Posts Tagged anxiety
(I just wrote a long post & it deleted itself. Not in Drafts. Unhappy Blooger. Yes.)
Weddings + Me = Bad Idea.
That is what I always thought.
I was never the sort of child who daydreamed about a fairy-tale wedding. I drew pictures of fairys, yes, but I was more concered about lauching my career as a Full Time Fairy who would promote Green Peace (which confused with World Peace for years) than thinking about yucky Boys or a big poofy dress.
As I grew up I pretty much denounced anything girly. I was a Goth (or a Goff judging by many numerous clothing mistakes) I was also mad. As a child anxiety follwed me around like a hated imaginary enemy. It got worse. By 12 I was depressed and worried. By 14 I was in intensive therapy for my Eating Disorder, my self harming, depression & anxiety. I rattled with medication. I was sad, bad, mad.
I thought that –
Mad plus fat plus scarred = never ever married. Ever.
I did not consider it a possibility. During my teenage years, and, to be honest, even very recently, the idea of any future at all was a shady ideal and overshadowed by my numerous suicide attempts.
What has changed? I am still mad, bad, sad. I am still scarred. I still self harm. I still have a rampant eating disorder that rules my life. My anxiety is isolating. My OCD rocks even my strongest relationships. The Great Depression II just ruins everything. My psychosis puts me in hospital.
But I have The Boy. We got engaged to cement the fact we were solid in our relationship that we know will last forever. We got engaged because December and the months before it were hard and horrible, the engagement was the light at the end of a very, very dark and scary tunnel. We were not expecting to plan a wedding until maybe five years into the future….
Then The Boy’s Army ambitions really kicked off…and we talked, and talked, and talked.
We decided (well, maybe I decided) there was no way I was letting him go to a war zone without him being my Husband. We wanted something for me to work towards and in both situations a Wedding seemed like a brilliant soloution. The obvious choice.
I thought it would all take a while to get off the ground..I thought we’d both go off the idea, be put off by the money and the planning.
Like with so many other things, I was so very wrong.
We have both jumped into wedding planning feet first. We love it. I love it. It is making me excited & happy, I wake up with a smile, feeling like Chrsitmas is coming as I count the days until we can go view the first two possible venues. We both have made lists, and counted pennies and started savings.
I am mad – but contray to what I always thought this does not means I can not get married.
I really, really did not think I’d ever cathch Wedding Fever, it is so un-me…but so is the fact I have a First Class degree and am going to start a Masters..but so is my newfound love of pink, my striving to get better, my shakey communication skills that are improving every-time me and Boy sit down with a cup of tea and talk into the night, I am trying in therapy. All of these things one felt like things i’d never ever do.
I would not care, really, if Boy and I had to be wed in a in-use cow barn while wearing bin bags. I’d just want us to be Husband and Wife. But, because we are able to plan a wedding, we are.
It is going to be a pinky, vintage, crafty themed wedding. Boy will be wearing Army Gear. It will be very ‘us’ Controversial and a little bit mad. I am so happy.
I think my fable-esque message at the heart of this post is:
I am mentally ill and physically disabled. I may well be that way forever. But that does not have to stop be persuing my career (as an author not a fairy, sadly) and my life (marrying the Boy and sobbing as he leaves for War). It does not have to stop anything. I can weave it into the fabric of my days….
and If I can do that I really think anyone can.
Here is a very badly drawn MsPaint jobby I did in an attempt to explain mental illness.
There is sunshine and balloons. I feel horrible I should be happt. There are good thing but all I am feel is the chains of this..this whatever it is, bad feeling. Chained to the good things too but I can’t appreciate them for the worry, the sadness and the sheer terror I experience sometimes. I know I am not alone. In case you were wondering, this is a bit like what mental illness can be like.
Well, Valentines day has been and gone, but I failed to make the obligatory ‘He loves me’ Blog post…so I thought I’d givee you a break down of the day in photos…
The Wonderful Fiance did his shopping with Interflora. I was putting war-paint on my face when the door bell went (by door bell I of course mean BigDog barking…) and I looked out the upstairs window to see an unknown yellow car in our driveway.
The following things went through my head –
The Bad Robbers have a yellow car?!
A man with a yellow car has come to kill us with a knife?!
Bananas in Pajamas are making a guest appearance?!!!
Bad Robbers, Bad Robbers, Bad Robbers, Bad Robbers?!!!
