Week One

A friend of mine has encouraged me to share my private journals of inpatient. I hope it’s not triggering for anyone. It’s deeply personal. And I’ve made every effort to remove identifying information of the clinic, staff and patients. It’s a long read! But this is what life is like.

PRE-ADMISSION

Today is Thursday. In four sleeps time I am going to a psychiatric clinic – into the Eating Disorders program. I am both really happy, and really nervous about it. Part of me is feeling positive – perhaps this is the final piece of the puzzle that I’ve been searching for all these years. Part of me feels desolate – why would this make any difference? How can six weeks possibly have any long lasting impact? I know I’ll eat well and do all the right things while I’m there – I’ll even believe that I’m going to recover no doubt, but once I get home – is anything going to be any different? It’s really hard to believe…

I feel myself getting more and agitated. More and more stupid. Once I knew I was going in my first reaction was to starve myself until I get there – so I can be as thin as possible before they make me eat food all the time (regardless of my bmi, I’m pretty confident they’ll make me eat regularly and the same – similar – as everyone else. Although perhaps they won’t.. maybe they’ll let me diet 😀 ) I cannot remove the connection between food and fat. I know all the logic and all the practical stuff, but the moment I go near food I feel fat. But of course after all that starvation today I got too hungry so I ate. I was hoping to throw up my two bowls of cereal this morning but I wasn’t quick enough and they went down too easily. I carefully (moronically) swallowed a spoonful of peanut butter before having a toasted pide this afternoon as I knew there would then be 100% chance of throwing it up. And throw it up I did. A lot. Ditto for dinner – I toasted another pide (just with butter and vegemite this time) but preceded it with dried apricots – and followed it up with two magnum icecreams – and then spent about 45 minutes trying to get rid of it all. I feel like the inside of my throat is sunburnt… So painful. This is the stupidity and idiocy of being a bulimic. (I was going to delete that word – I absolutely detest it). Can’t eat for fear of getting fat. Can’t stop eating because I’m a pig. All the gazillions of times I’ve tried the moderation thing, or the make lists of rules, or follow what other people say, or just let myself eat when I feel like it, or follow my body’s signals – and none of it ever made a scrap of difference. I binge or starve. Every time. And I hate myself every time I eat food.

How can the clinic change this? I really have no idea… And I’m overwhelmingly anxious about being the only non-anorexic person there. The only fat middle aged woman there. The only bulimic. Chances are I won’t get my own bathroom. Which isn’t the end of the world but it’s six weeks and I want a bathroom. I want to be able to shower and go to the toilet without being observed. I’m not going there to play games – I won’t go and secretly throw up. If I have to throw up because the lapband is stuck, well I will tell them and figure out how to modify meal plans with them so I can eat without throwing up.

And I’m also really fearful they’ll make me loosen the band. Which is probably my worst fear of all. I’ll cheerfully sacrifice the bathroom in order to keep the band just where it is. When double-dose-breakfast stayed down this morning I realised the band has had a lovely rest and is not at all inflamed right now – so things will go down quite well and comfortably if I just leave it alone and stop chucking up.

Have also realised I’m having lactose intolerance issues – all stemming from the bottle of kahlua and all the milk I had. And mostly this week all I’ve been having is coffee every day. And I drank the baileys last week as well. So just dairy overload and now my system has gone into overload and the familiar old irritable bowel is back. Blergh… I don’t want IBS in ty clinic so I’ll make a concerted effort to stay away from dairy for a little while and hopefully they’ll let me have a diet that has limited amounts of dairy and gluten – otherwise I could be in trouble. Or I have to go fully dairy and gluten free which is a pain in the butt for them, and could give me horrid meals… I don’t trust them to make nice gf/df food. It’s not easy.

I feel so guilty leaving my husband and kids behind. I’m trying to justify it in my head by saying I’ll work really hard on getting this website and all the details up and sorted while I’m away, so I can jump straight into the practice interviews I’ve arranged as soon as I get back. But after the last few days I don’t know if I’m organised enough to keep my shit together and get into a routine. It could be the lack of food making me all fluffy in the head, but I suspect I’m just lazy. I guess I’ll find out at the clinic.

I really am feeling nervous about this clinic… It is not the local Clinic (which was scary enough) – there are no grounds and it’s all young girls and it will be incredibly hard to sleep but there’ll be no option for getting up and doing something else and if I don’t have my own bathroom then I have to wander around and disturb other people.

