Oh dear, I have issues. I got a phone call earlier from a woman I was referred to by the benefits office. My advisor there asked if I would like to do a condition management programme – something used in the UK to help people with long term physical or mental health issues learn to cope with them better. I thought ‘why not?’ at the time, but when my sister handed me the phone earlier I…um…hung up. Because I am sensible and grown up like that.
Why? Because I DON’T NEED ANY HELP GO AWAY I’M FINE ON MY OWN. OK?
I have a bit of a problem with people thinking that I might be less than 100% in control of my mind, body or behaviour. I’ve done this before – I have turned down so many offers of referrals to various groups or programmes from my CPN. I don’t want to sit in a room full of crazy people moaning about how terribly unfair everything is and how none of it is their fault, thanks. I take responsiblity for my own actions and recovery, I don’t need anything from anyone, so they can’t go accusing me of being attention seeking or needy or demanding, so there. Um, except that no one was accusing me of that in the first place. This is the problem. I see every offer of support or expression of concern as someone telling me that I am hopeless and useless and can’t sort anything out on my own, so I get hugely overdefensive and insist I can don’t need any help and how dare they insinuate otherwise. Sigh. I even do this with my friends sometimes, if someone reads on my blog that I’ve had a bad day and leaves a comment telling me to hang in there and not use eating disordered behaviours to cope I see red. I wasn’t thinking about relapsing – what on earth do they think of me, that I don’t have any control at all over my mind?! Yeah, I know that that response is ridiculous, because I have spent the last 12 years recovering and relapsing from this eating disorder, and although I feel quite confident that things are different this time, I can’t see the future and this is one ridiculously sneaky illness.
So. This might be the first and only time you ever see me write this on my blog, but…can anyone help me with this? 😛 Please let SOMEONE out there have had a bit of an issue with this themselves, so that I don’t feel like you guys are all reading this and thinking I just need to take the stick out of my ass. I swear I am a nice person usually, it’s just in this type of situation…I never used to be like this, it’s only since I was in hospital two years ago. Because in there I WAS treated like I was demanding, attention seeking, too needy, too crazy, not taking enough responsibility and just needed to pull myself together by my asshole of a psychiatrist – even though the whole reason I was in there was because of a really bad reaction to antidepressants, so it was chemical and there was bugger all I could do to ‘control’ it. I never want to get into the situation again where I am desperate and asking for help and people just tell me that there’s nothing they can do. But clearly I also need to relax a bit too, because this is getting ridiculous. I’m scared to accept things which could help me, for God’s sake, just in case someone doesn’t understand that actually I am completely independent and don’t need whatever it is and am just there out of curiousity 😛 Oh ffs.
Anyway. I am not in as good a mood as I was yesterday, clearly! I think it’s half lack of sleep and half wonky hormones. Going through puberty for the third time in your life is no fun at all. The lack of sleep business is more annoying though. For the last two nights I have woken up four or five times throughout the night. I don’t know why, I just keep getting nightmares and waking up boiling hot and dehydrated. Last night was quite reminiscent of when I was at my worst with the ED. My parents came home from holiday so everyone was loud and excited, and I felt like the noise was skewering my nerves, so I went to bed at about 10. It took me three hours to get to sleep, and then I couldn’t stay asleep – I woke up at 1.45 in the middle of a quite horrific nightmare, then at 3, feeling like I was about to melt, then 5 and 6.30ish. I actually started crying at one point, which is just weird, because I don’t cry. My stomach was all messed up and what I can only describe as bubbly all night as well, which didn’t help things. So, body, I would really appreciate it if we can actually try SLEEPING in bed tonight, rather than wriggling around and whining pathetically. Is that OK with you? Hmm?
I have another confession actually. I got a bit distracted online yesterday. I ended up lurking around a certain website (not pro anorexic, don’t go freaking out on me :P) which was full of people posting their weights and calorie intakes. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but every time I end up on one of those places I get this sort of selective blindness where I can only see the people who were sicker than me and my eyes completely skip over all the rest. Anyway, I spent about an hour getting lost in numbers and then felt shit about myself for the rest of the day. Not about the weight I am at now, strangely, more having to fend off thoughts about how I was never anorexic in the first place. I think even though I can look in the mirror and be OK with what I see, the psychological connotations of almost being weight restored are messing with me a bit. What do I usually do when I have reached an acceptable weight? Oh yes, that’s right, relapse again. For the last two and a half years I have been either gaining or losing weight – letting go of the anorexia for good is just mindblowing. What the hell do I do now?!
Luckily, not only do I have my own list of reasons why I am letting myself relapse again, I also read two very insightful posts today which grounded me a bit. Sarah wrote about the importance not allowing yourself to get stuck in a cycle of anorexic thoughts and behaviours (woman after my own heart :P) and Carrie posted a link to an interesting study trying to answer the question of why anorexics appear to ‘cling’ to their disorder. I guess you could see the two posts as contradictory – one saying that anorexics often automatically get stuck in the same cycles over and over again due to neurological reasons quite out of their control, the other saying that to recover, we have to stop allowing this to happen – but I don’t think so. I think once you are aware that you are going to be drawn to the same self defeating behavioural patterns you can actively fight against that happening, as long as you keep reminding yourself that it’s an illness and not something that you personally want to do/think. So that is why I am saying AGAIN that I am not going to look at any more of those bloody websites. OK, brain? We don’t DO that anymore. *smackheadagainstbrickwall*
Some days I might not physically do an awful lot – today I just went out and drove around for a bit, bought some new gf flour and ginger tea – but I still end up exhausted just from the mental effort it takes to keep myself on an even keel. No over reacting, no panicking, no getting angry over stupid things, no cutting calories, no freaking out when my jeans fit properly, no getting drawn into hours of staring at other peoples numbers – every thought and kneejerk reaction has to be caught, examined, either allowed if it’s healthy or fought against if not. I know far too well how one small decision taken in favour of the anorexia can turn into a restrictive day, week, month, six months, and I’m back where I started. There’s no such thing as being too careful or too strict. It’s not always like this. Sometimes it’s fun rebelling against the anorexia, kicking the thoughts back down easily as soon as they appear in my head – even laughing at myself. Sometimes it’s just fucking hard. Today it’s just fucking hard.
Three good things about today:
1. Driving to the shopping centre 20 miles from my home again earlier and finding it first time rather than taking an hour long, 40 mile detour 😛
2. Knowing that being in a less-than-wonderful mood doesn’t have to affect my behaviour if I don’t let it.
3. Waking up this morning thinking I would go for a run later – then deciding not to when it started raining buckets, and being fine with that. The world will not end if I leave it until tomorrow!