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

Welcome to Sunday. Hope you have all had a good week?

Strange week really. Since last Friday’s first session with the private therapist, my mind is a little less cluttered. I seem to have space to think about recovery. Although thinking and putting into practice are vastly wide apart at the moment. I am clear about what i need to do to achieve a “normal” life but i am still unable to take that step to gaining the weight i so desperately need. It will all come in time i understand that, progress is still painfully slow on some occasions.

Monday started in the normal way, breakfast, exercise then moving and moving until i felt i had satisfied “the voice”.  I spoke last Friday in a mini blog about “the voice”. I want to tell you a little more about the control it has over me.

It is an interesting voice because it is actually my voice. It has not defined itself in any other way apart from being my voice. As i stated last Friday it does not give me a minute’s rest. From the moment i am awake it bugs and bullies me through my day. I have done a lot of research into “the voice” reading various blogs and talking to other ED sufferers. All have “the voice” which  manifests itself in the same way. It makes you feel worthless, it nags, it controls,its demeaning, its a bully.  A perfect quote that i found is this one:-

It wasn’t simply that I chose not to eat; I was forbidden to. Even thinking about forbidden foods brought punishment. How dare you, this voice inside me would say. You greedy pig.

This quote is bang on with how i hear my voice, as i struggle to get through my days battling against it. This is one thing that i have spoken to my therapist about in my 2 sessions so far. I have to learn to go against this voice if i am to get better. A very difficult task for me to do personally. I am a stubborn S.O.B and if i am honest. Being stubborn like this is not doing me any favours. I desperately need to find my “own voice” again and let it have a say in my life……. It’s in there somewhere i know it. I have glimmers of it now and again but for some reason it is too shy to step forward and say something.

At the moment my eating disorder is my identity i do not want that to be how i am defined. I need to learn to talk back, disobey, rebel. I want my life back! (Christ fighting talk). My life at this moment is my ED. It defines me!!! I do not know who i am anymore. I feel like i have lost myself. I have forgotten how to be me!!!

As i sit here and write this blog, thoughts of trying to create a new voice are what i need to do.  I want the new voice to be strong, kind, reassuring, empathetic. I know that i need to create this from scratch. I want it to be supportive instead of the bullying and destructive voice that is living with me………….Only time will tell if i am to be successful.

The week progressed, Wednesday was spent with Number 1. She has been asking me for weeks to take her swimming and i have been putting her off constantly. Its a horrible thing to do, but i just felt i could not risk letting her see how thin and fragile my body really is. I am ashamed of how it looks. Nevertheless i grabbed my swim shorts and we went. My sister and her boys came with us as well which i felt took some of the pressure off me and how i was feeling about my body.  It turned out to be a lovely afternoon Number 1 loved messing around in the pool with her cousins and once i felt comfortable i did enjoy it. I managed a few lengths nothing too hard or fast like i used to work out.  We spent over an hour in the pool, eventually me and my sister managed to extract the kids from the pool and made our way to have lunch. Back came the voice as it always does at meal times……………. We finished with lunch and much of the topic had been about the hamster so we all went back to Number 1’s house to meet Rosie. Number 1 loved showing Rosie off to her cousins but soon it was all out in the garden for them to play. I in the mean time cleaned Rosie out,clean cage new bedding etc all with the occasional hand from Number 1 and the boys.  I did not mind to much i love seeing her playing, laughing and joking with with them.  Once cleaned we placed Rosie back in her home and inevitably it was time for me to bid farewell to Number 1. Always a tough thing for me to do as you know.

Work filled Thursday and Friday keeping me busy. Friday evening was the second appointment with the therapist. I drove over confident that it would again be a good session where i could release some more demons and start to piece together how i had arrived at this point in my life. The session was to be one that i want to forget…………….. Tough and very very uncomfortable is the only thing i will say!

Work Saturday was a quiet affair with busy periods interspersed. We were not expecting much to be fair as it was a bank holiday, also for the first time in what must be 6 weeks i reckon, we had a beautifully sunny and warm day here in the UK. If you are reading this from overseas and have never visited us, the weather really is as up and down as you have heard.

Sunday is Number 1 day. A full day was once again on the cards. Swimming was again on the cards, being a lovely warm day why not! Again we went with my sister and her two boys to the outdoor pool we had visited on Wednesday. Not many people in the pool which was nice, it gave Number 1 and her cousins the chance to splash around and make as much mischief as possible. Such a relaxed atmosphere at this health club. As soon as i am better i will join i decided. We spent the whole day there and the kids absolutely loved every minute of it. We took a picnic and ate it at the side of the pool when we broke from splashing and swimming for an hour. I felt very relaxed which as we all know is rare for me. “The voice” was very much silenced for the most part of the day. Only when the picnic was out did “the voice” make its presence known. If only i could have this type of day for maybe just 3 or 4 days of the week to start with. It would give me a little respite from the what i am going through at this moment in time.

Monday is a bank holiday here in the UK. Number 1 is off away with her mum for a couple of days. So i am looking after the dogs and Rosie whilst they are away. As i have nothing better to do i shall go into work for a couple of hours, tidy a few things up, clear the windows ready for the window dressers on Tuesday. Sadly i have no idea what the Fall window display is so i cannot pick the outfits, that can be a job to keep the mind busy on Tuesday i guess……………

Another week of the battle is about to start. It may sound overly dramatic but i can tell you unless you have walked this journey this is exactly how it is. A war………………..

*Dedicated to all those who are supporting me

Peace and Love

Matt

 

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

Sunday would not be Sunday without the blog i guess.

So here we are again…………

What has been happening? Well Monday i awoke after a broken nights sleep. I was still working away until mid afternoon when we made the 2 and half journey home. I spent Monday busy wrapping up lose ends to do with the work. Still feeling the effects of Saturday night i battled through the day. For what it was worth i really enjoyed the couple of days i spent at the buying convention. It really gave me an insight into a side of the industry i am desperate to get into. I love searching through the new collections and seeing what the trends will be.

I made the decision whilst away to take the rest of the week off. I just felt i needed to have a rest which is rare. Maybe this is all catching up with me finally.

Tuesday was a meeting day with the eating disorders doctor. This was to be my last meeting with this particular specialist. I am not sure whether i have mentioned before? She was covering the area until the return of the normal specialist who was away on maternity leave. My next meeting i will be meeting with her. We sat down after the weigh in which was not good at all. I am now at my lowest 48.0kg. This of course did not please her one bit. We discussed my activities of the past week since my last appointment. I explained how the snack is just not happening for me during the day. I went into great detail about how “the voice” dictates my every waking thought. Again i pleaded with her to start the therapy, again i was denied! I was told that i am still not at the point where therapy is a real option. I need to up the weight!! Now this in my eyes is sheer madness. I am ready to talk through my demons etc that have led me to this point in my life but, according to her my body and mind are not nourished enough to be able to cope. At this rate i will never be ready!! “The voice” as i keep saying is dictating, i need to address this voice to help me move on to get the weight up!! That makes sense doesn’t it??? Or have i truly gone insane??? She told me in no uncertain terms that her professional opinion was to go to the day centre. I do not wish to go! I am aware how that sounds. I just do not think that it is for me. She explained to me i need to change the habit that i have got into, it is very difficult but i just have to make the decision to dive in the deep end. Personally i am not brave enough to do that. The day centre will be that dive!! She admitted that she cannot make me go but its that or sectioning. Total control taken from me at this juncture. Admittedly it is a long way off of that, but it is on the horizon. Finally we discussed what happens now she is going back her own area. I will now be passed onto the returning specialist for the area. I will undergo a new assessment with her and see what her findings are. I feel like i am going right back to square 1. I will meet with this specialist next week in the meeting with the dietitians. Its getting all to much in my eyes. So many meetings but they all seem to end up with the same outcome………………. I guess with the dietitians we can discuss in depth what they feel they can do to help with the snacking dilemma? The meeting finished in what i can only describe as an anticlimax. I have reached the end of this journey with this particular specialist and it all felt a little awkward for some reason. She wished me luck on my journey and went our separate ways………………………………. I now have to wait a week until i meet with the regular specialist for the area. What that will bring who knows. Like i have already said feels like i am going back to square 1.

