My name is Matt Christian and i have an eating disorder. The journey……….Midweek Update….

Hey Guys. Mid week update time…..

Two appointments this week. First one was Tuesday with the eating disorders Doctor. I had a feeling i was in for a tough time from considering i had not really done what was discussed at the assessment. I had not really upped my calories over the week. As explained last week my brain is not letting me in at the moment.

So we sat down and got on with the meeting. First up she wanted to weigh me. Uh oh!! I was not sure if i had put any weight on or stayed the same? The answer came and it was not good news! I had lost 2lb in a week!! This may not sound much but when you are in my situation any weight loss is bad news! I had to find out how much i weighed now? 7 stone 6lbs was the answer from the Doctor. This was not what had discussed at all. I needed to up the intake. She beat me to the answer…… I had had hardly any carbs over the week and this was the result!!! We needed a plan of action TODAY! So we set about the rest of the meeting. We discussed all what i had done over the week since the first meeting i told her how i cried when i got back to work. She was pleased that i had done that, as i had told her how i felt it hard to cry. She told me that letting my emotions out would definitely help the healing process. I explained how the guilt was hitting me every time i felt i had eaten to much. We then moved on and analysed the food diary that i had been keeping. She did not even need to read the whole thing, the first couple of days were enough information for her to realise what i had been doing………. She laid things on the line. Carbs were needed and we needed to introduce them to at least one meal i was having during the day. She informed me also having consulted my blood test results that my Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, and Electrolyte levels were all more than likely low. So we need to address this. I have Soya milk in my porridge so the first thing was to make sure this had added Calcium which i was to check on soon as i returned home. So we set about formulating a plan, we needed to introduce those carbs and it had to be done. We decided on 3 things that i need to do for next week. No excuses this time either they needed to be done. We agreed that carbs in at least one meal was the way forward to start with. I can decide at what meal i put them in but they needed to go in. I decided on lunch time, so starting today i was to have a roll with the ham salad i had bought to work for lunch. Secondly having looked at my drinking habits she suggested that i had at least one glass of fruit juice a day if i could manage more then great. It had to be juice not squash. I agreed on orange juice and again it was my choice when in my day i was to have it. We discussed many other options including dried fruit,nuts and other bits and pieces all of which could be added  breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I was not very comfortable with these ideas as i felt very overwhelmed. No problem these can all be introduced slowly as i progress i was told. For now concentrate on just 3 things. We needed a 3rd and it came in the shape of the perceived view i have of my body. I had bought my phone with me to this meeting to show her the picture that i take religiously every night. As we went through the pictures and discussed what she was seeing in comparison to what i was seeing. I showed her pictures of myself 3, 4 years ago, she could not believe i was the same person…….. What i saw in those pictures was my fat face, i was over weight etc she did not see any of that at all. She explained to me that what i see in the mirror and in my pictures in a distorted view of what every one else sees. I was lost?? Sh carried on……. Basically when you look in a mirror or take a photo, you do not see the whole image as it were. You will never see yourself how others see you because it is impossible to see yourself from every angle in a mirror or photo. It sounded odd to me but the more she carried on the more it made sense. Let me simplify it…… In a mirror or photo for example you see only one angle of yourself, if you are unhappy with that angle you move to another angle that you are happy with, thus the view you get is distorted its not the whole picture. This was to be the 3rd thing. I needed to stop taking the pictures the constant body checking as its called. I would never be able to do that i thought?? These pictures she explained need to stop because all they are doing is feeding the obsession. They are not helping with the recovery process. I sat there and tried to push some bizarre excuses for carrying on with them. I even suggested i take one one day then skip a day then take one next cut down slowly as it were. NO they stop all together was the reply. Doing it that way would make things worse because every other day would cause serious over analysing, cutting them out all together was the only way. My next question.  Do i have to delete the ones i have already on my phone? No keep them on there until i am ready to delete them. She felt with the way my head was with guilt it would not be a good step.

So we had 3 steps.

1. Carbs with at least one meal.

2. At least one glass of fruit juice.

3. Stop the picture/ body checking.

Small steps yes, and to you guys probably easy and simple. To me however these are massive.