The nurses will keep the chargers for my phone and laptop (in case I strangle myself – which will be hilarious when they see how tiny my phone charger is…) so I’m bound to be ending up with flat phone and laptop and perpetually having to trot out and ask them to charge it up again. I can see myself spending all night writing and typing and doing the website every night – until some kind of sleep routine kicks in. If it does at all.

Sleeplessness may be something I’ve had all my life, but knowing I’m about to head off to be incredibly sleep deprived for at least the first few days, if not a whole lot more, is not fun and not something to look forward to. And sleeplessness makes everything else more difficult. I’m particularly upset that we can’t have endless cups of tea. I know why… And I understand. But there’s a limit of three per day. And I’m used to about ten. Okay – maybe not ten. But at least five or six – mostly herbal. It’s something to do and a good way to distract myself from food – and fill up – and stay hydrated. And these are all excellent reasons for them to limit cups to three a day. But I still won’t like it…

And I really hope I can go and exercise. Just getting out for a big walk each day would be lovely – but that won’t happen for at least a week, and even then I’m pretty sure they won’t allow daily exercise. Which totally sucks. Totally, totally sucks. My RLS will drive me insane. Completely insane. But at least I’ll already be in the psychiatric clinic…

The reason I’m writing in my private journal and not elsewhere, is because I’m sick to death of writing about ED stuff in my blog. People are tired of it. I’m tired of it. I notice nobody responds to anything unless I’m all Doris Day and chirpy and positive. That’s what people want to hear. Not more same old same old. Don’t blame them. But I also needed to write today because I was so disgusted with all the purging. And planned purging. I’m not sure if had to have “one last binge and purge” before going in – I think there was a bit of that going on. That was certainly my motivation for buying the two icecreams – won’t be able to do that again. And maybe that’s a good headspace to be in? Although I doubt it… But maybe it means I’m so close to just not binging and purging any more… I don’t know. I struggle to believe it. But I started to get really disgusted with how and why I was eating and the absolute necessity to eat something that would force all the rest of the food to get stuck. Why? I have to confess, six years ago I didn’t do this kind of shit. I know the lap band made everything worse from an eating disorder perspective. Although really it just added purging to the list. I’ve been binging my entire life. I don’t recall not binging. The purging has been intermittent and restarted after the lap band – which I’m not sure I told my friends but would be another reason for them to hate lap bands – surgical bulimia. I can’t imagine I’ll ever be sorry I had it though. I have no faith the weight would ever have come off. And now that most of it is off, I still cannot bear the thought of ever being fat again. And would most definitely sooner be dead than fat. I’m not sure if this is an issue and a headspace concept they deal with at the clinic…

I wonder if people realise how overwhelming the fear of fat is? I fear it far more than I do falling off a cliff. When we climbed the fluted cape last week, I stood on the edge of those cliffs and felt no fear. Only when it was precarious and I was slipping did my primal body instincts kick in and there was an adrenalin rush. And then that is the same kind of fear (without the adrenalin) that I feel consumed by when I eat. If I eat I’ll get fat. And that’s that. It doesn’t work like that for other people – I know. But I feel I’ve done too much damage to my body for it ever to just work properly and digest food easily and store only what needs to be stored and get rid of the rest. It is just a world class expert at storing energy.

I was pretty shocked by my son’s arguments for eating the other day. I hadn’t intended to let slip how little I was eating. But I know he’s right. It’s not new news. I hear the same thing again and again and I know that exercising after not eating for days just eats muscle not fat blah blah blah. But somehow coming out of his mouth made me feel more guilty. And for a moment I was almost resigned to just eating regularly – I could almost sense what that would be like. Then it went away again.

Tonight I feel crazy. And sore. Parts of my body are sore for all the right reasons – I’ve been to gym and it’s good sore. And parts of my body are sore for all the wrong reasons. Again. I’m really tired of this shit.