Wednesday was spent with Number 1. Having not seen her Sunday i was looking forward to seeing her. It also meant i could be as close to normal as i can be. “The Voice” tends to take a bit more of a backseat when Number 1 is around. I think it feels intimidated because it knows Number 1 is my world. We spent the day at a local petting farm. We have been a few times now and we find it a great little day out. Plenty of animals to see and feed which Number 1 loves. We saw the new additions to the farm, two very cute baby deer. After this we made our way to have a picnic lunch. This sadly is the point of the day where i find it very very difficult. ” The voice” seems to come right back to its screaming best. I have to be so careful when eating around Number 1 i cannot be seen to have a problem with the food i am eating. This is not the image i wish to project on one so young. I pray that she will never have to endure the sheer agony and pain of an eating disorder i do not think i would be be able to forgive myself if she were to go down the road i am walking at this moment in time. The day in ended in the age old fashion of dropping Number 1 off back to her mother. I do not feel i will ever get over the empty feeling i get whenever i drop her off. I just pray that she has had a good time and that she is happy with the time she has spent with me…….

It is very rare for me to wake looking forward to 2 days in a row. Thursday however i was off to London for the day….. I am not sure if i ever told you about my love for the nations capital city? In a nutshell i love the history, exploring, the vibe. Whenever i am there i feel the true me is around. My mind feels clear “the voice” quietens down considerably, i am comfortable i do not feel judged like i am in my current environment. I feel that this is the next step in my life. I am ready to move on from this place i call hell. Having woke as i normally do still feeling like i could sleep for a week i dragged myself up and got myself ready for the day. I was determined to not let “the voice”spoil my day……….. Ticket and tea purchased at the station i was off. I was not even sure of my plan for the day? All i knew is that wanted to go, just get away for the day. Explore, discover,learn, shop, be the real Matt for 2 days in a row. Something that has not happened for such a long time. I know there is a version of him somewhere inside of me that i may actually find i like! As we pulled into London i already felt myself changing. It is such a strange feeling i am really sure how to describe it?? Calming i think is the only word i can use at the moment. My whole aura changes. I decided my first stop was to be Oxford Street yes yes yawn yawn i could have picked somewhere more exciting and obscure but i love it as a starting point. I wandered up and down stop and looking around a few shops that i like. Being ill as i am i rarely buys clothes these days. I do not really see the point. Small t shirts look dreadful on me as i cannot even fill them out such is my skeleton like frame. The only thing i seriously thought about purchasing was new sneakers…. Having said that i could not find any that actually had the wow factor for me. I settled for a new pair of chinos. The chinos were cheap £17. As i hope to put on more weight i am not too fussed about buying cheap for the moment. Trying clothes on with this illness certainly opens your eyes i can tell you.  Sadly “the voice” loves me trying on clothes. These chinos are a 28 waist. They are loose on me too! “The voice” shouts at me in triumph! “Yes yes Matt look at this, look how good you look, this is the look we want”. I am hanging my head in shame as i write this, i believe “the voice”……… One side of me wants to put them back in disgust and ban myself from buying clothes until i am better. “The voice” however wins and before i know it i am at the counter paying for them. So i leave the store chastising myself for being so weak, but i find some middle ground with “the voice”. We agree that i will not buy anything else unless i see some sneakers that i like. How mad is it that i am reasoning with “the voice”? As i wandered down to Carnaby Street my thoughts were turning to food. The inevitable worries where was i to eat? What was i to have? What safe foods could i find? However food soon was pushed firmly to the back of my mind. I looked up and recognised someone that i follow on instagram. This guy is an absolute legend in the London and the tailoring industry. I love his work, his style in fact everything just oozes class. The gentleman in question is Mark Powell. I urge you to google him and check him out for yourselves. Anything i will say will not do the man justice…………….. I stopped Mr Powell and asked the awkward fan question. “Excuse me… Are you Mark Powell?” “Yes” he replied as i shook his hand. I ended up back at his tailoring shop in a small street just off  Carnaby Street. We spent the next half hour 45 minutes talking about everything from the early days of Savile Row through to his tailoring. I felt truly lucky and humbled to be able to spend time talking to such a legend in my eyes. As i left his store i promised myself i would be back one day to have an outfit made by him. A true gentleman…….. I spent the rest of the day exploring Shoreditch in the East End of London. A place i have visited several times for a trade show but i have rarely had an opportunity to explore. A wonderful wonderful place with lots of unique shops, cafes and restaurants i would recommend spending some time wandering around just taking in the sights and sounds of the place. Sadly i ran out of time and it was time for me to make my way home a wonderful day was spent nonetheless…………………

Friday was a massive day for me. In the morning i had a meeting with the mental health specialist. Now she is only is brief intervention for 4 sessions and this was my 3rd session. Brief intervention is basically just assessing my well being until i am on the road to recovery enough to have the proper therapy (which as we all know i am desperate for). In these meetings we discuss various things from my thoughts through to what i feel i am achieving with the eating disorder specialist. I have found these meetings a bit frustrating at times. I have been also asking her to refer me onto the therapy but seeing as she is working alongside the eating disorder specialist she is in agreement that i am not ready to step forward onto that path. Cue the frustration……… I have therefore unbeknown to them made an appointment with a private therapist of which the appointment was on Friday afternoon. The need to talk things thorough and their reluctance to refer me has led to this. The morning meeting again consisted of the usual questions do i feel i have made any progress? Am i feeling any better about myself? Am i suicidal? All standard questions. I answered honestly. I do not feel i have made any progress. I have days yes when i do feel a little better about myself. I can praise myself a little but not everyday. No i am not suicidal. I revert back to the story of “the voice” i tell her that it is this horrible manipulating, spiteful voice that is stopping me from making the progress i desire. If i can just get this voice out on the table and address it i say to her then maybe just maybe things will move forward. She nods and tells me she has heard these things before but in her opinion the weight comes first!!! Again i get the feeling she is just dismissing the underlying problem. She warns me, as had the eating specialist that i need to push myself forward otherwise the option is as was stated to me Tuesday would be day centre then possible sectioning. After much talk the meeting comes to a close. She finishes by asking me if all the unhappiness and frustration  i am feeling has contributed to my illness. This is in my opinion i inform her is the root…………………. I left the meeting unfulfilled. I now had a massive amount of time before the afternoon appointment with the private therapist. I kept myself busy and moving as usual to keep my mind occupied. After doing a few tasks and chores at home i made my way to the coffee shop to just try and chill and gather my thoughts for the afternoon. What was to happen in the lead up i have never encountered before, and if i am honest i do not wish for a repeat ever again. I sat and had a pot of tea and even ate a salad from the menu, all perfectly normal. I had my laptop with me checking over a few things on the blog and reading a few others again perfectly normal………. Suddenly without warning my chest went tight the palpitations started. I did not feel good at all. No matter what i done to try and relax and put these feelings out of my head they would just not go away. I genuinely thought i was having a heart attack!!!! For the next 30 minutes i sat not knowing what on earth was happening to me? I had serious serious thoughts of either leaving and walking to my doctors surgery or phoning an ambulance. I was scared!! VERY scared!! After what was only 30 minutes but seemed like a lifetime the feelings subsided. I sit here writing this believing that it was a panic attack. As i said the feelings subsided and it was time to make my way to see the private therapist. Was i doing to much? Have i made the right choice? Are the team i have been dealing with got it right when they say i am not ready for therapy? All i knew was that i need to get this addressed some how and soon!!!!!!!

I am not going to go into what was discussed with the private therapist, i believe some things are left unsaid. I am not 100% sure who reads this blog etc, but what was discussed that afternoon and what will be discussed in the future with this therapist will be deep and thorough.  I am leaving no stone unturned, my life and everything that has happened will be discussed and analysed. I will say that though that the first hour and half with this therapist i felt was very good. I got a lot off my chest…………….. I left this first session as she warned me i would feeling very tired and drained. However i was glad of the opportunity to finally talk.

Saturday i returned to work an uneventful day all in all. I went thorough the motions of a normal day catching up with things that i had missed and addressing the things that i needed to address. All the while keeping moving and making sure i was not getting fat. Some things never change!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday as ever was spent with Number 1. We had a very very chilled day. We took the hamster for a check up at the vet first thing. All is good for Rosie the vet reported she is healthy and happy so we have nothing to worry about. All good for Number 1. We dropped Rosie back home and spent the rest of the day chilling out. It has been a long time since we had done that but it was nice. However this chilling out should have been better than nice. “The voice” was quite vocal and annoyed at the fact that i was sitting down a lot. The desire to keep moving was getting very hard to ignore as the day wore on…………… I somehow managed to make it through but as i sit here and write this i am already fully aware that i could well be having a tough day Monday……………..

