14 August 2017

Oh, it's different now, okay?

One thing I find 'this side' of treatment, and by that I mean I'm no longer in treatment, Is it is much harder to express how I feel and how I get on with life. It's actually now six year since I was referred and labelled with this anorexia nervosa thing.

I'm not going to try and kid anybody that I get on with life without any issues. Quite clearly I do have many. In the same way I have never called myself recovered, like some people have when clearly they're not. But nor do I identify with 'being anorexic' any more. I feel like that chapter has gone. Although, do I actively anorexic behaviours? Yes. By that I mean anorexic behaviours like counting calories and body checking, and so on. And yes my own judgement of myself is that my life isn't 'Stereotypically' what society sees as anorexic. I'm just going on my own experience here.

All I know is I feel and act differently to when I first became very ill. My behaviours, thoughts and life is a world apart from when I was actively in treatment. The structure of treatment at EDU means that is always going to be different. But it's also different from when I was just leaving EDU. I have more life around me, I'm more settled and have routines and structure to my life. But the thing is, If I bared all of my thoughts and habits, many of you'd have me rediagnosed (aside from my BMI!).

If I'm honest, no. I don't 'feel like one of those women' - again, THANKS to society - who live life dictated by anorexia or someone who acts on all those thoughts or feelings. I am not. I am not a wallflower or live consumed. But I am someone, like I've always been that finds way to cope and just gets on with those thoughts and just gets on. Until I cry or splurge like this.

I count calories to keep myself in check, and instead of cutting them or restricting more if I feel guilty or worried, I just give myself a hard time about it. I have habits rules and ways of dealing with situations. I hate my body. I feel fat and although I don't know my weight anymore, I was in a healthy BMI and I know i've gained, because my clothes don't fit. I feel disgusted with my stomach STILL for instance. I'm pissed off when people thinner than me have a go at my diet or life habits or preach recovery. Yes. I am jealous sometimes that they get to be 'skinny and happy' - they probably aren't. I feel lazy and shit for not exercising or running. Really lazy and I actually miss that freedom. But I can rarely be arsed either. I want people to tell me I am fat or lazy. Self-fulfilling and all that.

Food wise, okay. There was concern over my 450kcal breakfast being my biggest meal. I get that. I have issues and rules and have problems with SO MANY Foods. Loads of problems. I also am generally healthy and it's not wrong to eat the way I want to eat either, I've been vegetarian and pretty much vegan most of my life, and have food issues not related to ED too. But do I get annoyed at myself for what I consider my bad habits? Yes. I hate that I 'trust' nuts, hot chocolates or dried fruit or handfuls of cereal or allow myself to take up an offer of a sweet. Honestly, I miss my fucked up 'will power' I do. I will eat out if I NEED to, but don't always choose to. Then I usually have a salad. I have the same lunches generally - because I trust them. And when I am out of these routines, I spend more time than normal planning and finding ways to control my food. Like tomorrow, work means I can't have my usual lunch at my usual time and that makes me unsettled. And so on....

Despite all this. I get on. Yes. It's disordered. But in my own ordered way. Maybe it'll happen along the way sometime, when it 'clicks' we are they say. When some time passes or someone comes into my life or whatever. But what I do know is that until that moment, I guess life will continue like this? I know no one else can 'fix this' and that annoys me. The ED services I was referred back to earlier this year said I was doing okay and better than most - and I was too 'therapied out' for general NHS bog-standard talking therapies. Apparently.

So just let me find my path...and you find yours. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like this?


11 August 2017

I don't like it. Any of it.

I am gaining weight. I don't like it.
I am letting myself eat more than 12 months ago. I don't like it.
I am letting myself drink more booze. I don't like it.
I am letting myself buy milky coffees most days.
I eat more nuts and dried fruit again....
I don't like my clothes feeling tighter, or having to buy a bigger size.
I don't like my body at all. Particularly my stomach and bloated torso.
I don't like that I let myself do this.
I hate the fact I have stopped exercising so much.

But I am letting myself do all this within rules. I could bullshit myself and say that I don't feel disordered but I am not in the bullshit game. And on the flipside...

