It’s an unpleasant feeling.
I’m currently wallowing around in misery, feeling sorry for myself but struggling to find the willingness to be willing to make the required changes to my behaviours. I’ve acquired all the necessary knowledge, tools and support networks. Still I wallow. Still I perpetuate the lifetime habits that I both loathe and cling to like a drowning woman.
It has been pointed out to me that I’ve made progress – not with my eating disorder, that has gone backwards – but with suicidal ideation and self-harm in particular.
It was my birthday last weekend. A birthday that for most of last year I had no intention of reaching. I had plans in place but each time I was ready I reminded myself to hang on for another milestone – someone’s birthday, my son’s exams, my wedding anniversary, Christmas. And then after a while, all those delayed intentions became more normal and before I knew it, the birthday I had no intention of being here for had arrived. I decided then my plans to exit had been foiled on so many levels that I need to accept living rather than embracing death. And that makes me sad. And fearful. Suicidal ideation is a safety net. It’s comforting to know there is an option to take away all the pain and stress and hateful feelings. And when that safety net is gone, I’m left with the knowledge I have decades ahead of me and what will I do with them? How will I deal with them? To reinforce my decision, I have decided to get a tattoo – one of the semicolons from the semicolon project, with some text (maybe “my story goes on” or something similar). The other positive step I’ve taken is that instead of increasing my stash of pills, I’ve started dipping into them when I have a headache. It will take a long time to get through them all… But at least it’s now getting smaller not larger. This is considered progress.
As for self-harm? It’s been a two-year journey. One that started small and escalated. I have scars that will never disappear. But they will fade – in fact most of them almost have. I heal extremely well so over time, they will disappear to all but the most inquiring eye. The days where I would cut and scratch four to five times a day are now long gone. I now only succumb under the most intensely stressful situations and they are becoming fewer and farther between. The tattoo will also help cover the scars, and remind me not to resort to that particularly destructive soothing technique.
I’ve also made positive strides in my relationship with my husband. The home that has been a noose around my neck for so long, is growing into a home that I am starting to feel happy in. My children are happy and well. My friends are awesome. My new job is fantastic. And all in all, I have a lot of positives in my life.
My eating disorder still goes backwards. Food means fear and failure and fat.
I have been asked today do I want to recover. Yes I do.
Am I willing to recover. Yes I am.
Am I willing to make the necessary changes? There is the sticking point.
So – to hark back to the title of this post, I am going to have one last ditch attempt at making healthy changes and I want to put some strategies in place. Not rules. Not strict guidelines or specifics or diet plans. Just strategies.
Here they are – my list of things to focus on each day.
- Mindfulness. Dust off my Headspace app and reconnect with my best friend Andy.
- Breakfast. Indulge in it every day. And try not to wash it down with guilt and loathing. No promises on that bit though.
- Hydration. I tend not to drink enough any more. I don’t think this helps. Stay hydrated.
- Writing. I stopped when I got my new job – too busy and tired etc. But it’s important.
- Resources. Go back to my Instagram and pinterest searches. Read my 8 Keys book. Revisit all those resources that I feel I’ve exhausted.
- Scales. I can’t honestly say that I’ll throw them away. But I’m prepared to say I’ll only weigh myself every second day. For now. That’s as much as I can commit to at the moment.
- Support. I have a loving and dedicated husband. Spend time with him. Talk to him. Connect.
- Candy Crush. Stop playing it all the time. I use it to avoid doing the previous seven things…
There – they are my strategies. For better or for worse. I feel this is do or die time. Wish me luck…