I’m not a human I’m a swimming pool.

imageimageBecause this water retention sucks my recently restored ass.

to quote my mother this evening “I would love to see how you’d look if we gave you a diuretic……”.sexy.

This. Just this.

 

For a Reason, A Season or a Lifetime

Going to an all girls catholic school till I was 16 ment I attended yearly religious based retreats and workshops. At the time really I was just chuffed as it ment a day off lessons and homework. Oo ooh and you got to wear your school track suit all day. Delighted.

As with a lot of my religious education and exposure, I absorbed a lot/most of it on a subconcious level ( I can see the argument that it was infact, indoctrination, but really I tend to look on it more fondly…). For instance I saw a new councillor last week and something she explained brought flooding back a particular retreat I did when I was fourteen, based on relationships and interactions with others. This councillor is fabulous! For the first time I feel like I may be able to work through this, she has had anorexia so has walked this path before, is fully in Remission for years and works on a more spiritual level as well as being a therapist ( let’s call her S). CBT was helpful at first but it didn’t, for me, feel as if I was understanding WHY I was using these coping mechanisms rather just trying to change them. It’s not to say it’s not great and will work for many but for me, on a practical level, I could not see my self sitting down every time I encounter a anxiety provoking situation and do a five part model. But definitely my therapist was a fantastic woman who helped me so much but I feel that it was not the right type for me at the moment.

sorry going off on a tangent there, it all how ever ties in to the title ( I promise!). The leader of the retreat introduced me to the idea that relationship changes are normal, the idea that people come in to your life for a Reason, A Season or a Lifetime and that no matter which category they fall in to each is as valid and important as the other. At the time I was struggling with changing friendships as the year before we had entered secondary school and friendship “cliques” had been separated and as an anxious person I hated the idea that my friends would think I was being rude, ignoring them or just not wanting to be friends anymore when really we were just, growing apart. That was a normal process and it did not invalidate the strength of that friendship, what it taught us and how we grew from it. It was about accepting that not everything is meant to last forever, change in relationships is normal and no matter the length of time people are in our lives they can shape, through our experiences together, who we are as a person.

When therapists and professionals talk about your eating disorder they talk about it being your friend albeit a toxic one. But the also talk about cutting ties with her, stamping her out, bulling her. The thing is I would never do that to a friend. Especially one I had been attached at the hip to for so long and was now trying to distance myself from. S explained that she doesn’t see this friend as purely toxic and actually that this disease comes into our life to teach us something. Not saying that we need to agree with her, infact she describes her as being like a friend who is a compulsive liar, but there is a reason she is in your life.

The way I see it is if you try to distance your self from someone who was once your best friend, confidant, boyfriend or anyone you allowed to be a major part of your life through anger, punishment or bullying you just end up enraging them and attempts to avoid them in social situations or indeed any unexpected future run ins become incredibly anxiety provoking. Or if you continue to try and cling on to a someone who is no longer enjoyable company, toxic or maybe you have just grown a part from, it can be distressing and prevent you from moving on in life and continuing your development.

By seeing my ED as something that has come in to my life for a reason, I’m accepting of the fact it stayed for a season but If I cling on to it for a lifetime, the friend that became my support system for a period of my life, would stop me from becoming who I could be. But that dose not mean I should stamp it out rather it will always be in my life I just need to figure out how do distance myself from it, create new support systems and figure out what I learnt from our relationship.

(however I still can’t forgive her for landing me in A&E, on my birthday weekend. But I’m working on it ūüėČ

Well I’m Bloody Glad one of you decided.

The Irish Mammy is a well documented species. The lesser know Irish Granny is an even more fascinating one. It could just be a trait of getting older but the irish Granny is not one to beat around the bush. Talking about how I felt my body had decided to recover and my brain was really not comfortable with it and there for could not take credit for my progress this was what I was greeted with ( lol at the fact my family now think of me as having 2 separate identities…). Not to mention that this conversation occourred in the cafe of a well known irish mental hospital. What is life?

I spoke about extreme hunger in my last post and how it has been vital to reaching near weight restoration. But today is one of those days the change is just too much. Body image is at rock bottom and fighting the urges both to restrict and binge is exhausting. And I guess I am struggling with the knowledge that I am now no longer distinguishable as being slim but yet my eating disorder still occupies most of my thoughts. Like what is on the outside dose not match how I feel inside. And any one watching me will now think I’m just greedy for the amount I am eating, and it’s getting harder to tell my self “you need this food” as I no longer see my self as ill.

This article is fascinating¬†¬†https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hunger-artist/201011/starvation-study-shows-recovery-anorexia-is-possible-only-regaining-weight. But what I have feel is that now I’ve gained weight and the anorexic rituals and OCD tendencies have lessened, my ADHD, hyperactivity, Low mood and depressive tendencies have worsened and I haven’t yet lost the constant constant inner monologue. I guess that it’s just bringing to the fore the fact that my mental health isn’t great and many my anorexia was a coping mechanism for the dealing with them.