So we come to an end of a week with lots of ups and downs. As ever i have no idea what the next week will bring.  I have an appointment with the dietitians on Thursday this being only the 2nd time i will have seen them i am not sure what to expect again. Friday sees the 2nd appointment with the private therapist. Hopefully the feelings i experienced last Friday will not be repeated…………..

Have a good week guys……

*Dedicated to all those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt

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

Here we are again. Blog time. A Friday one at that!!!!!!!!!!  Again several drafts have been typed out but i am not happy with any of them!!!

Things are getting tough. Very tough. In the last week i have gone backwards quite rapidly. Thoughts of giving up are now permanently flowing freely. I just do not know where to turn. Am i going crazy??? I am pretty certain i am!!

In last weeks blog i challenged anyone to spend an hour in my head. No takers which was not surprising. I do not blame any of you.

However i  thought for this mini blog i would give you a morning with “the voice”.

Alarm goes off 7:45. Bang i am awake.

“The voice”- “Morning loser, wake up, get up, we have got to get moving, cant lay there getting fat. First things first lets get this porridge shit down your neck. Personally could not see anything wrong with the apple…………… Don’t bother having a cup of tea it would only mean more time sitting down”.

So i now miss my morning cup of tea which i used to look forward to………….. Once the porridge is eaten i’m off, i will not stop moving now for the rest of the day……..

“The Voice” – “Right first things first lets do some sit ups etc.. lets start burning the porridge. To stodgy for this body”.

So off i go religiously doing the sit ups every morning. Soon as those are done i’m getting dressed for work. Moving all the while, i do not even stand still to clean my teeth i am roaming around making myself “busy”. Already on the go in my pocket is the step and calorie counter. Need to make sure i am keeping track of what i am doing from the closest moment to waking up. Once dressed i make my way downstairs and gather my lunch out of the fridge.

“The voice”- “Ok so what do we have today? Salad that looks safe, grab that apple! I suppose we better take the roll with us. Fucking carb!!!!!!! Not good for you you know!! That fat face will come back the more of those you eat you do realise that? Shall we throw it away at lunchtime????”

I have managed to get over the hurdle of eating the roll every lunch time. It was tough and still is…… as i have stated many times before, i hate every bite of the thing.

I make my way out of the door get in my car and make my way to work. I start at 9 but get there just after 8:30. Straight upstairs for a cup of tea.

“The voice”- “Right now you can have the tea, but there is still the porridge to work off so take a sip put it down and get moving around tidying, folding, cleaning etc…….”

I am already at this point so early in the day feeling like i could go back to bed i should really be energised but i feel like i have run a marathon. Somehow i carry on i do not even know how to this day. The shop now open but i cannot expect it to be busy straight away……..

“The voice”-” Right tea drunk. Next one on the agenda is around 11am. So come on lets get moving cannot stand around calories to burn. We need to keep moving………. Lets just have a quick look in the mirror have to make sure the fat face is not showing today.”

Working in a clothes shop is not the greatest for me as there are mirrors everywhere, there is barely a moment when you do not walk past one. So the body checking is still around even though the pictures have stopped……

“The voice”- “Right so lets have a look what we look like today matty boy!!!! For the life of me i do not get why you stopped taking the pictures at night? I mean no harm in that? I guess this will have to do though!!!! Mmmmmmm? Looks ok so far today!!! Oooooh hang on……… looks like a double chin forming there……. how can that be?????? Right that snack mid morning which you work colleague is making you have. We are not having that today look what its doing to you??? Can you see?? You are turning back into the fat faced let down. Cannot have that whatsoever. So make your excuses too busy etc………….”

I am trying and trying to have the snack mid morning but again “the voice” controls me and no matter how hard i try to go against it, the monologue continues in this vein. This is the what goes on all day in my head.

So a little brief Friday blog for you all. I do not why i felt the need to post this today but hey……… I am currently off this week and have a little extra time on my hands so here it is…………

*Dedicated those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt

 

 

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

Good evening to another Sunday.

This is my 3rd attempt at writing a blog this week. I have written lines but they seem too extreme to put out there. Maybe one day i will look back on these drafts and think what on earth were you thinking?

I will say this now, i have had serious serious thoughts of giving up this journey

After last week when i felt a little confident that maybe i was starting to move in the right direction, “the voice” has found some extra volume and is really grabbing me and not letting me out of this trap. As some of you may know appointment Tuesday was with eating disorders doctor. Now as with all these meetings we begin with the weigh in…….. 49.2kg was the result for those who love imperial that is 7 stone 7lbs. Now this has gone up from last weeks weight of 48.2kg, 7 stone 5lbs. A gain as i stated, some of you will be sitting there thinking “Well that is progress. What is he talking about? Why is he giving up?” Well if you fancy sitting around long enough i will let you know why………………….

7 weeks in to the journey as i said. Where my weight is now, it is not even where i was at when i was very first assessed. So there is a small clue for you all. Laying it on the line my eating disorders doctor said it is not really progress. For the past 7 weeks we have been discussing all sorts of things and ways to get my weight up. Some i have done and have found it easy. Others, well i can only say that it is a vision of hell when i think or try to do these things. She firmly believes the day centre is the way forward now! “The voice” as i said has found another noise level and will not even consider this eventuality. Foot down and digging heels in is what “the voice” is doing.  I desperately want to talk to a counsellor as i said in the blog a few weeks ago. I firmly believe that this will be a good route. I am no Doctor and i do not profess to be one, but i know myself well enough to know that i am strong enough to cope with therapy. Even though my eating disorders doctor believes my thinking will be more flexible the more nourished i am. This may well be true, but i can tell you all now there are things in my head that are screaming to get out and be discussed and finally resolved. Whether these problems i have are causing this eating disorder i cannot honestly say, but surely i have to give this a go? Maybe just maybe getting to talk about the fact i feel that i am a let down, waste of space, my lack of confidence, my low self esteem, the image that i hate so much when i look at myself have all mounted up to a level where self destruction is dangerously close. Am i enjoying this? Not one bit. Well snap out of it i hear many of you say? DON’T YOU THINK I WANT TO!  I’ll tell you what i will challenge anyone to swap minds with me for even just an hour!! I guarantee you will be begging to swap back within 15 minutes. I am fully at the end of my patience with this now. I have tried and tried my very best to move things on but “the voice” has the strongest hold over me.

So i sit here not knowing what direction to turn in. I am lost in wilderness of feelings.

My week since Tuesday has been one of highs and then massive lows. A full on roller coaster ride. Wednesday was spent with Number 1, my sister and my nephews. Weather being atrocious we had to spend the day in soft play which was enjoyed by all 3 as usual. My mind i feel is always level when i am with Number 1 she is my focus, and quite rightly so. “The voice” always seems quieter, yes it is still there but it is not as loud or pushy which i do find gives me a break from the constant shouting and screaming. I really wish that  i could have “the voice” doing that on a lot more occasions. Hopefully the counselling that i am desperate to have will prove to be volume button that i need………

The week rolled to an end with work being busy which kept my mind sort of focused as it were. Still my thoughts were going back over Tuesdays meeting. I have to try and sort this out but still i am struggling with the direction. I am tempted on some days to quit! A shocking admission i know but its what “the voice” is screaming at me.

The weekend was to one of work, work, work. I finished on Saturday to carry on. I DJ’d at the local bar as part of their 15th birthday celebrations. It turned out to be a good night, i was however a little apprehensive due to the fact i was out in the local town something which i do not do anymore. I was very aware of how i looked and the fact that there were many people in the bar that i have let down. I kept a low profile and just got on with the job in hand. I finished at the bar and made my way home quickly. I was spending Sunday working away. Sadly no day with Number 1.  I was to go buying with work for 2 days so i was very aware that i needed sleep and to be on top of my game. After 3 hours sleep i was up and driving to my bosses house to go with him on the 2 hour journey to the hotel where we were staying. Luckily this was also the venue of the buying convention which we were to attend.  So the day began at 7am and went on right throughout the day until the evening where we were to have a meal. This of course freaked me out. An unknown venue where i did not know the menu!!! Hell for me!!! I managed to somehow not think to much about the up coming evening as i was busy with work, but as the day drew to a close i knew that i would have to face the evening. As i sat down for the meal and read the menu i could tell this was not going to be pretty!!! Worrying as i read the pre set menu “the voice” was preaching damage limitation. All i could hear on a continuous loop was “tomorrow we purge”. God knows what tomorrow will bring all i can do is hope and pray that “the voice” will be less prevalent and that sensible voice will be leading the charge into another week of battle…………………………

Tuesday sees me return to eating disorders doctor. The inevitable weigh and further discussions on where am i going and whether progress is sufficient or not? I have a feeling i am going to in for a tough ride. Wednesday sees me back with the psychological doctor. I have not had an appointment with her for a couple of weeks so it will be interesting to see her take on the latest developments and my also her opinion on my wanting of therapy……………………………..

