The long and winding road

I found this the other night. This was written less than a week after I first totally broke down and was signed off, well over a year ago. It isn’t easy reading and I will warn you that now; I wrote it, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like me.

Some days, you don’t realise how far you’ve come. Whilst I sat, in tears, reading through this the other night, it reminded me how far I have come. Friends staying with us the weekend just gone also reminded me how changed I am too; friends I didn’t think even really had an opportunity to see me; typical hectic, adult lives as they are, we sadly don’t often get to see each other.

I’m still confused by a lot, some I’ve tried to figure out, some I have figured out, some, I will probably never figure out.

~

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Words I repeated over and over to myself as I pushed to complete the final miles of the second of my 2015 half marathons. I knew I wasn’t fuelling myself. I’d started the morning eating, and then proceeding to throw up some left over sushi from our Friday night dinner party. I was craving electrolytes. I promised myself some water and fruit salad if I was happy enough with my time when I got home. Pledged to keep it down. Fortunately I somehow managed to knock ten minutes off January. I don’t know how.

I knew I needed help. I knew I wasn’t about to ask for it. I’d already opened up in January. In sending out my sponsorship link I felt that was a direct hint that I was still struggling. But I wasn’t about to ask for any further help. To break my friends and families hearts. They had no clue that in the months after my wedding, our return from honeymoon, I’d actually sunk lower and relapsed worse than ever. In relative comparison it made the efforts I went to to get to my coveted 8 stone for our wedding, relatively normal.

I thought I knew why, I thought it was about control. I felt time was slipping away from me, moving too fast, and I wasn’t necessarily progressing as I wanted in other aspects of my life; I craved promotion, responsibility, challenges and recognition at work yet at the same time the desire for a family was often strong: we were married now, so I deemed it allowed. Obviously destroying my body was never going to get me the baby I desired. Whenever a period randomly appeared, my heart would sink, but then the cycle would continue: I didn’t need to gain weight for a baby that didn’t exist. In sum, I felt like my life was out of control and this was the only way I could get it back. In reality I knew I was loosing control, but it didn’t matter. The desire to be thin overwhelms. The feeling and need to take control, to have control of something, overwhelmed. The strive for perfection within ever changing goalposts was consistent. I seemed to be a pro at setting myself these Unachievable goals.

I put myself in stupider and stupider situations. Some days I ate, some days I didn’t. Days I ate, I was sick. Not necessarily everything, but at some point, every eating day, something came back up. I knew it was wrong. But I couldn’t stop? I couldn’t understand anything any more. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was loved but lost and lonely??! I often felt stressed, over emotional and out of control. So I punished myself further through starvation or throwing up. That was what I needed. Though in the long term I knew I needed to seriously reconsider. To rethink. To ask for help. But I couldn’t. I wasn’t thin, so the problem was non existent.

I pushed through the half marathons, every day running. A friend commented on the “good work I was doing for the eating disorder charity” not really. I’d triggered myself beyond belief – I needed to be thin to highlight #edawareness . I was quoting and retweeting inspirational quotes and wise words left right and centre, but I wasn’t taking any notice of them for myself. I felt like I was screaming out for help, but in reality I was all false smiles and happiness. How would anyone know I was quietly sticking 2 fingers down my own throat and desperately trying to bring up that yoghurt. Spaghetti Bolognese. Sushi. Hot chocolate. Protein Shake. Salad. Pretended to myself I was screaming out for help that I didn’t want.

Can you imagine what it feels like day in day out. You’re hungry, but are you? Nah, of course you aren’t. You don’t need to eat. Don’t eat. Why are you eating?? The arguments within your own head are beyond exhausting. Constantly battling. It was easier, so much easier, to give in.

It couldn’t have come about at a worse time. I was desperately trying to support a friend. Actually return the favour of being a good friend like she’d consistently been for me. Instead out of nowhere I was an emotional wreck. Constantly welling up with the threat of breaking down at any given moment a permanent fixture. I don’t even understand fully where it came from. I just woke up one morning really angry. Really really angry with myself. I didn’t deserve anything.

I massively lacked self confidence and self esteem despite the act on many given days. I didn’t need knocking back any more but that is consistently all I received. Everything about me as a person was ripped to shreds.

It’s scary how quickly it can take hold. Before I knew it February was over and I’d made myself sick every. single. day. “Re-start March” was dubbed with a friend who had no idea the reality that this wasn’t just about getting back on track with eating healthier, I didn’t want to be bent over a toilet seat after every morsel of food I allowed myself. “Re-start March” lasted all of about 4 days before I found myself with my head back down the toilet bowl.

