Saturday, 31 January 2009

Can't Cook, Won't Cook

Why, just because you aren't a gourmet cook, does that then mean that you can't even step foot in the kitchen? Please indulge me here i need to have a rant and a rave - and its not even about the issue of food!

Everynight D comes in and sits down before dinner, either on the sofa or upstairs on his PC. He gets home before mum normally, who will come in at 6pm, have a brief sit down and a drink and then get on and start cooking dinner and i will start cooking mine.

We used to have a system where i would give mum a night off and cook their dinner as well as mine, which gave her a chance to have one night a week off and also i'd find something that took a little more effort and time for them too. That time that mum doesn't really have, and certainly when she gets in, she doesn't have the energy to do after a full day at work. The idea then was that D would "cook" one day a week too. I say "cook" like that....well, bascially because he can't! Some nights he's served up a jacket potato that was even cooked through! When he lived on his own, he lived off microwave/ready meals or tins and packets with a bit of veg thrown in somewhere along the lines but probably frozen rather than fresh.

He really has never had it so good. Mum (or I, if mum has over slept, david has had a hypo in the night, or has to be in work early) gets up and makes his roll for lunch, getting a slice of bread out of the freezer for his toast at the same time. Weekdays he has cereal and toast for breakfast, well we've covered the toast but he does get his own cereal out of the cupboard, and even dishes up some museli for mum. However have said that, when the cereal is running low and it will clearly not last until the next weekly shop, he doesn't bother to write it on the shopping list, and then has the cheek to ask, "Is there anymore museli anywhere?" These days my simple reply being "Did you write it on the shopping list?" Sadly this week, i gave in and pointed out to mum how much museli was left, but i doubt it would have lasted another week had i not got another bag last night. It does make me feel less guilty about picking out all the raisins when i top the box up though!

Before he leaves he picks up his freshly made roll, and manages to find a yogurt from the fridge (although if they are not in the same place as usual, he has a problem (like selective hearing i think) with his eyes that means he is incapable of looking that little bit further. He also manages to find his way into the lounge and locate the fruit bowl, which again is clearly on display, and selecet a couple of pieces of fruit.

So when they get home from work, and then mum starts dinner. Wait. Actually, lets stop right there and make that point. Mum is always the one who starts making dinner, no initiative from him at all. In fact last night i thought it was strange that is was almost 7pm and mum hadn't even started cooking, as we normally aim to co-ordinate our timings so that we eat at 7pm. I wasn't too worried, as i had made my salad and got my bread out ready to go with my dressed crab, which i had picked up from the reduced counter in Tescos (divine by the way!! more brown meat than white meat.) When i re-entered the lounge i caught mum glance a the clock, then at me with a wry smile. I then understood. She was waiting to see if he was going to get off his backside and do something about dinner. He'd claim he didn't know what was planned or what she wanted as an excuse. Five minutes later mum gave in. He continued to watch TV.

Just because he would have destroyed the beautiful pieces of skate that were planned (not that he even knew that, despite the fact they were right at the front of the fridge), or not had the first clue how to make chunky chips/wedges from a huge potato, or boiled dry the frozen petis pois - Does that then mean that this should stop him from asking what he could do or offering to help? It makes me so so angry. I offer to help mum, but am wary of being told i'm interfering as i have been in the past. I know she's grateful on nights when she's stressed or running late, but i also know that she needn't be running late, if someone else (D) were to start things for her.

I mean she plans the meals, writes the shopping list, cooks the meals, does part of the washing/drying/putting away of the dishes (3 parts to that and 3 people - should be logical). During the week I clean most of the house, i do the weekly shop (either meeting mum to do it jointly, D meeting me at the end to pay or I do it all like yesterday). Mum then cleans the bathroom and changes their bed, cleans their room. He only does things when instructed to, and by then mum is already cross and stressed. She does his washing, which he does manage to put in the linen basket at least i guess. She then irons his clothes (although i know she hates it so i've started doing it some weekends. It helps me weekend stress levels too as a good distraction).

But its the weekend. Mum also works full time and in fact even longer hours because she has slightly further to travel. So i want mum to be able to have time to relax and do the things she wants to do, even if it is just sit down and watch TV or read a book. Mum made the comment last night that if she is to continue to wash, cook and clean for him that she should give up work. Which i whole heartedly agree with - and not just because it would be i had her home all the time!

I've told her to not cook him dinner. That she should cook her own and leave him to sort himself out. And even when she does tell him its down to him she makes it so easy for him. Too easy in my view. For example a ready made quiche/pie, salad and potatoes of some kind. I tell her she's too easy on him. I think she is finally getting to the end of her tether, at least i hope she is. I don't want to hear a blazing row though, i'd rather she made him realise by actions rather than by yelling at him. I suggested that her and I go out to dinner one night. I don't think she thinks i would go through with it, despite saying it about 5 times last night. I have somewhere in mind, i just need to check out the menu to make sure and then i'm going to book it and simply tell her! And i'm going to tell her NOT to make it easy for him. I think she should simply tell him he is going to have to cook his own meal, although i think he'd probably just go down the the fish and chip shop. Maybe i should warn them too and tell them not to serve him!

It just makes me so angry, how much he takes mum for granted. I just wish mum would put her foot down rather than wait til she gets to a state where she feels like she's going to explode. I hate seeing her like that night after night. Oh and of course i forgot she does the cooked breakfast on a sunday and organises the lunch at weekends. It's wearing her down and IT'S NOT FAIR!!!

(and breathe.....)

