Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Straws On A Camel's Back

Well what a mean, dirty trick that was!

Today I was spot weighed.

It was a major 'Oh shit!' situation.

My weight had been dropping recently (although I'm pretty sure its slowed down in the past couple of weeks) so the Eagles' eyes have been on me. I am on the very knife edge brink of being admitted. I have avoided it one way or another for now.

Last week I took advantage of my nurse's holiday leave and didn't turn up to be weighed at the ED place. I also conveniently 'missed' all subsequent phone calls to rearrange that week.

What naive, idiotic person thinks they will just get away with that at this stage? Me is the answer to that.

Today I had a family therapy appt at the same place with a different therapist but still part of the ED team of course. As soon as she started speaking I sensed she was going to ask me to be weighed. She did. I said no. She said yes. I said no. She said ok but, Katie we will have no choice but to arrange a MHA. I said WHAT THE FUCK!?

Ever had the experience of having not realised how completely you had buried your head in the sand until someone comes along and rips it out and slaps you. That is what today was. As soon as we came to this confrontation I realised what deep shit I was in. If I refused to be weighed they would arrange a MHA and I doubted my ability to bullshit them into letting me go. I've heard too many stories of how strict they are. Basically most people have given me the impression that a MHA is as good as giving you a Section there and then. People barely ever walk away having 'won' and kept their freedom. So obviously this was NOT an option I wanted to pick. However if I weighed and had lost- well then I would definitely have a MHA and probably sooner. Add into that my general abhorrence of being weighed when I am not expecting it and 'am not prepared'.and you have quite a melting pot of emotions.

I very quickly descended into floods of gasping tears and wailings at the injustice of the situation. My Mum didn't really say anything. The therapist kept reeling off wads of loo roll (yes the place is that stingy they won't even buy proper tissue boxes) and saying things that I didn't want to hear.

For a short while I considered running out of the place and getting the bus back to Derby and doing something stupid. Without too much detail that plan involved lots of purchases from different drug stores and supermarkets and a me walking along with a massive, rattling bag full of over the counter pills.

In the end I ended up stood on the scaled in a snotty, drivelling mess. I argued and won that I be allowed to keep my big sweater on. Seems the angels popped in to visit at this point.

Conclusion- I'd lost but 'not as much as we'd thought'.

Conclusion No.2- I have a week. 1 week to stop this.

So an hour later I was stood in Sainsbury's scrutinising the boxes of Complan mix. I didn't buy it. I told myself I'd get some tomorrow. But tomorrow the first thing I'll remember is not the fact that I must buy said Complan but instead I'll be musing over the 'not lost as much as we'd thought' comment.

I am screwed up. I am tired. I am messing everything up. I am pissing all over every chance I am given.

On top of all of this My sister and little Anna go back to Taiwan tomorrow after staying with us for 3 weeks. I have been dreading this day since they arrived. It isn't the fact that I am not going to see them for years, or at least until I am rich enough and well enough to fly out there. No, it is the massive void that is going to be left here without them.

With Vic and Anna around I feel 'safe'. Safe from myself and safe from the house. I hate the house. I mean it- I truly hate it. I've lived in it all my life and used to call it home. No more. Now it is a shell. Empty, big and cold. I feel lonely and the house personifies this. It was once full, I was once a happy, loved child inside its walls. Now it is empty except me and mum and the walls mock me with their silence. Echoes of the past reverberate from the plaster and bricks.

Whilst Vic and Anna have been here it is like they have been a cushion between my head and the brick wall I smash against. They are leaving and my cushion will be gone. They have filled the house with noise and wonderful, alien mess. Bright toys and childish squeals. As I write this I am crying. I truly cannot bear to let them go.

I'd like to be able to hide myself in the comfort of my friends. But I just feel I will come across as an attention seeker. At some point they are going to get bored of my mental/emotional retardedness. To be honest I often think they already have. I am bored of myself. I wish I could be different.

