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Alone.

For sharing your experiences and feelings about mental illness
amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Alone.

Postby amaya » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:26 pm

I would say screw them if they won't pay you for any hours that you work. Sorry to sound so harsh, but the manager should not be making you feel guilty. Any employee can have a mental or physical health problem at any time of the year and she is legally obliged to deal with that without discriminating. You have not let anyone down or put them in a difficult situation at all. You have taken a bit of time off when you were feeling ill after they worked you harder than promised. That could have just as easily happened if you caught the flu. Don't buy into the guilt trip. Part time hours sound like a good idea, but don't give them your Em wonderfulness for nothing. If you want to do that then do it for another charity not one that treats you that way. Anyone should be lucky to have you as an employee.

"Part of me doesn't give a sh*t and is relieved that I proved a point and don't have to go back there and exert myself to exhaustion, another part of me is p*ssed off at myself for allowing this to happen and annoyed at the person I've become, a further part is accepting of my inability to sustain constant success and achieve perfection, and the final part is proud of myself for coming further than I would have last year and for all that I achieved whilst at this job."
All understandable. Just believe me that you are awesome and learn how to pace yourself and you will be an asset wherever you work next. Really.

"Anorexia-wise, I want to be thin. I want to be painfully thin and there are times when I wish I would collapse and disappear. I know that's a bit sick but it's the truth and nobody knows that. I guess that's why I feel free to flit and don't care, because in all honestly I don't even want to be here."
Thanks for telling us. I can see why that is hard to let go of.

"But I am. So."
And that is something that makes the rest of us smile :)

"I get on with things as I always ever do."
Great things are going to come because of you being you. But you won't have to become perfect to achieve greatness, you will just have to accept that you are already good enough just the way you are and good things will just flow out of your warm and positivity. You are just ill, it is not something wrong with who you are as a person, just an illness.

Everything is going to be okay :)

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Alone.

Postby andthistoomustpass » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:56 pm

Hi Em!

You can't have a kick up the bony butt because that is not what you need. You need hugs and warmth and love. Enough of it so that maybe you start to believe you deserve it. I know you don't believe it but you really are an amazing person, not for making everyone laugh, not for working harder than everyone else, not for what you give to others but just for being you.

I'm okay when I'm the person who makes everyone in the office laugh and who works 50 hour weeks and takes on loads of responsibilities..... But being able to do all that exhausts me and when I feel I'm not able to cope I GO GO GO! I don't want others to think I'm crap.
It is exhausting to keep a mask up all the time, to fear being seen for who you are, to fear rejection. That is what I am reading from your post. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but if I am right then please try to drop the mask, it isn't easy and will take time, self awareness and effort but facing that fear, taking that risk can be so rewarding. Taking the weight of the mask off and finding out that people accept you anyway is so EMpowering. We all have our flaws and showing them, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable allows us to connect with others, to build relationships. When you see others accept you, maybe you will start to accept yourself too.

The problem with masks is your subconscious says something like this; 'I am unacceptable so I must wear a mask, anyone who is nice to me is being fooled by the mask. The fact they are being nice to the mask proves that the real me is unacceptable, I must become the mask.' That sets up massive internal conflict because you can't be true to yourself. What's more it is a lie. Will dropping the masks pee off some people. Yep. It will pee off those who get a payoff from whatever mask you wear around them, maybe you always put them first or make them feel good at the expense of feeling bad about yourself but taking off the mask will reduce that internal conflict and allow you to interact openly and honestly with others, generating genuine and mutually rewarding relationships. You will be amazed by how many people prefer honesty and assertiveness to acquiescence.

You are not perfect and never will be, no one is. That is the core of our humanity, the source of our empathy and the wellspring of the joy we feel at success. You are loved just as you are and rightly so.

Maybe I've got this all wrong and I've made a mistake with the above but so what? I am human and allowed to make mistakes. So are you.

Much love and care from me to you.
xxx

littleem
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:39 am

Hey Amaya and ATTMP!

Thanks for your posts.

Thanks Amaya, your kind words mean a lot.

They agreed that I can continue part time or on a casual basis in the new year. I will because I'll regret it if I don't but already I feel I want to just move on to something new.

