.

What to say, what to say. Where to start. I continue to overeat sporadically — sometimes out of anger; sometimes out of defiance; sometimes out of desperation. I am gaining more and more weig…

Source: .

.

What to say, what to say. Where to start.

I continue to overeat sporadically — sometimes out of anger; sometimes out of defiance; sometimes out of desperation. I am gaining more and more weight and the panic compels me to eat. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Today I woke up on a friend’s couch, where I had slept after her party last night. I breakfasted on two small pieces of chocolate cake, as I was hungry, my friend was asleep, and it was on the coffee table in front of me. That was fine. Perhaps not ideal from a nutritional point of view, but fine. I’m allowed to eat cake. She and I later went out for a nice brunch. She’s an amazing woman. Kind and funny and smart. Switched-on and bright and witty. She’s passionate about things in a way that I don’t know if I am any more… but that might just be the OCD again. The doubting disease doing its work. Anyway, over a smoked salmon breakfast and an egg sandwich, we spoke openly about our lives. It’s funny to be honest with friends and talk about my condition and my struggles while at the same time feeling that I’m lying. Feeling that I’m doing an amazing job of convincing everyone that I’m worthy and good, like them, while I know the truth — that I am obviously bad. I’ve been playing this role for a long time and I excel at it. I deserve every god damn acting award there is.

What a hellish disease it is that I have.

Anyway, I came home and retreated to my room, where I proceeded to overeat. Half a bag of M&Ms. A block of white chocolate. Garlic bread, wedges and the majority of a pizza. Here we go again.

My room has, yet again, descended into disarray. My bed is unmade and there are piles of clothes around — most of which no longer fit my slowly but markedly expanding waistline. I hate the mess but I do not have the energy to clean.

I think my new med – mirtazapine – is draining me and also increasing my appetite… neither of which are side effects I’m willing to put up with. And so I’m fairly sure I’m going to make an appointment with my doc and tell him I want to go off medication. I want to rediscover myself without synthesised serotonin and hormones flooding my system every day upon the swallowing of a tablet. I wonder what it would be like to be unmedicated for the first time in about four years. I want to find out. I wonder what my doctor will say.

I can’t honestly say I’m not afraid of what might happen, because I am. I feel OK these days, for the most part… ish… is it wise to mess around with that? But it’s my body. My choice. If I find I am not coping, I can go back on the drugs. I just want to see.

One of the reasons I overeat is because I feel on some level that I no longer deserve my naturally slender figure. How can I possibly deserve it when my empathy is so deadened that half the time I can’t connect with it any more? How can I deserve to look and feel good when I hear about drowning refugees on the news and not really feel moved? How scary it is to write that. I overeat in the hope that someone will notice, but nobody does. I’m skywriting HELP in enormous letters but everyone is looking the other way. Or they’re looking but they’re not comprehending the oversized wispy shapes as an actual word.

I feel dumbstruck when I think about how big an impact my trauma and condition have actually had on me. I don’t think about it often but the truth is like a rotting carcass that a cat dragged in and left to reek in the corner. I try to ignore it for the most part but, when I finally steel myself to look, I am horrified. Aghast.

I have started to develop feelings for someone. The feelings are not reciprocated. The crush is just silliness and fantasy but when I’m alone I imagine him kissing me, holding me and clinging to me. Loving me. Loving me as I know he never will. Loving me as I have not been loved for a very long time.

I will endure. I will endure as I have endured everything else. I will go to work on Tuesday and pretend that everything is cool. I will buy yet bigger knickers. I will see my crestfallen, sallow, chubby and tired face in the mirror every day and try not to mind that I look so sad. I will continue because I must.

Let’s talk about…

Envy.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m not very evolved at all.

My trauma arrested my emotional development – I know that. But even before it happened, I struggled with envy. I remember the feeling well. Did I envy more than is normal? I don’t know. Sure, I was younger then, and still learning how to be an adult. I’m still learning. But perhaps the trauma merely exacerbated something dodgy in me that was already there, creeping around. Lurking within the corridors of my character.

