Friday, 19 December 2008

"Dem Bones Dem Bones Need Calcium"

Everything about moving has fallen apart in a rather dramatic fashion. I was due to fly on Tuesday, have yet to change my flights but there is no way I can go. My apartment fell through in a web of betrayal, deceit and...well, mystery to be honest. I'm not quite sure what to believe at this point, or why things unfolded the way they did, but needless to say, my dreams to go back to New York in time for Christmas have been shattered. I can't really say more about it than that- I'm still reeling from the blink-of-an-eye way in which the coming months so quickly took shape, and then in a similar blink-of-an-eye way crumbled.

Other than that, things are kind of the same. Or not. I had gone to the doctor for blood tests last week to try and figure out why I am STILL sleeping 15 hours a day, STILL too dizzy and tired to do anything, STILL feeling like I have been hit by a bus. The lab results came normal, then the receptionist giving the results asked me if I had spoken to the doctor about my x-ray. What x-ray?!!! Turns out that my trip to the ER a couple of weeks ago resulted in bringing to light an abnormality in my spine. It seems that my spine is starting to curve- which explains the 3 inches of jutting vertebrae constantly rubbing on my chair. One word: osteoporosis. yes, at the age of 26, I am developing a hunchback.

Drink your milk kids.

I don't quite know what to say about this either. I'm going to meet with my doctor on Monday and see from there, I guess? I don't really know much about osteoporosis. I was diagnosed almost 7 years ago and deny it as much as I can. A quick google brings up images of x-rays that churn my stomach. Ignorance is bliss. Though I can't ignore the fact that I have to sit on buses and trains at an angle because the plastic bangs into my back awkwardly.

On a different note, I stumbled upon this tidbit of information today:

"your brain, which requires at least one fifth of your daily caloric intake to function properly"

who knew?..

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Everything's Changed (Back To What It Was?..)

I last posted over a week ago. Things haven't really changed from a physical point of view. I'm still sleeping insane amounts, still feeling horribly unwell and still no clue what is actually going on with my body right now. Different people have different theories- adrenal fatigue, food intolerance's, depression, thyroid problem. It's all being investigated.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday night I started exchanging emails with a really good friend of mine in New York. Turned out, she is moving into a new apartment this week and looking for a roommate. Within 24 hours, I had booked flights, made appointments with a psychiatrist and therapist and am all set to go.

How do you know if you are doing the right thing?..

The reasons I left New York remain pretty much unchanged. The reasons why I want to leave Edinburgh so badly are accumulating by the day. I *need* to get out of Edinburgh and New York is the "easiest" option (as in, I know the city, have somewhere to live, etc). I don't know if it's going to work out this time. I pretty much stopped caring about ANYTHING somewhere amidst my move to London, and that also remains unchanged. I don't want to go back, but honestly? I don't want to be anywhere right now. I am NOT (for the record) suicidal. Hell, I don't want to be dead anymore than I want to be alive right now.

Something in the emails sparked *something* in me, and maybe now that the initial excitement has worn off, am just overwhelmed by moving, yet again, and the increasing frustration with the situation in Edinburgh.

I don't know what to do, and I don't know what my options are right now. There are so many "pros" to moving, and far less for staying. Lots of cons on either side. Nothing feels quite right about this, and I can't think straight enough to figure it all out myself. But I don't actually have anyone in real life to talk this over with...(and yes, I am aware how pathetic this is).

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

When Your Body Says, "Enough"

Really, I probably shouldn't be surprised. I treat my body like crap for years, then get incredibly angry and frustrated when all of a sudden, it says, "whoa... I'm not taking this anymore". It seems, I don't know. Irritating. I feel like it's MY body and it should damn well behave how I want it to, do what I expect it to. Not turn around and slap me in the face like a wet fish. Lol. Sorry- not funny. true, but not funny.

The has been prompted by a mystery "virus" that I have now had for almost two weeks. I should point out, that eating disorder aside, I never get sick. I can't remember the last time I had a cold, cough, stomach bug or anything. Then all of a sudden, two weeks ago, I start sleeping for an extra 3-4 hours a day, joints aching, nausea, stomach pains. I attributed it to my sudden (though not drastic by any means) change in my diet. I was actually feeling on top of things and increasing my intake/variety in foods, and thought that perhaps my body was just getting accustomed to a new routine.

Fast forward to the past weekend and I figure, "hey- I'm just lying around in bed...maybe I should cut back on my food a little, go back to what I was having and see if I feel any better". That lasted a total of 3 days before I ended up in the emergency room, hooked up to oxygen and fluids, with dangerously low blood pressure and pulse rate.

I don't know if I DO have a virus and just lack the immune system to fight it off properly. Or if my body is finally trying to put a stop to the hell I have been putting it through. Or WHAT''S going on. My blood tests aren't showing up any kind of infection warranting antibiotics or "treatment". I've been told to rest and return if symptoms don't improve.

Part of me feels like this should be an epiphany moment- an "aha- the human body is remarkable, I'm so sorry, let me repent and I'll do good from here forward", and the other part is like, "WTF BODY? I'll change in my OWN time".

I am changing. I am making progress. I feel more of a pull towards recovery than anorexia right now. But I know me and I know that I am going to be mighty pissed if I put in loads of effort to eat better, gain weight, do all the stuff they told me in my nutrition groups and am STILL completely unable to stay awake for more than 3 hours, or walk to Starbucks.

I feel like I have to do the emotional work before I do the physical work. I don't think it's as simple as that since they are so entwined, but... I don't know. I can't DO the physical aspect without working on the mental stuff, and the mental issues? I don't even know where to begin. It's such a catch-22.

Anyone got advice about where to start?.. :/

Thursday, 27 November 2008


Something propelled me tonight to come here, log in, and click the "new post" button.

I have nothing to say.

I'm not "depressed", but there is this lingering wall of sadness standing strong around me. I'm tired. For no reason. I'm sleeping for about 12-14 hours a day. I've done absolutely nothing productive the last few days. I sit, I stare at the wall, I think, I try not to think. I start making lists, then tear them up and start over. I have an ever-growing stack of mail piling up that I'm not remotely interested in opening. About 10 unread text messages in my voice, several unplayed voicemail messages. I stare at the computer and click from one link to a next. I'm not reading or even looking. I'm being weird and I'm well aware of that. I just don't know WHY.

I microwaved an Amy's burrito for lunch today. Stared at it for half an hour then stuck it in the fridge. Dinner time rolled around and I pulled out the damp plate with the cold burrito sitting on it. I sat and ate in silence. I couldn't taste it, couldn't feel it in my mouth or going down my throat.

I feel completely dead inside.

Maybe we're not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful is recognizing what you have for what it is, appreciating small victories, admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know and maybe we're thankful for the things we will never know. At the end of the day the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.

-Grey's Anatomy

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

I Don't Want To Grow Old (With Anorexia)

Do you ever think about the future? Stupid question, perhaps- everyone thinks about the future in some way. Whether it's planning dinner or picturing a wedding, the fact that time doesn't *stop* is one thing that is certain in life. I mean, do you ever think about when you are older, say 30 or 40 years from now, and you are looking back at your life?..

It hit me this evening that I am terrified of growing old, spending my years like the recent few. I am terrified of reaching the age of 80 having not eaten my own birthday cake since I was 11, of not eating my mom's cooking when I had the chance, of not eaten a piece of pie at Thanksgiving. I'm scared that time is moving too fast- that I'm going to wake up and my life could be over. Having never had a real job for any length of time, never had a meaningful relationship, never had a day where I didn't obsess about food/weight.

I'm TERRIFIED, not that I will die as a direct result of my eating disorder, but that I will live my life in the grips of an eating disorder. If you can call it living.

I remember when I was diagnosed, at the age of 12, with anorexia. It never occurred to me that I would be dealing with this for more than a few months. I didn't think it was POSSIBLE to struggle with this well into my 20's. I am now 26, which means that over half of my life has been consumed by this disease. The thought of another year is bad enough- the thought of a lifetime of this? A "lifetime" is a long-ass time!

I want to change. I need to change. There MUST be another way. There MUST be more than this.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Digging For A Cause

I really have nothing to say right now. I still have the feeling that I have been run over by a bus, still feeling like curling up in bed for the next 6 months, still having no desire to do anything/see anyone. Hell, I haven't switched on my phone for 3 days, never mind actually called anyone.

I don't know where this came from. A week ago things were really starting to look up, then all of a sudden, "BAM". A couple of things did contribute, looking back...

I was living in London with a friend's family a few years ago. I was working with a treatment team, had my friends nearby. I wasn't doing "well", but there were concrete plans in place to help me move forward. My dad (who has always been opposed to "treatment" and thinks I should just sit in a garden and be healed by nature) persuaded me to move to Scotland and live with him. I knew that there were/are VERY limited treatment resources in Scotland but he assured me that *he* would take care of me, that his wife was a dietitian who would stay at home with me, that we would eat together, do things together- set up our own "care plan" to avoid another inpatient admission. I stupidly agreed. Packed my bags and left. It became obvious pretty early on that things weren't going to work out for lots of reasons. My dad worked long hours so was never home, his wife and I didn't get on so the atmosphere in the apartment was horrible, never mind "healing". I didn't know anybody, didn't connect with the therapist I was assigned to and regretted moving, but going back to London at that point wasn't an option. So I stayed. Within a few months, I NEEDED to get away and focus on my recovery which was when I went to New York for treatment. Whilst I was there, it became apparent that I would be there longer than the anticipated 3-4 weeks. I couldn't give a date for WHEN I would be back, and my dad, out of the blue, called me in the hospital to say he was selling his apartment, moving abroad and putting all my stuff in storage. His reasoning was that he was retiring and needed the money from the sale of the apartment to live off. I understood this. I wasn't happy about it, knowing that if/when I returned, I had nowhere to GO, but it was his apartment/his money/his choice.

