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Posts Tagged ‘eating’

So. It is exactly a year since I last wrote anything here. That is strange. In a way it feels far less time, but it also feels like a lifetime ago that I was blogging. I am not sure if this is a return to blogging, or just a one-off post to let people know what has been happening over the last year etc. Most of the time I don’t feel the same need to write anymore as I used to, but I do miss the community and the support, and sometimes something happens and I feel like blogging about it, so we’ll see.

So, what’s been going on then? Last time I wrote I had been going through a particularly bad patch, and had just seen Dr E and been restarted on anti depressants. I am pleased to say that these seemed to have a gradual but noticeable impact on my mood, and things improved to some extent. Probably the most noticeable effect was decreased anxiety – after I had been taking them for a while I needed far less Diazepam than I had been using, which was a very positive thing. I did have a lot of difficulty in the spring and summer with my eating however. I lost quite a lot of weight, and got down to a fairly low, significantly underweight BMI, and there was a lot of talk about referring me to the eating disorder service, which I really didn’t want, and I was told that if I continued to lose weight I would have no choice but to see them, and that hospital would be likely as I clearly wasn’t going to engage with them in the community. I don’t really know what triggered off this episode, although it was at least partially related to my mood, and I remember saying that if I died from my weight then that would be a slightly more socially acceptable way of dying than actively killing myself. But I don’t know why then, and why food became such a massive issue. I did have an awful lot of difficulty with food, and I was actually finding it really terrifying – it was certainly the worst my eating disorder has ever been. I was completely taken over by it, and in retrospect it is somewhat scary how much of a grip it gained over me, and how easily I could have gone further down that path. Of course at the time I was just delighted to be losing weight. Again, that gradually begun to improve, and I started to gain weight and feel a bit stronger and less in pain – it is amazing how much more uncomfortable things like chairs become, and how much more easily you bruise etc, and I remember my laptop hurting my hip bones quite a lot if I was leaning back with my laptop on my lap, as I tend to do. I have to confess, I would be lying if I said a large part of me wouldn’t like to go back to being underweight like I was, as I did feel more comfortable with my body, and certainly more in control of things. And I can’t say it will never happen again. But at the moment my weight seems to be reasonably stable, and I am not engaging in any ED behaviours, although a lot of the thoughts are still present, and probably always will be.

Hmmm, what else? I did open air Shakespeare again last summer, and also a couple of charity concerts. I also did a ballet exam at the beginning of July. I did another charity concert in the Autumn, with the same team as the one the previous Autumn, and with the same singer headlining, and again, that was a great experience. I also finally got managed to get back to driving, and had some lessons, and then passed my test in October, which has been really fantastic. As most of you probably know, I live in a very rural area, with very little public transport, and so was very reliant on my mum to drive me around. Early in July she had to go into hospital for an operation, and wasn’t allowed to drive for several months after that, which is partially what finally stirred me into action I think! Prior to that, L nagged me every single time I saw her about taking my theory (I had done it twice before, but both had expired) and I actually eventually booked that to get her off my back! And then my mum not being able to drive was the push to get the practical out the way. I have to say, I now can’t imagine my life without my car. The thought of not having it scares me so much that I won’t even book it into the garage on a day when I shouldn’t need it, because being without it just makes me feel really trapped. So I think that has been a really big thing for me.

