Weetabix x 2.
Sesame ‘Ryvita’ x 2, cottage cheese, mixed salad.
Cherry full-fat yoghurt, with added pumpkin seeds.
Tea (will be…)
Sausage burger in a brioche bun, stuffing, mushroom and potato wedges, with salad and coleslaw.
‘Salted Caramel Blondie’ ice-cream on a cornet.
Supper (will be…)
Sweet ‘n’ salty popcorn.
I’m just sat, cross-legged on my bed – reflecting how chaotically wonderful life is – despite my struggles on an evening. Because I’m getting better at not letting the blips, poison my whole life like a rotten apple.
Now I am back on my consistent medication, there must be some help in there somewhere, from a biological perspective (I got into quite a forgetful place to re-order them not long ago, as they are on weekly prescriptions at the moment to prevent temptation on overdosing after my recent episodes… and it’s a viscous cycle because when my head felt like it was in a bit of a dump, I went through that bad spell of not feel deserving to take medication. I felt like a waste of resources in every way possible to be quite frank…)
But my resilience to take the “rough with the smooth” is getting better.
Like every time I feel a gush of hope, things go to plan all through the day – then that switch flicks somewhere I can’t quite locate in my brain, and the urge to binge and purge wins in the dark of night – when that happens, during that moment the hope deflates, faster than you can say ‘garden pea’. Or ‘mushy’ – whichever takes your fancy.
Last night… I was so close to getting my egg, balanced on a spoon, right over the finish line, until it slid off, a millisecond to go. In other words, I’d stuck to my meal-plan, and the chocolate bar for evening supper, part of my new commitment I’ve planned with my therapist, went to bed. And oh-oh… woke up… not hungry, but that building sense of dread and anxiety. Started to crochet, almost finished the middle of my daisy for the new bit of bunting I’m making for my lounge… and that light switch won.
It was only a mini binge and purge with the odd thing in my cupboards, put into perspective, but I couldn’t help but feel frustrated at the fact that I was very almost there.
But when I wake up in the mornings, as much as I felt adamant the night before that there was no point in keeping on hoping… the only way I feel is up. And on with the day.
I spoke to my therapist yesterday, about how special the other night felt, when none of it happened at all. I woke up expecting to feel those horrid thoughts, and it was so strange that they were no longer there. Because I’d survived a night without binging and purging. It felt so special, yet such a novelty. She said about how nice it would be to be able to capture that moment, and experience it every day…
…and yes it would be, absolutely. Which is why I don’t tend to give up here.
Back to how chaotically wonderful life is – tonight, I’ve invited my mum and her partner over for tea. This will be the second time since living on my own, and this is a part of choosing recovery that I cherish. Even less than a year ago, I’d fantasize about this ‘ideal’ place beyond Anorexia that I would be able to cook anything, without weighing out my own portion, or having a ‘safer alternative’/something similar to what I cook my Mum, when I used to live at home.
But it’s actually happening… it happened last time and it’s happening today. And I’m not allowing my Eating Disorder to manipulate my meal. Not so long ago, Ii’d have thought this would make me feel ‘out of control’ – but it is beginning to feel quite the opposite. Being controlled by numbers, and having to mentally keep everything restricted and aligned, so much guilt was fester about how I was not connecting with the reason for cooking in the first place, and who I was eating with. It made me feel so selfish – and there was always this paranoia about if those who I was cooking for was thinking I was trying to make them fat by giving them different variations to what I was eating. When actually, it was just because I was terrified of the psychological consequences my Eating Disorder would throw my way, if I was to let go of those ‘toddler reins’ AKA all the numbers, calculations and fear that made up my illness.
Since I am trying to face all foods, to tell myself how important they ALL are, I’m starting to feel more compassionate to those foods that I once felt threatened by, and afraid of…
…for example, the ‘brioche’ bun I am having with my sausage burger this evening. Before, this would have been a right-off, and there’s still a niggling bit of me that keeps questioning ‘why I can’t just have a brown roll’, ‘I’ve done nothing to deserve such a luxury type of bread’ – but I know that’s not a healthy mindset to have for a fulfilling life. What helps, is to pull myself away from the tiny detail – of the bun, and thinking of my diet throughout the whole week. If I had brioche buns, twice a day, every day for a week – then I’d maybe have a right with myself to question it, but once… probably the third time in my life, ever, is a waste of energy to be fretted about. The brioche bun is an element of the full taste experience, and the pleasure of having guests round for tea.
On another note, I’m currently reading Ruby Wax’s ‘How to Be Human’ – a cracking book that I hope to post a full review of soon. But due to my ups and downs with my mental health, I’ve not finished it as soon as I would have liked. But I can’t stop myself writing notes, and taking down quotes that really strike a chord with me.
One interesting fact that Ruby Wax talk about (and caught my attention) was how: “The brain is Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.” (page 32) So, rather than beat ourselves up for being more in tune to our negative emotions and daily happenings, realising that biologically, the brain holds onto the more negative things, almost as a human survival instinct – it wants you to remember the danger, so that in the future you’ll know better how to prepare for or manage it. It’s clever risk management – but when it comes to managing our emotions and trying to ‘think ourselves positive’ it’s a bloody buggar! But we CAN take control back by having awareness of how our brains work and re-jigging how we talk to ourselves. You can read more for yourself of Ruby’s book ‘How to Be Human’, which hasn’t long been on the shelves. I am absolutely loving it…
…or you can hang around for my future posts where I will be talking about more bits and bobs from it. 🙂
I love a good down-to-earth read on mental health!!