Fast forward to now. I am staying with my mom, in the storage room of her apartment. It's also my brother's room. He is away at college so doesn't need a big space since he's never here, but the room is filled with his and my mom's stuff (I have 2 small suitcases in the sitting room behind the sofa and have gotten rid of most of my things because there was nowhere to put it). I am in the process of registering as "homeless" and applying for "supported housing" (ie, a shared house with 7-8 people who struggle with mental health problems, mainly psychotic illnesses- been in one before and they are SCARY places to live). On Friday night, my older brother came for dinner and just happened to mention that my dad is coming at Christmas, having bought an apartment in the city. The plan is for my older brother and his girlfriend to live there and pay rent to cover the mortgage until my dad moves back.

I am so angry and hurt about this. I don't understand why my dad sold his place with such urgency, making out like he desperately needed the money, and now less than 2 years later has bought another property (which I am 99% sure was more expensive). I am angry that I gave up EVERYTHING I had in London to live with him and believed his lies. I'm angry that he has put me in this situation of being "homeless" without accepting any responsibility for that.

Most of all, I'm angry with myself. I'm 26. I should be working full-time, living with friends/by myself and not relying on my parents at this point. But I am. I'm just angry and hurt by the situation, and there are so many unanswered questions. None which I feel I have the right to even ask, never mind get answers to.

Wow, that was long.

So yeah, that was on Friday. Saturday morning was when I woke up and things had "changed".


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Pushing Through?..

I haven't written for a few days because things have been going well. I seem to have less to say when I'm feeling better- I've been busy with non-eating disordered things, applying for jobs, planning, planning and more planning. I've been eating better, sleeping better- altogether on a far more even keel. I've been excited about the future again and pushing away any negativity and doing what I need to do in order to MAKE a future.

Until yesterday.

I don't know what happened, or why my mood crashed or *what* happened. I just suddenly realised that I had no desire to do anything, nothing concrete to hold on to. My dreams and hopes suddenly seemed incredibly unattainable and childish. I got up yesterday, on autopilot, ate my breakfast and stared at the wall for an hour. Went back to bed and slept for 3 hours. Got up and didn't really do anything all day. It's VERY unlike me to not even go for a walk, but I had no desire to even brush my hair, never mind pick a play list on my iPod, throw on my scarf and hit the streets. I ploughed through the day somehow, hoping that today would be different. I followed my planned meals, acted "as if"- hating myself for eating, hating myself for making the couple phone calls I mustered up the motivation to make, for filling out the forms sitting on my desk. I did it anyway thinking that today would feel different. Better.

Today has been a similar story. Got up at a ridiculous hour (4:30 am), ate breakfast on autopilot, stared at the walls and went back to bed and stared at the ceiling. Decided I might feel better if I got out and DID something so walked for a couple of hours in the freezing cold until I couldn't stand being outside anymore.

I've been home for a few hours and everything feels wrong somehow. I'm tired. I feel deflated, hopeless, despondent. I don't know what the answer is right now- nothing has changed from 3 days ago to now. I just don't feel motivated anymore.

Maybe I went too fast? Maybe I didn't go fast enough? Maybe I did too much, too little, the wrong things? I don't know. I wish, wish, WISH I could go back in time to 18 months ago and try to do things differently. Or 2 years ago. Or 3. Hell, 15, and see if knowing what I do now, things could be different.

(not that this way of thinking is actually helping anything...)

Monday, 17 November 2008

A Few Words To My Mother (vent)

I'm definitely recognising a pattern in my mood fluctuations. Daytime is generally better. Weekends are hard, and evenings are often unbearable. I am linking this to a few things- evenings, I am definitely tired. That's a big on. I don't recognise "low energy", but I feel the pain and despair growing as darkness falls. Another factor is that my mom is home in the evenings and on weekends.

I mentioned before about certain people causing obstacles in my recovery, and the need to break off contact. For now, I am living with my mom so there is very little I can do. I am SO grateful to have a roof over my head, but I'm starting to wish I had taken the offer of going down the "psych unit --> homeless hostel" route instead. I can't relax around her. I feel like I need to be constantly proving myself. Proving that I am not useless, not worthless, not destined to live my life in institutions. I find myself applying for jobs, flat-hunting, making phone calls, etc, PURELY to avoid the barrage of insults and accusations. Honestly? I'm scared of her. I'm scared of her judgements, her verbal assaults, her screaming and yelling. I'm spending money I don't have to buy food for both of us to avoid *that* issue being thrown in my face. I refuse to turn lights or heating on to avoid *that* issue. I clean up after she goes to work and again once she has gone to bed to avoid *that* issue. I'm constantly on edge around her which just adds fuel to the fire. We sit down for dinner (I cook) and it feels like "X-Factor". Me, rattling off the list of oh-so-productive things I have done that day. Yet it's never enough. It's not enough for ME and it's most definitely not enough for her. Why didn't I go to a pottery class? Why didn't I go to the library? Why didn't I join a club/write a novel/win a Nobel prize/climb Mount Everest?

Why? Well, dear mother...let me tell you something. I am struggling right now to keep my head above water. I am painfully AWARE of the fact that I DON'T have a degree, I DON'T have an active social life and I DON'T work in some high-flying well-paying job. I do not need reminded, time and time again, that I am too old to be living with my mother/need to get structure into my days/need to get a life. I can't do it all at once. If what I am doing right now is stopping me from overdosing again, then that's enough. If what I am doing right now is improving my physical state so I CAN start enjoying things again, then yes...that's a priority. I'm sorry if this doesn't sit well with you. It was hardly my life plan either m'dear. BUT, I am moving forward. I am taking steps. I have an interview tomorrow for part-time volunteer work. I have broken out of my "oatmeal for dinner" routine. I am reading the news again. I am in touch with my friends. I'm SORRY I can't just be *fixed* purely because YOU are frustrated with the situation. Trust me... I feel my own frustration with this all.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

On My Own

Last night ended rather disastrously. I don't know what triggered the surge of emotions, or why I didn't even fight the urges I was having. It seems that as I give up some behaviours, others crop up- hitting hard, with me, unprepared to adequately fight them.

In hindsight, I was tired. I hadn't slept well for a few days. I'm incredibly lonely here in Scotland, becoming increasingly frustrated at the conflict that arises from wanting to *be* well, and not sure if the steps I am taking are the "right" ones. I'm tired of fighting myself. Tired of fighting the constant barrage of obsessions and compulsions, and tired of...well to be honest, the overwhelming desire to recover. If there was no WANTS involved, I'd surrender to the thoughts and the conflict wouldn't arise in the first place. It's the in-between stage of wanting to be sick/wanting to be well that provides the breeding ground for any kind of negativity.


Today is a new day. I got up and ate breakfast. I've been trying to increase my intake over the last few days and for the most part, have been successful. It's causing a lot of anxiety for me, but I am pushing forward and hoping it gets easier. Nobody KNOWS I am doing this (well, anyone reading this does!) and it's hard without support, but I've come to realise that people, for the most part, don't actually care anymore.

It's not about them anymore.

It's not about who has answers, who can help me, who can support me, who can love me.

I'm on my own now. I'm terrified and lonely and spend a lot of time fighting the urge to SCREAM or CRY or just reach out and hug someone (ha- sure that would go down well, lol) but it's the reality I am facing.

Perhaps it will feel more empowering in the future- to know that *I* did this. That *I* created a life for myself, got back on my feet and said a big "F*** you" to the people who have caused more of a hindrance than anything else. In the future. For now, it hurts like hell.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The Importance Of Belonging

I have decided, that no matter what, I need to make sure that I am *okay*. Not in a selfish "it's all about ME" way, but that despite the chaos and negativity going on around me at home/with my treatment, I am able to take care of myself. I am in the process of cutting off contact with certain people- they ones who mean well, but have too many of their own issues for me to be a part of their everyday lives.

Anorexia provides me with the security/predictability that my home life never has and it's only now that I am realising how important it is to have some kind of "family", whether they are blood-related or not. To be a part of a caring and nurturing environment is what I want (and need) if I am going to heal. Maybe I'll find it in friendship. Maybe religion. Maybe living in a small close-knit community. But *somewhere* there is a place where I will be unconditionally accepted.

It's okay to want this. It's okay to need this. It's okay to belong- to find my own niche in life where I am in the company of others walking the same path. I need to figure out who *I* am, beyond the identity that anorexia gives me, and then find a place to finally call "home".

Friday, 14 November 2008

And Just Like That...

...everything crumbles again.

I've been doing better the last couple of days. Feeling brighter, more hopeful, more determined to get my life back on track. I've called insurance companies, treatment centres. Reached out for help, dusted off my old DBT manuals, prayed (for those that know me, this one may be a surprise- I'm not exactly religious!) I've been eating better, sleeping better, looking forward to things again.

One of the things that has been occupying my time has been trying to find a treatment program that is either free, or accepts my insurance. I finally found one, after several long conversations with the insurance company. The logistics are tricky. It's in New York, but nowhere near anything- in itself, that wouldn't be a problem, but the program runs from 4pm - 8pm 5 days a week, and is about a 2-hour commute each way. I don't think it's going to be an option. Actually, that's not true. It COULD be an option. But nobody else thinks it is. My mom walked into my room tonight and said, "I think you should just try to see if what's on offer in Edinburgh is enough".

I don't know quite why this has shattered my positivity the way it has. I'd RATHER stay here and improve things at my pace. I'd RATHER settle somewhere for a few months and focus on voluntary work, etc. But I don't know how well it's going to work out. I only seem able to sustain my motivation for a few days at a time, if that. Throw in the recent suicide attempts and I think I'm in over my head at this point in terms of putting things back together on my own.