Some things have been very difficult, besides the eating. At the beginning of July L went off sick. After she’d been off for a couple of weeks I began to see J regularly, who is the social worker that I had mentioned I would be seeing when L wasn’t around. I got on very well with her, and liked her a lot, but didn’t find seeing her very helpful. However, L was off for quite some time, and after a while I was told that because they didn’t know when she would be back they were reallocating her case load, and so I was switched to J for good. This was incredibly difficult, as although I liked J a lot, I was very attached to L, and also did find her really helpful. So I found that very hard for a very long time. She returned to work at the beginning of September, but I wasn’t able to go back to seeing her, and the whole thing was very difficult and very upsetting. I still find it difficult going to the CMHT and seeing her car there, or being in the waiting room when she comes through or anything. I miss seeing her a lot, and I do still feel angry that I had to stop seeing her when she was one of the few people I have ever seen who I have felt was helping me. So that was something that was a fairly big deal, and over a long time period. Just before L went off sick, I began therapy with the psychologist. I had been referred some time before, for CAT, but had been on the waiting list for a long time. I saw her until January, and that was really good, although I was frustrated by how time limited it was. There was still so much left to do by the end of the allocated number of sessions, and we had really only reached the point in the therapy where it becomes helpful in terms of helping you find other options and strategies etc, so again, that was very difficult. I had also had to spend several of those sessions talking about the situation with L, which obviously gave us less time than we would have ordinarily had, and both the psychologist and I found it difficult that the ending came when it did, when there was obviously things we needed to work on, but for anyone unfamiliar with CAT, the number of sessions is settled at the very beginning of the therapy, and doesn’t get changed. The CAT was interesting – I found it far more relevant than a lot of other therapies, particularly CBT, which I was worried it might be similar to, and which I have a very low opinion of. I also begun attending a BPD group at my local MIND in the Autumn, and I am still doing that. It’s a good group, and I’m glad I’m able to go to it. It’s something I wasn’t able to do when I wasn’t driving as it is during the day, and so my mum was at work.

Despite my mood having improved a little on the medication, I was struggling quite a lot in the early autumn, and I saw a psychiatrist (not Dr E as she is on maternity leave) and he prescribed another anti-depressant to work alongside the first one, and I do think the combination of the two has helped. There have still been times when my mood has started to crash, and I have been worried about where it will end up, but so far it has stopped it short of the very bottom – it has got pretty bad, but it hasn’t crashed through the floor like it did this time last year. I don’t like to tempt fate, but I have been feeling more stable. I’m not better, and my mood overall is still low, but the crashes haven’t been quite as bad, and I am taking that as a positive thing. Additionally, being able to drive and get out to places has meant that I have had more going on, and have been able to do things that I wouldn’t have been able to before, like the BPD group. I’m not claiming to be cured – I still have days when I can’t get out of bed, and I still get completely exhausted and wiped out by a busier day, and my mood is still low overall. But it is an improvement. And I realised this week that I think I am starting to feel a bit more like myself, and just a bit more alive and less like a zombie. The zombie times still happen, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t still think about suicide and wish I was dead at times, but the percentage of alive days has increased, and I can’t say how welcome that is.

So essentially that has been the last year for me. Apologies for rambling on so much, but it is difficult to sum up a year! I should have just said ‘Meds have helped. Still not great, but some improvement’ really, but that’s not my style! I am still not sure whether I will continue writing here or not. I love the madosphere, and loved meeting those of you who were at the last madup. But I don’t want to get into recording and analysing everything again, as I’m not sure how healthy that would be for me at the moment. Blogging has certainly served a purpose for me, but what I need to decide now is if it will continue to do so, and if so whether this is the appropriate place for that or whether I should start anew with a more subject neutral blog and try to focus less on the mental health side of things, to avoid getting stuck in navel gazing land. I’ll have a think and let you know! But thank you so much to everyone who has commented on here and sent me emails and Facebook messages and tweets asking how things are and whether I will go back to blogging etc. I have really appreciated the support, and I am very sorry for doing a disappearing act and just not being around. But truly, thank you. There are people I have met through blogging who I really don’t think I would still be alive without, particularly the wonderful http://ifnarky.com who has been an absolute rock over the past year or so. Anyway, must go to bed, I will update soon whether I decide to stay here or not. Oh, and thank you very much to everyone who voted for me for the most missed blog in the TWIM awards – it was very unexpected, but much appreciated!