My envy tends to be chiefly aroused by two people. One is my sister and one is my friend. My sister is a little younger than me and is making inroads in a performance career. I am happy for her but boy. am. I. envious.

I can’t believe that, at 30 years of age, I am still grappling with this stuff. This stuff is why I need a therapist. In the absence of said mental health professional, I will instead blurt these shame-inducing feelings out to all and sundry on the internet.

The bitter, grabbing, envious part of me has ground rules. It pipes up: “You can have that but only because I don’t want it.” Or, “You can have that but only if I have it too.” Or, at worst… “No no no. I don’t want you to have that at all.”

I know all this comes from unhelpful comparisons and a perceived sense of lacking, etc etc, blah de blah, and I need to stop looking over my neighbour’s fence and concentrate on my own garden, but now is not the time for psychoanalysis and self-examination, and nor am I in the mood or ready for lofty/mature philosophising. The airing of this dirty laundry is just for catharsis. Let’s just say that if I had a dollar for every time I googled “I can’t be happy for my friend”, I’d have a fair few dollars.

I intend to write a song about this feeling. There’s a long weekend coming up; I shall use the time to attempt a little alchemy and perhaps turn something ostensibly ugly into something useful. Maybe even beautiful.

Small victories

I do at times find myself so deathly boring. Who on God’s green earth cares that I just ate 21 Xtra Cheesy Nacho Cheese Pringles and half a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Nobody, that’s who. Nobody cares. Nobody who isn’t me, anyway. But you know what? I wanted those things, so I let myself have them. I recognised that I probably wanted them because I was tired. I acknowledged that fact and ate them anyway.

For the most part, I eat pretty wholesome food. Sometimes, though, I need to scarf down a few handfuls of potato- and wheat-based stackable snack chips (thanks, Wikipedia). Sometimes, processed cheese is exactly what I need.

Being chubbier than usual is unpleasant, but I will endure it.

I’m very tired. No more writing tonight.

Letter to my therapist

Dear V,

How are you? I hope you’re well.
Thank you so much for your last email. You’re right. I don’t know why I said my dreams feel small, because they don’t. They feel exciting and just the right size for me. I was in a bitter mood when I wrote to you. I do sometimes derive a savage pleasure from running myself down, as you’ve no doubt noticed. And you are right again… we are human beings, not human doings. I am already enough. Thank you 🙂
Anyway, I’m feeling pretty good. Quietly confident. I’m three weeks into the Overcoming Binge Eating program. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but this might just be the ladder that helps me climb out of the pit of disordered eating. Or part of the ladder, anyway – maybe the frame. Because lots of things are helping me climb out, including your support! As usual, part of me is worried that something is going to spook the horses. Upset the apple cart. That is, go terribly wrong. I’m acknowledging it but not letting it run the show.
I’m treading water on Week 1 at the moment, but it’s OK. The book says it’s fine to repeat weeks until we are ready to progress, and my recovery is not a race. I will read the next chapter when I have time, and move forward when it is right for me. That will, I hope, be tomorrow night. I will try to just stay calm about things on the whole. Take my recovery one day at a time. Move into the discomfort and feel it. Embrace the fear of the unknown. Choose love instead of fear as much as possible.
Having said that, it’s not easy. To stay the anti-diet path is to accept my body right now, with its jiggles and wobbles. It is not easy to have laid down my biggest crutch. Without it, I walk tentatively and slowly. The program itself is not complicated; all Week 1 involves is recording everything I eat and drink, where and when I do so, and how I feel about it. It is not complicated but it is challenging. It forces me to confront my behaviour, right there on paper. I can no longer flee into the deep denial and blind release of binge eating. Or rather, I could, but am choosing not to. I am choosing anew every time I feed myself. I am choosing anew with every moment of every day. Part of me rages on about this… but the rage is just a wave, and I am a rock.
Having said that, not binge-eating feels pretty wonderful. Eating lots of vegetables feels wonderful. Nourishing myself feels wonderful. Eating pasta salad with mayonnaise feels wonderful. Having a drink with colleagues on Fridays feels good. Eating intuitively feels good. Making my own wholesome white chocolate feels good. It feels good to be brave enough to respect my body when I realise that I don’t fancy a sweet after dinner. It feels good to ride my bike for the sheer joy of it. My yoga practice, sporadic though it is, feels great. That’s not to say that I don’t still fret when I choose to eat high-calorie food. There is always a part of me waving a placard and campaigning for weight loss. The part of me that says, “This is all fine but only if it helps you lose weight!” And it’s a significant part. But, resolutely and stoically, I press on. I can’t honestly say I do not desire weight loss… I’m still shackled in that regard. I want it badly. But I have put it aside as a goal for now. I’m going to try to let my body work it out. If I’m not binge-eating, I am at least not turning my sword against myself and causing myself pain. I don’t have to go through the trauma and terrible aftermath of a binge. Any and all discomfort I ensure in the process is entirely worth it!
I think that’s enough from me now. Thank you, V! Thank you for being there and for listening as I wax poetic. Perhaps we could have a session in the next few weeks. It would be nice to talk about how I’m going.
Take care and have a wonderful week!
Marnie x