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

FBC, ECG, BP with a side helping of fear

The warning signs started today. Or so i thought. After i got out the shower the chest pain started. Not a sharp pain, more of a dull heavy pain, right in the centre of my chest. Before the shower as with yesterday i was so aware of my heart beating in my chest, almost with palpitations too. I tried to ignore the heavy weight pressing on my heart, carrying on getting ready to go and see M. Fighting back the tears of fear, i decided that it was time to get my ticker checked out. I told myself that if the pain was worse by the time i needed to leave to drive the 30 mins to meet M, then i would cancel M and go to the doctors instead.

By the time i came to leave, it was no worse and i felt ok enough to drive. However i made a mental note to bring the topic of an ECG up with M but to make it seem more of a routine thing than a paniced emergency. I lost another 0.6kg since last week. I seem to have lost all reasons to care anymore. I really am asking for trouble, this is going to end in either hospital or a wooden (or maybe eco friendly cardboard) box. But perhaps those options seem preferable right now to me. Anyway with the CPA looming next tuesday i suggested blood tests, and questioned whether an ECG would show up any damage i had done already. M said blood test would be a good idea and there was no harm in an ECG, better safe than sorry so to speak.

After dropping my car at home and noting which staff cars were in the car park, i walked, heart racing and still aching, to the surgery. Where a newer receptionist (who doesn't have an knowledge of my long history and emergencies) told me that the nurse practitioner, J had some appointments but that they were released at 2pm - it was then 12.30pm. Fortunately, as i was waiting F, a healthcare assistant who knows me well, came into the reception area. I made the excuse of asking her how long blood results took to come back, mentioning the CPA on tuesday. After a quick discussion with J, F called me down to the treatment room, finished up some paperwork, then checked what i'd had done last time (which it turns out was 6 months ago!) and proceeded to take a couple of viles of my blood.

As i walked back out the clueless receptionist asked me if everything was sorted out. I explained i would be back later on to make sure i got one of the embargoed appointments with J. By then it was about 1pm, so she suggested she may as well book me in already. Maybe i looked even worse by then, as i don't think my weakening body will have appreciated any blood being taken from it. So i was booked in for 4.45pm, only almost 4 hours to go. Back at home, fear took over again, and i delved into the cheese box. With following regret and restriction of course.

The dull, background ache remained and by the time i reached the waiting room for my appointment i was filled with fear, depression and sat lost and alone in a room of people, but safe in the knowledge that if anything should go wrong now, with my anxiety levels rising, i knew i was in safe company. I knew of at least three people withing the building who knew me and my situation well, and i was sat right in the view of one of them, although i was planning on having her scrape me off the floor like a previous occasion. J called me in and by the time i sat down in front of her, the tears were flowing, despite her cheerful, warm and welcoming smile. J has seen me cause so much damage to myself, but she's more used to me holding myself together physically with the need of being stitched back together. Which i think is what she was expecting when i confessed that i had scared myself again. I explained about M and the CPA, but also confessed the chest pain that had prompted me to go through with getting the test done.

She took about 3 readings and popped out just to double check with the doctor on duty. As she re-entered the room she tried to reassure me, "You'll be glad to know he thinks it looks normal." But was i relieved? This was the perfect excuse for ED to carry on as per usual. She checked my BP, but by this time i was feeling so low, depressed and morbid that i actually forgot to ask what the result was, but she didn't mention any concerns, and she managed to get a reading this time which she didn't when i saw her previously. We talked for a bit, or rather she talked and i sobbed.

I released some of the fears and feelings that are trapped inside of me. Trapped because i don't want to hurt or scare people but there are other people i fear letting inside my head because i'm concerned it will give them a reason to condemn me to a ward. J listened while I let out the fear that one day mum will come home from work to find me sleeping, but never to wake up. Its not what i want her to find and its not something i want to do to her in general. I still cling onto the thought of those 4 people i live for and J could name the 4 without me giving too many clues. I felt a burden lift from my mind when i told her how there is a part of me that has totally given up and is hoping for that break from life, like i am being unchained from the shackles that are my existance. I felt J's frustrated but caring eyes watching over me as i wept, she expressed how she wished she knew how she could help, how they all did there, and i know that they will do almost anything that would positively help me. I felt like J was holding back though, wanting to physically reach out but held back by that professional barrier. She placed her warm comforting hands on top of my clasped ice cold fingers, but almost was afraid to leave them there for too long. When i was a teenager i got very emotionally close and attached to some of the staff, which has left them wary, even though there is a marked difference in my attitude and maturity now, but with my past adolescent actions i can understand their caution. J's hands moved to and from mine at least half a dozen times, and on leaving i prayed she would let go and break through and ignore that boundary, but with a hand firmly on my shoulder she walked to the door. She knows more of my history than F does, who couldn't keep to the boundary earlier when she took my blood.

The conclusion of the test - my heart is not yet broken however the bloods will not reveal its secret until friday at the earliest. But J suggested i had some porridge once at home (i wish i could tell you i managed that J, a mandarin was extra to me but porridge was too far) and she emphasised that if the symptoms got worse, i should take myself to hospital - not a plan i have in mind.

The conclusion in my mind? I'm not sure if there is one. All i feel tonight is the wish to be wrapped up in safe, warm arms protected from the world and more so myself. Once again though, like in my teenage years, i don't crave my mother's hold. However this time it is for her protection not from a lack of love for her, in fact the complete opposite. I know she would be hurt if i found that comfort elsewhere again, and would no doubt bring back memories of years gone by, but i think i'd rather that than her holding a living skeleton.

