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

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

Hey Guys. Mid week update time…..

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

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

So we had 3 steps.

1. Carbs with at least one meal.

2. At least one glass of fruit juice.

3. Stop the picture/ body checking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So the steps

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Dedicated to all those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt.

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

Well its Sunday. Hope you guys are well?

An up and down week again. Those who follow this blog know that Tuesday was a big day for me. I had my assessment. Since then my mind had been all over the shop. I am glad that i went to the assessment i felt i got a lot off my chest. The battle has truly begun. Its all for real now. As the rest of this week progressed my mind was still churning with scenario after scenario. The latest of these being that fight with myself to up the calories. This is something that i just cannot do at the moment although i know i have to as i promised the doctor at the assessment that this will be the case by the time she next sees me. Ironically the next time she is seeing me is on Tuesday. I received a phone call on Friday from her offering me their services. Which i of course accepted. She did tell me however that i would have to wait until at least 18th July until i can see the dietitian. In the mean time we can touch base and get things rolling hence the appointment Tuesday. I have been keeping a food diary since the assessment but looking back on it i can see that i have not been upping the calories enough!!! My brain just will not let me!! I have to take on board what a friend told me during the week.

“The brain does not always tell the truth and ‘you’ do not have to believe what the thoughts tell you…..you are not your thoughts! What does your body tell you? Believe the body not the mind. It sounds like the body is showing you sadness and hunger. Its literally crying out for nourishment…….physically the external symptoms of the eating disorder but fundamentally emotional nourishment is below that. Trust the body mate….its a sign post to help guide you.

These are very profound words, which are wholly true. Some days i do not even feel hungry. I could easily go without food on some days which is so so dangerous i know…… I eat when i absolutely have to. Basically i eat when i am at my weakest point.  But what i put in is not enough, it is virtually the same as what i was doing before the assessment. I understand for the specialists to help me i have to help myself but the brain is fully in charge still and my god it is being a stubborn master to change. I have still been taking the pictures each night, and am convinced at this moment that even though the calories are not building that my face is getting fat!!!! Insane i know!!!

Thursday things were getting me seriously down. The pressure of knowing that i had to increase my food consumption was horrendous, i just cannot physically force myself to get the food in me. I am getting more and more frustrated with this. I pray each night that i wake up in the morning and realise that it was all just a horrible dream. The reality of it all is that it is not a horrible dream this is all to real……….. As i filled out the daily food diary i looked at it and felt that the consumption was ample. Ample however is not the word that should be thrown into this blog. Deep down it is no way near. The guilt i feel whenever i eat is shocking. My friend at work has got me upping my liquid intake as well. I told her what i drink throughout the day and she told me in no uncertain terms that it was nowhere near enough. I needed to drink. I am not a fan of water on its own so she went a bought me a bottle of juice. The juice turned up and my first thought was standard…..What are the calories in this ??? I mean my god, its drink get a grip. I sipped on the drink as i carried on with my day. She wanted me to have 3 glasses by the end of the day, a simple request and a simple thing to do in theory!!!! I managed 2 glasses and felt this was a good step. As i sit here typing this out the continuing thought that hits me is that how can you be worried about calories in a drink. Liquid intake is essential you cannot survive for long without liquid. It is not as though i do not drink hardly. I drink mainly in the evening,  i have always been like this in some weird way.

Friday at work was exactly the same, i was relatively busy, it still did not change my mind set. Constant thoughts of how i am going to up the calories dominate me.  There are periods when i feel genuinely confident of the increase, but more often than not the guilt raises its ugly head. Tormenting and bullying me into backing out and entering back into my ‘normality’.  I was so glad of the phone call from the doctor who assessed me earlier in the week. As already stated i have an appointment on Tuesday, i cannot wait until i see her again to sit down and explain the irrational feelings and to see if she can suggest anything.  I cannot get to grips with it at the moment on my own.

