Chicken casserole, mashed potato, sliced green beans.
Winterberry cheesecake, cream.
Egg mayo wholemeal sandwich, 5-bean salad, side salad.
Cherry full-fat yoghurt.
Weetabix x 2.
Rollercoasters ‘r’ us. That’s all I can say!!
From one emotion to the extreme other in a matter of hours. Well, I’ve earnt 1.9kg of my life back since the last weigh-day. (yes Anorexia, I’ll say that proudly)
No way was my head prepared to be going at this speed on the recovery rollercoaster.
As you’re aware, since last Monday I have been embracing the full-portion meal-plan, mobilised by a wheelchair, having to sit at most times and being on eyesight observations. Going suddenly to THIS, from only just completing half-portions, whilst compulsively exercising at any spare minute in my room… was BOUND to have quite a dramatic impact on the weight gain this week. I did get that.
But 3.1kg total in a week… a complete head-banger.
After a morning wee, making the bed, popping in my contact lenses and putting on my usual ‘weigh-day’ underwear under my pyjamas, I got wheeled down about 6.50AM to the clinic room. As I stepped on the scales and I looked between the fingers shielding my eyes, the number flashed up. All so very, very wrong. I had gotten so used to seeing the number go in the complete opposite direction, for weeks and weeks up until Thursday, this being the second time. Never had I expected it to be THIS much.
I guess one immediate perk was – I was allowed to return to my room on legs. Now I was officially off ‘bed’rest/wheelchair boundaries. Only to completely shut down and get back into the bed I just made.
Nothing really registered. I knew how overwhelmed I felt with grief. Of utter panic at how suddenly fast this was all going.
I’d clocked off for the day and it was 7AM. No way could I face breakfast. How did I ever need it after seeing that number? What made me think I could ever put myself through this? I dozed in and out of a sleep, despite hearing the bowls clatter, the corridor of morning up and down footsteps, the change-over of staff on eyesight observations with me. Then the stern “Yasmin, Yasmin, are you coming for breakfast? You need to at least come and try.” and an unfamiliar staff member peering at me from above.
Nothing. I wasn’t being rude. I just didn’t want to accept reality. That today was happening. Numbness.
Morning snack came round, but I was too safe drifting in and out of a doze, Anorexia now feeling quite settled in this rebelliousness. All I had to do was continue to lay here, and those two slices of toast don’t have to come anywhere near my lips. Once snack-time had passed it felt like I’d ticked off two numbers on my Bingo card.
I think my brain started to feel ready for some showers of strong emotion, but it was protecting itself. I went down for my bloods to be taken and then, now up on my two real feet and back to reality, broke down in tears to the nurse back in my room. I felt it at the back of my throat, like it was well and truly needed. I surprised myself at instinctively wanting to talk about how I was feeling, to suss it out and let it go. Over the years, I’ve become so used to internalising my feelings, and I think that is what has fed into my Eating Disorder, a way of coping alone.
Tears, cheesestrings of snot later… I felt anger, fear, distress, – this was REALLY happening, gaining weight is what this whole process comes down to and now it was RAW. I felt embarrassed that Anorexia thought I was in the wheelchair too long over the weekend than I needed to be. I felt frustrated at the amount of times I had to argue with staff about not wanting to sit down – that it wouldn’t affect my weight eating that much food – which it didn’t. I was terrified this would be a regular rate of weight gain over the coming weeks. I told her how I feared having to go into that dining room ever again knowing that it was 90% likely the other patient wouldn’t complete her half-portions, I couldn’t face that whole cloud of greed and embarrassment ever again. Everything felt too much. I felt like I was already taking up too much room.
Thankfully the nurse helped me take an elevator above myself, to look at the bigger picture. Weight gain was ultimately what I was here for… it makes up for the weight I lost during my first couple of weeks into the admission… it’s a big step in the right direction… it’s a good thing… I had committed to making this inpatient stay different… I want ‘full recovery’… that the rate of weight-gain will slow down as my body adjusts… I am still at a dangerously low weight… the nursing team’s main focus at the moment is to get my BMI to 15 (which is a medically safer place and still yet quite a bit off) when then you can progress from ‘Stage 1’ to ‘Stage 2’ of treatment – where you can start the psychological work because your brain has more capacity, you can also choose your treatment program here and start getting leave off the Unit.
As well as this, today I enjoyed my first SHOWER in donkeys which means I got to wash my hair. And I can look forward to straightening it in the morning, instead of disguising unwashed hair under mousse and curls! I enjoyed my cup of tea outside in the fresh air for the first time in donkeys. And I can enjoy the pleasure of walking again. Still yet to claim my dignity back and lose the commode in my room (I trumped on it yesterday with a staff member in the room, only to say sorry and for it to then happen again.) But I’m sad to say, it’s at that point now where I’m no longer embarrassed… !
Anyway, when the rain stopped I felt a mental rainbow appear. Fundamentally remembering the woman I want to become, that Anorexia most definitely is not. And the child I want to lose. I’d come to the acceptance that my journey was still well and truly on. So I got dressed, left my make-up off in preparation for any more tears, and showed myself up to lunch. I would own my own journey and not fear the dining room. I would feel the self-destructive thoughts and no longer act on them during our ‘rest’ periods. Instead, I cried after lunch. I grieved the pain of Anorexia after eating that cheesecake, a once-favourite pud of mine. And then scribbled my thoughts away after tea. Both much healthier coping mechanisms than the past few days.
I have so much more yet to say, another post currently in draft. But I think it’s time for bed. Thank you, so, so much to every single reader that has joined me and all my honest recovery rants so far!