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Archive for the ‘Anxiety’ Category

I haven’t stuck to my word. I haven’t written more on this blog. I thought it was out of disinterest if I’m honest. I read other blogs and find them so brilliant and eye-opening, or I’m glad someone spoke out about an aspect of Eating Disorders or weight loss/gain or being overweight. But I haven’t felt inspired to write anything myself.

The truth is, I’ve just been plodding along. Plodding along so much so that I got myself into a bit of … how shall I put it, a pit of distress?

I feel like I was a warrior, fighting in an epic battle, wearing this silver plated armour that’s covered in scratches and scars, but I still keep fighting my way through to get to the other side. But instead, I’ve fought so hard that I never took my eyes off of the fight and I didn’t realise there was a cliff edge up ahead. So I kind of stumbled into it. For the last fortnight I’ve been scratching my head, wondering when it was that I was so blinded by the fight that I didn’t see the cliff edge.

How that’s going to protect her in battle… I really don’t know. Her Vajayjay is showing.

(Source)

Since 2013 started, I’ve been feeling the exhaustion of Depression, not wanting to do the simple things like brushing my teeth but forcing myself anyway. It’s my job that’s stressed me out the most, not the actual work but travelling, waiting around for buses and it taking literally hours to get to work and back. I kept thinking just get to Christmas, just wait until Christmas and then you can review the situation. But Christmas came and went so fast (as it always does) and I just kept going.

Until last week, when I felt so dizzy and nauseas that I just stopped. Even when I stopped, I kept going (Which doesn’t make any sense but stay with me for a moment). Even when I knew I had nothing left to give and I’d reached my limit, travelling so far to work and counselling, and having no time for being sociable, I still made it to work feeling like something was wrong. My mind was scattered, I felt like I was about to collapse and any movement made me feel dizzy.

And the moment I got home I felt better, and that’s when I knew it was stress. (I was thinking brain problems, like a tumour, because that’s what my mind likes to do to me: terrify me)

I’m so frightened of going back to how I was before employment and during the earlier stages of therapy, that I’m almost depressing myself thinking about it. I’m dreading being unemployed, I’m trying to find a job but because of counselling it means I can’t apply for what I’d normally apply for (cryptic I know) I want to maintain and progress with battling my Eating Disorder, but what if I put on the weight I’ve lost? And last but definitely not least, my grandparents have Alzheimer’s, and it’s … it’s bad.

Having said that, something changed a while ago, I’m … better. Not recovered, but on the way.

Have any of you guys unexpectedly hit a wall with weight struggles or Eating Disorders?

Hayley Emma

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I’ve thought of quite a few blog posts in the past fortnight, but every time I’ve sat down to write them I’ve stared at a blank page.

Although I’ve had a few ideas, I’ve felt like I’ve been carrying what I think might be the key to fully understanding my Eating Disorder. I’ve been carrying it round with me for a week, unsure of whether I should write about this without having had a proper discussion with my therapist.

Last week I was 20 minutes late for therapy. At the time I was upset about a difficult situation which I’m pretty powerless in, and I was tired from work. I found it difficult to drag myself out of bed and so was late, and then there was traffic, so my Dad took pity on me and after battling through the traffic, took me to therapy.

I said it was my fault and I should have gotten up earlier, but I didn’t realise how annoyed she was going to be, since most weeks I’m on time. It was no big deal, right? She said everything happens for a reason, but I thought maybe it was just really busy traffic and then she said:

“I’m not offended, but I know if you were going somewhere you were really excited about, you’d be on time.”

I nodded, but I thought “No, I wouldn’t.”

The discussion led to whether I thought this, as in therapy, was working for me. I left the office having to seriously think about what I wanted.

I considered leaving. Maybe therapy wasn’t for me? I felt like I’d been covering the same thing for a couple of weeks not really keeping up with the progress I’d made but not regressing either. Maybe having a job had lifted some of the Depression and I was in a better place, financially and emotionally?

But then I thought about how I’d have to really change my eating for good, and most importantly, how I’d lose weight. And what if I lost my job, or had a rough time at my job? In the current climate it’s very possible I’ll be unemployed again as soon as next year. It’s just so uncertain. What if I’m then plunged back into this swamp of Depression, jobless, struggling to leave the house and avoiding all of my problems until I’m even more overweight than right now?

As much as I want to sort it out myself or just get over it, I haven’t managed to do that before. If I’m hoping things will be different just because  I want them to be, then I have learnt nothing over the past couple of years. Lighterlife is a very attractive option which I might have gone back to, had I not gained this awareness into Binge Eating and Eating Disorders.