So for now my teddy will have to soak up my tears, while i pray that my aching heart can recouperate over night. And tomorrow? I think i'm going to lose myself in the crowds in town with a drink and a puzzle book. No thinking, No pretending. Just take it as it comes. At least i won't have the fear of being alone and unfound if something were to happen. All i have to do i get out of bed tomorrow morning, a harder task than this morning i think.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Did i eat that? (food diary entry)

My brain really has completely lost it. I really struggle to remember what i've eaten and then panic that i've blocked out something that i HAVE actually eaten.

So what did today consist of? In no particular order.....

  • 2 raw brussel sprouts
  • 2 raw small mushrooms (one filled with quark and the other a tsp of picallili)
  • 4 mandarins
  • 1 medium apple
  • a bowl of homemade beetroot soup (beetroot, stock cube and water)
  • 2 medium beetroot (roasted)
  • 2 red onions (roasted)
  • 50g cous cous (with a veggie oxo cube)
  • 3 mandarins
Why oh why does that seem like too much? This morning i felt closer to collapse that ever before and spent the morning doing nothing, and feeling very lazy for it. After seeing the scales go up (probably - hopefully - just water weight, although it could be the weekend catching up with me) by just over a pound, i told myself today that i was not going to eat anything until dinner and that i was to limit the number of squash drinks i had (being 5 calories each) and sticking to diet fizzy drinks and black tea instead.

I guess in some ways its good i don't listen to myself. The apple was a spur of the moment thing which i spent the rest of the day hating myself for, but then turning the heating off in the house was probably enough of a punishment.

I've thought about keeping a food diary so i don't get into these panics but where would i keep it? On paper or online? At least i haven't gone back to weighing every item of food. When i hit my lowest weight (only 4lb lighter than now) i was weighing every since item in my dinner. Each vegetable, because back then i was only eating fruit, veg and sugar free jelly. I mean weighing swede or carrots for example. Madness. But does that mean i'm not as bad as i was then? I certainly feel more out of control compared to then. However i tell myself i'm nowhere near that state, despite my weight. After all i had cous cous tonight, i had bread yesterday, i'll eat cheese these days (even if it is low fat) - its not just fruit and veg anymore - so thats progress isn't it?

Life without Anorexia

Carrie, at ED Bites has posted on a subject that i think is probably a big part of my struggles with anorexia. The title of her post is "If not ED, then what?". I think from my point of view though i don't know an adult life without major struggles regarding to mental health problems.

For the last 10 years, there has always been some kind doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, medication, hospital etc etc. I'll be 23 this year and 5 years into adult life, things have bascially got worse over the first couple of year and then changed direction over the last couple. So for me it doesn't feel like "It destroyed my life" like Carrie says but more, it IS my life.

Unlike Carrie, i don't have a pet, I don't have a desire to travel, in fact i don't even have the desire to leave the house some days and the only motivation to do so is to go and walk somewhere with the mission of burning calories or to escape the house and go and find a tea room somewhere, because i don't trust myself not to eat 'too much' at home (which is how i feel today).

On another note, i found this post, at Grey Thinking, detailing how inpatient stay can be very detremental and make you worse and drive your ED even more. They are all things i feel whole heartedly and would say applied to me with regards to self harm and hospitals too. Although i admit there were times that it was needed.

Monday, 26 January 2009

A Short Trip to Switzerland

I came upstairs to bed to watch this last night after a long day visiting my grandparents, leaving mum and D downstairs also watching BBC1. I was tired and emotional already, and we all knew what the programme was about (euthanasia) and with a star like Julie Walters playing the lead role, i wanted to watch it all the more. So why were we so suprised, when the programme finished at 10.30pm and mum came upstairs, to see each other in floods and floods of tears? Why did we both bother to dry our eyes before facing each other?

It created a common link/excuse between us, and apparently D was almost in tears too (his mother has been hit by various tumors and cancers including in the brain and bladder, although fortunately all have been caught in time.). So mum came in, sat on the edge of my bed and we had a long hug whilst both sobbing away. I fear we were both thinking about the same thing - my shoulder blades. I was so conscious that as she was stroking my backing that there they were protruding. Was she consciously tracing the contours of my shoulders blades or was it just coincidence? Were these thought going through her head as we sat there? Or was the thought about the issues of suicide and my past history the subject that was foremost in her mind?

The thought that i was left with - Is anorexia my "short trip to switzerland"?

We watched half of Dancing on Ice before bed to lighten our moods so as we would sleep more peacefully, question is, can we both get through the day with having last night's loser revealed to us?

Seeing K today. as per usual, not looking forwards to it.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

A Miracle Cure?

Further to my tearful conversation this lunchtime with mum, i received this email during the afternoon:

"Try this for a suggestion - a 7 week plan.
You eat one meal that I have prepared in the first week (this includes meat but I will be gentle with you)
Week 2 you eat 2 meals
Week 3 you eat 3 meals
and so on until we get to week 7 but which time you are eating all meals the same as D and myself.
Don't come back with an immediate no - think about it until I get home please.
Love you

So there we go. If i agree to her plan, in 7 weeks my anorexia will be cured.

Other than i think she's being totally unrealistic with the time span, i don't like meat in texture or flavour really and the fact that her meals are so bland and boring, it's sounds like a great idea.......i don't think!