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>Can’t do it

>I am feeling really shit. I don’t know what to do with myself. I can’t keep going on like this. I spoke to L but it didn’t make me feel any better. I know that the things she is saying make sense but I can’t do it. She talked about going out for walks every day and things like that. Even when I am doing better I hate walks – they really scare me as I always think I am being followed and end up having a panic attack. At the moment leaving the house for anything at all feels overwhelming, so going for a walk feels totally out of the question. She also said about eating regular meals and sorting out my sleep pattern and making sure I get up and dressed every day. I know all of this stuff makes sense. But I can’t do it. Every single ounce of energy I have is going on staying alive. Getting dressed feels like the most monumental task that I can only do when I absolutely have to, ie if I am going somewhere. It leaves me feeling drained. Sorting out my sleep is so much easier said than done, and I don’t actually feel will achieve anything anyway. But even days when I have to wake up in the morning for some reason, I still can’t sleep until really late. My sleep quality is atrocious, and I am rarely getting more than 5 or 6 hours a night. I am constantly exhausted. I have no appetite, and although I do force myself to eat something every day, it is really hard to try and get my head around the concept of regular meals, as my eating disorder is loving the fact that I’m not hungry, and every time I have a day where I make myself eat more, I gain weight and feel even worse about myself. I know all the things she is saying I need to do are right and sensible, but I can’t do it. And that probably sounds stubborn and like I am deliberately being awkward and not trying to get better, but it really isn’t that. It is just too much.

My mum is out at the moment and I have spent the time googling how to tie a noose and trying to make one with a dressing gown belt. Not to kill myself right now, although that is incredibly tempting, but so that I know I can do it and it will work when I need to. I am feeling totally overwhelmed. I am due to see L tomorrow, but I actually don’t want to. I keep thinking about last time I saw her. I know I must have been incredibly frustrating because I said I wanted to die more than I wanted to get better. And it all felt tense and I felt like I was wasting her time because I just wanted to die, and I left feeling even more desperate than I had when I went in. I am feeling even worse now if anything, and I think I will just end up really frustrating her, which will make me feel like shit. It feels like there are no answers to where I am right now. I don’t have the energy or the motivation to do the things that will apparently help me and I can see that I will get nowhere if I don’t do those things, but that doesn’t help. I still can’t do it. If I see her when I feel like this I am just going to be wasting her time, and feeling more and more hopeless myself. I just want to die.

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>Weight and Cake

>I feel hideous. I have gained over 2lbs the last few days, and although I am aware that isn’t very much, my weight does not fluctuate except with actual weight gain and loss, and I just feel like I have lost control of the sole thing that was actually ok and I wasn’t feeling hideous about. The strange thing is, I still have no appetite. I am not hungry. I have just been eating for the sake of it, and that really annoys me. If I am hungry and I eat then that is kind of fair enough, although I still resent it if it causes weight gain, but not even being hungry and yet still managing to eat enough that I gain weight is just shit to be honest. I just feel revolting.

Naturally the way to solve the problem was to make a cake….. I do wonder about my intelligence at times. My mum clearly wanted a birthday cake though – when she was in Sainsbury’s last week she phoned me and said they had the Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake mix on offer, plus the icing and should she buy them. I said she may as well buy the cake mix, since those cakes always turn out perfectly, whereas generally I find chocolate cakes a bit hit and miss as to whether they are delicious or dry, despite using the same recipe. Ironically I said not to bother with the icing, since icing isn’t exactly difficult to make. Yesterday’s endeavor clearly proved me wrong on that score. So anyway, I cheated and used the packet mix for the cake (which I did on Sunday) and then planned to decorate it yesterday, but as I explained, it all went hideously wrong as the buttercream curdled, and absolutely nothing I tried made it right again. So today I started again. I wanted two lots of icing – white chocolate for the middle layer and for piping, and normal chocolate for the top and sides. It all went fine. It just took so long. I don’t know if I am just spectacularly crap at doing things like that, or if my concentration is bad enough at the moment that I went off into my own thoughts for long periods at a time, but from starting to make the icing, to the cake being totally finished took three hours, which is pretty ridiculous quite frankly – I wasn’t attempting anything terribly complicated, and I did absolutely nothing in that time apart from that. Wondering if maybe some dissociating was going on, as three hours is just an absurd length of time for it to have taken when I look back at it. Due to my lack of imagination the cake looks remarkably similar to the cake I made for Mother’s Day last year. Here are cake pictures since I have nothing interesting to say;