Tomorrow is going to be beyond hideous.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Could THIS be my new 'thing'?


Add caption

So yeah after years of saying I would I finally got inked. And I am so, so chuffed with it. I am already planning my next one!

In other news .......I really do not know what is going on with me.

My moods have been like riding a see-saw with a mind of its own. Or a roller-coaster that I don't remember queuing up to get on. I can't really remember when it started, perhaps about a month ago.

Until recently in my life I had never cried. If I did it was in private. From being tiny to a few years ago I had this inherent conviction that no matter what; I must not cry. No matter the pain; I must not cry. I remember the sensation of a throat on fire, your gut turning to a pit of writhing, knotting snakes as you bit back tears. And for what? To appear 'strong', to be beyond the imperfections and inconveniences of human nature. Tears were a watery weakness. Now it is all I do.

Well my last counsellor would be proud. In our final session he concluded 'We have covered a lot of ground, made a lot of progress....but I do wish you had cried'.

I can sense it coming. I'll be on my carefully rocking, calm nice see-saw like everyone else and then I feel the slight vibrations beneath me. I can feel the tension building up. Then as if caught in a storm it begins to rock. Within half an hour the slight, ominous rocking has escalated to a wild, violent swooping and crashing. My head becomes full of another voice. It tells me everything that is wrong. How big I am. What I am eating and how disgusting that is. More and more voices come in, screaming at me and filling my head so tightly I am sure it will split.

The other day I was in town when it happened and I had to leave every shop I went in because I  felt the tears spurting up. I went into every set of toilets in the Westfield centre and let my tears go, each time hoping it would be the release and that all the poison would have been expelled. Not the case it appears. So I cam home and broke down on my mother.

That was just one instance- it happens all the time.

The thing is when I feel like this I do stupid things. If I was a cutter I would cut. I am not. But only recently have I had access to 'hard' medication. For instance my oh-so-wonderful gp prescribed me that nifedipine to try and help my circulation despite my already very low blood pressure.

When my head is full of nasty voices I get out my little orange pearls. In they go, one more, one more, one more...and wait. Swimming, watery brain inside a head like a cauliflower on a bendy straw. Feet that plod on a ground that feels like cotton wool. It is a distraction more than anything. I messed about with my sertraline too to achieve the same sort of things. Then the other day I unearthed some codeine. Added to my special zip away pocket of release.

Oh and I bought some scales. We're back to the every morning routine. Asking the scales as I would ask a crystal ball if I had one. How will I feel today? Why the FUCK do I do this to myself?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

WTF did I actually enjoy that???

I honestly thought those few days away in Wales with my family were going to be hell. I was freaked out about the food situation, I was convinced I was destined for feelings of isolation, boredom and loss of control. Basically I was pretty determined to have a shit time.

So when the time came to return and I was actually feeling sad it was an odd sense of accomplishment I experienced. In fact I was revelling in the normality of my emotion. The knowledge that I was having a completely rational, common and simple emotion was such a refreshing feeling. To not be feeling hideously depressed after nothing more than walking through a doorway, or feeling crushed because someone had said how well or pretty I looked, or feel completely freaked out because I was eating five minutes early was so lovely.

I think what made it so successful was the fact it wasn't the entire family. The sister I am most distant with (we basically have no relationship) and her husband (who can be a right twat at times) and her 3 rowdy children didn't come. This made for a much more chilled out atmosphere. Anna (my little niece who is three) is a very un-intrusive child. She is just a lovely happy presence, bobbing about laughing and chatting in her garbled english and chinese.

All in all in our lovely holiday cottage which we rented for the duration there was; Me, mum, my eldest sister sarah, the next in line-Claire and her boyfriend and then my pregnant sister Vicky who lives in Taiwan and her little girl.

There were lots of reasons it was such a happy few days.

The weather was glorious- roasting hot and sunny from dawn til dusk.

