I feel so stuck.
I have functioned with an eating disorder for a long time and I don’t understand why it all fell off a cliff in the summer of last year to the point where I’m unable to work and barely able to socialise. In some ways it might be a blessing in disguise in that previously, as it didn’t meet all the criteria for a specific disorder I was unable to access treatment, but now I am getting the most intensive support I’ve had since I was a teenager. I am grateful for that.
My first couple of weeks in DSP felt manageable, mainly because my portions were (and still are) very small and I didn’t gain any weight. That is starting to change now – I’ve had a slight increase to my meal plan and an increase in my weight. My next kg milestone also simultaneously takes me into a new BMI bracket, the thought of which is making me feel sick with anxiety. I don’t know how to do this. I can’t do this. I don’t understand how to live in a body bigger than the one I’m in now. I don’t understand how to increase my intake. I don’t understand how to stop exercising. I’m so, so stuck.
In many ways I’m already huge steps further ahead than I was just a month ago. I hadn’t used a knife and fork for almost six months. I was afraid of hot food. I was afraid of wet food. I could only eat out of a bowl, but not a plate. I had to meet a certain step goal every day and would walk for hours no matter the weather or time of day. I don’t do that anymore. I won’t walk if it’s raining out and I don’t go every day. I go to programme and I drink milk and I eat hot food and I use cutlery and crockery like a normal person. These are all big achievements and I’m not minimising that.
In fairness, because of all the bank holidays I’ve not started any key work yet and won’t be starting actual therapy until my weight is higher. And I guess I can’t be expected to just go in every day and get on with it if I’m not doing any actual work on my mental health, so maybe I’ll see these anxieties reduce now that we are past the festive season and back to business as usual.
I am right at the beginning of this journey and I always knew it would be hard, but for some reason I thought it wouldn’t be this hard. I’ve done this before and come out the other side, so why does it feel so impossible? This time around I fell a lot faster and I fell a lot further, which probably has impacted how deeply entrenched it has become.
I feel short changed in many ways. I already have to contend with having bipolar disorder which although doesn’t impact my life on a daily basis, does bring its own anxieties and difficulties. I am a good person and I have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to helping people, through work, volunteering, writing, fundraising. It feels unfair that I have been lumped with one of the most evil illnesses I can imagine and have to deal with the fact that I’ll be vulnerable to it for the rest of my life. I let my guard down before after being well for a couple of years and it saw it’s window and pulled the rug out from under me in the blink of an eye.
I know this is going to get harder before it gets easier, but I’m struggling to believe that it will ever get easier this time. And I also struggle to believe that I am not going to be one of those people who will relapse over and over for the rest of my life, because nothing about the last 17 years has shown me that isn’t the case.
I would always describe myself as a natural optimist, a glass half full kind of person, and I do still believe that is still part of who I am. But I feel like that part of me is locked away and I don’t have the key to access it right now. I’m not somebody I recognise anymore; I’m not who I want to be.
I always like to try and put a positive spin on any posts I write no matter the topic, but I did always say that above all else I wanted to be honest.
And honestly? I am scared, I am lost, and I am stuck.