PART V – History strikes a nerve – Day 1

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Today is day 101 and my husband is still miserable and blames me for ruining his life – fun times.

I am working for my parents until Friday and then back to the city and then I will be back on the following Friday for holidays.

A sliver of me was enjoying the day while the rest was anxious and felt like boiling over—with what, I’m not sure.

It is strange being home and working again. It is also a massive trigger for my eating disorder I have learned. When I was eighteen I worked for my parents for two months before going to study and it was during one of the most debilitating phases in my eating disorders. I hated myself. I was exercising 3 hours a day. I was binging and purging all day and then skipping dinner.

Being home is bringing back those memories. Having the same routine and having meals with my parents where my dad comments when he isn’t happy with the food, and how it upsets my mom, I see her shrugging it off and trying to ignore it but of course it gets to her. All the kind of foods I used to binge on are still in the grocery cupboards. All the chocolate is still in the same place. The exact scale I used is in my brothers bathroom which used to be my parents bathroom.

I’m scared to run. I went this morning but it took me forever to get out of bed, not because I was lazy but because I am absolutely petrified that I slip into over exercising and that I don’t find a balance. In a way this is also self sabotaging because I love exercising but ed is keeping me from it because it somehow tries to convince me that I don’t deserve good things. Much like when I want a healthy meal, I eat junk food because there is some connection in my brain that registers that I don’t deserve anything good. I deserve to be ill.

Ugh.

It’s funny, when I am on the farm with my parents I am ok. When I am in my family home where I grew up and I am working, I am scared and I am anxious and I feel like that eighteen year old girl forcing herself to run for another hour to make up for a binge.

Bleh – Day 16 and Day 17

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Not great…

Meeting with boss postponed.

Work stressful.

Boss making me furious.

Husband harassing.

Binging.

Feeling exhausted all the time.

I held my heart in my hands and I listened to it – Day 2

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Binge and purge on four bowls of granola this morning – I love granola! So awful start, also skipped gym. Got to work and wasn’t feeling particularly motivated but I gave myself a stern talking to because I really to start getting inspired and excited about work again.

Naturally skipped all my meals for the rest of the day and this evening I sat and I did eating disorder therapy homework and it was incredible. It was hard at times and there are many interesting observations I made. I am quite clearly still harbouring a lot of anger towards my ex husband (I wonder when it will become ex husband, things are really taking their time)

I also have many issues with not being good enough.

Interesting observation, is that I have a fear of growing up, I think many of us with eating disorders do. I think its perhaps because I am the youngest, I am the baby of the family, it just happened so. I am always being protected and everyone is constantly looking out for me and worrying about me, I am the baby. This is all good and well but I feel that I have this fear because I am scared to fail and also because my husband always called me a child – its engraved in my mind that I am a child.

Somehow I feel that my growth keeps getting stunted somehow. My family really wants me to grow of course, but I am still the baby in their eyes. The one that needs to be looked after (I cant exactly blame them for feeling this way as I have for some reason my whole life always found myself in some kind of emotional turmoil). As a child, my brother and sister used to call me the tap – because I cried all the time, I was literally like a tap that you could switch on and off. I was so incredibly sensitive. I went to boarding school as well and there I had my brother and sister look out for me.

When I was about 14 I often used to burst into tears because I didn’t know what was wrong, I didn’t know what I was feeling. I would cry because I was scared that I would never amount to anything and I would cry because I didn’t feel like I fitted in anywhere or that I couldn’t relate to anyone.

Because I went to boarding at the age of six, I was never taught how to deal with emotion and I never witnessed a lot of emotion in my family as I only saw them on every third weekend and then during the holiday. When we got together it was all about celebrations and being together – if there was something that I was upset about I would just sweep it under the rug because I wanted to enjoy my time with my family. Only when I was nineteen and all my drama came out did I actually connect with my family on a more emotional level. Only then did I become open with them.

Anyway, growing up scares me because I feel in a way that no one is allowing me to. The fact that I don’t earn much money makes me feel awful because my mum still gives me money – I feel like I cant make it a month without her help. Also the fact that I now live on my uncles property. The fact that I don’t feel that I am growing at work anymore.

I really don’t feel like I am growing. The fact that I took the risk of getting divorced and putting so much work into healing and into my personal growth has really made me look at every aspect in my life in a completely different way. If it isn’t feeding my soul anymore then why am I still doing it?

At work I am starting to feel that the only reason I am still in my job is because of my boss. Because I love her and I am so loyal to the business and we have become such incredible friends. I don’t feel like I am challenged at work or motivated or growing. I am doing this for her, for her business and because I don’t want the brand to fail, I want the brand to thrive. However, I am no longer thriving?

This really is the year of me. For the first time in my life I am putting myself first and doing whats good for me and taking responsibility for myself.

