I’m consumed with sadness today. I know it’s the stupid drug, but fuck it’s annoying. On the upside, the psychiatrist rang and said to wean myself off and I’m being admitted into the inpatient eating disorder unit instead.
It’s a strange world where that seems like a good thing – right?
This drug has really hit me for six. This morning I could not for the life of me work out what year it was. I don’t mean 2017 or 2018 (see – I’ve got it sussed now!) I mean – I didn’t know if it was 2000, 2008, 2020… I had NO IDEA. I was utterly confused. I had to ask my husband and he looked at me with a very familiar, “you have two heads” kind of look, well it’s not 2017 any more, and then it all clicked back into place and I knew what the year was again. But for a moment – it was panic stations. Have I mentioned how much I hate this drug?
Today is 02 January and on Monday 15 January (13 sleeps away) I’m going to the clinic. I have 13 sleeps to get my shit together. I will need to contact work and let them know what’s happening. At this stage I don’t even know if I’ll return to work at all. By necessity I’ll be in the clinic until the end of February, and then I’m traveling overseas from mid-June until mid-September, so I’m not sure they want an employee who is so unreliable. This is a discussion that needs to be had. And now it needs to be had before Monday 15 January.
All the writing I discussed yesterday (yesterday? no – the day before…) needs to be sorted and taken to the clinic with me. I view this inpatient stay as a good opportunity to establish writing routines and patterns. I think mornings are taken up with counselling sessions, but afternoons and evenings look to be fairly free. I hope to write and read, and read and write. Then read and write, and write some more.
When I mentioned to friends today that I have a date for admission to the clinic they of course immediately asked how I feel, am I happy and excited, and of course I have no idea. Today I’m teary and tired and confused because I’m all drugged up. But also, I think my emotions are far more complex – when I find them. And do I have to choose between happy and sad? Is it really that simple?
I am happy. Happy that this is an option. Happy that I am afforded the opportunity to try something that many are not able to. Happy that I am in a position to be able to go away from “life” for six weeks and dedicate this time to myself. It feels incredibly selfish – to leave my home and family and let them just look after themselves while I contribute nothing. Just faff around “getting better”. I am happy that I am surrounded by people who support me to do this and that we have the means to do it. So yes – I am happy this is an option.
I am sad. I am sad it is necessary at all. I am sad I have an eating disorder. I am sad that I have had it for so long and that I could not “figure it out” by myself. I am sad that I have to go away from my family and friends and my home and lock myself away in a hospital with strangers and become institutionalised in order to become “better”. I am sad it boils down to this kind of last resort option.
I am nervous. It is not easy at my age to go into a hospital full of teenagers and young women – most of whom will be anorexic and underweight – and be forced to consume food six times day. I will have no choice but to eat every morsel that is put in front of me – in a specified time frame. I will be watched like a hawk before, during and after meals. Before, during and after bathroom trips. There will be no exercising. No using stairs. No burning up excess energy. No living my “normal” life. It will be a very foreign environment and I know I won’t like it for so many reasons and it is going to make me incredibly uncomfortable and anxious for so many reasons and I am going to have to suck it up and that’s that. So of course I’m nervous. I will know nobody. I have social anxiety at the best of times and this is the worst of times.
I am hopeful. I have tried so many things over so many years and I have learned so much and made a lot of progress. And slipped a lot too. But those slips do not negate the forward movement. There are people in whom I have a great deal of faith who believe a sustained inpatient stay will offer me a huge chance to “reset” and there is a lot to be learned and gained and that I should be extremely hopeful this is a very positive step in the right direction. Not a panacea or a “cure”. Just a good positive hopeful step in the right direction.
And exhausted. Emotions are exhausting. I am happy and sad. Nervous and hopeful. I have no idea what year it is. I have cooked a lot of food to take away tomorrow. But I can’t work out what meals to make. I can’t string thoughts together but I can sort of make sentences (can I? are these sentences? I certainly hope so?)
To everyone that sticks with me and continues to read, thank you for your persistence. I feel like I’ve gone completely insane. In fact, I believe I have. The good news however – my dosage is now reduced, and tomorrow is the last day I have to take it at all. So hopefully my brain will return very soon!