Monday, 6 August 2012

a word on rumination

cute cows from here
Before I started all this recovery bizzo 'rumination' to me meant something cows did. But apparently, in the psychology world, it also refers to the thinking, thinking and over-thinking thing that I do - especially about mistakes I have made.

I was a cow last night. And not the cute and cuddly one up there, but the mean, cranky, fly-off-the-handle-and-have-a-gold-medal-tanty type of cow. And then I cried. And I cried. And I cried some more. And then I rang my big brother and I cried some more. And then once he'd calmed me down enough for me to stop crying,  I went and apologised to MrPJ. Who said, and I quote, "it's ok, just relax".

What? Just like that we could forget about my tanty? What about all the beating myself up? The endless explanations about why I was so stressed. The guilt, the shame, the waiting for forgiveness. Oh shit, that's right, he's my husband not my father.

MrPJ has a way of just forgiving and moving on. Yep, you were a cow, and thanks for saying sorry. Ok, what's for dinner.

But that almost doesn't feel like enough. If I don't ruminate then I haven't punished myself enough for my terrible behaviour. Surely I need to go over and over and over it again in my head so I can re-live and reinforce just how horrible a person I am.

I think I prefer MrPJs approach. Re-living my tanty doesn't make it better. I am sorry and I said so. And if I'm really lucky I will have learned something from the experience to help me deal with my anxiety better next time it happens. But I actually don't have to punish myself by re-living it 75000 time in living colour. Reinforcing what a bad person I am is ED talking, not me. And I don't listen to ED. He is a dick.

So I think I'll choose to listen to MrPJ.

And just relax.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

cry for help or attention seeking?

ouch. harsh pic from here

I had a conversation the other day with the mother of a girl recovering from anorexia. Her daughter is doing really well, but has a friend from hospital who is not doing well and keeps sending her text messages all about how there's no point and how she's never going to eat again. My friend's daughter finds this not only distressing but also very triggering and is thinking about cutting ties with  the girl in order to protect herself. She is also, not to put to fine a point on it, sick of this girl's drama.

My first advice was of course that her daughter needs to protect herself and her recovery above all else - that her responsibility is only to her own well being. But I also put in my two cents as to why the other girl is acting the way she is. My friend found this a very helpful perspective, so I thought I might share it with you here.

From how I know I have acted, and the way I have seen others acting (especially on social media) I have four theories why people suffering from an eating disorder engage in what appears from the outside to be 'attention seeking' behaviour:

1. Catharsis - sometimes the pain is just so great that if you don't shout it out you're not always sure what you'll end up doing. It's always better to shout about how much you hurt inside than turn to self harm. You don't really want anyone to respond or fix anything, you're just getting it off your chest.

2. Conversation - sometimes it's about wanting to start a conversation about something that's bothering you, but not really knowing how to do that. You might say "it's all too hard, I'm not going to eat today" but you might mean "what do you do when you feel like this?" You might just being looking for someone with a shared experience to let you know that you are not alone and give you some strategies.

3. Validation - when you are feeling really low, and don't have the emotional resilience or self esteem to find that little spark inside yourself to keep on going, sometimes you just want someone to let you know that you are worth a kind word. That you are loved and appreciated. That you are worth the effort it takes for someone to say "it'll be ok".

4. Sabotage - eating disorders love to isolate. And yes, sometimes the constant badgering is targeted at wearing you down for the specific purpose of eliciting the "go away, I've had enough" response. Then your eating disorder gets the honor of yelling "see, I told you your friends would turn on you in the end. They never really cared about you".

Nothing is ever straight forward with eating disorders, and communication is definitely very high up on that list of complicated issues. But I hope these ramblings are helpful to you. And I hope it helps you to see 'attention seeking' behavior with new understanding and tolerance.

For those of you who know me too well, you will know how much a list with only 4 points on it is bugging me. So if you have a 5th to add please leave it for me in the comments :)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

I've lost my restriction mojo

pooped puppy from here

I'm exhausted this evening. Exhausted and emotional - but also very hopeful. A real, new glimmer of hope appeared today.

I had a session with M, my dietician this afternoon. And somewhere amid my sobbing over my regrets and my guilt, we actually managed to find some meeting point. I managed to let my guard down for just long enough to question her on something.