This has much to do with what ATTMP explained about the mask. You hit the nail on the head here my friend so don't think you're way off at all! My mask in this case was 'Super New Employee'. I put it on to become the person who gets on with everyone and always has a good day and works all the hours God sends. The mask goes on to hide the anorexic. To hide the young woman who has faced a twenty minute silent battle with herself on the train to work about whether she should take the first sip of that supplement drink. To hide the tears in her father's eyes as he is struck by how thin she is, to hide her mother's eyes catching sight of my arms and the voice in my head that completely contradicts how people see me. The mask hides insecurity and low self-esteem and fear of rejection and self-hatred.

When the mask shifts even just a tiny bit, I bolt. So that day when I walked out of work suddenly, it was because I was struggling. I was tired and they'd asked me to help in the kitchen. The extraction fans were blowing freezing cold air right onto me. There was only one place I could work in the kitchen that day and it was where the fans were blowing most - right by the fridges and back door that would open frequently with staff going out and deliveries coming in. I don't do the cold. It honestly makes me feel ill. My hands were like ice! I was also physically exhausted and with not much to lose, had lost a little smidge of weight.

I was aware that there was so much to do that day and I pushed on but became overwhelmed by the depression and everything went blank. I had to go. I even put a mask on before leaving to tell the staff I was unwell. They agreed I looked a bit peaky but didn't realise it was because I had been making sandwiches in THE NORTH POLE all morning!

I've let the mask down before ATTMP, but not for a long time. As a teenager, I was hurt badly by friends and dumb boyfriends every time I took off the mask. None of that teenage stuff matters now obviously. I let the mask come off in Calcutta and felt accepted. I was hurt by one person I loved dearly but was able to forgive and move on and love them regardless because I had met the real, mask-free person as my real, mask-free self.

It is exhausting and these last few days I've been totally zapped.

Thanks for your insight ATTMP, it really made a lot of sense and helped a lot.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Alone.

Postby andthistoomustpass » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:47 am

So that day when I walked out of work suddenly, it was because I was struggling. I was tired and they'd asked me to help in the kitchen. The extraction fans were blowing freezing cold air right onto me. There was only one place I could work in the kitchen that day and it was where the fans were blowing most - right by the fridges and back door that would open frequently with staff going out and deliveries coming in. I don't do the cold. It honestly makes me feel ill. My hands were like ice! I was also physically exhausted and with not much to lose, had lost a little smidge of weight.

I was aware that there was so much to do that day and I pushed on but became overwhelmed


I'm trying to map the journey here.
1. Super EMployee puts the job before herself.
2. Super EMployee shouldn't get tired.
3. Super EMployee should be able to cope with the cold
4. Super EMployee mustn't let ill health get in the way.
5. Super EMployee must always do a perfect job, can cope with anything and doesn't get overwhelmed, ever.
6. Super EMployee must be liked and valued by everyone.

I'm not saying the above is right but it may be useful for you to carry out a similar exercise and ask yourself how many shoulds and musts are present? What cognitive distortions are present? What distorted preconceptions about yourself or others are present? How realistic are your expectations of yourself? How realistic and achievable are the goals you have set yourself?

Based on my entirely made up analysis it would appear that Super EMployee is always set up to fail but Super EMployee mustn't fail. This is a conflict that cannot be resolved and so leads to relapse.

None of that teenage stuff matters now obviously.
but it is still with us and we need to address it while not giving it undue importance. It is not what happened then that counts, it is how it affects us now.

Mindfulness is very good for turning off automatic pilot, for breaking habits of thought, feelings and behaviour by being present in and aware of the moment.

This isn't a good idea without professional support from a therapist but you could also try drawing a mind map. Entries on the map include: What masks do you wear, what roles do you play? What triggers them? Is it thoughts, feelings, memories, is it being understandably overtired in a body and brain already on the edge because of a lack of calories? Is it a mix of all? What mental and emotional states are you entering? What is the perceived payoff from each state of mind, from each mask? What are you avoiding thinking or feeling? What are the patterns of behaviour? Where does a pattern of thought, feeling or behaviour start? Trace its path on the map to where it ends.