*Dedicated to those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt

 

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

Well we have reached Sunday yet again, to boot its AUGUST!!!

The year is going far far to quick.

It has now been 6 weeks since i started my journey with the counsellors. There have been lots of ups and downs, as i’m sure those who are regular readers will know.

I thought i would give a little space in this blog to tie up the last 6 weeks.  Now i am not going to go into great detail with this review because so much of it will be a repeat of what i have said previously. Instead i thought i would review in an interview format…………

What is actually wrong with you??

I have an eating disorder. I am also suffering from depression. Simple as that!

How did it all start??

It started out as a project to get rid of my “fat face” which i felt i had. Every time i looked at pictures or looked in the mirror i was not happy with what was staring back at me!! I started trying to get fit. Cycling, swimming, eating a little healthier, cutting out alcohol.

When and where did it go wrong??

Things started to wrong when i felt the swimming was not a viable option to continue through the winter months. I added the gym onto my swim membership. I thought mix the 2 this will keep things fresh and interesting………Initially a great idea.

What happened from there??

As said above……. Initially a great idea. Things started fine, i went to the gym first couple of weeks and enjoyed the change in routine and mixing this with the swimming created a good regime. Soon though the swimming was dropped as i felt i was getting more benefit from the gym. Use of various pieces of equipment to work different muscle groups. I particularly enjoyed the treadmill. I was always a keen runner but since my knee injury at the age of 18 i struggled to run on uneven ground. The treadmill gave me a new lease of life. I started to spend longer and longer on there as my fitness levels increased. I pushed setting myself weekly targets of distance to get to. In addition to this i started looking and taking note of fitness tips and apps posted on social media. Taking advice these sites like what to eat and what not to eat. I slowly cut carbs out of my diet. The gym visits were now every day, more and more intense cardio workouts were the core of my visit. I was restricting my eating carbs now non existent i was hardly eating during the day my evening meals were getting smaller and smaller. All i could see was that my face was finally getting thinner!!!! Hoorah!!!!! Keeping the exercise up is all that was on my mind. I was only eating what i saw a safe low calorie food. My lowest ever intake of calories for a day was 622!!! I burned at the gym that night nearly 1500. This on top of what had been burnt during the day.

Things were spiralling, i would pretend i was in control when all around me others were concerned at the amount of weight i was losing. I found myself telling them i was fine, i knew what i was doing ………………..in reality my body was hurting and aching crying out for rest. My mind had taken over and was not letting me have that rest. I would freak out if i missed a workout. If this happened meals were missed and extra time at the gym was done. This was also the same if i felt i had eaten to much or strayed out of the safe foods zone. My mood was changing also. I was becoming more withdrawn and my interactions with people were now very limited. I would only find solace in the gym where i was plugged into my music and doing what i felt was making me happy………..

When did reality hit??

Reality hit some 8 weeks ago now. I saw a news article on BBC Breakfast News about men and eating disorders. I looked at the article again that evening, ironically after the gym. Suddenly having clicked around the website the BBC directed me to i realised around 95% of what i was reading was describing me! I knew needed help from this point.

What help did you seek??

I sort help in the form of my Mum first of all. I told her i thought i had a problem and that i did not know what to do. Next step was to tell a few more people who were close to me, those who had been telling me for a while that i was losing to much weight. Telling them this news was of no surprise to them. They were just glad that i had realised it that something was wrong and that i needed help.  I consulted 3 doctors and had an assessment from a therapist before eventually finding the help i needed.

Where are you at now??

I am now under 4 different specialists. An eating disorders doctor, a mental health doctor, and 2 dietitians. These specialists are all helping me work towards full recovery. The journey is long and hard. I find that some days i am slipping and falling. It is not an easy journey. Some days i want to give up and disappear, other days i feel i am getting somewhere. I am in a constant battle with “the voice” in my head. I fight daily with this voice which barks its orders at me, it does not let my rational voice get a word in. I desperately need to get this rational voice heard……………………

So to Wednesday. A day off, a day without Number 1! She is away on holiday with her mother hopefully having a great time. So i am dog sitting whilst they are away. Little bit of time on my own which is nice. Anyway i had an appointment with the eating disorders doctor. I went to this meeting fully expecting to find my weight had either risen slightly or stayed the same……………… Nope i had lost! This loss was down to my lowest weight since i had started on the journey 6 weeks ago with the specialists. I was now weighing 7st 5lbs. Almost a pound down!! Now she was concerned about this particular weight drop. She analysed my food diary and surmised that as i am eating more my metabolism is slowly catching up. Basically i eating more thus burning it quicker. I am still way off what i should be eating calorie wise. We worked it out to be around 1000 calories less!! That is a lot! I can tell you now there is no way i can put an extra 1000 calories into my body at this time. We discussed the options i need to push on now. In essence i need to jump in the deep end now and go for it. I cannot wait for “the voice” to tell me it is ok for me to push forward, i have to go against it!!! I now have proof in black and white, that even though i am eating more i am still losing weight. The job is going to get a little harder from this moment on. I have to find more calories add things to the routine. This for me is way way out of my comfort zone!!! I have no idea how i am going to push myself? “The voice” is telling me that this is not the best thing for me. It insists that it knows best and that what i am hearing from the doctor is all nonsense. This of course is false i am struggling to get the good voices to be heard, i am desperate for them to the front and be heard.

For the rest of the week i have battled and had little victories with my eating. I am now having a banana every day mid morning thanks to my friend at work placing it in front of me.  This was something that was discussed on Wednesday. Added to this i am also trying, although with varied results to have 2 glasses of orange juice during the day. Friday was the only day i managed 2. Progress of sorts i guess? Also discussed at the meeting Wednesday was the possibility of pushing myself to introduce a carb with my evening meal. This to me is a little step to far but a step i have to take. As yet i have yet to add one. We discussed the option of adding another protein source to my evening meal if the carb was to much at this point. I have considered this but “the voice” and its stubborn and controlling nature will just not let me get through this gate. No doubt i shall be hovering here for god knows how long.

Saturday was another at work the banana and the orange juice never made it as part of the day. Bad me!  Yes yes but i was busy, work comes first when i am there. People to serve things to tidy and clear. Lunch was nearly had on the shop floor but i made myself go upstairs and have a sit down for 20 minutes.  I knew i had to really, as i was DJ’ing that evening and was going to be on my feet until 2am gone.

Sunday i woke late which did not please me. I had not got until 3am once i finished Dj’ing but i still wanted to be up. I normally try and get up so that i can go and collect Number 1 by 9 ish. I rushed to get ready and made my way over, today being as i had not seen her in over a week i was looking forward to seeing her and hearing all about her holiday. I managed to get over by 10 so it was not to bad i guess. Today unbeknown to was to be an exciting day. Her mother and i have been discussing getting her a hamster. Number 1 loves her animals and from what her mother had been telling me she desperately wants to have one. So we agreed if price of the hamster and all the bits and pieces were good we would go halves. So it was off to the pet store to have a look around and see how much the hamster, cage, bedding, food, and various other bits would cost. As it turned out it was very reasonable. Number 1 wants a girl hamster so as we arrived at the pet shop i had to prepare her that we may not get a female this day…….. As it turned out this weekend has been a busy one for hamster buying (who would have thought??).  I contacted Number 1’s mother to let her know the price of all the bits and to let her know we may well be getting it today. Number 1 and i had a look at a few hamsters in the pet shop, a lot were male or if they were female the colour was not right. Very serious business choosing a hamster. We agreed that we would go back Wednesday to get the hamster, although the cage, bedding, food and other accessories were all purchased today. A very excited Number 1 is the only way to describe it she literally cannot wait until Wednesday now……… Rosie is the chosen name. We made our way home with all the bits and when we got there we made room in her bedroom for the cage. All the while Number 1 would not stop going on about how much she was looking forward to welcoming Rosie to the house………….

