“I wouldn’t be buying plug-in air fresheners if I didn’t want to live with you, would I?”

We’re nearly there. Empty boxes are beginning to outweigh full ones, and the hallway carpet is finally visible. S spent today sorting tools and electronic bits into drawers, while I painted the underside of some shelves I started yesterday, and a shelf S build from some scrap pieces of wood to attach to the blackboard I made from the backing to an old painting I found in the basement. We’re putting them up in the kitchen; I’ve accepted that my piss-poor memory isn’t going to improve any time soon, and any tools to help me remember the most basic things would come in pretty handy.

We’re finishing off tomorrow, and putting the Christmas tree up. After years of making sure my mother’s collection of decorations was in her will – I’m not kidding, I really love those decorations – she announced a few weeks ago that I could have them. Neither S or I are particularly big on Christmas, or public holidays of any kind, but I sort of want a tree and some sparkly lights for our first Christmas living together. We went to Tesco tonight to pick up some essentials, and ended up getting excited over festive food; something I never thought would happen.

lights

 

I confess, my first solo-ish Christmas combined with finally unpacking has brought the BPD out a little, and I’ve had a couple of outbursts; panic-driven, tear-stained, get-the-hell-away-from-me-or-I’ll-explode. I’m getting finicky about calories again and standing in front of the full-length mirror, loathing everything about my silhouette. Started wondering, “what’s the point in worrying about all this when i’ll inevitably go wrong anyway?“.

So I was quite surprised when S, who was leaning his head on my arm as I read in bed, said, “you are still enjoying living with me, aren’t you? I know I can be a pain.

It’s rare for S to show any real vulnerability. Not out of some misguided macho pride; he just doesn’t, and it seems to work for us. It’s always a surprise when he does, and I never quite know how to deal with it. After all, could I really be 100% honest without terrifying him? “Actually, I’ve never been so happy, and just being around you is making me more comfortable than I’ve ever felt in my life. Waking up with you is the best thing ever, and I feel like I could explode when you make me a cup of coffee because it’s so damn awesome to finally be living with you”.

No.

Past relationships – especially those with O and J – have taught me that it’s very easy to say the wrong thing, and sometimes it’s best to just keep my mouth shut if I want things to run smoothly. So I just stroked S’s hair, kissed him on the nose, and said “I wouldn’t be buying plug-in air fresheners if I didn’t want to live with you, would I?

Couple-on-Sofa

 

The past week has been strange to say the least, and I feel guilty for writing posts and not responding to comments. I had planned to get stuck in to this blog a little bit; find the time somehow to sit and relax and really think about everything which has happened and all the little occurrences I should be writing about. I do read every single comment, and it’s not like I simply shrug them off; many of them stay with me while I’m going about my day, and I find myself thinking of certain readers, wondering how they are.

I never really explained in my last post why I had a great big needle stuck into my ankle. In truth, I haven’t really wanted to speak about it much because although it’s wonderful that I’m finally – finally – being taken seriously and tests are now beginning to show results, it’s also scary. Words are being thrown around which I’m not entirely comfortable with. Suggested diagnoses. Referrals back to rheumy. Discovery of a misdiagnosis, and something big which was missed entirely.

Long story short, my ankle/foot pain was never being caused by Achilles tendonitis, despite it being diagnosed by physio, the bio-mechanics clinic, and orthopaedics. I’ve actually damaged a tendon in the side of my foot, meaning that the exercises I was all but bullied into doing despite my protestations of pain were just exacerbating the problem. The ultrasound I had a couple of months ago showed a tear in the tendon, and also a light mass in my ankle joint. Fluid. Lots of fluid.

So I was rushed through X-Ray. Being rushed through any department in my local hospital is a miracle in itself.

Then finally, after almost two years of constant pain, referrals, tests and appointments, it all began to come together.

Xray

 

The damage to my tendon is a symptom, and the reason why I’ve been in so much pain is because my ankle joint is incredibly inflamed, so I’m getting pain from both things, and the tendon can’t heal because the swelling keeps it constantly stretched.

