Wrong kind of planning

It’s late here but I can’t sleep. My mind is racing and what it keeps settling on is winding me up even more. Next weekend my boyfriend is going to be away. For the past 4 days I’ve been squishing thoughts about how that leaves me with a lovely opportunity to binge and purge with no panic about being caught. I have been trying to fight them as I can see how ridiculous it is to be planning a self-destructive act in such a way but my mind keeps coming back to it so instead I am going to brain dump what’s going on in my head to see if that helps.

  • Having the house to myself gives me guilt free time to work on my PhD 
  • The fact that I feel guilty sometimes working on my PhD worries me as my boyfriend should be supportive
  • My boyfriend hasn’t actually done anything to show me he’s not supportive, that is my projection
  • Now I eat a wide range of foods I can’t even conjure up a list of foods that I could indulge in – the forbidden foods are no longer forbidden so have lost their pull (this is a good thing I’m thinking!). I’m currently thinking about super noodles as they’re cheap and okay to purge (sorry if tmi) but if I feel guilty about spending money than that should add to my list of why I shouldn’t binge, and if I’m already thinking about purging and how crap it will make me feel then I should try and avoid that too!
  • I could go to yoga on the Sunday morning as a distraction but I went to the class before and they said it was the second hardest class which I took as them not thinking I was able (but in reality this was probably about minding my injury).
  • I really need to do a big clean of the house but I’m feeling lazy about it and that worries me as I used to he somewhat compulsive about cleaning now I feel I have lost that along with my control around food. I associate my compulsions with restriction and while I can see it’s progress and living with my boyfriend has been good for that, I miss having the manic energy to clean, especially as I know my boyfriend will come home and mess it up, which is what he should do as he lives there, but I miss being in control of where everything was placed! 
  • I should swim as it would be good for my back, but as I’m still injured but I can’t swim the same amount as I usually would or as fast and that frustrates me that it’s not a pleasant experience at the moment. I’m fed up of going to the gym to do gentle exercises and I feel like everyone is looking at me thinking I must be lazy and unfit. I wish I had an ‘injured that’s why I’m fat sign’ despite my rational self knowing I’m not fat and I have no evidence that people are actually thinking that
  • I started back on my anti depressants by taking ones I had left even though I know I shoudve gone to the doctor but I had to see a new one after my lovely one retired and I’m avoiding it as I don’t want him to read my file and think ‘you’re too fat for an eating disorder’ even though he’s a mental health specialist it’s very unlikely he would think that, plus I know EDs come in all shapes and sizes. I don’t want to have to repeat my story again and I don’t want to be lectured about coming off my medication without consulting them
  • I didn’t make a follow up appointment with my nurse at my last session as she couldn’t get her computer to work. I would have to ring up for another one but I know she’s busy and someone else would make better use of my slot and that all I do is go and say yes I’m still trying but yes I’m still purging and bingeing and purging when my boyfriend is out. I liked my appointments so much better when we went through food diaries and I promised to eat more. Now I don’t keep my food diaries as I can’t bear to be told that I need to eat less
  • I should keep my food diaries as that would show me how greedy I have become
  • I should replace the battery in my scale as I want to know my weight – I don’t think it’s gone up as I’m still fitting in my clothes, and it shouldn’t really matter anyway, but I want to know just in case I’m in denial. My arms have definitely gotten fatter, but I know swimming more would help this.
  • I’m behind in my PhD but I do have some time now to catch up but that means I can’t hide from it
  • Three of my friends are pregnant and I’m jealous of them, but I know I need to finish studying for it to be the right time, but there’s never a right time, plus my study could take me years more at this rate, but my clock is ticking away, yet I would hate to be pregnant and still be bulimic and have no notions that o would magically be able to give it up.

There you go. Phew, some brain dump. I’m laughing to myself now that I thought it was actually about what food I could binge on when clearly it is so much more than that. I went from super noodles to pregnancy in only a few bullet points, my brain is clearly a weird twisted place!

I do actually feel calmer for this, it helped! Kudos to anyone that actually made it this far but this was a great post for me. I’m going to try sleep now and think of nicer alternatives for next weekend.

Night all, sweet dreams x

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We grow

I am beyond 30 and tonight I met a 21 year old I used to babysit. We used to play games, I used to make her snacks, I used to be the grown up. Now she is the grown up. And I am really the grown up. This is it This is grown up life.