The Muesli Monster

I just ate 5 bowls of cereal. Not just cereal but piled-as-high-as-my-bowl-will-permit-oats-granola-musli-and-honey-poured-on-top-cereal. Oh I forgot there was an apple somewhere in there as we’ll but to be honest it was kind of lost in the massive carbathon that was my breakfast. What is scary is that this is a regular occourrence. Sometimes in the morning AND evening.

If you haven’t experienced extreme hunger before I cannot explain how distressing it is/was. This fabulous lady describes it brilliantly here¬†http://everythingeatingdisordered.tumblr.com/post/75096643327/extreme-hunger-in-recovery-from-a-restrictive. It struck me to day that I would possibly not be at this stage in my recovery and most certainly wouldn’t be nearly weight restored without it. Don’t get me wrong it was not fun My life for a few weeks there was eating, sleeping and crying over the fact that all I was doing was eating and sleeping. There was the bloating and stomach pain and the water retention that was so bad I couldn’t put my runners on and I couldn’t bend my legs. I tried to ignore the hunger¬†and would take my sleeping tablet and go to bed only to be told by my family the next morning that I had been up eating porridge and watching gossip girl with my sister at 2am. I even had a bite to eat with my brother at 3am one morning after he had been out and I have NO RECOLLECTION OF THIS. I tried everything to stop this eating during the day time. My anorexia was screaming at me but my body just kept eating. Sure for the first few days I embraced it and the ed noise was gone but a week in I was sitting with my nutritionist bawling my eyes out convinced I was becoming a binge eater.

We actually went through my diet and meal plan and for the first time we calculated the calories ( during my disorder it was not so much about total calories so much as restricting my self to ” negative calorie” vegetables and sugar free jelly ¬†and as common to most eating disorder suffers, over a period of time became terrified of carbs, even my beloved beet root was to calorific). I was shocked to discover what I thought was excessive was actually below my BMR and with my restriction in the previous weeks my body was rebelling. I tried to get back on my meal plan and increase my calories.

It didn’t work. I was eating more than ever and all my body craved was oats. Porridge, muesli, oatcakes, I was inhaling it. I joked it was karma for restricting them for so long. But inside I was in chaos. It was like being two people at once my body was like a feral animal frantically scavenging for anything and everything I could get my hands on but my brain was still firmly disordered and rejecting recovery. Even now nearly 2 months later I am terrified this is never going to stop, that I’m going to keep eating upwards of 6,000 calories daily and keep gaining and gaining. I have no idea what my set point is as I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t restricting/compensating for my intake. ¬†It is starting to calm down and happen maybe once every 48 hours, I’m staring to feel some satiety after them and I’m now craving things such as mince, quinoa, nuts, chocolate and eggs which is a bit of a relief and I’m hoping that this means the weight gain will taper off soon as protein and fats are vital for the restoration of the brain, the last organ to be restored ( I can now do things like read entire articles in magazines without having to re read each line like a gazillion times #winning….).

It’s got to the point where I’m looking at what my family are eating and thinking ” how the hell are you satisfied after one bowl of cereal?!?!?!?!” And I feel totally out of control. But then I’m living a little more normally each day. And I’m genuinely belly laughing on a daily basis, multiple times a day. So is it that my eating disorder that has lost control and my body that is giving me life back? I baffled and it’s exhausting. I just long for normality and this feels so abnormal. ¬†If you haven’t discovered youreatopia.com this is what I’m coming to terms with

http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2012/5/22/extreme-hunger-what-is-it.html

http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2012/10/31/bingeing-is-not-bingeing.html

Gahhh life.

One emotion at a time please….

The feel, the feels, oh so many feels….

I have always been known as being a bit of slow processor when it comes the world of emotions. I have always ( in the words of Hermionie ¬†Granger) “the emotional range of a tea spoon”. So the most striking thing that has happened since this recovery process begun has been the stress of not knowing what I’m going to feel next and also not trusting my emotional reaction to be what it always has been/how I expect it to be.

The role of nutrition in this is and has been vital, but these outbursts for me are terrifying. There was such safety and calm in the anorexia mind fog and know it’s like one minutiae I’m sobbing that I have extreme hunger ( that’s a whole other post right there….seriously why dose nobody talk about it???!!?!) and have eaten the everything including the fridge and the next I’m giggly as my sister and I are walking along the bypass boxing the air in an attempt to tone our waists. I’ve been hit multiple times by the realisation I have lost my first love to this illness. 6 months later.

My consultants senior registrar said to me at the start of this process that I had starved my self in order to block out negative experiences, feelings and emotions. And that in order to experience the positives times in life that I had to learn other mechanism to cope and gradually with refeeding I would start to feel a lot more intensely. As with so many things I have been warned about I poo pooed it. And as with so many aspects of this process it hit me hard and left me wondering will I ever be at normal levels again.