Saturday dawned and another day of fighting with myself arguing with my brain. Such a fun life i lead at the moment. Once again work kept my mind busy. I tried to keep up the regime of drinking more but sadly i fell at the very first hurdle by getting up late and missing my morning tea. Rest of the day trying to play catch up in between customers. I felt very weak on Saturday but knew i had to battle through as we were short staffed. Only thought that kept me going was the fact i was seeing Number 1 that evening. I was looking after her whilst her mother went out. A little extra bonus time with her. I had offered to stay at her mothers over night. I finished work and made my way home to sort my bits and pieces out.  Awaiting me was a letter when i returned home. Marked with Health Service stamp i wondered if it was just confirmation of my appointment for Tuesday. I was wrong, it was another appointment. This one is for Wednesday, it is only a short appointment expected to last approximately 30 minutes, this time with a different lady? I am not sure if this is the dietitian or not? The letter does not state that. Only thing to do is to go along and see. I placed the letter in my bedroom and made a note on my phone calendar just so i would not forget, time was pushing on so i needed to sort things out for the evening.  Mainly i had to sort what i was going to eat whilst i was there dinner wise. The old me would have ordered a takeaway or something, alas this version of me needed to grab all his “special” food. Calorie counted and ready to go, heaven forbid i break the routine! I arrived to a house full of women Number 1’s mother and 2 of her friends along with Number 1 and 2 female dogs. But i didn’t care, all i cared about was extra time with Number 1. It was going to be fun. After the ladies left on their night out Number 1 and I started about our evening we were playing with dollies and other bits and pieces until i was ready to do the meal!!!! Chicken and vegetables the most i had put into my body all day. I have upped my protein intake since seeing the doctor, she had told me it was most important especially as carbs are in my eyes my enemy these days. As i waited for the vegetables to cook we washed the strawberries that Number 1 had been out and picked that day. Just these little things give me a lift. If only i could have a normal life with her, but hey life is not always fair like that. By the time we finished washing them the veg was virtually done. With the chicken pre cooked all that was left to do was serve up and eat. I try and eat as normal as i can in front of Number 1, i cannot bare the thought of her seeing me like i am. As i ate we continued to play and just generally have quality daughter, daddy time. It is genuinely the only time i am happy these days. These moments i cherish are as i have said before the only time i feel almost like my old self.  As the evening drew on Number 1 settled down on the sofa and we watched UP! I have never seen it before and i must say i enjoyed it. We were off to cinema on Sunday to watch Despicable me 3 with my sister and her 2 boys so this seemed a great warm up. Number 1 did not make the end of the film she drifted off so as gently as i could i transferred her up to bed.

I was awoken Sunday morning by Number 1 jumping on me. Now this was better than any alarm call in my eyes. Waking up and seeing her smiling face lifted my mood almost immediately. If only every day could be like that?? Yes i really mean that for those of you with kids you are probably sitting there thinking he would soon get fed up with that. Hey maybe i would maybe i wouldn’t its still nice to have the choice as far as i can see………….. Sadly that was as far as the joy of Sunday got for me. As the morning progressed and we were getting ready to go to my sisters Number 1 was not feeling herself. Tearful with a temperature was the result. She was not feeling well and was unable to make the cinema date with her auntie and cousins……I was gutted absolutely gutted. Calpol taken she took to the sofa. As she lay there i realised there was nothing more i could do. I had to get away. I drove home with all sorts of thoughts and scenarios running around my head. Paranoia and an urge to just go and exercise all my frustration and stress away. I knew this would do me no good. Plus i had an uneasy feeling. I felt i was getting palpitations, i am not sure if it was the stress, the fact i was upset or the fact that breakfast had been a shocking combination of Greek Yogurt and Fruit. I did not even feel satisfied and still felt hungry yet i just ignored it!!!! Dangerous game i am playing here i fully realise that.

I found myself at my sisters and spent the day with her and my nephews. I needed company and something to occupy me, what better than to spend some quality time with them. We had a lovely day it is such a shame Number 1 could not have been with me. But another day and i will make sure this happens.

I sit here this evening finishing this blog with mixed emotions. It has been one hell of a week. I have felt since my appointment that things have sort of got away from me as it were. This week knowing that i have to up the calories the thoughts that are running through my head are so so strange. When i eat and have some energy for example, i have his huge overwhelming feeling of guilt!!!! What on earth it is i do not know?  I just do not feel normal??? I do not understand this feeling what so ever. Surely when you eat you are revitalised and ready for the next period of the day?? For me however all i feel is that i have to get going again and burn all of it off. I cannot let it hang around in my body. I work out how long it would take to burn and should i have eaten less. Rational thoughts just do not get a look in!!!! This i am fully aware sounds mental.

With a new week about to begin, 2 appointments on the horizon. I am hoping that this week will be more straight forward for me. I may do a midweek update on the 2 appointments? I will see what i get out of them and decide. For now this weeks journey comes to an end.