And then the tears fell and they couldn’t be stopped. I am a dark hole of a person I don’t understand. The people that matter love me. But I hurt. I hurt myself physically and mentally. I beat myself up 24/7. I cried. I cried and I cried. I had panic attacks, anxiety attacks, meltdowns in (super)markets. I fainted, collapsed, starved myself, cut myself, made myself throw up. And I ran. I ran and I ran and I couldn’t escape it all. I am nothing. I am nobody. I am worthless.

And then it happened. I walked away from my desk and made that call. I called the doctor. I asked for an emergency appointment. They couldn’t see me but they’d call me back. When the receptionist asked if she could ask what it was about, I panicked. She couldn’t get off the phone quick enough.

Sunday 22nd March 2015. Vitality Reading half marathon. Today I didn’t want to stop running. The sun was shining, the beat of the music was pumping through my ear phones. The crowds were cheering, playing music. And I was running. I knew I was achieving something. And I needed that so badly. That feeling of having achieved something. I knew it at mile 5, I knew it at mile 10. I knew it with 1000metres to go and it made me feel so good that I never wanted to stop. Because to stop running meant I would stop achieving. For now at least.

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Motherhood.

Our Rights To Vote; In or Out?

I have always felt like I SHOULD vote in all elections. I suspect this is predominantly because I am female; and drilled into me from a reasonably young age was the knowledge that suffragettes fought long and hard, risking and loosing their families and even their lives, for our rights as women to vote. Even in the last 6 months-or-so, having seen the film “Suffragette” and discovered even more the battles these women went through; the belief that I should always exercise my rights is rooted deep within. And so, since I’ve been legally able, I’ve always voted. It’s unequivocal, non-negotiable; I vote.
I can’t say that my vote has ever been an informed vote. I vote what my parents vote, and, as it would turn out, what the majority of the population votes too. I’m not about to type clearly here what I vote because frankly I cannot be bothered to deal with the agro that comes with the opinion of some mug who believes they are entirely right and no-one else is allowed an opinion. I also know that just from looking at me it can be pretty clear; I’ve had that before. It’s my choice and I’m good with that; regardless of how I got to that choice.
Voting is essentially an opinion like everything else – and everyone is entitled to opinion. We don’t all have to agree but we should be open to different views.

However; I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps no-ones vote is an informed vote; as we are bombarded so consistently with propaganda. Most days in the last few weeks the post has brought with it yet more wasted paper which heads straight to our recycling box – propaganda upon propaganda from different sides urging us to stay within the EU or get out. We are told only what it is wanted for us to know – and everything else kept schtum. Like I’ve said before; unless you are physically at the forefront of something; you will never know the truth; people’s own experiences and encounters will be biased towards their view of the world, so even that petty childhood playground argument you may hear from a child; you will never know the full truth of because you weren’t there.

FYI; I like to think that as often as possible, my recounts of events and experiences, etc, are as honest as possible and see both sides of a situation.
I know from speaking to friends this weekend, that this vote, somehow feels more important than ever before, and yet I have absolutely no idea if in or out is best.
My husband, has made his mind up. He’s told me what, and why; and out of an instinctual total trust in him (which comes as somewhat of a surprise to me; I love and trust him but on the other hand, trust no one?!) I figured I’d just vote the same as him; he raised good points that are significant to our lives and lifestyle.
However; then I saw some supposedly anonymous opposing views on Facebook which left me questioning again what to do. I say “supposedly anonymous” because the cynic in me doesn’t doubt it is simply more propaganda, from the “powers that be”, but I felt some of the points raised were relevant. So then, I announced to my husband I thought I’d vote opposite to him, explaining those points. He acknowledged that they too were important… Which I felt essentially left us both questioning again! I think my husband’s point of view will remain unchanged; because he felt it was better for his business; which is our life, which in turn is pretty top in our priorities.

On the other hand, I then think; if neither of us really know, why don’t we both vote against each other.. But if the entire population takes this split view, then the results are pointless.

It goes against every grain of will within me to not vote, but another part of me questions – if I’m doing so based on not really knowing what to do and simply providing our household with a split vote by us each voting differently – then is there any point at all? Will we ever gain access to the real truth to enable us to cast our votes with all the knowledge and understanding we need? I doubt it; and yet those rights to vote were fought so hard for.