So another week ends.  Another week of battles has been completed. Two meetings this week are upcoming. Eating disorders doctor on Tuesday and Wednesday is psychological doctor. For Tuesday the hope is that i have gained some weight no matter how little. I cannot keep going backwards. We all know the ramifications if that happens!  Wednesday will be trying to make sense of the complete mess that is my head. Whether things will become any clearer i cannot possibly say…………………….

Till next week.

*Dedicated to all those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt

 

 

 

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.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08zk03z

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

Matt

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Welcome to Sunday.

Hope you have all had a good week?

Just a little carry on and update from Wednesday. For those who read Wednesday, the first part of the week was spent worrying about my appointment with the dietitians. Turns out i needn’t have worried so much. But into the unknown etc…… all part of the journey, going down unknown paths……………

So onto the rest of the week. I have been trying to keep my focus on sticking to the tasks set by my eating disorders doctor. This is proving difficult. It is tough to describe? I feel a sense of slipping away as each day passes by having completed the tasks.

I guess it is a feeling of slipping into a new routine. The routine of getting better! Having been stuck in this routine and downward spiral for so long now, adjusting to this is very scary. I feel a loss of control by completing these daily tasks for the last 2 weeks. Now this is the only way i can explain. Maybe its not clear? (I can tell you it is not clear in my head).

Now control is an important word with my eating disorder. I need to have this control to cope with the eating which dictates my life. This disorder is not like a diet where you control your weight. This disorder has control over my whole life. I have a very bland food regime. There are only certain foods that i will eat now. These are my go to foods. My go to foods are eaten at the same time everyday. If i deviate from this regime i will then have to purge to get back on track. See what i mean about it controlling my life? Every bit of food i put in my mouth is like torture to me. I even know the exact calories in these foods.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were spent back at work. I am still on the whole not sitting down for lunch. I just want to be on the go as much as i can. My body wants to rest and take that break. However the brain has this continued cycle of thoughts that are not letting me. The voice in my head is telling me that this recovery is not for me. Twisted i know!  The voice is telling me to get up and get moving again, sitting is making you gain weight, go look at that fat face get rid of it we haven’t got time to sit around. Just a massive bully in my ear that i cannot seem to shake. The voice is just another thing i need to take control of. This voice has taken every bit of enjoyment out of my life for nearly 2 years now. For once i would love to eat something or look forward to a meal without having to think about the consequences that will inevitably come and haunt me for hours even days after………………

This voice has been prevalent this week. Basically Sunday as ever is spent with Number 1. But i have also been organising a surprise meal for my Mum. It is her birthday on Tuesday and her brothers and sister  have long complained that they hardly ever get to speak to her on the phone let alone see her these days. She is always working. This is very true she is always working i am lucky to see her some days. Now what i did was to get her 2 brothers and their wives and her sister (who i went to stay with) to all be around on Sunday for a surprise lunch. I also arranged with her work for her shifts to be covered for the rest of the day after she had completed her morning shift. This they done for me. As far as she was concerned she was going for lunch with myself and Number 1. In reality before we turned up at the restaurant i told her that she had the rest of the day off as work had covered her shifts, she was very surprised by this which really pleased me. Part 1 passed. Part 2 was at the restaurant. We arrived and climbed the stairs to our table. As she came round the corner all her family were there to greet her. Her face was a picture! Total shock and surprise she burst into tears bless her, if i’m honest i had a tear in my eye too. Part 2 passed………

Now this is where it gets selfish and i hate myself for this. The voice as i said has been prevalent mainly due to the fact that i was to eat a “proper meal”. This is what i am on about, all i want is to be able to have this meal without the guilt flowing. It has been flowing since Wednesday evening when i was finalising the menu with the restaurant. I just wanted things to be perfect for Mum, but the voice was also bullying me. Questioning how i am going to cope with the change of routine? Truth is i was not coping at all. I had been thinking about the menu and how i can tailor it for every one yet still have an element of control for myself. Easier said than done. I was purging too, saving myself because i knew that i was potentially going to eat more than i should. I almost considered cancelling at one point because i just thought it was impossible, however i pulled myself together just enough to say no to the voice, this is for my Mum not for me. The morning lead up was tough. I kept myself busy by going shopping with Number 1. We grabbed cards and presents along with a happy birthday banner and some balloons. We took them to the restaurant which so happens to be the coffee house where i seek my solace. See what i mean? Control. We had our usual cup of tea and wrote the cards out and the proceeded to put the banner and balloons up. After completing this it was time to go home and get ready to meet Mum to go back up. As i said Mum was very surprised and this pleased me that the plan had worked. Next up was the big test for me….. The meal itself. I managed a bit of my starter and took it very easy on the main. Carbs were around and the voice was shouting loud at me. I am not proud but i managed  to manoeuvre to just eating my go to foods somehow without being noticed. Just ridiculous i was thinking as i sat watching everyone including Number 1 not having a care in the world about what they were putting in their mouths, this is how i should be. But the voice as i said was marching through my brain shouting you’re going to get fat. The fat face will be back before you even finish the meal! As i said i managed to get through and was relieved when it was dessert time. I was having fruit salad. I could finally look at this normally after all it was healthy. The rest of the day has been the voice chastising me for what i have done. Again it is dragging me towards the dark corner which i am attempting to get out of. It is telling me i now have to purge for the next couple of days, if i am honest i am not completely sure what is going to happen. Will i have the carb at lunch? Will i have the orange juice? Will i cut out food altogether until i feel i have satisfied my guilt? At this moment i cannot give an answer. It is a sad view to have but it is one that i cannot let go of. I am being pulled from pillar to post as i write this because i know that what i am doing is wrong. Until i get control of the voice i am afraid that this is how it is going to be………………………….

I have an appointment on Tuesday with my eating disorders doctor where all this will be discussed no doubt…………………………

Where is the next turning? I do not know…………………….

*Dedicated to those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt

 

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

Well hey guys.

Bit of an off the cuff blog. Decided last min to do a midweek update…….

Sunday’s blog ended on a frustrated note and as we reach Wednesday i am sad to say i am still fighting that frustration. Lots and lots of things are going on at the moment and i have so much flying through my head that i find it hard to concentrate sometimes. I may seem off with the fairies which in all likelihood i am. I would like to apologise for the tone of the blog.

An awful nights sleep Sunday resulted in the train wreck feeling on Monday, but i managed to drag the aching emaciated body out of bed have my breakfast (still on the porridge) then off to work. Slightly short staffed at work which i personally do not mind deep down. Gives me a chance to really busy myself for the day keep the demons from the door. I was fully aware of my thoughts from last week and sadly they were still with me!!!!! Yes i still felt fat, yes when i looked at myself i saw a fat faced loser staring back at me!! Its all part of the loathing. On top of this i had the thoughts of my dietitian appointment on Tuesday banging away at me. This appointment is a new step on the road and hell i was anxious about it. I had booked a days holiday to attend the appointment as i do not want work to start taking a dim view of me disappearing off to all these appointments during the day this neglecting my work….. Now don’t get me wrong i feel that they would never take this view but me being paranoid thought this would be the best option. Back to the thoughts i was having……. i had no idea what the dietitians would be like or would say to me, this makes things worse in my eyes. All sorts of questions were hitting me. What would they be like? What would they say to me? What would they think of my condition? What would they make me do? What would they force me to eat? Irrational thoughts yes but i had to prepare myself for the worst as you do!!! As Monday finished i found myself at a crossroads? I was really struggling to come to terms with the fact that i was going to have have to spend Tuesday morning trying to occupy myself!! I lead a very mundane existence currently all my days are controlled by what i eat and meal times. This is how it is when you have an eating disorder.   I read a blog recently and the writer called the sensation “The Voice”. Here is how the writer describes “The Voice”

The voice is the nastiest most vile person you have ever met, but weirdly you want to impress it because you get rewarded. The voice is a bully and unfortunately it lives in your head so you can’t get away from it.