I must lastly apologise if this blog has sounded fragmented and full of nonsense………Welcome to my head is all i can say. I write this as i am hearing it up top. You guys have a choice whether to read this imagine if you were like me and had to live with it!!!!! It is not pretty believe me………….

*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……….Midweek Update….

Well greetings to you all. Mid week blog.. A rare one has to be said.

Tuesday was appointment day for those who read the last blog.

Step 2 as it is on the journey to hopeful recovery.

So as i said Tuesday was appointment day. The venue for this was the local hospital. A little clinic in the grounds. The day begun as normal by getting up and getting ready of work. Standard breakfast of porridge and a cup of tea. I must admit i was a little apprehensive mainly because i was not sure what the day would bring? How the appointment would go? How the clinical team would see my disorder? How they would be able to help me? All these questions from the moment i woke. I could tell it was going to be a long day.

My appointment was 10am, so i made my way to work as normal. Today was window change day at work but i was not going to be there when the dressers turned up. Luckily i was prepared i had everything picked and ready to go Monday. Clock watching was the order of the day as turned up for work. I found myself deep in thought, thinking how i was going to explain the mess that i was in. I thought about just printing out these blogs and handing them to the team and letting them get on with it. Around 9:45 i made my way to the hospital, a 5 minute walk from work. As i walked to the hospital it was like i rehearsing a script for a part in a film. I kept going over and over what i was going to say how i was going to say it. Along with that was the worry that i would sound so insane that they would lock me up there and then. I arrived around 9:50 and booked myself in at reception where i was told to take a seat. Brilliant!!! More time for me to think whilst waiting. Why did i not leave later? Was my thought. Well waiting it was. As i sat and looked around a sort of strange calmness hit me. This was the next step…… It starts here. Just before 10 one of the team came out to me and asked me to fill out a form on how i have been feeling over the last 2 weeks. Just a few questions nothing difficult was how she described the form. I sat there…. read through the questions, then proceeded to answer them.  5 Minutes i was done……… All that was left now was to wait to be called………

So the time came, i was called. An eating disorders doctor and a psychological nurse greeted me as i walked in. They ran through the purpose of the meeting. This was an assessment just to get all the information they needed on what i was going through and what i needed from them in the form of help and advice etc…..They began by asking if they could weigh me and take my height, i asked specifically not to be told what i weighed i just do not need to know that kind of information at the moment. I know my own mind and i can guarantee if i knew i was a little heavier from when i was last weighed then………..well we all know what would happen don’t we?? With that out of the way i was told just to start from the very beginning. How it all started right through to what is going on with me now. For an hour and a half i sat and poured out my tale of woe whilst they sat and made notes and asking the occasional questions just so they could get a clearer idea of what i was doing to myself and what was happening to my body. I really thought it would be difficult to open up and let it all out, but it came out with amazing ease and clarity. I did not miss a thing. I even mentioned the tiny little things like feeling guilty about having an ice cream and the jacket potato incident!! I just had to make sure that they had it all. If i am to get better then the more they know at the beginning the better the plan that they could formulate as it were.

The time flew by. Before i knew it i was at the end, cleaning up any loose ends and queries that they had about my story. It felt good to be able to have got it off my chest to people who have heard this all to familiar story before. So as i sat there with a feeling of relieve the doctor explained what the next step would be. Basically the 2 of them would go back to there respective teams and discuss my case. After that the doctor and the psychological nurse would then get back together and formulate the treatment plan. I am expected to hear back from them next week.

They asked if i had any question. Which i only had 1. What can i do in the meantime?? The answer shocked me to the core, it is ringing around my head as i write this like a bullet in a small room. The doctor told me i was in danger of really doing some permanent damage to my body. My calorie intake had to be upped, she expected that to happen by the next time she sees me. She explained to me that what i am eating at the moment is nowhere near enough for me which i  of course know……But what really hit me was the next line. My body is in starvation mode currently, i am going the right way for a heart attack with the amount of pressure that i am putting on it. Once that happens the damage could be irreversible i could end up dying!! She went on to explain that i needed to have the carbs in my body to fuel it. She asked if i get heart palpitations which i have had a few times which was scary enough i thought i was actually having a heart attack a couple of weeks ago. She told me these would become more frequent should i carry on down this path, i was also asked if i get dizzy at all? Again the answer was yes. To be expected as well! After all i spend all day on my feet at work rushing around and never having a proper break. She told me i needed to drink as i was dangerously dehydrated. I basically have 2 cups of tea at work in the morning and that is it. All this needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency!!!! We discussed the possibility of keeping a food diary which i am going to do.  This will give me and them a guide of what i am consuming during any given day and obviously will be used as a visual example to prove what i am doing to my myself.  The final word from the Doctor was that i need to use food as medicine from now on and to gain strength and fuel  my body. This is the advice i need to take on board. So the meeting came to an end. We said our goodbyes and i made my way slowly back to work. I felt drained after all that which surprised me considering all i was doing was sitting and talking…… But i guess when you’re in the state i am in anything i do is draining.