I don't think 4 hours a day, 5 days a week for a month or so is going to do a great deal in terms of my mental OR physical state, but it might be a jump-start and is at least *something*.

I don't know. I could rent a room for the few weeks, or stay in Edinburgh, or...just flail wildly until someone sees I'm struggling. I WANT so desperately to be able to do this myself. I seem to have lost all concept of what's NORMAL though- how people spend their days, what they eat, what they think about, what they do for fun, how they just get on with "life".

I feel so lost. I want to move forward, I just don't know how at this point.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Less Choice, More Choice...Whaaat?

Some of my decisions have been made for me- for now at least.

Things in London aren't going to work out. So my choices are staying in Edinburgh, or returning to the US. I have a lot to consider. This afternoon has been spent on the phone to insurance companies and programs in the US, and various organizations in the UK.

I like the attitude of providers in the US. Health care is not easily accessible, but the treatment I got, for the most part, was worth fighting for. Sure, some of it was crappy beyond belief, but they all hold the same basic idea that EVERYONE can make a full recovery. I'm looking into various types of programs. I don't know if I want to commit to a long-term program right now- I have nothing stopping me, but I guess...well, I'm scared. I don't know if 3-5 weeks of 4 hours a day is going to make much of a dent in my behaviours/mindset and may make things worse? I don't know.

IF I stay in Edinburgh, the plan is to see my therapist weekly and be monitored by my GP. I've hated the place I go for therapy since I started there. Something about it just really rubs me the wrong way- perhaps the stark contrast between the attitudes there and the attitudes of that in the US. Being written off as a lost cause/hopeless case at the ripe age of 23 when I first went didn't sit well with me.

Staying in Edinburgh means I don't have to get well. I don't have to fight my eating disorder, don't have to face up to my demons and *gasp* move on with my life. I can drift from one low-key job to another, occasionally be admitted to hospital to stabilise, maintain the bare minimum "safe" weight. Forever. And that is what my life would look like- therapy, blood tests, meaningless/boring jobs, the social isolation that anorexia brings. It's a pretty bleak prospect.

The US is somewhere I HAVE to be healthy. It's just not negotiable. And that is what has appealed from day 1- I want to be there? I have to be doing well. No "maintaining the bare minimum weight", no staying in bed for 3 days or walking for 12 hours a day. I have to be eating properly, have to be working, have to be healthy. It works for me because I have so much social support and love the lifestyle/culture/family I have there so much that I desperately WANT to be a part of LIFE. Not like here where I honestly don't give a rat's a** about anything.

I am trying to think of ways of bringing what I love about NY to the's hard. Things are different. People are different. Life is different. I know that peace/happiness/whatever starts from within, but I also believe that environment is where it breeds.

So many things to think about right now.

Meanwhile, I need to figure out how the hell I am going to add in a tablespoon of peanut butter to tomorrow's meal plan...(and yes, I am aware of the fact that eating 90 calories worth of peanut butter should be the LAST thing on a 26 year old's mind).

Monday, 10 November 2008

Uncertainty Breeds Opportunity?

I'm still swinging wildly between highs and lows, and still have no idea what is going on.

I've realised a few things over the years- the main one being that without a definite plan, I tend to go a little crazy. Also that even when I have a definite plan, I'm looking for the *next* thing which results in me being crazy. This knowledge is all fine and well- doing something with it is a whole different story.

The current plan is...there is none. I still have the option of going to London I think. I'll find out more on that front on Wednesday. Honestly? I hope that the day program says they are only offering OP initially because then I can cross London off my list without having to make a decision myself. I know that I want to be in New York, and I know that in order to get there, I need to be stable enough to work full-time without having some kind of breakdown/relapse. Struggling with anorexia and dealing with the US health care system is difficult. Struggling with suicidal ideation and dealing with the US health care system is NOT something I want to face (leather restraints and visions of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" anyone?)

So somehow I need to get back onto my feet and figure out how this time in New York will be different.


Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday is the day I find out about London and what the eating disorders service there are recommending. I also meet with my therapist in Edinburgh (lovely woman who told me I am a waste of NHS resources...quite a self-esteem boost). I also have an interview for a part-time job which sounds interesting/cool/fun/useful (in terms of something concrete on my resume/experience and all that jazz...)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Wants V Needs

I'm definitely feeling a lot brighter today. I feel like I have more clarity in my thoughts, my ideas are less clouded by despair and hopelessness. I have a clear vision of WHAT I want, and that's part of the battle.

The last couple of years have been about trying to figure out something very basic: do I want to live or do I want to die?..

Having made the decision to LIVE am now faced with the task of figuring out exactly how I go about *doing* that. It's not so simple as breathing, eating and sleeping.

I want to create a "life worth living".

I know, on a basic level, that food, sleep and oxygen are essential to staying alive. There is so much more than that. We have other needs and wants too...there is a difference between "wants" and "needs" and I struggle to see wants/desires as important in day-to-day life. Maybe that is part of the problem.

It's okay to want things. It's human nature to want things. It's okay to want to have friends, hobbies, pleasure. Food...that's a tricky one for me. It is, to all intents and purposes, a basic need. A part of me believes that, and another part of me believes that it is merely a "want" that can be brushed aside and ignored.

According to this, food is a basic physiological need.

There are so many layers above the basic needs. At least I know where to start though, right? Prioritising physiological, then working on the rest. One layer at a time...

Friday, 7 November 2008

What Should I Do With My Life?..

In order to avoid falling into the same panic as I have been, decided maybe writing down my thoughts/feelings and the facts might help me figure out what I am going to do from here.

Backtrack a little...

The plan when I returned from London was as follows:

- get involved in local Buddhist community events
- use the limited support available from eating disorders service to the best of my ability
- enrol in a part-time course to brush up on computing skills, etc so that when I do move back to NY, have better job prospects
- look for part-time work (either voluntary or paid)

Then I got a phone call this afternoon from the eating disorders team in London saying that day treatment MIGHT be an option for me. Which would mean delaying New York and somehow figuring out a way to live in London whilst engaging in treatment. This poses a few problems. First of all, London treatment was the better of the UK options available to me. It's hardly great treatment. Better than what I have right now, but I'm not convinced that it's reason enough to move (initially had been combination of school AND college). I know and trust this program, but again, the treatment for adults in the UK isn't about recovery in any way/shape/form, and I don't want the stress of moving to spend 5-6 months in a day program where the goal is to "live with my anorexia". I've pretty much made up my mind that I *will* recover and will do anything for that to happen. I don't know if I can do it myself, but I am not convinced that going back to London PURELY for the day program is a wise move.

But it MIGHT work. Yes, I would much rather work things out here whilst living in a semi-stable environment, focus on learning/work/community activities/socialising but again, I don't know how well that is going to work's pretty much what I did when I came back this time last year.

There is so much to consider. So many options and so many limitations.

A few things I am certain about...

- I want to live in New York
- in order to DO that, I need to be in a strong enough position mentally and physically to hold down a full-time job and not *need* so much input from medical team
- friends are what keep me going. It's my social life and the culture in New York that I absolutely LOVE
- I need to recover. No more time to waste pissing around, trying to "stabilise", pretending I am tryingreallyhard when I know I could be pushing myself a LOT harder than I am

The real question is, how do I get from where I am to where I want to be? If I get the opportunity, do I try the day program in London? Or do I try to work with what's on offer in Scotland? Or do I brush it off and focus on building a life for myself based around community support/the real world and try to 'squeeze' my eating disorder out of my life? Or do I go into an inpatient program in NY (refeeding- nothing more) and hope that with weight gain comes something more? (Kind of "been there, done that").

Aaaaaargh. I'm so confused.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Life Isn't A Game. There Are No Winners. feels like a long time since my last post, and it feels almost foreign right now as I read it back. A lot happened after writing my previous entry. I ended up back in hospital for a few days. It was decided that I could be discharged on the understanding that I return to Scotland and live with my mom. The alternative was to stay in the acute psychiatric unit until the eating disorders team picked up my treatment (they were offering 10 outpatient sessions, starting in January). None of the options appealed much, but I decided that moving back to Scotland would be the best bet for now. For a few reasons. All of which I seem to have forgotten since my plane landed last night.

BUT, as unhappy as I am about living with my mom again, I am feeling a strange sense of optimism. London felt almost as New York did last summer- one knock-back after another, doors closed in my face, everything just crumbling.

I did have some amazing conversations whilst I was in the hospital and in the day following my discharge. Not with psychiatric patients, not with mental health professionals, not with my family. But with people my age who I happened to meet (where they worked- in Starbucks, at the airport, or on the bus). I don't know quite what it was about these conversations that touched me so deeply. Perhaps how peaceful they felt. They didn't have high-flying jobs. They didn't live in great apartments, struggle to get through each day. They seemed content with what they had. They were a pleasure to talk to, to be with. Just to have NORMAL conversations about random stuff. I don't know if it was just the stark contrast between the thoughts tumbling around my head at the time and the mundaneness of everyday life, but it really did make me think about my situation and how I am NEVER content with what I have. I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself in any given situation to be the best, to strive harder, to push further. Inevitably my standards become completely unattainable and I shrink back into the shadows of my eating disorder because I *know* I am good at that.

So, yes. Being around for the last week has introduced me to a world that was (and still mostly is) alien to me. A world of contentment, acceptance, recognising what is REALLY important, what life is REALLY about. No, our conversations didn't get to that level ;) BUT just interacting with these people has opened my eyes a little and given me lots of food for thought...

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Another Downer...

