“My little empire
I’m sick of being sick
My little empire
I’m tired of being tired”
* Trigger warning: contains talk of calorie amounts and eating disorders.
I’m not entirely sure what happened this weekend. Something inside me doesn’t want to write about it, but I’m aware that I rarely talk about my weekends; by the time I get home from S’s house I’m exhausted and it sort of slips away until it feels too late to describe the days.
I’m aware that while I’m writing so much, I’m neglecting other blogs, and that makes me feel guilty. It’s very much all about give and take for me, and knowing I’m taking all this support and not giving anything back… it’s uncomfortable for me. I apologise; things have become a little difficult and writing feels like my only outlet.
Food. Food is an issue. Today I ate a whole low fat banana loaf and some vegetarian sausages and beans on wholemeal toast. Around 1000 calories. Yesterday… maybe around the same; I didn’t count. The past week… around 300-400 calories a day. Sugar-free squash and strong coffee and taking anti-inflammatories on an empty stomach. By Friday I was flaring heavily and dizzy from lack of food. A good dizzy. Confirmation that I’ve restricted enough calories. My stomach was rolling and, despite being almost empty, cramping like crazy. I spent most of Friday afternoon on the toilet.
So really, I do know what happened. The flare combined with restricting; not forgetting regular joints and a bit of alcohol… it all brought me down. S doesn’t have much money right now – it’s getting close to payday – so I packed two big bags of food from the cupboards and fridge. I’d bought a cherry pie and ice cream, thinking that we could snuggle up together in front of a film and I’d feel safe enough to eat. I baked the pie; baked it at 11pm and we watched Andy Kaufman’s standup on Youtube. I couldn’t eat it. I tried; I really did. I wanted to. However much I attempted to swallow though, the pie just became bigger and bigger in my mouth. It tasted of nothing. All I saw in the bright red sauce and cherries was calorie upon calorie. I ate perhaps three small spoonfuls, then gave up. I’d only had a tiny slice. A 16th of the pie, S said.
I tried chocolate Philadelphia on walnut bread. Two small slices later, I felt horribly full and self-aware. Coffee with almond milk became a big no-no once I started thinking, “nuts have fat in…”. I told S that I was feeling ill and that’s why I wasn’t eating. It wasn’t exactly a lie; I felt downright bloody awful.
Saturday, and the weather was lovely. I spend it indoors, either sleeping or reading. I couldn’t face daylight. Cooked pasta and again, couldn’t eat it. S said it was lovely – I’d cheated and used ready-made sauce, but had chopped up some onions and garlic to add to it – but I just couldn’t taste anything. It was like eating cardboard.
I slept a lot, sweating buckets all over S’s mattress. Occasionally he’d wake me with a kiss or a nuzzle, and give me a cuddle. For the first time, well, since we met really, we didn’t have sex once on Saturday or Sunday. I just couldn’t feel anything. Couldn’t find the energy. S didn’t mention it, which is a comfort. Since O left, I worry that the man I love will walk away because I can’t always manage to perform. S… it just didn’t seem to be an issue with him. I’m very lucky; I know that.
He treated me like a princess. Fluffed my pillows and tucked me in with a kiss on the forehead. Didn’t tease me about my hairy, unshaven legs. Helped me over the back step when we went out for a smoke. Didn’t pressure me to go to a party we were both invited to, and came back in the time he said he would, giving me a big kiss and telling me about how much I’d have hated to be there anyway.
We talked a lot about the new flat. The bathroom’s been done; there’s a large corner shower apparently, and they’re doing the kitchen now. We’re getting an oven, fridge/freezer and washing machine. New cream deep-pile carpets. S has a huge leather sofa with a chaise longue. A chaise longue! We’re going to get a Rasperry Pi and set it up as a server for all our music, and have Age Of Empires battles.
We’ll be moving in soon. Around two or three weeks from now.
I’m hoping a lot will change once S and live together. He grounds me. Keeps me balanced.
I came back home on Sunday night, shuffling into a taxi and clinging onto my new phone like crazy so I could have some connection to S. My mobile broke a while ago – the camera stopped working and then the touch screen – and on Thursday I spilled a full cup of coffee on it, destroying the poor thing entirely. I spilled a lot of coffee that day. I’ve been knocking drinks over like crazy for a couple of weeks now.
