Have car, will travel…but where?!

Goodness, I can’t believe it’s July already, that’s just crazy! I’ve been home from York for four and a half months now. If you want to see what a difference a proper calorie intake and a decent amount of weight restoration makes to a person’s cognitive processes, read some of my first entries on this blog from February. They are all very short and sound like they were written by someone feeling terribly confused, desperate and hopeless. Which they were.

My car insurance certificate came in the post today so I went down town to get it taxed (Β£104.50 for six months – I know what I’m asking for as a Christmas present!) and then drove dad round the area for a few hours because he had some stuff to do and he paid for Β£100 of my car, so it’s only fair. I’m not picking him up drunk from the pub though πŸ˜› daughterly duties only stretch so far! It was fun, but I think my arm got sunburnt! I think it must be the hottest day of the year so far, it’s 28C here at 6.15pm.

So, now I have my car, what am I going to do with myself? Hmm. Well, the local astronomy society has a talk on tomorrow evening, and a vegan and vegetarian group meets up for dinner on the first Friday of the month, so there are some ideas. I’m not sure I will go to either though. I almost wrote I’m not sure I can go to either but that’s rubbish because clearly I COULD, the only thing stopping me is being a bit of a wuss. I will look into the astronomy meeting but the veggie dinner might have to wait until next month. Only capable of so much bravery in one go!

I just got back from my first solo drive. It was kind of scary, being in control of a ton of metal capable of death and destruction. I am the queen of dissociation though, so mostly I just sang loudly to drown my thoughts out and concentrated on the road. It was an adventure at first – I went to have a look in a new supermarket which opened in town today, and decided to come home via the town I was born in ten miles away! But after half an hour I started feeling a bit sad. I want somewhere to GO, and someone to go with. I have the freedom now, I just don’t know what to do with it. I’m not sure where to start. More than that, I’m kind of scared of it. I’ve had an excuse not to get out there and do stuff so far, because I have been ill and because I had no transport – but now I’m a lot better and my car is all taxed, insured, legal and ready to go. What if in six months time I’m still spending all my evenings at home because I’m just not capable of making friends? What if I’m just…I don’t know, unlikeable? I do know that I’m horribly out of practise with socialising. For the last two years I’ve really only had contact with my family and mental health professionals, although I do have a couple of really good friends who also have mental health difficulties who I feel comfortable around.

I know there’s no pressure for me to get out there, no deadline I’m working towards. But there is…internal pressure, I guess. I really want to make new friends and have something to do with my evenings other than surf the internet, but at the same time I’m terrified of the idea too. It’s like a mental tug of war. I’m shy, self conscious and always anxious around people I don’t know – but I’m also lonely as hell. I feel so out of place, everywhere. I haven’t finished an academic year since my A levels, 5 years ago, I’ve just kept trying stuff, getting ill and dropping out again. I don’t have any experience of working, I don’t have a degree, I don’t have any friends locally, I have been single nearly two years…pretty much all the socialising and making new friends I’ve done in the last five years has been online, through various eating disorder communities. But now I don’t even feel like I fit in there either. I left all the actual websites in March, including one which I’d been a member of for four years, where I’d met some really lovely people and received an awful lot of support. I enjoy blogging, but I still have that feeling of being on the outside looking in. I think I’m holding back a bit from getting really involved with blogging, because I know how easily I get obsessed with stuff and I can see myself being one of those people with a hundred people on my blogroll, making myself reply to all of them every day. I’ve been like that with online communities before and I don’t want it to happen again, I want a life outside of the internet and outside of my house. Desperately.

If it’s not obvious, I’m feeling very lost. I absolutely mean it when I say that although I have a way left to go with physical and behavioural aspects of recovery, I really feel that I’ve let go of anorexia emotionally – the idea that losing weight and being underweight are the answers to all my problems. This is wonderful, obviously, but it leaves some rather large gaps in my life. When I was anorexic I had things in common with a big group of people. I had something to cling to as an identity. I had a warped sense of self esteem from losing weight. And now – although I never want that lot back – I’m not really sure what’s going to take its place, how I am going to connect with people outside of the context of eating disorders, and what I am meant to base my concept of myself on anymore.