I think this is one of the reasons why I fell for him so quickly – because I just said ‘fuck it, I want to kiss you so I am going to kiss you’, I didn’t lie worrying about how it would affect me later, I didn’t think about my husband, I didn’t think about the fact that I am still technically married. It just felt right and I just followed my heart and I took a risk and it has been amazing.

I thought I could never pull out from under my husbands stare. Well I did. I held my heart in my hands and I said ‘fuck it’. I’m taking your word and I’m listening to it, and as real as the blood pumping through the veins in my heart – that is how real this year has been. That is how real things become when you listen to your heart and you risk everything for your heart.

I fear I’ll die from complications – complications from the things that I have left undone.

You have the right to your own beliefs and opinions but you do not have the right to make shit up about people and then use the shit you made up to oppress them – Day 23

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So I blocked my husbands email address last night because he just was being an irritant to what was a lovely day. We chatted on the phone. He said we found closure. Then he emailed my therapist? I find it extremely psycho of him to email my therapist. He wants to help me heal. Thank you but that is not your concern anymore. When I told him I relapsed into my eating disorder and he said he couldn’t believe I dumped my problems on him? Now we are divorced and he wants to help me and do everything in his power to help me heal. Oh just shut up.

He sent an email saying that I mustn’t run after a man just to fill the void inside me because I will never find true love. That my soul has died but he believes that I will find her again. That he would rather be alone than be with someone to fill the void inside him. Ok thank you. You are now blocked because you are so fucking boring. You used to go into the trash and that is just too much admin so you now wont be coming into any mail box.

So now onto things that actually matter 🙂 I am going home to my parents tomorrow and I cannot wait! It is going to be so lovely to them and to be home with them. I cant believe it but I haven’t been home in 4 months already, time flies. I cant wait to go on long walks on the farm and see my brother and drink good wine and sleep – yes I am looking forward to sleeping soundly most of the weekend. When ever I am with my parents I am so calm and relaxed that I spend most of my time sleeping.

Work was so weird today – I was so tired and I had such a headache and I had so much admin to do and I was just feeling all round moody. Binged a bit when I got home on half a jar of nutella – didn’t purge!! Then had a lovely evening with my aunt and uncle and some family and early night! Home tomorrow!

PART II because today 10 October is mental health awareness day – Day 17

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Recognise that an eating disorder is a mental illness.

Recognise that depression is a flaw in chemistry not a flaw in character.

Recognise that things effect different people in different ways, just because you don’t see something as a big deal, doesn’t mean it isn’t for someone else.

Recognise that just because something is happening in your mind and your thoughts that it doesn’t mean that it isn’t real.

Recognise that making jokes about mental illness is painful, you wouldn’t make a joke about someone who is diabetic or has heart problems would you? Mental illness is a disease.

Recognise that you cant fix or save anyone, you can only be there and be supportive.

Recognise that mental illness is not attention seeking behaviour.

Recognise that just because you don’t fit the profile in the DSM that your illness isn’t valid, mental illness comes in all forms.

Recognise that you are not alone and that even though it doesn’t feel that way, there is someone who understands and is willing to help.

Recognise that you are worthy of love.

Recognise that asking for help and admitting that you are not ok is not a sign of weakness.

Recognise that metal illness awareness is still on the rise and there are still many people who are ignorant and don’t take their words too personally no matter how hurtful they are.

Recognise that you are not your mental illness.

Enjoy it cautiously or just let go and be – Day 16

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Feeling positive again today and I feel like I have more of a sparkle in my eyes than I have this past week. I had a really chilled and relaxed evening last night, listening to music and drawing and writing and lying on the floor like I always do. Just reflecting and being present. I think that is partly why I feel so much better today.

Having dinner tonight and looking forward.

If you walk in circles you’ll find yourself back at the start. Everything you want is on the other side of fear – Day 13

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I saw my psychiatrist this morning and my dose has been upped for my antidepressant and mood stabilisers. going from 100mg Lamictal and 20mg Lilly Fluoxetine up to: 150mg Lamictal and 40mg Lilly. She is happy to up the dose because I am on such a low dose and she feels that this could potentially be chemical. Also apparently you have many receptors in the brain and perhaps only some receptors are being linked and if we up the dosage more will be linked. Now what the fuck happens when they are all linked and I need to start unlinking them because I want to go off the medication?

When I get triggered I understand, and I understand what my triggers for my eating disorder are. Example yesterday there were of course a lot of strange feelings when I dropped off my settlement agreement. Then in the afternoon the plot thickened – my marriage certificate is missing – so now what? I binged and purged.

However when I wake up anxious in the morning and depressed and I want to binge and purge – this doesn’t make sense to me.

