Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Can You Make A Career Out Of Starving?

The simple answer to that is yes.
Whether through perseverance, disability benefits or inpatient care, you can "live" with an eating disorder.
However, I don't base my happiness on financial gain. I base it on having time and space. With an eating disorder, all your time is spent calorie counting and fixated on the food you can't eat. You have no personal space, as wherever you are living there are people who are trying to make you eat. And, also, you share all your space with your eating disorder [which takes up a lot of room, while you continually shrink].
You can't enjoy social events, as they tend to involve food, drink, energy... or all three.
You start lying to the people you love, and to yourself.

Today I was honest.
Yes, I'm using diuretics and laxatives.
No, I haven't eaten more than 1000 calories in total over the the past 10 days.
Yes, I'm telling you this because I'm having chest pains, I feel faint, I do faint, I can't get out of bed, let alone go to work. I tried to walk to work yesterday, and I collapsed. Fun, eh?

Dr. Bill Oddie's reply was "for fuck's sake, you stupid fucking girl". He apologised for this explosion but to be honest I think I needed it. The chest pains are because I'm hyperventilating, and my blood sugar levels and blood pressure are very low. My heart sounds ok - for now. The diuretics are making me severely dehydrated, the laxatives aren't very helpful if you aren't eating, and my body is in starvation mode, hence how I put on two pounds by eating half a sandwich. This is because my liver was replacing the starch I forced it to use.

So, I now feel FAT. Very fat. My stomach is not flat. I have consumed food, and it will probably go straight onto me as fat. I went to work though. I completed the whole day, and told them I had a stomach upset. That's why my clothes are hanging off me. I feel skeletal, which is repulsive and gorgeous in the same instant. They offer me food, I have some so nobody suspects the vomiting was self-induced, and I think about what Bill Oddie said today.

I asked what my calorie threshold to keep me above starvation mode would be, and he reckoned around 1100.

That's a big fucking jump.
So, the plan for eating now is to remember, my body needs fuel to work. I'll be on my feet for at least 10 hours a day, walking the wards, and travelling to work.
No collapsing in a ditch in Brentwood.

I'm thinking, I'll have a sensible breakfast, like cereal and low fat natural yogurt, some fruit, a green tea or fruit juice. I'll allow myself 350 calories for breakfast.

My "main" meal will be pasta/rice/jacket potato with some fish/lean meat and vegetables or salad. Either midday, or evening if before 6pm. Allow 400 calories for this meal.

Then I'll have a meal, either lunch or if I'm eating after 6pm, like a sandwich with low-cal bread and filling, or a salad. Allow 250 calories for this meal.

That's 1000. Plus a coffee or two at work, say another 100 calories, and at least 4 pints of water.

There. Lets see how it goes. If I draw up a proper meal chart, I'll let you know how it goes.

I'll post about my placement at the end of the week. Too tired now.
Healthy eating - I'm emphasising both those words, because you can't be healthy without eating.

Although to be brutally honest - I want to get better. I just don't want it to involve food.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Things I Love

I love grass. I love the sky. I love forests, with gnarled trees, the forest floor mottled by the sun shining through the leaves. I love the branches reaching out to touch me, because I am me.

I went to where I used to live, and stayed with a friend of my mum's. We were throwing a party for another friend, and I just got home. I was waiting for the bus near my old house and the forest was just calling out to me. I can't resist nature. It takes my breath away that in the outskirts of London there is this place that is so beautiful. I used to skip lessons and go there to get lost. To lose the world, the worries. To lose myself. I lay there in the grass and for those moments the world was beautiful again and I was so overwhelmed.

My eating is becoming a real problem. I told my mum, she doesn't understand. I don't understand. Telling me I have to eat, my body needs food, stop cutting yourself, why do you do these things, don't do anything stupid.

My grandad commited suicide two years ago. I love my grandad. I think he understood me better then anyone else. I was so angry when he died. How could he leave me to face this all alone, I needed him.

I don't think I would kill myself. I keep myself grounded enough. What would happen to my guinea pigs? They need me. There. One reason to keep going.

This is a really bad blog. I have another bad hangover, and I really shouldn't be drinking on my medication. But I had to tell someone about the grass, the sky and how the world is beautiful.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Tequila Hurts.

I have the worst hangover ever.
Maybe not ever.
But right now, it feels like it.
I just woke up next to an almost empty bottle of Tequila, but luckily I didn't binge in my drunken state. I do vaguely remember having a lot of trouble working out how to use the door key though.

However, the marvellous upside is... 7 stone 5 pounds.
BMI 16.1

I am ecstatic.

While I'm here, I might as well add a quick medicines update. It's 60mg Fluoxetine [Prozac], Cerazette [contraceptive], multivitamins, Boots Diet Pills and the occasional 2mg Diazepam [Valium].

