My name is Matt Christian and i have an eating disorder. The Journey…………..

Hello to you all once again

After the success of Sunday with the surprise for my Mum, Monday was back to earth with a bump. Guilt ridden and feeling genuinely disgusted with myself for having “eaten to much”. I awoke already having decided i was to purge!! There was no talking myself out of it either, no matter how much i tried reasoning with “the voice”. Carbs were off the menu. Yes this is against the tasks but i just could not force myself no matter how hard i tried. I kept myself busy for the whole day move move move was “the voice’s” orders lets get that weight off!!! Again lunch was eaten between tasks and customers. This seems to be becoming a new routine. I have said before that i am not sure if this is healthy for me or not? I had a meeting with my eating disorders doctor on Tuesday so i planned to run this past her and see what her thoughts were?

Monday evening i caught a very interesting TV programme on eating disorders. The title of the programme was called Men, Boys and Eating Disorders. This programmed followed international rugby referee Nigel Owens. He travelled the UK meeting men, boys and their families, as he researched into why more people are being diagnosed with eating disorders. The programme explored all forms of eating disorders in men and boys. Along with Nigel Owens facing his own battle with bulimia. A lot of the stories were similar to mine from how they started through to how the individual is coping and receiving treatment if any for his illness. I was surprised and saddened to hear a few of the cases were finding it difficult to get the help they needed, whilst others had had treatment and were slowly rebuilding their lives. A very sad yet eye opening programme it had to be said. This will certainly remain with me for a while. Should you wish to watch the programme here is the link.

Tuesday was eating disorders meeting. This was to be an interesting meeting. Weigh in first and i had dropped again! The doctor was not pleased. I had a feeling i had if i’m honest. We discussed the reasons for the weight drop i told her i was finding it very difficult to have the snacks that i was meant to have. The voice is not letting me i told her. I also explained  how i was not taking a break for lunch even though i was eating on the go, she was not overly happy with this as i needed to have this break due to the amount of pressure i was putting on my heart. I hung my head in shame as told her i was still doing the workout app on my ipad!! The voice is again controlling this compulsion. I have, to my shame increased the workouts too…………….Sorry people i am letting you down. She went on to explain that my thinking will be same for a while. I cannot rationalise things at the moment i have gone against the bodies natural need to eat, the illness is firmly in control.  I need to turn this around. I cannot progress whilst i am unwell, i cannot be a good role model for Number 1. I am lost at the moment and i desperately need to rebuild make a new identity for myself, a healthier identity. How? I have no idea? But it needs to be done. My best and worst asset is thinking she informed me. I was not to sure where to take that comment, but i need the positive ones to be on top rather than the negatives ruling me. I enquired what the options were for me should i be unable to push forward…………….

Option 1 was an intensive treatment. It would basically involve me being signed off sick from work. I would go to an Eating Disorders Intensive Community Treatment Service. This is based in the next town from where i live. I would go there every day from 8.30 – 4.30. They would provide breakfast, a mid morning snack, cooked lunch, and an afternoon snack. In between there would be various activities and group sessions discussing recovery etc………… There is a clean plate policy at the service, this means that you have to agree to eat everything that is provided for you. You are basically relinquishing control! No choice but to follow the plan. Scary!!

Option 2 was worse. Again intensive treatment. This involves being sectioned!!! Taken in to hospital and all control removed. You would stay in until the weight had been restored. Meals given and again the clean plate policy would be enforced. No discharge until firmly on the road to recovery. For the first time on this journey i am petrified! I am not afraid to admit that. This has the potential to get to another level. A level that i never thought could be reached. Avoiding admission is now priority i cannot go down that route. I need to take control of the voice and do it now as a matter of urgency!!! Weight restoration or sectioned with loss of control or even worse DEATH! This is why i am so petrified this is all to real.

A  few facts for you all.

