Thursday, 28 July 2011

ED is getting petulant

this is how I'm going to see my ED from now on!!

I've had a couple of quite big challenges over the last few days - challenges that have left me in tears, and which have had me seriously reconsidering where I am going and whether I like who I am becoming. And all of which I have managed to get through with a reasonable amount of dignity still intact (huge improvement on some serious hissys I've had recently!).

And I've noticed that I've started to become able to separate my thoughts from my actions. My mind is still yelling abuse and telling me what to do (and the consequences if I don't), but my body is on auto-pilot.

Sure ED is telling me not to eat, and how if I just know what I weigh I'll be able to get everything 'back on track' (ED's track you understand).
But my body still goes and makes the meal and eats the meal, and then sits down after - no matter how much my brain says 'go running now'.

ED is saying all the same things, but it's tone of voice is different. It's much quieter, yes. But it's also petulant. And that's quite funny. It's a scowling, arms-crossed, huffy little sook. With it's bottom lip stuck out telling me 'if you eat that I'll scream!'

So? Go ahead and scream you little brat! I couldn't care less.

Hellooo?? I'm the one in charge! Remember?!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

a normal day

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  • Slept in a little late this morning. Didn't really matter, we weren't in a rush today.
  • Ate breakfast before dropping kids at school and then went and had morning tea and some cake to celebrate a friend's birthday. It was lovely cake - plum and walnut crumble (yum!)
  • Came home and made lunch for the toddler and me.
  • While the toddler was asleep I tidied the house. Lots of energy too - didn't have to stop to rest each time after making one bed. House looked really good. I was quietly pretty chuffed :)
  • Went and picked up kids from school.
  • Came home did some washing. Then let kids watch some tv (no homework tonight). We watched Phineas and Ferb together.
  • Served up dinner and sat and ate together.
  • Sent kids up to bed. Got toddler ready for bed - brushed her teeth and read to her.
  • Went up and read to big kids. Griped at them for leaving their towels on the floor.
Yep it was just a normal day

No panic. No screaming. No crying. No thinking thinking thinking thinking thinking

It was just a normal day...thank god :)

This is a much much better way to be, my friends...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

good advice from a wise friend

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The amazing, wonderful and all round divine Lori from Drop It and Eat came to my rescue (again!) this week; talking me out of wanting to weigh myself.

To see what wisdom she had for me check out her post:
Trust Yourself. Except When You Can't Be Trusted

Thank you Lori, so much :)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Insight into insight

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Oh my, what a day. I haven't had a day quite as 
intensely distressing as today for a while now. 

And up 'till today I would have said I was aware of when I was having a slip. I would have said that I could differentiate the ED voice from my own and I was consciously choosing to use the ED to deal with a stressful event.

Oh but I was wrong!

I had such a moment of clarity today where I was actually able to catch my thoughts and stop myself from thinking, "yes, this is a good idea, I need to do this, I'll just do it for 'X amount of time' and then I'll stop"

No.

I won't do this - no reason is acceptable. It is not okay to just do it for now.

No.

It has to stop.

It was almost like someone else was having the conversation and I was just listening-in thinking "that is such a stupid idea".

It was no longer *my* conversation - it no longer belonged to me.

I would quite happily never have another day like today for as long as I live. In fact I would be quite happy to wake tomorrow recovered. But since that ain't gonna happen I may as well find all the positives I can. I mean I do like to know I am recovering - even though I don't really sometimes... Recovery is jolly complicated actually - but intellectually it's quite interesting :)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Telling my gp - one year on

Part of why I write this blog is to make sure that no-one ever again feels like they are alone - no matter how old you are, and regardless of whether or not you are a responsible grown-up with a career and a family and everything going for you...
you are not alone

So in this spirit - and because this week marks one year since I first went to my gp for help I didn't think I needed - I'm going to share with you what that first gp visit looked like.

Firstly, just because I seem articulate here on my blog doesn't mean I always am in real life. Just because it seems like words come easily to me don't be fooled into thinking I just waltzed confidently into my gp's office and announced that I have an eating disorder and I need help.

*ROFL*

Trust me. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I walked in, sat on one of the chairs opposite her. The one on the right to be precise. She is so lovely - she started with her usual opening words - usually spoken to me as the mother of sicky kiddies I parade at regular intervals through her office:

Dr C "What can I do for you today"

PJ "Um, my mothercraft nurse wanted me to come and talk to you about sensible eating and portion sizes"
(I can actually remember the exact words I said - I had spent so long deciding just what to say so it didn't sound too important)

Dr C "Have you had an eating disorder before?"