I returned to work went straight to the kitchen to make a tea. That is when it hit me!!!!! I couldn’t control it. I burst into tears. I get emotional and feel i want to cry all the time but i rarely let it get like that!!!!! I sat and cried for half an hour whilst a work colleague sat with me and listened to me talk about the appointment. I was upset then i was angry i went through the full range of emotions. I still cannot believe after all i heard from the doctor part of me still wanted to watch what i ate and count calories. What am i going to do???? I have not got a clue but i have to sort my head and gain control somehow. Little steps as i keep hearing. Trouble is i want it all to end right now but i know the process is not like that.

Today was my day off. A terrible nights sleep, i could not get things out of my mind and lay awake most of the night.  I had a full day to relax……….. Well that certainly did not happen. My mind was churning through all the scenarios that have led me to get to this position in my life. I am so angry that i have been weak. My feelings are that i have let so many people down. Number 1 i am letting down the most. She needs her Daddy. As i picked her up from school i made sure there were plenty of hugs and kisses. I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening with her making sure i cherished ever moment. I am petrified of what of could potentially happen to me. I know now i must sort this, but  part of me still does not feel there is a problem. Until i turn these thoughts around i feel that i am not making any progress. Failing again!!!!!

I wish i had something positive to end this blog on but this is where my head is at at this current time.

Look after yourselves people………….

*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 this week has been kind to you?

Another week has gone by.  I sit here with just a couple of days to go until my first appointment with the eating disorder clinic. An appointment i am very glad is almost upon me. Like i keep stating i am ready to take the next step on getting myself right again.

Everyday i feel drained and emotional by this illness. As i leave Number 1 on a Sunday the dread surfaces and i have to mentally prepare myself for another week of fighting my thoughts and my obsessions. Although i have managed to break the fitness obsession of sorts, i still need to break the others which are holding me hostage……. If i could just delete the calorie app i would be much happier. Unfortunately i know that is not going to happen for a while just yet.

This week has been a “fat” week. I have felt fat all week. I have absolutely no idea what made me think it, but for some reason i woke up Monday and all i could think was that i feel fat and i look fat. The rational part of my brain is either not functioning properly at all or it has gone totally. Monday through to Wednesday night the pictures i take of my face were being deeply analysed as i struggled to comprehend that what i was looking at was not the same as what everybody else sees!! I have shown a few people these pictures and feel its about time i share a few of them here.

 

 

 

From left to right these are Monday through to Wednesday night.  See a difference???? Your answer will almost be certainly no. For me, Monday is the result of my “excess” on Sunday.  So Tuesday and Wednesday i punish myself by eating very little. Such a messed up way to live my life……. The only picture i was sort of happy with was the Wednesday offering. I felt happier with my face. Trouble is i was so so weak on Wednesday. The inevitable result of punishing myself.

As the week progressed through Thursday and Friday, my depression deepened. The constant thoughts of putting on weight bombarded my every waking moment. I have no idea what is driving these thoughts this week. I have woken every day this week feeling as though i have not rested what so ever. My body aching, drained but i cannot just stop and rest i have to keep moving to make sure the weight does not pile on………… Pile on!!!! I know… what a statement!!! I know how that sounds but its the way i am seeing things if i am not doing exercise then this is the only i can make sure i can keep the weight off. My brain is a harsh master for me at the moment, i struggle to comprehend the many thoughts that hit me all at once. Confusion reigns supreme. I feel that i have to justify my every action and meal to my mind. It rules me, i am letting it rule me because i am to weak to fight possibly??

