Up and down

This is turning into a really up and down few days. I only got back from Dorset on Thursday, got a job on Friday, found out that one of my photos had been published on the Guardian website on Saturday, and today I got a letter back from the hospital where I had my DXA scan done. My bones are still screwed. I don’t know HOW screwed because they didn’t give me detailed results, but I am going to hound my GP for them tomorrow. I’m a bit disappointed – I will have had my period back for two years in July – but I know it can take a while before things improve, and I know people in far worse states than I have recovered bone density, so I’m not freaking out just yet.

Life in general is up and down and all over the place at the moment. I was enjoying things being calm and stable for a while this spring, after being so depressed and anxious during the winter. All that calm seems to have dissipated now. I don’t really mind – I have one fairly major problem which is causing a lot of anxiety (sorry to be vague, I’m sure all will be revealed when I know WTF is going on), but other than that all of the disruptions are good. I am simultaneously excited and terrified about my new job. I keep freaking out and thinking “what if I can’t do it?”, but then I remind myself that I will get a load of training when I start, and that it would be more helpful to wonder “what if I can?”. I know, that is disgustingly positive of me, but I picked up the habit of subverting my anxious thoughts when I was going through weight restoration, and it’s become a sort of habit 😛

More work with the ED charity is coming up too, after a break over Easter. I am about to start a project with the lady recently hired to develop the charity, and she’s also hoping to start a carer’s group later this year that I’ll be involved in the setting up of. The AGM is in two months, and I’ve been asked to speak at it. Because I’ll be speaking after a doctor from the local EDU I am going to have to think of a new angle to my usual talk. Usually it’s all about education – the facts, the myth busting, and what it really feels like to have and recover from an eating disorder. But the group of professionals and voluntary sector workers who attend the AGM will know the facts. I am pretty excited about seeing how creative I can be with this – I have free rein, 25 minutes all to myself. Eee 🙂

I’ve been getting out more recently too. I joined a local choir a month ago, which will be news to my boyfriend if he reads this – I didn’t want to tell him at first because I thought he would laugh 😛 but I used to sing a lot, with choirs and solo – I did grade exams and concerts in cathedrals and trips to perform in Eurodisney and the rest. I feel a bit rusty given that I quit my choir ten years ago, but I used to be fairly good so I’m sure my voice will recover with time. I didn’t realise how much I missed it, and the other people are lovely. The choir finished at 9pm last Thursday and I didn’t get home until 11.30pm because I was sat in a pub with some other girls, chatting. I think I could get a bit of a social life out of this!

It’s all go, basically. Good things are happening, stressful things are or are about to happen, but I feel like I’m just on the right side of being okay with that. I’m not saying that I’m ecstatically happy and bouncing off of the walls in excitement, or that my anxiety is totally under control, or that I enjoy it every time my life undergoes a radical alteration – but I don’t fight change anymore. If it needs to happen, it needs to happen, however much it freaks me out. I want a job. I want to sort out the things that are worrying me at the moment. I want a social life. I have done enough hiding and avoiding to last me a lifetime.

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7 responses to “Up and down

  1. So just to reiterrate what I said earlier… you’re awesome. Life throws stuff at everyone that will cause them to be anxious, but it looks like you’ve got pretty good at knowing your vulnerabilities and managing anxiety so as not to end up incapacitated by it.

    Lots of luck and good wishes for stressful things on the horizon, x x x

  2. You joined a choir? Are you going to turn into a Glee character?

    And what is this fairly major problem?

    • Oh well, turning into a Glee character is of course an unavoidable result of joining a choir. That must be why I thought it would be hilarious to keep whistling “don’t stop believing” to annoy you last week 😉

  3. The choir sounds exciting, sure that your voice will recover – my Mum similarly left singing for about 15 years and it didn’t take too long for her to be back in full voice 🙂 Glad that you are enjoying the changes – keep hanging on 🙂 x

  4. That definitely happens to some people – usually it manifests as othorexic behaviours and weird exercise routines. It was applicable to me in the first few months of recovery – I became obsessed with eating “properly” (whatever the hell that means!), gaining weight at a respectable pace, stuff like that. But it’s not true now, and hasn’t been for a very long time – probably eighteen months or so? Three reasons: first of all, I will happily admit that I am a dreadful hypochondriac (like, every headache is a brain tumour 😛 ), but that’s nothing to do with my anorexia – I’ve been that way since I was a kid. Secondly, I do have some irritating and scary post-ED health conditions which make me very anxious sometimes, so while I’m not obsessed with solving them (they can’t be cured quickly, it’s a matter of time) they do prey on my mind sometimes. I don’t think that’s the same as consciously or unconsciously focusing on them as an ED substitute – I am way past that sort of thing in recovery. And thirdly, while I am more than aware of what eating disorders CAN do to people (I have a friend who had two cardiac episodes when she was only 21, and another in her 20s who has the beginning of spinal deformities due to osteoporosis) and know that health is important in recovery – both because you need to be physically healthy before you have a chance of being able to sort out the psychological issues, and because eating disorders kill people – again, I think I passed the stage where a focus on health was important long ago. Oh, and anyone who has spent more than five minutes in my company will attest to the fact that there is absolutely no trace of orthorexia in my behaviours 😉 it’s hilarious in comparison to how I was a couple of years ago!

    So no, my health isn’t a focal point of my recovery, mostly because I don’t really feel like I have a focus on recovery anymore. My history with food doesn’t play much of a part in my life at the moment. My health might play on my mind a bit sometimes, because it’s so much better than it was a couple of years ago (yay novelty!) and because the health problems I do still have scare me, but that’s just because I’m an anxious person, nothing to do with the ED!

  5. Sounds good about the choir 🙂
    I was always intimidated by the school choir (particularly when it was compulsory in primary school..) Group singing I do not do. I was happy playing a flute on stage, but that was about it (oh, and being a plant part in Little Shop of Horrors was ok).
    It’s a bugger about the scan results: the whole bone thing terrifies me, to be honest. But like you said it isn’t something you can fix overnight by shoving some spinach in your mouth. It’s one of those things that takes time, and at least you’re moving in the right direction now. Give them bones a little loving and time and I’m sure they’ll re-manifest themselves.
    Whatever this thing is, I hope everything is all alright and works itself out.

    PS. Last post: yes please!! That looks brilliant! And I loved the wall painting. 😀
    xx

  6. One of the things that stood out for me most in this post, Katie, was your statement: “I know, that is disgustingly positive of me, but I picked up the habit of subverting my anxious thoughts when I was going through weight restoration, and it’s become a sort of habit..”. I am going to remember this because it is so positive and something I need to remember for myself.

    I have never been good at subverting (or surviving) anxious thoughts. This difficulty is not something that arose as a consequence of having anorexia nervosa (AN), but something that played an integral role in the actual development and maintenance of my AN. That is, I had a long history of severe anxiety before I ever became anorexic.

    I am better at subverting some anxious thoughts than I used to be – e.g. around eating and exercise in the context of AN, but totally hopeless in managing anxiety in other areas of my life. I still don’t cope well with change, and I’m not sure that I ever will cope well with it 😦

    I do hope your bone density data are better than you thought. And, I’m happy about the choir thing + all your other projects 🙂

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