(Not So) Good Friday 2015

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Well today has been a bit of a toughie, to say the least.

The past couple of days I have been struggling quite a bit and I’m still stuck in a cycle of restricting and then getting so hungry and obsessed with food that I binge and purge and it is horrible.

Today I slipped up (again) and I am so mad at myself because I know that it is my own fault that I am finding myself in this situation.  If I could only just nourish myself and not limit my food throughout the day I would probably be much better able to fight off any urges to b/p.

I know I always say it, but tomorrow is a new day and I am going to make tomorrow better.  I feel awful after days like today so I really do have no reason to keep going.  Like I said a couple of weeks ago, I am just going to try to take it one day at a time and thus, tomorrow will be a good day with 3 meals and a couple of snacks and no b/p.  I am not even thinking as far ahead as Sunday!

I think I might try to find some arts and crafty things or something to keep me busy when I am in my flat.  It is when I am alone that I am most at risk but also when I feel safest, so I can’t really win.   I would love to be able to paint or something but I just get myself so frustrated for not being good enough.  I am going to take a trip to the shops tomorrow though to see what I can maybe find to keep me distracted.

I’m sorry I haven’t been very positive recently.  I am trying to get my ‘recovery head’ screwed back on.  I haven’t really had a fully committed recovery head in a long time if I am honest. I want to break free but I lack the courage to let go of my rules and behaviours.  I have brief spells of feeling I have a bit more fight in me but I admit I have been pretty ED controlled and consumed lately.  I need to change and turn this around.  I want to.

Tomorrow I have another opportunity to create a day that I am stronger than this illness.  Tomorrow I will try again.

‘Can’t, never, couldn’t, quitters never win, if at first you don’t succeed then try and try again.’

My Favourite Enemy

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I really do not understand myself.  I have this love/hate relationship with my eating disorder.  I cannot seem to let it go and I always seem to go running back to it even if I am completely fed up of it.  It is my worst enemy but also my best friend.  I am desperate to break free but there is something inside me that is making it oh so difficult to free myself from it’s grasp.

It is my ultimate ‘frenemy’ (friend/enemy) and I feel get so frustrated with myself for being so caught up with it.  I hate the thoughts, feelings and behaviours my relationship with this ED brings but I still can’t quite seem to recover.

I’m not going to stop trying to get better but it scared me how ingrained in me this illness is.

Over the past little while I have been struggling more and more mentally and physically.  I need to ignite the fighting spark in me.  My days just now consist of appeasing anorexia while doing just enough to get by in my every day life and in all honesty, this is exhausting, tedious and hell.  It has to stop.  I need to start making changes and eat regularly throughout the day and also resist any urges to binge/purge in the evenings.  The cycle I am in is dangerous and the way it is going I am actually scared that my heart is going to give up at some point.  There is only so much strain I can put on my body and behaviour wise things have been pretty bad and I have been getting faint and had other quite scary experiences recently.  This has to stop.  I have to stop.

I need to begin fighting anorexia and realising that it is the enemy and is never, ever going to make me feel better, as much as it convinces me it will.   This may sound a little crazy but I am quite an isolated person and have not had a ‘best friend’ since I was about 13 so in a way anorexia is the one person that is always there with me and is known to me.  That’s why it may be so hard to break free.  This is all I know.  I really do wish I had a real best friend to go out and have fun with but I don’t.  I have friends (although I don’t see them often) but like they all have other groups of friends and I am nobody’s bestie.

Anorexia is not my friend.  I need to start reminding myself of this multiple times throughout the day.  What is hard though is that I actually don’t even know where I end and anorexia begins.  I have been this way for so long a non-eating-disordered approach to life is 100% unnatural to me.

How do I get the fight in me to bite back and recover?  I wish I was brave and strong like so many others and take the leap into recovery.  I wish I could begin to nourish my body and have a healthy relationship with my body and food.  I wish I could naturally maintain a healthy weight and not feel the constant desire to lose weight or restrict.  To eat to my body’s hunger and naturally maintain my weight would be amazing.

