Thursday, 8 March 2018

Must do better.

The past week has been exhausting. I tried to put the anger I felt after I was dismissed from my job into something positive.  I emailed the company suggesting they revised the way they support staff with a mental health problem, and received the bog standard ' we take all our employees health and well being seriously' email back.
I have been trying to focus on the positives after going through a week of emotions and separating them from the facts. Although I may not agree with their decision, I understand why they made it.
Today I received another blow. 
My care coordinator/eating disorder nurse who has been working with me since late 2016 has made the decision to transfer my care to Dom my therapist. This is not all bad as we have a good therapist/patient relationship but unfortunately the sessions are time limited.
My nurses reasoning for the change, is that I am not managing weight restoration and have only maintained for the past few weeks.
After my discharge from Hospital (that's for another blog post) I agreed to reach a certain BMI, this was unsuccessful so the goal was decreased and then we compromised on a  maintenance weight.
Although I am engaging in weekly therapy, I know if my weight drops, cognitively I will not be able engage properly as starvation has a detrimental effect on the brain and your way of thinking. 
I would be lying if I said I didn't know this was coming.
NHS waiting lists for eating disorder outpatient treatment are long and although the ed team in Somerset has increased over the past 8 years they still struggle.
So where does that leave me now?  
I feel sadness at the loss of my support; failure that I was unable to stick to my meal plan; guilt that I have let my friends and family down; not good enough, rejected and alone.
Above all I feel scared. Very scared. 
I understand the reasoning behind the decision, (must try harder) and am trying to use wise mind as opposed to emotional mind.
Someone on a facebook group said to me, 'Please don't take it personally or use it as a reason to mistreat yourself.'  She is very right. I did not use my 'go to' behaviours instead I used compassion and kindness towards myself, something I struggle with daily.
Tomorrow is another day, another small step, another learning curve.
If all I can do at the moment is keep myself safe then that is enough. 
Must do better.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Labels are for Jars, not people.

My name is Jackie and I am a person........

Around 16 months ago, after an assessment with my Psychiatrist, I was sat in her consulting room waiting on the results of her diagnosis. At this time you could say I was, not quite myself. 
As she sat at her computer scrolling through the many notes the team had made, the first words she said were, 'now try not to get too hung up on the wording of this.'  Well that was it, I was already into over thinking mode as to what variety of labelling she was going to put on my already fragile shell.
Where am I going to fit in?  How am I going to fit in, I already felt like a misfit, a square peg in a round hole.

'You have Anorexia, recurrent severe depressive disorder, complex trauma ptsd, anxiety and emotionally unstable personality disorder aka borderline personality disorder or bpd.'
Nice suit I thought, my trick cyclist was a snappy dresser.

OK, you can give me 4 of those but bpd.... take it back.  Put it in the reject bin.
My issue with this diagnosis was a person in my past had bpd, and there was no way I was anything like her.  I googled it (don't we all) going through the diagnostic criteria crossing off everything that didn't apply.  I was not going to be like her.
Recently I was doing some work on emotional regulation and my nurse explained it can help with aspects of bpd.  Again I would not accept that this was part of me, how could it?

After working with a psychologist (who doesn't do labels) I have started to use positive coping techniques to help when I feel overwhelmed, in threat mode or feel the need to use negative coping behaviours.  I can now challenge negative thoughts about myself and it helps with over thinking.  I'm no where near being fixed but I am making small steps to recovery...medication helps too.

The point of this post is that I am starting to accept that yes maybe I do have traits of a personality disorder, it does not mean that I am that person I knew before. Some people are just dickheads, and she was a dickhead. 
Having a diagnostic label does not define me.  Sometimes labels come off and you might get dog food when you are expecting peas.
I am a person, an individual.  I am not my anorexia, my depression or my (ahem) personality disorder.
Dom,  (lovely psychologist Man who always wears a grey and purple jumper on a Wednesday) showed me a chart of my weights from 2010 until present day.
He asked me to look at my highest weight and think about who was  Jackie then?
Good shout Dom.  That Jackie was confident and funny, she needs to be found again.
Maybe I've been labelled as tinned prunes when really there's a sweet pud inside.

My name is Jackie and I live with  anorexia, depression, anxiety, ptsd and bpd.  I am a person not my illness.

