One Size Does Not Fit All

I am not sure where the last two weeks have gone. They’ve flown by in a whirlwind of tears, isolation and withdrawing. Self-care went out the window and I didn’t brush my teeth for over a week. The binging got out of control too.


The last few days I’ve tried really hard to put self-care back into place. I was brushing my teeth twice a day, washing my face twice a day, washing at least once a day etc etc. Yesterday self-care didn’t happen but I’m putting that down to a procedure on my ankle. It was only minor, to encourage the ligaments to knit back together but oh, my days it was painful. I took a rather large cocktail of painkillers, night meds and a sedative to get me through the night. I’ve spent a lot of today asleep and I’m now struggling to gain enough momentum to pack for a weekend with friends. In fact, I kind of don’t want to go anymore. It’s nothing to do with the friends and completely to do with the fact I’d like to fester away inside the flat instead. Plus, trains and crutches aren’t the easiest of mixes.


Some people don’t understand why, after all the treatment I’ve received, I am still not ‘better’. I don’t know how to respond to that because I don’t understand either. Recovery isn’t linear. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ treatment schedule. I have a lot more days where I’m ok than before but I still have days where I can’t get out of bed, let alone wash, talk to people, not cry etc. I’ve learnt so much about myself and I’ve also learnt that things I think about myself aren’t true. Learning is different to believing though. I can see, now, the incident when I was 11 years old has had a far bigger impact than I ever understood. It’s defined me without me realising it. I do now recognise, it was not my fault. I can say that with confidence. The incident was Not. My. Fault. However, (yes, I know, that’s just a fancier way of saying ‘but’), I can’t hold onto the fact that the very real consequences which happened afterwards were also not my fault. I was let down by others but I still view it as something I deserved. I, very literally, had things taken away from me. I learnt that communicating something had a very negative result. I think this, added to a somewhat fragile ability to communicate, has led to decades of not being able to say what I want. The mantra that I deserve to be hurt and punished has never gone away. I want to find a way to let that go. I want to be able to say, ‘I deserve to be happy’. I don’t know how to do it though. I am getting frustrated because I feel ready to ‘give it up’ but just don’t know how to. The last few therapy sessions have felt ‘wasted’ as it’s going over old ground. In fact, I feel like Therapist L may have been thinking about her upcoming 3 week holiday more than what I was saying. She’s human and therefore of course her mind wanders. But, well, it doesn’t help me open up.


August 22nd signals my move from full salary to long term disability (LTD). I am really struggling with that concept. Whilst a day care patient, it was the date I’d mentally set as a pass or fail date. I’d pass if I was back at work and I’d fail if I were not. I think in very binary terms. I’m not going to be back. The elephant in the room of my return to work hasn’t come up at all. I didn’t bring it up at my appointment with Dr. E on Wednesday either as I am too scared to hear if Dr. E thinks I am ready. So, I get, 22nd August does not need to be viewed as a failure date. However, some part of my head very dangerously believes that, if I’m not better by then, with all the phenomenal help I’ve received, am I ever going to get better? If the answer to that is No, well, then what’s the point. All of this is such an uphill battle. It’s exhausting. So, if I can’t get through it, why fight? Needless to say, I’ve not said any of this to a professional.


Another topic that came up in my Dr. E appointment is my eating disorder. Last week I nearly made myself sick. I got back on the scales of the first time and I remain at 13 stone 7lbs. That’s the heaviest I’ve ever been. It doesn’t look good on a 5ft 5” frame. I didn’t do it but it was tempting. Dr. E, quite rightly, stated that I must view binge eating as an eating disorder. Just because I am not bleeding out my nose and throat, it doesn’t mean I am not doing damage. I need to get it under control. If I had a balanced diet, I wouldn’t be at this weight naturally. I suppose what this all boils down to is control. I feel I have zero control over my life at the moment. My weight, my head, my ankle, my future.


On a funnier note though, Friend GG and I managed to, accidently, breach security at the athletics last week. We got into a lift very innocently and somehow ended up in the press room. 2 volunteers came to our rescue and took us further into the off-limits area. We were next to the warm up track. All because I couldn’t climb across some seats with my crutches. A rather long time later, and escorted by people who were allowed in this area, we were taken to our seats. This kind of shit only ever seems to happen to me! At least Friend GG didn’t have a boring evening. I’m tired of the drama that seems to surround me. I don’t ask for it, at least not intentionally, but seriously, it always seems to be me (yes, I can hear the sound of the tiny violin playing! I’ll stop with the ‘woe is me now’).


Wales has been re-scheduled. Father is currently in and out of hospital but obviously, he thinks his engineering degree, decades and decades ago, also makes him a doctor. This incorrect assumption seems to run in the family! I don’t know how I feel about it but I’m hoping that ignoring it will mean it’s magically not a problem.


Finally, Therapist L is now away until 1st September. That’s a really long time to not have any sessions. Part of this time is also Wales. I don’t feel great about the fact I have no one to download to (even if they are not listening) at the moment. I’m hoping I don’t take giant steps backwards. I’ve got to try and ‘write’ my way through this so heads up in advance that there may be more posts!


An article in this edition’s Breathe magazine. I completely relate! 




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