I don't remember a time when I wanted to die quite as badly as I do right now. I have exhausted all my options in terms of trying to move forward and honestly don't see an alternative. This isn't an, "I'm going to kill myself right now- goodbye!" post BTW. I just don't know what to do. I had thought/hoped that coming to New York would help with my depression, lift me out of this "funk" and remind me why I want to get better- being in NY has always motivated me on some level because I wanted so badly to live here. This time it's been a completely different experience. I have no desire to live here. I have no desire to be well enough to hold down a job (who would hire me? I can't *do* anything of use). I have no desire to go back to college, to lose more weight/to gain weight/to eat/not eat... I've spent a crazy amount of money this week because it doesn't MATTER. I don't need money. I don't need anything anymore. I'm so tired. I don't want to be in New York, don't want to go back to London, don't want to live with anyone, don't want to be by myself. I just don't want to be around. Period. I don't even want help anymore. I just want to be left alone.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Yet More Whining

Being back in New York, albeit briefly, is causing a whirlwind of emotions. There is a part of me that wishes I could live here and wants to try, again, to somehow make it work. Then there is the other part of me that is overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle, the bright lights, the craziness and can't wait to leave. I'm feeling unsettled, anxious. I'm still not sleeping, and spend my days walking (and walking, and walking). I'm spending as much time as possible with other people and for the most part, enjoy it. I LIKE the fun stuff I do with my friends, and my laughter is genuine...and for moments, I forget.

I forget what it was like when I did live here. I forget what it was like in London. I forget the mess of the last couple of months. I forget that I leave New York on Thursday, and have nowhere to go when I leave the plane. I forget that I have no concrete plans beyond this week, because...well, who knows what landing back in London really means.

I feel like I am in some kind of limbo period. I'm not sure what my next move will be and I lack the patience or clarity in thought to give it any real consideration. I'm exhausted- not in the sense of jet-lag/overexertion, but in the sense that I don't want to DO this anymore.

I'm tired of the constant barrage of thoughts dominating my brain. I don't know how to make it go away- some say weight gain, others suggest medication, some say psychoanalysis, CBT, DBT. I've spent more time talking to psychologists than I have to my own brothers. I've tried eating my damn chicken salad sandwich and drinking whole milk. I've taken the anti-depressants/benzos/sedatives/mood stabilisers/anti-psychotics. There is no magical fix. Food isn't the answer. Medication isn't the answer. Therapy, relaxation, hobbies, friends/family, avoidance...sure, they all have their place and at times have been invaluable, but in terms of long-term stability? I'm starting to wonder if there IS such a thing.

I don't want to try anymore. I'm sick of doctors, hospitals, group therapy, affirmations, meal plans, drugs. I'm sick of pretending I am fine and falling flat on my face because in my haste to be "normal", I forget to eat or sleep. I am sick of wanting a life where I am not bound by the chains of anorexia, yet not knowing how to break free.

I want an answer. I want to know how the hell to get OUT of this mess. Because as time goes by, my options are becoming more and more limited, my vision becoming more and more narrowed. As yet another door is slammed in my face, I become more and more drawn to desperate measures to make it all just *stop*.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Wherever You Go, There You Are

I'm not sure what I expected to happen when I arrived in New York, but it certainly wasn't what has been going on. I think I thought I'd adapt better- I've only been gone for 2 months. Somehow it feels big and intimidating. My anxiety is through the roof, I've had a total of about 6 hours sleep in the last 72 hours, my eating disordered behaviors have reached a level I haven't encountered for a really long time... I don't know. I feel lost and frightened and hopeless. I think it's partly because I am around people who I KNOW care about me, and yet I feel like I have to hide how I am doing to not worry them. So I am putting on this front that everything is great/wonderful/never been better, and behind the falsity of my smile, I'm crumbling.

I am trying to be okay. I am trying to take care of myself and just enjoy my time here. I'm not having a great deal of success. I feel like I am drowning in a sea of hopelessness. I don't see anything in the coming weeks/months/years that I have to look forward to. Just falling further and further into the same old hole, and not sure which way is the way out. Up, right? It's obvious. But heading "up" is not quite as straightforward as it sounds when you are stuck in quicksand.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

And So It Goes...

I left hospital on Friday after my assessment with the eating disorders team. I don't know yet what treatment they will offer me, or whether or not I have the motivation/energy to keep pushing through with treatment and trying to make a life here in London. I am finding it so difficult to function on a day-to-day basis, that it's impossible to think further down the line than the next few minutes/hours.

I, rather impulsively, booked a trip to New York as soon as I arrived at my friend's house. I leave in less than 72 hours. I am too caught up in depression and anxiety to feel anything but dread about this. I am GLAD that I am getting a break. It's been a long time since I have gone to New York for a "holiday" and if I can manage to relax, it will no doubt do me the world of good. So far my thoughts are swinging wildly between trying to land a job whilst I am there and staying, seeking treatment there, coming back and moving back to Scotland, coming back and engaging in treatment in London, then the back-up plan of just calling it quits and repeating the recent incident. I don't know what I want right now, never mind the steps involved to get there.

At least in New York I will feel safe, be spending time with family and friends and not surrounded by the temptations and negativity pulsing through my veins right now.

My plan is to have no plan- see if going with the flow for a week helps. Danger of that is that I then romanticise New York. Everything is good there. I don't worry about the same things, I have family and social support. I feel safe, loved. Not like the UK where I have support out of NHS guidelines dictating "duty of care", or Edinburgh where I don't even have that.

I feel like I do nothing but whine and complain in this blog. I originally started it as a journal of my recovery, my progress, my unfolding LIFE. Instead it logs my peaks and falls, my slow declines, my rapid mood swings and impulsive choices.

I have more coping skills than I let myself use. I honestly forget they are there in those moments of "oh my god!!!!!" then regret it once I am face with the consequences of my actions. I'm not used to consequences the US, my actions had repercussions which I ignored (didn't like what the doctor said? pfft...go to a different doctor) and in Scotland, there were no consequences ("you want to lose xlbs/take x pills/do xyz...go ahead!") There is a part of me that KNOWS, full well, that any consequences are felt most harshly by ME. I hurt myself, impact MY life when I do these things, yet I can justify it to myself time and time again, because honestly? I don't care enough about *me* to stop most of the time.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Who Decided To Call This A "Funny Farm"?

I am feeling strangely disjointed right now. Everything is still up in the air which is driving me insane- I obsessively plan everything as far in advance as possible, from where I am going right down to what I will eat. I like details, like consistency, like to be in control. So many things are in other people's hand right now- hands I don't trust, and hands I want to slap away from keeping hold of *my* future.

I'm getting confusing messages from various people regarding my treatment, living options, aftercare, relationships. Different people say different things and I'm not even sure who is in charge or who is doing what. I should be doing it. But I can't. This is all tied up to bureaucracies (seriously- right now various organisations are literally arguing about whose responsibility I am for housing since nobody is able to determine my last fixed address). Where I live affects where I go for treatment. Where go for treatment affects outcome. Sad, but true. The NHS is AMAZING purely because it exists, but it truly has earned it's nickname "the postcode lottery".

But I digress.

I am grappling around, making lots of phone calls, speaking to lots of people- trying to figure out what my options are and what the best course of action is right now.

Meanwhile, I am still in hospital. There is nothing funny about this farm. From the second my eyes snap open at 5 am, I am surrounded by noise. One patients singing at the top of his voice as he paces up and down, banging the walls. One person darting around muttering to nobody in particular, then yelling out, "do you understand?" repeatedly. One patient who laughs hysterically 24/7 (yes, even in his sleep), then there are the ones who appear relatively "normal" then mid-conversation you realise that the topic has switched to something so bizarre you are suddenly reminded exactly where you are living. Needless to say, I spend as much time going out for long walks as possible. I am walking about 6-7 hours a day- I go out, keep my head down and pound the streets until I am too tired to think anymore. I can't "think" because my mind takes me back to the same thoughts, the same feelings, the same desperation that led me here in the first place. This is a REALLY difficult place to live in. It's even harder to think that whilst I may not talk to imaginary people or hold a belief system that the world is conspiring against me, I am enough in need of help that the same doctors treating the other patients, deem me too much of a risk to myself to leave.

I just want to feel better. This isn't a healing environment. My eating disorder runs rampant, my emotions are wildly out of control, I can't sleep and with each passing moment, feel more and more out of touch with reality. But I both need and want help. I know the steps to take, and I am NOT just making excuses, but I need to be in a different environment before anything can even have the potential to change. My priority right here and right now is getting through each hour. Between the chaos on the ward and the chaos in my head, it's proving difficult. But I am managing. Somehow.

Monday, 13 October 2008


I'm starting to feel better. My thoughts are clearer, I feel, overall, safer. I am spending as much time as possible out of the hospital, walking the streets, playing "normal"- what started as an act, is becoming a reality. I have started reading again. Spending less time on the internet and more time relaxing. I curl up on my bed, book in one hand, head rested on the other, and lose myself amongst the words in my novels. It's an escape, similar to that which I get from anorexia. A break from reality- transported to a land of make believe. It's refreshing. Calming.

Things remain uncertain about future plans. I'd be lying if I said I am okay with this. I like to know what's happening, like to plan, like to make elaborate lists and charts and know the exact who/what/when/where/whys of any given scenario. Right now, all I can do is wait. And wait. I can't speed up the process- simply have to accept that it IS a process, it DOES take time and I need to practice acceptance and patience with that which I have no control over at this point.

One day at a time.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


I have been sitting in my room all evening, thinking, planning, reminiscing. Out of nowhere, it all seemed to make sense. I've been avoiding thinking about the last few months. The last 2 years. Ever since I went to New York for treatment...all the time that has passed between now and then. The amazing people I met, the amazing taste of a life without anorexia I had briefly, the amazing opportunities that were handed to me, and how fucked up. Time, after time, after time.

I miss New York more than I can say. Not a day goes by when I don't think about it, dream about it, ache for it. I miss what I had- my friends, my family, therapy, goals, and most importantly, hope.

