Tuesday, 28 October 2014

You.

Hey, you. You. Stand up. I didn't mean that literally, but if you did, then stamp. Stamp about the injustices served on you. Stamp on the things you tell yourself in the dead of night. Stamp on everything you've been told, and pause to smile at the good things that you've learnt. Stamp on your demons. In fact, take a dagger to them, because they're not as strong as you are. I know it hurts and I know sometimes the demons are all that you feel you have, but take that dagger. Own it. You have and are so much more. I promise.

You are so damn beautiful and you contain a lot more than hurt and pain. Your beauty comes from so many waves and places, crevices you never knew your yearning body has, as gorgeous as your mind and your love. You are not your past. You shouldn't have to relive what they did to you, and one day you won't. Just know, that every day you make it out of bed, you are a phoenix rising from the ashes of days gone, that burn you from the inside out. You're fighting even harder than you know. And those days where you don't rise are just, well, days. Do whatever you have to, to survive, but remember that although the sun sets, it does always rise.

You're strong, stronger than you feel now. One day you'll see it. See the beauty that surrounds you, see the beauty inside of you.  You'll recognise how you fought for all aspects of life; the good and bad, no longer numbed and explosive.

Please, please keep rising. If I could, I'd introduce my demons to yours, and let them fight each other, rather than us. They will never win, not against us, and the fact that you're still here just proves that. You may have nearly died, you may have wanted to more than you've ever wanted anything else, but it can't last. It just can't. Please, please look after yourself. If you can't be happy- and that's absolutely fine, because one day you will- at least be as safe as you can be. Please. It's ok to ask for help. It's ok not to be ok. But one day, you little warrior, you will be more than ok. I have faith in you, even when you don't in yourself, because you see only the negative and I don't, I love it all.

Fight, I know how much it hurts and it's messy, but it'll be worth it. We'll do this.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Frustration.

I'm starting to get really, really frustrated You know how when you've been seriously ill and you're in hospital or whatever, as you start to get better you just get to a point where you might not be totally well, but you're bored as hell, because it doesn't feel like you need to be there? I reckon that boredom is a pretty good sign of recovery, both in the analogy I just gave, and as where I am now. I'm at that level where I'm so bored of being bored that I can't really be arsed doing anything to combat it. Saying that, there's not much I could do about it even if I wanted to. Just keep on keepin' on, Condron.

I told my psychiatrist et al that I'm being neglected in here and that I'd be better at home. Granted, I was in an awful mood and so I was a bit dramatic, but I stand by what I said. And my anger and progress persuaded them to let me go home later today, until Sunday; home for more than a night, for the first time this year. GET. IN. But back to my neglect- they won't take me off my meal plan and let me sort out my own diet, but instead they're actually going full days without giving me food so I am sorting myself. If I wasn't feeling as strong as I am, I'd be en route to another NG tube, if left to them.

I'm ok, I'm fine, I'm just frustrated that things aren't going quick enough. I'm ready to do this, to kick arse, to get the life I always wanted. I can do it. I will do it.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Free dumb!

Oh Lawwd, have I lot to write about right now. You know when you're so far into a tunnel that you're just digging your way further in? That was me, up until Friday morning. You know that moment when you realise the light at the end of it probably isn't a train? That's me in my brand new state. Where did that come from? Hope. Not a woman named Hope and not, I dunno, religion or something, but actual hope in the future- in having a future at all- and in my ability to make my ambitions into my autobiography.

So what changed? I feel like I've gone from begging and pleading people to recognise that I'm not the person I was two years ago- the victim of circumstance, existing only at the time that somebody needed something to abuse. The person who drank to the point of major psychosis and emergency psych admissions. The person who over-compensated for her lack of self-respect and confidence by coming over so brash that she alienated everybody around her so as to avoid being hurt. I'm just, I don't know, brand new and ancient- I've gone from begging for acknowledgement to feeling like I've been given it and the release is amazing.

I had a big meeting on Friday. My psychiatrist, doctor, hospital social worker, community social worker, nurse, occupational therapist, ward manager, mum and I. BIG. When you're sectioned, you're meant to have these every 6 months, but mine was supposed to be in June, when I was in the general hospital with the feeding tube and had only just been re-scheduled. Obviously, a lot has happened in the 10 months since my last big meeting, so I was shitting it. Almost literally, swear down. Somehow, though, everything I needed the staff to say, was said.

In short; I'm doing well. I'm on the road to discharge. I WILL BE OUT OF HOSPITAL EARLY NEXT YEAR. It's been literally years that I've been in, and so a couple of months longer is actually nothing. I am reeeeally bloody thrilled (that's me being typically British and understating. Maybe the first thing I have ever understated. Progress, baby!). I keep having to go to my room to squeal. It's so hard not to just type everything in capitals. CAPITALS. With extra letters. Extraaaaa letters.

Shit's coming up Condron :).

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Physical health + mental health.

'When I saw you a few weeks ago, I could tell you were Anorexic just from looking at you, but now you wouldn't know!'

First off, let me just clear something up- I don't romanticise being underweight. I don't look at pictures of the emaciated without feeling unbearably sad for the people concerned. I don't fantasise about bones and paper skin and physically fragility. I hate my body at low weights, as much as I hate it at healthy one. But with that said, I do have a bit of an identity problem, where it's hard to work out who I am without the eating disorder. I'm not sure, most of the time, that I am anything more than a creaking version of Pandora's Box.

