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 anger...it'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 one.day.at.a.time.

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.