So due to my mental ineffectiveness which causes me to constantly jump to the totally wrong conclusion is every situation it took me a while to answer the door.
When I did get to it the interfloara man was shivering slighly and I can only sepculate that this is what caused him to look at my lumps-of-foundation-not-yet-smooshed-in on my face and contort his feautures into an expression that could only have meant:
‘Someone is giving YOU flowers?!!..and a Balloon..and Chocolates??!!!’
But he passed them over nonetheless and I proceed to dance around the front froom in joy. Not only was I not being attacked by Bad Robbers I also had a balloon!!! (oh, and really lovely flowers and chocolates..)
I gave The Finace a new coat a few weeks before Valentines…his old one was akin to him wearing a tiny square of my knitting to try and keep warm..so he was happy & surprised when I gave him some stupidly cheap Army toys to keep him entertined while I chased a balloon around the room…
That was a good day..and I am happy to report the flowers are still alive and in a vase. The balloon is hidden behind a curtian where it will not terrifying BigDog every time he comes into the room (Wuss) and the army men toys are blancing on the top of the TV Boy uses for his Xbox so they can join in when he kills stuff with pretend guns…My mum did tell me she walked in on him talking to them t’other day though, double bless.
Yesterday was a good day too, whivh is why I have cohsen to replicate it here.
Some uninformed and discriminatory people think that those who are on long term sick and unemployed just spend all day doing exactly as they please….
and i’d like to say we do…
although here is the point where I feel obliged to point out that both Helen and Boy have jobs, they just also have days off..and anyone who gets me to sew and also puts up with my exhausting mood-swings, upsets, moaning, isolating, clinging, fighting, and manicness deserves some kid of award. A picture tells 1,000 words..but the situation calls for 10,000..or something..
But lovely days, lovely photos.
It makes me laugh that when I was an angst ridden 14yr old teenager I’d have hated the idea of sewing and knitting..and being proud of engaging in such activities would have made me seethe. The teapot, however, has always been a source of my affections..
That’s it for this post, unless I can think of a witty and entertaining ending…
No, I can’t.
When I started this I promised myself (crossed my fingers, toes, arms, ankles and eyes) that I would not just neglect this Blog when my mood took a dip and I became obsessive about something that was not Blogging..
For days I have been like,
‘What Blog? I have no Blog!’
and then I saw my friends new amusing post with amazing illsutration and was overcome with Bloggers Jealously.
It may now just happen that I rely on above friend for any inspiration to Blog but I promise I shall try harder. (Story of my life, my school reports always said ‘Alexishereidrawlikenick has potential but Must Try Harder)
So, here I am admitting to being an Inspiration Thieving Copy Cat..
(Part of me did write the above as I previously viewed the copycat image and needed an excuse to post it. Thanks Char -toothy smile-)
M’kay – onto the actual content of this post.
I have an interview on Wednesday *insert dooms-day muzic*
It is for my much-talked about Masters, it is for Creative Writing. I write stories, I write poems, I write a terrible Blog with coupious grammatical mistakes. I do not do interviews. The boyfriend kindly tells me that my ‘creative personality’ means that I am not good in those one-on-one situations. But he means people. And that I am a loonely.
It is a tad like the clip below, only I may well get out a guitar and use offensive language…
A List Of Things I do During Interviews
1) I twitch. Endlessly. A bit like a Durcell Bunny that is on it’s last three seconds of life. I can’t control the twitch, it is a nervous disorder but it looks a lot as if I am just very cold. It maes people twiddle with the heating until we re all sweating profussely and I am still damn twitching and shivering…uncomfortable for all and I may as well wear a sign proclaiming my lack of mental health.
2) I am the sort of person who cannot get my fringe straight. I worry about it making me look stupid, so I fiddle…and fiddle and fiddle. I do not even know I am doing with it but it does not convey an air of confidence…it also makes me look like I am apperance obsessed, when really I’d happily leave the house in a big ban if only my hair would be straight.
I have many iteams with the Edward Monkton design on as testament to my fringe-woes..
3) When I get nervous I speak really fast. Reallyfastsononoecanunderstand. For someone who is enthused by language this is not a Masters-winning skill…
4) The more important the person is, the higher the authority the less I am able to listen and the more easily distracte……LOOK A RABBIT!
