the beginning is always today


i’ve just eaten lunch.

i can count on one hand the number of times i’ve eaten lunch in the last six months. the last time i ate lunch was on 1 january when we went to visit some friends and i couldn’t really think of an excuse not to go (not least as i’ve been so self involved recently that i’ve been a terrible friend).

a lot has happened this week. on tuesday, i agreed with my therapist that the advice from the nutritionist i saw was both unhelpful and dangerous. he also was happy for me to not go back to the psychiatrist i’ve been seeing since september so long as i found an alternative and, preferably, one that had a slightly more than basic understanding of eating disorders. i emailed both the nutritionist and psychiatrist later that day. my psychiatrist’s pa confirmed that my next appointment had been cancelled and that’s the only follow up i’ve had from either of them. i’m slightly staggered that, given the psychiatrist claimed to be very concerned about me a few weeks ago, she hasn’t bothered to get in touch. at least it allows me to draw a line under both of them and move forward.

by thursday, i’d found a new psychiatrist and had an initial appointment. he changed some of the aspsects of my diagnosis (it’s now formally anorexia nervosa rather than the hodge podge it was before), tweaked some of my medications and, before my session had even finished, emailed me a ‘day 1’ plan.

yesterday was day 1.

day 1 involved eating breakfast which i haven’t done for a very long time. it was a struggle but i managed to eat some plain yoghurt. it also involved telling my husband the truth about my diagnosis which i somehow managed to do. and there, in black and white, is my acklowledgement that ivf and having a baby is more important to me than having an eating disorder. i’m still trying to make myself believe that this is true.

day 1 also involved telling my boss at work what was going on. i thought it would be a shock to him. unfortunately, it wasn’t and before i even said anything about eating disorders, he told me that a number of people had expressed concerns to him about my weight loss.

having it out there in the open does feel better. the more people that know, the more people there are to let down and the more i have to recover.  having a definitive plan with targets and all the support i could want to get there feels better. my psychiatrist has said he will be in daily contact with me for the moment while we get through this ‘crisis’ (ie that i’m steadily losing weight). at the end of every day, i have to email him with my weight, what i’ve eaten and how i’ve felt throughout the day. it’s so far removed from the ‘help’ i’ve had previously (“go and see this quack nutritionist and then we’ll consider if you need to go to a residential clinic thousands of miles away which will pay me a nice referral bonus”).

it’s so unbelievably hard though and i really don’t think i can do it.

i left my session on thursday feeling really positive and strong but that’s waning, minute by minute. last night, i saw my dad who commented on my weight loss and ‘how well i was looking’. he doesn’t know about the eating disorder (still can’t bring myself to call it anorexia; i feel such a fraud having that diagnosis when i’m still so fat) and i’m sure he wouldn’t have said anything if he did. but all i can think about is how i have to keep losing weight and how great it felt this morning when i saw a more than acceptable drop on the scales from yesterday. and now i feel so full and bloated because i’ve already eaten twice today even though it amounts to <250 calories and was nothing more than yoghurt, a piece of sourdough bread and some fruit/veggies. the actual eating was less of a struggle than i anticipated. but just knowing how much i’ve eaten and seeing it written down and feeling it just sitting in my stomach is so much worse. the anxiety and panic is slowly rising up and threatening to consume me.

i bought this bracelet a few days ago. the rings represent my husband, me and the reason that i’m doing this. i need to focus on that with all my strength if the beginning really is going to be today.

{title quotation attributed to mary shelley}

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