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Striking a nerve

November 22, 2008

I just finished watching part 2 of “How Mad Are You?” on iPlayer and three comments really shook me.

Firstly, when alex was talking about her anorexia:

Hunger was the thing I liked best, actually. Bizarre, but I knew if I was hungry, my body wasn’t getting enough calories so I knew I was going to be losing weight. You’d welcome that feeling, you never stopped feeling hungry.

I really agree with her about that. I like feeling hungry, the stabbing feeling in my tummy when I move. I don’t quite know why yet but that is part of my every day existence; if I don’t feel hungry then something is wrong.

The second thing is from Yasmin (about depression):

The worst days were when I couldn’t get out of bed, I didn’t see the point.

The “I didn’t see the point” bit really struck me because, well, I’m still seeking a purpose and I still feel that way and doubt I’ll ever find one. But, that makes me feel useless; like I should be able to find one… I know it’s all part of recovery and one day I might reach that but it begs the question: how much fecking longer?!

Finally, a bit of a blast from the past from I think it was Steve (perhaps wrong name, the guy with bipolar):

Cutting and burning helped me to feel alive, when I felt dead.

My everyday is filled with trying not to think about that option, although I have just realised that maybe my letting myself get hungry so I get stabby pains is a way of harming myelf, how fulfilled I could feel by using that razor blade or casually resting my arm against the hob. I know from the past that self harming is a bit like pringles: once you start, you just can’t (st)pop!

I’ve been there enough times to know this, but it still keeps coming back to me. Like a haunting word, ‘coping techniques’. That word sends a shock through me. I don’t know why. A simple adjective to describe what you’re doing, something you do to cope. But why do I hate that phrase? Because of the first time I heard it, what it means to me? The fact that I have to admit I’m really not coping? I can try and pretend, but at the end of the day, things are still not going right. I know I shouldn’t beat myself up about it, but it’s hard not to and, well, I don’t exactly want to think negatively of myself, do I?! If I can pretend, then everything will be okay. And that’s where the problem is.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2008 7:50 pm

    Hey…. Just found your blog and thought I’d say hi.

    Totally understand about the NHS and the mental health services… pile of shite… I myself am trying to navigate them and its a nightmare. A case of throwing you on pills and leaving you to it…..

    *Hugs* tho.


  2. Lola Snow permalink
    November 22, 2008 8:53 pm

    Bingo. It’s the same reason I get upset everytime I read a scientific study, or an article by an expert, or a website with someone elses experiences of BN or AN. It’s a pushmepull you situation.

    I don’t want to have a label, I don’t want to be another statistic, or a theory. I want to be able to explain my actions as being my choice, my weird aberrance, not part of some larger force. It’s the hardest part of the ED illness, because denial is what gets you through. We justify our own behaviours because it condones them as ok. Thats why you get that chilly sick feeling when you read about yourself as having an Eating Disorder. The cap doesn’t fit comfortably.

    I find myself just wanting to do the opposite to what my criteria expects of me, just to spite the experts, but then the opposite is to eat, so I just sulk and throw jibes and sarky comments instead. I don’t want to be “sick”, admit I’m “sick”, but I won’t give it up either, or have it taken away from me 🙂

    {{{Hugs}}} You know where I am if you need me

    Lola x

  3. November 22, 2008 11:24 pm

    That “to be able to explain my actions as being my choice, my weird aberrance, not part of some larger force” is very nicely put. It’s what psychotherapists do for you, if they’re any good.

    Even so, as I’ve commented here before, the labels are sometimes a useful way to get the NHS to do the right thing, if it’s capable of doing the right thing at all, that is.

    What annoyed me about “How Mad Are You?” was the way it labelled people as mentally ill even after they had recovered. Four out of the five were well. The only one who was ill was the guy with OCD, and he had made a conscious decision to allow his OCD to define him.

    Seeking a purpose, hating the phrase “coping techniques”, not wanting to have to pretend, not wanting to have a label — those feelings are all drivers towards eventual recovery, it seems to me.

  4. November 23, 2008 12:15 am

    Thanks Lola and cbtish, I’ll reply better when I have something slightly more constructive to say and am in a better mood!

  5. November 23, 2008 12:38 am

    Hi fallfromgrace, Yeah, I know the NHS can be rubbish. Thing is, I’ve experienced good too from it back home, just my luck appears to be running thin! I hope something gets sorted for you soon *hugs* xx

  6. November 23, 2008 3:29 pm

    The “I didn’t see the point” line really struck with me too. I wish it was possible to see the point. 😦

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