I’m writing this today (very long winded way of getting to this statement) to say I don’t ever want to purge again – it really sucks. It tears my throat out and the heaving hurts my belly. And I don’t want to damage the lapband… So rather than starve or binge tomorrow, I want to try very minimalist. Cup of tea for breakfast. Something tiny at lunch. And then I have to eat food with friends and my husband tomorrow and I’ll know that at the very last they’ll be watching so I have to eat something but I hate that they’ll be noticing what and how much and how fast. And they’ll definitely notice if I go to the bathroom. So I do not want to chuck. For that reason and for the reason I feel like my throat has been ripped to shreds…

Then I just have Saturday and Sunday to endure, before all control over food is taken away from me. And that is the aspect I’m really looking forward to. Six weeks where I don’t have to wonder if/when/how/what/why I should eat. Six whole weeks where I’m not in charge…

Day One

What have I done?! I feel like a fish out of water. I’m so far out of my comfort zone I can’t even see where it is any more. This is the single most foreign environment I have ever found myself in. And I’m going to be here for six weeks. I hope like hell that it is all going to be worth it. The fact I feel so uncomfortable is probably a very good thing. Doesn’t feel like it – but I’m sure it is. If it was easy and comfortable and familiar then there’d be very little to learn. So the way I’m feeling tonight would suggest I’m going to be learning a lot. There’s a secret little part of me desperately hoping that yesterday represents the last time I will ever purge. I so hope that is true. There’ve been some close calls today but so far so good. Have now finished the final food for the day and I’m now confident it will stay down. One day down – 41 to go. The psychiatrist basically inferred that he believes my goal of “normal” eating is not absurd and believes it is not unrealistic in six weeks. Time will tell. I’ve had to repeat my history endlessly today – dietitian, nursing manager, care nurses, psychiatrists – and I keep feeling shocked by how shocked they seem. Well – perhaps not shocked. Maybe surprised. It’s curious how we just accept what we’ve grown up with, and while I have figured out it was all horridly dysfunctional, it seems that perhaps the impact and longevity is more significant than I realise. I really have had disordered relationships with food and body image every single day of my life, which leaves me in the slightly problematic area of having no healthy habits to fall back on. We discussed my fear of getting fat and the irrational connection I have between eating food (any food) and gaining weight. He asked if that’s always been the case or just my perception. But the reality is, I’ve always gained weight when I’ve eaten – lost weight when I’ve ‘dieted’ (aka restricted). So NO – there has been no evidence for me that eating food is safe. Eat = fat. Of course I know that’s not logical and yet… I will be so pissed if I gain weight while I’m here. Six times a day shoving tons of food in and no opportunity to get rid of it or exercise. (Keep getting distracted and disturbed…) My husband was so upset at the airport this morning. I feel so guilty. I wish I hadn’t ended up in this boat, but now that I’m in it… I really hope this becomes a safe harbour. I am determined it’s going to make a difference because it’s a huge amount of upheaval for my family. And I’m tired. I’m so tired of this shit and I just don’t want to do it any more. So this six week stay has to make a difference. We have never been apart for six weeks – it’s a very long time. Is that normal? It seems to me it would be unusual for a married couple to be apart that long? And I wonder how it will affect us… Well this is the end of day one now. I’ve survived four meals here – kept them all down. Met lots of staff. Feel completely bamboozled by lots of stuff. It’s going to be an interesting stint. Onwards and upwards.

Day Two

No better than yesterday. I’m still a landlocked fish. Compared to the local Clinic it feels incredibly clinical and unfriendly here. All the girls are lovely enough but there’s very little socialising going on. Dinner (all meals really) is a silent, somber affair. I guess (I’m sure) a lot of the program is about normalising eating, but apparently only in the sense of regular, nutritional intake. There is absolutely nothing normal or enjoyable about the way we eat. At handover the nurse told my new nurse, “Simone has been really anxious today,” which was not something the nurse had mentioned to me at all – I’m surprised she’d noticed or mentioned anything. Then when I got my meds this evening, the nurse commented how incredibly anxious I seemed at dinner (I did?) and did I have any anti-anxiety meds to take prior to eating… “No” is the answer. I don’t. But I suspect the psychiatrists will bring the subject up next time I see them. I’d rather they thought about anti-histamines. I’m having some kind of allergy reaction – I suspect gluten – but as I didn’t think to ask him about writing it up, I can’t have any. And I’ve been scratching myself stupid all day. Could be dust from the renos, but I suspect not. Whatever’s causing it, the antihistamine would be awesome anyway. The dietitian didn’t believe me today (different dietitian) and said I was itchy because I was anxious. Does that even happen? As far as I know it’s never happened to me before – I still think allergy… After post-supper supervision I’ll have a shower and hope that helps, because despite being rung eight hours ago, the psychiatrist hasn’t rung back and the GP has never seen me so won’t chart anything over the phone. Starting to feel slightly wheezy now. Will be pissed if he didn’t chart the Ventolin… Have kept all the food down today. Lunch was extremely problematic and took two hours to go down but I got there. I could easily have thrown it up after the supervision and I briefly considered it, but I’m not here to play games – I repeat – so if I can keep it down, I will keep it down. Which is giving me mixed feelings (gonna get fat – not gonna purge any more – but I’m getting fat – not gonna purge any more – I hate food  – not gonna purge – this too shall pass – not here to play games…) Think the migraine is gone. Didn’t get too horrid but it was persistent. Have felt much better the last few hours (PAUSED DUE TO DRAMATIC BREATHING ISSUES – TURNS OUT I HAVE ASTHMA… DUST OR GLUTEN OR BOTH OR NEITHER?)

