Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Pep Talk

Yesterday, after a bit of a breakdown, I was trying to explain to mum the logic behind what I refer to as 'negative mantras'.

I tell myself over and over again, for example, that I will never be good enough. Mum sees it as a negative reinforcement of he belief. But to me, it makes it better. When I'm upset, I can cry and scream that I'll never be good enough and work myself into a frenzy. Then I'll calmly start repeating the same words.
  "I'll never be enough, I'll never be enough."
And I stop panicking.

As I tried to explain to mum, I think it's my warped way of trying to convince myself it's okay. It's okay if I'm never good enough/thin enough/happy enough/intelligent enough/beautiful enough/successful enough/enough in general. If I achieve it one day, great, but if not, at least I've prepared myself.

Then today, I remembered that in Unbearable Lightness. Portia de Rossi writes of when she was younger:
    "In order to prepare myself for a less than perfect result, I would occasionally give myself the opposite of a pep talk by writing hundreds of times in a journal 'I will not get honours', as I awaited the results of a ballet exam, for example. I'm not sure if this ritual actually helped me to accept the less than perfect grade I was preparing myself for, because I always did get honours."

It got me thinking, maybe it's not an uncommon thing for people with eating disorders, or even other mental health issues, to do this. So, open mic time. For those of you who can relate, I'd be interested to hear why you think you do it, in your words.

On a lighter note, I've always been a hoarder. One aspect of which is food hoarding, which I know a lot of people with EDs do. Usually with food, it's just having a hard time throwing certain things out, or not throwing out packets (empty or full) until I replace them.

I've recently discovered Nature Valley oat bars. I don't eat them every day, but they've become a bit of a staple for me. They've been on special over the past few weeks for as little as $2.00 a box, and between my recent savings attempts combined with marathons of Extreme Couponing and the aforementioned hoarding, I couldn't resist starting my post-apocalypse stockpile, I mean, taking advantage of more than 50% off.

Over roughly three weeks, I bought nearly 30 boxes.

Misty, feeling much better than she was last week. She's currently taking full advantage of the heating being on due to the current wintry chill.


Monday, 23 May 2016

Monday Musings

I finally saw my GP last week, after putting it off for over a month. Maybe 6 weeks? But everything was fine. We're working on a plan to get me to this new psychologist in the next couple of months, so she's really not budging on that one. On the upside, she didn't make me choose a benzo to drop, which was a huge relief. It'd be nice to have a more regular dosage again, but for now, it's better than nothing.

She and the dietician are now helping me make appointments while I'm in with them, as until I can get on the phone (which I've never been able to do), it's the only way. Getting to the reception desk in the busy waiting room alone is such a huge barrier, and I'm not even sure why. For now, the girls bring the EFTPOS machine into the room, and an appointment time if necessary.

I've been putting off getting weighed. When the dietician last weighed me, I'd just been discharged from hospital, and was nearly at a new lowest weight. I'd been eating so much in hospital - similar to how much I'm eating now - 900-1,200 calories most days, which was a big increase from before hospital. But I'm starting to think the only reason I lost so much weight was because I was fighting an infection and having my system constantly flushed from the IV antibiotics. Since reaching that low weight and coming home, I tried to keep my intake up, but much to my distress, the scales just kept slowly crawling up.

Since then, I've put on a few kilos, which was to be expected, but I've not been coping with it as well as I thought I would. Now I feel like I have to drive my weight back down before she can weigh me again, even though when I was last weighed, my GP warned it couldn't drop any further.

Now she's away for two weeks, and we've agreed to weigh-in when she gets back. I don't want to get in trouble for dropping even lower, but I don't particularly want to have gained, either.

I'm not as concerned about food as I am about... well, everything else. For some time now, since mum started backing away, the dietician's been the only person I can talk with face-to-face. It's not the same with my GP. With the dietician, I can be open about what's on my mind, and not having that contact over the next few weeks is going to be hard.

I've also been reading a lot of literature on the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the food groups, how big a serving should be and how many servings I should be getting. After calculating my 'serves' for the last week, I don't even get halfway, even on 1,000+ days. The only food group I eat enough of is dairy, and the most deficient being protein (I should be getting some 2 ½ 'servings', but I never eat more than ½ over the course of a day).