Eh, enough answerless questions for now. I am going to set some goals for July πŸ™‚
1. No consumption of eating disorder porn. I did a pretty good job of avoiding celebrity magazines in May (I never buy the things, I just seem to be drawn to headlines like ‘X loses 20lbs in a week!!!’ like a moth to a bloody flame) but in the last couple of weeks I’ve slipped a bit. So, no magazine articles, websites or TV programmes about diets or weight loss. No excuses.
2. Get to the point by the end of June where I don’t weigh any of the stuff that goes into my snacks. I think stopping weighing meals would be a bit dangerous at the moment because I have a tendency to think I’m eating more than I am, but snacks are easier because there’s no real need to weigh bananas, avocadoes, rice cakes, nut butters etc, I can judge portion size.
3. Stick to weighing myself once a week. I was doing it twice up until recently because I wanted to check that I wasn’t screwing up and not eating enough, but I think I can trust myself enough now – since the end of March there has only been one time when I lost weight, and that was only a quarter of a pound. I ate more over the weekend and made up for it easily. Now when I want to weigh myself on a day other than Monday the thoughts running through my head are more along the lines of ‘just to check I’m not gaining too much this week’, which is dumb. So Mondays only.
4. Make use of my car – go to at least two new things this month, like the local anxiety disorder support group and the astronomy society meeting.

Not likely to set the world on fire with this lot, but they are all the things I need to work on most πŸ™‚

Update on the hand: I have two and a half knuckles back to normal now and it hurts/itches a lot less, so hopefully it will be back to normal tomorrow! I hope so, I am really behind with other blogs now – typing one handed is a slow process!

Three good things about today:
1. CAR!!! I drove about 50 miles today, 20 of them completely solo. Wow.
2. The new supermarket in town, whilst small, does stock something that the one we go to for the big weekly shop doesn’t – a box of allergy friendly chocolates! I bought some to…um…celebrate the opening of the shop πŸ˜› yeah. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
3. MSN is working well enough for me to actually have a conversation with Fiona at the moment – for the last week when mine works hers has been playing up and vice versa, d’oh!

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6 responses to “Have car, will travel…but where?!

  1. great goals you have!!congrats on driving the car solo πŸ™‚ xoxo

  2. Great goals!! And, yes, recovery seems to have many phases. It's great that you've let go of some of anorexia's promises…but, ya, there always seems to be something next in the process. Maybe that's just life? I feel like I've let go of the importance of food to me, but that's complicated because it has to remain somewhat important so I can gain weight still. Anyway, you've come very far and you should feel very happy about that! My therapist is always trying to get me to see the good right now. Yes, there is progress to make, but now is pretty good too.

  3. Oh my god, that sounds so cool. I'm too scared of driving to even learn yet. Also the goals sound cool. And woo for allergy free chocolate!

  4. I think its great that you're considering events outside the home hun. I think it's fine to be a part of the blogging community etc, but I do think its wise to keep that in moderation, partially so it isn't obsessive and doesn't drag you down or backwards. In a way, one needs to be careful in blogland to not have that become pseudo-ana porn you know?You can do this!!! I love watching you as you fight and struggle and emerge, it's so so cool :).Btw, I think msn has just been cracking the sulkies really as I've been having troubles too.Love ya sweetie!xoxo

  5. blueeyedheart

    You know that I have the same fears about just being… unlikeable! Thing is, in your case, I'm sorry, but I don't think it's true. :pThere is only SO much a person can do in terms of "getting out there" and "socializing," etc., and it sounds like you're doing it… good for you! :)<3 ❀

  6. determinedtoshine

    I can relate so much to the idea of a mental tug of war regarding socialising and coming out of comfort zones. I think its a normal part of recovery, so don't feel bad about it, and definitely never ever think of yourself as being "unlikeable" – this is so far from the truth! You have so much more to your personality than your "anorexic identity" so don't be afraid of letting people get to know you. They should count themselves lucky :)Well done for all your driving today! And I love your goals you've made. I know you can stick to them πŸ™‚ the one about doing at least 2 new things in the month is a great one – I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun!Keep enjoying this gorgeous weather! (I definitely agree that the UK has gone walk abouts towards the equator. Crazy stuff)

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