Curb your enthusiasm

I feel like I screwed myself over a bit in that group therapy session. I was talking animatedly about all the things I’ve been doing because I have this sudden urge and motivation to get myself things in life.

I’ve applied for a couple of different volunteering jobs, contacted my driving instructor about getting my lessons going again and signed up for a poetry slam (why?!). The trouble when I get like this is that I find it hard to remember when I am in an intense mood that it won’t last forever. That goes for good and bad moods – so I risk signing up for more than I can follow through on and burning out.

I’m hoping this self awareness this time around means I’ll have caught it before I do more than is healthy for me right now. It’s good if i can harness the enthusiasm without overdoing it and I think overall this is a positive sign! It must mean I’m on the mend from the anorexia if I’m looking forward to the next challenge!

When I said I feel like I screwed myself over in group it’s just because I didn’t realise but I talked right up to the end of the session. This meant I had no responses to what I said so I have to live with the uncertainty of not knowing people’s reactions. This is good practice for me as I find it hard to tolerate. I need to reassure myself that I’m happy with what I said and they probably think it sounds like positive steps anyway.

Hanging in there

I have been having extremes of feeling and I’m trying to hang in there and keep doing the things I need to do to take care of myself. Sometimes more successfully than others. Things like eating regularly, sleeping regularly and activities I used to enjoy, like crafts and walking. I’m hoping that in time that enjoyment will come back.

What brought me here today is that I just read a really good post on a twitter friend’s blog about how it can be hard to trust your own mind when you have bpd, check it out. It’s so true that huge amounts of time and energy can be used up by second guessing oneself and trying to separate which thoughts and feelings come from a painful reaction to a situation.

I don’t think bpd instincts are always wrong, but it’s helpful to have all the facts when deciding how to act and I think part of that is knowing which of our responses come from a difficult history. Then we can decide for ourselves if they are useful for the here and now.

Feeling desperate and urgent

Today my therapist and I talked positively about steps I’ve taken recently to let people (especially my partners) in. She says I’ve been a lot more real with here and a lot more emotionally honest, a noticeable change in the last couple of weeks.

Now that I’m eating again I’m not feeling so numb and distant but this has meant having to engage with and feel my emotions. The first main feeling that came in was sadness. I think I’m sad because my family have let me down. They didn’t give me the start in life I needed, they abused me and told me I was bad and worthless – something I ultimately believe to this day and something that has limited what I’ve been able to get out of my life so far.

My eating and my spending habits are out of control. I’ve been bingeing every day. I push myself to keep eating when I’m hungry, until I am in agony. I punish myself with food. I’m grabby with food, desperate to eat all the things, as though starvation again is just around the corner. It’s hard for me to trust that there’s no rush, that there will be food provided and it will be ample and I will still be satisfied (in fact, more satisfied) if I don’t scoff everything immediately. I’m letting myself enjoy food and eat what I like – but I just want to be able to stop eating when I get full and wait a while before I eat anything else.

I’m gaining weight quickly because of this, something that brings a lot of anxiety. I know I’m underweight and my body wants to reach a natural weight for me, I know I need to gain weight for health benefits and my periods need to start again. It’s not like I’m bingeing whilst being overweight. I’m trying to believe that my appetite will reach an equilibrium when I am eating enough calories regularly and when my weight reaches the ‘normal’ range for me.

My eating disorders unit assessment is on Monday. My social worker says it is good that I have tried to change things myself and that I am eating even though it feels out of control, because that is all more information for them to work with and it will give them a fuller picture of my issues with food. I really want them to help me to develop a totally new, healthy relationship with food – something I feel that I’ve never had.

The WANTING feeling that I’m feeling all the time is what is driving my eating problems and my spending problems. I’ve left my debit card at home today! The wanting feeling is grabby. I have judgemental thoughts that I am greedy. The wanting feeling is agitated and impatient. Part of it might be appeased with craft projects and keeping myself busy in ways that are productive, that give me something at the end of it. I have been baking a lot and trying to give away most of the results so as not to exacerbate the bingeing situation.

What is the jittery, impatient feeling that makes me want so much so constantly? Impatience. I want to create. I want things for myself. Agitation. Anxiety of what happens next. Impatience to get onto the next step. I think planning my time and activities could help. Keeping busy with activities that are fulfilling. Giving myself things including things that aren’t food or shopping. But trying to accept and enjoy one thing at a time and take my days one bit at a time. Lots of deep breaths and reassuring myself i have everything I need right now. I have everything I need right now in this moment. It’s OK.