The map will help you observe how you are acting, your whereabouts on the map. The next step would be to identify 'exits', ways to break the patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

This process can lead you down some pretty dark roads and it is important not to fall into the trap of turning self awareness into self criticism (which I think you have a habit of doing). I'd strongly recommend discussing it with a therapist instead of putting on the SUPER-EM! mask and trying to do it alone.

Hope some of that helps lovely Em.
xxx

littleem
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:01 pm

Yup. Sounds about right.

Super EMployee must ALWAYS put everyone ELSE first.
Super EMployee must ALWAYS please others, impress others and significantly exceed all others' expectations. SuperEMployee must never live up to how she is apparently perceived by others as someone who looks twelve years old who is thus not to be taken seriously, who is weird and annoying and embarrassing, who is different in a bad way and unable to fit in, who is a loser and a failure and who is ugly, childish, needy and pathetic.
SuperEMployee must always be able to do something right first time and consistently. SuperEMployee must never have a bad moment, let alone a bad day.
SuperEMployee should be able to sustain fifty hour working weeks consistently despite lack of sleep, nutrition or poor health.
SuperEMployee should be able to work as many hours as humanly possible without problem.
SuperEMployee must easily make friends with all work colleagues and be liked by ALL.
SuperEMployee must have a good, worth while job. SuperEMployee EM will never get a job or a life as good as her brothers, friends or anyone else because the true ShittyEM lacks qualifications, experience, intelligence, skills, confidence and solid mental cognition. ShittyEM is therefore scum, an embarrassment, a failure, a loser and a joke. SuperEMployee must never reveal her!
SuperEMployee mustn't let ANYTHING WHATSOEVER slip otherwise it's GAME OVER for ShittyEM and SuperEMployee must then find another 'good' job as soon as possible annnnnd.... Repeat.

Woah. Hefty, heh?

I left the job. I'm proud of my achievements there and yada yada yada, but I just know I'm not up to it. My depression has been the worst it's been in a year over these last few days. It took me until 2pm this morning to motivate myself to buy tea bags that my mam asked me to pick up two days ago. I'm totally exhausted and despite sleeping and supplementing, no sleep ever feels enough. This heavy sadness has been weighing me down. Even when I've gone out, I can't wait to be back home.

I'm happy to spend Christmas Day with my family. I went a bit all out this year because of how much they've done for me so it will be nice to spend the day with them. The hostel could get a tad depressing. I saw two overdoses in one day and everyone is so intoxicated and sick on drugs. It's hard to see. I don't want to sound selfish, but I would rather spend the day with my loving family and joyful little niece and by going to Church. I'm not letting them down by not going. They have loads of volunteers!

Maybe this is how I'll function. Getting jobs when I can and trying my best at life. I want to work. I want to do many things. My friends are currently in India for Christmas and are sending me lots of

littleem
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:14 pm

Photos. It doesn't make me sad as such as I know I'd be in no fit state to be out there with them! But it makes me sad thinking about who I once was and who I've become now.

There have been times in my life when I haven't had depression so this gives me hope that there will be a time again when I won't have it and will function better.

I just can't help but think what is actually going to be the thing that works to get rid of it?! I've had this bad spell for a whole year now. I spend last Christmas Day in bed because I was 'tired' from working the night before. Lots of great things have happened this last year yes, but am I any further along in beating depression?!

I've tried it all. Three types of AD meds plus increasing the ones that seem to work. Eating healthy and physical exercise (pre-anorexia!), fresh air and getting out and about each day, one hundred million jobs and voluntary opportunities and even much more suitable 'real' jobs, self-care and doing things I enjoy like all that painting, I got to crisis point in hospital but now I'm moving forward taking in vitamins, healthy foods and supplements, I have no underlying health conditions, I have had loads of therapy with a fantastic therapist privately, I've read self-help books, I've caught up with old friends, I am blessed to have the most amazing family ever around me, I have a faith that helps and reassured me..... So why the hell am I still having days where I feel like something OUTSIDE OF ME is deciding whether I feel like absolute shit or need to sleep excessively or that prevents me from getting up, showering and going out. Anorexia is something else, but depression is hands down the most horrible thing I have ever had to experience. I'm trying but it's still not f*cking going anywhere.

So I don't know where to go with that other than to just continue existing or have some kind of brain operation that takes out the feeling shit bit and replaces it with some real GENUINE joy.

amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Alone.

