heard once that it took that long to really break any habit nd for your head and body to get used to the change. It's not like I plan to give up as soon as the 90 days are up, I'm just trying to break the whole thing down a bit.
I'll be doing something, in a shop, talking to a friend, in therapy, on a train, wherever, and my chest will start hurting, I feel sick and dizzy, sounds get muted or turned up, I start talking as if I'm drunk, slurring and unable to remember what word goes next and I have to get out, I can't stay, if I stay there and don't go out then I am sure I'll just drop dead there and then.
Every fucking day.
I can't keep living like that
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
This photo is probably a year old but I miss red hair and pints of cider and being 'normal'.
2. A photo of yourself a year ago
3. A photo that makes you happy
4. A photo of the last place you went on holiday
5. A photo of you
6. A photo that makes you laugh
7. A photo of someone you love
8. A photo of your favourite band/musician
9. A photo when you were stoned
10. A photo of you as a baby
11. A photo of your favourite film(s)
12. A photo of you
13. A photo of your best friend(s)
14. A photo of your favourite alcohol drink
15. A photo of you and someone you love
16. A photo of you at the last party you went to
17. A drunk photo of you
18. A photo of one of your classes
19. A photo of you on a school trip
20. A photo of something you enjoy doing
21. A photo of you standing up
22. A photo of your town
23. A photo of your friend as a baby
24. A photo of you that your hair looks nice in
25. A photo of a night you loved
26. A photo of your favourite weekend
27. A photo of last summer
28. A photo of what you ate today
29. A photo of someone you find attractive
30. A photo of you when you were happy
Monday, 7 February 2011
Don't lose your nerve
Breathe, keep breathing
I can't do this alone"
- Exit Music (For A Film) by Radiohead
My flatmate is waiting to be admitted to hospital for her ED and I'm not feeling too great about the whole thing... Lots of fucked up thoughts and memories and triggers that have come to the surface pretty much instantly that I just can't shake off, and I'm fucking trying to get rid of them with every trick in the book.
I'm fighting so hard to not let it break me, to stop thinking stupid fucked up crap, it's hard. It's so.fucking.hard!
Right now, at this moment, I want to be back home with my parents. It's not really about being looked after by them, I can feed myself and take care of myself and function the same anywhere, I'm not in a place where I need to 'be safe' and have someone look after me in
that sense, to make sure I don't do anything dangerous or stupid.
The thing that I do need is to feel safe somewhere, not from myself but from the rest of the world, and living on my own/with my flatmates I don't have that. It's not that I dislike them, I love them, and it's not just the drama with my friends anorexia (although that is certainly impacting on a lot of my thinking) it's more the fact that I dont trust the people that they know.
I have serious issues with other people's friends being around me, especially at night, and because we are all sort of students they have friends over a lot, and they drink a lot, and I just freak out and lock my door and stay up crying all night.
I know that it's my problem and not there's, and there is no way I could explain my fears to them, because they're not rational, they're just hyperalert, anxious thoughts that my brain keeps creating. Even so, how do you tell someone that you're convinced that their friend is going to attack you in the middle of the night...
I know that it's unlikely that anything awful will happen to me here, but there is a chance, there is always a chance, and I don't have the skills or resources to be able to deal with that chance.
I'll keep going to counselling because I know that in the end it will never stop happening and I'll always freak out about stuff that I should just be able to deal with if I just run away and avoid it all the time. I guess it has to get worse first or something...
I'm not hideously depressed, I want to do things, I'm motivated, I don't cut (38 days and counting), I eat right, go to DBT, engage, even think about the future. In so many ways things are better than they were before Christmas, but somedays, most days, I genuinely think my heart is going to stop from constantly beating too fast.
I finally got my appointment through and it's about six weeks away. I don't even know what the Hell I want from them... I guess just to stop feeling like everything is going to go wrong all the time, like I have to on edge all of the time, to be able to relax and chill out basically...
Why is that so fucking difficult?
Saturday, 5 February 2011
I am not going to pay it but that's not the point
I am NOT PAYING
I don't have the money for a start
They can take me to court
I don't care anymore
I am so angry about how this has all turned out
I went through the proper channels
Officially 'interrupted my studies' instead of just dropping out
And all I get in return is constant demands for money
I don't want to go back anymore
I feel so betrayed
They made no effort to help me out before I left
They made no allowances for my condition
Despite the fact that they promised me the fucking moon before I started
Why should I comply to them?
When they did bugger all to make things better for me
I know that this sounds reckless and stupid and childish
But I'm going to ignore them from now on
Rip the letters up
If they want to take legal action against me then they can just fucking well do it
I don't have a savings
I will properly not even get benefits once the cuts and reassesments kick in
I will literally have no money
What can they fucking do!?
I can't cope with shit like this
I feel like everything is fucking collapsing around me
Out of control
Like life has decided to throw shitbricks at me constantly
I don't care anymore
What is the point in striving to make a better life for yourself
When all it does is course stress and worry
I don't want to keep fighting for things
Trying to normalise my life
To live in the real world rather than the mental health world
But fuck it
I can't do it anymore
I can't cope with the real world
I've given it my best shot, I really have
But I don't want to do it anymore
Friday, 4 February 2011
I'm having really stupid thoughts of leaving Leicester and moving back home so that I can feel safe and protected. In the flat I'm constantly anxious, dreading some huge disaster, my checking/counting gets a lot worse... I know that I need to keep going with counselling, and that living away from my parents is really beneficial a lot of the time, I'm just starting to get completely overwhelmed with this constant on edge feeling.
I don't even know when my next appointment with the consultant is, she said two months and it's been about one. I only see my CPN every six weeks. I have DBT but I know that they will just teach my their skills, which I already know and use, but with this kind of anxiety they just don't work at all because it's like my brain goes past the point of being able to cope with it and so all rational thought goes out of the window.
A few years ago it got so bad that I'd end up in this dissociated, psychosis state, but atleast then you don't *feel* the anxiety. For the most part the Seroquel stops it getting to that point, but instead I have to deal with how fucking awful it feels to be constantly wired and hyperalert.
It's got worse since I switched anti-depressants a few months back and I just feel like it's running away from me, getting out of my control. I need SOMETHING to change. Something more than DBT. Something specifcally aimed at anxiety. I just don't know what would help.
I can avoid situations that make it worse, like counselling, but I know that won't benefit me in the long run, and it's not always that easy to predict what will trigger it off, when you're just sitting at home by yourself, not thinking about anything and still feeling like your heart is just going to stop.