I've avoided thinking about it in depth because at this point, it's dangerous. I tried, and almost succeeded, to kill myself 3 weeks ago. I genuinely did want to die, and I still do. I don't see a way out of this. There is too much reality tied in with my emotions now. This isn't a chemical depression- this is the cold, hard reality of the choices I made, the mistakes I made, the trail of destruction/pain/heartache/anger I have left behind me.

I don't think I have the strength to make another attempt. And that is almost worse. It wasn't a decision I came to easily, or a path that I wanted to walk down. I simply saw no alternative out of this hellish existence I created for myself.

I want so much, and it hurts. It hurts because I can't HAVE it. There is no tangible reason for WHY I can't have it- it's not overly ambitious, not extravagant in any way/shape/form. I have tried, and tried, and tried again to make it work, make it happen, make my dreams come true.

Accepting that it may never become a reality for me is not sitting well.

I feel shaken, agitated, angry, hopeless. I sit and I drift off into the fantasy of what life could be like. I feel powerful, happy, excited. I think about the past and tears run down my face, my body cold and limp. I stare at the ceiling and count. One, two, three, four. Anything to make the memories stop. I count calories, protein grams, fat grams, sodium, sugar, fibre. I calculate weight in kilos, pounds. BMI, RMR. Numbers, numbers, numbers. Anything to block out the relentless stream of questions in my head: "why did I do...", "why did that...", "how can I...".

I want so much and yet so little at the same time. My brain is split by conflict that I need to resolve. Somehow, somewhere, someday.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Frustration, Fear, Freedom

I'm still in hospital, still unsure about what is happening, still swinging wildly between optimism and despair. Throwing myself into the mundane routine that life on a hospital ward provides and doing everything I can to avoid, avoid, avoid.

Avoid the emptiness. Avoid the pain. Avoid the anger, the hurt, the loneliness. Avoid the choices. Avoid the constant barrage of impulses, compulsions.

I want so much and yet so little. I'm seen as "weird" here (ha- being called "weird" by someone who spends more time talking to her coffee mug than she does to people is rather amusing). Weird because I don't WANT this life. I don't want to rely on other people for money, for help, to take care of me. I don't want to have a future that is filled with hospitals and pain and torment and rituals. I want so much more- well, not "more", just different. I want to feel useful. I want to feel cared for. I want to be content. I want to be earning enough money to get by, without wearing myself into the ground. I want stability. I want to sleep through the night, live through the day. I want to laugh, to have friends. I want to be back in New York. I want to go to bed each night feeling like I did something worthwhile that day, not praying that I don't wake up.

And yet it's so difficult. My rituals and compulsions are filling my time in hospital. The routine itself has changed slightly, but the underlying rigidity and obsession remains untouched. Just with the added stress of having to fit my craziness around the schedules of the most chaotic people I have come across. I want so much to be free from this. THAT was where the suicide attempt came in. I didn't see an alternative at that point. At this point. I still see no alternative that I haven't already tried.

I'm telling myself to hold on. Just hold on and hold on and hold on at some point, it may get easier. It's a fight. Every damn minute that passes is a struggle. It's a fight one part of me believes in, is determined to win. Then the other part that is tired of fighting without actually getting anywhere.

I WANT to move forward but I really don't know how. It's not as simple as just eating, or just gaining weight, or just taking a pill each morning/finding a new hobby/reciting affirmations. Anorexia consumes every minute of my life and there is no easy way THROUGH to a life without it. Easy way OUT, but that isn't going to take me to the place I want to be in 6/12/18 months time. I want so badly to be well. And yet I *need* this. It's like oxygen to me and I don't know if or how I could exist in this world without it.

I'm stuck.

Stuck between the happiness of moving forward and the heartache of letting go.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A Kind Of Update

I'm not quite sure how to explain where I am or what's going on right now. As is evident from what I have shared here, things have been consistently getting more and more chaotic over the last few months. I don't know why my "plan B" suddenly jumped to "plan A", but needless to say, it did, and I am now in hospital. It's been two weeks so far. I wish I could say that I am getting support, working things through and putting my life back together....but that would be an outright lie. I am becoming increasingly isolated and despairing. Things feel so unbelievably hopeless. The "help" I am receiving is beyond ridiculous- nurses who can't read medication charts, patients who go AWOL and come back intoxicated to the point where they can do little more than throw up and pass out, and little more than the company of my fellow patients muttering to people *I* can't see to pass my time.

The days and nights are merging together. My anxiety is spiralling. I want to crawl out of my skin and escape what has become my reality. I am scared to sleep, scared to be by myself, scared to be around the people I am now living with.

I am learning the true art of compassion and understanding. We all have our own struggles. To see beyond the illness, whether it's cancer or schizophrenia, takes up a lot of energy. To realise that there are caring, honest, genuine people beyond the delusions, the torment, the's draining. We are all fighting for something. Whether it's to be out of hospital, to be happy or to be away from the government conspiracies (!), we are all striving to achieve something which feels out of reach. We are all so different, yet similar in so many ways.

I have absolutely no idea how long I will be here for, or where I go from here. I am swinging between the extremes of despair and frustration, to an excited optimism, One part of me wants so desperately to fight and get well (not "improved", not "stable", but HEALTHY) and it's fighting against the part of me that just wants this to be over once and for all...obviously the two are balanced enough that I am sitting here right now. The real question though is which part is going to win in the end? I am at a crossroad, and standing still is no longer an option.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Temporary Hiatus

Just to let you know (does anyone even read this?) that I was admitted to hospital just over a week ago. Not sure what the plan is, or how long I'll be here, but I'll be back to blogging when I am home...

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Old Cliches Ring True

I must have typed up and deleted about 6 entries by now. I don’t know if I am just tired, or depressed, or *what* exactly, but I feel horrible. There is nothing tangible that is wrong- I have a lot of anxiety right now about various things. But also just a lot of “ickiness” that I can’t even put into words.

I feel strange. One part of me is so excited about everything that is starting to open up for me right now, and the other part just wants to curl up in a ball forever. I’m so scared and I don’t know why.

Maybe I don’t need to know why? Maybe I just need to accept the fear without analyzing it? I think that an analytical route right now is probably a bad idea. I don’t have any kind of support right now, I can’t do anything to jeopardise work/college at the moment, and really? I think I need to stop thinking so much!

- focus on what is going well for me
- focus on the task at hand (getting through tonight, getting through classes tomorrow)
- stop worrying so much about the things I can’t do anything about right now
- accept that I have this depression/niggling anxiety, but it’s ONLY a feeling
- do the things I CAN do in order to (excuse the psychobabble) minimise the vulnerability I have to negative emotions (eat properly, get a decent amount of sleep…all that jazz)

More than just “wake up, breathe, keep breathing…” My goals are oh-so-simple, and yet oh-so-complicated. Take it

Monday, 8 September 2008

You Can Never Go Home Anymore

It’s a difficult thing to comprehend right now. My head isn’t in a place where I can think rationally about finding somewhere to live, figuring out how to pay for it, then all the stuff to do once I move- little things like changing my address for my bank, etc. It’s just so draining. I feel like I am drowning in unfamiliar waters, and it’s sink or swim time… I can’t swim, and drowning seems to be my fallback.

I’m feeling really lonely here too. Strange, since I definitely have far more connections in London than I did in Scotland, but I’m lacking the professional support I have been used to.

There isn’t an actual urgency to sort everything out at this point. Part of me thinks I should give it another few weeks, get settled into college so I at least have SOME concrete “roots” and structure, but then there is this Achilles heel part of me that wants to do everything immediately. Slow and steady would be the logical course here, but I am frantic and scared and just want everything to be sorted out logistically, and I’ll figure the rest out later.

I feel guilty for expecting help with this. I feel guilty for not just being NORMAL. I should have a job, share an apartment, have a 4-wheel drive, 2.4 kids. Instead my life revolves around food and weight and little else. I am hoping school broadens this a little- this could potentially be the start of something that will turn things around for me once and for all. Or it could be, like in the past, the key that sets the wheels in motion for another full-blown relapse.

Time will tell. Hopefully I have learned from my past experiences. I think I have...we'll see.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

In Over My Head

I wish I could adequately articulate what’s going on right now, without sounding melodramatic or repetitive. The truth is that I *am* under a huge amount of stress right now. Valid stress, not just what I perceive to be stress. I am beyond grateful to have a roof over my head for the next few weeks, but really… I am homeless. I have no true roots right now, and no guarantee that I will have a place to call “home” in the near future.

I’m terrified that I have screwed up my life beyond repair. I’m in a complete mess in every aspect, and not quite sure how to change it. Emotionally, physically, educationally, financially, socially. There IS no magical answer, no “quick-fix”. I feel like everything I have been clinging to with regards to my eating disorder, is the ONE THING that remains constant through all of this- and that makes recovery not only unrealistic right now, but damn near impossible.

I literally have nothing else.

I don’t know how to go about sorting out the chaos around me. To somehow wake up tomorrow with a full-time job that I can cope with, a place to live that I feel safe in and can afford, and without all the physical/emotional baggage that comes with years of anorexia.

It may seem obvious. Stop right now, start walking the recovery path, etc. Does it really ALL come back to eating more and gaining weight? That isn’t going to erase the last few months/years. It isn’t going to transport me back to happier times. It isn’t going to guarantee that the future will be brighter, just that I won’t have any offer of help to deal with it.

This sounds so bleak and hopeless, and yet so over-the-top “woe is me”. I don’t know. My thoughts are as jumbled and chaotic as this entry is. Everything seems both so simple and so complicated at the same time.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Lack Of Therapy = Lack Of Thought

I have now moved. I’ve been here a little over 24 hours, and already am feeling the strain. Everything feels so unfamiliar, so daunting, so complicated. I’m struggling with the disruption in my routines, new environment, the crowds, the uncertainty. I’m finding things difficult that for so long have been easy for me- little things like buying a sandwich for lunch suddenly seem so complex and intimidating. I feel like arrows of anxiety and fear are firing at me, and I’m being beaten to the ground by invisible blows. I’m scared to go outside, scared to eat, scared to sleep, scared to breathe.