I don't like that I still have SO MANY food rules.
I am stopping doing things I like. I don't like it.
I hate that I still count calories. But I do it.
I hate that my negative self talk win.
I hate that my life is still organised by food.
I am too sensitive and I don't like it.

But none of this is all-consuming. Just consuming sometimes. It ebbs and flows and feels like it used to back in the days before anorexia took control. Just frustrated and scathing of myself. Blaming myself for all of this, not knowing how to fix it.

I don't even feel like I can even BE anorexic and know turning that way doesn't fix things in the long run. I don't like not thinking I have options.

I don't like this half life. But the first list means I am stuck here.

12 July 2017

I get by with a little help from...?

...well, I don't know how I get by to be perfectly honest with you. I just do.

Despite having regular moments of complete self-doubt, many moments of body checking and negative self talk. Despite living with the guilt of feeling greedy, despite not eating half of the foods I know I should. I get by with the rules I live by, the routine I crave and I get by with only the odd melt downs to friends.I get by with making sense of changing my 'menu' if I need to, I get by when I am too fed up to even give a sh*t.

Generally I think I get by with a *little* help because I am so god damn determined not to completely f*ck up my life (AGAIN). I get by with the tools I learnt in therapy to argue back with more logical suggestions or reasoning. I get by living on my terms and within 'accepted' guides.

People often ask me 'what support are you getting...' well, none. But I don't know what support I need, or want. That's the problem. I don't know what the issue IS exactly. Other than feeling the same as I used to about vast parts of my life. I don't have a solution to fix this. 

It's the same old "I am not good enough to do that...", "I will mess that up...", "I look fat/ugly/scruffy/wrong/not good enough", "I have nothing to wear because I don't fit in clothes"... Or maybe its at work..."I hope they don't hate me"...."It's my fault..", "I've done something wrong.." issues AND I still feel the absolute fear of actually going for something, despite wanting to do it. I hate how all this worry and anxiety means I come across way more negative a person than I actually am.

When I've said something in response or done something that I know is driven by my lack of self-belief or my fear of failing at it, or I am faced with something I am not fully sure of, I HATE my gut reaction. I instantly know what I have done, and I hate it. It also becomes another thing I beat myself up about.

But I digress, I get by with a little....well, a lot of rules and habits which I really don't like breaking. I get by in life by sticking to the rules. I'd love to not sure 'get by' with a little of anything. But in all honesty, I can't imagine life any different to this at the moment. When I say that, my best mate hates it. although, it's true. I can't.

I have always just 'got through' or 'got by' even when I HATE my body, HATE my habits and HATE that I am in the 'almost disordered' place, where I don't listen fully to anorexia - but don't TRUST or really WANT to push in the opposite direction, because to be quite honest I already dislike the feel and look of my body and don't really like what I perceive as greedy - and the fact I eat anyway and don't exercise. I sound like a broken record here, but it is just doubting EVERYTHING, it doubting the food I eat, doubting my ability at work, doubting what others tell me, and on...and on...

1 February 2017

Living by the rule book

What I was given yesterday was permission to publish version two of the anorexic rule book that I've learnt to live by. A redrafted edition.

It's not like the edition I lived by back then, not like it was before. By giving me this permission in my head -is basically stating that I am okay and can be 'content' and cope with living within the restrictions this rule book states. It's normal and okay that I still put these controls on my life. What I don't get there is that she can't see that I opened up and said the reason I can't commit to therapy fully, give my self over and burn the book - is not because I am not fed up with the way I'm living, I am. I'm too addicted to the rules and I know they hold me back. But it's about trust. I don't trust anyone at all that it can be different for me. I also need to turn pages carefully because of the commitment I have to my life too. By that I mean work, mortgage and my plans.

It's just yet more proof services take their eye off the ball when you've got a high-functioning mental illness. When you're able to read and live by anorexic rules day to day to cope with life, but when you're able to be a 'rebel' and break the rules from time to time.

It's like eating disorders services are almost relieved that one of me comes along now and then. Self aware enough to write my own rules to cope, with the awareness that going back to volume one is NOT the life I want or need. But still not being able to put the rules down.