Holy heck - this woman doesn't mess around.
(I should add  here that she specialises in eating disorders -I'm sure a lot of gp's would take a lot more convincing than Dr C)

It was at this point I realised I was not only not making eye contact but I was actually looking completely over my right shoulder at the toy box behind me. And just to complete the scene my legs were tucked up on the chair and I was hugging them - I was as close to a ball as a human can get.

The rest of the appointment is a blur. Somewhere in there we discussed old habits and she somehow got me (too shocked to argue) to stand on the scales. Then she said she wanted to see me again the following week (it took me a month to go back again - and another six months to stop saying 'there's nothing wrong with me'). And just so you can see how truely naiive I was I honestly thought she would reach into her desk drawer and pull out a meal plan. She would hand me said meal plan. And I would go home and follow said meal plan. See, problem solved. Right?

That night I couldn't sleep.

My heart pounded so hard that I couldn't lie on my left side.

I heard myself say "I can't let her take it away from me" - this was the first time I became aware of the ED voice in my head.

So if you are worried about getting help and think that I have it all together and you don't - then please let me allay your fears. It is not easy. For anyone. No matter how articulate they may seem on their blog.

And if you, like me, need someone else to push you to go that first time, then contact me and I'll push you. But if you are brave enough to take yourself along and ask for help then you are amazing!!!

Who did you first tell? How did it go? I would love to hear your experiences. Feel free to share in the comments so we can all help support those just starting on their journey...

Saturday, 9 July 2011

ticked-off-orexia


An article was published this week by the online mag Mamamia; a good fun site with lots of great parenting articles that I love to read. So why am I so ticked-off this time?

Oooo, well, it *might* have something to do with this:
Quote from Why do so many women lie about what they eat
"...Liarexic. Yes, we know that some people object to the trivialisation of anorexia by other forms of disordered eating adopting their suffix.
But we didn’t make up this name, we’re just telling you about it.
Apparently Liarexia is the notion that people, namely women, will eat large amounts of food (or a particular type of food eg: burgers and fries) in public yet strictly limit their portions in private. A new eating disorder if you will."
Two things immediately ticked-me-off regarding the contents of this article (written by a freelance graphic designer):
firstly the perpetuation of media-concocted-passing-itself-off-as-medical bollocks, and
secondly the flippant and arrogant way in which are instructed not to be annoyed by the fact that they doing exactly that; perpetuating the bollocks.

Yes fine, you didn't make up the term, but you know what - the "she started it" excuse didn't wash with your mum, so why try it on with us?

But of course it is not this article in isolation that is so damaging - it is the rapidly increasing trend by the media to just make stuff up!! In addition to Liarexia, here are some of the others I've heard recently (all [abridged] definitions courtesy of such paragons of wisdom as:  Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia):

tanorexia (a disease like anorexia, no matter how tan a person is they never think they are tan enough)
  
Brideorexia (When a bride goes overboard trying to get skinny for her wedding day)

Sexual-anorexia (loss of "appetite" for romantic-sexual interaction)

drunkorexia (The practice of replacing meals with booze.)

wannarexia (An imaginary disease most commonly found amongst preteen to teenage, overweight, females whom claim to have the eating disorder anorexia)

pregorexia  (The state of being extremely skinny to the point of being nearly anorexic when pregnant)

exorexia (someone who exercises far too much, to the point of obsession)

and, oh joy...
fatorexia (opposite anorexia. Thinking ones self is too thin)


But surely just repeating these new little invented nick-names is just a bit of fun? Yay! I mean this kind of thing wouldn't embarrass someone into hiding an eating disorder would it? Well then perhaps you can explain to me why we don't make up witty names to have a good laugh about how smokers are increasing their risk of cancer? Perhaps we could call them cancer-groupies. No? Why not? Because it would be disgusting. Abhorrent. And completely unacceptable.

So why is the trivialisation of the most deadly mental illness acceptable?

Continued minimisation not only reduces the seriousness of this disease in the eyes of the general public, but it humiliates sufferers and perpetuates the stigma associated with it.

But it's all in good fun, so it couldn't really be serious...

At the time I wrote this 11,155 people 'liked' this website. That's a lot of people who have just been influenced to think anorexia is a joke.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Me and George Costanza

"It became very clear to me sitting out there today that every decision I've made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat - it's all been wrong." ~George Costanza
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Maybe that's a slight exaggeration - after all I did decide to have children and that was perfect :)

But if ED is my voice of doubt, confusion and self-destruction, then like George Costanza I should do the exact opposite of everything it says.

I need to practise listening to ED - and then actively do the opposite!

So since my mothercraft nurse offered me a follow-up visit in 6 months instead of waiting the official 18 months (just so she could check-in with me) and since I said 'no' because that was what ED told me to do - today I rang up and made the appt. Opposite, get it??

