Monday, 26 April 2010

Fattening Up Under The Cloak

If I think of the chocolate and the jellybeans and the more chocolate and the more jelly beans and the rice crackers and the mini eggs that I have stuffed down me...
An endless onslaught of sugar coated dollops of fat.
My head is spinning in a panic of sugar and heart pounding horror at what I’ve done.

What have I done?

I’ve worked so hard to burn it all off and now, in one evening, I’ve thrown my body into chaos with a purge-less binge.

I want to run and not stop until my bones tear through my skin.

My mouth hasn’t been empty for more than 5 minutes since I left therapy.
Which implies that it was difficult right? But it wasn’t. Not really.

We spoke about a dream.
The bookshelf was a flimsy, wooden frame covering an entire wall. Like some sort of Ikea job, the frame had compartments, filled with rows of books.
They wanted to move the whole unit.
I stood and watched in silent desperation as the thin frame twisted and most of the compartments on the left side emptied crashingly.
I’d warned them it would happen and they wouldn’t listen.
We talked about how it was about therapy. Somehow. I think Friday’s session had some bits in it that felt very much like the shelf would twist and things would fall out.

I can’t remember what she said. Surprise. Surprise.

My heart is cloaked with sadness.
It has been since Saturday evening when my dad recounted his visit to the hospital where my sister is currently sectioned, caged like the animal her illness seems to make her.
He described how, as he sat next to her watching something on her laptop, her head suddenly dropped and lolled.
He'd asked if she was falling asleep and listened to her half breathed response. He helped her climb up on the bed and watched as she immediately slept.

A nurse popped her head round the door, apologetically, not realising dad was there, she called to my sister to say it was lunch. Feeding time. Force feeding.

“They’ve turned her into a zombie”.
Dad does an impression of her that all at once makes my eyes prick with unusual tears.

I don’t cry for her anymore. Not usually.
And I didn’t. But my throat ached and I had to look hard into the bottom of my glass to see the grains of the table.

My sister restrained, and injected with anti psychotics.
Sedated. Unable to run. Unable to rebel against the controlling regime they force upon her.

It’s her fault.
I comfort myself.
It’s her fault.
She’s the one who tries to starve to death.
Again, I am cloaked by a choking sadness.

And I am a desperate teenager again, wanting to scream,

Lethergogetyourhandsoffmysisterleaveheraloneleaveherthefuckalone, tearing at their strong arms as they manhandle my beautiful, frantic, sobbing sister.

In real life, all the books fall out at once.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Delights of Duloxetine

I don't even want to think how long I have been taking the anti depressant, 'Citalopram' for. Perhaps a decade?

I guess that the efficacy of most medications decreases after long periods of time, although I have never heard this theory in relation to anti d's so cannot claim that this is the case.

However, last week, suffocated by a thickening black fog, I stumbled into the doctor's surgery (not a place I frequent unless death feels imminent) and admitted I had no desire to be alive anymore.

I sat hollowed and empty, crying without feeling the sensation of tears on my cheeks.
I answered questions that I can't remember, without being able to form coherent sentences.

A change in medication has been suggested before but I have always felt too anxious about the upheaval of such change. This time, I simply no longer cared.

I didn't care much about anything actually.

Didn't care when a man who had been staring at me in his car got out and followed me to a secluded area of woodland.

Didn't even care when he tried to make a move on me.

Nothing happened and I suppose I was lucky.

Either way, I find myself, a week into stopping Citalopram, a week into weaning onto Duloxetine (more famously, Cymbalta).

The effects have been good in terms of my mood, though at this point, it could well be a combination of factors, not least of which would be my return to work after the fraught Easter "Holiday" where I lived two weeks as a fugitive. Alternating between hideouts in the gym, supermarket car parks, retail outlets and coffee shops... Anywhere to avoid the pressure of food.

The downside is the side effects.
I haven't slept a full night for two weeks.
The pressure in my right ear is, at times, immense. My eardrum seems to oscillate constantly, and I am drive crazy by the fruitless attempts at yawning.
My stomach is bloated and rock solid. I am almost bent double from the acid pain that spreads from one end of my diaphragm to the other.
That kind of thing.

I have a huge amount going on in my mind but I feel unable to express any of it.