Friday, 2 March 2018

I'm back!!

I can't believe Its been nearly 18 months since my last entry.  Apologies to my followers and hope there are still some readers out there.
My lack of posts is due to lots going on with my mental health (surprise surprise) and a liveware issue of foggy brain forgetting my log in details! I think today's porridge must have given my brain a well needed kick start.
So what's been going on?
2017 started with... actually I have no idea how it started.  I can only presume it was with a glass in my hand and the intention to change my life for the better.
I had been absent from work since the previous June and decided to drop down to a less stressful role.  This initially worked out well as was only a 5 minute walk to work and my phased return initially meant I could work around my meals and my numerous medical appointments.
For someone who does not do mornings well, it was bliss to roll out of bed and have work practically on my doorstep. Unfortunately things did not work out as planned but I shall come to that later.
March was my big 50th which I spent on a beach in the stunning Dominican Republic. Massive shout out to the Hubster and Deb and Glyn for arranging what was without a doubt the best holiday I have had and will never forget.  It was the most relaxed I had been in ages and I even managed a practically all-nighter at a very interesting club/cabaret called the Coco Bongo.
There's life in the old dog yet, although I wont go into detail about the podium dance. 

My birthday didn't stop there either. The day we flew back I was due to go out for a drink with friends. My Son texted to say he couldn't come over and other friends said they were busy. 
I couldn't understand why Kev was pushing me to go out especially when we were both knackered and I would have settled for a coronation street omnibus, some haribo and the cat! 
Little did I know what my friends had in store, but a suprise get together along with a very good friend who had made an amzing cake and driven from Evesham.
March was a good month, things were looking up......It didn't take long for the downwards spiral.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Please don't tell me..

Please don't tell me I look well....

How you perceive me on the outside is not how I am feeling on the inside.
'Looking well'  is not being picked up by the police in the early hours of the morning after worrying your friends and family half to death...
'Looking well' does not tell you how I sleep at night, trying to shut up the dark thoughts which remain with me the next day.
'Looking well' does not explain how one day I can be bright, animated and fun; but the next the smile slips, the brightness dims, my heart is numb.
'Looking well' does not show you how many times I weighed myself this morning. How I went from elation to desperation in a period of a few seconds and how my whole day is now focused on that number.
'Looking well' is screaming 'why?'
'Looking well' is making my heart bleed.
I have no care for how I look, I just know I do not feel well.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

I can't get no sleep!

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

The night-time always seems the worst.
My body is exhausted and yearns for rest but my mind won't switch off.
The thoughts are bouncing back and forth, some good some bad.  I lay awake, distracted by the sound of my breathing as I try to count backwards from a thousand which seems to work better than counting sheep.
I focus on a comment passed on my weight.
I know my clothes are loose, the scales tell a story and I'm not so blind that I cannot see, but why do I see things differently to others?
I focus on my thighs and legs but the discomfort from lying down tells me something different from what's going on in my head.
The hunger in my stomach is almost punishing.  The noises a reminder that yes, I have succeeded in another day of not being good to myself, and for what?
I can see the pain in my Husbands eyes, hear the concern in my Sons voice, feel the love of those around me...... and still I allowed this monster back into our lives.

It is so very tough at the moment.  I know that it is me that needs to turn things round but with no professional support ( still waiting)  I struggle to make sense of things.
Take care.

Friday, 26 August 2016

No literary masterpiece here. Just honesty

My writing in the past has concentrated on the subject (eating disorders, recovery, mental health, body image) as well as trying to inject an element of humour or poetic prose. 
 Today I am not going to do that.

Its not about engaging people or getting followers. My punctuation and grammar will no doubt be all over the place but in this moment I just need to get it out.  No holds barred.