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>Broken

>I don’t know what to say. I feel broken. Everything feels wrong. The suicidal thoughts are incessant. My concentration is non existent, as is my motivation to do anything. I am constantly exhausted and yet still can’t sleep properly. I don’t seem to have much appetite at all, which my eating disorder is of course not minding, but it feels a bit wrong. If I have the TV or music on, even quietly, it feels like it is drilling through my head, unless I have a Diazepam first, which helps slightly. When you can’t read, watch TV, listen to music, or do anything involving brain power (sometimes I do puzzle books when I can’t concentrate to read, but they take more brain power than I have at the moment) I find there really aren’t any distraction techniques. I come online but most of the time I seem to just stare at the screen in a daze. And then it gets too much and gives me a headache and I have to log off. I am completely alone as everyone in real life is against me. I am not entirely sure about my dad yet – he may not be, but I am not convinced. My mum is definitely completely on their side, 100%. In fact it is worse than that because she comes up with theories on everything, including me, and then presents them as though they are fact. Apparently it is like being a drug addict who needs more and more drugs, except for me it is support. Which is bollocks. When I was doing better and had weekly appointments with L I didn’t have a problem with my level of support. However, when I am feeling how I am now, I do feel I need more support because it is too much to try and deal with alone. Today has been a very difficult day. Very emotional. I suppose this evening/tonight really. The suicidal thoughts have been incredibly strong and I have spent a lot of time either staring at the wall feeling completely numb, or getting upset and finding myself rocking and crying. There has been screaming at my mum for continuing to justify the shitness of mental health services and screaming at my mum because I am just in so much pain. Lots more crying. Desperate. Even now the thoughts of killing myself are incredibly strong. My eyes are stinging from all the crying. I have been very attached to my teddy bear the last two days. This is something that happened once before in a particularly bad patch. I wouldn’t leave the house without him. At the moment he is being carried wherever I go, and my arm is around him as I am typing, which isn’t convenient, but I suppose he is my security. I have had him since my first Christmas, and he has been virtually everywhere with me – his home has always been on my bed, and he has been on holiday with me, he went to university with me, he went into hospital with me – he has been nearly everywhere I have been. And throughout my life when I have been upset I have come to my room and cried on my bed with him. I am getting increasingly scared of leaving the house. I was trying to remember when I last went anywhere but thinking gives me a headache. I shouldn’t have tried. All the days and nights have merged and I am thoroughly confused. On Monday I have to go to ballet and rehearsal and I am already feeling incredibly anxious about it. Not going isn’t an option unless I am dead, but the thought of having to go out and be around people and be sociable fills me with dread, and ridiculous as it sounds, I don’t want to be without my teddy. It is my mum’s birthday on Monday. That means I need to pretend to be ok so I don’t ruin the day for her, and I don’t think I can do that at the moment. I feel like a shit daughter and that she would be better off without me. Everything feels much too much. I feel like I am going to snap really soon.

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>Stop

>I think (hope) I might be able to get to sleep earlier tonight. About every 10 days I seem to have a night where I am able to sleep earlier than usual (usual being sometime between 6 and 7am lately) and I am thinking tonight may be that night. Although I have no idea why I am thinking that. Desperation perhaps?? Since it is already 2:30am I suppose the chances are fairly low.

Rehearsal was long – 3 hours. Apparently not knowing my lines was fine – I said I was going to use my book because I wasn’t confident enough with my stage directions or cues yet (which is true – we have only done any of the scenes once or twice, and that was the first time running the Act, and even if I had known my lines I would have needed my script for some of the stage directions I have scribbled in etc). Anyway she said that was fine – that when she had said books down for principals she hadn’t meant for me or the male lead. Would have been nice if she could have said that at the time, but never mind. As usual I spent the whole time desperate to get home, so the rehearsal running over by half an hour was far from ideal. I felt pretty useless at rehearsal too. I felt like everyone must be wondering why I had been cast, because I know I was.