Nourishment

Today, my therapist said she is proud of me. I feel it’s important for me to record this here because I’m holding it at arm’s length and not letting it sink in yet.

I told her about the things I wrote about in my last post that have shifted my feelings about starving myself. I realise that I am heading towards death. As I said to her, I feel I’ve turned around. I am facing away from death and towards life. I know which way I want to go.

She’s proud because of this, but also the way I have been talking about my feelings about my family. That I have been having little conversations with my family that ask a little more of them, even if I don’t expect to get it. It’s okay for them to have to deal with my expectations.

I want nourishment and care from my family. I have to face up to the devastating possibility that they may be incapable of giving me this, and that it is their failure to provide this that has made me unable to accept and receive care and love as an adult.

I can still want this from them, how could I not. Denying that it’s something I’ll always want and wish I had doesn’t help anyone. But to keep seeking it at some point becomes self destructive. How much of me starving myself has been down to me trying to show them how hurt I am, as if to stand emaciated before them and say “look at what you’ve done to me”. That is what I have done – and the reaction is NOTHING as ever. I get nothing back. They feel helpless. They cannot give what I am looking for. It is tragic.

Today, I begin trying to nourish myself. Take those tentative first steps towards the life I want to live. It is not recovery, I am not recovering anything I have ever had. It is life building. It is a journey into, towards, and through life – one choice, thought and action at a time. I plan to nourish myself with food and hopefully by thinking more compassionately towards myself. I will also try to let care in from my partners, especially the one that I live with. We may be going together to an ED support group this evening.

Holding onto Anger

This week in group I was sort of ambushed about my eating problems. I denied there’s anything going on. Just not ready to talk about that in group yet and I wasn’t prepared for the group leader to hint at it.

Today in my individual session we talked about what could be fuelling the eating disorder. There are feelings brought up by MBT that I just don’t know how to handle. Anger, shame and guilt.

The plan now is to talk through these and maybe learn to manage them in other ways. We talked about my fear of my own anger, how I feel like I’m just like my dad when I’m angry and how that makes me hate myself.

Another big issue I have with anger is getting stuck with it after. If I could express it properly and then move on it wouldn’t be half so unbearable. Perhaps if I could express my anger more effectively/in a way more aligned with my values, it’d be more cathartic/productive and I’d feel more able to move on from it.

My therapist hinted that if I continue to lose weight, the therapy could be deemed as doing more harm than good. She didn’t mean this as a threat but it sort of feels like one. She said “I can’t just watch you getting thinner and thinner and not do anything about it” and gestured to my body. She even asked at one point if I want to be referred to am ED specialist, but I don’t know if she meant it.

Walking on eggshells

I left group this week feeling really angry. I struggle to get a word in edgeways. This is partly because of people interrupting and talking over each other, but it’s also my own issue; I find I need a few seconds of silence before I can speak. I imagine this hesitancy is another one of those gifts from my less than idyllic childhood.

My father’s unpredictable temper probably taught me to walk on eggshells. At times I’d do just the opposite, deliberately pushing him into losing his temper just so it would be over and I wouldn’t have to deal with it hanging over my head, the not knowing what would happen next. There were few ways I could take control over the situation, and escalating it to get it over with was the way I chose.

I’ve been told for years by my family, as a child but also since then, that the conflict in the family was my fault because of this survival strategy. That guilt and the belief that I caused all these problems is a part of my core, and something I am struggling now to put into perspective. My therapist has challenged me on this, but it is an idea of myself that snaps back into place at any opportunity. There are moments when I glimpse alternative points of view. I suppose I just have to build on those.

In my individual session this week I talked with my therapist about my frustrations in trying to get myself heard in the group, and we touched on how I’ve been doing (badly) in the aftermath of talking to her about something I’ve never told anyone before. I’m not quite ready to go into that here.

I also had phonecalls with the crisis line and my social worker this week due to my self injury, which was escalating rapidly beyond my control. I didn’t find the crisis line helpful but the talk with my social worker has helped me feel that there are things I can do in terms of harm minimisation. This means I feel less out of control, though things are tough emotionally right now. I feel a sinking dread and an irritability I can’t shake. It is painful to be around others.

CPA and MBT Group Week 22

I am so exhausted and emotional. This morning I had MBT group and my CPA and I am just completely wiped out. I don’t even remember any of it. My mind is trying to ruminate over the CPA and it can’t cause I can’t remember it well enough, it just keeps going over the same few details over and over.

Sorry I don’t have more to say. Just going to rest and try to take care of myself for the rest of the day.