Weetabix x 2.
White toast x 2, butter.
Tuna mayo, jacket potato, butter, 5-bean salad, side salad.
Peach full-fat yoghurt.
Lamb and mint casserole, herb dumpling, mashed potato, mashed carrot/swede. Pineapple sponge and custard.
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
WEDNESDAY; which on the Unit, translates as let’s-get-deep and the-day-before-dee-day (weigh-day)…
…deep because of the types of groups held, and weigh-day, just because. Yeah, because – that. Because it means seeing the higher number and fearing my head spinning off it’s axes, and, depending how bottled it is that day, higher mental distress – however that shows itself, whether lots or not at all. It’s still there, lingering like a teacher’s bad coffee breath. The day of trying to keep the inner screaming child of Anorexia quiet. While the number goes up and I’m getting my life back… (or, actually, building one that didn’t feel ‘quite there’ before)
To be honest THESE days, the fear in tomorrow morning is the consequences of NOT putting on enough weight to meet the weekly target. Which proves to me how far I’ve come in my head since 4 months ago… ! I’m no longer up and about the night before, panicking at the thought of sitting down too much, planning the safest ‘snack’ on the menu for supper as if that will all conjure up some magic spell to soften the blow by what I see on the scales in the morning. Although part of me adamantly WANTED to recover, the fact I’d have to put on weight took such a long time to register. The snail in the race… it’s easy to fall in love with the idea of recovery, to see it playing a harp on a floating cloud, but gaining weight means walking mental hot coals to get there.
With the anxiety in preparation for weigh-day, you’d think it was the night before attending breakfast with the Queen! (open to invite here, your majesty… as long as you’re stocked up on Rice Krispies) …not quite ready for a Full English yet. But now I’m more accepting of where I’m going (it’s still scary as hell), it feels more like going for an injection that I know is going to be good for my health… whilst also waiting to see if I can pull my party popper at being granted my leave.
The hope and reward of weight-gain (now I’m embracing the 18’s and no longer a frail puppet to Anorexia at my lowest in the 12’s) comes from the potential leave off the Unit I can be offered by meeting those weekly targets. Not just for the achievement side, or hitting the numbers and ticking off boxes, or just the eagerness to escape what can sometimes be institutional/claustrophobic atmosphere on the ward… but both being able to practice independently what I’m learning here about my relationship with food, and also having free time to connect with people that really matter to me. And help put my ‘real’ life outside of this bubble into perspective.
Tomorrow, seeing a higher number flash below my feet… means getting to spend an ENTIRE weekend with my very best friend! (yeah, so I took QUITE a large gamble in booking two nights in a hotel for us both, a few weeks back!) But this, I guess, was a reflection of the confidence about where I’m heading and my motivation behind recovery… to be able to reach tomorrow with up-hill progress. I don’t think this is something I would have felt gambling with during previous inpatient admissions.
I get SO worried about where I ‘fit’ with other people, whether I’m ‘good enough’ around other people, how people might take or misunderstand me, getting bogged down in the environment whilst I’m in treatment and extra self-conscious/low in mood as I continue letting go of my Eating Disorder… that I find myself losing sight of the people’s views that REALLY matter to me. My best friend is one special egg.
She makes me feel at ease about who I am, even when I don’t quite know what that is… I can just ‘be’. She brings out the inspired, curious, dare I say ‘happy’ parts that can feel as rare as finding a kangaroo on Cleethorpes beach. I don’t think we come across many people like this in our life-time… that make us feel ‘right’, just as we are… so when we do, let’s hold them by their pigtails or their smelly toes and never let them go…