(DAY #63 total inpatient admission)
Weetabix x 2.
White toast x 2, butter.
Chicken breast in gravy, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts.
Cheese sandwich (wholemeal), 5-bean salad, side salad.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).
Sultanas and raisins.
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
Hot drinks are my minions. That’s my Sunday confession.
My banana-yellow tribe of protection…
(drinking banana flavour tea this very moment so subliminally must have dropped that description in…!)
When I’m feeling alone, anxious, disconnected or lost, I find their powers particularly helpful! A hot mug of soothing sips literally makes me feel like I’m stood in the very middle of a minion-filled room… I suddenly feel ‘connected’…
I have no idea how a cup of tea can lighten loneliness. Or anxiety… but it does. I’m not saying if you live in isolation or if you struggle socially then a prescription of hot drinks will cure you by any means, but it’s one of those little things you can appreciate in the best and the worst of times.
That’s why I feel so grateful to this Unit for giving you the flexibility of being able to buy your own teas and coffees… they’re not so ‘tight’ on caffeine or fluid restriction. Of course if it became a concern for anyone and if you were abusing it, then boundaries might be individualised for that person. But thank god they allow us that little daily pleasure!
It makes the difficulties between meal-times or particular food struggles much more bearable. Little pit-stops to look forward to throughout the day.
When it comes to the individual struggles (no one Eating Disorder is the same) I’m grateful and thankful that flavoured teas/coffees aren’t a personal fear for me. For some people they can be. Hot chocolates and similar types at the moment are a fear however, but are something I want to aim to feel I ‘can’ have and not see as ‘extra’…
I literally don’t know how I’d cope at the moment if I didn’t have free access to a kettle at all hours… I’ve been starting to question why I really do drink A LOT… I’m not becoming a hypochondriac about it, because it can be easy to over-analyse your own addictive behaviours… but I know I do rely on them. Not the caffeine… but the action of drinking, actually making a drink, holding the mug and all that comes with it.
Sometimes I feel quite embarrassed if others pick up on how much I do drink. I even get thoughts about feeling selfish? It could be seen as a self-care thing – which in a sense it is for me because I find it is a mental way of COPING, staying calm, becoming level-headed again… but then I get paranoid in case it’s like a statement of saying “look at me, I’m worth feeding myself all these drinks, I deserve love and comfort…”
Of course this really is NOT the case at all… but I guess anything you start to really enjoy, you can doubt if you’re being over-indulgent/selfish, especially if you have low self-esteem.
But it’s bizarre… I almost feel like I have my minions with me if I take a hot drink into a ‘group’ or any social situation, especially one of which I’m expected to talk. If I feel sicky from anxiety about talking, or the racing thoughts in my head, or self-conscious about the way my mouth looks, having a cuppa in my hand gives me a shield.
I feel protected and connected… but it’s this that I’ve started to question whether I have become too self-reliant on soothing my anxieties with hot drinks. I guess because of this feeling of ‘connection’ they give me, I’m wary of that becoming a replacement for HUMAN connection in the long-run.
My head’s giving me a fearful vision of living alone, surrounded by mugs and kettles for company. Having opted for the ‘easier’ form of connection and having avoided anxieties and my potential for ‘human’ connection.
And I think that’s why hot drinks feel so important in my life. I’m not just obsessed and generally have a keen interest in teas and coffees… I worry that it’s become my mental ‘medicine’.
I’m not worrying too much though, it’s just that I recently flagged it up with myself! It’s no headline newspaper issue, and I definitely won’t be giving it up any time soon! I think the idea of feeling ‘addicted’ to anything makes me feel a little bit weak. Like I have little strong-will… but if I ‘enjoy’ them, why not?
I was questioning why I drink so much more than others… why I feel so selfish always being found by the kettle… and also after recently exploring ‘connection’ being the most fulfilling purpose any human can pursue… realising the similar but very temporary feeling hot drinks offer me.
Well I never quite expected to rant about that today! But it happened, ha!
On a positive note, the banana tea is gorgeous by the way! It’s called ‘Monkey Chops’. You know your love for tea is getting serious when you’re now buying loose tea/leaves, creating extra work for yourself to brew and drink it… it’s completely worth it though. Surely a reliance on tea-making as a hobbie is a healthier coping mechanism than Anorexia.
That’s what I keep telling myself.
That’s what I also told myself when I purchased myself four new mugs in the Cath Kidston sale yesterday. And that’s why I’m typing this confession right now to reassure myself. Ha!
My topic for blogging about today, was actually going to be about wearing ‘sandals’… which I braved today… I’ve probably worn flat shoes about 4 or 5 days over my whole 62 days of being here. Most patients wear slippers when they’re wandering around the Unit. After all, what’s the point if you’re not going out? Why not be comfy?
Who’d have thought Anorexia could have an issue with what footwear I choose to wear… ? Well apparently, it does. Logically it makes no sense… but emotionally to me it does. To the point where I’m having to ‘challenge’ allowing myself to wear flat shoes, like facing fear foods on a menu.
But I’ll save this topic for tomorrow…
I hope next time you make a brew, you see the minions too!