I am very aware of the fact that if I don’t get a grip, and soon, this is all going to come crashing down and end in disaster.

I need to enrol in college.

I need to find somewhere to live.

I need to, somehow, find a balance and be able to juggle “life” with the demons that continue to plague me wherever I move to.

Since coming back from New York, I haven’t been in therapy, and it was only yesterday that I realised quite how much this is impacting my world. Not only have I stopped talking about how I am feeling or what I am doing- I’ve stopped thinking about it. I’ve become increasingly drawn into the shadows of my eating disorder, because it’s just too easy to let it’s grips tighten when my voice is silenced. And in the silence, anorexia grows more and more powerful, until my voice is completely mute. My world shrinks and expands directly in proportion to the extent of my ability to step outside of myself and look objectively at the correlation between “me” and “anorexia”. Looking at what drives my behaviours helps me to understand exactly what’s going on and what I need to do about it. On the flip-side (NOT looking at it) I then get caught up in the web of anorexia until once again, I am too entangled to even have the motivation to try and find a way out.

I’m struggling, and I’m scared.

Monday, 1 September 2008

It's Really Happening (what is?)

"Overwhelmed" doesn't even begin to cover it. I am moving this week- most of my stuff sits in an apartment 500 miles away, and I'll be joining my possessions on Friday. I want to say that I am excited, happy, relieved...but this feels oh-so-wrong. I moved away from London for very valid reasons at the time, and moved to somewhere I believed would offer some different opportunity. To summarise, it's been a disaster from the word "go". My original reasons for moving, in hindsight, stemmed purely from fear. I was running. Not *to*, but *from*. I've been running ever since, and now am going back where potentially, I could be forced to face those demons once again if I don't tread carefully.

I know how the system works. Scotland has been a bit of a minefield for me, New York even more so. I've been out of my depth when it comes to certain areas, and it's shown. The stress eats away at me, little by little, until it has eroded half my body and half my brain and what's left is a vacant shell where my soul once lived.

London NOW feels threatening. I know it too well. I know where the obstacles are, and am a "pro" at avoiding them. I'm talking in terms of medical treatment here. I know the system better than I know the streets. Where to live, where not to live. When to show up to appointments, when to cancel. This could well work in my favour, unless my negativity is running the show, and knowing me/my patterns/my eating disorder, it's oh-so-easy to become a statistic when 1) stress from moving and college starts to become consuming, and 2) I know how to avoid doctors/treatment if I choose to.

I'm scared.

Scared because I know that things aren't going well. I eat my oatmeal, smile, say "good morning" to my family and go off on my adventures for the day. I pretend everything is fine. I want to go to college, I want to see my friends, I want to go back to dancing, I want to be healthy, I want LOTS of things.

But really, I don't. I don't want it ENOUGH. I am scared of eating, scared of breaking my rituals, scared of giving up my obsessions. My heart thumps erratically in my chest, my heart pounding against what feels like a boa constrictor around it. Every breath hurts. I'm tired, I'm dizzy, everything hurts. It's hard to think straight because I'm so exhausted, cold, confused.

I feel like a wimp for 1) feeling like this, and 2) verbalising it. I have said it on my blog, but I would never say it out loud. How weak of me to not be able to take the blows I throw myself. How pathetic of me to complain about something purely self-inflicted.

And yet I don't know if it IS self-inflicted. I'm not doing anything overly disordered. My body is perhaps just weakened, or maybe everyone feels like this and it's normal after all?

It's been a draining last 24 hours. I'm sure I'll feel differently tomorrow. If not, I can mention it to my therapist, who will confirm that yes, I am indeed, absolutely fine and should shut the hell up and get over myself.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Changes On The Horizon

Everything suddenly seems to be happening so fast. Too fast. I have been offered a place at college to do a course I am really interested in. I applied, thinking that 1) I wouldn't get in, and 2) that it didn't start for another month.

I got a place.

It starts in less than two weeks.

No problem with this, except that it is 500 miles away.

Suddenly it seems a little daunting.

I want to move. I NEED to move (which was partly why I applied), but suddenly have run out of time and there is just

I know me, and I know it will all come together in a manic organising frenzy. I'll sort out accommodation, packing, train fares. I'll do the paperwork, buy the textbooks- fly through the first month on adrenaline, then it will hit me that I really didn't think this through at all.


Then I'll be 500 miles away from "home"- my family, my treatment team, all that is familiar. I'll be waiting for an intake with my new treatment team, the stress of my course will be kicking in, everything will be overwhelming and without the adrenaline, I'll crumble.

I need to stop this spiral before it starts.

Breathe. Relax. Remind myself that this course isn't the be-all and end-all. It's only a year. I don't have to do it forever if I decide it's not right. I can always come back here. I have more friends and support in London than I have up here- hell, the only reason I moved here in the first place was to live with my dad, and he moved 1000 miles away a year ago. I WANT this. I want to move, and at least with college starting, I'll have structure and deadlines and momentum to get me through the stress of moving (I thrive under pressure, then crumble when the initial stress is lifted).

This has the potential to be a disaster. It also has the potential to be amazing. I'm going to focus on the "amazing" aspect for now...

Friday, 22 August 2008

There's No Method To This Madness

I feel so divided right now between what I am doing, and what I should be doing. I know better than this. Years of treatment have forever entrenched into my head that I do indeed need to eat. And yet, deep down, at my core, I don't believe that it's necessary. I don't see why it's so essential. I know the science, the facts, the physiological reasons behind nourishing the body, and yet on an emotional level, it seems so unnecessary, so absurd, so self-indulgent.

I feel like I should be taking better care of myself, and then find myself questioning, "why?". What have I done to deserve to eat? What have I done to deserve to feel strong and healthy? What is the point in taking on energy when I don't particularly want to face whatever challenge tomorrow brings?

Then of course, there is the basic survival mechanism that kicks in. I'm sleeping a maximum of 3-4 hours a night. My feet feel numb and tingly, my body shivering, my thoughts racing, my nights haunted by images of food leaving me stumbling around the house at 3am, weighing myself, just to 'make sure' that it was, indeed, nothing more than a dream.

It hit me today that I am back in the UK- yes, it's taken a while. It also hit me what I have left behind. I feel like a piece of ME was left behind. I started crying as I was waiting for the bus...on my way "home", and yet feeling like "home" doesn't exist anymore. I am so incredibly lonely here. I miss my friends, I miss my regular therapy appointments, I miss having reasons to get up each day, a purpose. I miss what could have been, rather than what *was*. I am still clinging to this fantasy that I have in my head about how life in New York COULD have been. And yet wasn't. It wasn't until today that I started to miss it, romanticise it, want to try again.

But I can't.

I am left trying to pick up the pieces or the horrible mess I am left with, and falling apart in the process.

I have no sense of what I want to do right now. Until today, I have been completely shut off from feeling anything, and now the heartache has set in. The numbness that initial restriction brings is starting to wear off, and there is an aching longing, yearning, wanting...for something that I don't know if I can ever have back again.

Pick myself up, dust myself off, start all over again, right? No. It doesn't work like that. Radical acceptance? Perhaps. Or maybe more of a begrudging acceptance. This is what happened, this is where I am now. How do I deal with it? I don't know the answer to that. All I know is that it hurts like hell, more than I will ever be able to put into words, and that I am dealing with it the only way I can right now.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Waiting For The Peak, Waiting For The Fall

I'm sitting here, trying to focus on something other than food. My thoughts are racing, my heart is pounding through my chest and it's all I can do to just SIT and not grab my bag and start walking (where I would go at this time of night, I have no idea). I feel like the walls are closing in on me, the floor is tilting at funny angles, it's hard to catch my breath, to think, to read, to write. Where is this coming from? Today has been, in my book, a pretty good day. I'm not fighting urges to purge or exercise, not having intense thoughts of self-hatred/self-destruction, I'm just anxious.

Just anxious? Really? That sounds so undermining. This feeling is REAL, dammit. I am anxious as hell, my brain feels like it's about to explode. I want to scream, throw things, run, but am almost paralysed by the intensity of this fear.

I'm okay.

I am overtired, stressed, coming down from far too much caffeine earlier today and probably (definitely) haven't eaten enough. All factors which, according to DBT, increase vulnerability to negative emotions (don't ya love the lingo? "you know you've been in therapy too long when...")

I need to step back. Regroup. Remind myself that as bad as this feels right now, it will pass. Anxiety cannot rise forever. It will peak, and fall, and meanwhile...yeah, I'll feel crappy. But I don't need to do anything now that is going to make it worse in the long-run.

Focus on the things I achieved today (I was pretty productive for a change!), focus on the task at hand (unwinding for the night- I've been up since 4am) and accept this anxiety without judging it, and let it pass...

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Food For Thought

I wish I had something more to say than just, "I'm still around". I feel really empty at the moment and have little to say at all, not just in the world of blogging. Everything feels strangely quiet- an eerie kind of silence which usually means trouble is brewing.

I'm not doing well, but there isn't any thoughts/feelings behind it. I'm falling into the same old patterns, not because I am highly driven to do so, merely that I lack the drive NOT to do so. It's getting old, but it's a default mode that I revert back to when I have nothing else tangible to cling to.

I know that the people around me now have long since given up. It's hard to stay focused on a "recovery" that you are constantly told will never happen.

"...because you don't want it"
"...because if you DID want it, you would have done it by now"
"...because you have tried every kind of treatment and it hasn't helped"
"...because you are too wrapped up in anorexia"
"...because this has gone on too long"
"...because the sky is blue/it's a Thursday/I just painted my nails"

None of this really means anything. I know the statistics aren't in my favour. I know what treatment I've tried. I know that a lot of the "treatment" has done more harm than good, I know that there is more that I could be doing to move forwards. I know this is frustrating for you too. I know, I know, I know.