I’m trying every day to get better but I still do play it safe and that scares me too.  I want to get over my fear foods and controlled meals etc and I know what I am doing right now isn’t going to help me do that but like how do I do it?  There is never going to be a day where it feels right to jump in and go head to head with anorexia so why don’t I just do it now?  Because I am scared and weak and it is just foreign to me.

I’m trying to fight, I really am.

Sorry for this being a big jumble…my head is just a complete mess right now.

‘The sun will come out tomorrow, so you gotta hang on ’til tomorrow, come what may..’

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Tomorrow is unwritten and is a fresh start from the disastrous day that I have had today.

Tomorrow the sun will come out and I can try again.

Tomorrow is worth staying for.

The past couple of days have been nothing short of hell.  Eating disorder behaviours and urges have been so incredibly strong and I have failed at fighting them off.  Yesterday and today I could barely function because all my mind could think about was food and at 6pm I was considering going to my bed to get rid of the thoughts.

I am ever so glad that tomorrow is a chance to try again.

Of late I have been setting myself rather unobtainable goals with regards to my recovery.  I guess after 8 and a half years of disordered thoughts and behaviours telling myself I will abstain from behaviours for weeks at a time is unrealistic and actually detrimental.  I feel when I set these over-stretching goals it makes me become even more obsessed about food and thus making the urges to binge and purge even stronger as the stretching targets seem so far away.  I am not sure if this is making much sense but I think the plan from now is to just take it one day at a time.  Setting goals to go x weeks at a time following a restrictive meal plan and ceasing b/p behaviours is setting me up for failure before I even start and it is actually causing me to resort to my vices.  So for now I will just set myself goals for one day at a time.

Tomorrow I will follow my meal plan and I will also have something sweet if it is going to keep my cravings at bay.  That is my new plan of attack.  I am not thinking to two weeks down the line, just to tomorrow and once I have conquered that I will think of making it through the next day!

Today may have been a disaster but that doesn’t mean tomorrow will be too.  I feel more empowered thinking this way.

I am ready to make tomorrow a better day (which won’t be hard given how terrible today has been).  I cannot expect to jump from zero to hero overnight after suffering this way for so many years but what I can do is plan short-term goals to get me through the best I can.

Tomorrow’s goals:

  1. Eat 3 meals and 3 snacks. (Note to self: this is nothing to feel bad about and will keep my blood sugars stable therefore giving me energy to concentrate at work and reduce the urges to b/p).
  2. Be kind to myself.  I carry a little card in my purse with a quote on it and I am going to restart using it.  It reads ‘today I will take care of myself mentally and physically.  I will protect myself from negative thoughts and actions.  If it is not loving, nurturing or beneficial to my recovery, I will let it go’ and I will try to remind myself of this throughout the day and practice what it says.
  3. Spend time tomorrow night reflecting on the positives and also the struggles (this will help me be aware of how to overcome them in the future) and also set myself goals for the next day.

I’m back and I am fighting.  I forgive myself for today.  I am ready to see the sun come out tomorrow.  I can do this.  I. Can. Do. This.

Sitting It Out

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Wow, my head is a mess.

I hate how I am physically stable and so nobody realises the torture that each day brings.  I flit between restricting and bingeing and purging and it is a living hell.

Today has been tough.  I made myself a safe lunch and ever since I have had thoughts of b/p.  I am trying my hardest to resist.  I will sit this out although that is easier said than done.

I have made it 4 whole days without this behavior and I am hoping to make today day 5.

I’m sitting this out and it is so difficult.  I don’t even have any ‘binge’ foods in but recently it doesn’t even matter – basics like yoghurts and bread can result in binges now.  Those once safe foods are becoming somewhat unsafe.  It is mental torture.  I have read the newspaper, browsed online, cleaned and I’m now watching the Comic Relief Bake Off.  I am doing everything I can do not let these thoughts and urges translate into behaviors.