I have eaten way too much today. I feel disgusting. And it was all late night eating. That is when I am most vulnerable to eating too much. Rehearsal didn’t finish until 10:30, and yet I managed to pack plenty of food in between then and about midnight. Hate myself for that.

I am still feeling the same. Feeling increasingly drained and exhausted by it all, and feel like I have less and less fight left in me each day. My head feels all over the place. I can’t focus on anything. Still not heard anything from L, so I am now assuming she isn’t planning to contact me before I am due to see her next week. I am not sure why. It is my nephew’s birthday tomorrow. Birthdays are exciting when you are that age, so I mustn’t do anything to ruin it for him, even though I won’t be seeing him as my sister still isn’t speaking to me. But my mum will be going over there, and I suppose if I was dead then she wouldn’t. I had forgotten it was his birthday tomorrow until earlier today, and it was incredibly frustrating as I had kind of been planning to do something tonight, and that made me feel like I couldn’t. So I have to keep holding on. I hate it. More than I can put into words. This is not living, and I am not interested in just surviving. I just want it all to stop.

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>Dying with clean hair

>I stayed home tonight. I decided I just couldn’t face going out. My mum was slightly unhelpful as I said that I was thinking of saying I was ill and couldn’t go, and she said I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t actually ill, ‘only in the head’. That helped. But I decided to ignore that. I didn’t have to make an excuse for ballet, as my teacher knows that I generally won’t be there on Wednesdays because of show rehearsals, so that just left the rehearsal. I sent a text to the director saying that I wasn’t feeling well and so wouldn’t be going to ballet, but that I would go to the rehearsal if she needed me, but that I obviously wasn’t feeling great, and she replied saying not to worry. That meant that I felt ok about missing rehearsal, as I had offered to go if required, but said that I wasn’t feeling well, which was pretty much the truth, and I was just hoping that she would reply in the way she did.

I am feeling shit about my weight. I gained a little this week, which I always find really difficult. Because I am feeling so terrible I am finding myself comfort eating, which is fine at the time, but not remotely comforting afterwards, as I feel extremely guilty, and then of course when I weigh myself I gain weight and feel shit about myself, which makes me feel even worse, and so the cycle goes ok. It is strange, when my depression gets really bad I either lose interest in food altogether and just don’t get hungry at all, or I just want to comfort eat. Not out of hunger I suppose – I just feel like I have to do something to make me feel better, and eating cake seems like a good idea at the time. There is also a part of my brain that tells me I may as well eat what I like, as I will be dead soon, and it doesn’t matter what I weigh then, whilst another part of me tells me that I must lose weight, as I can’t die fat. I am assume that is somehow linked to the part of me that tells me I can’t die with dirty hair…. I have no idea what that is about, but even if I am really depressed, to the point where I am really struggling to move, I have to wash my hair if I am planning to kill myself that day. You would think that would be about the least relevant thing possible, but for some reason it seems important, and I suppose dying thin is somehow related to that.

My sleep is still terrible. I seem to be permanently exhausted, and yet unable to sleep until at least 6am, regardless of what I have been doing that day, what time I woke up, and how much sleep I got the night before.

I am really finding everything very overwhelming. I am feeling so low, and then when that is combined with my dreadful sleep, and my complete inability to concentrate on anything, it makes the days feel incredibly long, and very difficult to get through. I have tried to think of reasons to live, things to keep going for, but I can’t think of anything for myself. There is always the thing of not hurting others, but there is surely a limit to how many years you can be expected to go on feeling cripplingly low for the sake of other people? And I cannot think of a single reason to live for myself. Sometimes when I am feeling really bad I am able to cope by setting myself days, for example when I have an appointment or something – I suppose the hope that talking to someone might change things or help in some way helps me to get through, but I don’t even have that at the moment. I am due to see L next Tuesday, but I can’t see it as something to aim for, because I know it won’t change anything. There is literally nothing that I can use as a motivator to keep going. I feel terrible.