Beautiful location- our cottage was huge and luxurious and overlooked the sea. Wales is the land of most of my childhood holidays which were obviously the happiest times of my life.

The company as already stated was actually great. Vicky is calm and gentle, Claire can be very abrasive at times but she neglected to indulge her abrasive qualities for the whole holiday. Kris is a very calm presence and often buffers Claire's potentially offensiveness. He is also an excellent photographer so there were lots of lovely pictures. Plus he is also very calm and laid back and funny. Sarah is a bit like mum- understands every thing I am struggling with, never accuses me or makes me feel bad or forces me to eat. She is forever willing to talk to me and listen. Anna is like a bouquet of pretty flowers in every room or a uplifting soundtrack always playing in the background- she doesn't have to do anything in particular to make you feel less miserable. And of course Mum- always there to understand me however distressed, depressed, awkward, freaked out or just plain fucking awkward I am being. She is like taking your favourite Teddy with you- when you feel bad just a cuddle and a talk to it makes you feel so much better.

Food-I was not at any point forced to eat. I was allowed to go about what I needed to do or not do without confrontation. I don't mean to say people actively ignore me restricting or whatever- just that they didn't get pissed off with it or take the opportunity to press food on me at every turn. I took all my normal foods and special crockery and scales with me so I felt pretty safe with them.

Activity- I have crappy energy levels at the moment and the idea of the usual family walking holiday fills me with horror. However what with the company of a heavily pregnant lady, a 3 yr old and a slightly injured Kris and astonishing heat, it was a very sedate holiday.

So you see- there was lots of reasons for why it was such a success.

The most important factor was without a doubt the banishment of loneliness. What was doubly great was there was not the hideous horizon of stepping right back into the loneliness as soon as we returned. This is because not only are Vicky and Anna staying until the end of the month also Claire and Kris came back with us until Monday. Ordinarily I would hate this prospect- but having such a good experience in Wales has changed my perspective (at least for now).

Don't get me wrong; it wasn't without patches of tough times. It wouldn't be Katie without an teary emotional crisis or two. But with mum on hand it wasn't a disaster and no one made a big deal out of it.

As always I can't help but criticise myself on certain points. In my head I call it 'constructive criticism' rather than just slating myself. I was frustrated with myself that I still felt driven to try and maintain my routine even in that environment. I had the perfect opportunity to take a holiday from it but I chose to bow down to it even there. I took my crockery, scales and 'safe foods' when I should have challenged myself to a few days without anorexia. I could have been more cheery. Once again my report card reads 'satisfactory but must try harder'.

But fuck that- All in All it was great. Here are some pictures (credits to Kris)

In the river at betws y coed, from the left; Me, Sarah, Claire, Mum, Anna and Vicky.

I wasn't murdering her- she had a touch of sunstroke which I was trying to massage away!

Chilling in the shade


On the way to the beach

Author of the pretty pictures :)

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Worst Kind Of Mind Games

First things first- I want to start off on a positive note.

I did Saturday night! I did it! So proud of myself. I was really uncomfortable before hand-especially when I went back in the evening with the girls to get ready. I felt like an alien, a stupid kid who doesn't really fit in. But when we started getting ready and stuff I felt better and better. I love dressing up- actually thinking 'yeah I look pretty fit compared to usual!' This doesn't often happen!

I said 'fuck it' to the calories after drink no.1 as usual (perks of being a light weight!) and drank freely for the rest of the night. I wouldn't be a very good anorexic when drinking anyway because I hate most typical 'anorexic alcohol choices' like vodka mixes, shots etc- I'm so whimpy I just cannot drink things that taste even a little bit horrible. I drink shots out of necessity but for the rest of the night I am a cider guzzler.

Only disappointing thing was most of my favourite clubs were off the cards because they were too hot or too rammed full and I didn't pull- I usually always do :(. However a club photographer asked me if I'd be interested in some modelling work- more on that later.

