An internet 'Dear Diary' of anorexia

Archive for the ‘Month 1’ Category

Boredom, Recklessness and Mood Swings

One thing they don’t tell you of when you get mentally ill is the danger of becoming bored of being ill, like I have. I’m tired of being tired, hungry, ill, depressed and unable to eat/drink/do what I want when  I want.

I can’t eat fast food because my body is too sensitive to cope with the protein shock, I can’t drink fizzy drinks because my body is too sensitive to cope with the sugar rush, I can’t go on roller coaster and rides at theme parks because I have an irregular heartbeat and can’t breath. I used to be able to do all this, I had fun and loved it, but now I have to stand and watch people having fun. go searching for alternative food when everyone’s buying McDonald’s, I’m sick of being unable to join in.

This recently came to a head when me and my partner went on a ride at a theme park. It was like Vortex at Thorpe Park but with dry ice and strobe lighting. When we were walking onto the ride on the sign it said “Do not ride if you have heart problems”. I knew I would have a problem, but hoped maybe this time it would be different. It was different – it was worse. I began to get doubts as we were getting strapped in, the dry ice was shot out the floor up into our faces (dry ice can affect breathing anyway so already I can’t breathe normally but hadn’t yet realized), the ride began to spin and swing higher and higher. The strobe lighting kicked in (which can make me have blackouts where I have no memory of what happened for the duration of the blackout but I continue to do the last thing on my mind, which if it is to get off the ride I will even if it’s still in motion), so already I can’t breathe and at risk of loosing consciousness to some degree. As the swinging got higher every time we reached the height my heart stopped, the swing down made me feel sick and the spinning was disorienting me, in between stopping beating my heart would then beat abnormally slowly for resting let alone on a spinning, swinging ride. It was bad but controllable, my partner turned round to look at me and could see something was wrong “What’s wrong?” he shouted over the heavy dance track, I told him nothing but he knew I was lying. As the swinging and spinning began to slow down to stop I told him I’d be fine, then an automated voice shouted at us “Scream if you want some more”. We weren’t stopping we were going again and I knew I was loosing control. So we began to swing higher, I tried shutting my eyes but when we swung it felt worse like there was a huge force against my chest preventing me from breathing, I opened my eyes and the giant Ferris wheel at the other end of the fair ground was underneath me, disorientated I was pulled backwards by the swing, by this time my partner was shouting at me, terrified I would pass out and not be revived in time. I decided to focus on a single point so I focused on the face of the  man opposite me, but I could see the ground racing towards me from behind him, I gripped my partner’s hand as he tried to signal to them to stop the ride, I couldn’t breathe, my partner was terrified and there was no way off. Finally the ride stopped and I managed to walk off with my partner supporting me as my legs felt shaky, light and like they could collapse at any moment, when we sat down on the grass my partner held me tight and we refused to let go of each other for a few minutes, we couldn’t hear each other talk over the loud music so we walked to a quieter spot. I explained what had happened and my partner said he thought he was going to lose me, especially when I shut my eyes as he thought I had fainted. We held each other close, I said sorry over and over again, told him I’d done it because I’m tired of being ill, he understood and made me swear never to do anything like that again.

Eventually I’ve become a danger to myself.

Mood swings are a huge problem for me too, I have bipolar disorder so I have a lot of them, and depending on my mood my appetite drastically changes, if I’m depressed I don’t feel hungry and people have to remind me to eat, if I’m anxious I can only eat a small amount or I feel physically sick. So not only am I dangerous I’m dictated by my illnesses.

Que vicious circle. 

It’s Not What It Looks Like

When you start out with an idea, a drive, an incentive, it seems possible, you can see the goal and how you’ll get there. The first few steps are easy because you’re filled with an unstoppable force, then you step back to see how far you’ve come, and realize you haven’t really come that far at all.

I don’t want to eat because I’m not hungry, which means I don’t eat – at all. When I feel hungry I ignore it because I’m busy, because I spent years believing that to be so hungry that it hurts was good because I would remain thin, I would become beautiful through pain, no pain no gain.