My little miss Misty hasn't been feeling too well the last couple of days. She's seemed a little 'off', and last night I spotted a sizable cut at the base of her tail. I have no idea what happened, as she rarely leaves the fenceline of the house, and it's been a while since there's been a cat fight on our property. She's having trouble moving and jumping, so I've put blankets down throughout the house, but for now, she's being treated like a princess.


Monday, 16 May 2016

Newest Sewing Projects

In slightly unrelated news, last week I finally finished the apron I was making for the dietician.

In December, my local fabric store had this gorgeous Japanese printed cotton. I'd seen a couple I'd liked before, but when I asked mum to pick me up a sample scrap, they were all too light. This was the first one that was a suitable weight, and I couldn't resist the vibrant colours. Having seen her taste in fashion every week for the past four years, I knew she'd love it (or at least, I hope she will).

It might be a little belated for a Christmas gift, but between my health, both physical and mental, and juggling the contents of my sewing room around the house while I repainted (which is finally done, after unexpectedly needing more paint), I haven't been able to sew as much as I'd like.

I'm still working on drafting and sewing a few of my own patterns - a nightie and pyjama shorts, a few camisoles, trackies - which is a new experience for me. Hopefully once I have everything back in place in my 'new' sewing room, now that it's finally painted, I'll be able to dedicate more time to it (it's been gutted completely, right down to the furniture, so I currently have a blank slate).

I even made a matching oven mitt (which I've always intended to make with aprons, but never have).

I've also still been slowly working away on my "Shearing at Newstead" tapestry. I've spent over 80 hours on it in the past two years, and I'm not even halfway done. I think I underestimated the enormity of the project.

I also wanted to share this picture that I got from the lovely Katie Elizabeth a couple of months ago. Last year, I sent her a couple of little dresses for her beautiful baby girl. It was such a joy to see her wearing her little sailor dress. My only regret is that I didn't have time to make matching headbands.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016


I suppose I should probably start with a bit of follow-up on my birthday.

I wish I had something positive or poignant to say, reflecting on times gone by or what the future may hold.
But I don't.

The day itself was a bust. It was a blur of tears and medication. I had two full days of meds, plus four days of PRNs I'd managed to save. I kept nodding off, had crazy restless legs, and couldn't focus enough to hit the right keys on my phone. It was a mess. I was a mess. I woke up the next day with a blank memory except for dinner (Japanese and the better part of a bottle of red).

I hate birthdays more and more with each year that passes. Talking with my brother about the joys of getting older, I realised that what I feel is beyond the "it's just another day, no big deal, with I could just skip it" mentality. My birthday actively depresses me. I could come up with a million reasons why, but the most obvious is that it's a day to celebrate another year of life, and I've never seen that as something to celebrate.

Talking to the dietician, she asked if I'd had any good birthdays in the past, but I haven't really. Last year we went down the coast, went out for dinner, but I still ended up locked in the hotel bathroom self-harming all night. My 19th, I went out drinking for the first time, and ended up freaking out and running home in bare feet. The only good birthday I can remember was my 13th, when I'd just gotten out of hospital from The Big OD and was celebrating survival and life. Ten years later, I can't say I'm celebrating it.

The dietician has been my biggest support, even more so of late, since mum started stepping back. This morning I asked if she could help me book an appointment to see my GP next week, since mum won't anymore. When mum stopped coming to reception with me, I stopped going. The girls bring in the EFTPOS machine and I pay in the office. I don't know what it is - I know all the staff and get on well with them. I think it's the waiting room and the amount of people and just feeling 'out there'. Today when the dietician went to get the receptionist, she asked when I was thinking of seeing my GP. When she came back, she had a card with an appointment time good to go.

Later this week, mum's going away for three nights. I'm probably looking forward to it more than her. Over the past few years, things have really changed. It's no longer scary. I want to be alone. It does also help that my brother is now single, so I won't actually be home alone which helps with a lot of the fears.

It wasn't for my birthday, but mum's falls one week after mine, and so I made her a carrot cake. It's not my neatest job - the frosting was left out of the fridge for too long so it's a bit sloppy.