I knew i should have kept my mouth shut. Mum and I have been arguing since she got in from work and have gone to bed barely speaking. Not only that but i feel even lower than when i started today. My plans for tomorrow are not very positive either now. At the moment they consist of little food and lots of cold temperature and walking. Whether that will happen or whether i'll just curl up and cry all day, who knows. But i was so worked up this afternoon after the email, and despite being shattered after a stressful and emotional day, i still found the energy to walk down to the shop for a bottle of squash. It could have easily waited until tomorrow, but i just had to get out and walk.

On the up side, tonight after dinner (which of course wasn't up to mum's expectations) and i'd had my giant portion of melon, i then proceeded to have 2 extra mandarins. Now for me that extra 50 ish calories is a big deal. I didn't say anything to mum, but i doubt she even noticed. Even if she did, i don't think she could comprehend how much of a big deal something like that is for me right now, which is why i don't even bother mentioning these things. To her they are insignificant.

I've opened a door that i wish had been locked. Tonight i feel on the verge of suicidal again. I don't think i could describe myself as suicidal, because i'm not in a state where i would do anything quite that foolish, but i would prefer not to be living right now. Although i guess in some ways the way i am living my life right now is suicidal. Just in more of a longer term process.

Time to switch off for the night before i think myself into a state again.

Confession Time

I've told her. I admitted (almost) everything to mum. I confessed to the medication. I mentioned M's talk of refering me to the ED unit again. But i also confessed that i feel no reason to eat more, no reason to gain weight. I feel fine physically other than a little tired.

M said to me about my low mood. Now i know low weight can cause depression but lets look back at my history over the last 10 years. There hasn't been a year when i haven't had a depressive episode and its only during the last 2 years that i've stayed out of hospital for the whole of the year. And this time the depression is, right now, not as bad as it has been. Things were worse than this before Christmas in fact.

It's even harder to eat when you genuinely don't feel hungry due to depression. so far today i've had a pomegranate (i was fed up of spitting out the pips by the end - i don't think i'll buy any more), a pear and a mandarin. i have a bowl of soup (beetroot) defrosting, but i don't have any appetite for it. There's 2 hours before D and then mum get home, 2 hours in which to consume the soup.

Anyway mum's going to call M tomorrow. Maybe a miracle will come out of their conversation. Here's hoping.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Dear Diary.....

Friday 16th January 2009

I feel so conflicted. Part of me says well done for getting through tonight and yes, the secreteating isn't the best of ways to get those extra calories but at *st *lb needs must, hey? This sensible side is also reminding me how many EXTRA calories you need to gain weight, and given that my meals have been restricted - i guess partly because i knew what could (and did) happen tonight - then i've probably still only made the normal daily female guidelines.

The other side is telling me i'm a fat cow who doesn't deserve to eat at all for the next week and that from tomorrow it's back to severe restriction and some serious exercise. Not that i feel i have the strength for that right now.

My appetite is so screwed up. Even after dinner, then snacking on leftovers, then fruit and cheese, the MORE cheese whilst tidying up and full fat blue cheese at that, i still feel like i could devour the rest of the cheese box.

I fought my fighting spirit tonight when mum mentioned my old cot in the loft as P and E announced they are expected a baby. mum suggested to me that they could have it.

"You're not going to use it are you?"
At which point the tears started
"i hope so, one day" i replied.
I do want to give you a grandchild, i want to make you proud. so long as i haven't completely f***ed up my body. Plus of course i need to find someone worthy enough of being a father.
We hugged and cried. I wished that we didn't have guests there and then so as we could have a proper sit down chat and talk and i could tell her how bad things really are. So i could lay my head in her lap whilst i cried my heart out and she stroked my hair. I wanted to tell her about the conversations with M about inpatient units, about the fact i've been back on anti-depressants for the last 10 days. About how i'm scared of how this battle with anorexia will end.
Will my body give out first? Or will they section me first? Because other than tonight I have felt no desire to gain weight despite knowing what a risky wieght i'm at. M said she had a girl go into multi-organ failure with a BMI of 16. My BMI is below 14 right now. But still all my exhausted brain is telling me at this moment is how i deserve never to eat again.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Brave but Foolish?

I think this post may answer the question in your latest comment Lola. Sorry it's taken me a while to reply to it in any way but Saturday truned out to be very busy (thank goodness). And in someways i did actually do something nice for myself - when we were shopping i actually bought myself something i hadn't got on my shopping list. Now for me spending money is kind of a big deal, and it took me a while to decide that £7 wasn't a great deal of money, even if it may have been rather a lot for the size of the book. I don't know why i don't like spending money - well, its not that i don't like spending money, i always seem to have to justify the value though.

Maybe i'm just tight! If it's reduced or on sale because there's a slight dent for example on a box of something like cuppa soup then i'll buy them instead of a perfect new box. I mean afterall as long as the contents are all there and in tact what's the difference. Anyhow, this is really going miles from the original subject i was going to post about.

Oh the book i bought myself by the way (before i steer this post back on track) was The Sprout Book.

So, i knew it was coming. I'd had a week to prepare. A whole week to decide how i was going to handle things. Mum and D had invited their friends over for dinner for the friday night and despite having a week to work out what i was going to do, by 5pm friday evening i still hadn't made a firm decision. I was pretty certain that i wasn't going to eat with them. The thought of eating while they sit there going slowly through a 3 course meal, i knew my dinner was not going to take that long to eat. I'd thought about going out to eat, but with a choice of 3 pubs with awful food (and that is not ED talking there, mum would agree), indian (which would have been heaving on a friday night, it's new and popular) or a chinese - and given that i don't do very spicy food...... Oh who was i kidding? We all knew i was never going to eat out or get a takeaway in for that matter either!