An acquaintance (I’d say friend, but you know the issues I have with that word) offered me a Samsung Ch@t for free, and dropped it off at S’s house on Friday night. I can’t help but mistrust this person, like I do pretty much everyone else, but it was a kind thing to do. I hate the name of the thing – Ch@t, for god’s sake – but it’s a cool little thing and has a QWERTY keyboard, meaning I can send texts comfortably again. Touch screens made my fingers ache.
Didn’t sleep on Sunday night. I missed S too much. When I’m feeling like this – down, but not depressed – all I want is to cuddle up next to him and feel his arm around me. When we sleep, he wraps his whole body around me sometimes. We’re always touching in some way, and we usually wake up holding hands. It sounds unreal, and part of me is still convinced it is. I just wish I could get my brain in order; I can see a future with this guy.
And I don’t think that’s the BPD talking.
- In a life where calories don’t exist (zenlikebuddha.wordpress.com)
- Nocturnal Eating Sleep Disorders (everydayhealth.com)
- Men and boys have eating disorders too (mnn.com)
- Eating Disorders and Refeeding. This One’s For Nicole. (faithandmeow.wordpress.com)
We drank vodka and orange juice, beer, cider and rum and coke. Played Boggle online, keeping a tally of scores. Sat in the garden – both rain and shine – and smoked while getting sunburned one day and sheltering from the torrent by squeezing into the spider-infested shed the next. Ate pizza, kebabs, garlic mushrooms, toast, a roast dinner, chocolate mousse, biscuits and pack upon pack of Wotsits. We sat by the lake and stuffed our faces with chips, watching a swan paddling away near a stack of beer barrels and an old paddle-boat which is long past its prime but still takes tourists out on the lake in the summer; rust and all.
We lay in bed for hours. Napped when we felt like it, and stayed up late. Ventured out to buy large mochas and sat for hours, watching the world go by. Bought blackcurrant beer and German ale, and laughed at the weird and wonderful passing our little spot in the street. Had mind-blowing, sweaty sex, over and over. Watched Trailer Park Boys on YouTube and ordered takeaways so we wouldn’t have to go shopping. Played 8-ball with a couple of friends and smoked a not-so-sneaky joint outside the pub. Got drunk and stoned and laughed at nothing, for days on end.
Now, it’s Wednesday morning – almost 5am – and I’m sitting on my bed, wide-awake, cannabis smoke floating in the air and through the detritus which covers my bedroom. I don’t know what happened; a miniature hurricane, I can only assume. Pill packets and incense sticks are cluttering up my desk, along with bottles of nail varnish remover, jewellery holders, and empty tobacco packets. The coffee I made is strong and bitter, with grounds still floating on top, and my mouth is dry from all the smoke. I haven’t slept, and I have a doctor’s appointment at 9:30.
After such an amazing, hedonistic weekend… I should be happy. I am, really. I’m just… eh. Angry, I suppose.
I’ve occasionally mentioned having tendonitis. Acute Achilles tendonitis, to be exact. I’ve had it for over a year. There was no real obvious cause; the sole of my foot started aching every time I moved and, in a worryingly short space of time, I lost the ability to flex my foot up or down. I stuck it out for months, deciding it was yet another frustrating part of fibromyalgia, until the pain became so unbearable – like knives being driven into the back of my ankle – and I woke up one morning unable to hold any weight on my left foot. It was just dead; tingling and unresponsive with sharp ribbons of pain snaking over the whole of my lower leg. Naturally, I was a bit concerned and, considering I couldn’t walk and felt a weird combination of numbness and excruciating pain – along with balloon-like swelling of my foot and ankle – I went to A&E.
Long story short, I was given some painkillers and told to go home and rest. I wasn’t even seen by a doctor. I cried, but it got me nowhere. After going to my GP to complain that nothing was done to help the obvious damage, I was referred to a podiatrist/physiotherapist. He manipulated my foot, gave me insoles to force the tendon into place, and covered my ankle in ice until it burned. Whatever he did, the swelling refused to go down and so he referred me onto the biomechanics clinic to see a rheumatologist who specialises in movement.
Of course, they wrote to me and informed me that my appointment was to be moved to September.
That’s not why I’m angry. I’m angry because, after over a year, I’m still in pain. It’s yet another ridiculous sensation to deal with, and I’m sick of being pushed from pillar to post when nothing really seems to achieve anything. I’ve had an ultrasound scan, but still – over a month later – don’t know the results.