Postby amaya » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:35 pm

I think it is awesome that you can write all that analysis down. I know right now you are just looking at a pile of issues and can't quite see the way forwards, but you are going forwards even though it doesn't feel like it and being able to function introspectively like that is one of the reasons that I know you are going to be okay. Because when you have the right support in place from the CMHT you are really going to be able to use it. You and me both are in a bit of limbo land at the moment. But I have a hope for both of us that with some right support and therapy we can stop feeling like we are going in circles and start really moving forwards in life.

RealEM is fabulous.

"I left the job." Woohoo! Good for you. I was worried they were going to vampire the life out of you. You will work at some point I know it. And you will get better at finding the right balance.

Glad you can be with your family at xmas, that is so nice :)

"My friends are currently in India for Christmas and are sending me lots of
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littleem
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

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Unread postby littleem » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:14 pm
Photos."
Way to build suspense.. like it. Have we talked before about you becoming a writer? XD

"It doesn't make me sad as such as I know I'd be in no fit state to be out there with them! But it makes me sad thinking about who I once was and who I've become now."
Don't mix up your illness with your identity. RealEM can go and do things like that when she is fit and when she is ill she is resting instead. And it is all good and it is all you.

Have you been through a diagnostic process with a psychiatrist or a psychologist ever? Or were the anorexia and depression diagnosed by a GP?

"am I any further along in beating depression?!"
Yes because you are learning all the time. I believe you can beat it. But like me you probably need a bit of in depth research and support to get there.

Are you still painting? Art is so awesome from grounding you, giving you focus, feeling like you are achieving things etc etc. And it is just damn good fun.

"So why the hell am I still having days where I feel like something OUTSIDE OF ME is deciding whether I feel like absolute shit or need to sleep excessively or that prevents me from getting up, showering and going out. Anorexia is something else, but depression is hands down the most horrible thing I have ever had to experience. I'm trying but it's still not f*cking going anywhere."
Depression can feel like that. But I was wondering what was triggering the depressive periods. Your physical health due to the anorexia could be enough of a factor. But this trying to be perfect and please people all the time thing is what makes me raise the question of diagnosis, because psychological there maybe something underlying triggering the depression.

One of the things I have often thought about depression, is that in some people, it seems to be a selfstanding condition. With others, like myself, it is a symptom (despite being a diagnosable illness in itself) of another illness. In my case CPTSD and a couple of personality disorders. I honestly believe if I get my trauma resolved and have a bit of therapy for the personality disorders then I will stop having depressive periods all together. Who knows whether I am right or not, but it is a theory and a hope that I have.

We are very different and my musings may have nothing to do with reality in your case. But it did just make me wonder about what diagnosis work you had had.

"So I don't know where to go with that other than to just continue existing or have some kind of brain operation that takes out the feeling shit bit and replaces it with some real GENUINE joy."
If you find the person doing these brain operations please let me know, I have some pieces I want removed too! XD

How are you planning to cope with the xmas food? If you need a rant about how that will make you feel do feel free.. I am sure it is a hard time for you.

I will be thinking of you through the xmas days and popping on here from time to time. Look after you xx

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Alone.

Postby andthistoomustpass » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:38 pm

Hi lovely Em!

My musings on your post, as ever I don't claim to be an expert on you, all I can do is apply what you have said to my experiences and hope that it helps.

ShittyEM lacks qualifications, experience, intelligence, skills, confidence and solid mental cognition. ShittyEM is therefore scum, an embarrassment, a failure, a loser and a joke, not to be taken seriously, who is weird and annoying and embarrassing, who is different in a bad way and unable to fit in, who is a loser and a failure and who is ugly, childish, needy and pathetic.
Woah indeed! I think we have found the cause of the depression ;) Great openness and self awareness btw. Naming something is the first step to dealing with it. Disclosing it to others and finding the judgement will not be like we feared, is the second.

Negative beliefs lead to negative predictions, lead to a fear that cannot be escaped because we don’t sufficiently believe in an alternative possibility, leading to feelings of being trapped in pointlessness and depression. Leads to no longer being able to see the wonder and pleasure in life’s journey, no longer being able to see that it is a journey. The lack of sleep and nutrition will act as a magnifying glass to these feelings. No wonder you feel this way. Anyone would have major problems starting with that self view.

