Friday, 27 March 2009

Does The Past Dictate The Future?

Thank you so much for your support with yesterday's post- I am so amazed by how the blogging community has so much wisdom and guys are beyond great :)

*potentially triggering post- mentions behaviours*

I thought more about what I had written as your comments landed in my inbox. I think I am just a little disheartened right now. Between the ages of 12 and 19, I pretty much lived in hospital. I fell into a pattern of either eating disorder behaviours, or self-harming and suicide attempts. NEVER both at the same time.

Between the ages of 19 and 25, my eating disorder was at the forefront of my behaviours and self-harming completely vanished. I guess I hoped, when I signed myself into the inpatient program in New York KNOWING I would be giving up my eating disorder, that I would have somehow "grown out" of the mood swings and impulsivity I dealt with as a teenager. I hadn't, and once again, was...ah... I can't even describe. Unstable, to put it nicely! So it's not something I say lightly when I voice concerns about that becoming an issue at higher weights- I was all for trying again as an adult, to recover 100%, but it almost seems like I NEED my eating disorder to stay on somewhat of an even keel.

Over the last year or so, the lines have grown closer together and it doesn't feel so much like an "either or" choice. The mood swings and impulsivity have become a rather prominent feature again, despite my eating disorder still pretty much running rampant.

To be honest, I'm pretty scared. I've never DEALT with the two combined. It's been one or the other. Now I feel really trapped- the only thing that helps my mood slightly is losing weight, and that is becoming shorter-lived by the day, before the depression kicks back in and my thoughts wander off again. Food and weight only distracts me for minutes before my mind drifts back to other urges.

I know my family and treatment team have always been almost 'reassured' when I am at a lower weight because they don't need to worry about self-harm or overdosing. Everyone, myself included, was pretty taken aback after the suicide attempts in October and November, and I am still trying to make sense of where that came from/why NOW/why is my eating disorder not "working" anymore.

I guess the problem comes from seeking a solution in something that can never really bring true contentment, and as long as I do little more than mask the original feelings, they will manifest in all kinds of ways.

The other concern I expressed was about how little support there is when I appear to be "healthy" and that is not just my perception. Eating disorder treatment is really hard to get in the UK in general, more so in Scotland. At a healthy weight, the little services there are will put you at the bottom of the 2 year waiting list, then offer nothing more than 6-8 CBT sessions. There is a total of 9 inpatient beds in the country for eating disorders and those are reserved for people at life-threatening low weights, who have not had the opportunity to receive inpatient treatment before. The ones the National Health Service deem "saveable", and by their definition, based on my history, I'm not.

I don't personally buy it. I preach that full recovery is possible for EVERYONE- regardless of history, circumstances, what treatment they have or haven't had. I say it and I believe it. And I don't think that ANYONE is a write-off or destined to live forever in the clutches of anorexia (or die from it) but at the same time, I feel like I have run out of options. When it comes to therapy, medication, alternative treatments, self-help... I don't know. I don't know exactly what answer I am hoping to find, or there even is an answer. Maybe my belief in recovery is as false as the weird beliefs I hold about my body or food. Maybe it just isn't on the cards for me.

But then what makes ME so different that *I* can't recover whilst everyone else is capable? To that, I have no answer. Except I look at the last 14 years, the things I have tried, the things that have helped, the things that haven't, and I don't know what conclusion to come up with.

This is all kind of doom and gloom, and it's a Friday night so I'm going to stop here (*huge sighs of relief all round*) lol. Still no photos- can you believe that my internet has cost me almost $200 since I maxed out my limit?! Criminal, I'm telling you. I can't WAIT for April 3rd when my contract kicks back in.

Oh, and the flat-out wrap was delicious! My wrapping skills remain a "work in progress", but it tasted great and that's what counts, right? :P


Lexi said...

You can recover. You are capable. It's just different for everyone, which I'm sure you know. I have faith that you can do it. . . why? Because you're reaching out. It is the people who reach out for help and advice that recover, because they want to be helped and they want to get better. I can tell you want it. And I have faith that you'll get it.
Much love, keep your head up --

Anonymous said...

It pains me to read your post...because I hate to read that you are unable to recieve the help you DESERVE and that you are beginning to think that recovery isn't going to happen for you. The health care system is sooo f'ed up.
You can and you will recover...I know that it is scary. You need to believe and accept that ELLIE DESERVES recovery. You are right in that no one should not have the opportunity to recover, youfself included. I know that weight gain is scary, but low weights also mess up the chemicals in the brain, causing worsening depression. I know that it is a bad feel depressed because you are gaining weight, so then you loose weight, only making the chemical imbalances worse...
I can only begin to imagine just how scared you are, and just how dark things seem. But I truly believe that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Keep on fighting. Hang in there.
You deserve to live a long and happy life. You are worthy and deserve every opportunity to recover.

Stef said...

Hi Ellie

I wasn't aware of how much you struggle with depression and I know you alluded to suicide attempts before but I didn't realize how recent they were. I'm so sorry that you've been feeling this intense pain and sadness. It must be torture to know that even if you are motivated to get well that there aren't even the proper resources to get help! How frustrating! Just one more reason for you to stick around and get healthy can make a change! Health care systems are screwedddd up everywhere, but I've heard about the lack of care for ED patients in the UK. How horrible that you can't get help unless you're "sick enough" but that if you're too sick you can't get any help at all! Grr. Sorry, I'm just very angry for the position you are in! I know that losing weight makes you feel happy temporarily, and that it is even reassuring for your family because they feel like you won't harm yourself in other ways, but I'm glad that you can actually SEE how messed up that is. Even in the midst of this depression, you are still so intelligent and aware of your own reasoning. I wish I could help you in some big way, but for now all I can do is tell you I cherish you as a friend, even if it's only in the blogging world, and I know you have wonderful things ahead of you and that the world is better because of all that you contribute! <3