Nothing terrible happened either :) In fact the worst thing that could happen is I go along in 6 months for a nice little chat that I didn't really need. On the flip side, if in 6 months I have slipped back into my old habits I will most likely be incapable of making the appt when I really need it.

And the best thing that can happen is that I now have another person I can add to my growing list of recovery support people. Only good can come from that!

Monday, 4 July 2011

how big am I anyway?

I don't think I've had a problem with my body image in the past. Even over the last couple of years as my anorexia returned I always knew I was thin (obviously not so much when pregnant or postnatal!!). Sometimes I didn't feel thin, but if I looked in the mirror I could remember my true size. I never saw a different size to the one I was.

But now...

Now that I'm trying so hard to stick to my meal plan and not exercise; I'm suddenly enormous. My arms, my thighs, my chest, my tummy. All bloated and flabby and just, well, fat. Really fat. I feel like a rapidly inflating balloon. I'm so uncomfortable I can't stand it.

But (with the notable exception of that pair of jeans) just about all my clothes still fit me. So what gives?

I'm sure I'm a hippo. But how can I be?

ED really is a tricky bastard.


thankfully after I wrote this earlier this evening I went back to a recent post a had read on Laura's Soap Box regarding goal weight where I found she had responded to my query about ED thinking getting worse with weight restoration. To my relief Laura validated my fears - so I'm feeling much better about my distress - although I still wish it would go away!!!!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

more on feeling abandoned

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I'm not exactly proud of my reaction to my dietician (M) telling me she was going on holidays too. Actually I feel pretty guilty about making M feel bad - I tried to 'fix it' and tell her she had no need to apologise and that of course I know she has every right to take a holiday!

I was fine when Dr C told me was going away. So when M said she was going away too, my first reaction should have been "yep, fair enough". After all she has a young child she wants to be with. And, you know, a life.

Ahhh, so why the tears?

My mum used to say that you can't help your first reaction. It's automatic. And I guess that's what this was.

My dad would've said I was being a hormonal woman. There's probably truth in that too (since I discovered later my period was the cause of the bloated tummy and boobs the size of watermelons - oh. yippee. not.)

Perhaps I was just tired? After all I'd had the session with the new therapist that morning too.

But I wonder if the tears were actually a step closer to recovery. I certainly wouldn't have cared 6 months ago. After all I didn't need them, right? There was nothing wrong with me! So maybe this shows a real acceptance of the fact that I have an eating disorder that I am not recovered from yet. And that I don't feel like I'm in control of yet.

So my fear of "what if something happens while they're all away" is real. Because my eating disorder is real.

But if I'm aware of it, and if I remember I now have other supports I can turn to in the event of a problem, I'll be ok. I have family, and friends (both IRL and here online), plus there are some very good help-lines I could ring.

I'm only as alone as I choose to be.

Friday, 1 July 2011

It's official: it's not you, it's me


Had the session with the new therapist yesterday...

and despite my best intentions, and best efforts, I did everything I promised myself I would not do. I avoided eye contact, I didn't sit up straight, and when it came to a direct question about me I shut down completely. I couldn't even think about the question, my mind was yelling 'run away' - it made so much noise in my head I just couldn't think.

sigh

I was doing okay for the first bit. I wasn't myself - but I wasn't too bad either. Seriously I'd love to take one of these people out for a cup of coffee and just a chat about the weather one day so I can prove that I'm really not that person in real life. I really can hold a conversation. I really do laugh and smile. I really do sit up straight - I promise!!

So why do I make such a fool of myself in these sessions? Oh if only I had the answer to that question I guess I wouldn’t need the therapy ;)

Ironically the question that did me in was “if there was one thing about your life that you could change, what would it be?” Ironic, because my answer would have been “to be more assertive, to be able to stick up for myself better and without the self-destructive consequences”
But I couldn’t answer her. I could no longer speak.

So it's official, it's not them, it's me. 

But there were definitely some positives about the experience. She was extremely lovely (and she had a beautifully inviting home), and now at least I know it wasn’t any easier there than it was with K. And that in itself is an interesting insight. We also established that I am much more comfortable writing than talking – I do feel under pressure during sessions, like I’m being watched/observed. She also said that I deserve to be more than a vessel for my ED – I deserve to be PJ. Which is definitely a thought to hold on to.


So where does all this leave me? I’m not sure. I think I will need to ask Dr C for advice. But unfortunately Dr C is holidays, and M (dietician) told me last night she will miss our next session too because of holidays. Oh dear (cue unexpected tears in the dietician's office). Absolutely do not begrudge anyone a holiday - but am feeling strangely abandoned...