So far, so normal, really. Dr. B did say I have osteoarthritis in my knees and fingers, so why not elsewhere? Only, my othopaedic consultant sat down and asked me a load of questions about my health; when I had pain, where the pain was, how well I slept, my eating habits, the history of my fibromyalgia… read back through my notes, and spoke to another consultant.

I’m going to send these results to Dr B. With your history and symptoms, we may well be looking at rheumatoid arthritis“.

He’s the third medical professional to say that in the past six months.

Only this time, they have actual pictures. Proof. Proof that I’m not faking it, and that there is something wrong with my body. That ultrasound scan.. just one scan, 15 minutes of my time, and finally things are happening.

Do I want RA? Hell no.

Do I believe I have it? Yes. It all fits. Everything. Almost too well.

Tests are beginning next month.

Rude Awakening

Another day, another suggestion that I see my GP.

“I think you’re taking the wrong medication, the Daily Mail says Lyrica is used for anxiety but you’re on beta-blockers and Cipralex so you don’t need it all”. 

I curse the bloody Daily Mail.

Yet again, I slept badly last night. I’d napped during the day – an unsatisfying, food-avoiding fibro nap – and ended up awake until dawn. Dozed off sometime in the morning and was woken by my mother insisting I get out of bed and make an effort. Shouting about medication and having to see my doctor. I’m sick of hearing this at least once a week. Of course, I reacted; half-asleep and irritated, I burst into tears. I just wanted some peace. I wanted to wake up naturally on my own, rather than having my sleep cycle decided for me.

I used to try to avoid getting angry, but I’m tired of it now. Yes, I sleep at odd times but I’m not the only one, and is it any surprise?

Moving out can’t come too soon, but even that comes with its own hurdles. For weeks now, my mother has been trying to get me to pack my stuff away. Telling me to measure furniture and asking about curtains and toasters. Although I’m determined not to let her take over this move, I know she’s trying her best to involve herself with every aspect of it and I really don’t want her to. This is my final attempt at freedom; the first time I’ve actually moved out with a purpose. It’s mine and S’s flat, not hers… and I’m not sure how much I can humour her without blowing up in her face.

Don’t get me wrong. I know she’s trying to help. After all, she’s worried about me. Of course she is. I’m moving into a flat where I’ll have to take control of my own prescriptions and moods; but she seems to forget that S will be there too. And with the freedom living away from my mother affords, I know I’ll be happier. I know I’ll be able to move on somewhat, and hopefully work towards maybe getting to the point where I can work from home in the future and get off benefits. Living here… she’d never allow that. She’s too protective.

I’m not saying I’ll magically get better once I move away. I know there’s a lot of hard work to be done; specialists to see, tests to have, and a lot of the past needs to be dealt with before I can even begin to push on in life. I may never improve physically. I may get worse. But there’s a tiny, tiny chance that being allowed my own freedom and personality could relieve some of the stress on my shoulders and, in time, allow me to think of the future.

Yet again, I’ve wasted an entire day. After being so rudely woken I simmered in my own frustrations for hours, only venturing downstairs once to make a coffee. I avoided my mother. Didn’t offer to make a cup of tea for her. Usually I relent and accept things are never going to change, but why should I? I’m so close to that freedom – close enough to almost touch it – and here she is, still insisting I see my doctor every time I sleep in. Still combing the Daily Mail for health articles to thrust in my face as I’m trying to wake up. Still telling me to measure the walls of the new flat and fit furniture in accordingly.

Is it really the end of the world if I don’t put my desk where she wants it?

I’m tired, but doubt sleep will come easily tonight. I simply can’t cope with being woken suddenly. It throws my whole day off. I’m trying not to feel anxious, but having that bloody one-sided conversation about my fucking GP at least once a week is driving me up the wall. I’ve made no secret that I’m struggling right now; to add to the anxiety and panic attacks, I’m falling down the ED rabbit hole again. It’s so easy to do. It’s control, you see. If I control what I eat, things can’t get on top of me. Knowing I’ve hardly eaten for days is a comfort; I may not be able to deal with the stresses of every day life without freaking out, but I can restrict calories like a champion.