And then it hit me, I wouldn’t be on time to an event I was excited about. I cancel on my friends all the time because I get so anxious about what could happen whilst we’re outside, mingling with people who can see my body. It’s horrendous, and I never feel comfortable even though I want to see my friends. If I carry on the way I’m going, no one is going to want to meet me anymore, because I’d probably cancel and waste their day.

And honestly, the mess I’ve made of my house. I have been so messy and, there’s no other name for it, a total slob when it comes to cleaning that mess. It’s awful, i leave wrappers lying around, don’t put my clothes in my wardrobe but chuck them on the floor. I’m disgusted with myself. I am not this person. I’m not a clean freak by any means but I like things tidy, I like to be organised, I like to get to places early. And yet I’m not like that.

I kind of, sort of, hate myself… a little bit.

And it dawned on me, that giving up therapy now, following the same route I’ve taken before isn’t just going to suddenly change because I hope it will.

I have to make the change.

I missed therapy last week because I was in bed. I struggled to get out of bed, but who hasn’t when it’s still dark outside, and cold? But people get up, because they have to. Otherwise they’ll be late, or they’ll miss work etc, and there are repercussions to these actions.

Today I sat in front of my therapist and explained all of this. I’m scared, because moving forward on a different path means the unknown, and for whatever reason, I’ve wanted to avoid that for years. But on the other hand, somewhere new has got to be better than where I’ve already been.

Hayley Emma

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Since I’ve gotten a job I’ve noticed my social anxiety has significantly reduced. I’m going out usually 5 days a week, and leaving the house that often would have brought on a mild anxiety attack just from thinking about it.

Although going out and facing people, meeting colleagues, e.t.c have made a huge difference, I think having a job has boosted my confidence in so many ways. I now walk to and from work with more of an identity.

I am no longer unemployed, overweight and eating disordered, I am now … employed, overweight but working on it, and eating disordered but in therapy. I can now afford to join a gym, and although I have less time to go, I feel I have more of a reason to make an effort. And I’ve felt that with every aspect of my life.

For the past 3 weeks I haven’t been so focused on chocolate, or bingeing. I’ve gone to buy classic binge food almost without thinking about it, but as my therapist reminded me “you don’t have to buy it.” And I haven’t. Teamed with more exercise due to work and generally just getting out more, I’ve lost some weight. Nothing to write home about, but enough to remind myself that I can do this.

I can walk away from an impending binge, and I can lose weight, and I can have an Eating Disorder free existence. Or as ED free as possible for me.

Since unemployment is an international issue, how has being unemployed/employed helped or hindered your Eating problems?

Hayley Emma

P.s. I’m still adjusting to working and so please bear with me with infrequent posts 🙂

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I had a difficult session yesterday, it was the first time I contemplated walking out of the therapist’s office.

I’m not that great with anger. It takes me a lot to get riled up properly, mostly because of the ultimate pet hate, which is:

1)      When someone talks in the 3rd person.

Hayley gets very annoyed by this. Hayley feels that people should stop talk do you know what? I can’t even do it. I can’t even write in the 3rd person because it pisses me off so much. It just screams delusions of grandeur.

This irritates me so much that my none of my family members would ever talk in the 3rd person because my rage would overflow and I would have to leave the room.

I’m exaggerating (I’m not) but this is how the majority of my anger is dealt with. It’s jokey anger, I’ll laugh as I cringe and go to my room to be alone if I’m frustrated. But I’ve realised that people not understanding me is a real source of anger for me. I find shouting and slamming doors futile: why shout at people who don’t understand? It’s not usually their fault.

I thought that my therapist understood me – I think she does now, now that I cried for almost all of the last session with frustration because it makes perfect sense to me that taking part in a documentary is easier than going for a walk for 30 minutes everyday.

I know some people don’t understand Eating Disorders. When I studied PTSD for my dissertation I didn’t understand how someone could be transported back to when the trauma happened and relive it as if they were there. I can read about it and empathise, but I’ll never understand it like someone who has experienced it.

And still, some people with Eating Disorders hold down full time jobs and wear shorts in summer and can go to the beach without too much distress – this isn’t my experience, I can’t fully understand that.