I noticed your game over comment. I used to have a very similar belief;
‘If I let one thing slip then it will all be destroyed.’ I know the sort of pressure, fear and pain that results.

You still manage to function despite all those beliefs and everything else you cope with. You have not given in. You are strong, EMazing and capable of so much more than you believe.

But it makes me sad thinking about who I once was and who I've become now.

You are entitled to feel sad or any other emotion, you are entitled to grieve over lost hopes and opportunities but kicking ourselves when we are down is as habitual as heroin so it is important to be sure we are not doing that. Grief is a process, moving forward, in due time, is part of that process.

You CAN change, your future doesn't have to be the lies you are telling yourself. I was in my mid-thirties before I had this sort of self awareness. I share a lot of those negative self beliefs and had no qualifications, experience, friends, family support or social skills. I have changed and am still changing, so can you.

Struck by a quote from Pep Guardiola (the master motivator) after today’s football;
‘you can always learn and improve, individually or collectively, so it is not a target to be perfect - it does not exist in the world.’

I learn something new each day. I change a little each day and I am learning to love the journey, the ups and the downs. I am starting, maybe just a little, to love, respect and value myself too. Despite the lies I tell myself I really do have more good days than bad and I am enjoying so much of life. I partly use my diary here to remind myself of that.

Our sense of self worth doesn’t lie in what we do, it isn’t something anyone else or society can give to us. It is something we find and nurture in ourselves. I picture a scout rubbing sticks together over some dry leaves, protecting that spark and gently adding more leaves, twigs, then sticks, etc until it is a roaring fire. I think that in order to find that first spark to nurture we must start to reduce beating ourselves up, start to challenge the negative beliefs about ourselves or learn to ignore them.

I’m glad you have left the job, self care and all that. I am going to use this as another excuse to mither you about education to put you in a position to find a role you may enjoy, a role where you can really utilise your many capabilities. I know you don’t believe you are intelligent but your intelligence shines through in your writing so I know you are clever. Education will be less stressful and triggering than work and probably more satisfying too. Maybe think about it?

The masks are interesting. You have identified two. Super Employee you show to bosses and colleagues and the mask you show yourself, ShittyEm. Both unrealistic distortions of the truth which put immense pressure on you. Do you think it would be helpful to identify more? The masks you wear around family, friends, in the shops, bumping into an old friend, meeting someone new, etc. The masks you wear when you feel vulnerable or under pressure, etc. Maybe then you could check each one as I set out in my last post. See if they really are helpful or are they your subconsious’s misguided attempts to keep you safe which are actually holding you back? You can check if they are realistic too using your CBT. I doubt you will find any that are realistic but on the off chance you do, so what? If they are not of help then you are perfectly entitled to ignore them.

I read Amaya’s comment too and I am not sure I like the idea of RealEM. That has the flavour of being another mask or a state of being where you feel you SHOULD be and can beat yourself up for not being. I have found the most progress in letting go of the masks. Not all the way there yet but I am enjoying the benefits of each step forward I take, enjoying the journey.

Hope some of that helps wonderful Em. Have a great Christmas and enjoy the love and warmth surrounding you and which I am sure you surround others with too.

Your caring friend in fair weather or foul.
Me
xxx

littleem
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:03 am

Hey ATTMP!

Happy Christmas!

How are you? How was your Christmas Day? Are you enjoying yourself and relaxing over this festive period? I hope you're well and having lots of much deserved time for you. Did you decide on any theatre shows?

My anorexia was diagnosed by a psychiatrist when I was hospitalised aged ten. My family and I were all a bit shocked as labelling whatever had been going on with me with this big 'anorexia' word felt scary. Then I was treated under the child and adolescent mental health team when I was seventeen and had relapsed. That was a multidisciplinary team overseen by a clinical psychiatrist.