Day Three

Massive fail. Feels like that anyway. Have meticulously kept all food down – despite the discomfort and difficulty. After talking to dietitian decided to have ice cream for supper – very limited gluten free choices. So I dished it up then stared at it and just couldn’t do it. Felt so ashamed – all these young girls around and I’m staring at a bowl of ice cream like it’s going to kill me. And the thoughts racing through my head rushed around: I can’t eat this I’ll get fat, I’ll binge, it’s bad food, I can’t eat this, I’m not a normal person, I’ve eaten ice cream thousands of times this is no different, just suck it up princess, why am I here, I want to go home, I can’t eat ice cream, I don’t deserve it. All the while scratching at my hands to stay grounded and hoping the floor would swallow me up and I could just drop dead. I can’t eat ice cream. I had to have an Ensure instead. It’s like a chocolate milkshake that somebody ruined. I have no idea how many calories were in it. I didn’t want to have that either. Felt so horridly humiliated (still do). All the girls seeing a middle aged woman panic at the sight of ice cream. Nobody says anything. Nobody will say anything. Just my lovely nurse who sat with me the whole time and has recommended podcasts by Dr Laura Hill. I feel so old. There are no people around with my longevity of eating issues and I don’t know recovered people with my kind of history. So it leaves me without hope or faith that change is achievable even though people keep telling me it is. Without hope I can’t do this process. I will find the podcasts once I find my WiFi and see if they offer hope. Interestingly my nurse was saying there are some talks that discuss the neuropsychology of eating disorders and how MRIs show differences in the brain. So apparently this means it’s not my fault. But how does that help me now? I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I need to listen to the podcasts.

Day Four

What a mess. I’m at war with myself. I know ‘they’ say things get worse before they get better. So now I have to see how much worse and for how much longer. I threw up at afternoon tea time. I was so desperately trying not to but the pain was overwhelming and I was going to spontaneously vomit if I didn’t purge. I waited as long as I could then raced to the bathroom. Nurses kept saying, ‘stay calm. deep breaths’. But what the fuck will that do? I had food blocked up from belly to breast and it just couldn’t go down. I was so bitterly disappointed. They think I’m playing games – that I’m using the band as an excuse. I’m not. Or if I am, I’m completely unaware of it. It is not intentional. All the other things can go wrong but I wanted a clean slate of no purging and now it’s ruined. It makes me want to give up but there’s no point telling anyone that – they’ll just give me all the encouraging mantras and say these things happen and tomorrow is a new day. Yes. That’s true. I’m still bitterly disappointed. Why did I throw up? Because I unexpectedly found six brussel sprouts on my lunch time plate. The moment I saw them I knew they wouldn’t stay down but I didn’t know what to do. Three hours later when we had afternoon tea I had a glass of water and a couple of spoons of custard and then I thought I’d vomit at the table so I left and lay down on the floor where I promptly tried to sink so deep into the beanbags that nobody would ever find me again. I feel so embarrassed having so much attention on me. I just wanted to go to my room and be miserable on my own. But it wasn’t allowed. I wanted to walk around to see if the food could go down. It wasn’t allowed. I moaned and groaned and rolled around in distress until I knew I couldn’t keep it in then raced to the loo. With an overwhelming sense of relief coupled with disgust and disappointment. After that they gave me clonazepam because they’re concerned about my anxiety levels. Which I will concede are sky high. But having brussel sprouts stuck in your lap band is not conducive to relieving anxiety. I’ve spent most of today and yesterday (well last night) crying. Perhaps it’s like the day three post birth hormonal surge when your milk comes in – inevitable. I don’t know how to deal with everything. I haven’t seen the psychiatrist since my admission and I suspect I won’t see him again – which is a shame. I really liked him. My admitting doctor returns Monday week so I’ll be returned to his care. No idea when he’ll touch base with me. Or even if. The processes and procedures are foreign and I don’t know what to expect. Nobody says anything. I just trot along to meals and groups and that’s it. Nurses do handover and seem to know all about me even if I haven’t spent a single moment with them. Which means everyone’s talking behind my back. Of course I know that happens but it still distresses me. Especially when they don’t talk to me. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I’ve become scared to ask questions or to talk about any health stuff. Everything is perceived as me trying to get special rules for myself or get out of eating. Which isn’t true. The GP basically told me my issues with gluten are bullshit so just suck it up. But fortunately she did at least chart the antihistamine as a PRN I can have whenever. And they’ve given me the Ventolin to keep with me. So those two things reduce my anxiety a little. I don’t know how to face tomorrow. Just feel like an abject failure. But tomorrow will come regardless of my desires and face it I will have to do. On an upside, I’ve said, “no brussel sprouts” on all future menu plans, so that’s one less problem for now.