Let me give you an example of the ruling……….. For breakfast everyday i have porridge (much more than i used to have e.g i used to just have an apple.) I have a cup of tea and then another tea when i am at work. I then starve myself until lunch time (even though at 11 am i could quite conceivably have a bit of fruit or even a biscuit with my cup of tea). Lunch turns out to be a late afternoon meal. I have it so so late just to make sure i have burnt off breakfast. A ham and salad roll is what i have everyday, i have fruit and a drink. Not much i acknowledge that but for me at the moment its enough. Well i say that very loosely………. It is no where near enough, considering i am on my feet all day…….. Now after this my body feels fuelled for the rest of the afternoon. This should be a good thing right???……WRONG!!!! I hated every bite of that roll. I do not mind the fruit after all its healthy!! Why i think like this god only knows? I mean i have no energy as i am going about my morning, so why am i feeling guilty about having energy???? Where on earth is the logic in that?????? The same can be said for dinner. Again starve myself until i feel that the lunch calories are gone then eat the evening meal mainly a bland but healthy mix of Quorn products and green vegetables. Still all in a small quantity. Fruit or greek yogurt for dessert. Both these i feel comfortable with. But again the harshness that has manifested itself punishes me for being full!!!! I will say at this point i have no desire what so ever to go and stick my fingers down my throat……. I just sit and punish myself mentally for eating!!!! This is the daily cycle. As i type this out  i am thinking that this surely cannot be Anorexia???? This behaviour is just bizarre. What is wrong with me? I mean i literally hate myself so much that i could cry for fuelling my body.  So the starvation begins again for the next day…………..

If i could disconnect my head for just an hour i would love that……. To sit in complete and utter serenity would be a dream come true. Meditation is something i am going to have to look at seriously. May well be the only way?? Nothing else i do is working so far.

I woke for work Saturday again feeling like i had been awake all night. I really had no energy for the day.  A quiet day at work which made it drag severely. Everything i done was a huge task. Walking up and down stairs, bending down to pick things up, generally serving the customers all were a massive task for me. I knew exactly what i had to do but was my mind going to let me?? Of course not!! Cannot get fat, cannot get fat, must keep active was the broken record playing through my head. So i pushed on and on towards another late lunch. Today as a result of this i binned the roll and had a side salad for lunch plus the usual fruit. Pitiful! How was that going to fuel me for the afternoon. It didn’t of course, i felt just as drained plus i only sat down for 20 minutes or so. Needed to get back on shop floor to burn more of the nothing!!

Sunday i woke late, after a terrible nights sleep. I made my way over to pick Number 1 up lucky for me was also up late. I had no idea what we were going to do for the day, not that i plan ahead. I sometimes have a small idea what we are going to do then take it from there. Today i had no idea?? I asked her on the way and she suggested Museum of Power. She likes it there she loves to ride the little railway they have there, if i’m honest i like riding it too. Number 1 had her usual marsh mellows whilst i had my tea at the coffee house before hand. We then made our way down to the Museum….. Sadly there was a car meet at the Museum and the railway was not running. Gutted!!! What were we to do. Well as the weather was nice we decided to park up and take a little walk around a little place called Beeleigh. It is a nice little area right down by the river with some beautiful paths to explore. I had been there many times and i must say i love how peaceful and tranquil the place is, Number 1 loves the outdoors she goes on many walks with her grandad and his dogs and is always telling me how she enjoys it when they spot different animals. So as we made our way around spotting as much wildlife as we could which was great fun. We took various tracks through the wooded area i showed her the Abbey which is situated in the area. Apparently the place is haunted but i did not tell her that………… The day continued but with the constant nagging of calorie burning in the back of my mind.  The walk obviously doing the trick. We ended our trek and made our way round to my sisters. Number 1 loves playing with her cousins and love it when they see her. We decided to take them to Mcdonalds for lunch. PANIC mode for me because as ever the choice of food is not the best for me. I settled for a SALAD typical reaction up in my brain this is not enough to sustain you but i cannot risk having anything that is to heavy as the weight will pile back on!!! Insanity reigning again. I try and eat as normal as i can in front of Number 1 as i do want her mimicking my actions as she grows older. The salad consisted of grilled chicken and bacon which has around 184 calories in it, now this is quite disturbing that i know the calories on a Mcdonalds menu but i do!!!! I had a bag of fruit for dessert. Number 1 fancied a Mcflurry after her meal so i forced myself to have a sugar doughnut (189 calories) just as a “treat”. Every bite was forced and i hated myself. Most meals now as i said earlier have this feeling for me. I look at myself in the mirror when i get home and check the face is not getting fat. Well not getting but is fat. We finished the afternoon by taking the kids to the park. They ran off and played whilst i had a conversation with my sister about the messed up brain that i am carrying around with me these days. As the day drew to a close the dread surfaced, the feelings i know all to well.  Hate this time of the day as i have said so many times. I am sad that i am saying goodbye to Number 1 until Wednesday, but also knowing the struggle between me and my brain continues unabated. I ended up going for a walk, it got the step count up for the day along with burning off that “damn” sugar doughnut. Yes that is how i see it. Shocking i know…………

As Monday lingers in the background i have no idea what the week will bring?

