White toast x 2, butter.
Turkey mayo sandwich (white), 5-bean salad, side salad.
Jam and coconut sponge, custard.
Chicken escalope, boiled potatoes, sweetcorn.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
Here I stand upon my clonky, black swede heeled boots… I would say I’m not going anywhere, but turns out I WILL be this afternoon!
After my review this morning, not only am I officially signed onto the ‘full recovery’ program (after some more words of fight from my heart) …but it’s also now been put into writing on my care-plan that I’m now entitled to 3 x 1 hour leave per week. Party popper, please!
But going back to my opening sentence…
…no unfortunately I’m not sharing style tips. I won’t be a fashion blogger any time soon. (although that would be nice…) My point was going to be that I’ve worn shoes every 63 days since my admission. Do I have to? No. Is it rational? Probably not. To be honest I don’t think I really grasped how perhaps irrational it WAS/is until those handful of lightbulb moments that randomly visit your brain cells. At the most spontaneous times. When I zone in to the bigger picture of what about my LIFESTYLE is Anorexia trying to control?
I may have pushed on with my food choices. Chips, chocolate, white bread… fighting to involve them in my daily foodie life without being brain-washed with their ‘food-shaming’ connotations. But as you may already be aware, Anorexia does NOT just affect your food choices. It puts your life decisions/behaviours on a puppet string alongside Pinocchio.
Perfectionism and my Eating Disorder are the very best of friends. Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee. They strengthen each other, lift each other up, feed each other ‘Krispy Kremes’… but through treatment, I’m hoping to talk to them nicely so that they will eventually leave me alone. And trust that I’ll be safe (and happier) without their stains on my brain…
Yeah, I’m sure I’ll always have perfectionist tendencies… but like someone suffering from an anxiety disorder, that’s not to say they’ll never be anxious again. I think it’s a ‘fleeting’ approach just like any emotion, that all of us little humans experience! It’s all in how you manage it in day-to-day life, and learning not to hand it so much power that it becomes paralysing.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know which part of me is driving my choices about the whole footwear palava… I feel like wearing flat shoes makes me more vulnerable and weak to my unhelpful ‘fat’ thoughts. That wearing them, lowering me to the ground will squash and widen me. Every time I get these thoughts I feel thrown back to the school days… where I did feel small (which I’ve always quite liked anyway) but the height drew attention to my chubby/baby-faced self. Small in height and personality. I always gave myself a hard time over this. Feeling like there was something ‘wrong’ with my just because I wasn’t a bubbly teenage soul.
I also knew how much I relied on the reward of food, one thing I always looked forward to when I felt so inadequate and awkward around other kids at school. Feeling socially cramped up, my lips tense, my shame of shyness hanging over, not only did this become a very distasteful experience, always dreading classes and the social time in the playground, this exaggerated the negative thoughts towards my body. Two huge weaknesses doing a tango dance.
As I found very little pleasure in the social aspect of school, therefore school itself… this HEIGHTENED the pleasure food gave me. I guess like they say when a man goes blind, his hearing intensifies. Or vice versa. So then, because of this heightened pleasure, I began wrapping my guilt and shame to food. And all my values got lost and tangled up in the process. The way I conditioned how to perceive myself and my worth.
Anyway… I didn’t intend to open that can of baked beans and sausages (because we’ve all heard the ’can of worms’ cliché too many times) today.
BACK TO THE SHOES. As well as the fears of shortening and widening myself by wearing flat shoes, and this giving me reminders of the extremely weak, scared, ashamed person I was back at school… there’s also an Eating Disorder-driven intention of wearing heels I guess because it makes me ‘feel’ more physical and purposeful. It sounds daft thinking about it, let alone saying it, but the added weight beneath my feet, as well as always feeling a need to ‘walk’ quickly and stay busy, started out as ‘mentally compensating’ for the food I’m eating. Which now I feel this is less the reason and it has now actually just become a HABIT.
Anorexia’s little stamp. That good old ugly little stamp. Whilst Perfectionism ALSO decides that in order to deserve the meals I shall be eating through the day, I need to be properly dressed – co-ordinated, make-up in place, heeled boots matched up… before breakfast.
It all sounds incredibly vain, but trust me – I am not trying to impress ANYONE. There’s no-one I’m trying to ‘win over’. This is something – heels/make-up/even feeling the need to get dressed all the time before breakfast (when it would be perfectly acceptable and comfortable – especially at weekends, to wear pyjamas) that I will be flagging up with my nursing team as something to challenge.
It’s got obsessive to the point where I feel like I need to freshen up, tidy my make-up, spray my armpits, put my hair in place… before I deserve to sit at the table and look at a plate of food. Like honouring myself, wrapping myself in a gift bow in order of feeling worthy enough to experience taste in my mouth.
And this is for no-one but my own peace of mind. But I also wonder if it’s because I’m a visual/creative person that keeping things tidy on the outside helps keep a calmer state of mind… ?
I’m no too sure. Just tapping out my pondering thoughts…
I have been out for my first hour now that I’m returning to writing this after tea… ! Will talk about that experience tomorrow. But by ‘eck it was good. Weird – but good. Overwhelming – but lovely.
I have my ultimate chocolate brownie ‘opportunity’ (what word can I use instead of ‘challenge’?!) for supper tonight… aaagh! It seemed like a CRACKING idea at the time. No Yasmin, it still is. It’s every reason cracking. I’d set this as a joint challenge with one of the other lovely patients here.
It’s going to be fiiiiiiiiiiiiine. (reassures self) Chomping my way through recovery one choccie chunk at a time…