I wasn’t beautiful, I was gaunt and always tired.

Now I’ve realized I’m no further than I was before. I get hungry and ignore it. I wonder whats the point when I cant do this without help – or can I? I’m too tired to try.

A small breakthrough happened the other day though. I never have an opinion on food, I eat to be alive to enjoy. I was round my partners parents house and his step-dad handed me a fork with a slice of meat on it. It was juicy, it was soft and it was very flavoursome. I told him it was very good as an automatic response of politeness before realizing I had enjoyed it. For the first time I had enjoyed something, I had tasted it, felt its texture in my mouth and not just registered I was eating. There was enjoyment in a small lump of meat. I had tried to enjoy food by eating it slower, taking time to taste all the flavours, feel the texture and actually enjoy it. But this wasn’t even voluntary, this was just an automatic thing. Maybe there is hope?

There are many people around me who have suffered with anorexia, they say its hard but its possible to beat. Somehow I think I underestimated what I have to do. This is probably about more than just food, this is me, this is my psyche and what I have been through. I know my anorexia is me trying to be perfect after a troubled childhood. But there’s always hope. And hope is all I have. 

Sharing is caring?

So despite deciding to change, I realized the other day I’m now just avoiding the problem and finding ways around it, for example;

When I don’t want to eat any more (not that I’m full I just don’t want to  because of me mental psyche over food) I persuade a friend or relative who I know is hungry to eat it “with” me, this normally means they eat and I pick small pieces to make it look like I’m trying and to cover the fact that I’m stalling. This is because I hope they will finish it and I wont have to try. I then tell myself it’s best that they eat it than to let it go to waste, but it’s all just lies to tell myself I’m getting better when I’m really sitting in the same old rut doing the same old thing.

Suddenly getting better seems a whole lot harder

C

What works for me…

So one problem i have with anorexia is when begin to feel full i stop eating although i know i can keep going, but after years of habit i feel sick at the sight of food and can’t continue.

I often find it hard to do things for me, as in if i’m doing something solely for my benifit i often give up because over time i loose interest or it becomes to much, so like I said in my last post, I remembered how it would help my other half, if I can beat this I would never have to see his face falls when I refuse, I wouldn’t have to see the worry in his eyes as he begins to worry if this is going to lead to my death, I wouldn’t hurt him any more.

So to help I decided to draw a K on my thumb (K being the first letter of my partners name) in the hopes that this might help, so that when I begin to give up, I can look at it and be reminded why I am doing this.

C

The Epiphany

I never normally watch TV, I’m more of a book person but at breakfast I was watching the music channels and got bored so I switched to Gok Wan’s How To Look Good Naked. There was a mum who found it hard to get undressed in front of her partner and was convinced her bum was big, by the end of it she was walking down a catwalk in a huge mall in front of hundreds of strangers in a bikini. I find it hard to even look at myself in one. I found it sad how she hated her body when there was nothing wrong with it, but I realized how I don’t really have anything to hide but can’t face the world seeing me.

Then that ended and Supersize vs Superskinny came on. I was fine watching it till there were seven anorexic’s who the program had been following who had been trying to get better. They all said how they wanted to be the happy bubbly people they were before anorexia hit, I’ve been anorexic for most of my life and I realized I had no idea who I could be without it, they all said how much more fun they were without it, I’ve never known what that is like. They showed the anorexic’s all eating these really tasty looking meals and it struck me that if one was put in front of me, I wouldn’t finish because unknown to me, I’ve been going backwards. The anorexic’s were commenting on how it tasted, how they could taste the cinnamon, or how the taste was delicate and how much they were enjoying it, I’d love to enjoy food but I wolf it down as fast as possible to get eating over and done with as fast as possible. I got quite emotional seeing them because I realized what I’ve never had and all the while my partners words were echoing in my head: “anorexic’s think they’re in control, but they’re really not”, which is completely true.

So I made a new vow to beat this, I can’t sit around waiting to get to the top of the list to see a psychiatrist, because by then I’ll be too far gone. I decided to try again and if I can’t do it for me, then I will do it for my partner.

C

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