It is so difficult and frustrating.  I go from being scared of food to wanting to eat it all.

My new plan is to try to get to 1500 calories every day.  This is quite a lot for me but I am hoping that this may get me back into a routine and stop the b/p urges that the restricting causes.   My problem is that I struggle eating enough in the day and then at night the urges arise.  It is a vicious cycle.

I often wonder if I will ever get better.  I seem to manage a few good days then I slip back.  I just want these thoughts and feelings to pass.  I long for them to disappear but there is no magic wand that can take them away and it is just a case of sitting and waiting.  I am still waiting for my referral for psychotherapy to come through and I am praying that this won’t take too much longer as I need something to help me get control of my head.

It isn’t even just food I am struggling with.  Socialising and relationships are major problems for me and I have never really opened up to anyone about these and I really want to now.  I am fed up isolating myself from the world and being scared of others.  I want a life where I see people and have fun but right now I am so lonely and boring.

I feel like a useless human being.  I am 23 and such an embarrassment to my family.

I need to get over this but the question is how? I am trying so very hard but I get so scared that this current situation of ‘getting by’ is it.  This can’t be it though.  I won’t give up until things change for the better.

I apologise for this being such a muddled post.  My head is completely fuzzy right now so my writing is suffering immensely.

Grey Could Are Hopefully Lifting

I’ve not written in ages and I apologise. Things have been pretty terrible to say the least but I am trying to pick myself back up now and get some sparkle back.

I don’t even know where to begin.

A month ago I moved into my own little flat and I am loving having my own wee pretty pad. However, moving out and living alone has been difficult to me eating disorder wise I guess too.  For ages now I have been stuck in recovery – maintaining a less than healthy weight – but getting by.  The ED team have been useless and aren’t really offering me much help which is so frustrating.  Since moving into my flat the eating disorder behaviours have worsened and I swing between restricting to b/p – one extreme to the other – and it is leaving me physically and mentally kaput.

My mood has been terrible and I have been feeling quite unsafe at times.  I had a big breakdown in the street outside work a few weeks ago – not my finest hour.  I spoke to the eating disorder team and they are just telling me that I should know what to do and should be able to get better myself and it is really frustrating. I am trying but after living with this illness for so long I am finding it difficult to pull myself out of this hole. I just feel I need some guidance and support to help me get myself better.  I want to be happy and healthy but this anorexia just completely muddles me.

To cut a long story short, I ended up speaking to my GP who prescribed me Diazepam to help control my anxiety and urges to hard myself. This isn’t the most ideal situation but if it gets me by for just now then I guess that’s something.

The past few days I have been trying to pick myself up from the gutter.  I have created a rough meal plan of about 1500 calories to try to get me eating regularly and thus keeping my sugar levels up and keep my restricting and b/p urges down.

I am scared I will gain on this as my body just doesn’t know how to cope with food but if it helps to stabilise me then maybe it is worth it.  The mental turmoil that I have been feeling is surely worse than any slight increase in weight, right?

Sorry, this is a rather unstructured and messy post.  I will get back to proper writing soon and writing things that are actually meaningful and worthy of typing space!

The plan for now is:

Meal Plan (1500 calories)

Breakfast – Porridge sachet & banana (200)

Snack – Yoghurt/ fruit (100)

Lunch (350-400)

Snack (100)

Dinner (500) (May need to include a yoghurt or something after to help me reach 500)

Snack (200)

I can do this.  I need to do this. 

Perfectly Imperfect

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For as long as I can remember I have strived to be perfect.  Nothing I do is ever good enough and I am forever feeling ashamed of myself for all sorts of reasons.

Perfection is an unrealistic and unhelpful goal and it is one that destroys me day in and day out.

When I am around other I feel I have to portray this sparkling, squeaky-clean image.  In a way I resemble Bree Hodge/Van-De-Camp from Desperate Housewives.  I feel that I can’t make a fool of myself and that I must be just so.  It is tiring and well, pointless since whatever I do I will never be able to meet the standards I set myself.

