Things on the whole have been positive, but it all came out last night.
I’m still fragile to be honest but a bit of writing therapy seems the best remedy right now.
Recently, anxiety has been forming in my stomach area. I’m used to it unpleasantly swimming in my chest. Now the butterfly nest has moved and it’s something new to get used to.
My eyes still have tears ready to launch as soon as the lid doors are pushed. My head is spinning slowly as it makes sense of a heavy heart.
Monday night, I was working – typing up notes from a really productive day at work – when I forgot to plug the power in. Waiting for the laptop to re-load, I had a flick through my phone. I find out that ‘Ray’ had passed. (Ray, for all my regular followers has a blog post dedicated to her already, “you’ll always be a sun Ray”.) Ray was a pastoral staff TA at my secondary school. Someone who tried for years to keep me above the mud and in school after mum died. One of Ray’s sons took his life, so Ray used her empathy to extend out to heartbroken me. Ah, hard to write this. Despite it obviously being hard when someone dies it’s not really about me and my grief here…That’s all understandable stuff. And… it was expected. Cancer took over. It was Ray’s sons tribute that was just too beautiful for words, it took me so long to read it. I felt every one of his words. So true. Outlining how God Damn special Ray was. How she was a mother. Ouch. A special one. A best friend and all the rest of it. It took me back. This was hard but a few gentle streams of tears, and I’d managed to continue with my evening a little humanly hurt and on to the next day.
More travel, but I hadn’t slept. My new job requires a bit of everything, and I’m surprisingly okay with getting to know the new area I’ve been placed with (considering one of the reasons I left my last job was travel, but it’s not tube travel it’s train travel. Much nicer. You can lose yourself in a book. You can do work and get a table on the train. Etc etc). I was a bit cut up from the night before and the night even before that as my poor partner was working til the early hours and up in the early hours to meet a deadline. So sleep hadn’t been on my side these last few days.
When you’re a bit sleep deprived you may get cravings. A coffee at work was not doing it mid day, (and not great for anxiety either, but a camomile tea would have made me sleepy!). So I bought one of those big bars of chocolate. Milk chocolate. And demolished the lot. I wouldn’t be punishing myself over this as it does happen, but when I’m really struggling with eating problems ATM (despite 2 weeks of doing really well – exercise and food balance wise), it hit me.
I don’t just ‘feel’ fatter ATM. I can see it. I can hold it. It’s in my belly (although maybe it’s not even bloody fat it’s 5001 nests of anxiety butterflies, except it is). I’m not looking for sympathy-a beautiful shaped woman (yes, I can still love my figure without loving it’s chub a chubs skin) BMI normal… (although I don’t agree with BMI White BME opposed system – bleugh 😝).
I guess what I am stressing, is the seriousness of the whole thing. In my mental health working life we all define mental health illness as ‘when they (mental health problems- anxiety, depression, etc etc) get in the way of day to day life, then, they’re a problem’. Mild to severe – it all matters.
And to think last night my poor partner lay next to me as I cried, I sonbed because it had got so bad that I denied myself to eat a proper dinner because I seriously felt (physically and experientially felt) the fat that I was not used to.
A friend once helpfully told me it is hard to get used to the fact that our bodies will change over time. But I think; I’m in my mid 20s!?!
I miss control. But I don’t want to go back to bulimia. Luckily, I start therapy next week with, and with an eating disorders specialist.
What hurts the most is the stigma I give myself around eating problems. Depression and anxiety- I can own that. Eating problems? Not many know that raw real and problematic all consuming part of me. I’ve tried to breach the topic with a few friends but due to good old media I’m not sure that anything other than anorexia and bulimia would be considered seriously (I’ll try not to judge you, but there is a bit of ignorance here.) Wish I didn’t have to spell it out. Eating disorders ARE mental health disorders.
I’m glad I’ve been brave enough to at least write about it openly. Maybe that’s my ‘reaching out’.
As for the tears, I needed to cry last night. And that’s okay. Healthy.
A message to me, I love you Abs. Keep going.
Abs X 💜