I also know that things could be worse. A lot worse. They have been before, and I figure that staying relatively sane is a balancing act that very few people seem to understand- people that knew me 10 years ago would not recognise the person I am today. People who know me now would not identify with the 15 year old me. Things HAVE changed. Things aren't all rays of sunshine right now, but they are a hell of a lot more stable and "livable" than the world I had created for myself back then. Maybe it's the natural process of maturing. Maybe something in the treatment I have had has sunk in. Maybe it's just all part of the healing process. Maybe I am looking too deep into things and should stop brushing off how the "here and now" is just because it could be worse. It could always be worse. I guess focusing on the "it COULD be worse" part shuns me of taking responsibility for the present situation.

Food for thought.

Ha ha.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

There's Always Tomorrow

I'm having a really hard time right now with relaxing. The concept is foreign to me- I don't know HOW to relax. I feel this overwhelming sense of urgency to be constantly productive, constantly achieving *something*, constantly doing something/anything that is going to get me somewhere in life. I don't know how to just kick back, relax and enjoy life for what it is. My mind is constantly whirring- where I should be, what I should be doing, how next to make some grand leap from where I am to where I want to be.

I feel like I am missing out.

I see people sitting in Starbucks, absorbed in a book, or just gazing out the window. I get my coffee "to go" and run through the streets as if I actually have to be somewhere oh-so-important, because to sit down and just relax in the moment terrifies me. What if I miss out on some golden opportunity? What if people think I am lazy? What if I run late on my self-imposed schedule?

SO WHAT? Does it really matter what other people think? Does it really matter if I get home at 4:15 instead of exactly 4:00pm? Does it really matter if I DON'T respond to that email as soon as it lands in my inbox?

I need to figure out a way to have more balance and relaxation time. I'm not working/studying at the moment and the guilt that comes with that is overwhelming. Truth is, I've been signed off sick. I SHOULD be resting more. I SHOULD be taking things slower and letting myself heal. Why is it so hard? Because I'm scared. I'm scared to stop because my thoughts start to consume me. I'm scared of what my family will think/say. I'm scared of letting people down. I'm scared of being perceived as lazy, self-indulgent, useless. I'm scared that if I 'stop', I'll never 'start' again. I'm scared to be by myself in case of 'what' I don't know. Just scared to stop and think and feel and just let things wash over me...scared of the complacency that might bring, even if it isn't necessarily a bad thing to bring a little more apathy into my world.

Nothing is so important that it's worth getting sick over. Nothing (in my life, at this point) is so urgent that it can't wait an hour or two. The people that may or may not judge me have their own issues, and I need to figure out what's right for me. When it's okay to sit down and watch TV for an hour. When it's okay to skip my morning run because it's pouring or just because I don't feel like it. When it's okay to not go to 6 different grocery stores and just make do with what is available in the nearest one. When it's okay to close down my laptop for the day and relax knowing I'll deal with the rest of my emails tomorrow.

There's always tomorrow.

Most stuff can wait.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Home, and Homesick

I feel like I should update. Or rather, I feel like I should have something to say. Anything to say. The truth is that things feel pretty strange and foreign right now. I am back in the UK and struggling to adapt to the weather, my treatment team's polar opposite approach to what I had in the US, different foods, living with my mom again.

It's hard. It's tiring. I am homesick, and yet have no desire to return to New York right now. I am not unhappy *here* per se, just overwhelmed by the differences between my life here and my life there.

I thought I would miss it more than I have- maybe I am still a little jet-lagged, maybe it's a kind of "honeymoon" period, maybe I have just accepted that NY isn't an option for me right now, but I feel relieved to be back. I am sleeping a lot and grappling with ideas about where/when/how to move out of my mom's place. Not sure where I fit in, or what I want to be doing in 3/6/9 months. Wondering if things are going to get wildly out of control, or if my rather tenuous grip on reality will grow stronger.

I have been having the thoughts of "symptoms" the last few days, which I hadn't had for a while. First I was focused on getting/keeping a job, then life kind of took over, then it seemed pointless to ruin my last few weeks in New York. Now I have a huge blank future lying ahead of me and I want to sink into what's familiar and predictable. I am trying to ride out the urges, let the thoughts be little more than thoughts, and just take things day by day, minute by minute.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

It's Only Pain... only hurts.

It passes. Feelings pass, thoughts pass. Everything passes in time. The key being, "in time"- riding the waves, rolling with the punches. There is nothing you need to DO about thoughts and feelings, except wait them out.

This sounds kind of trite and undermining- I don't mean it to. It seems to be true though. If I have a thought, a feeling, an urge- as long as I don't dwell on it or act on it, it dissipates in time. The more I think about it, the stronger it gets as I give it more power, until it is all-consuming and I can't see another option BUT to act on it. By accepting the thought as it is ("it's JUST a thought"), without giving it more power than it merits, it passes.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Recovery Is A State Of Mind?..

I am suddenly panicking about returning to the UK. New York has, and always will, represent health to me. A place where I am happy and stable. Despite recent years when I have spent time here, getting sicker and sicker, something about this city holds hope for me. A life. A life with a future. I think of the UK and I think about the hospitals, the sleepless nights, the crying, the pleading, the ambulances at 3am, the doctors, the needles, the tubes. What's strange is that all of this has happened in New York too, and yet somehow I feel like recovery is only an option in the US. It's a childish way of thinking, yet I struggle to grasp the concept that both recovery and sickness lie within ME, and my surroundings bear little weight on how healthy/unwell I become.

I don't want to leave because, in my mind, that means giving up on recovery. It means a license to throw myself head-first into my eating disorder. An inevitable crumbling under the ever-pressing urges to self-destruct. Every time I return, I feel like I am going "home" to die. I feel like I have permission here to be well, to be healthy. To keep striving for something more in my life than anorexia. Back in the UK, it's the complete opposite and it feels acceptable, expected, that I will stay trapped. I'm not ready to give up and leave this behind.

It makes no sense. I have had periods of doing well in both countries. I have had periods of pure hell in both countries. The difference I think is that I look at New York through rose-tinted lenses. I am different here. I don't quite know how- maybe it's just the way that the health care system works. Or maybe it's the mindset I have started off on when I have arrived each time, or maybe it's the simple fact that I believe recovery is possible here...and that I have people around me who believe in that for me too. And that when I am flailing, there are people here who still hold onto that hope for me. Back in the UK, I feel like I have been written off as a lost-cause, a "terminal" case. Why do I care so much what other people think? What happened to the 'old me', that would have turned around and just RECOVERED as a "screw you- I'll prove you all wrong!"? Where did that fire GO?.. I'm starting to feel like the character in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" who was so worn down by the end, he gave up completely. And I hate that. That's not me. I am a fighter, a survivor, someone who laughs in the face of diversity and stands up for what I, at my core, believe to be right.

What happened? Where did I go?..

Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Year That Was

I want recovery.

I want to be normal. I want a life that doesn't revolve around food. I want to be able to concentrate enough to read a book or watch a movie. I want to spontaneously meet friends for brunch. I want to be able to laugh and joke around with people, and feel like I am contributing to the conversation, rather than just pretending/being an outsider. I want to be able to fill my time with both cool and mundane 'stuff' and be okay with both, without being terrified of having empty gaps in my schedule, or filling endless hours with walking and grocery shopping. I want to have people in my life that I can lean on a little, without being overly reliant, or determined to show how self-sufficient I really am. I want to sleep through the night and wake up at a reasonable hour. I want to look forward to the day ahead as I fall asleep. I want to come home each evening with enough energy to do more than just sit and stare at the walls. I want to be able to dance again, to play my harp again, to make t-shirts again. I want to go to movies, ice skating, bowling. I want to travel, eat at restaurants, visit family and friends. I want to have a job that I am comfortable in, which doesn't make me want to jump out of the window (from either stress or boredom) that I can balance with everything else without running me to the ground. I want a place to call home. I want to look in the mirror and smile. I want to be free from all this craziness. I want to throw back my head and laugh like I used to.

I was thinking about this all in Starbucks this evening. I was starting to feel excited, hopeful, happy. Then the thought popped into my head: "once I lose another Xlbs"

Recovery to me has always felt conditional. I'll recover without gaining weight. I'll recover but I won't eat such-and-such a food. I'll recover but I won't do xyz. The one time I really decided to throw these conditions out the window and do WHATEVER was recommended I do, I fell flat on my face. I gained weight, did my affirmations, my DBT homework, my body image homework, ate at restaurants, ate "fear foods"...did it all. For a while. Things were...interesting. I remember a lot of crazy mood swings, impulsive behaviours and depression. I also remember sleeping better, having more energy and having fun with friends. I remember having a freedom around food that I hadn't experienced for a while. I remember being busy to the point where I was exhausted, but scared to slow down in case my eating disorder clawed it's way back in. I remember interacting with people again, being part of the world rather than just a bystander. I remember making people laugh. I remember calling suicide hotlines at 2am utterly despairing. I remember doing stupid shit that I never thought I would do. I remember banging my head against a wall until I saw spots. I remember running through the streets at 4am, trying to escape the cloud looming above my head. I remember spending lots of money and ending up in some seriously messy (dangerous?) situations.

It was definitely a mixed bag. Am I happier now? I honestly don't know. My moods are slightly more stable. I feel safer, more in my comfort zone. I know the path I am taking, I know where it can lead, and I know how to maneuver my way through *this* maze. The maze of recovery was unknown. I didn't know where the potholes were placed, or where the quick-sand lay. I didn't know what was coming, or what might trip me up. Reflecting back, I still don't know quite what went wrong, or how, or when. Or if I was even on the right path to begin with...