As the meeting concluded just after an hour, which to me had flown by, she handed me various pieces of literature which she felt would be helpful for me. One page explained Body image and body dissatisfaction, the next was sheets on the complications of Anorexia Nervosa, this was accompanied with a list of symptoms of semi starvation and starvation. She feels at this current time i am in between the two and having read them i agree! (Scary). The next sheet was explanations of what Normal Eating is and what Normal Eating is not. This is done in the form of bullet points. I have had time to read of of it in great depth as yet but i am sure it will make for helpful reading for me. The last sheet was a proper sheet to keep a record of my food and fluid intake. She felt this would be easier for when i see the dietitian in a couple of weeks. I would be receiving the appointment through the post soon.

So with armed with all this info the meeting ended. I returned to work to hopefully put the plan in to action.  First of the steps came at lunch time. As ever lunch was a late as it could be.  Now the feeling of guilt and hatred towards myself as i ate the roll with my salad were horrible. But i am pleased to say that step 1 was done. Step 2 came after work. I retired to my usual spot of the coffee house and ordered a tea and a glass of orange juice. This step was a little easier on my brain than the roll….. Step 2 done!!  Now step 3 came as i went to bed. The desire to get the phone out and start snapping and analysing the pictures was a very difficult to resist. However i managed it. All 3 done!!!! I am proud of myself. But the big big question for me is….. can i do it for another day??? This i am afraid i do not know? One thing is that i am going to give it a go. It is all i can do. I realise i will fall a few times on this journey,  so for the time being one day at a time………………..

Second appointment of the week was today. Psychological doctor. This appointment was to discuss all my feelings, emotions and general causes of my illness. How all of these have manifested to get me to arrive at this point.  We need to get to the root of the problems i face. I have a lot of issues in my life, something which i am not going to get into on here i do not feel this platform is the correct place for this type of information, plus i not in any position to share things that deeply. What i will say however is that i have a deep seated hatred of myself, i have low self esteem, low self confidence (which you may find strange considering i am writing this). I dislike the way i look, hence the issues.

So we began the meeting by going through and talking a little about some of things in my past that i feel have led me down this path to this illness. This was more difficult than opening up about the eating for some reason. But i battled my way through recounting  the various things that have happened over the last few years, going right back to when i was at school.  I laid my soul bare as she made intense notes whilst asking questions as i went along. All the questions i found led neatly onto the next problem very clever i thought, patching the causes so a solution can hopefully be found.

Once i had finished she fed back to me what she felt were my key issues. She felt i was very negative all the time, i was distant from my emotions, i am very paranoid, and very angry. She also felt that i needed to gain more social interaction, she told me she felt i had shut myself off from the world and to get out of this cycle maybe i should think about joining some clubs or try and evening course. This she felt would be very helpful as it would help take my mind off the negativity that is ruling my life currently. I am not 100% sure i am ready for this just yet but something to consider for the future. These issues will be addressed and connected together over the next 4 sessions with her, a plan will be put into place and to go forward with. This i feel is going to be a very very difficult part of my recovery as i have carried many of these issues around with me for so many years. I have never really spoken about them before they have been bottled up and stored. As the meeting came to an end, another hour having flown by i was given some goals to achieve by the next meeting as with the eating disorders.

So the steps

1. Everyday say something positive to myself whether be in my head or out loud.

2.  Think about the positive things people say to me throughout the day. Do not just dismiss them and turn them negative. Use them to move forward take them on board.

Now these are only 2 steps,  massive ones for somebody like me who has nothing but negative thoughts everyday.  But i agreed to them and starting tomorrow i will try and fulfil them. I know this will be tough but i need to try and do them so i can continue of the path to recovery.

I left the session again feeling as i had Tuesday that progress had been made. I had the added feeling as i left this particular session that a little bit of the weight had been lifted off my shoulders that i had been carrying around for so many years.

As is standard for every Wednesday i continued the rest of my day off by doing various chores around the house. I picked Number 1 up from school as usual lots of hugs and kisses especially as she had done well in her spelling and her maths yet again. We spent the rest of the afternoon messing around we planted some seeds which had got from a school trip last week , we went to the park. We proceeded home for her to have her dinner after which i helped her tidy her room (well i cleaned it). Number 1 spent the time dive bombing onto her bed and trying to make more mess. After this it was time for me to make my way home. As i bid her goodbye the feelings that i get whenever i leave her surfaced. I find it so hard, but i have Sunday to look forward to hopefully the weather will be kind so that we can do something fun.

I continue the rest of the week trying to stick to the steps i have been allocated to fulfil. I just hope i can stick to them…………

*Dedicated to all those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt.

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