She commented that it didn't seem like I was able to restrict at the moment.

Cue my ED response - I'm just not trying hard enough, I'm a fat pathetic loser because I'm not strong enough to do it. I'll have to try harder, I'll get it back.

Cue my courage - I asked her what it said about me if I can't restrict at the moment.

Her exact answer has been lost in my memory through the haze of competing thoughts and voices, but the gist of it was that not being able to restrict is something to be proud of not ashamed of. If shows that my will to live is stronger than my will to starve myself to death.

That it is the sign of a healthy mind.

I really liked hearing this. Really, really :-)

In a funny way I'm shocked that I was even able to ask her the question in the first place. I was so sure  what her answer would be (that I'm not strong/brave/good enough anymore) that asking felt like setting myself up to be judged. But I'm so glad I asked. Because I was wrong. ED was wrong.

So what am going to do with my new healthy mind? We've pinpointed the one time of the day when I have no routine or structure for eating - lunchtime. It is my most often skipped meal these days now that I am regularly eating dinner with my children. But lunch - I wouldn't even know where to start. Which is risky. We talked about impulse eating if I get too hungry, and also about the desire to not eat if I skip a meal - neither of which are good outcomes.

So without setting myself 'rules' I'm going to work at eating 3 meals and 3 snacks which also fulfill the recommended servings each day. And for the first time I actually want to do this. I really feel like being healthy is something I want.

Yeah, yeah ED, that's not the same thing as being fat. Shut up ED.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Commence 'Operation Helicopter Parent'

from here

I've noticed a change in the eating patterns of my eldest daughter lately. Choosing to have a glass of water instead of a hot chocolate when we go to the cafe. Bringing home her sandwiches uneaten from school. Only wanting rice for dinner. Complaining that she is putting on weight.

We've had discussions about natural body changes as you hit puberty - and the fact that all her friends will go through it too, only she's got there first. We've talked  about it being normal and the right thing for her body. We've talked about being healthy and strong as opposed to skinny and pretty; about body size not being a reflection on your self worth. And although I think the message has sunk in to a certain degree, I think genetics is against us on this one.

Tonight she told me she wants to cut all sugar and fat out of her diet and do lots of extra exercise so she can swim faster and look better in her bathers.


My mum would have been all over this - taking me out training, organizing my meals. My dad would have been telling me how hopeless I was if I didn't stick to it, if my lap times dropped off (not to mention every other aspect of my life he was able to find fault in).

But I know more than them. I am aware of where she's heading, even if she is not. I will encourage her to make healthy choices - but these choices need to be for a heck of a better reason than just looking good in her bathers - although I know how important this can feel at her age (at any age!).

So, my mission, should I choose to accept it (and you can bet the hell I do) is Operation Helicopter Parent. I will watch what she does. I will not turn a blind eye to any increase in unhealthy behaviours. She is my beautiful, funny, creative, articulate, intelligent, and very special girl - and if she stops being able to see that for even a second I am going to jump straight in a reinforce the crap out it. And I will not let her go without food.

I think the work that Laura Collins and the other devoted parents at FEAST do is amazing - but I never want to have to use their services. This family legacy of eating disorders ends with me. If I can't shake this bastard for my sake, then I will do it for my kids so they don't have to suffer the crap I've gone through.


Thursday, 28 June 2012

analyzing the first pangs of guilt


Analyzing this slip from the inside is quite an interesting game. I think I've been here so many times before that I know it won't last and I'm just riding it while it still 'works'. But tonight I felt my first pangs of guilt. Not because of what I'm doing to myself, but because I ate a perfectly sensible dinner. The sort of dinner I've been eating with my family quite successfully for a few months now - but haven't been having for the last week and a half.

But tonight I was hungry - and dinner was really yummy. So I ate it, all.

First pang of guilt - why did I eat all of it when a) I wasn't going to eat any and then b) I was only going to eat half.

Pang of guilt two - my stomach really hurts, this is all my fault.

Pang of guilt three - I need to go running

Pang of guilt four - I'll have to do sit ups once I don't feel so full

Pang of guilt five - I wonder what the scales will say tomorrow.

