Rejoining humanity

I just ate dinner with my family for the first time since…well, I can’t remember. I did have Christmas dinner with them, but other than that it must have been June or July. Me and my youngest sister made it too – we were having Shepherd’s pie, so she did the meat and I did the veg and my vegetarian version. I had haricot beans, mushrooms, courgette, onion and tomato puree cooked in vegetable stock on the bottom, and potato mashed with tofutti non-dairy cream cheese on the top. The potato was wonderful, I still haven’t quite gotten over the novelty of being able to eat something which tastes vaguely like cheese again! Stupid milk allergy. Anyway, yum. I was really rather proud of myself – I always eat alone. I am definitely going to try and get out of that habit now. It helps now that I’m not so hungry and anxious that I feel I have to get dinner over with by 5pm – we ate at 7.30 this evening, which is probably the latest I’ve eaten since June or July too!

I did pretty well at lunchtime too actually. I made falafel out of chickpeas, roasted cashew nuts (I roasted them myself to make them easier for our hand blender to cope with, I so want a proper food processor), carrot and courgette and theeen…I fried them. GASP! Oh yes, proper olive oil and everything. I had a cabbage tatty with them (potato, onion and cabbage, like bubble and squeak, from Dragonfly foods – I had a couple in the fridge that needed using up), and that got fried as well. About half way through I got rather freaked out by the whole frying business, but mum reminded/reassured me that I only used about a tablespoon of oil, she saw me pour it out – it just looks a lot more when it heats up and spreads out. I made myself calm down, ate my falafel aaand dessert, a dairy/gluten free bakewell slice with rice custard. I missed my rice stuff. I had some after dinner as well, with a few squares of vegan chocolate melted into it instead of the custard powder.

I’m reporting my food backwards! Breakfast isn’t really worth talking about though – oh, except for the fact that mum had forgotten to buy any sugar, so the kids were putting icing sugar into their porridge!

I’ve been feeling quite anxious today. It’s probably partially because I feel so much better physically. I feel like I’ve woken up from a day dream, like I’ve only been half conscious for the last six months. I have so much energy – a bit too much, it’s almost like my body hasn’t worked out that it’s meant to be storing some of this food yet (heh), so I’ve got too much spare to burn. I can easily keep myself occupied until midnight and then go to sleep within half an hour, whereas up until a couple of weeks ago I was going to bed at 9pm, unable to concentrate, freezing cold and desperate to be unconscious, and then not being able to get to sleep until 2am anyway. The infection in my mouth has cleared up and I can taste things again. Although I’m still feeling sick in the mornings, getting cramps from IBS and I still feel overly full a lot of the time, it’s a different sort of discomfort from the pain of starvation, it doesn’t make me feel so…ill all over, if that makes sense. I don’t know how to put that one into words, doh. Anyway, the result is that I feel a lot more human and a lot less ill, and that makes eating ‘so much’ more difficult. I’m not hungry between meals yet and it’s taking a real effort to remind myself that not wanting a snack doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have it, my body needs the extra calories and calcium from my various enriched not-milks. Then after dinner I feel really full, and I have to drill it into my head that that doesn’t mean that I’ve eaten too much or that I don’t need dessert.

It’s freaking me out a little (a lot), thinking that during the relapse I got to the point where having a snack or dessert never even crossed my mind – it just wasn’t allowed, so I never wanted them, and I lost any cravings for sweet things – and now I’m eating cake and drinking hot chocolate like it’s going out of fashion! I feel really guilty for trying to convince myself that it’s allowed, let alone necessary, like I should be trying to get all my calories from savoury ‘healthy’ foods. Stupid eating disorder. Shut up, I’ll eat cake if I fucking want to eat cake. It’s my body and I make the rules. Anyway, feeling better doesn’t make me better. I haven’t magically gained all that weight back by eating properly for four days! I’m sure I HAVE gained weight this week (no weighing until Monday though), but a couple of pounds won’t mean that I am all healthy now. Long way to go yet, and extremely good reasons for keeping on going. I think I need to write myself some recovery flash cards or something, so I can have instructions and reminders when I find myself ‘forgetting’ how ill I’ve been lately and how I need to sustain the effort. Brains are funny things.

I didn’t post yesterday because I’ve been working on the thing I was talking about a couple of days ago – I have finished going through my diaries and I have a list of statements which tell me something about my reasons for relapsing. I’m trying to get them down to a few common themes, and I’m going to post the final result here. Some of them I had already worked out, but others surprised me. A couple are quite embarrassing. Some were rather upsetting, but then overall, I think it has made me feel more optimistic about recovering this time around. Some of these fears and irrational thought processes – some new to this relapse, others things that have driven relapses over and over for the last decade – have lost their power in the last few weeks. I don’t know what on earth happened in my head, but my whole attitude towards my future and recovery has changed recently. I have been so scared that giving up the eating disorder would leave me overwhelmed by depression and anxiety, that I would go back to self harming and wanting to die, that I would never cope with life without restricting…but the new ideas that this is just catastophizing, that I haven’t ever given myself a chance to settle at a healthy weight before panicking and going back to eating disordered behaviours again, that the eating disorder is actually STOPPING me from recovering from the depression and anxiety – they’ve all kind of clicked into place in my head.

I am sorry I haven’t commented on many blogs today, I’ve been finding it particularly difficult to concentrate with all this stupid anxiety. Hopefully I’ll get my little project finished tomorrow, post it up here and then it will stop nagging at me. I see keeping a diary or a blog as being a bit like having a pensieve, the bowl that Albus Dumbledore put his overflowing thoughts and memories into. My problems with OCD mean that my head feels too full all the time – when I have something on my mind I become terrified that I’ll forget about it, and if I don’t keep endless lists of these things they actually stop me sleeping, because I keep going over and over them in my head. Putting things on my blog like my previous post about reasons to recover or the one I’ve been working on about obstacles to recovery and reasons for previous relapses makes me feel a lot calmer and more focused. I can come back and look at them and remember how I was feeling and thinking when I wrote them. I just don’t trust myself, my mind is such a slippery place, I’m constantly scared of waking up to find that everything is dark and terrifying and hopeless again and that everything I believed in and wanted yesterday is impossible today.

I’m not sure that I’m making much sense this evening, sorry. I’ll blame all that sugar 😛

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4 responses to “Rejoining humanity

  1. Great job eating with your family. That can be a big challenge and I’m so proud of you for overcoming. You’re so strong! Have a great day 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you were feeling better eating with your family. I know it’s though. As for the obstacles? You’ll overcome them one day at a time.:)

  3. dancelikenooneiswatching

    you are doing so great..keep moving forward it will be so worth it 🙂 xxx

  4. You’ve been doing so great! So many accomplishments back to back! I know how hard it is to eat around other people, to challenge yourself with fear foods like oil, and to DEAL with the feeling of being too full and letting your body get used to eating and having fuel again. I think it’s a great idea to go through your old journals to piece together why you relapsed. Hope you’re keeping up the positive attitude!

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