Day Five

Despite being repeatedly told I’m not an abject failure, I still feel I am. Perhaps perspective will hit me down the track, but right now things are not progressing as they should, as expected, or in any sustainable way. So I threw lunch up again – I thought it would be okay. It wasn’t. Couldn’t keep it down. At least I rolled around in misery by myself in my bedroom, hugging a pillow, with a vomit bag in hand just in case. In the end I gave up and went to the toilet to purge. I am determined that is the last time – if it kills me. Twice is two times too many and I refuse to make it three. Have chatted extensively today with the nurse and the dietitian. They’re being kind and understanding – which is more comforting than yesterday. Nonetheless I’m struggling with mood and anxiety. So tempted to tear my hands to pieces and have managed to produce a few obvious grazes now from scratching. Found a paperclip and started to carve away but thought better of it. Lovely nurse has asked me to find her (or anyone) any time I need to hurt myself. Easy to say… Logic doesn’t come to the fore when I’m distressed and with the eating disorder kicking and fighting and being subjugated, the self harm wants to come back and play to fill in the void. There are two little angels sitting on my shoulder. They’re perfect and beautiful and golden and cherubic with wings of gossamer. And one is the devil in disguise and I can’t tell which is which. They look the same and they speak with a voice full of wisdom and compassion. I told this to the dietitian and she said that’s why I’m here – for other people to tell me what to do and to shut that disguised angel up. I had my first ward round today – met for ten minutes with the psychiatrist, nurse unit manager, dietitian and registrar. Not sure about the overall point – just a catch up to see how I’m doing I guess. I’ve been moved off assessment phase and onto phase one – meaning I can do out and about with my group on Monday (aka go to a coffee shop and order coffee and cake. CAKE! :O) And I also get leave two days per week – all by myself. I will use this time wisely. Max time out is after afternoon tea and back by dinner – nearly two hours. No idea what I’d do for two hours but I’ll fill the time up. I’ve sent a message to a tattoo parlour to see if I can arrange my next tattoo – angel wings and the text “stalked by demons; guarded by angels”. I think that’s what I’ve decided. It just needs to complement the tattoo I already have. I’ve been surprised how often the recovery symbol and text for the one I have has reminded me and helped me. Hopefully the next one will do the same. I feel calmer tonight – due to the magic of drugs. I don’t really view this as a long term solution though. I’d try to get some sense of how long I’d be here when talking to the psychiatrist. He was no help really. Could be four weeks if everything goes swimmingly well. Could be a lot longer if it doesn’t. So you know? How long is a piece of string? One way or the other I’ll be home by 14 March as I’m going on a long weekend break with a close friend come hell or high water – neither of which I have any desire to encounter while I’m there. So what else? I stared at dinner in tears, tearing up my fingers because I’m terrified it will get stuck and I’m done with purging. So I got to have yet another Ensure. I have no idea what the other girls think and I’m repeatedly told it’s none of their business what I do, and none of my business what they think. Not a lesson I’ve learned but one I appreciate. And finally there’s pressure starting to come my way about getting the lap band loosened. I’m extremely resistant to this and not sure which angel is speaking with that voice of reason. I believe really strongly that while I’m here I have to learn to manage the band – not drain it, and not live on Ensure. I have to eat meals (size not negotiable as I’m on the smallest serves). So how I do this I don’t know, but I do know sitting at the table drinking the supplement has felt like failure every time. And it’s been four times now… I still don’t know what to do. I also have no means of getting it adjusted anyway. The past two days have been exhausting and I’m glad the weekend is here for a bit of reprieve. I need to rest. Would cheerfully sleep forever. But am also really looking forward to seeing my cousin tomorrow – I’ll feel slightly normal. The only thing I wish I’d asked for was a stress ball. Or a little fluffy toy. Apparently I need healthier means of managing the high anxiety. I would agree with that. Might see what I can find when I go on leave next week.