So the next question was, where do i eat my meal? Upstairs in my room (which, shock horror, mum actually seemed to be giving me permission to do!) or downstair with them. At least by 6pm i had managed to decide what i was going to eat and started cooking. I had planned on upstairs but the things changed. Circumstances changed with an announcement that was made rather early on in the evening, and i then felt it would be even ruder than previously if i had disappeared upstairs.

"Please excuse me. I'm going to bugger off now, having barely said hello and welcomed you. I'm off upstairs to sit in bed and eat my dinner."

The couple we were hosting to, P and E, announced they were expecting a baby. Not only that but they'd been going through IVF to succeed. I couldn't turn round and say "how lovely!......Bye!" now could i? so i decided to stay and eat while they had their starters (nachos topped with loads of oozing gooey melting full fat cheddar served with mild salsa, guacamole (i didn't pick up the low fat version for mum, i'm not imposing my choices on her) and then a sourcream and chive dip dolloped on top.) All the while thinking one wouldn't hurt, yet ED telling me i've got my dinner. i made my choice.

I convinced mum to let me clear up in the kitchen during their main course (chilli concarne and rice and salad) but of course that meant coping with left overs. Melted cheese stuck to the side of the plate, dips smeared around the edge of the plate, extra rice and chili in the sauce pans, and then leftover chili and rice once they'd finished. Well by the time i'd 'cleared up' they wasn't much to put in the food waste bin. Mistake number one. Or should that be number 2? i think the first mistake was chosing to eat downstairs! So then to pudding - Fruit platter and a cheese board.

The fruit was no issue as i would have had some sort of fruit anyway. But whilst thinking of those stupid leftovers and what i'd already consumed, i made mistake number 3 and cut myself a slice of Cambazola blue brie, not only that i then cut a slice of the shropshire blue, which hadn't even been opened! But hey maybe the celery sticks i had with it will have taken so much effort to digest that the full fat blue cheese won't matter? Well the first lot might not but on 'clearing up' and tidying up i made the last mistake of the night. The cheese needed to be wrapped in cling film, which it seems i can't manage with out 'trimming them into neat sizes/shapes' first. So that was another mouthful of each - cheddar, the 2 blues and a wensleydale & fruit.

I knew i was worked up. I knew it was far later than i'd normally be eating, yet for some reason i still decided to go for a hot drink to take up to be with me. I think it was more for comfort than anything else. I lay there and decided to write in my paper diary. Holding a pen felting more comforting than typing with both hands. I'll type up that entry when i get chance, not know though as i think mum and D are about to come downstairs for breakfast. But i think i gives more insight into other stresses and emotions brought up by the evening.

So yesterday, saturday, i made a silly move, in that despite knowing i'd eaten and drunk about 2 hours later than normal, i still got on the scales and seeing an increase, panic and the mental punishment started.

But a busy day walking round shops carrying a heavy bag of library books, seemed to cure the mental anxiety. There's nothing like a good walk in the freezing cold to sort the mind out.

The silly thing is i could have used this to gain weight, to kick start the battle properly, especially given some of the things that were said on friday night between mum and i (detailed in the paper diary). But i obviously don't want it that much, because its back to the old routine, old habits.

"Old habits die hard"

Makes me wonder how these habits are going to die. If and when they do.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Sinking further still

This isn't right. Medication is supposed to make you feel better. I've been good, despite being so anti meds i've not missed a dose. Yet 10 days in, today, i left the house at half 9 because i was yelling and screaming at a machine i couldn't get back in a box and then proceeded to get the bus into town and wander round like a zombie for 3 hours, freezing my - well i was going to say backside off, but i don't exactly have one right now. I spent the last hour sitting in 2 different cafes just staring into space. I wasn't even thinking anything. I was just there with my hands wrapped around a cup of tea for warmth. Which of course was completely wasted as soon as i stepped outside and by the time the bus came i was shuddering rather than simply shivering.

It occured to me that other than being put in hospital and having someone else take on the responsibility of the food i eat, that there may be another reason i feel no inspiration or motivation to gain weight. Could it be, as much as it pains me to say it, that i know one of the other highly likely possibilities is that i don't survive this. Somehow this slow decline doesn't seem as much my fault or as selfish as a major fatal event such as an overdose or car crash. I know thats not true in the slightest. But it makes me wonder whether the reason i can't convince myself to eat is because physically i'm feeling worse and i'm still hoping for that way out. I'm hoping that it isn't me thinking this really and that it's just that horrible stage of starting new meds where you are more suicidal than before you started them.

I woke up more this afternoon, but then thats almost a bad thing because i then eat something and get more stressed. After missing breakfast again, and thinking of the calories burnt whilst i froze in town, not only was it cold but i was walking round carrying bags of shopping, i know that i still possibly burnt more than i consumed. So on the spur of the moment tonight my hand found its way into the chocolate tin (after we got home from doing the food shop - more walking, in fact double that as i had to keep going back for things we'd missed that were on the list!). We have a biscuit tin of Cadbury's mini bars in the cupboard, just in case D goes hypo, and being the mini bars they are only about 80 calories each. Yet still after one of the dairy milk caramels (the mini ones only have two soft, gooey, sticky, runny caramel filled chunks), which of course i didn't in the slightest enjoy (oh i'm such a lying cow!!), i feel so pissed off and almost disappointed in myself. ED is now planning my punishment for tomorrow.