What I ate was ok. It tasted nice, it was healthy and I didn't over eat. I should be ok. But my recent restriction and all the crap that is tied up with this and my self-esteem has changed how I feel about what it ok.

No great conclusions - just an interesting observation that the same restriction that was making me feel so awesome is now making me feel guilty because I ate something adequate...

postscript: completely lost my cool this evening and ended up yelling at my eldest child and husband. Very ashamed of myself and still crying. I'm assuming my build up and subsequent explosion of stress and my meal are related...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

wow, just wow...

my ED thinking has been ramping up a lot over the last week or so. And my big problem is, is that I'm loving it. I'm relaxed and relieved at not fighting it - and yes, once again, it's fixing everything. Yay me, right?

So since I don't want to fight back I thought I would humour ED and make a list of everything that being skinny means to me. Yeah...interesting list...

It makes me a better person
It makes me more fun to be around
I'm more confident
I can be taken seriously - when I'm 'overweight' people think I'm a joke
I'm less self conscious
I can wear what ever I like
People won't judge me
If I make a mistake people will be more forgiving
People will accept that I am intelligent
No one will laugh at me
No one will stare at me
I will like myself better
I won't call myself names

I know there's more to add to this list, but you get the idea.
wow, just wow - right...

Saturday, 23 June 2012

restriction - my drug of choice

Trigger warning - this post is about the pros and cons of restriction. Please do not read if you are worried this might be triggering.

[happy pills from here]

My gp says restricting is like a heroin addiction - just because I like it and it makes me feel good doesn't mean it's healthy or good for me.

Problem is, it doesn't just make me feel good. It makes me feel awesome!! Endless energy and power. I am king of the world. I can do anything. I love it. I am high as a kite on it. Why would I want to say no?

But like all drugs, that's just the rush. There's always the morning after. Not just the guilt and regret, but also the knowledge that I am hurting myself. Really badly, possibly permanently, possibly fatally.

But I'm hooked.

I'm a drug addict.

The addiction attacks my brain with it's need to be satisfied.

But I must not give in. It is an addiction and like any addict I can't have 'just a little'. One last drink, one last cigarette, one last hit. No. Not even one. It hurts like hell but I know where it leads.

It's all fun games but it'll end in tears.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

I had a nightmare


Last night I had a nightmare - only I didn't remember it until I was getting dressed this morning and I caught sight of myself in the mirror. Then the image from my dream came back to me. In my dream I was overweight. And not just a little bit. And it was very specific as well - it was my thighs, they were really huge. In fact it was so vivid that I cried out in relief when I caught my reflection and recalled the dream.

The image from my dream has been playing on my mind today. Ruminating. Over-thinking. Worrying.

I think I'm doing pretty well from being confronted with my nightmare in living colour like that. And I think I can safely say that I'm 50% recovered now - as my response is split down the middle.

One side of my brain is telling me that I was that I'm being warned that I need to stop eating so much. I need to be more careful or the consequence are going to be dire. I'm going to get fat. So fat I won't ever be able to lose the weight again.

The other side of my brain says that this is my ED using it's dirty tricks to try to pull me back in - and that, although I am aware that I am eating 'too much' at the moment, that really I'm ok with that. I know that after a while my eating will settle back down again. I just have so many things I want to eat again after years of restriction - I even ate a hot dog the other day (not recommended btw - blurgh!!!). And I also can't be bothered exercising at the moment - again not something I intend to do forever, but my body just needs a break.

So 50/50. I can see the second response is the most rational - but I'm not quite ready to let go of the first response.

But at least I feel at the moment as though I have the choice between which decision I make :)

Monday, 23 April 2012



Ever have one of those times where random people out in the world just seem to feel an overwhelming urge to invade your personal space and tell you what they think?

Well I've been having one of those months. And quite frankly if I have to put up with any more judgement from friends, colleagues, healthcare providers and random strangers in restaurants I'm going to completely fall apart.

So I've gone into hiding.

I've cancelled my appointments, cancelled my personal trainer, even cancelled my house-cleaner. I've retreated. I can't win, so I'm waving the white flag.

But only for now.

I have a big social event coming up in a week and a half and I really really want to be in one coherent piece; so I'm not taking any risks. No one is going to get the chance to derail me.