Day Six

This will be blessedly short as I am completely and utterly drained. I thought today was going to be a great day – maybe a turn the corner kind of day – and for the most part it was. I slept through the night for the first time last night – many thanks to doxylamine and clonazepam. Woke early for my weigh in (no details are given to me even though I’m itching to know). Had a lovely time doing today’s writing exercises for a writing challenge – wrote a delightful letter to my vagina. Breakfast, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea were all a breeze. I was careful and there were no complications. My cousin visited so I felt special and less isolated – plus she brought me a blanket and a doona and a box of gluten free snacks (recommended by the dietitian) and some laundry liquid. So now I feel loved and cared for and well equipped for my stay. Then the news came through they’ll be renovating at my end of the ward so I was shipped to room 15. Which is bigger, brighter and has it’s own bathroom. I’m in heaven! I was given strict instructions that if I purge, I lose the room. Noted. I have zero desire to purge anyway. We had an exciting hour pre-dinner as all the fire alarms went off and the fire brigade turned up to work out the problem. Apparently water is dripping through the ceiling in ward three. Finally all sorted and we went to dinner. Fish, rice, broccoli, beans and mashed potato. It looked fine. I ate it painstakingly slowly as I’m paranoid about purging. Two hours later I realise that supper time is approaching and dinner has not fully gone down yet. I had a cup of chamomile tea – hot drinks often help loosen the band and get things flowing. Then I had a glass of water and all hell broke loose. I realised I was horridly stuck. Terrible pain, nausea, huge pressure in my chest and back. I paced and paced in my room for twenty minutes – desperate to get the food down. I WILL NOT PURGE. I felt worse and worse and more distressed. I found the NUM and told her my dinner was stuck completely and I didn’t even think I could keep water down. She said if I didn’t turn up to supper I’d have to have a supplement at 8:15. I did point out that if I couldn’t keep water down I wouldn’t keep a supplement down. She then said I had to or I was breaking all the rules. I went back to my room clutching my sick bag and my stomach, floods of tears, pacing like there was no tomorrow and determined not to purge. I will not purge. After a few minutes the pain was intense and then I spontaneously vomited back the water and tea. I’m pretty sure hardly any of the food came up – it was wedged in tight. At promptly 8:15 the nurse came back and said I had to go to the dining room to have the supplement. Even though I said the band was completely blocked and I couldn’t keep water down, she said I was trying to break the rules. I wasn’t allowed to take the vomit bag with me. She dutifully poured my drink and told me to relax and drink really slowly. By this time I was sobbing and petrified of throwing up in the dining room. The other nurse came to sit with me and asked what was going on. She could see that with every mouthful of Ensure I was closer to vomiting so she took it away. I said I was happy to have it, but not while my band was blocked. She made notes and went and chatted to the other nurses. I just kept saying, “It’s blocked. I can’t keep water down. I don’t know what to do.” Eventually she led me to the beanbags and she got my fluffy blanket and told me just to relax. I was still sobbing and in a ton of pain and desperately trying not to throw up. After my 30 minutes of post supper supervision was over, the first nurse came back and asked me if I wanted to go back to my room. Yes – of course I do. She helped me up and led me down the corridor because by then I was horribly wobbly on my feet. She asked if I wanted my meds and I said no point – can’t keep them down. She asked what I’d do at home when blocked and I said I would purge but I don’t want to do that any more. She said I’d done a great job – giving the supplement a try and not purging. And to just keep not purging – which is what I’ve done. I wanted to walk around – not allowed. Although the walk back to the room had helped and the pain was abating. She said I’d done a great job trying and didn’t have to have the rest of the supplement. I don’t care about having it – I just don’t want to force more volume down on a blocked band. She said she would pass a message to the psychiatrist about how hard I’m trying not to purge and to keep the food down. She also said legally they can’t hand out my 8pm meds later than 10pm, so I have until then to clear the band. I curled up in bed for half an hour, willing the food down and desperately hoping it would resolve itself. I’ve just been up and walked a little and thought I felt okay, so I tested some water. Went down fine. Then downed four more glasses of water and I think I’m in the clear now. At one point I could feel whatever was blocked move a little. It’s now 10:15 so I’ve missed my meds. This will be fun… Not sure how much leeway there is on the 10pm limit, but I’m too exhausted to go to the meds dispensary anyway. My head hurts so bad. I am so paranoid they will kick me out for being difficult and not following the program. I desperately want to do everything they say, but when the band is blocked I just don’t know what to do. I know there’s going to be increasing pressure for me to get the band loosened – or worse still, emptied. I am so incredibly paranoid about having that done as the moment I get home I fear losing all control. But I also acknowledge that is three days of genuinely trying very hard to eat well for the band and it got stuck anyway. I just don’t know what to do. And I’m so fricking tired… Turns out this wasn’t blessedly short…