Tuesday see my first appointment with the eating disorders people and a psychological nurse. At last some answers i hope!!! Now, i have this really bad nagging feeling that they will discharge me just as the first attempt at help did. I realise this is not going to happen (i hope) but i just cannot get the thought out of my head. Where will i turn should this happen???? I am thinking far to much ahead i know that but it worries me. Take each day as it comes is what i should be doing………………….

Well again we have reached the end of this weeks journey. I am getting paranoid that i am repeating myself each week? If i am i do apologise.

I am toying with the idea of writing a blog on Tuesday after my appointment? I will see how much info and help i receive during the session then make a decision.

*Dedicated to those who are supporting me…..

Until next week (maybe Tuesday)

Peace and Love

Matt

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

Hey Guys. Hope you are all well?

Sunday again!!

So here we are another week on the journey. Monday was back to work after a couple of days R&R in Kent with my Aunt which really did help me. I chilled, done a lot of talking to my Aunt as stated last week. I did however still find it hard to try and up my eating. It is something with this illness that i simply cannot get to grips with yet. Yes its early days but i still need that wire in my brain to connect.

Monday was not as big a struggle as i thought it was going to be. I slipped back into work mode relatively easily. Getting on with my various tasks that i do during the day, along with catching up with whatever i had missed whilst i was away. The usual dread arrived bang on time, if only the trains in this country could be like my dread. Although saying that it would be nice maybe if my dread ran like the trains? Hmmmmm interesting?? Anyway after work i went and sat in the local coffee house and got further into the book. Current chapter has proved to be very eye opening for me. It talks in depth about the need to free yourself from unhappiness, negativity and the past. As ever i will not be going into book report mode. Needless to say a lot of what was said throughout the chapter resonated quite heavily with my situation. I am slowly starting to believe a lot of what i am going through stems directly from the other issues i have on top of the eating?? I am not 100% sure of that because its a jumble at the moment. I need to patch it together which will hopefully provide an answer of sorts?

Tuesday was window change day at work. Always an eclectic mishmash of window models being stripped new pieces being chosen and customers to boot. Busy busy was the order of the day which again i like. Again after work it was my intention to get further into the book, this did not happen………not that i am disappointed. I walked into the coffee house and saw a guy who has been of great help to me. We had a nice chat about everything from how i am getting on to my time away and anything in between. I cannot thank this guy enough a very level head in a sea of confusion in my own. I returned home and for my sins i done a few circuits on my workout app on my ipad. I also done this Monday…….i realise it is not good but the compulsion is there and i really cannot stop myself no matter how hard i try. I have been relatively good over the last week or so no cycling but still doing just one circuit on the app. My main problem is the calorie counting still. Everyday i have a step counter running to measure my steps, i also  have an app that counts my calorie burning running in my pocket. On top of this, i take a picture of my face every night when i am in bed to check that it has not got fat. Again with this i cannot get rid of this habit.   Everyday food intake is watched and i chastise myself if i veer away from “the diet”. I use that term loosely because lets be fair its not a diet anymore………. Maybe i should rename it the nightmare. This is exactly what it is turning into for me. How on earth i have got to this stage i have absolutely no idea??? I thought the gym thing was bad enough but no!!! What i am stuck in now could potentially be a lot lot worse!!!!