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>Support

>I’m not really sure what to say. I am feeling bad. I saw L this morning. It was fine, but I just felt completely numb throughout it really. I am having trouble to really concentrate and think properly. There is also some not great news that I could have done without at the moment – I am going to have to switch from seeing her weekly to fortnightly. She is having to cut down on her hours for personal reasons, which means that some people are being switched to other care coordinators, and then some people that she has been seeing fortnightly will be switched to monthly, and those like me who were being seen weekly are being switched to fortnightly. I understand why it is necessary, but that doesn’t make it any easier, particularly when I am feeling as terrible as I have been lately, and now am supposed to get through the next two weeks alone. I can’t help comparing the support I have now, with what I was getting this time last year – last year I was seeing L weekly, and then also my old support worker N weekly for a couple of hours, and my psychiatrist Dr E monthly. I am now reduced to seeing L fortnightly. If this was due to an improvement in how I was doing then that would be great, but it isn’t – it is unfortunately almost entirely due to staff circumstances.

N’s job was cut due to funding issues – she was only on a one year contract with MIND and was then seconded to the CMHT, but MIND had their funding cut, and so her contract was not renewed, so there was no longer a support worker for me to see. That didn’t bother me too much – I liked her, but I didn’t have any attachment issues with her, and although sometimes it was nice to get out the house with her etc, it wasn’t too difficult to stop seeing her as I still had L, who was my main source of support. My psychiatrist stopped seeing me because she had stopped all of my medications except my PRN Diazepam, which meant that she no longer felt like it was necessary to see me. Again, I didn’t really have an issue with that as 15 minutes every month or two with her never felt particularly helpful, and I didn’t really feel like she listened to me much. Now my contact with L is being cut because of her circumstances, which is really difficult, as essentially that hour or so a week I spend with her is the only time all week that I feel able to actually be honest about how I am feeling, and can be around someone without feeling a need to put on a front and pretend everything is fine.

Throughout my appointment I couldn’t stop thinking how much I wanted to die, and how I desperately didn’t still want to be alive in 2 weeks, and also what a long way away that felt, and how was I possibly meant to get through that on my own. I just felt like sitting there and crying my eyes out, but I didn’t want to make her feel guilty about something that isn’t her fault and that she can’t do anything about. When I left I wanted to burst into tears but I couldn’t because I was then in the car with my mum and a) she wouldn’t have understood why only seeing L fortnightly was such a big deal, and b) I don’t like showing emotion like that – I have never been good at it, and I just feel awkward and uncomfortable. I am on my own now but I just feel numb.

I have been really struggling with my weight and eating lately. Whenever my mood goes down I get increasingly fixated on my weight, and since it is post Christmas that isn’t really helping at the moment. I gained a couple of pounds over Christmas, which I was expecting and so could kind of accept. But now Christmas is all over, and I am still struggling with it. I always find that when I start eating more often, like I was over Christmas, I find it more difficult to go back to my usual eating patterns, and that is the only way that I am ever able to control my weight. It doesn’t help that I still have some chocolates left over from Christmas that I am working my way through, but it is more than that – I am just eating more generally than I feel comfortable with. On Saturday I was back down to my pre-Christmas weight (which is still higher than I was to be), but then Saturday and Sunday I ate too much, and so gained a pound, and expect I have gained even more as I ate a lot yesterday, but I haven’t weighed today because I had to be up early to go and see L, and I have particular times I will weigh myself. But my middle of the night weight last night was considerably higher than the night before, and that is generally a fairly accurate indicator. I feel disgusting. I hate myself for being so greedy. And yet I feel so shit, and food is somehow comforting, despite being distressing at the same time. So I am comfort eating I suppose, and yet not even remotely comforting because it makes me feel shit. I don’t know. I am just desperate I suppose, and in a way it feels like I may as well eat whatever the hell I want, because it isn’t going to matter anyway if I am dead.

I don’t know. I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know how to cope with things. I don’t know how I am expected to get through my life with one hour of support every two weeks. I don’t even feel like I want to at the moment. I feel like such a fucking mess, and I am bloody exhausted.

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