So comments are off on this post. I will be limiting my email, twitter etc. All in the name of "just in case".

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

"you make me look normal"

this was said to me recently by a friend - so straight away I was laughing -no offence taken.

but she was serious. "no really, you make me look normal"

she went on to explain what she meant - not that I was so nuts that by comparison she appeared far less nuts :-) but rather that to her I was normal. She doesn't see me as nuts, but we share so many things, so many habits and thoughts and worries, that by extension my normality gave her a sense of normality.

I really loved hearing this.

If any of you out there reading my blog think that I am normal and you are nuts, just remember I am every bit as nuts as you, and therefore you are every bit as normal as me.

And to those of you kind enough to be concerned about me after my last post, I'm no more or less nuts that I have been in the past, I'm just saying it out loud a little bit now instead of always bottling it up - so that's really quite a good thing - but thank you xx

*normal pic from here

Sunday, 8 April 2012

I miss the old me

I remember very early on in my treatment my gp asking me what percentage of my time do I spend thinking about food/diet/eating/exercise - and I replied very matter-of-factly, because it didn't occur to me that it was a problem, that it was all I thought about. I was very happy with this. These thoughts made me happy. I loved thinking about what I was going to eat. About planning my day ahead. About calculating calories in and calories out - and then being rewarded for my excellence with the tumbling numbers on the scale.

I miss this so much. Now those bloody numbers just go up. They mock me and my failure.

My thoughts were so comforting then. They were not scary, and dark, and mean, and unkind. They were bright and happy and kept me company.

I don't know at what point they changed from being light and breezy thoughts to being crushing dark thoughts, but I long to get back to the point before. The point where they filled my every waking moment - but still made me happy.

Was this ever true though? I feel sure that it was. But I'm also sure that everyone on my treatment team would try to tell me that it was never the case. That my thoughts were never good or comforting or warm. That they were my nasty, manipulative ED voice that I must stamp out and not listen to.

But I'm not so sure. I really feel that before I lost control of it, it was a comforting thing. Almost a hobby.

What annoys me the most, I guess, is that everyone else in the world is allowed to have these thoughts, are allowed to want to lose weight and plan for how they will do - and they are praised, not made to feel dirty and guilty.

It's very confusing wanting to hang on to something that everyone else says is wrong. I just want to go back to how I felt before everyone explained eating disorders to me. Before everyone else decided there was something wrong with me.

I don't think there is anything wrong with me. I'm sorry, but I don't. I know I'm not supposed to say this. I know I'm supposed to have moved past this and accept like a good little girl that I have a problem that everyone else wants to fix for me. But quite frankly I have just run out of things to say to everyone.

I'm overweight. I'm enormous. I don't exercise. I eat. I hate myself in a way I never did before.

I never argued with my gp before. I never looked away in shame when she talked to me before. I never resented people's help before. I never cried like this before. I never froze up and just completely lost the ability to speak before. I never cut myself before. I never burnt myself before. I never had so little control over every aspect of my life before. I was never this exhausted before. I never had so much unwashed laundry before. I was never this isolated from my family before.

Rambling again. No answers again tonight. Sorry, I guess eventually if I just keep writing I'll find a point.

No guarantees though.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

screw calm

appropriate pic from here

I don't have a lot to say at the moment.

Actually I have a lot to say - but it's all ranty, screamy, cranky crap that I'm not really sure I should let out here.

Some of it is bitching about my 'so called (IRL) friends' who I'm just *over* at the moment. Over their judgy-judgy games. Over their inane conversations. Quite frankly I'm just over trying to socialise and be nice.

Some of it is really not-appropriate anti-recovery stuff I really don't want to say here. I know that it's good to be real and honest - and show readers that everyone has ups and downs - but I'm conscious of not wanting to give anyone an excuse for embracing a slip or relapse.

And some of it is cranky "I don' want to talk to you" "I don't need your help" ranting directed at J and DrC that I can see perfectly well is just because I'm avoiding stuff.

So no great insights today. No neat wrap-up where I see the error of my ways and turn it into a positive.

Today it's just bollocks, bugger, crap, stupid, leave me alone shit that I don't really feel any better for having voiced But that's life boys and girls.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

ever feel like no-one understands *YOU*?