Wednesday and some good news dropped through the front door. I received a letter from the local health authority. My referral for counselling has been sorted. 27th June is the date of my first appointment. Like i have stated before it cannot come soon enough. I really need to start the process and now i have this appointment the next step can begin. As for the rest of Wednesday, it was my day off as normal, so a morning of house work with the obvious calorie counter ticking away in the pocket…. Jeez i have got to get rid of it, but again the old grey matter is refusing to let go.  It was also Number 1’s sports day, that was something i was looking forward to very much. I made my way over and parked up. I grabbed some lunch to take with me on the way. Standard calorie counting i grabbed a side salad, some chicken pieces and some fruit. Not enough i know and was certainly told of it later in the day by Number 1’s mum. Of course she is right! Damn my brain!!! I have mentioned before i punish myself for these thoughts, but hopefully in the appointment on 27th i will be able to explain this and maybe get an answer of sorts. Back to sports day, a baking afternoon in store. After lunch was consumed by all the kids and parents, except myself of course. I felt it was to early for lunch even though i was hungry! Sports began with the youngest going first. After reception year is was Number 1’s year group.  She was up in the standard sprint.  As they lined up i managed to grab some photos, as is usual with Number 1 she was not keen on getting caught on camera so i got the usual “look” i get whenever i try to get a picture. The whistle went and they were off, cue the cheering…………. a 3rd place finish for Number 1 super proud of that i must say she done ever so well. The afternoon progressed with rest of the school year groups doing their respective races. Eventually it rotated back round to Number 1’s year group again, the second and final race she was in. An obstacle race of sorts. This was a little shorter than the straight sprint. Whistle blown and they were off i was up on my feet and cheering her on. She crossed the line in 1st place! Brilliant!! Again she had done so well. High 5 for me and mummy. So as was standard the rest of the school competed in the rest of the afternoon. Right at the end of the afternoon, as is normal in many school sports days the parents races would take place. Having eaten by then i was well up for the dad’s race. Number 1’s mother was not going to take part in the mum’s race which is fair enough. She was not even entirely convinced i should take part in my race. But the competitive side of me was coming out. For some perverse reason i felt i had something to prove…………… In all honesty i wish hadn’t bothered. We lined up at the 70 metre mark. Looking down the track it took me back to when i used to sprint for Chelmsford Athletic Club. I was a decent sprinter back in the day so confidence was high. After one false start from myself and 2 others the whistle went. Well………………….. i had nothing!! My legs would not move as quickly as i wanted them to,  it felt like i was treading water! Energy level non existent. That salad really had fuelled this athlete!!!! Totally embarrassing, god knows what Number 1 thought as i rolled in stone dead last. What i had thought would be a good idea was a humiliation. I know that i was probably seen as rubbish runner. I could not help thinking as i walked back to where we were seated that everyone was staring and laughing at me.  I felt immediately like i was back at school myself. People staring, judging, laughing at me. I had let down Number 1 in my eyes. I know she is to young to understand what i am going through, but my mind again was not processing that thought. As i sat there in humiliation it dawned on me again that this problem is serious and that i need to sort this urgently……………..

With sports day over the children made their way back to the school to get changed. We packed up our bits and pieces, my head now in a constant replay of the race. Question after question. Why had i done it? What has happened to me? How have i let something that seems so basic get hold of me so tightly? Will i ever be normal again? Simple answer to these i honestly do not know. As i stood in the playground waiting for Number 1 all i could think about was that fact i let her down, along with the horrible feeling that everyone was looking at me and talking about me. Number 1 eventually came out i took some of her bits and pieces. As we made our way out of the playground i dropped back considerably, i purposely let Number 1 and her mum walk ahead of me. Now in my mind was the awful thought that they would be laughed at too. I did not want that. It was my doing. Self loathing was in full swing as we made our way home.  Back at Number 1’s we spent the rest of the afternoon playing. She was not even bothered i could tell. But still the replay and loathing would not leave me……………

Thursday returning to work with what could only be described as full on depression. All that was running through my mind was the Wednesday. Shame and guilt mode. I hated myself for letting my body get in such a retched state. I mean as much as i tried to reason with myself i just could not let it go. You would think as i was not letting it go i would say that’s enough lets get back to normal. Well the body wants that but the mind is not letting me. If i could wind back the clock i would certainly say that things would be done differently. But alas you make the decision, here i am today with this problem. As for the rest of Thursday well a standard day of counting the calories and trying to reason with myself……along with the 15:30 pm dread express being annoyingly on time..

