Monday, 9 March 2009

A Week In Review

Thank you so much for your feedback on yesterday's post- I was worried about offending people. I have a LOT of respect for all the bloggers out there and am glad that I have your support in keeping the focus of this blog on *me* and my recovery.

So it's been a week since I moved into my apartment. It definitely feels like "home", but to be perfectly honest, I am really struggling with a few things and am surprised to look back at quite how much has changed in the past week.

I have a lot of trouble with OCD-like rituals and routines. I don't HAVE OCD, and when I am at a healthier weight, my symptoms pretty much disappear. At lower weights, they become more and more entrenched. Part of why it was so hard for me living with family was due to the fact that my obsessions and purely focused around food/drink (timings, what I do when I eat/drink, my plates/food/blah blah). It threw up a lot of challenges being with other people and the occasional disruption to my routines.

Being by myself, there ARE no disruptions. I have free reign, or at least, anorexia does. I've fallen into a very rigid structure that I didn't quite realise until last night when my mom suggested meeting for coffee on Wednesday (cue: panic/terror/"can't drink coffee at suchandsuch a place at suchandsuch a time"). I sat with the anxiety for a couple of hours, my head spinning, thoughts racing about how I would manage, how it would affect the rest of my day, etc, and eventually decided it was too much for me to deal with.

Two weeks ago, with a little notice, I could have quite easily shifted things around and gone out at a time that isn't normal for me, and now? I can't even fathom the idea of breaking my routine. I usually see my therapist on Tuesday mornings- this week it happens to be an afternoon appointment so I cancelled. I cancelled the meeting to discuss my craziness due to my craziness.

Alarm bells are going off in my head- I went on a "spree" this afternoon and cancelled my dentist appointment, the scheduled endoscopy I have next week, officially let my tutor know I am not coming back to class. Then carried on my day with my usual...

  • 3pm- xxx
  • 3:15- yyy
  • 3:25- zzz
  • 3:27- cigarette (yes, I have set times for cigarettes too)
This is just...surreal. I didn't even notice this was happening, and now am back in the rigid structure that inevitably interferes with any hope I have of branching out and doing new things. I've also (trigger warning) lost what I guess is a "considerable" amount of weight given that it's only been a week. I'm not quite sure HOW (unless cheese is some miracle weight loss food?), but there is no doubt in my mind that the rigidity correlates with the weight loss. I feel so trapped right now. Terrified to break the routines I have set up, terrified to change what I am eating, terrified to let this carry on any longer. Now that I am aware of it, I feel obligated to CHANGE it. Because it's crazy and soul-destroying and making my "home" feel more like a prison. But at the same time, I'm not even sure how this happened so have no idea where to start unravelling it. I feel like anorexia has tied me up and is hitting me with a stick right now.
I think a lot of the initial anxiety stems from being alone in an new area. I have a lot of bad memories of this city and it's been really stressful for me to be by myself in an area that I don't know- I don't know how safe it really is, I don't know who lives around here and I am not yet familiar with the buses/"escape routes". I have no reason to believe that this IS an unsafe area, but I have no proof to the contrary. Oh, ever the optimist, eh?

For those of you who have asked about where I live: it is, by definition, "supported housing". What that means is my apartment is owned by a charity (rather than landlord) and they offer support with practical (and supposedly emotional) issues. In practice, this means that a support worker comes to see me a couple of times a week and check that I am okay/point me in the direction of community activities/sort out any repairs that need done in the apartment. It's a one bedroom furnished place in a residential block.

So that's my ramble/update on where things are right now. I'm not quite sure what to do at this point- hope that in time the anxiety lessens/I feel safer and can make some changes? Set some small goals? To be honest, I am bored to tears at the thought of "baby steps". I'm tempted to just rip up the mental schedule I have and say, "to hell with it" but I'm not sure that's the most effective approach.


I do believe that awareness is the first step to change, and at least now I see what is happening (oh awareness, how I love you- if only you were ENOUGH!)

On to more fun stuff.

I am a firm believer that if you have a specific craving, it's because your body needs some sort of nutrient. Today I had a random craving for raisins. I generally crave non-typical things: top of my list are mushrooms, dried fruit and yogurt. I can live with that.

