Sidling away from the happy tales of carefree travel for a moment, mentally I’ve plummeted into a bit of a hole. It could be worse – it could be a lot worse – but I could also be in a much better place.
It all starts around body image of course. I’m much fatter and not happy about it. It’s not a figment of my imagination – or the wicked voice of an eating disorder. I know I’m fatter because of the way my clothes and jewelry fit. And godawful photos. A lot of cherry picking goes on when sharing photos to Facebook.
While you’d think fear and loathing around body size would make me eat less and move more – proven methods of weight loss – it does in fact increase my anxiety which makes me eat more food, more often, and much faster. Counter intuitive. But my reality. This in turn makes me more unhappy and I find myself in a vicious downhill spiral.
Add to that a decrease in mood and increase in anxiety due to pain and exhaustion. And just being me. I have pain in my back and legs again. Which means loads of pain killers which leads to drug hangovers. I also haven’t slept well since I left Australia 44 days ago. I periodically consume sufficient quantities of drugs to tranquilise a horse, which makes me sleep like a dead person for a few solid hours, but one never wakes feeling rested from drug-induced sleeps. So I’m tired and sore. Not conducive to good mood.
Decreasing mood leads to increased risky behaviours – not just binging and purging (which happens), but I find myself downing way more medications than necessary. Not lethal or precarious quantities – but instead of one, I take four. Just to make sure I get the full benefit. And I mix and match a variety of medications, washed down with a local vodka. I feel no qualms hanging out the window of a fourth storey building, or crossing the road in front of a tram. I’m not trying to kill myself, but if an accident befell me, it would be a bonus. I recognise this as a bit of a red flag. Although the problem with low mood and red flags, is not really caring about red flags. Sharing on a public blog is sufficient for those who know me to have a sharp word in my ear at some stage. Please be gentle…
In the interests of full-disclosure – as I prefer to be brutally honest – I decreased my anti depressant/anti anxiety for a few days. It was accidental and then I just kept the lowered dose going. Primarily because I’m sick to death of sexual dysfunction. If you have never experienced sexual dysfunction, I promise you’re not in a position to have an opinion on why this is (or isn’t) important.
But before I receive a flurry of messages about the stupidity of lowering the dose, it was just a few days, my lowered mood and increased anxiety started before the altered dose, and I shall return to a normal dose tomorrow. Much as it peeves me to do so. Midway through a three month trip is not the ideal time to mess with meds.
My holiday so far has – for the most part – been stress free and very enjoyable. I’m starting to miss a few things – Tasmanian water, my pillow, vegemite, gym, writing, writing, writing, and of course, my wonderful friends and beautiful children. But I’m also profoundly grateful for the opportunity to undergo such a huge holiday – one I never thought could happen – and I’m soaking up every magical moment. And most of the moments have been magical.
My husband hasn’t annoyed me too much. Some days he gets me down, because he’s such a negative Nancy and a ditherer. His dithering drives me insane. Just as my energiser bunny routine drives him batty. We tolerate each other’s quirks in this area. It’s difficult for me to be continuously surrounded by negativity though. Nothing is ever good enough – if I ask what he thinks about something, I get a list of how things could be better, or what was wrong. He’s very literal… He thinks the question, What did you think of X? means I want to know all the things that were wrong. Which is not the case. I’d like to hear all the things that were right – just for a change… I normally cope with his negativity fine as I’m surrounded by other positivity, but while we’re traveling together, there’s no balance – it’s all just nay-saying. I won’t miss that when we get back home. I keep sending him to psychologists and asking him to work on the problem. But he quits after two or three sessions. Because there was something wrong with the session each time… Catch 22…
This is very much a stream of consciousness tonight. I’m loving our holiday. I really am. It’s a privilege and a blessing and a dream come true. I’m hating my body. More so than usual. My mood has plummeted and my anxiety skyrocketed – shaking hands, racing heart, generally feeling panicked. It will settle soon – this too shall pass. I’ve started binging and purging again – after a long hiatus – and this really frightens me. I want someone to take away ALL control of my food intake. Completely. Don’t ask questions or give me options. That’s the only way I can manage. The next step after binging and purging, is restricting. Great way to lose weight. Great way to get back on the eating disorder wagon of misery.
I’ve been going into every church I see – and there are a lot to be seen – and praying desperately for some reprieve. I mustn’t be doing it right, because there’s been no reprieve as yet… I’m just slipping back down the rabbit hole. I hope I’m not so far down, that it’s a mammoth effort to haul myself back out again…