So  here, tonight, I am admitting to my flaws and imperfections.  I will never be good enough but that is ok (or so I am trying to tell myself).  Below are 20 things that I am not very proud of but that I confess to:

  1. I was weeks away from being dismissed from my previous job (my mental health was leading me down a terrible path).
  2. I can get quite jealous of my mum’s husband for taking her away from me.
  3. I have scars on my body that I am not proud of.
  4. I have picked my nails for years and I am only now able to grow them and paint them.
  5. In the past when things at home were very turbulent I used to read through my mum’s texts to find out the truth.
  6. A big part of me doesn’t trust and hates my mum for some of the things she has done.
  7. I am scared of relationships – 23 and I am scared I will be forever alone.
  8. Sometimes I prefer to be on my own than in company.
  9. I can’t act stupid or pull a funny face in front of others for the fear of them thinking I am an ugly fool.
  10. My family is very unconventional – my mum has been married 3 times, I hardly see my dad and there are so many other imperfect things with it.
  11. My thoughts are much darker than the image on the outside.
  12. I struggle with episodes of bulimia – really NOT perfect at all.
  13. I carry so many feelings of guilt that I cannot let go of.
  14. I don’t have much of a social life.  Eight years of this anorexia and depression means my social interactions are minimal and it is embarrassing how boring my life is.
  15. I’m really short and naturally have a curvy build – I am not the ideal body type.
  16. Career-wise I am very confused as to the direction my life is going – everybody thinks I will do my professional accountancy qualifications but I don’t even know if I want to.
  17. I selfishly somewhat resent my mum’s husband family because I just feel that they are not my family, even if they are nice to me.
  18. I once snapped my sister’s headband when we were in a childhood argument (I still beat myself up for this now)
  19. I failed my first driving test.
  20. I only got a 2:1 at uni when everybody expected me to get a 1st.

I’m far form perfect.  I never will be perfect.  I find that hard to accept.  I feel like giving up.  I feel like a horrible person.  I hate every cell in my body.  I may come across as quite happy but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Counting health, not calories

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Happy New Year.  2015 and I am determined to make this the year of health in body and mind.

2015, day 2.  I have 2 more days until I go back to work and 17 days until I move into my flat. We are forever counting and I know numbers is something I, as an accountant, find difficult not to think about.

But, as we entered the new year yesterday I set myself the challenge of stopping obsessively counting calories.  Yes, the very thing I have done for the past 8 years I am trying to give up.  It may not seem like much that for the past 2 days I have not logged my food intake, calories, fat on paper or on MyFitnessPal, which I have been using religiously for 2 and a half years, but for me this is a massive step. 

I admit that in a way calories are engrained into my head so it is not as if I am unaware of what I am eating altogether but just breaking the habit of logging every single unit of energy I eat is liberating and a step towards recovery.

I have set myself a few goals for this year and I accept that there may be times when I struggle but the things I am hoping to achieve are:

1) Eat healthy, nutritious foods that will benefit my mind and body and allow me to be the best person I can be.

2) Stop engaging in bingeing and purging habits when I am feeling stressed/anxious/depressed/lonely etc.

3) Divorce MyFitnessPal for good

4) Stop drinking Pepsi Max (kind of related to goal #1)

I feel I have turned a corner of sorts in the past week.  I realise that I no longer want to be scared of food and have it dominate my life.  I have spent the past 8 years entangled in this illness and if I am honest, I have quite frankly had enough.  I want this to be the year that I break completely free.

Three nights ago I finished reading a book on my Kindle and as I was browsing the Kindle store I stumbled across a book that has, without sounding too cheesy, helped to change my perspective on life and on my body and food.  While I accept some people may see this book as potentially triggering and encouraging me to focus too much on healthiness, I have found it so helpful in making me see the importance of giving my body the right, nutritious food and taking healthy exercise. 

