Sunday, 29 June 2014

A presentation and a brick wall.

Months ago, I did a presentation on my mental health to students at Huddersfield  Uni. It went will for being a first go, but not as well as when you really get in your stride, and you're truly comfortable, yanno? Fast forward through a bloody awful few months (I promise I won't whinge too much in this post) (that's a lie, because I feel both tiny and unimportant and very, very obese. Work that out), and we had another scheduled for Friday. For obvious reasons- nose, tube, general look of demonic harpy- it wasn't looking overly likely I'd be able to go, but then Thursday night, it was decided I had enough chub 'n' love to do the thing. AND DO IT I DID. I have, though, definitely learnt that maybe I shouldn't improvise because I have too many stories and a necessity too tell them all, regardless of relevance. Or taste, really. I demonstrated my mating dance. Enough said. But aside from slightly inappropriate stories, ahem, I think it really went well. I ended up telling so much that I had to take meds to calm me down off the ceiling, and that's usually a good sign. Thank you Lincoln's second year nursing students, you were an amazing audience and as crappy as I feel, I also know a line has been drawn and I appreciate you offering me the chance to do so.

That said, can I whinge now? I'm feeling huge. I need a few days off food and, actually, life. Just a few days for Pepsi Max, books and solitude. I'm not really a solitary kind of person, I just like the idea of being invisible. It always happens during re-feeding, when all I want is to be invisible whilst I melt down the size of my thighs. I say that's all I want, but that's not true. In fact, I don't really want that at all, otherwise I suppose I would do it. The voice of the anorexia is louder than mine, but not more passionate. I'm the voice at the back with the valid reasoning, trying not to be taken in by the hysterics tyranny of the anorexia. I must fight, even if it feels as if I am doing so alone.

I'm working hard, it's just taking its toll a bit today. I'm drained, hitting a brick wall, and I don't know how long I can hang on. I'm constantly angry and teary and it's just not me. It's a different misery from how I felt when my weight was low and dropping because now I'm more aware. I don't know, I'm sure tomorrow I'll be feeling better; I've been so motivated this week, so don't worry. I'll get back on track. I'm just exhausted.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Before and after.

Well, the NG tube came out on Wednesday and I've been back at my usual hospital since then. There's so much I want to say about it, but I'm disassociating a lot right now, and to be honest I'm a bloody mess. I need to write, to talk, but the words that come out don't even sound like me. I don't recognise my voice or my actions. I'm not me at all.

I so desperately need, well, I don't even know. I don't think my meds are right, I'm not sleeping and I ache so much, because I've gone from a wheelchair to constantly being on my feet. I hurt.

I don't know what else to say, so I'm just going to post a before and after pic, because when I look at it, I realise how much better I look. That scares me. I'm petrified of that kind of attention right now, but at the same time I need to keep telling myself that even though my anorexia has shit all to do with looking pretty, health is the ideal. I'm proper confused.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Picturesque survival

I am so physically and mentally tired that I want to go somewhere noisy and public and scream myself raw, before succumbing to a hibernating sleep. The idea of screaming back the chokes of sobs sounds so empowering. I'm tired of holding back the crazy, maintaining, as much as possible, the performance and choreography, making myself vulnerable by trying to disguise my vulnerabilities. I'm tired of thinking in circles and contradictions. I'm tired of thinking at all.

Really, I'm tired of the real world. The anorexic word is so small, just a fogged up, distorted bubble and force field against the good and bad, beautiful and ugly. The problem with being tube fed is that the bubble is popped much quicker than it would through oral food refeeding. And I miss the bubble. I shouldn't, it's a horrific place to be, but I do. It was easier than the overwhelming facts of the physical world. I heard the phrase 'picturesque survival' the other day, and that's how it's been the last few months, especially in the few weeks leading up to this NG. As long as things were/are superficially pretty- a nice dress here, explosive laughter there, and always cheerful tweets- and I kept breathing, things were ok. I'd rather not have survived at the time, and I'm not sure, to be honest, how I feel about that now, but it is as it is.

My feed is being decreased from tonight. I'm pleased, mostly because I feel like I've won. I could lose weight on the decrease, if I stop eating, orally, the bits I've been cramming in. I'm also confused, because I think it's more the anorexia making up stupid games to play, without explaining the rules to anybody else, and that's not a real victory. I'm competitive as hell, but I'd rather win on sturdy goal posts. Besides which, I'd really rather not have to go through the physical and mental aches of refeeding again. I'm still quite a way from healthy, weight-wise, and so it's more risky. Whatever weight I lose, I'll always have to gain. There is always an NG tube at most, a few months from the start of a new, hardcore, relapse. I don't coast.

