My bed feels larger than when I was small


I’m tired of struggling through every day. Of pushing and pulling and forcing myself to at least seem okay. I’m tired of speaking and having the words come out jumbled before they can even leave my mouth. Of sleeping only when beyond exhaustion. Of making excuses. Of seeing the sunrise every single morning, having been awake all night. Of not being able to find a single bit of beauty in it.

Today, I broke all my personal promises and posted my feelings on Facebook. Oh, not the big stuff – that’s for here only – but I went into far more detail than I’ve ever felt comfortable with, and I’m still not comfortable with it now. I only did it because I can’t take unrealistic expectations anymore; I have never, ever been able to cope with being expected to act a certain way and, truthfully, I’m sick of pretending.

I was pulling myself out of it, with the help of antidepressants which have been proven to work for me. I was trying really goddamn hard, and I was almost there. I’d started eating normally again, and having showers. Things seemed to be on the up emotionally, even if they weren’t so great physically.

Then… just one little thing. That’s all it takes.

I don’t even know what that little thing was. All I know is I’m sitting on the sofa after leaving S in bed. I cried all day. I realised I just can’t take this. Everything. The pain. The sickness. The tiredness. Any of it.



I’ve been vomiting again, and the conclusion my mother and I came to is that it’s stress. Truthfully, I accepted this explanation because the idea of facing just one more doctor is too much to bear. I’ve thought about it throughout the day though, and I realise it’s probably true; even on days when I don’t feel like a total emotional wreck, I’m still terrified of what will become of me, and it’s like a ball of pure acid in my stomach to even consider the future.

Can I even see a future for myself?

Not really.

I’m relying on those closest to me – my mother, S, and a couple of people I’ve come to call friends – to keep me afloat, because if left to my own devices I begin to sink almost instantly. I can no longer talk to Z about any of this; it became apparent a while ago that we’re probably never going to be on the same page when it comes to life.

Just like last time, the vomiting has kicked off feelings I’d rather not have; feelings of calorie counting and tape measures. Truthfully I hardly need to worry about such things since eating has become incredibly difficult with the constant nausea and risk of sudden projectile sickness, but something inside decided to worry about it anyway. I’ve lost a lot of weight without even trying over the past few months, and you’d think I’d be ecstatic but instead I almost feel cheated because I didn’t do it myself. So, yet again, I grab for control.

I don’t even believe my own lies about having control anymore. I know nothing I do gives me the slightest safety.


And so, to hospital

I hate hospitals.

Really, really hate them.

Since childhood, I’ve been paraded around them for various reasons; hooked up to so many machines I hear the beep in my dreams. I’ve been sick on so many hospital floors, and each and every single hospital visit – be it a planned appointment or a trip to A&E – has left me a nervous wreck.

I’m not ashamed to admit this: I just can’t cope with it. The smell. The horrible lights. The feeling of vulnerability and the worry you’ll never sleep properly again. The strange faces and unpredictable noises… and the memories of the times I’ve been really, really ill. Vomiting up black stuff all over the polished A&E floor, tripping on morphine and hooked up to every piece of machinery in the world. Happily floating on a cloud of prescribed IV opiates, not giving the slightest damn about anything but going to sleep and not waking up again.

So yes.

I really hate hospitals.


But I also hate being sick. Admitting to a phobia of vomiting sounds weak somehow; it’s hardly the worst thing to happen to a person, but it utterly terrifies me. I suspect it stems from years of bulimia; controlled vomiting is entirely different to actual sickness, and it’s the lack of control I can’t cope with. Vomiting for days on end and being unable to take my meds, wash, dress myself, eat, drink, or even sleep in the same bed as S… it all took its toll, and I ended up in A&E this morning, wired up to a drip and covered in heart monitor pads.

I admit, it wasn’t the plan.

I had an appointment with my GP this morning – to check up on my medications, which need to be raised or changed, how the pain is going… I didn’t make it, because I was busy concentrating on not vomiting in the taxi on the way to hospital.

If you’ve never been scared of being sick, you can’t imagine just how terrifying it is. Every movement, every sound, every thought even… if you feel nauseous, anything can and will set you off, and it’s utterly horrible when it happens. I’ve never vomited as an adult and not had a panic attack during. It’s not a pretty situation.

