16 November 2017

Recovery Journals Throwback (16th November)

Wednesday 16th November 2011

I still keep getting these pangs of panic in the pit of my stomach when I think about the amount of calories I am consuming. I have this anxiety that might only take over me for a minute or even a second but it bothers me that it feels like I am out of control. It makes me feel like I am on a one track mission to being fat. I am getting better at noticing these thoughts and trying to switch my thinking and be realistic when I notice, but it is too late once I have thought it and have already panicked. I am trying hard to keep thinking positive and to remember that gaining weight and improving health is good, weight gain at the moment is good, and no matter HOW scary it is, it is needed and vital for my life to move on.

I am excited about seeing XXX tomorrow, but I am also nervous, because it throws my usual routine out because someone will be here. I also feel like I am hard work to be with. I struggle to relax still and just be me, and sit back and talk freely and enjoy my time with friends. I think it hurts so much and I find it so hard to do because it is a clear reminder of the ‘face’ I put on and the act I put on for so long to convince people I am okay. When I do relax or at least make myself make conversation and be sociable, I feel weird, pretending again and that scares me because when everything is ‘okay’, when I manage to keep a lid on my anorexic thoughts and problems and talk about other stuff, and push ana to the back of my mind I feel like I am faking it again when I think about it, talk about it or acknowledge my ED behaviors again. I am worried about going to the cinema, about feeling like I can’t have sweets or just let myself have popcorn from the cinema and I am worried I won’t relax. I am hoping I can, I am hoping that watching the film will help me forget about my ED for a minute.

I want to be me again, I want to be warm (why is it SO cold!) and I REALLY hope the next two days will help not hinder me. I am scared I’ll go into super defensive mode and make a point of negatives not positives to remind people how shit I feel. I don’t WANT to do this. I want to be positive about the future, not negative. I want to NOT feel jealous when she talks about her new job etc. because I need to be happy for her and NOT compare my life. Fingers crossed.

Friday 16th November 2012 

I WISH I COULD SAY I GAVE A SHIT BUT I feel so tired slash drunk that I really don’t care.

I really can't  even be bothered to write in my journal.

All I will say is that I messed up, I thought id kicked ass, I thought id nail something, I believed for a second that Id done something really good, I totally let myself believe I’d done well, and guess what? I FUCKING DIDN’T. I screwed it – like that helped matters? Like that helps me disprove my own theory of being SHIT. It really didn’t.

I really can't  be bothered to explain, like its relevant to anyone but me anyway, but this is WHY I should not care and should not believe that I am ok or that I will do ok. I won’t. I can't  be arsed to get in to details. I know what I did. But I am not happy tonight and thanks to my own incompetence I probably feel like shit tomorrow as well as feeling guilty for the 100 extra (minimum) calories that my rum has in it. I am fat anyway.

I don’t care if people tell me ‘it’s ok, everyone makes mistakes’ they don’t realise how much of a set back this is, I DARED to believe for a MOMENT I had done well, and I fucked it up.  So I needed the rum, and to throw a knife across my flat, 

I need to not give a shit – I wish I didn’t give a shit but its just THERE in my head making me feel HORRIBLE. JUST GOING ROUND AND ROUND all the time. Every time I think about something -  I go back to not being able to change the fact I messed up.

12 November 2017

Recovery Journals Throwbacks (11th & 12th Nov)

I am starting to sort through journals I kept through recovery and these are extracts from this weekend in 2011 and 2012. This was around 3 months then a year into treatment, it highlights the underlying thoughts that carried through and some of which remain 6 years on. 

Friday 11th November 2011 

When will this stop? When will I get a firm grasp on what the HELL is going on in my head and with my body?

I know I felt like this last week to, like there was NO CHANCE I could have LOST weight, but I have. It is yet again more proof that my feelings and anorexic thoughts are pretty much the complete opposite of fact. I don’t understand how I can feel SO certain that I will have gained, or at the very least maintained and then be half a kilo lighter. How can I feel so much fatter and not BE so much fatter? It just mixes up my emotions even more than they were already. I am going to focus on keeping Ana quiet about this loss and really try and use it as ammunition AGAINST her games. I have to, because like Wendy explained, the LOWER MY WEIGHT DROPS, THE WEAKER I BECOME, THE STRONGER ANA’S THOUGHTS AND CONTROL BECOMES. This means that no matter what I do and how much I am trying to eat and recover, Ana is there, creeping up on my, pound by pound.