If we get through this alive, I’ll meet you next week, same place, same time.

I stayed away from sharp things. Suffered from the codeine; entirely self-inflicted, and I’ll never be proud of shoveling bright red pills down my throat until the anxiety stops. Binged on Kits Kats and plain crisps at 3am. Lay awake in bed on Wednesday night, swimming in a sea of chemical highs and sweating out every last bit of water in my body, determined to sleep but flying too high from the codeine and dope.

I don’t know how it works elsewhere, but in the UK codeine can only be bought mixed with paracetamol; 500mg per pill. More than two tablets is therefore an overdose, and I usually need eight or so to give me enough chemical serenity… and I know my liver is paying for it. My addiction… once, I thought I’d be okay, that I wasn’t like other people who had to rely on drugs to get by in life. I convinced myself that I wasn’t addicted. I could stop any time.

 

Now, the lower back pain and constant diarrhoea is telling me otherwise. The headaches and nausea and bloating… it baffles me how I can be terrified for the health of my liver, but still continue to assault it with large doses of paracetamol.

I’m not a stupid woman. For all my failings, I know I’m pretty intelligent. However, I have the ability to create my own strange logic; to remove myself from situations and become convinced I’m okay and won’t damage myself so long as I take the occasional break. And on the whole, I’ve been doing well – since deciding to give up codeine, I’ve managed months at a time without even touching the stuff. Recently though, it’s been harder to resist. The world has been heaped on my shoulders without my permission – with the tendonitis and the fraud allegation – and I’ve retreated to the old habits in order to cope.

This is what relapse feels like.

I intend to make it as short as possible, because cutting myself and overdosing instead of coping with situations isn’t emotionally or physically healthy. Thinking about purging is a dangerous road to travel down; I made myself sick a few months ago, and don’t want to get back into that habit so soon – or at all – because I’ve been doing so well. It’s one of the few things I feel I can be proud of, and I’ve let myself down far too many times in the past. Over a decade of bulimia, and I’ve almost cracked it… I don’t want to go back there; don’t want the puffy face and swollen fingers and constant taste of bile in my throat.

 

Sixteen years, in fact. Sixteen long years since I first stuck my fingers down my throat in a tiny blue cubicle, skipping a lesson so I could throw up everything I’d eaten. Sixteen years since I first realised that fat = unhappy,  and I had to do everything in my power to prevent it.

Seventeen years since I first cut myself. Since my first overdose.

The codeine? That began when my relationship with O started falling apart, six years ago. I would stay awake at night, smoking out of my bedroom window and waiting for the chemicals to kick in and squash the rising panic dead. If O didn’t call, I’d take a handful, knowing it would take away all the anxiety and paranoia that he was cheating on me. When I found out he was cheating on me, I stepped it up; packets of amitriptyline, diazepam and co-codamol, taken as and when I needed to calm down. Days and nights spent tripping on Tramadol overdoses.

I’ve had a lot of abnormal liver function tests. Still, I punish my body so my mind can feel okay.

When you’re young, you think nothing truly awful can ever happen to you. When those bad things do happen, you still think you’re invincible and no amount of abuse could ever harm you. Even years later, when the dentist points out the eroded tooth enamel… it’s not real. Bulimia, self harm, pills… they’re all an addiction, and the brain plays cruel tricks so you don’t give the bad habits up.

 

This weekend, I plan to sit down with S and tell him what’s been going on. About all the stress and bad thoughts. I’ve told him a little about the rising anxiety, but brushed it off somewhat. I don’t like talking about these things in person, and I’m always afraid he’ll find it too much to deal with.

Most people do.

 

But the story is over.

Worry of any sort inevitably leaves me with the total inability to sleep, unless I take codeine. Since I’m trying not to rely on it, stress means sleepless nights now, and last night was no different to the usual rigmarole. I sat up in bed all night, watching films and trying to read; all while wondering if today would bring hideous, horrible, devastating news.

By 9am, I was fast asleep, finally worn down by the hours of staring at two different screens and leaning against pillows too soft for my neck to feel supported. I did try to stay awake, but by the time I crawled under the topsheet I’d decided that I wasn’t going to miss out on vital sleep just because somebody’s decided to make my life difficult.

And made my life difficult, they have.

The fraud officer was quite nice; but I’m a cynical cow at heart and I wasn’t sure if she was just trying to get me to confess to some terrible crime. You see, someone had reported me. Not only that, but they reported me for the most ridiculous reason; they contacted the benefits office and told them I had a job.

As you can imagine, this is pointless stress I really don’t need.

Quite why somebody would make up something so ridiculous is beyond me. Out of every option they had to ruin my life, they chose the one thing I could prove without a doubt; that I am unemployed and, apart from a few short stints attempting voluntary work, have never had a job. Not a single one. Nowt. Zilch. How stupid are they?

To prove my innocence, I have to supply the DWP with bank statements. For the past god knows how many years. It’s a nightmare; my mother is stressed out beyond belief with the thought of having to deal with it all (since my benefits go into her bank) and she’s spent the entire day ripping the house apart and freaking out. I doubt she’ll sleep tonight. See, this is why it’s all so cruel; fair enough to have a problem with me, but don’t take it out on my mother, for the love of God. She’s ill. She can’t take it. She’s a bloody pensioner; she doesn’t deserve to be caught in the middle of my battles.

I just wish I know what those battles were, because as far as I can tell I’ve never given any reason for someone to suspect I’m working whilst claiming benefits. It has to be vindictive, and that hurts. I’ve been outspoken in the past, but never cruel. If I ever have truly hurt someone, it was always when I was scared, and they knew that. As horrible as some of my exes are, I don’t suspect any of them – it’s just not their style, and they’re the only people I’ve hurt that I’m aware of.

Z messaged me on Facebook after the appointment was over – with a promise to provide bank statements – and asked if I wanted to go to the market to buy some body jewellery. I was tired and somewhat frazzled by the news someone hates me enough to piss on my parade, and usually in that situation I’d cry off, faking some sort of illness, and distract myself with computer games and food. Today though, I decided fuck it; I’ve given up too much of my life because other people have tried to push me back.

We got a lift off her friend, and spent a while browsing plugs and labret bars for his soon-to-be-pierced lip. I bought a cherry blossom plug in 14mm, and some Directions hair colour in a dark pink; I had my fringe and the hair underneath bleached and dyed bright pink last week, but the colour refused to grab and it’s mostly copper. A nice colour, but not what I wanted, so Z is going to attempt to fix it for me on Friday.

Back at her house, I chatted to Z’s boyfriend, Steve, while she pierced her friend. I suppose it probably looks weird typing that; I can assure you we’re not using frozen sausages and earrings. Z and I met on a piercing forum and we’re both quite obsessive about doing things right; the combination of BPD and bipolar works quite well in that respect.

I saw O today. We both have a friend in common, so it was bound to happen eventually. I saw him walking towards me and said “well, this is awkward”. He sat down and said hello. I asked how the kids were, and he said “fine”. I sat and smoked a joint and wondered quite why I’d chosen that particular time to visit. Our friend said, “yeah, sorry. I didn’t think. Are you two on good terms now?”.

I looked at O. Are we? Were we, rather, since we haven’t spoken for over a year?

“Yeah. Well, I hope so”, O replied.

I looked at him for what felt like a little too long. He’s the one who stopped speaking to me, after all. And for the second time today I decided to say “fuck it”, and agreed.

O can’t hurt me now. I realise that. So what harm would chatting over a friend’s dining-room table do?  Once, I loved O more than life itself, but it was an unhealthy love. It was bourne of fear, jealousy and BPD-obsession. As we chatted about his new house and his son helping him wash the car, I didn’t feel a single twinge of pain for the past. Once, I believed that I would physically tear apart if O left. Now… I have S. I have a boyfriend who – for the first time – makes me feel safe and valued. My love for S eclipses anything I’ve ever felt before. I adore him.

Something in me suspects that O and I will never be friends again. Maybe we’ll bump into each other now and then, but the story’s over.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad. It was a part of my life which didn’t have S in it, and I’ve come to realise that a life without S means nothing to me. In a way, I suppose I’m grateful to O for him hurting me. If he hadn’t, I’d never have met someone so wonderful.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions

1:25am, and I’m worrying.

In the morning I’ll be meeting Dr B, the consultant rheumatologist who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia in 2006. I haven’t seen him since the diagnosis – choosing to forgo the usual treatments – and to say I’m nervous would be an understatement. Dr B is a very straightforward man; brilliant at his job, but he takes no prisoners and rarely smiles, and the last time I was in his company, he poked and prodded me until I cried. It’s not an appealing prospect.

I’m wondering if I’ll have any sort of clue as to my future after tomorrow, or whether I’ll just be referred to yet another department. I’m glad neurology found nothing wrong, but I’m tired of seeing different doctors and repeating my symptoms for the hundredth time.

Even with medication, I’m stressing. I have a habit of being on my best behaviour in front of doctors; and that means not showing any pain or distress. I play my symptoms down, not wanting to make a fuss. I’m fully aware of it and I know it’s part of the reason why nobody can quite work out what’s going on with me, but seem unable to admit to any sort of weakness; physical or emotional.

Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way

Diet cherry Coke and The Sims. A joint. My laptop screen. The only things keeping me company as I attempt to pull an all-nighter to reset my body clock. Stupid daylight saving, stupid upside-down sleep weekend.

The weather was beyond glorious over the weekend, and S and I spent most of it sat in his landlord’s garden, smoking, drinking red wine and talking about nothing. On Friday, I sat under the veranda of the pub and waited for him to finish work, nervous with anticipation and apprehension about telling him we’re not going to be able to rent the house. Sat and smoked, feeling a bit paranoid I was being watched; a silly delusion, but happens when I’m stressed.

Of course, I needn’t have worried. I need to stop letting myself panic so much; S has proved over and over he’s not about to run away screaming if I hint at any commitment. We had a drink and I told him I’d had a message from the woman, saying she was going  to sell instead of rent it out. S just shrugged and said, “oh well, we’ll have to find somewhere else then”. We spent an hour or so looking at flats and houses online, and – surprisingly – there were quite a few nice ones within our budget.

I had to let paranoia get a small look-in, so I asked S if he really still wanted to live with me.

“Of course, i want to wake up with you every day, I need to live with you”.

Where did I get that man from? And can I never have to give him back, please?

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Lookingforapurpose nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger award in a recent post. As always, thank you!

RULES

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award to seven nominees.

Seven things about myself:

1. I have a new addiction. Coffee. I mean, it’s always been a favourite of mine, but lately I’ve been coming to the conclusion that I rely on it perhaps a bit too much. Ten large cups a day don’t feel like enough. Is there anything I’m not going to become addicted to?

2. I forgot to take any of my medication for two days this week. I’m feeling okay, but it usually takes a few days to have an effect. I can see the weekend being a disaster of panic and worry.

3. I can’t grow my nails for shit.

4. At the weekend, S told me that he “wants  to build a life” with me. I almost don’t want to believe he may be telling the truth, in case I get hurt again.

5. Although it’s easier to post old diary entries because it’s in the past, it’s been difficult reading about my relationship with O, especially now I have so much hindsight. The denial is hard to swallow. The ways I often acted shameful. All the concerns about him cheating, and he ended up leaving me for someone else anyway. The naive attitude I had to love and relationships, and what trust should be. It all leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

6. I cover my mouth with my hand a lot. I hate my huge, misaligned teeth.

7. At the moment, I can’t sleep properly. I have half an ounce of weed in an Amber Leaf tin, and weed stops me sleeping. I get creative or want to read all night. It’s not good for me given the insomnia I frequently experience, but I love having the night to myself, just sitting on my bed and smoking, being alone with myself.

Seven nominations:

Hello Sailor

Tattooedmultiple’s waffle

zen and the art of borderline maintenence

fightingmywayback

Manic Musings Magazine

adverseuniverse

skidaddy

Apathy

I never expected to feel so much frustration when life dictates that I can’t write. Well, not can’t… just the feeling that I have nothing worthwhile to say. I never expected to feel angry at myself when I feel unable to reply to comments on my blog, or respond to advice. Heck, I never even expected to get comments. I feel like I should apologise for seeming aloof or unresponsive.

It’s not that I’m depressed (I’m not) or particularly stressed out (again, I’m not); I’m just tired. Tiredness is a strange thing. We all experience it, so you’d think that carrying on as normal wouldn’t be that difficult. Still, the overwhelming sense of fatigue has flipped a switch somewhere in my brain and triggered an apathy I can’t seem to shake.

Of course, putting off writing makes things even more difficult, because I now feel a sense of responsibility to myself to put everything down on screen; and I have a lot to write about. Sure, I have nothing worthwhile to do today so I have plenty of time… but part of me just wants to curl up in bed with a cup of coffee and read, rather than have to think about things.

I saw my GP this morning. I woke fifteen minutes before my alarm went off, but still managed to be five minutes late even though the surgery is only around the corner. I just couldn’t motivate myself. Luckily, appointments were running behind anyway, so although I had a small panic it didn’t turn into a full-force freak out. As I sat in the waiting room I thought about how often I’d seen those same plastic chairs, the same Comic-Sans printed signs advising on chlamydia testing, and the same slightly scuffed carpet. I thought about how so much of my life has been spent in GP waiting rooms and hospitals, and realised that it was a depressingly large amount of time. As a result, I found myself apologising to my doctor for taking up so much of his time. He said there was no need to be sorry, but I still felt guilty. He must be sick of seeing my face.

I told him how unhappy I was with the neurology appointment. Although the anger has long gone, I’m still upset that I wasn’t taken seriously. Of course that’s nothing new, but I’m growing tired of having everything blamed on my age, or being told that people my age can’t possibly have anything wrong with them. How old do I have to be before I’m listened to?

My GP agreed with me that a re-referral probably wouldn’t achieve anything, and so I’ve been passed on to rheumatology. I’ll be seeing the specialist who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, which cheered me up considerably because he’s such a lovely guy. The last thing I need is to be stuck with another po-faced consultant. I explained how the steroid treatment also helped a lot with the pain, to the point where it pretty much disappeared. We both agreed that fibromyalgia seems unlikely now; so I suppose it’s a case of finding out what it is yet again. I’ve been given drugs for arthritis to see if they help, and yet more steroid cream to treat the eczema; it’s come back. It came back once the steroid treatment dropped to two tablets a day, and the speed has been pretty distressing. One day I had a small red patch and I felt really smug that it seemed to have finally cleared up, the next I woke up with blisters all over my hands and feet. After a week, it’s pretty much back to the severity it was when I started the treatment, and I confess that I don’t hold out much hope for steroid cream working. They never have before. Still, if it helps the pain and itching at all, it’s a bonus. The past two nights have been pretty hellish, scratching and being kept awake by the burning.

I suppose I’m coping okay, otherwise. A few small panics, but I’m putting that down to frustration over the pain. I’ve developed a strange walk; I caught sight of myself in a mirror in Marks and Spencer yesterday and noticed that I’m not only dragging my right foot slightly (unattractive in itself) but I’m doing a strange thing with my hip – lifting it more on one side – thus making my backside look even bigger and, well, just making it look like I don’t know how to walk properly. It shouldn’t bother me because I can’t help it, but I really dislike showing any physical signs that I’m in pain. I don’t want sympathy or to be treated differently, but it’s becoming inevitable that I will be. I like being able to pretend that everything’s okay, but I can’t really do that anymore. Still haven’t used my walking stick; it almost feels like giving up, even though I know I probably need it. I told S about it, and I don’t know why but I said that it was a silly idea of my mum’s (it wasn’t) and I’m fine without it. Why did I lie? I hate lying, and I know he wouldn’t think any less of me. I just want to be… perfect, I suppose. I know there’s no such thing, but it’s hard to accept that life didn’t quite go the way I planned it to.

Speaking of S, on Tuesday it was a year since we started going out together. We didn’t see each other, but exchanged some lovely texts and he made me feel pretty special. I can’t quite believe that he’s put up with me for a whole year, and that during that time we haven’t had a single argument or even a bicker. I’ve never had a relationship like this, and I constantly have to mentally pinch myself to make sure it’s not a dream. I’m still slightly convinced that I’ll wake up one day in a padded room, having fabricated the whole thing. Love like this… it doesn’t happen to people like me. My relationships have always been about passion and fights and denial and jealousy. They’ve never been so peaceful and comfortable as my relationship with S has been. I’ve truly never known any man like him, and I feel pretty blessed. Sometimes I get scared that he’ll change his mind, but something inside me actually feels hope, for the first time since I can remember.

Next weekend, we’re going to Wales to stay in a cottage for a week with some friends. It’ll be the longest we’ve ever spent together, and I suppose in a way it’s a test of just how much we can take of each other’s company. I’m looking forward to it; usually I hate being around other people, but I feel quite comfortable with his friends and it’ll be nice to get away from these four walls.

We’ll be staying pretty close to the base of Mt Snowdon; a perfect opportunity to actually use my Nikon.

I confess; I slipped again. I didn’t purge like last time, but I’m sitting here with codeine running through my bloodstream. A normal dose, for once… but not a great sign. I just wish I could cope without some form of chemical help. Sometimes I worry I never will.

Edit: I’d like to thank the bloggers who have nominated me for awards recently. It hasn’t gone unnoticed or unappreciated, and when I’m feeling more up to it I’ll respond. Thank you for the nominations, it still amazes me that people even read this.

He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called “The State I Am In”

I’m suffering.

It’s my own fault; which only makes the taste even more bitter. There was no good reason for me to binge last night, and I should have had more self-control. Now my stomach is cramping from the ridiculous food choices I made, and along with IBS I’ve concluded that there was no reason to take laxatives anyway; my own body has decided to evacuate without any additional effort from me. I should be pleased, but I just feel disgusting.

Sleep was a strange creature last night. I eventually nodded off after forcing myself to smoke a very strong spliff in the hope that it would knock me out, and as a result I totally missed getting up to phone the doctor to get an appointment for a second opinion. I’m frustrated with myself, but I suppose the important thing is that I’m awake now and I can give sleeping another try later.

Shopping didn’t go too badly, even if the entire main street did seem to be full of people crazier than I am. Usually I get stressed and panicky if it’s too crowded or full of dimwits shambling about like lost children, but I think I had my determined head on today and I coped quite well.

Appearance-wise, I think I probably frightened a few people today. The act of giving a shit about how I look started off with good intentions of wearing something pretty, but inevitably I ended up wearing jeans. Jeans which don’t even fit; which are so big that my legs don’t even touch them. I’m still wondering why I didn’t take them back, or at least think logically about buying a size 16 – as I said, I have no idea of my body size or shape – because they’re driving me mad. At least my muffin-top of epic proportions doesn’t ooze out over the waistband like so many other pairs of jeans I own. Small mercies. I didn’t brush my hair, choosing to shove a green bobble hat over my head instead, so masses of frizzy orange hair was sticking out all over the place. I wore my old pink coat (the unflattering one) and knee boots, and surrendered myself to the big bad world; terrible hair and all.

I used to care a lot about the way I looked; too much, really. Everything had to be perfect – not a hair out of place – and I felt so comfortable with my physical self when I put the effort in. I’m not sure what happened to all that. I still spend the money on the products, but I don’t seem to look any better or less bedraggled.