The Boyfriend grabs my hand when we cross roads – and not because he loves me so much he always wants to ber romantic and hold on to me…
5) I am likely to forget my name, age and any interests and, if pushed on this topics I may cry and/or burst into flames…
In summary – I am very glad they wanted a portfolio of words what I wroted as well as seeing me in actual person. I am hoping the will have already decided my writing skill is oh so amazing that it does not matter than I am totoally unable to sit still and reply to any interview questions..
I have never mistook a tin of peas for baked beans, and that is a good thing – because I hate baked beans with a passion that is likely far too feirce. There is no orgin to this hate, I..sadly do not have a witty tale of childhood bean-related trauma (unlike Smarties, but I’ll save that for a different day) I just hate the orange little bastards. Canned peas, I love em..frozen ones I can take or leave, but give me a tin of peas and I’ll be a happy camper.
My point is, in this case, labels are important because there is no other way of knowing what is inside until It is far too late…and pea/bean mix up’s are very sad. In Eating disorders however (and yes, I also think it is amusing that I chose to use a food analagy) labels do not matter….we just think they do.
When someone is diagnosed with an ED (that shorthand for eating disorder which I shall use for the rest of this post)..they think that thier ‘label’ matters very much, at times in thier illness alot of people are defined by thier illness and find it very hard to find a difference between self & ED..
Me on non-recovered days when ED is incharge: Hello, HiiiiiiiiYA! I am anorexic…and my name is alexishereidrawlikenick
Me on ‘good’ recovery – battle days: Hello, HiiiiiiiYa! My name is alexishereidrawlikenick, oh, and I am anorexic..
The future me: Hello, HiiiiiiiiiiiYA! How are you? My name is alexishereidrawlikenick and I really like dogs, I like to write, I am a bad poet, I am not very tidy, I like exciting coloured pjamas and recently brought a really cute tortiose shaped lamp with i have name Stuart..(//rambles rambles..point being that identifying self with ED doesn’t happen..)
I spend a lot of my time thinking of myself as ‘anorexic’ first and as a person second. For a long time I have had a big problem with binge eating, this problem pre-dated the arrival of my anorexia in my early teens..in all probability if I look at it according to the DSM citetria (for a link to the DSMs on my blog > therapy woes and personality disorders) then I have a touch of EDNOS/Bulimic behaviors too, for a long while this was a huge source of shame that I denied the existence of.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if you try and treat an illness while ignoring some of the biggest symptoms you are not going to get very far, and I think that this is one of the reasons why all my earlier attempts at recovery and the time spent in inpatient wards did nothing to really help me. From talking to other people that have fought/are fighting an ED though I have come to a few realizations;
1) ED thoughts are similar. It makes us feel isolated and alone. It promises us that we will be special and hiss in our ear that we are not deserving of food because we are ‘different’. Yet, if you read a testimony/real life story/blog from anyone with an ED, be in Anorexia, Bulimia, EDNOS, binge eating disorder, compulsive over eating..you will find that we are very sheep-like..the thought patterns (the ‘I am bad/underserving/disgusting/pathetic/need to try harder/be thinner/change this/be in control) all repeat themselves over and over again. It is as if there is a massive ED cloud, just talking into a transmitter that is heard by all sufferers..we are all dancing the same dance but behind big, thick screens so we think we are alone.
2) Part of the hold of the ‘ED’ is the idea that you are ‘not sick enough’. For me – I ‘need’ to be anorexic, as stated in the DSM because otherwise I am ‘failing’ and do not desrve treatment. I force/starve myself unitl my BMI is ‘less than 85% of my ideal body weight’ because the ED has put it into my head that if I am not of this BMI I do not have a problem, do not deserve help and ..(yes,it goes to this extreme) that I do not deserve to live. However, my unhealthly behaviours/thoughts and the subsequent feeling festival that causes is no different to, again, people with any other ED Label.
This is all the same hell, the sign posts are just a tad different.
Clinicians uses these labels because it dictates the medical producures that are intitisataed. At least, it used to. Now, however, even that is bollocks.
It is widely understood (thanfully) in the medical/psychological professions that binge eating disorder, eating diosrder not otherwise specified, anorexia and bulimia ALL carry a huge amount of potential for major health complications.
In anorexia weight is often very low, if it is under a certian number the patient is often hospitalised for forced re-feeding. This is the ‘old skool’ way of looking at it, and the view that..unfortunately does not seem to have yet penetrated the bubble of the medical professions to reach the media/the public. (I am generalizing here, I know some people still suffer from chronically mis-informed GP’s/doctors/psychs who think eating disorders are for ‘thin people’ but on the whole it has improved). Psychologists and ED specialists now realize that people with EDNOS/Bulimia/any-other ED can have the same nutritional deficits and overall health risks are suffers with an extremely low BMI.