So I lay there. Sat up. Lay down again. Went to the toilet a million times. Couldn’t get comfy. The only time I’ve been on my own in A&E before is when I took an overdose – the latest in a line of them in my later teens – and my mother flat-out refused to accompany me. I resented her at the time, but I understand why now. I tried to quell the panic by browsing the internet on my phone, reading boring BBC news stories about absolutely nothing, trying to pretend everything’s okay.


Also, there was an added fear. One I haven’t mentioned to anyone, not even the doctor; I figured anything abnormal would show in the blood and heart tests. A few days ago I was in so much pain – agonising, screaming pain – that I caved, and begged everyone I know to find me some ‘proper’ painkillers. Z turned up with some 30mg co-codamol and, later, a strip of tramocet. Now, I’ve spoken about my little opiate problem before, but recently it’s been pretty dormant. I haven’t felt the need to self-medicate or block things out with tiny white pills.

However, fever doesn’t work well when you’re trying to be sensible. I accidentally took far too many painkillers; I don’t know how or why I did it, just that I took more than three times the recommended dose. It was in no way a suicide attempt, because I wasn’t truly aware of what I was doing. I just wanted the pain to stop, so I could finally get some sleep.

Then, days and nights of vomiting. Sweating; that horrible chemical-tinged sweat you get with opiates. Hallucinations and awful nightmares.

So that’s how I found myself curled up on a hard bed in A&E, trying to explain my ridiculous medical history, clutching an emesis basin and hating everything hospitals are.

I just can’t cope with them.

They scare me.



Dr’s appointment

I spoke in this post (especially in the comments) about the health problems I’ve been experiencing recently. From rashes to vomiting, to bowel problems and exhaustion. I made an appointment with my GP a couple of weeks ago, mainly to address the problem of the rash I’ve had on my hands and feet since the summer. It’s incredibly painful and has been keeping me awake at night, as well as looking absolutely horrible.

I had my appointment at 8.50 this morning, and managed to make it there on absolutely no sleep (I was up all night going over what I would say) and with hair like a crazed scarecrow, plus one very wonky eyebrow. Don’t pluck your eyebrows in the dark is my tip for the day.

There are things I haven’t mentioned on here, and which I certainly haven’t told anybody in ‘real life’ about. Embarassing stuff like losing control of my bladder with no warning. Loss of bowel control. Things no twenty six year old wants to admit to. Tremors in my right hand and foot. Extreme pain during sex, which I’ve not told S about even though I know I should. Total loss of memory. Stuff which makes me feel weak and useless.

I now have seven prescriptions. Luckily, my mother helps me out with medication costs and pays for a pre-payment card. Otherwise I’d be looking at over ¬£50, which I can’t afford at all. I suppose I’m lucky in a sense; I dread to think how much it would cost me in America. All my regular meds are now up to date, so that’s a positive, and I have antibiotics and a different steroid for the rash, a gel for the vaginal pain (FML), a stronger anti-acid for my stomach, a full list of blood tests to be done, a pot to wee in, and a referral to a dermatologist.

I also have a referral to the neurosciences clinic in Liverpool. An emergency referral. My GP asked me to follow a pen-light with my eyes, squeeze his hands, frown, push against him… and now I’m seeing a brain specialist.

Suddenly, it’s all becoming very real. I’m a bit scared.

A mile and a half on a bus takes a long time

The keys on my laptop have finally unstuck themselves, so I can write again without screaming in frustration and hitting them as hard as possible. I was beginning to think I’d have to take it apart, which I really didn’t want to do. Serves me entirely right for eating, smoking and drinking over it. I need to stop the bad habits.

Today has been much of a muchness; bad horror films (the House On Haunted Hill remake is beyond awful), coffee and too much food. The weather is terrible and I still don’t have much energy. Dad’s been ’round today to put the shower curtain pole back up after it fell on me last week, and to shout at mum as usual. This is yet another reason why I need to get out of here; they seperated for a reason and I shouldn’t have to listen to the constant bickering. Nothing gets done while he’s here, yet mum won’t quite cut that cord. I understand that she needs him to fix things around the house, but it’s been five years since he retired and very little has been achieved except for things being broken and hurled around when he gets in a temper. Of course, it’s then up to me to listen to mum letting off steam; which I don’t really mind, but I feel trapped in the middle. I simply have no opinion either way; he did very little to bring me or E up, he abused my mother, he won’t give her money she’s owed from his retirement… why does he still come here? I just want to wash my hands of him, and it’s hard to do so when he’s here. It makes it painful, even though I know I’m doing the right thing by denying him a relationship with me.