Going for a half hour walk everyday is… indescribably difficult. I think I finally put the joking aside and was able to show my therapist just how excruciating it is for me to leave the house. I have to pick what to wear, what I’ll feel comfortable in, regarding weather – I don’t want to be too hot but I also don’t want to show any skin. Do I take my mp3 player? It could help block out the outside world but what if I get out of breath and I’m breathing really loudly and I can’t hear myself but others can and they know I’m unfit and overweight and they’ll think I just overeat because I like food? And where do I go? If I go to the shops will I be able to not buy chocolate, and if I do how much do I buy, and will there be popcorn? And what will the sales assistants think of me? What if they say anything? And if I don’t go to the shop where do I go? And what if I get tired or panic or what if I don’t walk anywhere?

The thoughts that remind me of anxiety cat just go on and on, so that I don’t go for a walk and then I’ve failed. And then I feel terrible. Misunderstood and a failure.

And I have failed at walking for 30 minutes everyday, because my therapist suggested we make it 15 minutes everyday, and now I feel like a head case, and so so far from being able to cope with food, and losing weight, and being happy.

I like to have a bit of clarity and a meaning behind my posts but on this one I’m kind of stumped. My therapist said it might be my behaviours are so ingrained (I’m been hiding my body and hiding away inside at every opportunity throughout the last decade) that it’s going to take a lot of time and hard work to finally change.

I’m sick of waiting though, of dealing with these problems. What if I can’t get better? What if I’m doomed to yo-yo in weight until I give up altogether and collect cats for every year of spinsterhood? I’ve succeeded in weight loss before and it was euphoric… but the gain was so horrible that I don’t want to go back there again.

Eurgh. There. I’ve had an unedited moan. Any words of wisdom would be very helpful right about now.

Hayley Emma

P.s. Does anyone know what happened to Eating Disorder Memes?

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In my last therapy session my counsellor mentioned that my life might be a tad consumed by my eating disorder. She was asking about things that I do that don’t relate, as in when do I see my friends, what are my hobbies, what do I do for leisure etc.

I’ve always known on paper I seem kind of boring. I like writing and blogging but I struggle to write fiction because I never think what I write is good enough, and then I can’t really talk to people about blogging unless I mention Eating Disorders. I don’t want everyone knowing about my problems at the moment, especially not if they know me to be smiley and then BOOM! Depression central… you get the point.

But the thing that stuck with me since therapy is the ‘friends’ part of my life friends. I don’t see my friends that often, about once a fortnight, and I sometimes cancel on them. Sometimes I really don’t want to see my friends, even though I know it’ll be fun, because I get a surge of anxiety that makes me want to sit on the sofa and complain about boredom.

The theme of the week has been ‘feel the fear’ and although I’ve been walking some days and succeeding in 2/3 of my goals, I have been avoiding social situations like the plague. I’m dodging my friends, not texting them when I should, I’m relieved if they cancel … and I realised, my friends come second to my Eating Disorder.

I know, it’s kind of tragic.

When I meet new people, they always ask what I do. I’m on support allowance which deems me unfit to work (signed off by the Doctor), I blog about Eating Disorders and every trip outside of my house is a struggle battling my anxiety. I wouldn’t want to share any of this information with new people who only get this glimpse of a boring and complicated existence.

And then the people that I already know, I don’t like to tell them any of it either. I recently told an ex-housemate all of the above, and I felt I needed to say afterwards “but… I’m not crazy, ok?”

I’m sure that when I disclose any of this information they’ll picture me in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, clutching 3 of my 37 cats and staring slack-jawed at the computer screen.

I know in my heart of hearts that my friends are moving forwards and I’m staying still. 2 of my friends are getting married this summer, most of my friends have jobs and are in relationships and other friends who aren’t cat-ladies-in-waiting. I’m still jobless, making a huge effort just to go for a walk everyday.

I really need to get a job and socialise with new people, but my embarrassment over my body and my situation holds me back. And if I did get to know some new people, would I tell them what I blog about, what I’m dealing with or do I keep it to myself and make it seem like all I do it go for walks everyday?

Eh, I think I’ve out-complained myself. Which is a good thing – I’ve gotten it off my chest, now I can figure out what I want to do. Enlighten me, how are your relationships with your friends, do your problems affect them?

Emma

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I’ve been holding back from blogging lately because I haven’t wanted to, but also because I feel like a failure.

I can see my friends getting good jobs, travelling, going on post-graduate courses, moving out of their parent’s houses and having long-term relationships. I have just been told I’m more preferable as a friend than a girlfriend (even though I wasn’t looking to be anyone’s girlfriend). I also feel like I’ve failed life by being advised by the jobcentre that I change benefits as I’m not ‘fit to work’ with depression and anxiety. The thought of getting a job scares the shit out of me, not just because I don’t like going out in public, but that coping with added anxiety and having to hide my depression on a daily basis would be extremely difficult.