Day Seven

Zonked. Don’t even know what to write today. Have kept all meals down and fairly comfortably at that. They’ve put the clonazepam up to 1mg twice a day – before lunch and dinner. Keeps me super calm and relaxed and sleepy and foggy and wobbly on my feet. Not sure if it helped with the food staying down – I was so paranoid I just ate at an absolute snail’s pace. Whatever the cause, it’s been successful and I’ve now kept all six meals down. I want to talk to the doctor tomorrow about medications. my depression has bloomed and is overwhelming me. I’m also sure the pristiq does help with anxiety so perhaps I’d need less clonazepam which just zonks me out and is not a long term strategy. I spent half of today mapping out “end it all” scenarios. Too hard to overdose – although when I get leave I can grab whatever I want and do as I please. Which makes me think I need to feel a little more stable before heading off on my own. Have told one friend but unlikely to talk with anyone else. I’ve been put onto a self harm contract but I don’t fully know what that means yet. Doctor has to go through it and see what he thinks. I’ve got band aids for tonight to stop me picking at them and to stop them weeping all over my bed sheets. Today my mood is pitifully low. I feel like a wild horse that’s been corralled and they’re attempting to tame me. My eating disorder is bucking and kicking and screaming and there’s a little spark of common sense that knows this is all part of the process and if I keep trusting and accepting I’ll be tamed and calmed. The picture is impossible to visualise right now. I stared out my window and wondered how to get to the roof of the building over the road. I’m sure I wouldn’t but it was a lovely dream. Just to think of ending. Not going through any more hell. I think for the most part I’m safe – just a very down and teary day. I think they’ve managed to wrap a harness around this wild horse and it feels foreign and uncomfortable and I don’t know how to handle it. But time heals all wounds  – so it is time I need. I’ve slept most of today – thanks to the relaxing affect of clonazepam. I really hope I wake tomorrow feeling less down, because I’m tired of this. I just want to “get better” and I don’t feel it’s happening yet. I’ve been here a week and I got worse. Is that normal? Typical for me.. I am at least very grateful I love so many of the staff, and if I choose to reach out there’s always someone there. Unfortunately I never know quite what to say…

6 Replies to “Week One”

  1. I’m not quite sure what to say either…but I am sending love. I read all your blogs and want you to know how much I care. Always my friend xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so brave and a inspiration to me atm. Your ready to beat this demon!! Going through similar eating disorder- not in hospital yet. But the thoughts surrounding food and feelings, I get it. You are not alone!! Thank you for sharing with us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences so openly. That takes a lot of bravery and strength. Keep fighting. Wish you the best – speak766

    Liked by 1 person

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