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