Well, soon there will be a book for you to give to your family, friends and anyone else you think could do with a bit of translation-education.

Bloggers and eating disorder survivors Cate Sangster and June Alexander are currently working on a book to breakdown the language barrier that often exists between ED fighters and their family and friends. This can range from simple comments like "you look well" to seemingly downright thoughtless ones like "stop trying to get attention and just eat your dinner".

More often than not the family and friends of those affected by eating disorders have NO IDEA WHAT HAS HIT THEM - and really need a hand to get inside the mind of their loved one in order to avoid saying triggering and hurtful things.

This book will fill that need. It will help family and friends to understand the language of eating disorders - and therefore better understand how to help YOU on your journey to full recovery. And it will also help break down that stigma that you are doing this on purpose, or just to 'get them back' or to 'be difficult'.

Cate and June are looking for suggestions of experiences you have had where someone has said something to you and couldn't understand why you were upset by it. But also they would love suggestions from your family and friends as well. Get them to add their voices with suggestions of comments they have made where you have reacted unexpectedly so they can help fill in those blanks too.

And spread the word too. Cate has two buttons on her side bar (see below). Go grab the codes and put them on your blog. One button is to let people know about the book, the other is to let the world know that you have been a part of this valuable project too!!

Keep Cate Busy

Keep Cate Busy

Go visit Cate's blog for the funny, and June's blog for the facts, including the email address of where to send your suggestions.


To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln:
"I don't understand ED. I must get to know him better"

Friday, 10 February 2012

I've finally become the rollercoaster cliche


I can now see how this goes!

I feel distressed so I seek support. The support helps and slowly I start to feel better. I start to eat better. My mind calms down and I start to think clearly again.

I feel strong again. I feel happy and like my old self - ready to tackle any challenge. So I set myself a little one. Just a little one, I'll just lose 1 or 2 kilos. Because that won't hurt me, but then I'll just feel a bit better. And that's ok. I'm not going to go overboard. I'm back under control now. It will all be fine.

So I restrict, just a little. Because I'm fine now. And I up my exercise, just a little. Because I'm fine now.

And that little bit, even one skipped meal, is enough space for ED to squeeze back into my mind.

And so I start to really believe my own bullshit.

And so I'm really extra amazingly fine. In fact I'm so bloody fine I don't need any of these appointments! I've got everything under control and it's fine and nobody is going to steal my motivation away from me. I'm on a roll now. This is great.

And so I cancel my appointments.

And the rug comes sweeping out from under me. I start to panic. but I can't panic, because everything is going really well, you see. I'M FINE, you see. Don't need anyone. I'm wasting their time. Can't talk about it. God I'm stupid, what did I think I was doing. I can't go back and re-make those appointments now, they'll think I'm an idiot who can't take care of herself for two minutes without whining.

And so I panic some more. Lock myself away in my own dark little mind where the only light is provided by my scales and the pain in my stomach.

And then it all gets too much. I blurt it out to someone. And I realise that I really do need some support - otherwise why did I just blurt it out like that. I needed to tell someone. Because I am the olympic superstar at covering up my pain - so if I don't talk no one will know I need help. I have to be the one to initiate the process.

And so in my distress I reach out for support. The support helps and slowly I start to feel better. I start to eat better. My mind calms down and I start to think clearly again.

I feel strong again. I feel happy and like my old self - ready to tackle any challenge...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

getting there, slowly...

Had a really good session w Dr C today. We talked about how much my insight has improved over the last 12 months - and I would definitely agree with this. 

My session with Dr C last week was difficult as I needed to go and tell her I was struggling again. 

I had all but dropped my bundle and was crying over every little thing - which is very unlike me. I know that I'm definitely one to hide my emotions at the best of times but crying randomly in public places was starting to do my head in quite frankly. I did stop short of fully disclosing the nature and intensity of my thoughts lately (some of which I discussed here) although I touched on it by saying I had been having some dark and scary moments.

Following last weeks session Dr C decided she wanted me to get some serious sleep and come back again this week. Which I did. I'm not sure I fully realised how much my lack of sleep was profoundly affecting me. I have really been able to get things back in perspective now that I'm not so devastatingly exhausted. I have been getting by on 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night for about a month now and I didn't even notice just how bad it had gotten.