As much as I hate all of my issues being evident to anybody who sees me (or, at least, as much as I hate people assuming they know my issues from the stories of my visible bones), I'm almost missing not having to feel constantly like I have to justify and explain my suffering. I was chatting to Alex the other day, and she made a comment about her head being behind her body, and it's so completely bang on for me, too. My head isn't ready to accept my relatively new healthy body, nor am I as mentally well as I am physically (which says a lot considering I'm always physically ill). I'm struggling even more, now, with food than I was before.

Weight gain is a crucial part of recovery from being at an Anorexic low weight. But it's just that; a part. It's dealing with one symptom- weight loss- and not with any of the issues that caused the weight loss. It's important to stabilise physical health, but it's just as important to stabilise mental health, too. So, to get to the quote I started with, making a comment like that is just so, so ignorant. And unnecessary. I spend too much time already crying over my size, without thinking that others are spending their time too analysing my size, too.

Just please, please don't mention what I'm eating, how I'm eating, what my body looks like, what my weight is... it's pretty simple, because you wouldn't make comments to a non-anorexic about their size if they'd gained a lot of weight, and that unwritten rule applies even more to those of us struggling to conquer our skeletons.

Friday, 10 October 2014

World Mental Health Day

I was going to have a bit of a rant about how mental health awareness is given just one day a year, but you know what? That's not true. Check out Young Minds, par example, on social media- they're an incredible charity, looking all year round at the problems that can cause or exacerbate poor mental health in young people. There are a lot of people working really hard to make it so one year we just won't need this day, we will have a year of awareness, because society will have shifted. Here's hoping, anyway.

I posted on social media today that I'd answer any MH related question, whether about poor mental health in general, or more personal. I'm going to share my favourite question with you, and how I answered it....

Matt- I'm going to ask you the same question Stephen Fry poses in his bipolar documentary (and the one my Mum answered that surprised me!) If there was a big red button in front of you that would take it all away and make you 'normal' ... Would you press it?

Me- Depends on how you define 'normal'- if normal is having no mental health problems, then yes. The highs are great at the time, but the fallout from them- the sections, the vulnerable positions I put myself in, the hurt and worry it causes my family, the relationships that have been ruined- then yes. Definitely. To be able to eat because I'm peckish or fancy something, that would be nice. The lows and anxiety, obviously, please take. But if normal is, well, average, then no way. I'm not my mental illnesses and I think going through all of this, meeting so many people from units, has probably made me a better, more interesting person. Take the illness, but keep the lessons learnt and the complete oddity that is my personality.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Dramatics.

Right, it might as well be said (written? Typed? These are the tangents that define my life), I am really bloody dramatic. Even my body does it- like I wrote last time, I've got myself another infection. I've also now got an absolute bitch of a cold, and a gippy stomach. Why, oh why, can I not just get the sniffles? I need to eat a box or five of those strawberry chewable vitamins. Criiikey, I can't even take vitamins in a non-dramatic way, see? Oh, my dramatic life.

I used to love drama at school. I kind of saw it as an excuse to act like a total twat, back when I cared too much what people thought to just act like a twat all the time. It's not a problem I particularly have now. When I got to uni, because I studied politics, performing became doing presentations, and because at that time I confused having no self respect with being free, I would go to confusedly ridiculous lengths to avoid having to do them. I thought I was free, but actually, I was just miserable and more caged than ever.

Slowly, I'm discovering that I can laugh without alcohol, that I'm pretty damn weird and that's all good, and, crucially, I don't always have to be in character.

It's all about getting to the person I thought I was during performances, but actually being that person, rather than a canvas for whomever I was to play. Away from performances and back to presenting, yesterday I went through to York to do a presentation to students on my experiences. I've done it a few times, at different unis, and I love it. It's owning my history and my future. It's speaking about things that Just Are Not Talked About, Ever and feeling comfortable and uncomfortable. I don't know. It was a lovely group we presented to, too, and it means a lot to me, because whether they realise it or not- it's things I need to say and acceptance I need to feel. No more hiding behind characters and masks.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Poor body.

I've really been shaking stuff up, getting down and making some changes. Well, ish. I've managed to get me an ear infection that's so bad I ended up at the general yesterday. It is shaking it up from my usual chest infections, though. That's something.

I have a terrible immune system. Thank-you Anorexia, thank you. If there's a cold going around, I end up with a chest infection. Back in the self harm days (besides ED things it's been 9 month. Serious, check me out), whatever I did to myself would end up infected. The effects of eating disorders can be so much more long term; problems arising, still after re-feeding/weight gain. I'm not too far off a healthy weight now, but still the problems persist. Honestly, when I get ill (if you know me from reading this regularly, you know how often I'm ill!), it terrifies me. Not for the infection or virus or whatever itself, but for the question, 'what the hell have I done?'

I've always wanted a big family, lots of kids. My mum has 5 sisters and the stories from her childhood and the stuff they did are hilarious. I want to love and nurture a person who will know that it'll all be lovely. I want to shelter but expose, for my child not to want for anything, but at the same time, not to get all they want, materially. I never dreamt about a wedding, but always I've wanted kids. Named them and renamed them hundreds of times. That's my biggest fear. I don't want to be redundant. But what if I've ruined my chances, in the quest for some peace of mind? I know that there are other options- adoption, fostering, etc. I know that, but, I don't know. All I know is the fear of the heartache that may be ahead.

My body can't cope with keeping me well, even when my mind is workingworking to do its best to keep my weight up. If it can't cope now, what happens after the next time I relapse, god forbid?