Bulimics or those who invole in any kind of purge type behavior are often in -more- medical danger than those that follow a restrictive diet…there can be electrolyte imblances which can lead to a much increased risk of a heart attack. It can also cause tearing and rupture of the oesophagus, malnutrition, dehydration, and lung problems (including pneumonia), Hyponatremia (not enough sodium in the blood), and even paralysis. for more, click here (from somethingfishy)
Now that it is know that all ED’s are as medically dangerous as each other more people -need- to lacth onto the idea that they are all as emotionally damaging as each other. Seriously, people with ED’s play like broken records, we all have the same concerns that loop over and over, the only difference seems to be the social stigma.
ED’s are not actually about weight, but about emotions. (No shit sherlock)..despite that fact the labels themselves seem to be very important even to the individual sufferer.
I will admit that I did used to be proud of being anorexic. My therapist-at-the-time ‘gave’ me the diagnoses as if she was handing me a fragile gift, I nournish and ‘fed’ it accordingly..until it nearly killed me. Also..ED’s are deadly, but very few people die looking like an emaciated bone bag..my ED -did- and had nearly killed me, but not while I was at my lowest weight. Whem my BMI was 13 I had no energy to do anything, especially not kill myself but I have had sevral serious suicide attempts. The ‘worst’ in terms of me nearly being dead was probably when my BMI was a more-socially-acceptable (although still unhealthy) 17. At that BMI I did not ‘look’ like a anorexic..you could not tell by looking at me that I had an ED..but it still came very, very damn close to killing me. Weight does not dictate the amount of emotional distress a person with an ED is going through.
I did think more than once about actually putting the BMI I ‘reached’ in here in numbers…because I am all too aware of the negative comparisions that ED’s cause. I also know that a blog post on the topic of ED’s is much, muxh more likey to be read than a sufferer or some one who has suffered than average-joe public. However, I felt it necessary in order to give the sheep-like ED thoughts an extra kick. If I read weights I immediatly compare, but irregardless of what my weight is now or has been in the past, the feelings still equal emotional distress and dysfunction.
My current book is a murder thriller, a rubbish 89pence on i downloaded on my Kindle, my ED managed to ruin the whole book for me because the author noted the weight and height of the protaginist..my ED thoughts jumped all over this as if it was a day old kitten in a bastket and refused to give me any thought space for the plot. It turned a fictional novel about a ‘heart in the mouth’ serial murderer into something to feel bad about myself for…now, I realize how damn stupid that is, yet I bet any other person with an ED rerading that will nod along, knowing all too well the situation I am talking about..
whatever your weight is/ your label is…it is the emotions that matter. The fact that you feel so low is not okay, the fact you have a screwed relationship with food is not okay, the fact that your day to day activities focus on this fact is not okay…
weight is a causuatly of the disease, but it does not define anyone as a person…the label of your ED only matter to the ED. I have seen people that are fully recovered and they do not think that anorexia is ‘a better diagnoses’ than any other ED label..whereas people currently fighting an ED actively want to be anorexic, or even more anoreix. No -one is ever ‘sick enough’ if you have an eating disorder.
Labels, diagnoses, and weight all seems to have become ‘part’ of the eating disorder itself. In an ideal world all Dr’s/GP’s/medical experts/lay person will realize that all eating disorders are pretty much identical in terms of thoughts and feelings and only differ a tad in behavior..the medical stuff seems to be fairly individual and should only concern the medical professions, it shouldn’t be another tick on the list that feeds the greedy eating disorder that’ll not want to cease, ever.
I do often wonder if it is helpful for me to talk about ‘my anorexia’ instead of ‘my eating disorder’ because of the connotations I am hammering home to a) my own consciousness and b) other people who may read this – I do think that labels should be left on tinned goods but quite possibly it would be helpful to remove them from eating disorders.
I hope that one day I will become a person with a wide range of interests who does not identify themselves by a mental illness.. someday I am ‘anorexic’ other days I am ‘agoraphobic’ and some days I am a ‘self harmer’ if I can only view myself in these terms it is no wonder I have stayed unemployed as a graduate..
If anyone has read this, and has any views on the ‘label’ debate, I’d love to hear from you.