To try and explain what it sounds like it’s probably best to describe how it feels. Imagine you are sitting with a cup of tea round your best friend’s house and she’s made a cake especially for you. She would like you to try a slice and starts plating it up. You start to feel an overwhelming feeling of fear and discomfort. You feel hot and your head starts to try and worm its way out of the situation, causing lots of frantic thinking. Whilst externally you try to stay calm so as not to arouse suspicion that internally everything is panicking. It is an overwhelming feeling you can’t control. It’s the ‘voice of anorexia’, overthinking everything you eat to the most damaging degree possible.

If you eat this you can’t eat for the rest of the day. That slice is going to be huge. It’s full of calories. You have already eaten enough today. 

Out of politeness you might squeeze in a bite of cake and make a pleasing sound mmmm” but really you are in pain. For the rest of the day you will be punished by a feeling of guilt. Your day is ruined from a piece of cake.

This is spot on with what is going on in my head 24 hours a day. A relentless monologue. Now as i sat and freaked out about Tuesday i came to the decision that i was going to go into work for the morning. Change the days holiday to half a day! That would be good i thought to myself. That way i can keep my mind off the appointment i can keep my Tuesday eating regime and everything would be great!!! So the decision was made. Tuesday morning go into work.

Tuesday rolled in an another poor nights sleep, heat and worry the contributing factors. Never the less it was D day as it were. What would the dietitians have in store for me? No time to dwell i thought as i got ready for work. See this is keeping me sane!!! Or insane???? Whichever!! I had planned for a full on morning of busy busy time also a chance to burn some calories as i rushed around. Although we were back to full capacity on staff i felt i could find enough to do until it was time to leave for the appointment. As the morning wore on thoughts turned to after the appointment?? Christ i had not thought of that?? It was only an hour long after all!!! What can i do after??? Well that was that……I was going back to work. Blow it! I will work a days holiday i thought to myself. With that decided upon i set about the morning lead up. Busy busy busy.

So to the appointment….. I had a catch up with my eating disorders doctor before i went on to to meet with the dietitians. We talked about how i was coping with the tasks and if i was still following them. I admitted to her that i had lapsed over the past week she understood my reasons and offered some insightful feedback which although i struggled to take on board at first the more we discussed and broke these things down the easier it became for me to see where she was coming from. I told her i felt i really needed the therapy to start but she told me at this time it would not be wise considering the starvation state my body was still in. I told her about how i never really felt hungry anymore which was nothing new to her. Its all about the body switching off its hunger sensors. I need to get the nourishment in my body for all the sensors to be switched back on. Once these sensors are back and my eating is normal then i can begin the therapy. I have one path out at the moment and that is to pull the body out of starvation mode. I agreed with this synopsis. As the discussion progressed i described the feelings of helplessness and how i felt most days that i was at a crossroads at the moment. Simple she said choose which has light!!! Yes simple but both i feel look so so dark at the moment i said. Again she laid it on the line choose the path where heart attack is likely, she outlined possible complications due to heart attack, these included lack of oxygen to the brain.  I could potentially be left brain damage. That was just one of the scenarios. I was told the longer i leave this the more my life expectancy goes down. This is a frightening scenario. I am still in early days, the hardest bit is what i am going through at this current time. Initial weight gain is the toughest part of the first couple of weeks but do not feel as though i am going backwards. I have to be brave take the steps and realise this is medicine for me. Like i’m taking a pill………. The catch up finished with the weigh in. Standard for me now. Result………. I have dropped a pound.  I am back to 7st 6lbs. Well after all that feeling fat i had lost weight. As i have said before i am not sure how i feel about it? It is a strange feeling………………… I will leave it at that i think.

Having finished with the eating disorders doctor the dietitians were ready for me. I was taken down the corridor to another room to meet them. This is when my anxiety about the day started to peak. I was not sure what the deal was like i said earlier on. Immediately i was put at ease. They introduced themselves and basically explained their roles in the journey. It was good to hear, it put my mind at ease i have to say. The pressure was easing. They explained that they were there to advise and guide me back to appreciating food and not to be driven by “The Voice”. I was glad of this, i explained how i had images and thoughts of them telling what to eat and what to do no matter what. I was informed that this would only be the case if i were to be admitted to hospital for treatment. This is all about helping me to help myself. If the hospital card were to be played then things would be different….. Out of my hands totally. Not a good route to take they told me!!!!!!!

The first half hour was spent analysing my eating, referring to the food diary. They made their observations, we discussed various myths that people hear and read about food from so called experts. I learnt a lot and had my eyes opened. I have some great reading material which i am going through. This they told me would help guide me on my journey out of this illness. I have also been given a few little tasks to add to the ones i am currently doing. They explained in depth how these little steps will gradually become second nature to me as time goes on all helping me to get better.

The last half hour was general discussion about my feelings towards food. I explained how i was feeling with the day to day obsession i have with calories and carbs. Again all things they had heard before. They explained how Anorexia and other eating disorders force the mind and body to work against each other. We discussed how people react when they find out about my disorder. I told them that some people are very understanding and are really helping me. Where as some people just do not understand what i am going through. The hour drew to an end we tied up the lose ends of what we had discussed. We all agreed that the tasks i had been given were the best way forward to start with. We would discuss further options at the next meeting and maybe add another task should i be comfortable and ready. As ever its small steps…………..

Now over the last couple of days i have been doing quite a bit of research into Eating Disorders. I have found and read a lot of interesting bits and pieces. It has certainly helped me understand my mind and the mind of a person with an eating disorder. One of most common things i came across is things people say to people with an eating disorder. These things have been said to me and i thought i would share a few pearls of wisdom with you to further explain my thinking…………………..

You look great/healthy/better than ever!”

This one seems like it should be something that would be helpful to say. However, someone said this to me the other day and it is an incredibly triggering comment. Unfortunately, eating disorders can change the way a person perceives different words. Because a person with anorexia (or bulimia) may need to gain weight as a part of treatment, the eating disorder will cause any comment noting a change in appearance to I’m glad you ate dinner/lunch/breakfast.”

Don’t congratulate us on our efforts at mealtimes

 

We may be trying REALLY hard and perhaps you’ve noted that we’re making progress.  Maybe we ate more quickly, tried a new food, forwent a ritual or ate more food than in previous meals.  Each of these is an amazing achievement but acknowledging it will halt us in our tracks.  We’re trying hard but the anorexic voice is ANGRY with us.

I will leave you with this last little thing that i found earlier today. I found that it perfectly explains my mind.

Before you say anything to someone recovering from anorexia, especially if it’s anything to do with food, weight or appearance, think about the most warped and twisted way your words could be wilfully misinterpreted to make them into a negative rather than a positive…  Then you’re probably approaching the milder end of how your friend’s eating disorder will have them interpret your words.

 

Whilst we’re battling hard not to lose weight, those around us are relieved to see things stabilising or getting better and in the spirit of encouragement, they will often share their glee with us.  But anything you say which suggests we are looking or acting more healthily will be interpreted as a failure on our part.  Even though we may be engaging with recovery, the anorexic voice is never far away in the early days and will misinterpret comments around food, weight and appearance very negatively.

Until Sunday.

*Dedicated to those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt

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

Hey guys hope the week has been kind to you all?

No midweek update this week, i thought i would put it all here today.

So to Monday…. Appointment with the eating disorders doctor.

Now the day did not have the best of starts. Anybody who knows me well knows i am not to savvy in the kitchen. Monday morning starts in a very routine way. Porridge and a cup of tea. Now as i completed the first step of this mornings porridge putting it in microwave for the allotted time. The timer sounded……. as i pulled the bowl out to stir for before repeating, something did not look quite right. Looked a bit thick i thought??? Oh well i thought, give it a stir maybe it will be ok after the repeated process………. So it went back in. Well what can i say…….. i pulled out the bowl and looked down to what can only be described as something resembling cement!!!! God knows what happened? But that was the consistency. So i tried again!! Sublime to the ridiculous is the only way i can describe it i guess…… From cement it was now so watery i could have watered the garden with it. After this i was in no mood to try again, i settled for an apple. As we all know this is not the prescribed breakfast staple. I knew as i wrote in the food diary i was going to get some for this from the doctor. Quite rightly too!!!!! So bad was this morning i missed my breakfast tea due to the knock on effect of my mishap. I arrived at work not feeling great, 1 apple was nowhere near enough nutrients for my weakened body. My appointment was at 9:30 am so i had plenty of time to make a tea which i did. With tea made i set about my tasks which i needed to do. I had around 20 minutes before i had to leave to make my way down to my appointment.