I'm sorry, I'm not sure what point I'm trying to get across. Maybe, it's that I apologise too much. Maybe, it's that you shouldn't assume things are good because I've accepted the feed, taken in food, gained back some of the weight. Maybe, it's that there is no point. Maybe, it's that the point is the charade, the picturesque survival, and how much I need to keep it up.

Or maybe, it's that I'm a time-bomb, mentally.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Guilt.

Let me tell you one thing this relapse has taught me; people are incredible. I've had so many visits and so many messages and, God, I didn't realise, I suppose, how many people get hurt and caught up in this shitty cycle. Anorexia is a lonely disorder, it convinces you that nobody cares and nobody is getting hurt, the latter especially being the biggest piece of bull going. Oh, people get hurt. Every kilo that comes off is another worry to everyone around you, and the misery and loneliness is contagious. I'm sorry, I really am. I wish, in a sense, that it was as lonely as it feels, because I really only meant to hurt myself, in the hope of reaching some kind of peace. It's a bottomless pit though, and the peace of solid ground never comes. All that happens is that people are forced to watch the fall, with their parachutes being refused.

It's an unproductive guilt that has gripped me right now, though. I'm caught up between guilt of what I've done to people and guilt of the calories and somehow they've become intertwined. Opposites aligned, to beat me down. I'm writing, really, to try and straighten things out in my head, but truth be told, I'm just confused as hell. It's been 2 weeks since I came in for this NG tube and I thought I'd have been able to talk my way out by now, but I'm being really half arsed in my attempts because of the guilt of knowing that I'm playing the game to get out and get the weight back off. I'm pretty much half arsed about everything right now. The doctor said it could be weeks longer before I'm out, which has petrified me because I have been eating like those people who can't fit through doorways, they're so big (i iz wot i iz), so that I could use it as leverage to get out of here, with reassurances to myself that the weight gain is temporary.

I'm angry. Reading this back is making me angry. I am so, so gripped by this disorder right now, and now I'm kind of crying at how much I've really, really messed up and I'm not even sure by that if I mean messed up by gaining weight or messed up by letting the anorexia win. I don't know what to do, and I'm sorry.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Operation: Get Boobs Back.

Well, we're just over a week into the NG refeeding. I hate the word, I'm thinking more of this time as an excuse to eat a shit tonne of chocolate and marathon Desperate Housewives, with the aim of being able to fill a bra again. It's quite nice being flat chested, dead handy, but the novelty is wearing off. This is Glass Half Full Condron, obviously. She's quite a nice person, especially when given sugar. Glass Half Empty Condron is not quite as amiable- she'll fly into a rage about being denied Pepsi Max, with the argument that she's an 'adult with capacity' and if she wants to fill her body with chemicals and fizz, she's entitled to. She's not so lovely, especially after sugar.

I'm obviously a bit of a mess right now. The highlight of my day is the 300ml of Pepsi I managed to get my consultant to agree to. The lowlight is every single comment around how well I look/sound/seem, compared with before Operation: Get Boobs Back began. I've found myself coming up with an excuse every time as to why I seem better. I can't seem to accept that it's because, yanno, I actually am doing better. I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to gain weight, whether it goes in my mouth or down my NG tube, so I might as well eat everything I've denied myself. Yesterday, no word of a lie, involved a cheese sandwich. It was rubbery, institution cheese, like, but cheese all the same. It's like I've been given permission, because like I say, I'm going to be forced to gain weight anyway. For some reason though, I find myself defending the recent improvements I've made, hiding my progress behind crappy excuses. I'm not quite ready for everybody else to realise that I'm changing, in both attitude and body. I suppose I'm embarrassed, but I'm not entirely sure what of. The Anorexia still has its claws in there, and as ready as I am to kick this shit, my changing body is both terrifying and invigorating. I'm two different people right now.

So, with that being said, please don't comment on my physique. Don't tell me how well I'm looking. Pretend you haven't noticed. Do not, under any circumstances, comment on what I'm eating. Just let me get on, and we'll be just fine. I feel huge, scared and alone, and to get on with beating this under those circumstances is pretty hard, but don't make me isolate myself and hide, because of the fear of what you might say. I'm going to be fine, it's just a hell of a rocky road. I need to get the NG out, get discharged from the general, sort my head out, get out of my usual hospital and get the hell on with my life. One hell of a rocky road.