Engage brain, THEN open mouth.

Sooo. My mood is still a bit rubbish, I hope you’ll forgive me for not really commenting this evening. I try and comment on other peoples blogs 5 days out of 7 – if I let/made myself do it every day I know I would just end up getting obsessive and blogging would turn into more of a chore than a tool in my recovery. My brain isn’t working this evening anyway, I think it might have gone on holiday without me.

I went to the EDU this afternoon, got weighed and was in and out of there in ten minutes. The nurse kind of assumed that because I’d gained weight again I wasn’t having any problems, and she seemed to have decided that we didn’t need the usual 45 minutes before I’d even sat down. I’m not having problems with the food side of things, but I wouldn’t have minded talking for a bit. Before I knew it I was back out the door with an appointment for two weeks time – she’s decided I only need to come every fortnight now. I’m feeling very conflicted about this. It’s bloody weird of me, to be honest. I don’t like this woman much, I’m annoyed that the EDU wouldn’t let me see any of the therapists there this time so I have to pay for one myself (even though I like Julie very much, money is becoming a worry), I’m happy that I don’t have to trek over there every single week (it’s four miles out of town and getting there involves a £10 taxi fare or a bus that makes me feel sick), and I have Julie to talk to now anyway…I don’t need the NHS help, and it’s not like they were even really giving me much in the way of support!

But despite all this, I feel…discomfited. Like the crisis is officially over, I am no longer a cause for concern, everyone thinks I can cope on my own. I have to be honest, my initial reaction was pure eating disorder – I felt really tearful, swallowed that before I realised what I was doing and started thinking I would never be able to cope with life, I’d never get better, I should just give up and quit eating entirely. I seriously think there is a four year old having a tantrum in my head, heh. I’m not actually going to DO that, obviously. For a start, the main reason that the nurse only wants to see me once a fortnight is because I’m about as open in person as an oyster. I have no problem talking about all the good things that have happened this week, but I cannot for the life of me tell anyone out loud when I feel like shit. She asked me if there was anything I wanted to talk about, she asked me if I would be ok with coming in once a fortnight or if I felt I still needed more support, and I just clammed up, as usual. Why, WHY do I feel like I even have to prove to mental health professionals that I am QUITE FINE THANK YOU, I don’t need any help, I can cope. It’s their job to help people, they are not going to look down on me for feeling less than wonderful. I think it’s partly the woman I am seeing – she’s quite confrontational and challenging, and I have seen her get annoyed with people who she doesn’t think are trying hard enough to get better. I don’t want to make her angry with me, I don’t want to stop being the perfect patient. I got a kick out of proving her wrong about me when I was saying that I was determined to recover this time and she didn’t believe me. I’m my own worst enemy, aren’t I?!

What I could have said instead: I am having a really hard time this week and I could do with talking about it. I’m not letting my mood affect my eating but I am feeling really low and tearful. I am feeling very uncomfortable with the weight gain – I know it is necessary and I am not going to relapse, but it is getting harder to cope with. I know I come across as really motivated and positive, but the positivity is mostly a front – kind of fake it till you make it. I am scared. I’m scared I’m getting depressed again, I’m scared of my messed up body image that tells me that I look completely normal now, even though I’m still 20lbs under my target weight, I’m scared of how all consuming my OCD is, I’m scared of how I want to cry all the time but can’t, I’m scared that I’ll never make a functioning member of society, I don’t know what to do with myself all day at home and I don’t know how to cope on my own. I’m kind of making this all up as I go along, and I have no idea if I’m doing it right. Gaining weight doesn’t necessarily go along with gaining back mental health.

This takes practise. I had gotten to the point with my last therapist where I could actually walk into a session and tell her how I really felt that week, but it took about a year before I could do that, and I still had to bite back ‘oh, I’m fine!’, every single time. Sometimes it took me a full minute of staring at the floor trying to dig out how I did feel before I answered. With this nurse I’m on the defensive, on automatic pilot. But that’s not going to help me recover. Recovery isn’t a case of just pretending that everything is fine now. Oh…fuck. In general, to everything. At least I am seeing Julie tomorrow. I feel more comfortable with her than I do with the nurse, even though I’ve known this nurse for over a year and only seen Julie for three sessions! Goal for tomorrow: engage brain before opening mouth.