What is this mystery book?  The Body Book by Cameron Diaz.  This book may well be the thing that changes my life and I am not being melodramatic.

I have connected with this book and in doing so I have learned so much.  A lot of the book I kind of knew and it is not anything I haven’t heard before, but I just found it so digestible and I really took on board the lessons it taught.

It made me realise the simply amazing job that my body (and yours) does every second of every day and the importance of taking care of it.  It has began to change my mind away form thinking about food as mere calories and more about the nutritional value of food and how it benefits my body.  An example of this is my new attitude to bread.  For years I have been using the same shop bought load of bread, with its clearly labelled calories on the wrapper, but since reading Ms Diaz’s book I questioned the nutritional value of this – looking at the label there are some questionable ingredients that I guess are there to preserve it.  So what did I do today?  I walked to the shops and bought a freshly baked wholemeal roll which I presume will not have as many chemicals added to it.  Oh, and another thing, I am totally clueless as to the calories in the roll so this helps me on my ‘no more calorie counting’ goal.

You see, I want to begin nourishing my body with food that is good for it.  Food is about more than calories – it is there to provide the protein, carbs and fat that are essential to function.  I am beginning to see meals as providing the micro and macro nutrients that my body needs and deserves.  So today, when I had my roll and didn’t know the exact calorie content, I told myself that the wholegrains provided fibre, the carbohydrates provided glucose for me to function in my day to day life and tuna filling was a portion of protein to help my cells repair and replenish themselves.  This is what food is for – fuelling the amazing capabilities of the body.  I did feel slightly anxious and guilty but I also felt a little bit good as I knew I was eating something that was nutritious, balanced and beneficial for my body.

I am trying to approach meals in this way from now on – what nutrients I get from them and how they contribute to my health, not how few calories it contains.  I am stepping away from some ‘safer’, processed, low fat, low calorie, labelled foods and turning towards the foods that provide the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that I need to be the best version of myself that I can be.

This is day 2 of trying to recreate myself and my lifestyle into one that is healthy and wholesome.  In doing this I hope to establish a more peaceful and trusting relationship with my body and food and also realise that if, and when, opportunities to eat treats arise I can do that too, because my overall approach to food is healthy and balanced.

Day 2 of 2015 and I have counted the days I have not counted calories using MFP (2), the number of pages left to finish the book on my Kindle (all finished now) and the number of minutes my sweet potato was in the microwave for (6).  What I haven’t counted is my calorie intake and it feels good. 

‘And if we only live once…’

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I am not too sure what I believe happens when we die – I would quite like to believe I would be reunited with my loved ones again – but what if this is the only shot of existing and experiencing a life that I have?  If there is nothing after my life here and now, then I am asking myself if I would be happy with how I am living my life.  I can without a doubt say that I not be happy in the lightest. 

My life is blighted with anorexia, depression and anxiety and it is truly not what I would wish for anyone.  If I am only to live once I need to start making something of my days.  I have to stop wasting day after day feeling miserable.

If I am only to live once, do I really want this life to be spent counting every calorie, obsessing over food and my weight and locking myself away from family and friends?  In the grand scheme of things does an extra 20 calories in a slice of bread matter?  On my deathbed will I really regret eating a little chocolate and/or allowing myself to have fun?  Probably not.

I need to stop throwing my days away.  From the minute I get up in the morning I can’t wait to go to bed again because I just want the days to be over with.  I hardly do anything ‘fun’ or ‘sociable’ – I literally get up, go to work and come home again, and at weekends I barely leave the house except to go to the shop.  I am not proud of this and I would like this to change. I need to start actually living a life and not just existing.

I have been feeling really deflated with the lack of response from the eating disorder team I am with.  I asked if I could see a dietician a couple of weeks ago but I have not heard from them again so I am assuming the answer is no.  I have been struggling food wise – eating around 1300 calories but at least maintaining my weight – but I have decided I need to increase in order to give my body and mind the nourishment it needs.  I have been lacking energy so much that even talking at times is such an effort.  This is not how I want to live.  I was hoping a dietician would be able to point me in the right direction and give me some reassurance as to what I should be eating but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

However, yesterday a lovely girl I met online who has been in a very similar position to myself – getting by eating a less than healthy amount – gave me some advice and suggestions.  She had recently increased her calories from under 1500 to, now, 2000 and has hardly gained a thing. I told her how I struggle to know what to have and how to structure my eating and she helped me a little bit and I am determined to implement some of these changes and build myself up to 1800.

I went to the supermarket with my mum today and I managed to pick some new foods for snacking on!  I got non fat-free yoghurts, cereal bars and some biscuits!  I find snacking hard – unless it is a fat free yoghurt or fruit – and I don’t manage to eat snacks at work because I get too scared, but that is going to change.  I am going to start making sure I have snacks at work.  I will try hard not to let anorexia convince me that it is unnecessary – I will eat them.  I will nourish myself.  I will do this because it will give me the energy to do well at work and also to have a life, I hope.

I am ashamed of how long I have spent cooped up with this illness.  I have wasted so much time and so many opportunities.  I have stayed in when I should have been going out with friends; I have slept through the past 4 New Years; I have avoided situations with food and I have cried over food when I should have been busy enjoying myself.

I am not saying that from this day forward everything is going to be miraculously mental illness free but I am going to really try to take steps to move away from it.  If this is the only chance of life that I have I don’t want it to be spent like this.  I may not be letting go of anorexia completely right now but I am going to work on upping my calories and eating a bit more flexibly.  I am going to eat different snacks and I have also vowed to have (unknown calorie) soup from a cafe this week at work!  I am going to take these little steps.  I am ready to move on and as much as I still do wish I had a dietician or some other professional to help me, I am going to see what I can do myself.

Maybe this is my only shot at life, maybe it isn’t, but if there is one thing I regret so far in my life it is the years I have spent tied to anorexia and I refuse to let that trend continue.

‘And I know these voices in my head are mine alone’

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Addicted – Kelly Clarkson

It’s like you’re a drug
It’s like you’re a demon I can’t face down
It’s like I’m stuck
It’s like I’m running from you all the time
And I know I let you have all the power
It’s like the only company I seek is misery all around
It’s like you’re a leech
Sucking the life from me
It’s like I can’t breathe
Without you inside of me
And I know I let you have all the power
And I realize I’m never gonna quit you over time

It’s like I can’t breathe
It’s like I can’t see anything
Nothing but you
I’m addicted to you
It’s like I can’t think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You’ve taken over me
It’s like I’m not me
It’s like I’m not me

It’s like I’m lost
It’s like I’m giving up slowly
It’s like you’re a ghost that’s haunting me
Leave me alone
And I know these voices in my head
Are mine alone
And I know I’ll never change my ways
If I don’t give you up now

It’s like I can’t breathe
It’s like I can’t see anything
Nothing but you
I’m addicted to you
It’s like I can’t think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You’ve taken over me
It’s like I’m not me
It’s like I’m not me

I’m hooked on you
I need a fix
I can’t take it
Just one more hit
I promise I can deal with it
I’ll handle it, quit it
Just one more time
Then that’s it
Just a little bit more to get me through this
I’m hooked on you
I need a fix
I can’t take it
Just one more hit
I promise I can deal with it
I’ll handle it, quit it
Just one more time
Then that’s it
Just a little bit more to get me through this

It’s like I can’t breathe
It’s like I can’t see anything
Nothing but you
I’m addicted to you
It’s like I can’t think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You’ve taken over me
It’s like I’m not me
It’s like I’m not me

 

Addicted by Kelly Clarkson is today’s song which seems to explain how I am feeling word for word.  In fact, this is probably a good way of describing anorexia every day but its relevance today is because of the horrid withdrawal that I seem to have with my reduction in one of my medications, Olanzapine.