When I was 9 I couldn’t imagine being 11. Then I was 11 and couldn’t imagine being 13. Then I was 13 and couldn’t imagine being 17. Then I turned 17 and couldn’t ever imagine leaving university. Then I left university at 21 and couldn’t imagine being 25. I turned 25 and couldn’t  fathom hitting 30. You hit 30, you celebrate as if it’s your last birthday ever.

I am the grown up. I got old. I grew.  I am no longer a teenager, no longer and adolescent.When I was a pre-teen and a teen I never envisioned having an ED as a grown up. I just presumed I would outgrow it, that it was a phase, that at some point I would be done. For all of these years that I could fathom being older, I was ill. All those years.

I wish I could tell myself back then that I had to fight, that this wasn’t something I would grow out of, that this wasn’t a teenage stage. I wish I could convince my younger self that this is an illness that will shape my life in a whole load of negative ways. That the secrecy, lies, deception, cold, exhaustion would only persist. I wish I had been well enough to know that I wasn’t well

I wish I could persuade all of you who are young to start fighting now. To realise that this is not part of your identity, that this is not the biggest thing going on right now, there is a whole other life out there that is so much better than ED. I know you can’t choose, but deep down there is a part of you that can fight. Don’t listen to The Voice. Listen to life. I wish I had believed this. I wasted years, years and years of my life. Moments that are forever cemented in what I ate and what I didn’t ate. There is so much more to life than that.

I am fighting now. Every day I fight so hard. But I wish I had started earlier. Please, all of you, today is the day, start now. Seize life. ED is not worth it.

Okay, regretful rant over now! Hope you’re all hanging in there xxx

A Wednesday win

I had a horribly stressful meeting at work today. Then my boyfriend rang to say he was going to play football tonight so wouldn’t be in until later. Can you guess what lightbulb went off in my head? Stress + free house = binge/purge. I could feel the relief flow through my body when he rang: no having to talk to anyone this evening, no having to resist eating certain foods, no worry about hiding purging.. it seemed like the perfect solution to get rid of the anxious feeling in my stomach after the bad meeting.

I got as far as going to the shops. I even took a basket and filled it with 3 classic b/p items for me. I stood still for a while and considered if that would be enough to make me feel uncomfortable enough so that purging would be easy, or would I need something else…and then my post from yesterday hit me…I was setting out to make myself feel uncomfortable. I was preparing to do something that would only result in my feeling bad about myself. Sure it would get rid of the anxious feeling right now but the guilt over b/p-ing would last much longer- I’d feel rotten after, I’d be exhausted and I’d probably have a sore throat in the morning. I would beat myself up about it and the nasty voices would have a field day.

So instead I tried to think about what would make me say nice things to myself. I knew skipping dinner altogether would make ED say nice things to me, but it would leave me open for b/p-ing later when I got too hungry. I decided that making a nice meal with a ‘treat’ dessert would probably do it. So I put back the items (Imagine how strong I felt at that moment!) and replaced them with dates, grapes, oranges, yoghurt and peanut butter. I realise at this point how irrational my brain is that I would sooner b/p than ‘give in’ to eating dates, grapes, yoghurt and peanut butter for dessert- that’s an anorexia hangover for you! I snacked on some dates on my way home- ignoring the guilt because after all a binge would’ve been way worse, had a falafel pitta, did some yoga and then had a big bowl of fruit and yoghurt followed by an all important cup of tea. Such a simple thing but such a HUGE step forward as I’ve been struggling to resist engaging in behaviours when I have the house to myself.

I’ve no gotten on with some work- which will hopefully show my supervisors that I am trying to make progress with my uni work- and I’m now ready for an early night.

When I write about wins like this it looks so easy on paper but this really is not the case – it took every fibre of my being to override my urge to binge and to put the food back in the shop- and to do this again when making dinner- and again when eating dinner- and again when making dessert- and again when eating dessert- and again when cleaning up- and again while starting to work- but now 4 hours later the urge is gone.  A Wednesday win.

This goes to show I have the strength to make good decisions and to follow through- I forget this sometimes. And if I can do it I bet you can too- sending lots of strong vibes out across the internet to you all!