Its been a really tough few weeks. After my last entry I spent a week in Portugal with my Husband and a good group of friends.
The weekend before I wasn't going to go and had pleaded with hubby to go without me if I didn't feel up to it. There was no reason why my circumstances should stop my other half missing out. Kev was having none of this and assured me he would be staying too!!
I tried to focus on all the positives and put a lot of energy into taking this step.  I am so thankful that I did this.
Despite a twisted foot, and a few wobbly moments, the villa was spacious enough to have my own space if needed and had a relaxing and much needed holiday.
The downside for my friends though was that I did become a bit of a feeder and spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food.  I didn't hear any complaints.
I tried to get back into a routine as much as possible at home but this was proving difficult.
A week away not knowing what I weighed made me more cautious about what I was putting in my mouth.
I had no idea if I was gaining or maintaining.  This then developed into a more obsessive way of thinking at home.
The nights are now worse......
Thoughts are very food focused, calorie focused and weight focused.  This combined with other pressures which I won't go into is giving me a total head fuck.
Sometimes I have wanted to run away, dissapear and just not be here.  Feeling like a waste of good air and a problem to others is not a good thought to have!!
Some days I really want to beat this and other days I feel so screwed up I don't know what I want.
The lack of proffessional support makes me feel like I don't deserve it or don't need it.
I am so pissed with myself that I don't feel the strength I had before.
I am emotionally and physically exhausted but trying to take one day at a time.
On a positive note, the anxiety is manageable.  My blood work came back clear.  My GP bypassed the mental health team to refer me to the ED team and I have nice nails.
 Rant over........

Much love xxx

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Tell It How It Is.

I have heard the phrase 'Recovery is a journey,' many times. This is a journey 5 years ago which I thought and hoped had ended.  Most journeys end with something pleasant, something worth the wait, with a clear road, no red lights or diversions.
 Other journeys may need a bit of refuelling, a top up of oil and a battery recharge before reaching the final destination.
So where did I take a wrong turn?
Why is this shiny new Porsche  now feeling like a burnt out old banger!!

I knew that it would never be an easy ride as I'd driven this road before but I thought I knew which way  I was steering. I didn't expect to be back in a dark tunnel, but maybe this is how 'it' maps out.
I can see how it started and I know how it can end.

The depression kicked in first. Slowly bringing me down, putting me down , letting me down.
Its friend anxiety paid me a visit too, preying on my every thoughts, picking at my confidence, whispering over my shoulder to do better, sitting on my chest and squeezing the breath out of me, taking away my voice, my passions, my beliefs in me. My trips outside became less and less and usually included earphones in, head down, and panic. My time indoors would be spent just sat, doing nothing.
I stopped being I will, and became I can't.

The energy it takes on a daily basis to function in this frame of mind is immense.  Not answering the door unless I am expecting someone, hiding in my bedroom away from the noise.
The fear of being outside, in places where I can't get away, where I don't feel safe. Where I think people are looking at me because 'They know.'
Sleeping for most of the day through medication or just the sheer need for rest, and not being able to do a simple task without needing a rest again.  Having a really good day then feeling it emotionally and physically the day after because you have given as much as you can.
The food issues wheedled their way in.....skipping meals due to lack of time, routine or circumstance.  What started as something most people do, was sneaking up on me and waiting to catch hold.
I didn't recognise it at first, but others did.
I was questioning my relationship around food and making excuses to myself and others.
'Its the medication, its a normal reaction to being depressed, I eat every day, but I'm not underweight.'
Yes, all the above is still true, but why I am feeling driven to continue, why can I not eat 'normally,' why do I get anxious around food.'
The fact that I am still questioning myself is a positive thing. It means I still have my healthy voice telling my ill voice that I don't want it.
Often my ill voice wins, but the healthy voice is still up for the fight.

Things are getting better.
I am less tired and more focused this week.  The tablets seem to be doing some good and a friend suggested grounding techniques and mindfulness, something I never thought would be for me, but so far so good.
I am aiming to get out each day.  Either for a walk, a visit to a friend or the dreaded supermarket.
I am now getting quite good at focusing and counting on items at the checkout to bring me back to the here and now, rather than the anxiety and sensations of panic.
I set myself goals, however small or insignificant and try not to berate myself if I haven't managed them.

I have seen a nurse at my local practise for bloods etc. A counsellor told me to think of this as self care as opposed to medical.  I think she was right.  I am lucky that I am still classed as being within a healthy weight range for my height ( I've apparently shrunk!!)  I have to tell myself this does not mean that I do not need or deserve any professional help, The only person judging me is myself.

This is me getting off the highway to hell and back on the road to recovery.

Must do better.

The past week has been exhausting. I tried to put the anger I felt after I was dismissed from my job into something positive.  I em...