Anyway, that was saturday. We are now Monday night. I am suffering more than usual from the worries relating to Tuesday weigh day. I posted after last week's weigh in the elevated emotional reaction to that gain. What with that reaction, my current 'self destruct' mode at the moment and a lot of stress at home at this moment in time; this week wasn't going to be very full of sundaes and chocolate was it.

Here is the only place I can be honest about my intake. This is because I am terrified of telling anyone I have restricted in case I gain. Can you imagine the feelings of shame attached to that? In my head they are thinking 'jesus she UNDER ate and she still gains??' I don't care how many people say that is never what anyone would be thinking- it doesn't alter my conviction that they are. So for you guys; yes- this week I have restricted. I feel stupid saying that because compared to what I have eaten in the past it still seems a ridiculous amount of food to call 'restriction'. I try not to think about what I am still eating because it disgusts me.

Last week I also mentioned that I had consciously drunk more than usual before being weighed. I also explained the feelings of horror on discovery of a gain of 0.5kg. I always vow that I will never do it again because I cannot deal with those feelings of disgust any more.

Here is the problem. My brain is screwing me over. There is half of me (I guess you'd call it the 'rational me') who knows that I am likely to have lost because I have restricted and at this moment in time I absolutely cant afford to lose more because of the proximity of hospitalisation. The other half of me cannot allow myself to see that drinking more could account for the weight gain. Of course anorexia doesn't want to believe this- it would take away her power. If I lost my irrational ability then anorexia would lose a major part of her hold on me-perhaps she would fall off all together, who knows. She tends to have her claws in other places you didn't realise she knew about.

It seems as if this rational part of me only visits on weigh day. She sweeps in and tries to save me for another week by making me water-load. Unfortunately she leaves as soon as I step on the scales- I really could do with her sticking around rather than leaving me at the most vulnerable point. Instead anorexia takes her place and this results in a week of 'reparation' and compensation.

Today I made myself properly think about my fears and feelings. I made myself imagine how I would feel if I gained. Then imagined how I would feel if I had lost enough for them to make an Assessment. I don't mean it was a quick consideration of each scenario- no, I forced myself to walk through the emotions like a drug-trip fantasy. All the real sensations swept over me and made my stomach churn. The result was constructive in a way- I am able to say that the latter scenario was worse. This is how I know what I have to chose.

I just feel so TRAPPED. Thoroughly trapped in my own prison. I have made the walls, the cells and the chains. I have no idea how to escape. Or perhaps I do know deep down but it is just too terrifying to allow myself to contemplate.

I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. I doubt I will water load again. This will terrify me too because I will have absolutely no get out explanation if I do gain.

Please don't let me have gained. Please don't let me lose too much. Please just let me out of this cruel game.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Going Out Out

I've never said I am 'going clubbing' or 'hitting town' or 'having a night out'. I always say: 'I am going out...you know- out out'. Somehow people always know what I mean.

So yeah, scary to admit it has been a whole year since I went out out. And this saturday I am intending to re-pop my out out cherry.

I have literally lost count of all the well intentioned, determined arrangements I have made with friends that I have suddenly freaked out over and pulled out hours before. I hate that I am such a flop, such a let down.

You must be familiar with the whole scenario of being absolutely terrified and dreading something even though you know when you actually do it or go wherever then you LOVE it and have an absolute ball. You swear in the aftermath of these wonderful occasions that you will never get in the terrified frame of mind again, you will only look forward to the next time. Inevitably with a few days you have fallen straight back into the immobilised realm of overly proportioned fear and feel even more incapable of ever doing it again.

This is how it is for me with going out out. After a few drinks I am pissed and I am happy as larry, cool as a cucumber. It is the preceding day I hate.

You see I cannot ignore the fact that alcohol terrifies me with its calorific content. I do NOT intend this to be triggering by the way. Because I am so terrified at the prospect of consuming double my daily intake in alcohol I spend the day before starving myself and getting more and more worked up which all too often culminates in snively phone calls of excuses and 'please don't hate me's. When out out's are intrinsically linked to the memories of stress, hunger and fasting induced fatigue you can see how I'm not exactly 'in the mood'.