Right now, I need to cry. After a morning of numbness (mentally and physically) and an afternoon of warming up and thawing out (again both mentally and physically) I've finally reached a stage where i can let some of this emotion out. i have felt the tears welling up all evening, but i still haven't told mum where things are really at, so just couldn't let go properly. Now that i'm alone for the next 8 hours, i can cry and then the red puffiness can fade over night.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

So close to the edge.

The title of this post is not only how i feel but also, i expect, how M feels too. I feel close to the edge of jacking in this stupid game called 'Life', curling up in a ball and saying "i quit". M, on the other hand, is i think close to the edge of the decision to either give up on me (although something tells me she's not that kind of woman) or have me sectioned, which at the moment is the way things were going.

My weigh was down again today. Which now puts me on the border of Critical Anorexia (hospital admission advised)........ I think ED talked my way out of it. Saying all this crap about eating different higher calorie things or eating small but more often, going away somewhere so i'd have to eat differently. Words came out of my mouth about talking to mum and getting her to help me set a plan. I know thats bullshit too, because i know (and also admitted) that i just can't tell her how bad things have got again. At the end of the session though, Sensible did get a word in and confessed how it was all simply words, and other than today, when i would head off with good intentions just like last week, but then just go back to the way things were from tomorrow, and probably compensate for the extra i had today by restricting tomorrow.

Its almost as though there's a part of me that wants an admission. Maybe i do in the fact that it would take the responsibility away from me, but i know that once i got there i'd want to run for the hills and something tells me that i don't think they'd let me leave that easily.

Anyway so i came home after picking up some shopping for mum. Had my lunch which i got out of the freezer this morning, then proceeded to pickout all the raisins from the new bag of museli mum asked me to get, which stupidly left me feeling a tad sick, but could i stop there? No, of course not. I devoured the final mini cake i made for xmas. Having said that i have felt so bloated all afternoon that i haven't had anything else ("Not that you need it!" ED) and as i knew i was going to be weighed today i did cut back with breakfast as well.

Having said all of the above, i have felt my heart beating like crazy all day today. Is it just thats it's closer to the surface than previously? that i'm simply paranoid after conversations about medical complications? Or has my time finally come? Is my heart going to give me the warning that i need? Or will there be no warning - simply a final answer.

For mum, i pray not.



P.S or another thought with the heart palpitations - Medication side effects......another (hopefully) possibility.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

ED Bites - Scared into gaining weight

Carrie over at ED Bites recently mentioned that she would be posting a series on the Biology of EDs including health complications.

I made a comment on the post and in response, today, Carrie has shared her views on my hope that reading something about medical complications may just scare me into gaining weight.

It doesn't sound harsh at all Carrie, as i believe there's no point in pussy-footing around issues. As i've said to mum when i've watched her looking at me and thinking things, it's no good keeping thoughts inside, even if they may hurt the other person - I guess i tell her that because then it gives me permission to get things out that i really need to say to her!

I understand everything Carrie says and i think i probably knew it already. I certainly knew the short answer and probably the basics of the long answer (but didn't want to admit it). When i think about things now, in fact just recently i found myself thinking "well, thats another one to cross off the consequences/complications list".

As for finding help. I have it in some ways. Well, i have support there if i need it rather than someone encouraging and helping me to impliment plans, which gives ED an easy route really. M, is more like a normal CPN, who just happens to see only people with EDs and my GP keeps an eye on me once a month. Short of being hospitalized to either an ED unit (which, although M says i'm not sectionable in her opinion right now, i fear it may come to) or to a general ward due to medical complications, i think both Carrie's answers will continue to apply.

Thank you Carrie, for responding to a remark that i could probably explained myself, should i have chosen to be totally honest.

"Fancy Meeting Me for Lunch One Day This Week?"

Dear Mum,

I wish i could say yes. In my heart i want to say yes. I hate letting you down, disappointing you but my fear rules my head. I'm barely allowing myself lunch at home, but then i guess that is down to the fact of the stupid little snacks i end up having, like yesterday's incident of picking out most of the raisins from your cereal and also sneakily slicing an edge off the chocolate tart you had leftover in the fridge.

The thought of a Belgique Platter between us, is something i can see myself doing in my head and in my dreams but in reality.........

If we were out together and you insisted that we eat out then it would happen but when i'm given the slightest chance to back out and take the restricted home option i will. When we do eat out, i manage and always find something to chose. And although i can't tell you, each time we're out, i secretly pray that you will say we're eating out.

I love you but.....

Oh "but" what? i know i'm making excuses and being weak and pathetic and there's nothing i can say to justify it. Maybe i'll find the guts to meet you on friday. Something tells me i'll find another excuse. Telling you i've got lots of washing today is as bad as a girl telling a guy that she's washing her hair.

Oh mummy,

I'm sorry.


First week of chemical "help"

I know i should expect anything in a week. Goodness knows i've been on enough anti-depressants to know that it takes a couple of week before i should expect any changes in mood (if there are any). In the last 8 years the list has included:

And now number 8 - Lofepramine. 8 drugs, in 8 years. Well, 6 years actually as i haven't been on anything for almost 2 years.

I think thats all the anti-depressants and thats not including the anti-psychotics, anti-anxieties and sleeping tablets.

I'm waiting not only for any signs of change/improvement in mood (which given that i woke up crying once again this morning doesn't seem to have happened) but also i'm on edge waiting for the side effects to appear. Dry Mouth - well i have been drinking constantly i realised but i thought that was just down to my anxieties over eating, or more specifically, over-eating (according to ED). Blurred vision and according to some websites, and my biggest fear by far, Weight Gain.