For the past four days, I’ve been unable to walk without standing on tip-toe on my left foot, because the tendon is so damn tight I can’t move it without pain. Tooth-gritting, wincing, tears-in-the-eyes pain. S has been his usual amazing self – fetching cups of coffee for me and helping me get over the back door step – but now that I’ve come back to my mother’s after an extended weekend (from Thursday to last night; S took some time off work) I’m quickly sinking into the old frustrations and regrets about not pushing harder for treatment. I’m such a mouse sometimes. I don’t want to tell anybody what to do.
That has to change today. Originally, I was seeing my doctor for a swollen finger; hardly the medical drama of the century, but a very painful inconvenience, and I figured I could get the whole blood pressure/side-effects/general emotional well-being stuff out of the way for another month or so. However, the red skin and suspicious ridged nail will have to take a backseat, because I’m determined to get something done about this damn foot today.
If I have to cry, I think I will. I rarely cry in front of doctors – I already feel inferior to them – but quite honestly… I just want this pain to stop. I have enough to deal with already, and I just need some respite. Some time to enjoy the effects of Lyrica – which doesn’t work on tendon pain or swelling – and try to start living my life again. Instead, this fucking tendon has taken over my life.
Over the weekend, the photograph of myself I posted has been weighing on my mind. Did I do the right thing? Am I utterly off my head to think that putting a photograph on such a personal blog is a good idea? More than once, I’ve thought about removing it; just deleting the post and forgetting it ever happened. However, doing that would also mean I’d lose all the comments which, although hard to read without wanting to run away, really made me feel secure, and my cold old heart was pretty damn warmed by knowing there are people reading this who don’t think I’m disgusting.
Also… nothing is ever lost on the internet. It’s there forever now.
So I just need to suck it up and accept that my anonymity was ruined a while ago, and it’s not like I’m a celebrity. The chance of somebody I know finding this blog on their own is still lower than low, and if they did find it… well, maybe they shouldn’t be so nosy. Perhaps they’d learn something.
I should really write a list for my GP. Each time I see him, I forget something vital. I only refuse to do it because my mother insists I write a bullet-point list – typed and printed – for every appointment; a bit of teenage rebellion which I never quite grew out of. This time… I haven’t slept. I haven’t drunk nearly enough coffee, and the weed is stronger than usual. Great for pain; not so great for thinking clearly.
If I throw myself on the floor and have a tantrum, do you think it’d achieve anything? I feel like it’s about time to direct my anger elsewhere than at myself.
The Great American NO BULL Challenge is student-led National Video Contest and Teen Video Awards show that brings awareness to the issue of cyberbullying in America. It was brought to my attention through The Unwritten Letters Project:
“It is my personal goal to make an impact on the bullied and the bullies to make them know that every person is worthy of their own life, their own voice, and the action to take is to share your voice in any creative way imaginable. Write! Act! Draw! Paint! Speak up for yourself and take ownership of your circumstances. Use this website and our resources to overcome any obstacles and become the stronger person you and I both know you are.”
Bullying has been a part of my life for a long time, and it’s difficult to express just how much of an impact bullying can have on a teenager. In truth, it broke me; I struggled for a long time to deal with the consequences of being isolated and shunned by my peers, and it affected my life for a long time. It’s easy to assume that a throwaway comment will be forgotten, but cruel words can hang around in the brain for years. Cyber-bulling is something I have also experienced, and it was difficult enough to deal with as an adult, let alone as a teenager.
My advice to anybody being bullied is to remember that, one day, life will change. Times move, and one day these people won’t even remember what they did to you; so you shouldn’t give them the satisfaction of breaking your heart. Bullying isn’t your fault; you didn’t ask to be treated this way.
I know it’s so difficult to speak to somebody about being bullied. However, admission is not a sign of weakness, and being able to offload all the stress and pain on to somebody else can be a huge relief. It might not stop it happening, but having somebody who knows what you’re going through can get you through it. If you don’t feel like you can speak to somebody in ‘real life’, this is where The Great American NO BULL Challenge comes in.
“The goal of the NO BULL Challenge is to join America’s students, educators, counselors, organizations, communities, and corporate America together in an effort to enable real change at the student level.
Beginning January 15th, students in 6th-12th grade will have two months to create a 2-5 minute video with an anti-bullying theme. Students will submit their video to the NO BULL Challenge no later than March 14th at 11:59 PM PST. Check out the Cyberbullying 411 toolkits to learn everything you need to know in order to create your video. Beginning March 15th, each student will rally their friends, family, educators and community to vote for their video.