As i left for the appointment i was unsure what the outcome of this next session would be? Had i lost more weight? Gained? Or stayed the same? The dark side of my mind was hoping i had lost!!!! I mean that is where i am at with this illness after all. I arrived at the hospital to be told my doctor was running late. Superb!!! More time to think!!!!! It turns out i was only waiting 10 minutes! Still long enough though. So the short wait ended as i was called in. As i made my way in to the consulting room i was really feeling exhausted, low, depressed. The doctor sensed immediately that something was not right. She asked me what was wrong? So i started the tale of Monday morning………………………..

Once finished she quickly reassured me that for whatever reason this happened i was not to dwell on it. We got on with the meeting by having the weigh in!!! Result? I had gained a 1lb. Not a lot, but a step forward. I was now back to 7st 7lb’s. This was the weight i was when i was assessed 2 weeks ago. This pleased her……. I on the other hand was not 100% sure about how i felt about this???? Yes the weight needs to be added but god it is hard to convince the brain that this is the right direction. I am aware i am repeating myself, but the thoughts are still there. She suggested adding another step if i felt comfortable? I was unsure but agreed. She felt i needed to add a mid morning snack. She placed on the table selection of options she felt were good snacks for mid morning. I looked at each of them firstly checking the calorie content. Every single one the amount of calories freaked me out!!!!! I mean the highest was 212 calories!!!! I dismissed each one. We discussed this and what other options there were and finally decided on dried fruit. Yes it does not sound great but it is what made me feel comfortable. Apricots were the chosen fruit for the snack. I was to eat the whole pot not just a few. I was not comfortable with this suggestion but she insisted this was a positive step that needed to be taken now…………………………. We moved the discussion on to how i had been feeling and coping with the steps. She feels that as soon as we have sorted the eating and that my body is out of starvation mode, the next step on the road to recovery is to have Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). Now at the beginning of this journey i had been offered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT she informed me is not the type of therapy for me. CBT encourages you to think more as it were, this is no good for me as i am a classic over thinker….. Now CFT is different as this brief description explains……………………

Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is a system of psychotherapy developed by Paul Gilbert that integrates techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy with concepts from evolutionary psychologysocial psychologydevelopmental psychologyBuddhist psychology, and neuroscience. “One of its key concerns is to use compassionate mind training to help people develop and work with experiences of inner warmth, safeness and soothing, via compassion and self-compassion.”[1]

The central therapeutic technique of CFT is compassionate mind training, which teaches the skills and attributes of compassion.[2] Compassionate mind training helps transform problematic patterns of cognition and emotion related to anxietyangershameself-criticismdepersonalization, and hypomania.[3]

Biological evolution forms the theoretical backbone of CFT. Humans have evolved with at least three primal types of emotion regulation system: the threat (protection) system, the drive (resource-seeking) system, and the soothing system.[4] CFT emphasizes the links between cognitive patterns and these three emotion regulation systems.[5] Through the use of techniques such as compassionate mind training and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy clients can learn to manage each system more effectively and respond more appropriately to situations.[6] There are an increasing number of empirical research papers that demonstrate the importance of compassion as a way of directing behavior to deal with threat and resolve conflict.[7]

Compassion focused therapy is especially appropriate for people who have high levels of shame and self-criticism and who have difficulty in feeling warmth toward, and being kind to, themselves or others.[1] Such problems of shame and self-criticism are often rooted in a history of abuse, bullying, neglect, and/or lack of affection in the family.[8] CFT can help such people learn to feel more safeness and warmth in their interactions with others and themselves.[1]

Numerous methods are used in CFT to develop a person’s compassion. For example, people undergoing CFT are taught to understand compassion from the third person, before transferring these thought processes to themselves.[9]

Now as you can see from the explanation, this is clearly the best for me in my eyes. The high levels of shame and self criticism are bang on with how i am and have been for many many years going right back to my school days. Personally i am not 100% sure this will work as i feel i am a terminal case. However it is a path on the journey that i must take a little wander down to see where it leads?

Here is just a quick explanation of CBT. As you will see there are differences which show why CFT is better for me……………

The CBT model is based on a combination of the basic principles from behavioral and cognitive psychology.[2] It is different from historical approaches to psychotherapy, such as the psychoanalytic approach where the therapist looks for the unconscious meaning behind behaviors and then formulates a diagnosis. Instead, CBT is “problem-focused” and “action-oriented”, meaning it is used to treat specific problems related to a diagnosed mental disorder and the therapist’s role is to assist the client in finding and practising effective strategies to address the identified goals and decrease symptoms of the disorder.[7] CBT is based on the belief that thought distortions and maladaptive behaviors play a role in the development and maintenance of psychological disorders,[3] and that symptoms and associated distress can be reduced by teaching new information-processing skills and coping mechanisms.[1][7][8]

When compared to psychotropic medications, review studies have found CBT-alone to be as effective for treating less severe forms of depression and anxietyposttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), ticssubstance abuse (with the exception of opioid use disorder), eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder, and it is often recommended in combination with medications for treating other conditions, such as severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and major depressive disorder, opioid addiction, bipolar, and psychotic disorders.[1] In addition, CBT is recommended as the first line of treatment for the majority of psychological disorders in children and adolescents, including aggression and conduct disorder.[1][4] Researchers have found that other bona fide therapeutic interventions were equally effective for treating certain conditions in adults,[9][10] but CBT was found to be superior in treating most disorders.[1] Along with interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), CBT is recommended in treatment guidelines as a psychosocial treatment of choice,[1][11] and CBT and IPT are the only psychosocial interventions that psychiatry residents are mandated to be trained in.[1]

So Tuesday dawned with a meeting at work to start the day. I had to be in early, not a problem. Up and out! Burn more calories……………….. Oh yes i am back to this level this week. I have no idea what has caused the regression back to this stage but i am here. So lets try and climb back from the abyss. With the meeting concluded i carried on with my day focusing on the tasks that i needed to do. Burning into my brain was the need to keep moving. Now as mid morning approached i found myself clock watching and starting to worry about the snack!!!! I mean ridiculous right?????? Well tea turned up and “drum roll”!!!! I had 5 apricots!!!!!! I know i know this is not what was agreed with the doctor going forward but i just felt that this was enough to start with……. I felt an odd satisfaction that i had achieved another small step, on the flip side, the guilt was encroaching as is standard…….. The daily battle with food is the hardest thing. I just do not get how something which is life sustaining can be in total control of my brain 24 hours a day. But this is the juncture i am at and i have to try and move past it.

Wednesday was a horrible horrible day. To start with i woke like i had been on a 50 mile hike, tired, aching, the works. Being my day off chores were on the list………..Needless to say these chores did not go to well at all. Simple everyday tasks were transformed into huge mountains that i was struggling to climb. Stress levels high along with tight chest and palpitations which frightened the life out of me!! I managed to talk myself down to a calmer level. I knew one thing……….. I had to get out of the house. After all i was picking number 1 up from school and spending the rest of the day with her as her mother was out for the day. Couldn’t really do that from a hospital bed could i now?? I retreated up town to the coffee house..Usual perch and attempted to take my mind off the mornings “issues”.  As i sat and chilled i got to thinking ahead to my upcoming appointment with the dietitian was going to pan out? All sorts going through my head, are they going to make a diet plan that i have to follow no matter how i felt about it? I am not really sure i could do that? I am just going to have to wait and see. You cannot second guess these things.  The time arrived to go and pick number 1 up, this is the highlight of my day of course………As it was extended time with her i was very much looking forward to it. Nothing special planned but it was just nice to be able to see her for longer mid week. One thing that was playing on my mind was dinner! Of course number 1 had to be fed, but i was freaking out about what i could have that would be sufficient?? Madness!!! My thoughts totally consumed by the “diet”. We ended up going to a restaurant that we had been to before, i knew the menu!!!!! How sad is that? I go to a place where i know the menu off by heart. I ended up just having soup and a side salad!!!! Shocking!!!! Trouble is i am just not hungry these days. Part of the starvation mode you see. We finished dinner and made our way home, we had a bath and some reading to fit in before bed time. Just to be able to do these things makes me happy, it is great to be part of number 1’s routine. With these done we made our way to bed around 7:30. We sat in bed and chilled out watching a bit of TV before she settled down to sleep. Around 9:30 number 1 sound asleep me watching barbie on TV, i couldn’t find the remote to turn it over number 1’s mother returned. Progress report of the afternoon and evening done i bid her farewell and drove home. As i drove home i did not have the usual depressed feeling i get when i leave her. I think i put that down to the little extra time we had together that day.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were pretty non descript days to be fair. Work dominated along with the usual food and calorie led thoughts. I have to admit i have not been having the mid morning snack and i have also cut the orange juice from the routine. Saying something positive and accepting positive things that people say to me has also disappeared. Not sure if its all to much at the moment? My head is cluttered. I have also taken to not sitting down to have lunch at work. For the last few days i have had lunch on the go. Eating in between serving customers and doing various tasks. This harks back to the previous Saturday where i was so busy. This of course is not healthy, for some reason though i feel happier. In the back of my mind i know exactly what i am doing. It is not right, but i cannot stop myself…………….Let me explain it simply. I am aware that i am gaining weight all be it slowly and for the good of my health. However as much as i need to gain this weight i do not want to………..So so warped!! That is the bottom line of it all! Do i want to get better??? My brain is telling me no!! I just cannot get to grips with it all, i genuinely believe i am going mad………Where’s that straight jacket??? Since being told at my last appointment that i had gained weight 1lb!!! That is all it is, i am back to body checking i feel i look fat and am indeed fat too. This is dragging me back towards the edge the horrendous week has not helped. Other bits and pieces happened that have tested me to the limit but i am not willing to share these i am afraid.