It was a bit of a wakeup call that Wendy mentioned that both her and Fiona thought I looked thinner and not very well at the moment – because I get conflicting messages from different people saying I look ill, tired or some saying that I look really well and much better. But I suppose I have chosen the pictures people see on FB, to present a Sarah that is okay, coping and getting better, when reality might be very different. There is no hiding from W or F though, and I don’t want to hide either, but it is so much harder than I thought to give over EVERYTHING and bare all too. I do trust that they don’t judge me, but opening up about all the thoughts feel so alien sometimes. It also feels fake sometimes too, because it doesn’t feel like me or my thoughts because I’ve never said them out loud or thought of them in certain ways. But it is me and it is real isn’t it?


AND MY GOD I need to remember this. I need to remember that it is okay to enjoy food and for it to be easier and less scary to eat. That is a snippet of how people function WITHOUT Ana controlling them. Yes, these moments are still rare for me, but I continue to make myself feel bad and guilty about them when they happened anyway, so they feel like bad feelings and thoughts, not positive ones. Ana has convinced me for so long that these are WEAK feelings, like being hungry. Really, I know I should be embracing these new feelings, I should be glad I am starting to feel them and I should be AIMING to feel them all the time.

Sunday 11th November 2012

I looked chunky and fat next to her, but she said she thought I looked small, thin, underweight, I can't  remember which word she used, and I can't actually say that I believe her at all? I don’t understand why she’s say that when I don’t look thin – when I am NOT underweight anymore. I don’t believe it at all, but she did say it. I like the honesty she has like, that she still thinks certain ways that could be anorexia talking but she KNOWS that and is aware and deals with it, but realistically isn’t a denial frame of mind that she’s ‘perfectly recovered’ but more that she lives life but knows when thoughts aren't helpful – which is sort of inspiring really.

I guess that acts as a reminder that it is ok to struggle sometimes or look back as long as you don’t GO BACK – and struggles mean you just need to be more aware – NOT That everything is going wrong.

I am really trying NOT to focus on bad bits things that could have been better or on trying to work out how much I have eaten. But I do feel tired and LOW tonight – the Sunday blues, I don’t know – maybe it’s a reminder that I don’t have a social life and that I have work to do.

Saturday 12th November 2011

I hate that some mornings, like now, I wake up mega early when I really need the sleep. No matter how hard I try and relax I can’t go back to sleep. What I hate EVEN more is that my thoughts are instantly consumed by food. Today I KNEW I’d be having a sandwich and THEN halloumi cheese later too, food was the first thing I thought about, followed quickly about what time I would ‘allow’ myself to have breakfast. Apparently Ana says 8am! It’s ridiculous and I hate it. I hate that my ED makes food the central focus of my thoughts, but it’s always been that way I think. I don’t remember a time ever when I didn’t worry about the ‘consequences’ of eating something or a time when I didn’t make the food I was going to or the food I just consumed the focal point on my mind. The fear has shifted over time, from sick, to fat, to sick, to greedy. But now, as well as worrying about calorie content and the ‘effect’ the food will have on my weight, my body shape, on the way I appear to others, I still worry about food making me sick. Like I didn’t trust xxx to make my dinner last night, like he wouldn’t do it right because of contamination, the kitchen wasn’t clean enough AND he couldn’t make the correct amount of food. The internal monologue from morning to the moment I fall asleep at night REALLY does my head in.

I keep thinking about calories today too, anything I eat I am thinking about how much more I am eating than before, I keep going over and over the rest of the day, thinking about how much I have left to eat and panicking about it.