Dr C told me today that she mostly just wanted to check up on me at this week's appointment, but she was already confident that I would be much better by this week as I had identified by myself that I was struggling and I had made the necessary appointments I needed. She knew I would be better by this week because even simply coming to see her showed I was pulling myself out of the slip. I had already made the decision not to continue on the way I was - but rather to seek the support I needed to get back on track and to then follow through in returning this week.

And I really do feel much better.

In fact today, for the first time ever, I realised just how grateful I am to Dr C. I was able to sit and chat with her with an open, calm mind. And I really do owe that to her for pushing me so hard right from that first day. And I have that same feeling I had back in December of being recovered. That same feeling that I can hardly believe the last two and half years ever happened.

But this evening I saw myself in the mirror and once again saw my 'chubby' face - and I remembered that this isn't quite over yet. I am still a work in progress :)

published by

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Mental Illness: Why do we need an umbrella term anyway?

This post has been prompted by a post from Laura's Soap Box on the term "brain disorder"

It's not a rant. Really it's not (I know it has been in the past) - but this time it's more just thinking aloud.

One of Laura's responses to a comment in defence of the term was that fear of the term should be unfounded as if we would referred to diabetes as a 'pancreatic disorder' we wouldn't automatically attribute the same concerns to that label as we do to 'brain disorder'.

But I don't see that argument as fair.

If you walked into any shopping mall and conducted a quick vox pop on "What does the term brain disorder (or the currently official umbrella term: mental illness) mean to you?" I guarantee you the answers would all follow the same line:
someone mental
someone crazy
someone who walks down the street talking to people who aren't there
someone psychotic
someone who snaps and kills their neighbours with a sharpened fork

...get the picture.

But my big question today is - why do we need this umbrella term at all? Why do eating disorder sufferers need to face the stigma of being associated with psychotic and dangerous people. Don't we have enough stigma being vain little sillys who just want to look good in our skinny jeans??

Lung cancer, emphysema and cystic fibrosis all severely affect the lungs. But we don't lump them all together as lung disorders. So why do we do this with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia, BPD, PTSD etc etc. They all have different presentations. Yes, I suffer from anxiety and an eating disorder. But it didn't kill me to say both those things separately - so saving time surely can't be the reason.

And if the reason is to better inform the public - that ain't working either!

Any way - just my thoughts - I would be very interested to hear your thoughts. Do you like the term? Do you, like me find that it is too fraught with stigma to be useful?

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

reasons not to die

When I first started this post, it was going to be a glib little list of 10 reasons why I should keep fighting this rotten patch I'm going through. But it just means more than that. I've been reading a lot lately, and asking a lot of people their thoughts on the meaning of life the universe and everything, and I've found some words that resonate with me.

I have faith. I also have an education based in science - so sometimes I worry that my faith is just a fill-in for the gaps where I have no real answers, and I fall back on it because it is comforting. And I'm basically too scared to face up to realities. I've always been scared of dying. And I've always comforted myself with the simple thought that there are just things that are too complicated, that we are just not supposed to know - at least not in this world.

But these big thoughts make me feel very small. And my feeling of insignificance in the endless universe lead me to thoughts of insignificance in my life. But tackling these fears in the last few days, and asking friends for their insights has given me some perspective.

I'm asking the wrong question. I can't know why I'm here. I'm the invention and only the inventor knows what my purpose is. I can do my best to be my best, but I don't need to try to find the perfect answer.

If there was no life after this world, if this earth was the be all and end all, then why would we bother to live by any codes? Inherently we know that there must be more. Otherwise we would be completely self-centred as our actions would have no long-term consequences. But they do. We must know they do.

Life is a test. Not in a bad way - I don't believe in that sort of God. But every challenge we face is a test of our character and our strength, and how we handle these tests is a reflection of these. What we do with our lives is up to us - but we must do our best with the gifts we are given. We must use these gifts to better ourselves and the lives of those around us. We must experience as much as we can.

This life is a test - nothing we do is insignificant.

These thoughts are inspired by "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren.