Knowing that a possible side effect is weight gain doesn't really to much to help me gain control over ED. I think i'm watching my weight and restricting even more just in case the meds to have side effects. I know i need to gain weight (i worked it out yesterday, at least i think i did. I think i'm 67% of my ideal body weight) but i'd rather it was gained under my control compared to the weight just sticking to me because of some kind of chemical interaction in my body. What they don't tell you anywhere of course is why people gain weight. Is it because they have an increased appetite and simply eat more? Or is is down to chemical changes because of the meds which cause some kind of reaction meaning your digestion and absorbtion processes change?

I put the 2nd repeat in last night online. My GP gave me 4 weeks worth of repeats, so i have to order it weekly. She obviously isn't that confident giving me a Tricyclic with my overdose history, but then if i were her i'd probably be covering my back too. Only 2 weeks until i see her again, when i guess she either up the dose or leave things as they are. i'm only on a basic starting dose so whether she's expecting major changes or not i don't know.

There's still that part of me though that wants to say "See, i told you it was a waste of time!" because i'm terrified of what's on the other side.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Feeling Clever

I know it's nothing amazing but the fact that i've managed to do this makes me feel pleased with myself - which is a rare thing these days.

Due to my paranoia about being 'discovered' by family or friends who i feel should be protected from the inner workings of my messed mind, I have set up a completely separate account with my new name "Susie Belle".

Susie refers to a family member who i have often been told i am like and is very close to my heart, and i expect always will be.

Belle, is a disney character who i can clearly identify with. It has been one of my favourite musicals since i was a young child and i'm suprised my VHS of it hasn't worn out! These days i've got the sheet music and have sung songs from that in a young musician competition (i didn't win, it seemed they liked classical rather than musicals). In the song entitled "Belle" there are so many lyrics i can identify with, here's a brief selection:

Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question
Dazed and distracted, can't you tell?
Never part of any crowd
'Cause her head's up on some cloud
No denying she's a funny girl that Belle

There must be more than this provincial life!

Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar
I wonder if she's feeling well
With a dreamy, far-off look
And her nose stuck in a book
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle

But behind that fair facade
I'm afraid she's rather odd
Very diff'rent from the rest of us
She's nothing like the rest of us
Yes, diff'rent from the rest of us is Belle!

Look there she goes
The girl is strange but special
A most peculiar mad'moiselle!
It's a pity and a sin
She doesn't quite fit in
'Cause she really is a funny girl
A beauty but a funny girl
She really is a funny girl
That Belle!

So there we are, i have a name and hopefully my secrets are safe (unless of course it's too late!)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

What happens next?

So what if these tablets DO make a difference? What then? Will i forget to care about what i look like? or what i weigh? Will it matter my hip bones disappear?

Am i then expected to work full time, get a social life and live "normally"? Do i need to start job hunting now, just incase they start to kick in soon?

Will i no longer be entitled to benefits? Because i'm happy enough to work.

If i get a job what do i do? I have 10 GCSEs, which although are all passes, are no-where near what they should be. I don't have a career in mind and even if i was happier i'm still not sure i would be happy about working around lots of people in retail for instance.

There is a large part of me that is praying they are not going to make a difference, because i'm scared or what i will become. I don't know whats lurking beneath ED, depression and self harm (which has occured more than twice in 48 hours recently) and i'm almost not sure i want to know. What is she's a complete cow? Stuck up, cocky, arogant - a complete bitch. What if she no longer wants to care for the people around her and becomes selfish in a different way?

And if i don't see a difference in the usual 14 days start-up period, how long do i give it? Maybe there'll be a part of me that keeps hoping that maybe the next day, or the day after that, or next week. But i suspect there will be a bigger part of me that says "See? i told you this was a waste of time!"

Monday, 5 January 2009

My GP finally convinced me to try again.

Another anti depressant to add to the list. A Tricylic this time. Can't recall what its called off the top of my head, i'm just trying to get my head round the fact that i've finally given in to taking medication again. After about 3 months of putting it off, saying i'll think about it over and over again.

I've tried my fair share of them in the last ten years, and have had to deal with almost as many side effects. I think the memories of the heightened anxiety and suicidal feelings which i recalled and shared with my GP tonight, are a lot to do with my avoidance of more drugs over the past few months. That coupled with the fear that i will start to feel better, eat more normally and gain weight were very good reasons in my eyes not to go down that road again.

At this point my GP asked me "Why don't you feel you deserve to get better?"

The floods gates had been opened, as i confessed to the selfish reality that without depression, or mental health issues i don't really feel i have an identity. A social worker once warned me about becoming a 'professional' mental health patient. I always assumed she meant someone being an inpatient constantly, but i guess now i'm realising that you don't have to be an inpatient to be a mental health patient. I opened my (pathetically weak) soul, revealing by desire to be set free from this world. Confessing the facts that i feel there are 4 reasons that i'm alive; Mum, Nan, My step-dad and grandfather. None of them will live forever, my grandparents are in their 80's, my step dad's health conditions means he has a shorter life expectancy and mum isn't superwoman. I feel like i'm living for the day when they are all gone, so that i can "be set free", my GP finished the sentence for me over my tears.

Maybe she could see i was close to the edge..... Maybe she knew, as she pulled my chair round so i could lean on the desk to fill in the depression questionaire, that if she pushed me that one final time that I'd give in and agree to trying some kind of medication.

All i can remember right now is that it begins with L, ends in 'mil' and its brand name begins with G. I feel so deflated right now i can't be bothered to go upstairs, even though ED is saying i should just to get a bit more exercise and burn a few more calories. Exercise, thats something else my GP wants me to get a bit more of, and think about some voluntary work. Voluntary Work - another opportunity to let people down for me then.