Anyway, enough of that. I had some very creative meals today. For breakfast I had rice flake porridge with some coconut flour cooked in for fibre, mashed banana and white chocolate PB (I’m not liking WCW as much as DCD I’m afraid, I think it’s because I haven’t had milk or white chocolate anything for eighteen months, so it’s too sweet for me. It’s good when hot and melted though). At 10.30 I had one of my favourite 9 bars – they are just seeds, honey and carob, completely milk, wheat and gluten free, they taste great and hemp and flax are a really good source of omega oils and protein. I was out at lunch so I had to scavenge, hehe. Lunches out when you can’t eat sandwiches can be a little tricky. I got a beetroot and cherry tomato salad from M+S, a jacket potato from a random bloke with a stall in the town square, some cashew nuts and a tangerine dairy free chocolate bar. I swear that chocolate bar tastes just like Terry’s chocolate orange, it’s really good for a vegan version of milk chocolate. I had half of it after lunch and the other half with a pear for an afternoon snack (it’s a pretty big bar, I wasn’t being all anorexic about it!). Then for dinner I had a wrap with beetroot, avocado and pea protein powder blended together, with a sliced boiled egg and some of my sprouts! My sprouts were really nice and crunchy 🙂 it surprised me how much flavour they had – the cress or alfafa you get in prepackaged sandwiches never really tastes like anything (that I can remember, anyway), eating them literally minutes after picking them makes all the difference! Good stuff. I had some dairy free chocolate mini eggs for dessert. I’m all about the chocolate today! My evening snack is yet to be decided on, but I think I’m probably all chocolated out for one day.

Three good things about today:
1. There was a sale at my favourite bead shop – you could fill a bag from a basket of semi-precious stones for £5.50. I managed to squish about 200 beads in one little bag! I shouldn’t be spending money on beads really, but I thought it was too good a bargain to miss, and I will definitely use all of them because they are my favourite type of beads.
2. Looking forward to seeing Julie tomorrow – I hope she gives me homework 😛
3. ALL my food today, but particularly my sprouts! I wonder what I will find to put them in tomorrow 🙂

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7 responses to “Engage brain, THEN open mouth.

  1. whatawalnut

    I know exactly what you mean when you say that you can share the good stuff but bite back the bad in therapy. It’s funny, though, because I have a couple good friends that I can tell things to without getting teary or upset (which is often the big reason I don’t open up more in therapy) — I think maybe it’s because I feel I’ll be scolded or told what I’m doing wrong by the therapist. Of course, my friends aren’t really able to give me guidance, only support, so I wind up not being able to find new ways of coping. Bah.Sending major good vibes your way!

  2. Cacti Don't Cry

    Your reaction is completely understandable… I think a part of all of us wants "the professionals" to be able to read our minds, and they just can't do that. Nobody can REALLY know how you're doing unless you TELL them… and that is hard. It's like being torn between being "at death's door" and "I'mdoingjustfinethankyouverymuch" … but that's total black-and-white thinking.The sprouts look incredible… I MUUUUUUUUUST try that!!!!<3 ❤ ❤

  3. Yeah, this is one of my biggest annoyances with the recovery process. It’s assumed that once you’ve put on a little weight, you’re in the clear. People assume you’re fine, even though the issues that caused you to turn to anorexia in the first place are probably still lurking. I guess it’s a reminder that we need to speak up when we’re hurting, even if our physical bodies no longer say, “I’m hurting.” I guess that’s why anorexia was always so convenient for me. I HATE talking. I hate telling people how I feel. I want them to read my mind (or, hey, my body). I want them to just GET IT without me having to freaking explain everyting. But, no, it’s a lesson in having to be open and expressive. I loved reading about your creative meals. For me, that’s the fun part of recovery (well, until my stomach started to have a complete rebellion the last 2 weeks… Like you said in my blog, I hope I don’t get pegged with IBS. It’s not that. I’ve never had that!). Anyway, thanks for your honesty, as always 🙂