In my head I need to realise that me going ‘tomorrow’ will be a ‘better’ day is Ana thinking that tomorrow she’ll get away with sneaking in restricting more, making me eat less because I ‘picked’ today at cake. She convinces me that I can ‘make up for’ being ‘bad’ today \and eating too much. But I know I need to just stick to my meal plan tomorrow. I am worried that tomorrow is the most ‘open’ day on my plan thought and how AN thoughts could take over. But now I have made myself aware of this I NEED to fight it and if I want to get better, that’s my only option.

I just want a new day now please…

Monday 12th November 2012

I feel like I have SO much going on – that I don’t have time or energy to do things I need to – like there aren’t enough hours in the day and that I am going to forget things – and miss things and annoy people and I just feel – a bit all over the place and like I am so busy at signal that I can’t do things – like sort out my doctors note – my benefits and everything. I don’t know how to deal with the stress of all that.

I keep feeling guilty about having two hot chocolates and that’s on my mind now –and just having some cereal with my custard, while I was waiting for it to cook  WHY DID I EAT IT? I don’t understand. It’s so much easier when I don’t – it hurts my head less. I keep thinking when I walk to the station too – to keep myself going and not feel emotional that I feel in a total rush the whole time – I just keep hoping and thinking about burning the calories by walking fast. That’s not good is it? I just don’t want to gain weight and I feel all these things are really important in that.

It’s like loads of plates are spinning and I don’t know which to stop first. Or which to fight and which are ok.

11 November 2017

Not okay in my own skin

Thighs that rub together and look chunky in tights. That feeling of a bra digging into flesh on my sides. Clothes hanging to my bloated stomach that has suddenly become a lot more prominent than it was. A face that is round and sides that are square, not narrow. Thicker. Wider. Bigger. Heavier.

And it’s all my fault.

That’s how I feel right now. I’m confused. Because I still don’t my allow myself many pure carbs, I rarely have sweets or chocolate. I can’t remember the last time I ate a slice of cake but hey, I’m fine. Not. I blame myself because I have stupid greedy habits, like needing mints or sugar free hard boiled herbals to calm anxiety about getting ill. I have jars of dried fruits that I pick at and I drink two hot chocolates a night out of habit and fear of being hungry over night (hangover from strict anorexia) and I don’t rub, I don’t exercise regularly and I hate myself for it.

It occurred to me at the till in a shop the other day - when a white chocolate kitKat caught my eye. Not only would I not buy it, ever. But that there is often FEWER calories in my evening meal than that chocolate bar. Really. This was something I was going to write down like a friend suggested to make a stock take of anorexic habits - that’s one. Fear of snacks other than fruit or controlled popcorns or seeds.

I can’t explain the disgust I have for myself for eating the bits I do without measuring. The dried fruits, the booze or the extra spoonful of cereal. I just want to Bin it all. I realise this is anorexia. I just don’t actually think I have the tools to accept this is okay.

I shouldn’t have seen the scales the other day. They’re playing on my mind. I don’t know how I’ve eaten the same and gained 3kg - unless it’s the booze, mints and lack of exercise - in which case my overwhelming instinct is to STOP The extra eating and actually move more again. I say I don’t like skeletal, I don’t. I just don’t like being this size either.

1 November 2017

Thought splurges and avoiding urges...

I often talk about anorexia in the past tense, like "because I battled with anorexia..." or "when I was ill with anorexia..." and so on, but I know WHY I do that, NOT because I consider myself over it, or fully recovered as some people say, but because it's like I have to justify my illness or recovery.

It's easier to say 'when I was ill' than it is to start explaining the fact that I am not critically ill, or acutely ill, or in need of hospitalization or treatment - but anorexia is still there. I am not underweight or particularly have 'that' all-so-stigmatized 'look' but I still have anorexic issues.

Like for instance going for my bone scan today, thanks anorexia, my bones are getting progressively more shit. I had to say I haven't has periods for 6 years, explain the whole anorexia thing, explain I wasn't pregnant (I wish, but that would need a male involvement too!) and then get weighed, and seeing 3kg more on the scales than I roughly thought. Great. 