With regards to the depression, it involved me going to the GP a year ago and crying through the appointment before leaving with some anti depressant and a referral to the CMHT. I had monthly appointments from then on and support didn't kick in until an assessment with a CBT therapist and fish face back in June. I had lost a substantial amount of weight by now but was sent away from the eating disorders team with advice to seek therapy for depression and low self esteem.... Which, erm, I'm still waiting on. I met with a psychiatrist from the CMHT in September who tried me on the third anti depressant of the year, sertraline. I've not seen him since and the GP guides me with these meds. So.... No major diagnosis process with the depression but I definitely 100% have this ugly black dog of death digging its sharp claws into my back to weigh me down and engulf me in its misery.

What's causing it?

I first had depression aged 19. I had fully recovered from anorexia and left home for a fantastic college opportunity. I was bullied. Turns out everyone on the course was laughing behind my back saying I looked like 'Dobby' from Harry Potter and so on. My roommate was horrible to me and totally vulgar. It's all past now but at the time it crushed me as I had worked so hard to overcome anorexia and believe I was of worth and not ugly, hideous etc.... So when I came home I didn't leave the house for nine months. I stayed in bed and hated myself. What caused the depression then was psychological. I believed I was a failure and lots of other nasty untrue things about myself and also the rejection hurt me and made me feel sad. I snapped out of it when my dear Grandmother suddenly passed away. I didn't have time to mope and put all my everything into looking out for my mother and family. Then I met the Nuns and my life took off and changed completely.

Before this, I experienced some symptoms of depression whilst anorexic. It was never really bad and was an expected symptom of anorexia. My eating disorder attacked my mind then in a very different way than it does now and it made me more depressed and angry back then. I'm more accepting, insightful and positive this time around.

My relapse into this depression now was triggered by feelings of failure and rejection whilst in Bosnia volunteering 18 months ago! The depression intensified as these feelings were reinforced by difficult experiences in India, not joining the Convent as planned and being treated badly at dead-end and horrible jobs.

My anxiety thus rises each time I fear failing because I am scared of being rejected if I fail.... Which is why I bolt out of so many jobs and situations. But, then that leaves me more depressed once the initial relief passes.

If I ever eventually meet with a therapist, I believe some good CBT structured sessions will honestly help. I was due to meet her today but she had to go for an X-ray in Accident and Emergency so that can't be helped.

Being exhausted is a HUGE trigger for depression. Overworking, stress, not sleeping, yeah okay not eating anything too (although I am being very well behaved here. The sewer rats are back to being scrawny again.) all knacker me out physically and then of course mentally. Food is another HUGE trigger for the jobs not working. Whilst the homeless hostel was great, it became food related. They were asking me each day to help in the kitchen as I was good at it but it's not good for me. My anorexia is obsessed with feeding others but starving me. I wasn't just feeding the hungry homeless. The anorexia was starving the hungry me. The day I left I was freezing as I told you and I couldn't cut this stupid piece of meat. I stopped and thought, 'what am I doing here with food again? I haven't eaten a cooked meal or any hot food for almost a whole year and I was recently fed through my nose with a tube. It's ridiculous that I'm preparing hundreds of meals that I won't so much as sniff myself!' So 50+ hour weeks and it becoming kitchen based.... Not a good combination. I was told at interview that the job was 40 hours 8am-4pm five days and was not told how much time I would be spending in the kitchen! I was expected to work over 50 hours six days a week and to finish as late as 6pm all without being asked and was in the kitchen on a daily basis.

Still, I am immensely proud of myself for everything that I achieved during my time at this job, for my fundraising efforts and for going for a job in a more meaningful environment for the first time ever!

I'm looking for something with less hours now which has no food, please!! Roll on job number 525 hahaha!

So, self-care, rest and balance will all help too as well as an achievable job.

What baffles me is what is sustaining this depression. Often, (or rather, nearly always!) I feel severely depressed for no actual reason at all. Nothing triggers the desperately low mood and empty sensation. I could be out in the fresh air, surrounded by family, it could be Christmas Day even.... And I feel just NOTHING. I love my little nieces to bits but even when I'm with them, I am unable to feel the genuine joy. I watch comedians I used to laugh at and just don't find them funny. No matter what I do to fight the depression, nothing eases it. It feels like a force outside of me deciding when I will become unhappy and for how long. There are times when I am able to just sit and stare at nothing for ages. There is a real, deep and aching emptiness within me.