The drugs don’t work

Or do they? I don’t know. How do you tell? I feel OK but I don’t know if they do what they’re meant to do.

I know they give me acne and frequently wake me up at night. They stop my periods and give me a persistent muscle twitch.

I still feel like a deer frozen in the headlights. More often than not I am still too paralysed and petrified to sit down at my machine and sew, which is one of my favourite things to do.

Is this as good as it gets?

 

 

Taking stock

I shared this blog on my Facebook page exactly a week ago. Doing so was a big deal for me, and it has already had affected my life — mostly positively.

Turns out, my friends and family still like me, even knowing about some of my issues. They still love me. I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Not that I expected anyone to stop loving me after I opened up; I don’t know what I expected.

A few have told me I am brave. It’s funny; I don’t feel brave. I was honestly just trying to save my own life. I’m not in therapy right now, and I had to do something to relieve some of the enormous pressure I was under. I had to throw myself a lifeline, and I did so by reaching out to others. And it worked. Whether or not anybody ever reads this blog again, I now feel as though I have a team of silent cheerleaders supporting me as I sort myself out. And I don’t have to lie or act any more around the people who matter most to me… or not as much, anyway. I am working at demolishing the facade. In some significant ways, I am liberated.

Whether or not people read, I will keep writing. Evidently, it is something I need to do. I do want to connect with people in the mental health and recovery blogging communities, but I can investigate that later. I once made a friend in a fellow BED sufferer and blogger just through this blog. I don’t know what happened to her — she stopped writing — but I hope she’s doing well. It would be nice to make more friends.

I wish I knew how to make this blog all pretty and user-friendly but I don’t know anything about web design. I suppose I don’t wish it badly enough to learn! I will do something about it, but it’s not a priority just yet. In the meantime, readers will just have to scale these walls of text. (Thank you, readers.)

I’m having a consultation call from an NHS mental health service on Wednesday to see about getting another therapist. I hope they don’t suggest someone who will just give me CBT. I’ve done it before, I get it and I use it. What I need is someone who can treat me for my OCD and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (the latter is a result of the former). We shall see what happens.

I know I also need to find the right medication. Zoloft is not working. I have developed another compulsion and it is fucking annoying. Plus it has given me amenorrhoea and adult acne, and it messes with my sleep. I could put up with the side effects if it actually worked, but I don’t think it does. It stops my cheek-chewing (lifelong nervous habit) but another compulsion? Seriously? There has to be something better than this. Surely I can’t be that chemically unusual. So, the search continues.