I'd already had a headful of shit this morning. My old urges to BIN all the food because I don't like having things like dried fruit or nuts in the house because I eat them as snacks, grazing. I was letting the thoughts of guilt about the lack of running or general exercise spin - I haven't had time to and couldn't be bothered. 

I woke up and body checked and stood infront of the mirror with my bloated belly sticking out just asking (out loud I add) WHY the fuck I have to have this SHITTY body and stomach and why my legs feel fat and why I don;t have the motivation to improve it. I also know my improvements lead to weight loss and that doesn't end well.

I think of all the changes I could make to improve my mental health and not feel these things, but those improvements are 1) cutting down on the non-planned meals or snacks 2) regular exercise 3) new clothes that hide me 4) a boob job (seriously considering it) and just generally hiding. But I know these are anorexia's solutions.

Thing is the healthy solutions, like chilling the FUCK out don't seem viable when I am stuck in this half recovery. The still feel shit. I know someone will comment about how therapy would help me right now, but you know what - they said no again. So don't try. Plus, I know the techniques, I know I have to be open to change thought paths and habits - but I haven't got the faith in me or anyone else to do that. I know I made mistakes by making these habits way back, the ways of compromising with Ana to make life livable.  I made this bed and I am going to have to lie in it aren't I? 

1 October 2017

Is there a fix out there?

Why am I wired to worry so much and look for problems and try to fix imperfections? It's exhausting, it really is. Do you know what I mean?

At the moment it's my body and the way I eat (irresponsibly in my head). It's also money, I don't feel like I have enough and that I'm spending too much flippantly. The flippant goes for food too. 

One theory is that my house and job are as secure as they've been since before I was ill. In fact, both are better than ever. I own my home and I love my job. Two things that I didn't have in London. I have my little kitten and I haven't got dramas with family or friends to worry about. I like who the hell I like and if I don't like them. I don't see or talk those people. Fully in control.

Talking about control...I was coming to that. I don't feel capable of controlling my body any more. I don't feel like I am in control of food and when unexpected bills come in (like this week!) I don't feel in control of that. I don't like that.

Let's start with my body. I hate it. I'm stuck between wishing I was perfect like I used to wish...you know, the perfect that doesn't exist because I can't describe it. I just hate my stomach, my legs feeling 'thick' my arms looking bigger than they have. My shapeless torso, or the barrel I've always called it. I hate that my boobs haven't grown back to 36C they were. Yes the 36 makes me feel grotesque but the C would be nice. Then my crappy GP weighed me and it was WAY higher than expected - I know why, end of the day, fully clothed, needed a wee and old mechanical scales....regardless, I don't feel like there is a solution to these thoughts and feelings. But I want to fix them.

Then it turns to food and calories. I feel like I am eating too freely and too much 'unknown' calorific foods. By that I mean too many nuts and dried fruits not Doughnuts or crisps or whatever. I feel like a fool for having too many cappuccinos or by using oat milks with 50kcal per 100ml because it makes me feel better than daily skimmed (vegan/vegetarian belief wise) but makes me feel shit for the extra intake. I feel like I over eat every freaking day because I track around 1500 of those calories but don't count my milk. And that means I must be way over. And I still have issues with carbs and snacks that aren't fruit. 

Money. Well I am not broke by any means, but I am not happy with my bank balance. I have money in my account and savings. Enough to cover my mortgage and other outgoings for a month if I needed to. But I am still worrying about it. But not uncontrollably I just feel guilty and frivolous and irresponsible. The same feelings I have about the way I eat. I am constantly looking at how I could sell things to make money and top up/counteract my spending. Part of this is not ever wanting debt like before, or to not realise what I spend, like not wanting to not know what I eat. I remember in the past walking around Westfield London, eating food I didn't know the calories of, lattes I don't know what milk they used and spending £100s on clothes and make up I couldn't afford. 

The issue is here I hated that Sarah. I was looking for a fix or solution back then. And I still am her, there's the issue. The only thibg in my life ever to take that away was anorexia  and what keeps me going and writing this and still eating and sitting still is the fact that despite not being happy about myself, I am aware anorexia is NOT the solution to fix those things. 

But I still want to fix them....