I am able to feel but the emotions are negative. At Church on Christmas Eve, I very unexpectedly started sobbing my heart out. I felt like I could have cried forever. I also have been feeling very angry and irritated. Sort of like I have a lot of angry energy I need to work off by running or punching a pillow or shouting lots of expletives or whatever. Just pissed off is the best way of wording it. But I cannot feel genuine happiness. I can fake it until the cows come home and I WANT to feel it and know when I should. I am positive and I am grateful. I just cannot feel genuine happiness.

This is why I joked about having a piece taken out of my brain and a new piece of happiness put in instead. It's how I feel! The sertraline felt like it was wearing off so I upped it to 150mg last month. It's not working. Those around me feel it isn't touching me either. But I can't just keep trying AD meds can I? The next would be my fourth attempt!

I have been made aware of the real existence of the severity of my eating disorder on several occasions around the Christmas period. Today, I went for coffee with my dad. I treated him. I ordered a black coffee to put my supplement drink in but because I ordered a size that was huge, even though it was black coffee and had no calories in it, I would have felt greedy if I had drunk from this larger cup. So the supplement went in the bin, my coffee went untouched and my dad decided we'd leave and have coffee at home. I drank it with my supplement no problem all because I used a smaller cup. Bonkers. Likewise, my uncle recently made me a coffee and because he put a tiny bit of evaporated milk rather than usual milk in it, I froze and couldn't even take a sip. If I had, it would have ruined my whole evening. My mother cried before we went to my brother's for Christmas dinner. All was fine. I ate a yogurt and a cereal bar and everything was fine but what alarmed me was my inability to even take a mouthful of turkey for my family's sake.

I've lost weight. I don't know how. I seemed to have lost it since leaving the job which is weird. I've done less and taken all my nutrients. I'm two pounds over what I was when I was admitted to hospital. The weird thing is, is that now my head is screaming the complete opposite at me. Bonkers. I've been very tired and sleeping a lot. I'm glad of the weight loss but baffled by it all the same.

I plan to start the art work again in the new year. So, next week! Haha! I would love to do another fete for charity in the Spring.

Christmas has been nice and there are a lot of positives and a lot to be thankful for as always.

I know this post has been loooooong. I guess I just really needed to get all that waffle off my chest. Goodness knows what this all sounds like! I never read back my posts before posting them out!

I've needed to talk and I need that outlet somewhere of dumping things, you know? My eating disorder is stronger than I thought and my depression is getting worse. I'm tired and I don't want 2018 to be as difficult as 2017 has been. I don't know how much more I can take!!

Do let me know how you're getting on.

Take care of yourself,

Em xxx

P.S. I think Amaya used the term 'RealEM' to show the REAL and un-masked version of me - ie. The real Em. Rather than 'RealEM' being a mask I put on. Is that right?

P.P.S. Thanks for referring to 'ShittyEm' as a mask of how I view myself. I didn't see this as a mask, but rather as the real and unmasked me!

littleem
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:28 am

ATTMP,
Just a tad more waffle! Haha!

My concerns with studying... It would be costly and I don't have very good sticking power. I unfortunately have been known to throw hundreds of pounds away on wasted opportunities that I've half-heartedly dropped out of. I've booked flights I never took and lost four hundred quid on an Indian visa earlier this year, so I wouldn't pay to do something now unless I KNEW I 100% wanted it and wouldn't give up on it. I couldn't do a degree because I really just couldn't get myself into debt on top of everything else haha! I don't need any more stresses haha! There also aren't any courses that I'm all that interested in locally.

Thank you though, for the suggestion and for believing in me.

I know success doesn't lie in what we do. At my happiest in India, my days were spent washing soiled laundry with my hands and feet in 40 degree humid heat, shaving lice ridden hair, dressing in daft baggy trousers and a badass bandana, paying two pence for a bus ride and sleeping in a dorm with eight random people! Life was simple but beautiful.

I often yearn to go back there. Sometimes I think I will just for a short while. Maybe a week. Like a little holiday in a sort of therapeutic and nostalgic way. I miss it for many reasons.

I have identified several masks that I wear to hide my fear of failure and rejection - the very root of my anorexia and this depression. I don't wear a mask when I am with the Nuns. Being in their company calls me to be more positive and grateful bur this is good. I felt I could be The Real Em without a mask when i was in India and when I am in their company in the UK too.


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