I talked to my Doctor and she agreed. It’s temporary, I’m hoping in a month I’ll be back to jobseekers. In the meantime I’ve got a self-employment course lined up as I’m thinking of setting up a business, and I’m also focusing on writing.

I’m heavier than I’ve ever been and although I know I’m making progress in finding out key issues, I can’t see any visible changes in my Eating Disorder and weight.

Which means I’m stuck. Yeah I’m kind of making baby steps, but they’re like 11-month-old-baby-clinging-onto-the-coffee-table steps rather than 18-month-old-look-there’s-a-dog-let’s-chace-it steps. And that’s a huge difference.

I’m doing the preparation for moving forward but I’m still way behind my peers and I’m feeling the mean girl bitterness kicking in again. I was thinking about this blog and how I desperately want to be moving forward and writing about moving forward when I saw this video from Dropping the F Bomb.

If this isn’t inspiring then I don’t know what is.

Jennifer worked hard to lose weight and blogs about her issues in a humorous manner, the best kind of manner if you ask me. As much as I want to be like Jennifer, having accomplished so much and inspiring so many people, I am not.

I wish I could snap my fingers and kick my ED’s ass but I haven’t, in reality it’s a long hard progress and I’m just plodding along and doing my best. Hopefully you’ll be able to read along with this blog when I am kicking ass. Right now though, it’s thanks to people like Jennifer that provide ample inspirational and ass-kicking spirit necessary to keep me going.

Jennifer’s blog can be found here and is now on my blogroll which I urge you to check out, after all, I am very wise and I only pick wise blogs to share on my wise blogroll. It could grow a beard it’s that wise.

Do you wish you could already be winning, or are you happy with the way you’re handling your own battle?

Emma

🙂

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I’m struggling for inspiration. I had lots on Friday and then didn’t do anything with it… and now I’m back to nothing.

I had a lazy weekend. And do you know what? I don’t want to report on what an unproductive weekend I’ve had and what I’ve just eaten. I am ashamed of myself. Yesterday I came to the conclusion that I was going to push myself to go to the gym. After all, I joined the gym the day I weighed myself and sunk into this ongoing depression so… how hard could it be, right?

I mean, fuck ‘em. Fuck everyone else, I want to lose weight, get healthier. I like exercise and I want to go to the gym and feel like I’m one step closer to climbing out of this pit I’ve gotten myself into. If I see someone I know, at least it’ll be red-faced and sweaty rather than laying on the sofa picking food out of my teeth.

I have this fighting attitude and then after about 10 minutes of being all challenging and grrr-ey I suddenly realise that I would be walking into a room full of fit people and machines. The pressure to do well and not sweat and not look like I’m about to collapse makes the knot in my stomach tighten and my chest feel heavy. I feel a wave of heat rush to face at the thought of the gym at the same time my heart tries to beat its way out of my chest.

I think of walking in and not knowing what to do. I think of having to ask a member of staff to show me how to use the machines. I think of them scanning my card and knowing that I joined 6 weeks ago and haven’t been since. I think of guys running on the treadmill and girls in crop tops and leggings, this is their territory not mine. I think of whether my sports bra is visible through my long-sleeved top and whether I’d be brave enough to wear a t-shirt. I think about how low my top is and whether if I go on the rowing machine it’ll ride up.

My mum mentions zumba which I keep talking about and I start to panic. I’d have to book the class, the staff member wondering whether I’ll be able to keep up and what if I can’t and have to sit down or something?

I remember the time I was doing a workout video in PE and the teacher thought I was overdoing it because my face was so red. She looked at me like I was being stupid rather than strong for carrying on and then wrote that I should watch my weight on my end of year report. I was watching my weight. I’m always watching my weight.

But this time I don’t seem to be able to stop it rising. Crash diets are what I’m good at and I can’t do those anymore. Lighterlife proved that. So now I’m just watching it and not doing anything about it.

After I wrote this post of depressiveness (real word…in my head) I didn’t want to post it. I like to write stuff that is going to mean something, have some kind of reason, I don’t like to moan (I know I do it, shut up). So I stopped and went to the gym.

I KNOW, RIGHT?

I’ve been terrified of the gym and finally convinced my Dad to come with me and I went! I didn’t stay for long, only about 25 minutes and I went on the cross trainer and bike (which I once called ‘cycling machine’) and so I am now officially a superstar athlete.

Kaplow!

Emma

🙂

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