I'm closing comments on this post. I do value your feedback and input with all my heart, but I'm just not up for a philosophical debate today. These are my beliefs and you are more than entitled to have completely contradictory ones. But not here, not today :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

pros and cons of standing on my own two feet

The feeling of standing on my own two feet again is undeniably good. I feel independent again - which is something I haven't felt for a long time. I have been worrying a lot lately that I just couldn't get through a week without some sort of appointment to keep me going - to make sure I was coping. Which to me is horrifying. I'm a grown woman with a career and children of my own. I should not need anyone to hold my hand. Period.

So giving myself the opportunity to test my own strength again is so exciting and empowering. I really feel like I'm giving myself the chance to prove that I can go a few weeks without any extra help. You know, like normal people.

I remember when my first child was born. The hospital I stayed at had a night nursery where the night midwives would settle the baby and bring it back to you when it was hungry - so you had the chance to sleep. On my last night in hospital I insisted that the baby stay with me for the whole night. I just wanted to make sure I could do it while I still had backup on hand if things went pear-shaped.

I guess this experiment is a bit like that. I know my supports are always there should I fall in a heap - but I really need to prove to myself that I haven't become so pathetic and needy that I can't even take care of myself for the duration of the school holidays.

So there's the pros.

But what about the cons?

I noticed tonight that another big chunk of my hair has fallen out... My first thought was I should tell DrC, or J. But then I remembered that I've only been trying to get on on my own for a week or so - surely I could do better than that?? So I thought well maybe I could email a US friend of mine I confide in a lot. But surely that's no different to confiding in J. So does that leave me with not being able to tell anyone that I'm distressed and scared?

Does standing on my own two feet mean standing alone?

I know I'm not alone, I have lots of wonderful friends and an adoring husband and my team are still there if I need them. So I don't feel alone so much as I feel confused. If I don't want to go back to whinging about every little detail of every little thing that happens to me every single week, is there still space for talking about the things that distress me - am I able to find a balance? Or is that still just hand-holding?

Can I stand on my own two feet but still feel the need to talk? Or are the two mutually exclusive?

I am so sick to back teeth of all this crap. I want words like: Recovered. Normal. Uncomplicated. Competent. Calm. Trustworthy. Sensible. Organised. Reliable. Intelligent. Normal. Normal. Normal. Normal. Normal.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Stupid brain...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

the power of positive thinking

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
- Christopher Columbus
“So many of our dreams at first seems impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”
- Christopher Reeve

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
- Mahatma Gandhi 

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life’s about creating yourself.”
- George Bernard Shaw  

I love to read the inspirational quotes on twitter. And so many of them seem to suggest that success is for the most part the simple and whole hearted knowledge that if you believe you can succeed, then you will be successful.

Or as I like to put it: Fake it till you make it.

So this is what I have decided to do. I'm going to put all my energy into just being 'recovered'. No more being 'in recovery'. I am recovered. Surely if I work under this assumption then I can make it happen.

The endless half-life of 'recovery' feels too much like marking time. I want to feel normal. I'm tired of feeling like a child who's trying to join in the conversation with the grown-ups.

So, no more.

No more waiting for something to change. No more endless appointments. No more going around in circles. I am making a change. I am going to stand on my own two feet and be the change.

Do you think it is possible?? Do you think positive thinking can be as powerful as all that? Do you think I'm inspired or insane? :)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Lazy Lexapro

pretty pills from here

As it turns out, a lot of my drive to talk/blog/write has been driven by my anxiety.

And I know this because it's disappeared a lot lately. An increase in my daily dose has had a marked effect on my 'need' to blog. And also my 'want' to blog.

I can't decided whether I can't be bothered. I'm too tired. I don't care. Or I just don't have as much to say.

Whatever the reason, the upshot is I have found it very difficult to even open my own blog - and nigh on impossible to read anyone else's. Which is very strange for me.

I'm hoping it is just a settling in period, and I'll adjust to the increase - because I really love to write. But not just to hear my own voice. And if I were to write at the moment that's what it would feel like. I want to write because I am fired up about something. Because there is something burning inside me that I have to share. I don't want to talk just to fill the silence.

So I guess this is a little explanation of where I have been lately. I'm still here, muddling along. With my good days and bad days and everything in between. I'm just not quite myself.

Not that I want to stop taking the meds. I'll take lazy over terrified and starving any day of the week...