Unable to trust myself or my body to cope without them. Worried that living without them would be too much to bear. Apparently, when I can't break the rules any more and my life is governed by them completely, that's when they'll help me put it down.

I was sat there, admitting that I still live by the rule book, still count calories, still hate my body, still hate when I break them, still control everyone and everything I can to stick to them - and still know I'd be better with help to get rid of the book - but nothing.

Apparently, It's my fault for not trusting that burning the book would be the best thing to do. Maybe I needed help lighting the match and watching the pages burn...but I don't have a light, that's why I went back, but they can't help.

So I'll keep the book under my pillow for now. I need it like in needed a security blanket as a child. After all, I am able to break the rules from time to time. So what harm does keeping the book do? Really.


24 January 2017

Worrying about being a worrier

I am just a worrier I get that but when I'm worrying about worrying,  I can't stop worrying about it. 

I don't really know what to do about it ether. That worries me. I worry about how much I end up worrying about anything from the food I eat (yes the calories!), my body, my weight - right through to forgetting something on my to-do list, to what I said a year ago to somebody. 

I know this is anxiety in its very basic form, and it is this that I deal with on a daily, hourly, minute-by minute basis sometimes. 

For me though, the problem is I just see it as norma, because I am used to dealing with it like this. I guess is somebody else came into my brain and had a wander round they would tell me that it's not right I get back. Does everybody worry like this?

I worry because I didn't reply to any email in the right tone at work, does everybody worry about what the family think about something they have said or done? Or about upsetting someone unintentionally.

It's not always about other people's opinions of me though, it's more about trying to protect myself or predict the outcome of situations most of the time. It is like my biggest fear is 'messing up' or for things that are going okay, turning and going bad. It's why I don't embrace good times - because 9/10 I'm just scared about WHEN I'll mess up.

So if I'm looking at events or planning something. I know I will worry about everything from travel
Logistics, to timing to the food,  what I wear to when I'll be able to go home. So, sometimes that's why is easier not to go all all. But when I do go, it's the planning organisation and worrying that drives me insane and also takes the edge off what I am doing. Don't people see that my 'amazing organisation' is a way to cope? To mitigate against the fear?

It's often said that worrying sucks the joy out of life and I guess it does. This worry and anxiety doesn't cause me nightmares, but I do recognise that it does snuff out some joy of life. 

Add to that the fact that I have learnt to internalise my worry and not have panic attacks like I used to any more, I think my worrying can come across as rude sometimes or like I'm not fully 'there'. Sometimes I think people could see this need to check things are okay as needy or needing compliments or approval. It's not. I'm just trying to get through the day. I don't even know what to say about the worrying either or why I'm like this. I mean on a scale of 1 to major worrier, it's closer to the worry end, but in the grand scheme of things I cope with it.

The problem is that I recognise that is worrying it eating me alive sometimes, especially when I think I've messed up or cause problems for other people and I know it's not about me, it's their reaction. You can tell me that hundred thousand times over and over again but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I do accept that at the time I always worry some people are not worried. But what gets me is when I worry about things from so many different angles and I get muddled up trying take worrying away on multiple platforms, which is then setting myself up for failure to start with. 

I'm sick of worrying about worrying though, I'm sick of driving myself mad trying to come up with a plan I'm sick of worrying about whether I'm doing the right thing by somebody or for somebody. I'm worried that it is me who has upset you and worried about people's lives and I know I can't solve that, like I've already said but I can't switch the worry button off. 

I realise that worrying about weight, body or food is directly anorexia, I know it is and that's where I still need the help but at the end of the day they are going to give same rhetoric over and over again until we've gone full circle. Maybe I just need to let it be. I've tried and I guess I'm always going to think like that and it's up to me to change.

I have moments where I don't worry don't get me wrong, there are the moments I feel more carefree, but nine times out of 10 and most hours I'm worrying about something or other, but not too extreme, just got niggling internal worries.

I've got very good at hiding or passing off with being tired and not having slept up feeling ill and it is that bit that is the lie, it's not that I'm actually okay, it's that I've learnt to feel okay about worrying. Because I lost faith that it'll ever be different.