So back to raisins. I really wanted to mix raisins with strawberry yogurt, but was waiting for my bus and didn't have much time so grabbed something new for today's snack:

I've seen these but never looked too closely because I figured if I want dried fruit, I'll incorporate it into breakfast. If I want a bar, I want some protein power. But cravings are cravings and on closer inspection, aside from the chocolate, the ingredients were just dried fruit and flax seeds.

Photogenic, no? Lol. It was "okay". I think it would be good in oatmeal or something- sickeningly sweet. And trust me- coming from the girl who puts 12 sweeteners in her coffee, that says something! Or maybe I am just used to artificial sweeteners and not so much "natural" sugar (each little finger was classed as one bar- tiny, but essentially pure dried fruit). Am I glad I tried it? Yes. Would I buy it again? Unlikely. Raisins and yogurt would have been a better choice! Edited to say: maybe it's two fingers because one bar is enough sweetness?

I did want to title this post "Ch-easy Like Monday Morning", but this was actually dinner (I told you I can't cook!) It has been in every post- I can't do cheese at breakfast! Need me some FAGE/fay-eh (or whatever it's called) in the morning.

Yes, I did it again. I think I can confidently say that I am kind of bored with this now. I stuck the rest of my bag of cheese in the freezer- assuming it will be okay? My mom freezes her kosher cheese (presumably made by milk that comes from from matzoh ball fed cows) so I think I relax in the knowledge that cheesy apple oats are in my future.

Apologies for weird formatting- blogspot is giving me no end of trouble tonight!


Lexi said...

I have GOT to try that apple cheddar oatmeal! Looks great! Keep fighting ED, I believe in you Ellie. And thanks for all of your nice comments on my blog!

Pammy said...

The apple cheddar oatmeal looks delish. i def want to try it. Keep fighting and stay strong. You can do this!!!

Anonymous said...

I understand where you are comming from, there has to be a balance between throwing your hands up in the air, saying, "Oh f it," and these baby steps that I feel like I have been taking ever since I really started recovery this fall.
Being more aware of our actions and the feelings behind them does help me to change my behavior.
I am glad that you proved ED wrong since you have been eating different foods. Maybe the recent wt loss has triggered the OCD like symptoms again.
I am looking forward to our Starbucks date tomorrow. You'll find me at one in Nothern Baltimore tomorrow at 1230p--Eastern Time. Camera in hand.

Nutritious is Delicious said...

I hope your day tommorrow is much better! The oatmeal looks great!

Elle said...

Cheese will be just fine in the freezer - rest assured you'll be able to satisfy your future cravings for cheddar oats! I hope you can begin to make the little changes you talked about to your daily routine - every small step is nevertheless a step in the right direction :) You can do this!!

Cacti Don't Cry said...

Not like I'm one to talk, but things don't always have to be black and white. It's okay not to be perfect. Oh, and BTW, your nails look great. ;)

Stef said...

I love your sense of humor.."cancelled meeting to discuss my craziness due to my craziness!" Girl you're not crazy, you're just having a hard time lately! At least you're aware of your rigid structure and compulsive appointment canceling so you can fix it! :) Those bars sound and look interestingggg lol

aussirish said...

hi hun
i think the routine thing is something that takes alot of challenging to change. one part of recovery that ive found hard is getting out of routines...not doing things due to my routine being messed up and panikcing when itsw disrupted....but slowly over time...ive challenged myself and done things out of routine. and yes i still like my routine of doing things at certain times...but im not limited to it anymore. if an opportunity comes up il just re-arrange everything else, it gets easier hun i promise!
try doing little things out of routine that should help you feel ok with bigger out of routine things.
have a great night girlie

Danielle said...

Well your oats look amazing as usual!
I understand what you mean about ocd and times. I actually was treated for OCD when I was in high school I still hate when my schedule gets messed up for example I'm supposed to meet my personal trainer tonight at 7:30 but I usually go at 7 so I'm feeling a little anxious about it, and will most likely cancel in the next hour because it will mess up my whole typical night.