How we speak to ourselves

I was tidying up my room this evening and as my boyfriend is out I decided to pull out my box of journals. I found the following entry from this day 2 years ago and was so sad to read the horrible word that were going through my head at the time:

(My BMI), disgusting. Weak, lazy, fat, horrible you. You are completely in control of that and it is your poor choices that have gotten you here. (My weight). Gross. I can’t believe you let her see that. Lazy pig. Unfit and gross. Your horrible fat lazy self. Your stupid weak mind that means you don’t do your work and you don’t know what you’re doing. Stop wasting everyone’s time and either lose the weight or kill yourself already. FAT FAT FAT FAT stupid stupid stupid horrible you. 

I wish there was some way of apologising to myself from two years ago. I guess the only way I can do that is to be kind to myself now. We’re all only human. We can only do the best with the capacities we’ve got at the time. My weight does not make me stupid, or horrible, or lazy. It is just a number.

I’m making a pledge to stop speaking to myself like that, at whatever weight I am. For those of you who hear the same negative voices, please try to ignore them. Please be nicer to yourself. Let the kindness in.

When one door closes…

This is just a quick post to share something nice and exciting that happened to me today! (I feel this may be building this up more than it should!)

I’m still not running due to my injury so I have been doing lots of core work and stretches. While the lack of cardio was initially a challenge I’ve recently been enjoying just hanging out on my yoga mat playing around with poses and breathing, and really working on the ‘integrity’ of poses- which normally I wouldn’t bother with as I dip in and out of yoga and never take it slow enough to actually make any progress- but today I managed crow pose for the first time ever! I could only hold it for about 3 seconds but that’s more than I’ve managed before.

So,  the door has been closed on running for a while but that left other doors open for me, and once I got past the awfulness of no running I’ve been able to see the benefits of having to slow down and rest. My ED voice is shouting at me to not admit this, but it’s been really nice to have a break from exercise goals. I was gutted to not be able to run the marathon after all of the training, but now that is over I’m actually okay with just taking things easy. I’m worried about my weight, but my clothes still fit so until that changes I just have to trust it will be okay. Trust the process, this motto has served me well, keep breathing and trust the process.

And breathe…

I made it through the past few days. I got the things that needed doing done and I feel so much better for it. Now I’m out of that horrible patch I feel a little silly about how awful I felt, I am slowly learning to trust that ‘the darkness doesn’t last forever, dawn always comes’ but sometimes I dip so low and get so overwhelmed that I worry it will be like before, when I couldn’t see my way out.

That’s what I was trying to explain to my nurse and I couldn’t quite get it across. I started seeing her when I was firmly on the road to recovery so I don’t think she got why I was panicking about not being able to get my work done. She doesn’t know that the last time I hit a ‘bad patch’ with my studies that I was suicidal and pretty much stopped functioning for a couple of months. She was encouraging me to cry and let it out but she wanted to fix it- wanted to talk about routines and yoga and all the things I know I need to do but couldn’t understand why that made me feel worse. I know what I need to do but when the low sweeps through me it renders me helpless. Honestly all I wanted to do was hide under the table in her office and curl up in a ball until the pain stopped. I think I could have told my old nurse that, I think she would have been able to understand without me having to talk, I really really missed her this week. I know my new nurse is trying to help, but I don’t think there’s much more she can offer me now (I know I have talked about this before) and I just feel so guilty for taking up time that could be used positively for someone else.

We finished my session early as I just couldn’t engage and I wandered around for 30 mins before heading into uni. I really wanted to just go home to bed but I had to go to a meeting. I really really really wanted to check out of reality at that point – go hide somewhere and let the tears fall and fall- but I couldn’t as life was going on around me whether I liked it or not. These are the moments where I see my strength- that even though I felt sh*t I didn’t want this to affect my life any more than it has. That even though it’s awful, I need to grit my teeth and plough on if I don’t want to stay trapped in the darkness. It’s not been an easy week, or few weeks really, and I’m still a little shook by it to be honest, but I can breathe again now . Phew.

Time

I need to world to stop for a few days. I need time to stop. I need time to sort my head out. I need time to have a cry. I need time to do my Physio exercises.  I need time to hang out with my boyfriend. I need time to look at my PhD. I need time to prepare materials for work. I need time to answer texts and emails. I need time to do the house work. I need time to spend with friends.

The world is spinning and I’m my head is too blurry to cope with real life right now. Saw my nurse this morning but couldn’t make her understand – it made me feel worse than before I went in – I’m really missing my old nurse and doctor right now- I don’t know how to make my real life people understand.

I know this will pass. I know all my work will get done and I will feel like I can breathe again. I know my injury will fade and I can run off my worries. I know dawn will come but the darkness just really sucks right now.