This weekend I learned a few things; mainly that I don’t like pumpkin pie, and that it annoys me when people in the UK wish me happy Thanksgiving. I dislike most public holidays (Christmas especially) and having a tradition forced on me which isn’t even relevant is frustrating. Still, I quite enjoyed the Thanksgiving dinner S’s landlord’s girlfriend put on, even if it was awkward at times trying to have conversations with die-hard Christians without somehow offending them. Even a conversation about music turned a bit awkward when Aphex Twin was mentioned. S and I spent most of the party hanging out in the kitchen and garden with his landlords son and his girlfriend, talking about astronomy, computer games and experiences with drugs. God knows (ha) what the timid young Christian couple would have thought of that. I mean, they were nice people but… well… too nice. Too afraid to have their own opinions. The smallest swear word or slightly dirty joke was met with blushes and stares. They left early. They simply weren’t my kind of people, I suppose.

S got wonderfully drunk on J&B and we fell asleep together. Woke up the next morning with a sore head (I only had a few fake-Malibu and cokes, but I suppose the Metformin is reacting with alcohol) and we spent most of the day in bed. He’s adorable when he’s drunk; nothing like the experiences I’ve had before with boyfriends getting pissed and either shouting at me or ignoring me entirely.

I have an appointment with my doctor on Thursday morning; I need to get to the bottom of all that’s going wrong with my body. Along with exhaustion and nausea/vomiting, I have a rash all over my feet and on my right hand. I’ve seen a doctor twice about it, and nothing they’ve given me (steroids, anti-fungals) has even begun to work. Sometimes it hurts so much that I can’t sleep – the skin is red raw and full of cracks and deep holes where the skin has simply died away. It’s not eczema, I’ve suffered from that since birth and it’s not the same thing at all. I’ve been suffering with this rash since the summer, and I’m at my wits end. I’ve tried every natural remedy, I’ve tried leaving it alone… nothing fixes it, and it’s depressing me. It feels like my whole body is being attacked.

My little empire / I’m sick of being sick

If I’m awake at this time, it usually means one of two things; either I’ve been awake all night (true) or I’m feeling sick (also true). I first started feeling light-headed in the taxi from S’s last night, and ever since it’s been a series of trips to the toilet, rushed grabs for the plastic bin in my bedroom, and half-awake grumbling. It was bad this time; vomiting up acid through my nose, bile in my throat, a pounding headache and still the feeling of needing to be sick even though there’s nothing in my stomach save for a cup of tea.

Confession time; I have a phobia of vomiting. Not the act itself, but of the feeling just before, a fear of the retching and heaving. After experiencing acute cholecystitis a few years ago, I thought I’d managed to leave the majority of the phobia behind – vomiting black stuff all over the A&E department of my local hospital sort of put things in perspective. Last night though… I got scared. I cried. I ended up sticking my fingers down my throat and apologising to the ex-bulimic gods in the hope that they’d understand I just needed the nausea to pass and that I wasn’t indulging in a good old purge. It probably sounds strange that I could have been bulimic yet be terrified to vomit, but it’s not that odd really. Bulimia gives control over vomiting; you choose when and where it happens. It’s the lack of control I’m scared of.

I wish I knew why this was happening. The idea of pregnancy briefly flitted through my head, but I’m going to dismiss that straight off. The vomiting isn’t regular enough, my periods are fine (I only finished one yesterday), I’m on the pill, and I have no other signs. Plus… that’s the last thing I want or need, and I’m going to ignore any further thoughts about it. I’m just worrying myself unnecessarily because I’ve been a bit broody lately. Still, something has to be causing it, along with the stomach upsets and headaches. I can’t even begin to pintpoint any medication which could be the culprit; all of the pills I’m on (prescription or not) have nausea as a common side-effect, although I’ve never experienced it before really. Not to the level I have recently. Last night I took two paracetamol, cipralex, metformin (a likely suspect, but I should have settled on it by now) and slimming pills. It could be any or all of those. Most likely, my stomach is just destroyed from years of painkiller abuse. This is why I don’t want to see a doctor about it; I’ll finally have to admit just how reliant and careless I’ve been with over the counter and prescription medications. At one point I was taking eight paracetamol and codeine tablets every few hours. If I admit that… things are going to change. I’ll finally be labelled the addict I am, and I’m not sure I’m ready to go through that.