Sunday with number 1, my sister, and nephews was spent in a fog of avoiding food and trying to burn as many calories as i could. I am going backwards here. I am convinced of it!!!! The worst part sitting here typing this blog is that i really do not care……………………..

Messed up way to end guys.  Sorry i am letting you all down……….Typical Matt.

Peace

Matt

 

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

Well hello from Sunday.

It has flown around again. Hope you guys are well?

Fresh from the midweek update, i was a little stuck on what to add from Wednesday onwards. This is mainly due to the fact my life at this moment is very routine.

I have a meeting with the eating disorders doctor on Monday, which i am sure i will blog about midweek…….So back to the rest of the week. As some of you who read the midweek update know i have been given 3 steps from the eating disorders doctor, plus a further 3 steps from the psychological doctor.

Now quick refresh:

Eating Disorders Steps

1. Carbs with a least one meal

2. At least one glass of fruit juice

3. Stop taking pictures/body checking.

Reporting back to her as i will be, i am pleased to say that all 3 have been fulfilled since Monday.  Now a massive hurdle has been overcome here. However the guilt that comes with step number 1 still follows me! This is having an effect on step 3. Although i have stopped taking the pictures, i am still finding myself drawn to checking the mirror. As we all know for myself Carbs = Fat Face, Weight Gain etc……… What a lovely circle i have created for myself. Troubling for my mind and well being. I have to be strong and i feel i have been so far.  I understand that as i have said before that there will be a few slips on the way but i am still in punishment mode. I get very angry when i find myself looking and analysing trying to change angles so that i am happy with what i see.

Now 2 psychological steps that have to take until my next appointment have proved very very difficult for me.

Quick refresh

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

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

I lasted 2 days of saying something positive and 1 day thinking about positive things people say to me. For some reason i just cannot be positive to myself or accept positive comments from anyone. This i am very ashamed of, all the people who give me positive feedback i feel i am letting down. I am apologising to you all here and now, it is not as though i do not appreciate your messages of support because i do but i cannot take these on board and move forward with them at the moment. Such a nightmare. Believe me though i will make it up to all of you one day……….

The rest of the week from Wednesday on wards was pretty standard. Thursday i was deep in depression, i had the 2 appointments running through my head like a monologue from a film. I found it very difficult to concentrate. I am not 100% sure how i managed to get through the day without actually screaming. However i did make it as i do everyday. First full day of steps and i managed them all. Lunch has been designated as carb time. Every bite of the roll was pure hell. Who would have thought eating a roll would be such a traumatic experience. I have sought solace in reading a bit of the literature that was given to me on Monday. This has helped to a certain degree, it is all about getting it into my head and making myself believe it. One day soon hopefully!

Friday was busy at work deliveries and preparing for the Saturday were the order of the day. Of course along with serving customers. I managed one positive thing to say to myself when i got up and proceeded to get on with my day. At the moment the steps feel like burdens. That may sound strange but it is the only way i can describe them. I sincerely hope as the days go by that will become ingrained in my psyche and they will become part of me. One day at a time is what i have to remember. This is not an over night fix……….

Saturday another work day and we were flat out. Short staffed due to holidays and sickness. All hands to the pump, i did not stop all day i somehow managed to grab lunch whilst on the go, not the best idea for someone in my condition i know but i felt i had to do it as we were so short staffed. Towards 3pm i was dangerously close to fainting, dizziness and fatigue were hitting me hard, i even got confused with a customers quotation on hire wear. After all i had not had anything to eat since my breakfast porridge. In between customers and going to grab things for customers i grabbed and nibbled on bits of my lunch. I am pleased to say through all his i still managed my carb intake. Through all this the guilt of the carb was still hitting me….. I was secretly glad i was on the move whilst eating, it felt as though all the calories were flying off. Oh yes even though i have not exercised in weeks the thought of getting rid of them are still prominent for me. Eventually the day finished, i retreated to the coffee house for a cup of tea and to sit down, first time i had all day. It felt good to just sit and do nothing for an hour. This is something that i have not been able to enjoy for well over a year or more. Once i finished the tea i made my way off to visit our alteration lady,  i had to drop some urgent alterations off that were needed for Monday. I was invited in and had my orange juice intake at hers. We chatted for a bit on how i was getting on with things, the start of my sessions and how i was coping with the steps etc…. Its good to talk as they say. Still feel sometimes that i am burden to people when they ask how i am there always seems to be a tale of woe for the next 30 minutes. Paranoid?? Possibly but i am well aware of how i sound sometimes, especially on here…….

After an awful nights sleep i awoke feeling run down and tired, but a day with Number 1 lay ahead!!! I was determined to make up for last Sunday where i missed seeing her. We spent the day embracing nature. There is a lovely area near me call Beeleigh, i am pretty sure i have mentioned this place before?  Number 1 suggested we take a stroll around the area looking at the wildlife and exploring the place properly. It was a beautifully warm and sunny day so where better to spend it than outdoors exploring and having quality time together. We took walks to look at the horses and their babies which roam in a field near the lock they have there, we took in the falls which are a major feature of the area, along with wooded areas and small hidden away little alcoves. We found a particularly beautiful spot and set up camp as it were. We played for a couple of hours a little game she was making up as she went along such a great imagination she has makes me so proud. We eventually took a break and went the short distance up town to the coffee house to grab a drink and her customary cup of marsh mellows which she has been having everytime we go in for as long as i can remember. We spent the time at the coffee house doing the usual messing around laughing and joking. Number 1 came up with a novel way of eating her marsh mellows which tickled both of us. I have not laughed so much in a long long time. We lunched a little late, me still watching and counting the calories as ever. This obsession is not going to disappear over night i realise that, but my god is it annoying!!!! After lunch we discussed what to do for the remainder of the time we had left. She wished to return to Beeleigh………So that is exactly what we did. We made our way back to the little spot we had found and continued the game into the late afternoon. As the day drew to an end i knew i had to get Number 1 home, after all school tomorrow and she needed to have a bath and get set for bed. We drove home laughing and joking as had been the pattern of the day. Always in the back of my mind the feelings i get whenever i drop her home.

I bid goodbye to Number 1 and told her i would see her Wednesday which without wishing time away cannot come soon enough. As i drove home my thoughts diverted to the week ahead. I have a meeting with the eating disorders doctor on Monday. The inevitable weigh in and the continuation of the treatment plan and steps. Maybe more steps will be added who knows? I do have a few questions which i wish to raise with her about my steps this week, hopefully she will provide some insight which i feel i need to continue on my journey. These are mainly to put my mind at ease. We will see…………

So we have ended this weeks journey. I have mixed feelings on this week. I am pleased i have stuck to the 3 steps that were set by the eating disorders doctor. Progress has been made although it small. I am frustrated that i cannot get along so well with psychological side of the treatment. I did think the steps i agreed to were achievable but as i said earlier i have really struggled with them. Maybe the turn of a new week things may change? Who knows? We can only but see what each day brings…………………………..

*Dedicated to all those who are supporting me through this journey.

Unitl next week people, stay healthy.

Peace and Love

Matt