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...


M said...

Hey PJ! I've been thinking about this since reading your post yesterday and have been wondering whether there is a middle line.

I love the confidence and independence that yesterday's post had, the desire to move forward and get on with living. Yay! Yet, I wondered whether part of this elusive recovered life is recognizing our interconnectedness with others.

As someone else who is pretty feisty and independent, I think my crawl towards recovery has made me realise that my Ed will use every trick in the book to hang on to it and make me feel hopeless. So when I'm doing well and with their blessing stop seeing my team, if I hit a bump on the way the Ed convinces me that I need to get over this all by myself (insert other less complementary comments about how stupid I am for re-falling into the same hole). In the end I come out worse off and in a relapse type situation of the last 19 years.

This middle road I'm thinking about is not about staying sick or being constantly needy, but one that recognizes we do better with tune-ups along the way. So at times of peak stress, I'll see my T or GP more often, at other times when I'm travelling well will maybe only check in every couple of months. Now I anticipate stress and might book in to talk through some stuff before it happens rather than waiting until I'm in a mess and getting help to get out of it. Learning to be kind to myself and ok to sometimes need help has been a sign I'm moving towards the recovered life.

Whatever you decide to do, be kind to PJ. She deserves the very best.

The Dandelion Girl said...

I've been thinking about this actually since your last post popped up in my blog reader. I think sometimes (not saying this is the case with you) we tell ourselves that we need to be able to do it ourselves. That since we're "creating the issue" we can solve it.

I think sometimes we also push others away under the pseudo belief that it's recovery focused...

I say these not because I think you're doing them (I have no delusions of being able to read minds nor do I wish to attempt to try) but because i know I've done both of these things.

I think a VERY important thing to realize here is that you can go to all the appointments in the world and it won't make you recovered. Likewise you can not go to all the appointments in the world and it won't make you recovered.

I think to recover you HAVE to stand on your own two feet. Whether that is with people giving you extra support and added tools... or not. You're the one doing the work (or not) in either scenario.

It's about finding what works for you. What most enables you to put forth your best effort and to set yourself up for a greater likelihood or probability of success.

Do the people on your team demand more from you (ie: can they read the eating disordered lies?) and give you a different sort of support than others in your life.

What are you getting from them that you're not getting elsewhere?

Are your relationships with them keeping you in the rut, because you like the relationships you have with them? (that one might sound odd, but I've known people afraid to get well, because they didn't want to not have a relationship of sorts with their therapist)

anyways.. these are just questions

The Dandelion Girl said...

this was timely:

scottrecovered said...

Standing up certainly doesn't mean standing alone. I think of it as walking forward with others walking around us and encouraging us, and helping us to continue on. And there is absolutely NO shame in that :)

Praying for you and sending my prayers!


HikerRD said...

I second Sottrecovered completely; recovery and using supports are not mutually exclusive. If you HAD contacted me, I would've told you that hair loss is common, and often occurs after the stressor; so you be doing really well with your eating, and with stress management, and still be experiencing hair loss. Just asking this question might have allowed you a little more peace, a little less anxiety. It is totally normal to have questions, self-doubt, even while recovering. Perhaps that's why the "ing".

Anyway, you know where to find me when you experience such a thing again. Because you will. Because this is normal in recovery!
Sorry it took me a few days to get to read this!