So what's new? I ask myself.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Dumbing Depression Down

Goodness knows that dignity is not an attribute one could ever ascribe to depression. However, in my experience, and it is just in my experience, the word 'depression' has been bandied around so liberally over the last decade, that it has lost any real gravitas that it may have had if perhaps, it had been reserved for the debilitating condition that it is, rather than using it to describe feeling a little bit low.

The increase in depression could well be a sign of our times:

Political and economic instability.
Threats of terrorism and nuclear attacks.
Less focus on family life.
An erosion of moral values.
Little emphasis on spirituality.
Normalising addictive behaviours.

None of it helps...

Equally though, the increase in depression could be the fact that we live in a society which, for whatever reason, has taken this word and diluted its meaning by applying it clumsily to anything which bears even the slightest resemblance to it.
Much like a person who has flu when their nose is running.
I suppose colds are dismissed, whereas flu is taken seriously.
Most people tend to want to be taken seriously.

I'm not having a rant. It sounds like it, I know.
In fact, I don't give a monkeys about whether or not people overuse or misuse the word. I would never, ever deny someone's need to be taken seriously.
I suppose that I'm just making the rather muddy point, that when the thief of depression comes and steals an entire part of your mind, your reasoning, your spirit and a huge part of your temporal and spatial awareness... it's different from 'getting out of the wrong side of the bed'.

This post isn't really what I wanted to write about at all.

I wanted to write about some of the things in my head and yet, to even attempt to go near them makes my whole body ache.

I started taking duloxetine (Cymbalta) two days ago, having resorted to my GP in desperation.
It would seem that eight year reign of Citalopram has left me feeling bankrupt and hopeless.
I suppose it's withdrawal but I am sore all over and unable to stay awake. That being said, I am also unable to stay asleep.

Moan, moan, moan. I know.

I still haven't written what I'd like to.
All my moaning, all my theorising, all my despair... They're all just bricks around floating fragments and words that I can't pick up.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

An Observation

rarely lends itself
to words

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Words Don't Come Easily

Somewhere in me there is a very very deep, dark space where my voice can't reach.
Pressed against the walls of that space are fragments of words, feathered, dried and bound like wheat sheaves.

For days, I've been sitting with these bundles pulsing painfully, making my chest hurt if I so much as dare to throw a glance inside... Causing a dry ache in my gut if, even for a second, I allow myself to try and pick through the rubble of broken sentences and separated syllables.

The number of times I have sat down to try to write something out of me... only to find that my brain slides, unable to even begin sorting through the pile of death that leaves me feeling so full and yet, so achingly empty.

I've wanted to come here and scream onto the screen. I've wanted to let words fall out on the virtual page with virtual thudding and crashing noise.

If only type could howl.

It all sounds a bit much, I daresay, and yet, melodrama makes me nauseous.

I think it is probably fairly bad depression.
That and the eating problem, disorder even. (Chaos, more like).


A list seems a good approach.

(Can I just say, I never wanted this blog to be like this.
I wanted it to be dispassionate, cynical even.
I wanted it to have the gall to be a little wise sometimes.
I wanted to offer insight into mental health problems, without actually sounding like I really had any...)

On with the list...
  • I realised something about my emetophobia that I'm not read to write about. And it may be nothing anyway, but it's been on my mind so it's going on the list.

  • I'm most of the way through a two week therapy break, which I thought I really didn't care about.

  • My eating 'problem' has been like an instrument of torture. It feels relentless and desperate.

  • I am genuinely questioning how long my heart will tolerate the hammering from hours of intense cardio exercise with no food in me.

  • I am just no sure how to make all this end

There's a lot more but it is pressed flat against walls and squeezed tight into corners that I can't reach.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter and the Joys of EDs

Sometimes it seems to me that I don't really have an eating disorder at all.
In fact, often when I think about it, I end up with the conviction that somehow it doesn't exist at all. It's all in my head.
Which of course, it is.
Kind of.

Celebration type days like today, faced with masses of food, unable to get to the gym after giving my body such a hammering yesterday, I start to question my doubts. (The absurd irony of having doubts about doubts doesn't escape me).

It is hard to describe the fear of weight gain after a few days of rigid control.

On the upside, driven by the fear, I went for a long walk in intermittent sunshine...
... and took a couple of (poor quality) pictures from the top of the hill.


Happy Easter to anyone who reads. And to those with an ED, well... I guess there are many who will find today difficult. There's a whole other post in there somewhere...

Saturday, 3 April 2010

A Fortress Deep And Mighty

Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries