Wednesday 26th January

“Forgot to brush my teeth. Sometimes it just sneaks past my radar and I totally forget about something so basic. It’s happening more often recently; sometimes I’m going three or four days without going near toothpaste or a shower. Seeing myself naked makes me feel so uncomfortable, so I try to avoid it as often as I can.

Can’t remember how many calories I had today but it was under 1,000. I’m craving exercise but I’m far too nervous to go walking, in case I have to deal with other people, and the idea of going back to the gym is torture… I’d have to wear tight-fitting clothes and use the showers, and there’s nothing more soul-destroying than watching my own underarm wobbling while everyone else seems to be slim and toned.

Booked a hair appointment for tomorrow and arranged my X-ray appointment, so that means I managed to use the landline twice without freaking out.

I wanted to go out for a bit and considered asking the boss and Z if they wanted to go to the pub, but the thought of running the idea past mum first (as she expects) put me off. I know I’m always being told to stand up to her, but it’s not that easy. It scares me. I worry that she’ll disapprove and I’ll start losing everything again, and I couldn’t go through that, not even with the beta blockers. It terrifies me to think I could lose my whole life, as I have so many times before, just because I can’t assert myself with my own mother.”

Monday 24th January

“Rubbish at keeping up with this. Halfway through writing, I lose interest or realise I have nothing to say, and I give up.

Found a programme online which lets you track calorie and fat consumption. Today I had 10g fat and less than 900 calories; a vast improvement on the cheese and butter binges of the last few days.

I was sitting on the sofa earlier, flicking through mum’s Woman’s Weekly, when I got caught up reading a story about anorexia. Usually I avoid them like the plague in case it sets me off, but I became engrossed in it. Am I heading down that route again? I doubt it;  it’s not as though I want to lose loads of weight. I just want to shift the couple of stones I put on last year, and the sooner the better. Anyway, it gives me something to focus on – a goal, if you will. Perhaps it’s just a little relapse. I always cut back on food if I’m going  through a bad patch, it’s just my way of coping and, the way I see it, it’s stopping me harming myself.

As for the bad patch, I seem to be doing much better now. I want to stay awake in the day, rather than bury myself under the covers so nobody can speak to me. I even did my hair and wore make-up today. Considering trying another walk tomorrow; perhaps it’ll be easier if I don’t have shopping to carry.

The follow-up appointment with my GP wasn’t too exciting. Slightly low blood pressure, that’s all. The tablets seem to be working, he says, and he seems to think I’m doing much better. I have to go back in three weeks to check everything’s fine with the propanalol, and just to make sure I’m not falling into bad sleeping habits again. I’m still awake most of the night, but I’m able to get up in the day and stay awake longer. “

Sunday 23rd January

“Feeling incredibly spaced out from the sleeping pills and beta blockers combination. Drinking with them probably doesn’t help. I’ve thought about writing over the past few days but nothing much seems to be happening. I’m waking up around 1pm, reading or watching films in bed all afternoon, wasting time doing pointless things online through the evening, followed by a mostly sleepless night, which I spend drinking wine and getting stoned. Zolpidem hasn’t worked since the first night.

True, I’m feeling a little more like I want to join the world, but I’m so dizzy and out of sorts that I can’t imagine being able to function outside. I was put off by a 4 mile walk I took on Thursday. I used to walk twice that distance almost every day; this time, I couldn’t even  manage half of it without having to drag myself the rest of the way. My legs felt so heavy and painful and I didn’t think I’d ever get home. Decided to tell a lie and reassured mum I’d got the bus home; if she knows how much I struggled, she’d crowd me with over-protectiveness and she’ll convince me to stay in the house each time I feel a tiny twinge. I just couldn’t deal with her smothering me. I’m desperate to go out and socialise; I can feel friends are forgetting me and backing away because I’m not normal.”

Monday 17th January

“Been referred to a psychiatrist. During my appointment, the subject of borderline personality syndrome came up, and my GP agreed that I do seem to show traits, so I’m being sent to get a diagnosis of whatever is wrong with me. I’m relieved, in a way; whatever is in my head has been plaguing me for too long, and if I just know what it is, perhaps I can reason with it.I admit, I’m not looking forward to the appointment being at the local mental health unit, not after visiting J there not long ago, and the times I was admitted there myself after an overdose.

I also got a prescription for beta blockers and Zolpidem. My GP said beta blockers have shown to work effectively on anxiety, so we’ll see. Hopefully, the Zolpidem will reset my sleeping pattern a little.

The usual barrage of blood tests have been ordered, along with hand X-rays. He started asking me questions about arthritis in my family; when I told him my mum has arthritis, he decided to refer me. I don’t really know what to think about that. It’s scary, suddenly the pain seems to have a real physical cause.

Bought some cheap red wine from Co-Op on the way home, just in the case the sleeping pills don’t work. I’m starting to worry about mum finding the bottles around my room, in case she thinks I’ve become an alcoholic or something (she always suspects the worst). I haven’t been to the bookshop for two weeks because I can’t cope with it. I’m angry at myself for  not being stronger.”

Sunday 16th January

“Spent £35 on diet pills. It’s one of the fat-binding ones; hopefully it’ll work to shift this fat. Today’s food:

3/4 of a pack of cous cous

1 cup of tea

1/2 bottle of Lucozade.

Seeing the doctor tomorrow and I’m nervous. I have so much to go over; obviously the anxiety and depression are high on the list. I really don’t want to feel this way any more. Do I mention my current preoccupation with calories, or do I want to keep that to myself? I’m worried he’ll somehow try to stop me dieting, and without that what control do I have? I’m unsure how to bring up the subject of pain I’ve been experiencing in my fingers – really sharp, hot pain. I don’t want to sound like I’m just looking for another illness.

Finally caved in and sent O a text. I was climbing the walls with fear and worry and I needed some contact from the outside world, just to prove I was still alive. He replied this time; he told me we’ll be together properly one day, and that he loves me. I know that’s supposed to reassure me but I can’t help worrying it’s all just words. If it does happen, what if I’ve cracked up by then?

Did absolutely nothing today except stay in bed and half-heartedly watched TV. I considered having a bath, but it was full of plants for watering, and I didn’t want to cause any trouble by moving them. It’s not like I care about my appearance anyway.”

Saturday 15th January

“Don’t want to write. Don’t want to do anything except sleep… I’m so tired. My entire body, including my mind, has hit a wall and I just can’t function any more. Spent most of last night crying and not knowing why. I know I have plenty of reasons to feel unhappy but I’m mostly managing to ignore them. I thought I was doing well.

Yesterday I ate:

Half a cup of vegetable soup

6 ryvitas

Half a tin of baked beans

A pouch of fruit pureé (baby food).

Today:

1/4 of a fat free yoghurt (just a spoonful, really)

A bowl of steamed spinach

Half a serving of Weight Watchers pasta.

If I can keep calories down to 800 or below daily, perhaps I’ll be okay. Oh, I know that’s ridiculous logic, but I need the control. Everything feels as though it’s slipping away again, and I’m sick of trying to hide it. “

Tuesday 11th January

“Done an utterly terrible job of keeping up with this. Tiredness is the main culprit; been constantly exhausted since new year. I’m forcing myself to write this… I just want to lie down and sleep.

Visited J a few days ago. He’s still much the same, perhaps a little more animated than he was a few weeks ago. I’m amazed at how unaffected I am by seeing him; I know the relationship wasn’t perfect but I truly did think I was in love. With hindsight, it was so obvious I was reaching out for attention and a bit of reassurance after all the drama with O. Shame I was looking in the wrong place, really.

We had a couple of smokes and general chit-chat (it’s so horribly polite, as though he was never sectioned and I never stormed out of the house and came back two days later for all my stuff), and went to McDonalds; which has to be progress – he would’ve spat on the windows a few months earlier.

Got given some Tramadol by one of the guys in the house, which I used to detach myself from reality from Saturday night to Monday. Wasted a lot of time spacing out and thinking in long, distracted tangents, none of which led anywhere or achieved anything, but it seemed to be good for my mind to have a wander by itself for a while. I had to pretend I had flu; the last thing I need is mum discovering I’ve been popping strong painkillers so I can have a short break from every day life, and Tramadol makes me sweat like nothing on Earth, and it explained why I wasn’t eating.

I’ve now run out of pills, and I’m considered getting some more. I know someone who sells them, so it wouldn’t be difficult. Do I really want to be the sort of person who buys prescription-only painkillers? I’m no stranger to drugs, but it’s yet another slippery slope for me to fall down. Perhaps just one more pack; for emergency panic moments.

Started volunteering back at the bookshop on new year’s eve. It’ll never feel the same again; the politics are still there, the resentment still gets brought up regularly, but it’s nice to be doing something, even if it is only one day a week.

It’s so difficult to know what to write when I’ve missed a few days. I’m too tired to think.”