Had a long, hot bath and a joint as soon as I got back home; sweat was clinging to my back and hair, and I felt disgusting. The steroids may be wonderful for clearing up the eczema (I have almost normal skin now!) and help with the muscle pains, but they make me sweat like a pig. A big, horrible ginger pig. Threw a load of extra-moisturising olive oil bath milk into the water along with some Bio Oil, rubbed in a John Frieda emergency hair mask (I hate this time of year; it couldn’t be less hair-friendly), sandpapered myself with vitamin E body scrub and tried to concentrate on the book I’ve just started reading; Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson.

Plucked my eyebrows and checked my face for steroid-swelling (there, but not as noticeable as I’d feared), rubbing my too-orange makeup off and trying to untangle the ungodly knots from my hair without breaking most of it off. I bought two salon-sized bottles of TIGI shampoo and conditioner today; money I can’t really afford but if I don’t get this haystack under control I’m going to lose it.

Spoke to Z a little on Facebook messaging about seeing her tomorrow. I realised I can’t afford to take us for coffee as I’m getting my hair done (I was going to buy her a coffee, to make up for being a shit friend) so we’re going to stay in, watch films, drink amaretto coffee and play with make-up. I think I feel okay about it; it’s a little easier to cope if I plan ahead. Of course, that could all change if I sleep as badly tonight as I did last night.

I blame you for the moonlit sky.

In hindsight, I don’t know why I was so stressed before. I came back home from a night out with S (more about that later) to re-read and publish the draft of my last post. There were so many spelling mistakes, so many words running into each other… I haven’t been so on edge for a long time. I confess; I’m still not taking the beta blockers properly. I try to, but I just get so muddled with all the medication I’m taking, that remembering to take them three times a day just slips my mind. I need to get a grip on that; I can’t afford to lose it again.

I’m glad I didn’t do anything about the urges to harm myself. I was so happy this evening, that knowing I had evidence of a freak out on my body would only have brought me down.

S got paid today, and he met me in town. I got the bus, for the first time in months; it seems a silly thing to be proud of, but I’ve been so uncomfortable with social situations lately that it feels like a huge achievement. I even made an effort; wore a maxi dress and boots, did my hair straight, took care with my makeup. I still felt itchy and exposed, but I’m beginning to accept that I’ll probably always feel that way. I’m no superwoman.

Bought some cigarettes, went to Boots and allowed myself a brief look at the makeup (I don’t like the mirrors, they make me nervous) and bought two nail varnishes, before waiting for S at the monument. It sounds childish, but I get so excited when we’re meeting, and when I saw him walking towards me in his nonchalant way, I had to stop myself running over to him. He looked gorgeous; even more so than usual. I still can’t quite believe he’s mine.

After a few drinks in the pub, we went for a curry. I’ve discovered lychee and banana curry, possibly the nicest (and strangest) thing I’ve ever tasted, and for once I didn’t give a damn about any diet or weight. I just enjoyed spending time with the man I love, in a nice restaurant, talking about the education system and my mum’s continued insistence that I have a drinking problem. Not for the first time, he said, “you need to get out of there”, which I know is true. I just wish it were that simple.

After the meal, we played pool in a deathly quiet pub, spurred on by Phil Collins, Nilsson and Jeff Buckley. The quiet pubs always have the best music (although S doesn’t share my adoration of Buckley… he’ll learn).

Finally, we walked to the lake, hand in hand. Lay on the grass together, his arm cushioning my head, and talked as we watched the stars. I asked him what he’d wish for if he had three wishes. He answered:

“For everyone to appreciate what they have, and not material objects like money or possessions, for wasps to be eradicated, and for people to look outside themselves and see the bigger picture, the things which really matter, to stop living their own secular lives and see the world around them”.

Mine were similar, except my first wish was that nowhere would ever serve watered-down Coke. Heck, that stuff’s important too.

He told me I’m beautiful. He wished on a shooting star; said the wish was about me. I told him how happy I am.