So this morning I went to gym and I had a balanced breakfast after and I had a balanced lunch because as much as it is psychological it is also physiological. Restricting is setting yourself up for failure – it will probably land up in a binge and then the anxiety gets worse and then purging is a great release and then you feel calm. Its a sick cycle and an addiction. So I really need to make a conscious effort to eat balanced, even if I find it scary – because I find a normal healthy portion to be massive – but then I binge and purge on 2000calories at once? Wavering between restricting and binging – sick sick cycle. If you walk in circles you’ll find yourself back at the start.

Another fun fact is that my marriage certificate has disappeared. I am 100% sure that it was in the envelope I dropped off yesterday and now my husbands lawyers say it isn’t. Naturally I am freaking the fuck out and anxiety level at 190000% and I have taken two urbanol – which I am not sure is even healthy? I am feeling slightly calmer but not even much, my legs are shaking so much and I have so much nervous energy yet I want to take a nap.

And now I am feeling calm and this post is going to take a complete different direction which I think is fantastic because it shows how scattered my brain is right now.

In hindsight maybe everything is just the way it IS meant to be? This is the path you meant to be walking, this is the journey. Is it hard? yes its fucking hard and its dark but its also light. In hindsight maybe everything is the way it is meant to be right now and life is a risk. Getting divorced was a risk and the best risk I have ever taken – no matter the fact that I will always hold my husband dear to my heart – it was a risk and it was great. Everyday is a risk, waking up is a risk and driving your car to work is a risk.

Life stops for no one, the world is carrying on. Time wont fly because you are paralysed by it, but the world is going on all around you. And maybe this is just the state I am in right now. I need to feel lost and absorbed in my eating disorder, and I need to have a disappeared marriage certificate because in the grander scheme of things its just a marriage certificate – I can and will get another. Its not the end of the world. In hindsight my friend was supposed to be really upset with me so that I could learn to balance friendships and personal relationships.

Perhaps right now I need comfort and I’m finding it in my eating disorder and yes I do need to fight it – but maybe this is just the space I am meant to be in. In hindsight maybe I am supposed to be completely terrified about the fact that I have met a man that makes me happy because its teaching me to follow my heart and take a chance on him and risk it and take the leap and just be.

In hindsight maybe this is where I need to be. In this cycle and on medication and divorced at 25 and now falling for someone new. I need to have a little money so that I can learn its worth. Maybe in hindsight the fat that I feel completely indifferent about my husband is just the way its supposed to be -no need to feel guilty because I moved on to quickly – who the hell made that rule up anyway. Maybe this is all just the way life is supposed to be right now.

Maybe it all just is.

And I just need to learn to be comfortable with the unknown because none of us know where we will be tomorrow. Maybe we just need to speak our minds and be open and tell people we care and love them and take the risk. Risk that job. Risk telling that person how you feel. risk telling your boss that you fucked up. Risk following your dream. Risk doing something you have always wanted to but were afraid you would be laughed at. Just follow your heart, if your wants you to take that risk then just take that risk.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear…

I’ve been silent all these years – Day 7

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Ok so you know when you invite your friend over for a quiet dinner and then you faced with a really important decision. Should you open another bottle of wine?

We decided yes, and then we ate a tub of ice cream and then we went to another friends house and had another two bottles of wine – and so today was an epic fail. I slept for two hours last night and my head was so sore I honestly felt like crying all day. Because I am such a control freak I was also obviously very disappointed in myself and was judging myself non stop.

But! I went to therapy today and my therapist was so great and so proud of me for getting shit faced on a random Tuesday night and just letting go and losing control 🙂 and I think I needed it. I needed to just go and just be and just not worry about everything and just live in the moment.

Also, again, I have to make a constant effort and remind myself that I am worthy and that I deserve to be happy. My happiness doesn’t ever have to be justified, it just is, its a basic right that I have. Sometime during the past 25 years something must have happened to ingrain in my mind that everything needs to be justified when it comes to me. I never justify anything with other people – I think everyone should just be and everyone deserves to be happy. I however can only be happy for a certain reason and my happiness needs to be justified for some reason. Nonsense! Just the way my eating disorder works, its an eye for eye. I am only allowed to eat if I work out and I am only allowed to eat certain foods for certain reasons and alcohol counts as a lot of calories so I need to choose between the two. And because I didn’t go to the gym today I am somehow now not good anymore. Nothing makes us good and nothing makes us worthy. We are worthy. We all are, no matter what.

I deserve every shred of love and happiness in this life and I am going to find it where ever the hell I please and embrace it.

I am literally starting to feel young again – like a 25 year old should. I feel so free and I have hardly any structure in my life, its incredibly overwhelming at times yet very liberating. I am always free when my friends want to hang out and I can eat chocolate for dessert without worrying about what I ma going to make my husband for dinner. Also one of my favourite things is that I can actually drink in my own house without worrying that my husband will binge drink on my expensive wine. And the other day I smoked cigarettes for like the first time in about 3 years and whilst it was disgusting it was so thrilling! And everyone is shocked as to why I find life so fascinating – but its because I am me again and I don’t have to be responsible for anyone but me.