My consultant halved my dose of Olanzapine on Friday last week and it is not agreeing with me too well.  I seem to have turned into some zombie-like, withdrawn and irritable individual.  I have been on this medication since I was inpatient 4 years ago so I guess my body has got fairly used to it but I am not liking how this reduction is making me feel.  I am even more depressed than usual and even speaking and having a simple conversation is such an effort.  My thoughts of harming myself have increased and overall I just feel pretty terrible. 

I did do some online research (not advisable when people write about horror stories of it being such a powerful anti-psychotic) and apparently people can have these side effects when coming off the medication.  That does make me feel a tiny bit more comforted that I am not just going loopy but it doesn’t actually help me feel better.  I don’t know how long I can expect these effects to last but I am hoping it won’t be too long because I am not really coping too well.  I don’t have another appointment with the consultant to discuss these side effects which is pretty annoying and when my thoughts are so destructive I kind of wish I had someone to ‘check-in’ with.  I guess I will just need to get on with it myself the best I can.

Another good or not-so-good (I can’t decide which) thing about coming off the medication is that when I am taking it it stimulates my appetite and I never really feel full up.  Now that my dose has been reduced i seem not to be feeling hungry and it is making it more difficult to stand up to the anorexia and allow myself to eat.  I have been forcing myself to eat my meals but it is even more of a struggle than usual.  Plus, the Olanzapine is thought to ‘quieten’ the anorexic voice and I am now left with a constant yelling in my head telling me to restrict more and more.  I am trying not to obey these commands too much but it is hard.  Even if I am not acting on them the presence of them is so exhausting that it just makes me want to scream.  I feel so guilty for having the thoughts that I am having and making the plans in my head to cut down on what I am eating.  I shouldn’t be planning to fail at recovery – I want to get better – yet I can’t help having these anorexic thoughts.

At work I have really tried to not let the changes in meds affect my performance and in a way I have probably made such an effort to not let it show that I have been a bit more chatty with the girls.  I find I am trying to hide the fact I am struggling to make small conversation to disguise my awful mood.  That is maybe a good thing but it is very tiring – especially when all I really want to do is hide away from everyone and cry!

I’m just going to have to try to take every minute as it comes and not let me get too caught up with the thoughts.  I don’t quite know how to do that though.  I wish there was someone I could just chat to and who could support me at a time when things are so tough.  I don’t understand why the consultant has left me to deal with this on my own – it is a strong anti-psychotic and coming off it, especially after a number of years of taking it, is known to be problematic.  I will do what I can although there is part of me that is wanting to just revert back to taking the higher dose to try to alleviate some of this mental turmoil.  I won’t though – I will persevere.

I am just hoping things get a bit better soon and that I am not left feeling like this for too long.  With Christmas just around the corner this is really not the time of year that I want to be feeling so awful, but then I suppose there is never really a good time.  I just feel that I am going to ruin my family’s festive period if I am so low and grumpy.  I cannot let me ruin another supposedly happy time of year so I will do my best to bottle it all up.  I’ve ruined one to many Christmases, holidays, birthdays and other occasions and I refuse to ruin another.

‘I just can’t free my mind…’

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Another day, another song lyric that could almost be written to describe my life.

I just can’t free my mind, it’s making me uneasy’

Living with anorexia is like being a prisoner in your own body and mind.  I feel utterly trapped and controlled by this illness and I have done for so many years now. 

It doesn’t matter what I do, I can never escape the eating disordered thoughts.  Every second of every day there is a part of my mind that is thinking about calories or weight or food or exercise or body shape or how much I have myself or now much of a failure I am.  Every. Single. Second.  There is no escape for me.  I wish there was.  I wish that just maybe once I could flip a switch and give myself even just 15 minutes of respite from the torture. It is tiring and is making functioning in every day life difficult.  I am having trouble concentrating at work and I am too depressed and scared to do anything socially.  My head is all-consumed by Anorexia and its warped ways.