  4. I feel like that a lot katie with not being able to say how things have been hard- I feel like I have to prove that I am some great recovering perfect person…when really, it’s their job to help us GET to that place. Look at it this way: if they didn’t want to genuinely hear your struggles (and triumphs) from the week, they would be out of a job. Keep them in business for now by keeping it real. It’s you that loses out in the meantime if you hold back. Are you able to be honest with Julie?I can also relate to the every whizzing thoughts about being normal/having a job/doing something with my life. The physical process of recovery is bloody difficult, but the mental stuff is so much harder (and so much harder to quantify). I think making it up as you go along is the best way though because you know you best of all and there is no “one size fits all” for recovery unfortunately (wouldn’t that be nice?!)I need to try the dark chocolate PB- is it like nutella? I don’t like dark chocolate but nutella rocks :DI love alfalfa sprouts and grated carrot on hoummus sandwiches!

  5. Your wraps look like crepes, yum!I COMPLETELY understand your reaction to the nurse wanting you to only come once every 2 weeks. That is so typical ED, slipping into your head and making you feel like “see, you’re not SICK anymore, if you were X pounds less then people would still see you need help!” but I’m glad you realize this is not the case. There are definitely perks to not having to go in as often, but I hope you stay strong and don’t listen to that voice of negativity (and craziness!)

  6. Ooooh so much going through my head right now… So not in a particular order but:1. I want to be very honest and state, hunni, you are still too thin. Yes, you’re not gonna drop dead right now looks wise, BUT you are still too thin! You have lots of physical issues with the AN that may be there (labs or not) and sweetheart, you’re not okay yet, not even ed wise. You’re working on it…but regardless of the EDU and everythign else… you’re still too thin. I say this because I don’t want you to think that you’re not and I want you to have an outsiders objectivity. I ALSO want to acknowledge that you’re working yr butt off and that is to be admired and you’ve come such a long way!!! Very very cool.I guess I was also thinking about the not talking and everything being “fine” concept. I hate talking about me, I hate wasting time more. Because I have CFS, and I get so sick, time is more precious then it ever was. It means that there is a huge battle in my head between doing what I THINK I should do and doing what is wise to do (ie talk). Now, clearly its not as easy as just talking or making a decision etc… but sometimes you just gotta take a risk. Or do something like, write to a therapist/nurse/edu program etc and say, “My instant response is to talk about what is fine… I walk away and think about things and realise that I’m not so fine. Can I hand in a sheet at the start of x, y, z and tell you how I am to start discussion?” or whatever works for you kinda thing. Find a way, find soemthing that others can do to help you to TALK while you’re still learning to manage it on your own. It is tricky to not let that become a crutch, but sometimes we gotta go from the wheelchair to the crutches before we can walk so its OKAY TO GET HELP!!! If you knew how to do it all on your own, you’d already be doing it!The other thing I was going to suggest (and you may completely disregard and I will not be offended)…perhaps tomorrow (next working day as I cannot quite figure out time differences right this second) you should place a telephone call to the EDU and tell them that you’re not quite ready to go fortnightly (if you do not feel you are) or that you can do fortnightly but you’re feeling very anxious about x, y, z and you will need them to check in on you with it etc. Do it while you’re not face to face and whlie your mind hasn’t gone wandering on you.Katie, you are so smart and so amazing… I think your body and your brain are trying to protect you soooo much and they just need to realise that thye need to do it all a bit differently now. I just want to hug you!!!*huggles*Love Tellyxoxoxoxoxoxox

  7. rediscoveringlauren

    hi sweetheart, i can completely understand why you feel annoyed…when someone is recovering from an ed, there is so much mental recovery needed and gaining weight is not what recovery is about, i mean yea getting healthy is very important…but the mental aspects of the ed are what causes us to get sick in the first place, and places that assume weight gain=recovery have no clue about eds. but hun you are doing SO well and im so proud of you and all of the progress youve made 🙂 youve come on leaps and bounds since you started this blog! you really are working hard, and its paying off!have a nice friday :)much lovexxx

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