it takes a village

20180212-IMG_1268normally i work from home on a tuesday because i have therapy first thing in the morning and i generally need a bit of solo time after my sessions. apart from when i’ve run away, this has been the pattern for the last nine months or so.

today, however, i’m in the office because not only do i now have a new psychiatrist but i also will have a new therapist after tomorrow.

i’m very grateful to my now ex-therapist. without him, i wouldn’t have got through the crippling ptsd that i suffered for most of last year. but there were also things that frustrated me about him and i felt that our sessions – or at least the overarching theme of our sessions rather than the individual sessions themselves – lacked a structure or focus. and in the short time that i’ve been under my new psychiatrist’s care (is it really less than three weeks?!), i think it’s become clear that i need more intensive treatment than i’m currently getting.

i’ve had some success with bringing my calorie intake up but that has resulted in some other unhealthy behaviours rearing up. behaviours that i thought i had well and truly left behind including, but not limited to, one of the biggest and most shameful binges i’ve ever had last night. my new psychiatrist said that he’s still happy that i can be treated on an outpatient basis (even that sounds so serious) and i’m not at the stage of needing day patient / inpatient care. but he’s also made it clear that it’s probably only a matter of a few weeks and that continued outpatient support relies on me actively participating in my recovery and surrounding myself with the best possible people. he has pulled some strings to get me appointments both with one of the top nutritionists in london and with a highly recommended specialist in cbt-e. i know the rest is down to me.

and, as much as i hate to admit it because i like to think of myself as independent and resilient and self-sufficient and everything else that a seemingly professional and pulled-together woman in her mid-thirties should be, i’m not really any of those things. i need all the help that i can get at the moment. because i want to beat this. i really do. and i can’t do it by myself. this is going to have to be a team effort.

this week is eating disorder awareness week (#edaw2018). already i’ve seen so many inspiring tweets, blog posts, articles and vlogs from people who are suffering, have suffered or have watched someone suffer. inspired by all of those stories, i’ve gradually told more and more people in my life what’s been going on and have been staggered by the generosity of spirit that so many people have shown me. most people don’t really know how to react or what to say – which is absolutely fine with me – but just knowing that they’re there and cheering me on is enough for me.

it’s yet another one of those strange paradoxes that anorexia is built on; i don’t think i’ve ever felt so loved at a time when i’ve never hated myself more.

{title quotation from an african proverb}

the only way to understand a river is to jump into it

20180116-IMG_1193

i think my therapist tried to dump me today. i was slightly taken aback although, in hindsight, it makes sense. the reasons why i started seeing him 8 months ago have largely been dealt with. all that i have left now is my old friend; my eating disorder.

he can help with the eating disorder of course (he either said he would like to help or that he’d be happy to help. annoyingly, i can’t remember which). but he’s only willing to help if i want help. otherwise it’s just a waste of time (his) and money (mine).

i know that he’s right. i know that my eating is an issue. i’m (generally) an intelligent, rational, sensible person. i know it’s not healthy to lose ~ 3 stone in a couple of months and take a perverse pleasure in making those closest to you think that you are eating a healthy balanced diet. i know that this is just about control really.

i control my food –> i control my body –> i control my life.

i know that i’ve got it the wrong way round though and really this is controlling me.

but still, i can’t stop.

he told me to think about it over the next week and decide what i want to do.

on the way home, i walked in and out of coffee shops and bakeries. at every stop, i thought about buying something and sitting there and eating it but i couldn’t. i went to tesco and thought about buying something for lunch but i couldn’t stop staring at the calorie counts of everything so just settled on buying some broccoli and a pint of milk so my husband can make his porridge in the morning.

then i went and sat by the river in regent’s park. it was so cold that my hands still haven’t recovered. it was there that i made the very mature decision to email the clinic’s reception and cancel my appointment for next week. a pre-emptive strike if you will; dumping him before he could dump me. i’ll be back the week after i’m sure. whether i’m ready to jump into the river is a different question though.

{title quotation from the museum of extraordinary things by alice hoffman}