Now Friday was a different day. I had had the day off work booked since last year. I bought tickets to see Guns ‘n’ Roses. The late 80’s and early 90’s band had been a favourite of mine whilst i was at school. I loved them had every album, t-shirt, poster etc….One of biggest regrets was never getting to see them live. Well many many years 24 to be exact most of the original line up are touring again after patching up their differences and working on various other projects. Axl, Slash and Duff 3 of the original members have got back together for the NOT IN THIS LIFETIME tour. Playing many dates across Europe this summer i saw the announcement and made it my mission to see them. Tickets purchased on the day they came out on general release i couldn’t believe the day had finally come. Finally get to see a band that has been on my bucket list. Obviously at time of purchase last year i did not even think i would be in this state but hey that’s life. A brilliant brilliant gig all the classic Guns ‘n’ Roses tracks we played over 3 hours on stage. As much as i enjoyed the gig i obviously still carried on the watching what i eat and calorie counting. Evening meal before the gig was pitiful. Vegetable skewer!  Definitely not enough to sustain me. But you get into the gig area and the only food on offer Burgers, Hot Dogs, Fish and Chips, Pizza etc…….. I was lucky to find the Vegetable option after over 30 mins of walking around the various vans and stands. I mean even the Skewer came with Pitta bread!!!! Avid readers of this blog  know that i have this aversion to carbs as it were. I will admit i ate some of the bread, i had to i was feeling hungry and weak. Pathetic yes!!!  As you can tell the anorexia is taking hold. Excessive exercise being replaced by just flat refusal to even try and put food in my mouth. I seriously had to force myself to even eat some of the pitta. Every mouthful i felt myself getting fat. I curse these thoughts because i know that i have to fuel my body to make it work. I know i must sound like a broken record but i am thinking if i say if enough one day i will believe it…….. (Breath is not being held)

Saturday back to work what a hot day it was. We ticked by without getting overly busy. BBQ’s and days out for many i am guessing, what do you expect for a sunny weekend in this country? Especially given that it may change at the drop of a hat! After work i took myself to the coffee house to continue writing this blog. I write it throughout the week these days makes things so much easier. Again i bumped into the guy i was telling you about earlier in the blog. I know he does not read these blogs as he has told me, but he knows what is going with me. He has experienced hard ship in his own life of late and is slowly getting himself back in to the game. I always feel clearer about things after chatting to him, we seem to be very similar in our approach to life plus we think and see things along the same lines.  Very rarely in my life have i ever met anyone who i can connect with. I think it may be one of the reason i am a bit of a loner. Deep? Yes but this journey is not just about the struggle of the illness alone, i feel its journey to find myself again to find who i really am, to find a place where i feel accepted and comfortable in this world.

My favourite day of the week arrived. A day with Number 1. Added bonus of it being fathers day but to be honest any day i see Number 1 is fathers day in my eyes. I woke a little late after a broken nights sleep mainly due to the heat. I set about getting myself ready and thinking about what we were going to do for the day,  a hot day was forecast, so the original plan of going to a country show near me went out the window. I remember going last year and could not think of anywhere in the venue where there was good quality shade available. Having arrived at Number 1’s we decided on a day of just chilling and taking things easy. We started off by playing Crazy Golf park. A great round although somewhat slow with the amount of people who had the same idea. We had lots of fun testing ourselves at the various difficulty of holes. After the golf we set off to find some shade where we could have our picnic. As ever calorie counted lunch for myself……… We finished off lunch and chilled on the grass under a tree. Number 1 who had bought her swimming costume with her decided now was the time to go to the splash park. We set off in the direction of said park and started to queue. It was not a long wait to get to the front and pay but the 45 minute wait for our turn in the splash park was a bit to much in my eyes, but hey what can you expect from a day as hot as this one. Anyway wristband purchased we headed off to find a place to chill whilst we waited.  We grabbed an ice lolly and a drink, me again checking the DAMN calories in the LOLLY!!! So so bad how low i have sunk. I mean its frozen drink!!!! Having chilled for what seemed to Number 1 for around 5 years we made our way back to the splash park. We still had to wait another 5 minutes before we were allowed in but once in Number 1 raced off to explore and obviously get soaking wet. Now we only got 20 minutes in the splash park so you have to make the most of it. She certainly did that. I hardly saw her until the end of our session but she had a great time. That’s all that matters to me………

With the day coming to an end we made our way home and as ever the usual dread turned up as i left her until i see her again Wednesday.  It is such an empty feeling i get as i drive home every week, i have nothing to fill my time when i am not with her such is the nature of where i am at in my life. I still have the strong desire to exercise off all the calories i had accumulated throughout this day. This at the moment is the strong force i have to fight. Until i get these thoughts under control i find it difficult to search out new things…… It may not make much sense to you guys reading this, but it makes perfect sense to me………………………One step at a time!

Well again we have reached the end of this weeks journey, i hope i have made things a little clearer with each passing week. Its a pretty messed up place my head at the moment. Writing this certainly makes things a little clearer for me. Hopefully when this is all over if ever, i can look back on these posts and realise just how far i have come.

*Dedicated as ever to those who continue to support me.

Peace and Love

Matt