Saturday, 26 July 2008

The Future: a blank canvas or a black hole?..

The last couple of weeks have been intense and painful, but today I feel better. Peaceful. Free. I slept for 6 hours last night, which is a lot for me. I've spent the day by myself, but instead of panicking about endless hours to fill and crazy thoughts bouncing around my head, I've felt hopeful and optimistic about the coming months.

I figure I can look at this in two ways.

1) Everything has fallen apart, I am leaving my friends and the city I love, to be, essentially, homeless. No job, no friends, nowhere to live, nothing to do. Feeling lost, hurt, angry, resentful, lonely.


2) I am leaving one life, and have a blank canvas in front of me to start another. I have a few different choices about what I'll do, but there is no rush to make any decisions. I'll wait until I am back, then see how things pan what I can with what I have. There ARE options for me- I just need to find the path I want to walk down, and somewhere along the line, I'll find a place to call "home".

There are facts to consider about the coming months, which influence which view I take depending on whatever mindset I happen to be in. It's not all doom and's far from peachy either. There are very valid concerns about the choices I am going to have to make. Lots to think about, lots to research, and a little too much reliance on others (I am NOT comfortable "needing" other people).

I think what I really need to do is sit down and figure out where I want to be in 6 months/a year. Not physically, but what I would like my life to LOOK like. What I want to be doing, where I want to be in my recovery, what shape I want my world to take...then backtrack and figure out the best plan of action to get from here to there.

Without doing what I keep doing, and falling into the hole where I do nothing but panic and the prospect of "life" is too overwhelming to even consider being a part of.

Whatever I think, say or do, time is going to pass. This is going to happen. I am leaving New York. I am going to have to make decisions, compromises, sacrifices. I am going to feel a sense of loss. The sun is going to rise and fall, regardless of whether or not I want it to. I want to make the hands of time STOP until I can think things through, but really...I need to get to work on accepting what IS, rather than wishing for what ISN'T.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Choose Your Battles

At some point, I need to accept that some things are simply not worth fighting for. Give up, and move on. Whether it's a relationship, recovery, or life some stage, it's time to call it quits.

How do you accept that something is just not worth the hassle? It is painful to want something so badly that you are WILLING to stand up and fight for it, but maybe some things are just not worth the hassle.

I've talked before about my relationships- the will they/won't they. It doesn't happen like it does in movies- there isn't always a "happily ever after" ending in the real world. How do you know if it was right to begin with, and how do you know when to throw down the cards, kick back from the table and just.walk.away.

I seem to invest a lot of time and energy into things which in hindsight, aren't worth it. These people will never be who I want/need them to be. If it is constantly causing more pain than pleasure, maybe cutting my losses is the best decision I can make.

I don't want to.

I am really rather immature when it comes to my interactions with others. I want things a certain way. I want people I can relay on. People who follow through with what they say they will do, people who don't make me feel like I am worthless and horrible. I want people around me who choose to be around me- not because I pay them, because they feel sorry for me or guilty that I have thrown a fit because they cancelled our dinner date.

I want to fight for my relationships because I am scared of being alone. And yet time and time again, with the same people, I end up feeling hurt, angry and lonelier than if I had never gotten involved with them in the first place.

I'm tired of the games, the fighting, the cycle of making and breaking plans, adding and deleting the same people on Facebook. It all seems rather immature. I was like this when I was 12...doesn't seem to have changed. I am amazed that so many people I seem to get involved with are like this too.

Except they don't seem to think it's worth fighting for.

Is there any way of knowing if it's worth fighting for something? If you try, time and time again, only to get shot down, time and time what point is it okay to finally give in and accept that it's over? Is it ever REALLY over? Or was it never there to begin with, and I just WANTED it there so badly I pretended it existed?

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Not Waving, But Drowning

To say that I'm struggling would be an understatement. I'm flailing. Rather wildly. I don't quite know what's wrong, or how to fix it. I'm overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the coming months. There is a deep sense of loss over what I am leaving behind here in New York. There is the oh-so-seductive urge to self-destruct completely. Because that solves everything. Obviously.

I want, so desperately, for things to be different. I am learning (slowly!) that what I really want is for ME to be different. I want to be "normal", whatever that means. I want to be able to choose where I live, to have a job I am good at/that I enjoy, to be free from this obsession with food/weight/exercise. I want to go out with friends and not worry about what they are thinking about me, where we will go, what we will eat. I want to make plans with people without having to get up at 4am so that I have time to squeeze in my mandatory walking hours so that I "earn" the right to relax and have fun. I want freedom. I want to be peaceful.

All the things that I do to manage my anxiety/depression are making things worse and taking me further and further away from the things I want. The more despairing I feel about where I am going to live, work, etc, the more weight I lose, and the more weight I lose, the more things spiral out of control.

I say that I am trying to get a grip on things. That is partly true. I am trying to get a grip on the feelings that drive my behaviour. I am trying to get a grip on the urges to lash out at myself. I say I am trying, but my definition of trying is to choose the lesser of two evils- should I walk 12 miles or take a handful of sleeping pills? Should I skip lunch or should I walk in front of a car?

I justify my actions because obviously I am making the "healthier" choice. Healthier, yet not healthy.

Should I just suck it up, follow my meal plan, exercise a normal amount, do my therapy homework and hope that somewhere along the line I acquire the desire to actually take care of myself? Be...*gasps* self-sufficient? How dull. How self-indulgent. I can't do that. I don't know HOW. I can do it when I am locked up in a treatment center, but can't quite bring myself to save MYSELF from MYSELF. After so much therapy/treatment, I should have answers by now. I have yet to see/hear/read anything that makes it seem a more doable task.

How did this get so damn complicated?

People think I have yet to recover because I don't want it enough. They are wrong. I want it enough. I just don't think I am capable of it, or deserving of it. I don't know how to function like a non-eating disordered person. I don't know how to deal with the mood swings, depression and anxiety that my behaviour keeps a handle on. I don't know how to live...or if I even want to.

Monday, 21 July 2008

My Inner Child

A therapist once suggested to me that I think of my own needs as those of a child. That I get in touch with the younger version of myself- nurture her, take care of her, help her. I thought it was a nice idea in theory. But really? I hate her. I hate her whining, her neediness, her constant wanting. Wanting food, attention, love, affection. I hate that she exists, and demands the things that I don't want to give her. I hear her crying out for something and I want to turn away and ignore her. I see her tears, I watch her starve, I feel her hands reaching out to me... I don't want her to exist.

I can't feed her.
I can't listen to her.
I can't help her.
I can't be around her.

Why not? She irritates me. She is demanding things that to me, are a luxury. Not a right. Love, attention, friendship, relationships, happiness, food- none of it is a given. For me, it needs to be earned. I wasn't born with the right to be taken care of, and I sure as hell haven't earned that right.

This child is me. Begging, pleading, screaming. And being ignored. She's worthless. Useless. Stupid. Overly demanding. Selfish. She cries that this is unfair- she is lonely, tired, hungry, scared, sad. I don't care. I hate her.

I want her to go away with her hopes and dreams and fairytale life she has fantasised about. I want her to leave me alone and accept that I will never give her what she wants. I want her to disappear without trace, as if she was never even here to begin with.

Fade away. Until nothing is left.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Holding On... Letting Go...

I'm wondering, at which point, holding on becomes more painful than letting go. My specific situation is irrelevant- this is applicable to so many things. Clinging to something, desperately wanting it to work out the way you envisioned it, unable to accept the reality that it's NOT working, and letting go (a "strategical retreat" as my dad calls it) is the only thing you have left to do.

So why is it so hard? I make it sound so easy, so simple. It's not working, cut your losses and try something different.

There has been so much time, energy and hope invested in this. There is so much meaning behind holding on/letting go. It's far from easy, far from simple. Oh-so-easy to much harder to actually do.

I refuse to let go. On an intellectual level, I KNOW that this is never going to work. On an emotional level, I desperately need it to work. Or maybe I just believe that I need it to work? Maybe it was never right to begin with. Maybe I am walking down the wrong path altogether...or maybe a miracle will occur and suddenly everything will be.just.fine.

I don't know.

I'm facing lots of decisions right now. Well technically, that's not true. The decisions have been made. Some by myself (not by choice- I didn't/still don't see alternatives), and some have been dictated by others.

Where does this leave me? I feel lost. Heartbroken. Scared. Lonely.

I am so incredibly hurt by everything that's happened over the last few months in New York. I put on this facade that I am happy it didn't all end as badly as previous stays here, but really...this feels different. This isn't my doing. This isn't something I had control over. And that's what hurts the most. There has been so much rejection and pain and betrayal that I'm wondering if coming back was a mistake. I wasn't prepared for this. How could I be? I, perhaps naively, didn't see this coming.

I'm going home, once again, broken. Words fail me at times like this.

I'm hurting. I'm angry. I don't know how to deal with this. I'm scared of what lies ahead, and scared of what I've left behind. I'm scared of the can of worms that has been opened, and scared that things can never go back to how they were.

I just want someone, hell ANYONE, to tell me that it's going to be okay. Instead of the countless number of people that have said it's NOT okay. I am not okay. There's something wrong that they don't want to deal with. I need people right now. I need to hear that you know that I tried, that I pushed myself as hard as I could, and that maybe it wasn't the right thing at the right time.

Guys- I struggle with this more than I will ever tell you, more than you will ever know. I can completely understand that you don't know how to deal with it, or that it's not your problem. You're right. It's not. I'm sorry for all that I put you through, the things I ask of you, the things I need from you. I'm sorry that I'm not who you want me to be. I'm not who I want to be either. Trust me- whatever you think of me, or the negativity you throw my's nothing I don't already do to myself. And I punch harder than you ever could.