As a result of the viral voting period, fifteen finalists will be selected from the top 100 favorite videos by a panel of expert judges. The formal announcement of the NO BULL Finalists will occur on May 17th, National Cyber Safety Awareness day. All fifteen finalists are invited to attend the star-studded NO BULL Teen Video Awards in San Francisco. At the NO BULL Teen Video Awards show, you’ll get to see amazing artists perform live and meet & greet with your favorite athletes and celebrities on the red carpet. The NO BULL winning videos will be announced “live” at the Teen Video Awards, where your video will be introduced to the world. Inspiring America’s teens to stand up and bring an end to cyberbullying is what The Great American NO BULL Challenge is all about, and we need you to make it happen!”
Thirty percent (30%) of U.S.students in grades six through ten are involved in moderate or frequent bullying and at least 16 children kill themselves each year in the United Kingdom because they are being bullied at school.
- 69% of children in the UK report being bullied
- 87% of parents report that their child had been bullied in the past 12 months
There are a number of resources on the NO BULL Challenge website. You can take the pledge and take a NO BULL survey on cyber-bullying. If you want to share your story, you can do so here.
Personally, I found that writing has been an amazing help with my own bullying experiences. I kept a diary throughout the years I was bullied and, looking back, I can reflect on those experiences. It’s turned me into a stronger person, and taught me to be more caring to others. Writing is a fantastic way to express feelings, and you don’t ever have to show anybody. You can rip the writing up when you’re finished.
However, you can also have the opportunity to share your story and experiences via the NO BULL Challenge, and in an anonymous letter to The Unwritten Letters project. You can make a difference, and hopefully bullying will one day become a thing of the past.
- Join The Great American NO BULL Challenge! (997now.radio.com)
- All About Cyberbullies: Who They Are and What They Do (education.com)
- A Cyberbullying Assessment Among High School Students (education.com)
- Bullying Prevention Website Encourages Students To Support Each Other (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Students Create Anti-Bullying Commercial (myfoxphoenix.com)
I went a bit crazy yesterday and decided that I would spend the entire day rearranging my bedroom and cleaning under the furniture – from the sublime to the ridiculous, you may say – and you know what? I did it. After hours of swearing, sweating, broken nails, too many smoke breaks and two whole films along with most of my Youtube playlist, I got it finished eventually, and I have to say I’m quite proud. It looks good. I’ve put my bed under the window against the radiator (tried turning it off since I overheat like a pig in a sauna, but couldn’t turn the knob) and moved my desk next to the bed, so I can reach my lamp more easily and also sit on my office chair with my legs up, rather than having to lie on the bed if I want to be comfortable. The telly’s been moved to the foot of my bed so I don’t have to sit in a ridiculous position to watch it, and I cleaned as much of the room as I could manage before collapsing. I still need to sort out my clothes and fold them neatly in drawers rather than have them strewn around the house like a gigantic floordrobe, but I’ll have to do that another day; I’m knackered now. In a good way.
On Tuesday I went for a walk, along the embankment beside the water-treatment plant. The sun was just beginning to set and the mashes were peaceful. I smoked a joint and watched some ducks paddle around in a marshy puddle. For all the faults living in a seaside town has (I have a mortal fear of tourists), we do get amazing sunsets – even the weak ones are impressive – and living a minute away from a nature reserve is perfect. I briefly volunteered for the RSBP on the reserve, but only went twice before copping out; it just wasn’t for me. I’ll miss it here when I leave; it’s always been my private place.
Went to the garage to buy tobacco, and coped pretty well. In all, I was outside on my own for around 40 minutes, and walked along two main roads. That’s more than I’ve done in months, and it’s only now I realise that I’ve missed it terribly. Considering I’m so fearful of the outdoors, I like being out of the house as much as possible. Typical.
I’m going to Liverpool with Z tomorrow.
I realised I’ve sorely neglected the 10 Day You Challenge.
10 day you challenge posts:
Many songs have meant a lot to me, and it’s nigh on impossible to choose. I mean, seriously choose. I feel disloyal to any song I leave out, and so I don’t think I can choose just two. My first song has to be Somewhere In My Heart by Aztec Camera (which I wrote about here)
And secondly, Sweet And Tender Hooligan by The Smiths.