I think this is one of the worst things about this illness – for me there aren’t any periods of being symptom free and nothing takes away the thoughts.  Mental illness is so cruel like that.  I often think that with most physical illnesses at least there may be pills to take away pain or cure the problem, but with this it is a living hell with nobody ever able to tell you how, if or when you will recover. 

I have had 8 years of anorexia and while there have been periods of relative stability, I have never once escaped the horrible thoughts and feelings that come hand in hand with this illness.  I often wonder what normal people think about because I actually cannot fathom not having these thoughts.  I wish I was a typical twenty-something year old worrying about guys and clothes and my career and friends and holidays but I know that for now that is not going to happen.

I need to somehow free my mind, even just a little, because I am wasting every single day of my life and I know I will regret it in future years.  I already regret not getting better in the past eight years and I really don’t want to add another 8 years of regret to the basket. 

I feel I really need some focused and deep therapy to help me overcome the obstacles in my mind. I have had therapy in the past but this usually consisted of a ‘tell me about your week’ chat and didn’t really address the deep-rooted issues that keep me trapped with anorexia and depression.  There was one time where I thought I was benefiting from psychological work and that was when I was inpatient.  The psychiatrist there really understood me and helped me to understand myself and I really feel that if I had worked with him longer then I would have made much better progress.  Unfortunately I was discharged from hospital too quickly and while I still had my food fears, rules and thoughts and so I just slipped back into my eating disorder habits straight away.

I met with the consultant psychiatrist today for another assessment with the eating disorder team and if I am honest I am rather deflated.  I feel ready to make steps forward and just want to jump into treatment now, but he is trying to work out what help to offer me and it is just prolonging the mental torture.  I have to go back and see him in a month and maybe then he will recommend a specific treatment path but for now I just need to keep living this half-life.

The psychiatrist said today that I should probably work on restoring my health (weight) before starting therapy.  He suggest Cognitive Analytical Therapy if I manage to make some physical progress but didn’t really give me any tools or resources to enable me to gain weight and overcome the ED behaviours.  So I am kind of lost.  What do I do?  I told him that I feel I need a meal plan and some help from a dietician to be able to work on this and that I would 100% comply this time.  I really want to change and get better but I just need some help and guidance.   I even asked if I could have telephone or email contact with the dietician to help me work on things and he said he will look into that and feed back to me.  So I guess I just have to wait (and I am not going to hold my breath).

Another outcome of today’s appointment was that he doesn’t like me being on the high doses of Fluoxetine and Olanzapine and that I have to work on reducing these.  Firstly I have to half the amount of Olanzapine I am on and if I am honest I am really quite worried about this.  I don’t quite know to what extent the medication helps because I have been on it for years but I know that previously when my medication was reduced I did not cope too well.  The Olanzapine is used to ‘quieten’ the thoughts and so I am worried that this is just another jail sentence that is going to make freeing myself even more difficult.  I am going to do as I am told though because well, he’s the doctor.  I am worried that he has reduced this and isn’t really offering any monitoring or help to help me cope with the change – especially as he said I will probably suffer from some rebound effects from reducing the dosage.  I shall wait and see though.

It looks like my mind isn’t going to be freed any time soon but I hope it will one day.  I am getting tired of waiting in No Man’s Land and getting nowhere and as much as I try to push myself forward I just can’t seem to do it. 

I am hoping that maybe I will be able to see a dietician soon because if getting therapy depends on me gaining weight then I will need some help to do that.  If I could do it myself I would have done it long before now.

I guess my overall feelings are of frustration and despair.  I want to change but I am just lacking the ability to stop the thoughts, rules and behaviours from taking over.  I am full of self-hate that I am so useless at recovering also.  I am ready now more than ever to work to restore my physical and mental health and it just seems like I am being left to wait.

One day I am hoping I can say that I have freed my mind – even if it is just for an hour a day that would be an improvement, yes?