I sadly became my husbands care taker – his therapist even told him he could never get back together with him because I am actually his care taker, and I am the mature and responsible one. Which is so true because I stopped having fun because I always had to look after him and worry about his sensitive soul and his feelings – and I loved this – I will not lie, I really did love looking after him which is strange I suppose. I now however only have to be responsible for me, and we all do. We can only be responsible for ourselves.

So now its all over so maybe we should all be quiet about it.

He was the man of my dreams until he wasn’t and thats ok too – Day 4

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After a wonderful evening yesterday, the love just continued. I had to work this morning, but it wasn’t too bad. Then at about 14h00 met up with my parents at their hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon drinking gin and tonics with them.

Of course had too many, and by too many I mean I had two – because I’m a cheap drink. Parents stayed by the pool and I went to nap in their hotel room. Its about 6 weeks ago when I went away with them for a few days. My dad had booked a trip for us in January already. It was going to be the four of us. Mom, Dad, me and my husband. We were all looking forward to it so, until we just weren’t. I landed up going on the trip with my uncle as my date instead. (He was much better company than my husband by the way lol)

I was so emotionally distraught, mentally broken down and physically exhausted that I spent most of our trip sleeping. Of course this holiday was booked with the thought of couples in mind, so my uncle landed up sleeping in the luxury bedroom and I landed up on the couch. However the one night I felt a bit ill and I was so tired that I slept in my parents bedroom and told them to wake me when they wanted to sleep and I would return to the couch. I woke up at 6am the next morning in their bed, cozy and warm, stretched out like a snow angel and I found them sleeping on the couch 🙂 and that is what love is.

Today getting a little drunk with my mom and explaining to her how important it is to take control of your fears and live in the moment, while giggling and slurring. And my mom telling me that all you have to do in this life is be yourself. And her giggling at my ridiculousness and telling me that she loves me so much. Thats love.

Chatting about fun times we had with my husband – thats love. Like the time we had a hippie party and all wore tie dye and he got so drunk and passed out on the couch and we all put toys on him and drew on him. That was fun. Thats the guy we remember. Having amazing dinners with and deep conversations and watching him follow his dreams. His brilliant mind and intelligence and his ability to care so much for the less fortunate and his drive to make the world a better place. We remember the fun loving man that he was and still is. And thats love.

Life is so fickle. I’ve had a few people tell me that they never truly liked him and they also thought things weren’t right. But that is complete bullshit. We all loved him and no one saw this coming. Why be mean? Why destroy the person just because they didn’t turn out to be what you had wanted and hoped for and loved. Why all of a sudden did my in laws split the other way and realise that they never liked me anyway. They all knew this would happen.

I’ll never ever forget the day – 6 April 2015 – literally five months ago. We were in the mountains and it was spectacular. The most beautiful water falls, the lush green mountains. My mother in law and I went for a hike – because no one ever wanted to hike with her might I add because no one wanted to wait for her – so I always walked and hiked with her on holidays. We had such a special time. she spoke about it for weeks after. We sat on the veranda of the most quaint cottage in the world and she said to me ‘The first time you came to our house, I just knew, I just knew that you were the best thing that had ever happened to my son, I knew you were his soul mate’! My heart smiled and so did hers. My husband was in his room working and being fucking moody as he always is around his family. And I hung out with his parents – we bonded and we connected.

And now I wonder how she feels about that day? Did she know? Did she look into my eyes and blatantly lie, or was that what she truly believed at that moment. At that moment did she think that I was a spoilt little girl, ungrateful and indulged, not intellectual enough? At that moment in the mountains in that quaint little cabin, did she know that she would be accusing me of having an affair just 5 months later, did she know her sons soul mate was emotionally unstable and that she was vain and self absorbed? I wonder what she was feeling in her heart at that moment.

Strangely enough. I still love her. Yes she caused so much fucking emotional turmoil for her son, but I still love her. I still respect her because she raised that family. She raised those children when her husband was absent. She gave her all to those children and to her husband. History repeats itself. In my marriage, I kept our family going, I gave it everything. It was never enough, I never fitted in and I felt so alone in the marriage but I gave it my all. Just like my mother in law did. She is such an incredibly strong woman. Was she a total back stabbing two faced bitch these last few months? Yes she was. Do I hate her for it? No I do not. She was being the best mom and her best self and she was supporting her son and she needed to pin the blame on someone. They all did. That whole family did. They needed to hate someone and blame someone for hurting their perfect son (who by the way needed serious mental help in July -those were her exact words to my mother). But none the less she stood by her family and I will always admire her for her strength in her marriage and for keeping that family together, even if it turned out toxic, she kept them together and she built that family up from the ground. I will forever remember her for the strong woman that she is.