I really didn't see the point in doing the questionaire and unsuprisingly the questionaire concluded with a result of "severe depression", which i think gave my GP the reason for the final push with suggesting medication. So for the next 4 weeks i shall be reminding myself each night to pop a pill before bed.

My final thought and question for tonight is whether i tell mum straight away or not. Or do i wait until she notices a difference? (if if course she does) It may not make any difference at all, in which case if i don't continue with the meds, is there any point in worrying her or for that matter getting her hopes up that it may help?

And now i feel so pathetically weak for giving in. It makes me want to restrict and punish even more. Back to the routine of picking up meds weekly, just when i'd managed to stop 'living' at the doctors surgery......

BBC News: Warning over youth mental health

Having read the article, and seen who has carried out the survey for the Prince's Trust i have a feeling i got this email and did the survey. In fact i'm pretty certain after having seen some of the statements from the survey when they featured the story on the Breakfast television news programme.

Personally i think these statements by people/charities/organisation saying "ABC need more XYZ" are pointlesswords. Its not news, at least not to those of us already in the situation, it's just stating the obvious.

The first part of the survey the quote:

"One in 10 youngsters questioned in a survey disagreed that "life was really worth living". "

Well i think we can guess which way i answered on that one!

"Chief executive Martina Milburn said: "Young people tell us that family is key to their happiness, yet too often we find they don't have this crucial support."

Oh i have their support in practical and physical aspects but when it comes to the mental/cognitive side of things, thats where i'm on my own and thats often the hardest aspect. However i'm not sure mum will ever be able to give this to me, having not experienced an eating disorder or self harm and the severe depression herself. I don't want to take away the fact that she had a really tough childhood or how she must have felt when dad left. Nor for that matter can i put down how my mental health issues (still can't say the word 'illness') and actions have made her feel. But I'm really not sure if you've been there whether you can truely empathise. For example i didn't have the normal fruit after lunch yesterday, which she remarked on:

"You not having fruit? What are you punishing yourself for this time?"

I simply said i'd had enough, which was almost true but of course what i didn't let on was my extra fruit snacks earlier which was double my normal lunch portion.

Mum has mentioned the Prince's Trust to me on more that one occassion but a 12 week course, with one of those weeks being residential (can you image me eating 3 meals a day for a week! Cooked and chosen by others too!) with a group of people that i don't know or trust, i'd never get through the first day. I suspect there are people around me right now who this i should be residential though - residential in an Inpatient Unit!

The man and girl they interviewed on BBC News this morning were saying how there is support around for young people. General support and support to do with education and careers, yes maybe thats true. But where is the Eating Disorders Support? Where is the Self Harm Support? Yes there are charities like Mind and Rethink for general mental health issues but they really don't have the specific knowledge like a charity such as Beat would have. Sadly B-Eat just don't have the resources to cover a wider area. I think in my county they are present in only 3 towns, all of which are over an hours (minimum) drive for me. Their website severely needs updating too, when i last checked they claimed to have a group half an hour a way from me, yet when i phoned i was informed that this was not true, and still that information remains on the website, despite my comments. I expect they just don't have the funds to pay someone to run the website, thats normally the issue.

They do all these surveys (which is great that they want to hear people's views) but do the results ever cause change or result in progress?

Or is a "an overall average of 73 for [their] well-being. " a good enough standard not to need changes?

How i'd hate to be a partridge in a pear tree......

......because the guilt i felt yesterday by eating just one extra piece of fruit - a pear - was almosting overwhelming.

Its rather sad that I should see such a healthy food item as an evil, isn't it?

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Such a Bad Person! (according to ED)

Its a good job Santa not coming for another year, because ED would say i have all that time to make up for what a bad person i've been. My "grab the calories where i can" plan of action is continuing despite the odd outburst from ED, and i also still feel to ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone. I'm just worried its getting out of control.

Yesterday after one of my mini xmas cakes for lunch (i know i didn't have anything else but calorie wise that is more that i would have had for a "normal" lunch) for the second day running i was overcome by this "screw you ED" passion and went on the hunt for a slice of traditional, stodgy, bread pudding. Being NYE the one bakery i knew would have it was closed of course, and subsiquent bakeries were linked to chains and didn't sell it, as its more of a homemade item. I have to say when i arrived home, i was kind of relieved and ED seemed to be back in control.

But then before bed i got another burst. 4 mini chocolate bars later (320kcal) i took myself off to bed with an options hot chocolate (only another 30kcal) and a good idea that was too because it wasn't long before my brain started stressing over my "bad behaviour" as ED would describe it. ED then confirmed that this would not be continuing in the morning.

So this morning? "The pre breakfast calorie cram didn't really happen, ED - you're imagining it!!" says sensible. I'm not sure how i can imagine 2 mini chocolate bars, a clementine, another mini chocolate bar wrapped in a slice of bread and finally a cereal bar. Oh shit. i shouldn't have worked that out........ thats almost 500kcal. I wasn't freaking out but now i really am. Oh bollocks, bollocks, bollocks. Stupid Stupid Stupid. i knew this was getting out of hand.

but you see if i now restrict for the rest of the day, i will still have had more calories overall. thats the theory at least.

Ok, breakfast just went down the drain - literally. I just hope mum believes the "i had it already" story. She might given that its gone 9.30am. If needs i will tell the truth, but her lack of comprehension and understanding frustrates me too much to tell her.

i think a quick jump in the shower to show i'm getting up and time to pray for an active day!

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