Now I don't often blow my own trumpet (promise) but one thing I do believe about myself is that I am extremely driven. I am determined and defiant. One way of showing you this is to say that I FORCED myself to go out out when I was rather bloody ill. I gritted my teeth and did it, not every weekend, sometimes not every month, but I still did it.

Going out out when I was so ill was my way of saying 'hey anorexia, I do most things you tell me to do, I sacrifice a hell of a lot for you but tonight you are NOT invited. I'll see you in the morning.' It was to prove to myself and others that I wasn't totally ruled by ana. I have an inherently stubborn nature who just wants to shock and prove everyone wrong all the time. Mostly I have done this by pushing myself to the limits of showing off how I just don't need food to function like everyone else, but out out's are my other way of showing off.

Like I say when I am out I am so happy. When I am drunk I feel free. I feel normal. It's like someone has taken me to the real world, lifted anorexia's veil from my eyes and is showing me what life actually IS about for a 20 year old. For those hours I am part of a human game of dancing, pulling, snogging and drinking.

Right now I feel excited. I bought my new outfit today. But I KNOW I will feel horrid on saturday day time. I wish I could just take a pill and sleep til 9pm and then wake up, get ready and go out without the hours and hours of suffering before.

I cannot pull out again. I WILL go. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Do you have your ways of saying 'fuck you ED' or 'fuck you MH issues?'

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

This Game of Gain

Recently I'd been thinking that I didn't know what was worse/better; losing or gaining on weigh day. This is because over the past weeks I've lost a fair amount, and this drip drip effect has led them to call meetings to discuss at what point they would assess for IP admission.

If you could know how I felt when I was incarcerated at the last unit you would understand the sheer horror of contemplating another cycle of treatment. I am not exaggerating when I say I would seriously feel like doing something very dangerous if they decided to send me back somewhere. Last week I was on the cusp of the cut off BMI, which did panic me.

It is a testament to the power of anorexia to state the above facts but then say that all that was still not enough to stop me restricting all last week. Having taken that decision I knew I would have to consume more liquid before weigh in which was at 3pm.

I've done this before, many times. Because my weigh ins are fairly late these days I don't do the manic bottle after bottle style tanking I have employed in the past. Instead I just drink steadily more throughout the day. You see I usually consume nothing before weigh ins, so today I just drank my normal amount which is to other people- quite a lot.

So I was expecting a gain right? That's what I thought too. So how come when she told me I'd put on 0.5kg my heart seemed to fall out my arse? Devastation on a grand scale. Feelings of disgust, shame, anger, horror and general foul faced shittiness consumed me. As usual on a gain day the session is wasted with me asking and asking the same questions 'but how? But why? I haven't eaten my meal plan so HOW??' Of course her answers of water retention, fluctuations etc don't comfort me.

 After our session I stand in the hallway and call my mum. I wail at her down the phone in floods of tears. In the end I cry myself quiet and go for my bus, convinced I wont reach Derby without another embarrassing outburst. I do though and now I'm just heavy with pure SADness, not crying, not talking, just marching with a face like thunder.

This week anyone who sees me restricting and tells me to eat will most certainly get both barrels of my emotion. I will savagely snipe at them that they can shut the hell up because I am a clearly a big fatty who has gained even when I restrict so why the fuck would I eat MORE? I will accuse them of lying to me when I ask them how I look. I will push people away and turn all this badness inwards on myself.

I haven't told anyone that I have altered what I drank because ......because.....to be honest I don't even know. I did it to alter my weight. But it always backfires. I always end up thinking it wasn't really the liquid but ME that added the weight.

Arggggg I am so full of badness and panic and dread for next week.

Has anyone else experienced weight gain when they have restricted? :(