Eating Disorders have the highest death rate of any mental illness

1.6 Million people are affected in the UK

400,000 of these are thought to be men and boys

Wednesday was a work day for me. I spent the day in London at a trade show doing some buying.  Back to store in the evening to work until 9. It was our sale preview evening for our loyalty customers. Full and busy day, if i am honest there were times through the day when i was struggling. My body was aching and tired and the thoughts of Tuesdays meeting were haunting me. I knew what i needed to do but the voice was having none of it!!! I managed lunch but i knew it was not enough to get me through until the end of work that night. Still i carried on…………… It is a funny thing about this illness, no matter how tired i feel i still carry on at the same pace.

As i entered the tail end of the week i wanted to just disappear. I have attempted to have a snack mid morning. Admittedly i done it albeit a banana. Every single solitary bite was horrible. I hated myself and still do. I now feel fat once again the face to me is looking fat and that is something i really cannot handle. As stated i wanted to disappear, i have no idea where? Why you may say? The illness will still be with you? Yes this is true, but for some reason in this location i cannot get things straight. I am not sure if this makes sense? I just want space to analyse every aspect of my life, my existence. I have so many demons i want to lose. I want to lose the voice which is the most important and evil demon that is with me. At this moment in time i just cannot control it.  I am trying to get the sensible part of my psyche to start shouting louder. I need it to talk over the voice, sadly at this point it is far to strong and is basically screaming at me! I am not sure how much more of this i can take. I feel i am losing this battle and i may have to seriously consider one of the options that were discussed on Tuesday. It is a decision i cannot take lightly……………………….

Saturday loomed and work was busy, i was far to busy for the snack which my friend at work had left for me. Cue the text message from her to ask if i had eaten it. Much to her disappointment i told her i was to busy, which i was. No excuse though i guess…………… As the day went by my mood darkened considerably i just could not control it i was getting short tempered and frustrated with things that should not have had that affect on me. As i have been learning from the eating disorders doctor, the less nourishment your body receives the less it is able to deal with things. You find yourself incapable of rational thoughts and making decisions. I am certainly finding this, so i am sorry to those who have been affected. Especially my own mother. Saturday evening a major melt down moment, we ended up arguing for no reason what so ever. An innocent question from her and i just snapped. I am not proud of that what so ever………………………..

Sunday spent with Number 1 who i had not seen for a week. Since i had to work Wednesday i was certainly going to make for it. A full and fun day lay ahead i just hope i and prayed i had the energy. Sadly it will be another week before i see her again. She is off on holiday with her mother for a week. So off we went for the day. We spent the morning messing around at my house, we then made our way up to the local fun fair which was in town. I went on few rides with Number 1 and she had to go on a few on her own sadly but we both had a great time. After the fun fair we made our way to grab some lunch. This is such a fun time of day for me when i am with her. I am very careful not to show her my hatred of eating so i have to push myself as much as my mind will allow. I hate the fact that it has come to a point in my relationship with my daughter that i have to hide things from her. However i do not wish for her to see me like i am and think that it is fine for her to do the same whether it be now or later on in life. We finished lunch then went for a walk a muddy walk as it turned out down to Beeleigh (mentioned in a previous blog). She loves it down there and i must admit i do find it very beautiful and serene. The peaceful nature of the place really does make me relaxed. We rambled around the area for about an hour or so before heading back home to clean up our feet and shoes. As i drove Number 1 home the dark mood slowly started to return. I am amazed at how my mood and mind can change so rapidly. I hate dropping her off knowing it will be a bit of time before i see her again. Do not get me wrong i am luckier than most fathers. Some do not have the relationship that i do with the mother and for that i am very grateful. She is a fantastic mother and has supported me through this journey too. For that i cannot thank her enough.

So as this week of the journey ends. I can only sum up how i feel with one word. CONFUSED!!! I have no idea from one to the next how am i going to be, where my mind will be at. The crossroads is a busy and confusing place. Another meeting this week and the inevitable weigh in. We can only but wait and see i guess…………………………….

*Dedicated to those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love









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