Hey guys! What’s good, what’s good? Wow. Been a while, huh? I didn’t mean to leave it so long to update, but days turned into weeks with nothing really changing and I didn’t have a lot to say. That doesn’t mean that I suddenly DO have a lot to say but I miss you all and wanted to connect.
First of all, thank you SO much for everyone who has emailed/left comments recently- it has meant the world to me. Secondly (is that a word?), I haven’t disappeared completely. I am pretty active on Twitter these days- so much so that it feels weird to know that I don’t have to write this post in less than 160 characters
So. An update.
Will pick up where I left off… It turned out that my wrists weren’t fractured but the ligaments and tendons were damaged. There was a period of about 3 weeks where I literally did not leave my apartment other than to see my doctor. I didn’t make it to therapy or DBT group at all- I’m not even sure what I did for those weeks. I stayed pretty upbeat for the most part, which surprised me given how much I value time outside/around people. It wasn’t easy, but the physical pain and practical issues kept me grounded. As the weeks went on, my mindset slowly started shifting from radical acceptance to frustration and anxiety. The only thought in my head (literally) was “I need to get back in the freaking gym before my head explodes”. This may have been mentioned on Twitter several hundred times.
Just over a week ago, I started physiotherapy. There had been no improvement and while not a lot can be done for tendon injuries (my options are limited due to osteoporosis), it had been long enough since the initial injury that I was able to try dry-needling - a treatment not unlike acupuncture. It has been really helpful- less pain, more flexibility, etc. It’s also meant that I am able to bear more weight on my ankle so my wrists are starting to get better.
[That’s all the good news I have so you might want to just click away right now. I kid, I kid. Kind of.]
Obviously, I am thrilled to have some use of my limbs back, but this has posed a few problems. The first thing I did on the morning I deemed the pain “bearable”, I went for a walk. It was a pretty long walk which left me unable to move for the next 24 hours. It’s been a similar pattern since then- pain eases, I do too much, injuries flare up and stop me in my tracks. This is ‘new’ to me. Exercise has always been a compulsive thing, rather than excessive. [“Excessive” is a relative term- my injuries were sustained from overuse, nowhere near the amount of activity that some people are able to do, but more than my body could handle.] Right now, exercise feels like a drug and I can’t.get. enough. I want more. And more. It’s crazy and irrational and I know this. And that makes it harder because I literally feel like two separate people right now. There is the part of me that is willing to pay for treatment and wants to not repeat the past few months, but then there is this unbearable anxiety and drive to exercise that I don’t know how to handle. I am working with some incredible people right now, addressing all of this, but I think everyone shares the same frustrations that I do. And yet, this anxiety overrides everything else. It’s like I’m not even there… I space out, put up a wall against anyone who tries to talk to me and just act on impulse. I wasn’t going to go into so much detail about this but I have really missed having a place where I can express things fully.
This brings me onto the second thing which has been going on for the past few weeks. It is a post in itself (and I haven’t fully gotten my head around it yet) but basically, the overall goals of my treatment have been changed and I will be discharged from support services completely within the next few months. From a clinical point of view, my symptoms have remained unchanged, there is nothing more that can be done and the focus needs to be on “living as safely as possible with anorexia”. This goes against everything I stand for, believe in and what my blog is all about. I have lost count of the number of times I have argued with people who say that recovery isn’t possible (and I will continue to argue) because I really believe that anyone and everyone is capable of living free from an eating disorder and NOBODY should settle for anything less. I was reluctant to go into details of this with anyone because I feel like I have let everyone down and am being hypocritical. Not because I am agreeing with my team but I feel like I have “failed” at every chance I have been given. I am NOT giving up on the idea of recovery, - I can’t do that. What option do I have other than to hope? Currently, my eating disorder dominates everything I think and do. If I am not thinking about food, I am thinking about exercise. At any given time, I have a calculator, notepad and pen on hand for the random calculations that come into my head and need solved immediately. I talk to people, but my thoughts aren’t on the conversation and it is rare that I remember what we discussed afterwards. I was flicking through Men’s Health magazine while waiting for my physiotherapy appointment the other day and someone joked that I was just looking at the pictures. If only. I was too distracted by an article that was talking about the fat-burning effects of almonds to even notice the pictures. I refuse to accept that *this* is as good as things will get. The fact that my team have said that nothing more can be done has really knocked me sideways. I am a goal-orientated person, and I respond well when people believe in me while my own faith is shaky. To be told by people that I trust and respect that I fall into the category of “chronic and “untreatable” is heartbreaking.I know, I know… I can prove my team right or I can prove them wrong. And I am sure that it won’t be long before I recapture my own motivation, but right now, I’m struggling to stay focused on what *I* want my life to become. I never once thought that therapy was going to last forever, but neither did I ever consider that this would be the final outcome. I am fully aware of the implications of the future that is being predicted for me, and whilst I know I have a long road ahead of me, I believe that it’s a journey worth pursueing.
Which brings me to my final thing… Obviously, there are a few things going on that I need to deal with. Writing helps me a lot because it pushes me to shed a new light on things but I don’t want to document the difficulties I am having right now. I want to use it to chart progress and discuss/share the things that are helping me move forward. Until I am able to do that, while simultaneously maintaining complete honesty, my blogging hiatus is going to continue. I am still reading and keeping up to date with blogs, and still very much present on Twitter.
I will be back, and I will be using this space to discuss recovery and life without an eating disorder. I just need to step back and refocus. Some of this is outwith my control, but here are things that ARE within my control and I need to focus on those and think very carefully about how to use the ending of formal treatment to build some solid foundations to build upon.
“The only time you mustn’t fail is the last time you try.”