Thursday, 25 September 2008

This Ain't No Bell Jar

I thought the best introduction I could give you to my life would be to give you an overview of my week. I ain't no Sylvia Plath and this ain't no Bell Jar. However, that said, I will try and make this as grammatically correct as possible. It might even be vaguely amusing, but no promises there.

Monday tends to involve an appointment with Dr Bill Oddie. He is exactly like Bill Oddie. Except slightly more interested in medicine than birds, I hope. It's the last appointment of the evening, plus over an hours waiting time. I'm not sure if I'm developing OCD tendencies or just get bored, but I do tidy the waiting room. A lot. Magazines by type and date, books by size. They look too messy by author. Anyway, Dr Oddie comes out with most amusing quotes like "what did you do that with, a cheese grater?". This of course referred to my last self harming spree, armed with only a blunt razor and the desire to draw blood. The results were numerous but superficial, all though another observation of Dr Oddie's was that it appeared I had "stuck my arm in a blender". I feel this to be rather exaggerated.

Tuesday means a trip to the chemist, handing over another ridiculous sum for the drugs which can't even get me out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately the lady who serves me is a friend's mum, so while I wait for my prescription I nip down the road for some dressings. Collect the meds (cue a pitying look from the pharmacist, or so I imagine), and it's back to Bill Oddie's surgery. His receptionist leaves several hours before I actually see him, so I have to go back to make the next appointment. She knows my name now. It makes me feel a little bit special and rather suspicious. Are my pathetic problems being shared among the other surgery gossip? Am I Mel, Cheese Grater Girl? I leave the surgery, resisting the urge (and it is STRONG) to chastise the children messing up my carefully organised books. Can't that old lady see that the Woman's Weekly does NOT belong in the Glamour magazine pile?

Wednesday involves even more of what I do everyday, which is stay in bed. I have no reason to leave it (except for, of course, the degree I am failing and the friends I am losing), and I don't. Late afternoon is time for "The Binge". This tends to involve large amounts of chocolate Hob Nobs or a whole baguette stuffed with brie. You see, I know I will go to a rather shit "alternative" night with some friends, to keep up the illusion of being okay, and I will drink and I will dance. Neither is a good idea as the former makes me VERY drunk due to the medication and the later makes me look like a twat. But hey, all in the name of burning calories. How does drinking dispose of pesky calories, you may ask? Well, as I am and always will be rather shit at purging, and am aware that laxatives don't do much to help, I drink and then I have a legitimate and easy way to throw up. That girl who rents the room upstairs throwing up in the bathroom a few times a week is suspicious, but someone purging in a club toilet? Totally socially acceptable.

Thursday (which happens, darlings, to be when I am writing this) is counselling day. I spend a lovely afternoon with my lovely counsellor, who gives me big meaningful "now isn't that a silly thing to do" smiles, complete with "and did that solve the problem?" style quotes. Actually, she's rather good. I can actually talk some of these feelings out of me, but I don't have an answer for why I have no motivation anymore, and neither does she. Also, I'm not allowed a cup of tea when I'm there. It always gets my goat a bit, I mean fair enough we can't smoke inside anymore but surely a cup of tea and a chat solves everything? That's the East End girl coming out in me.

Fridays, once again stay in bed until there is some sort of social gathering, which I drag myself too. I have this great little "Happy Mel" mask I can put on, but recently it's really been slipping. This can be another opportunity for a binge and purge, not on such a large scale, but maybe a bag of chips which I can sneakily chuck up later.

The weekends are a mixture - either visiting Mum, Dad, Nan or boyfriend. Boyfriend is a Viking and lives in Leeds for university. He is amazingly talented, and I don't deserve him, or rather he doesn't deserve the crap that comes with dating me. When visiting family or boyfriend, I am still careful with food, and if the opportunity to purge presents itself I will. However, family would hit the roof if they knew and Viking is rather saddened by it. Also, rather odd rule, but as I am a people pleaser I would rather eat at least some of what someone has made me than disappoint them. Visiting Dad is the worst. It's all restaurants and Pizza Express and foods which I can't even begin to count the calories in.

As to my usual dietary intake - the staple diet revolves around low fat yogurt, low calorie soup and lots of apples. I sometimes chuck in the odd sandwich or jacket potato, then laugh secretly to myself, because they don't realise that I can make a sandwich under 150 calories and that a small potato with tuna isn't much more. Any the reason I eat fish? "Oh, it's much better for you than meat". Bullshit. It's because a piece of white fish has around 60 calories in it, and you, ignorant housemate, will never know.

This makes me sound like a conniving bitch, and I probably am - I don't want to gain weight, I want to lose it, and I mess it up enough by binging without you deciding to force feed me. The worst part of all this is, it isn't really me at all. Really, I know that losing a few pounds is not going to sort me and my life out and will probably make things worse. I'm a Student Mental Health Nurse and I should have more sense than this. I really, really should.