Lent resolutions…

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in so long!  Haven’t been feeling great again recently, no energy or motivation, feeling like someone’s compressing my brain with weights so it’s like constant pre-migraine where your thoughts are slowed down and don’t make sense and just feeling generally exhausted.  So have been finding it really hard to actually finish blog posts in order to post them- sorry!!

REALLY wanted to post this one though because it’s Lent on Wednesday and I’ve made a pretty big decision this year- I’m going to use the six weeks of Lent as a trial ED ‘recovery’ programme using the same structure as inpatient and really, really trying to stick to it and see what happens.  Usually at Lent, I give up anything sweet, not healthy foods etc but over the last few years it’s got a bit ridiculous as I don’t eat anything like that anyway, so I’ve decided to try to simulate being an inpatient instead to try to get more regular structure into my eating and to vary it from basically porridge.  So so nervous but I’m so fed up with feeling the way I do and how it affects both my work and other people that I really think it might be worth trying…

I found some old inpatient folders recently which gave me the idea, and it’s so weird re-reading them!  The assessment period on the ward was six weeks which is the same length of time as Lent, and I know rationally that even with eating ‘real’ inpatient diet (my version is a bit more manageable to do on my own) it’s impossible to gain massive amounts of weight in that time, and I’ve got my old weight charts to prove it.  I’m so scared about gaining a lot of weight though, but I’m trying to justify it with the fact that I already hate my size and how I feel with it, and that can’t get much worse.  And if it really does feel like too much, I can always stop and go back to porridge- unlike being an actual inpatient, I’m not going to threaten myself with sections or NG tube!  But I really, really do want to try to manage it…

The weirdest thing was finding a copy of the ‘rules’ on the ward:

I remember how nervous I was about signing a copy as an inpatient (this is a stabilisation version- the original contract also had rules about staying on the ward at all times, no exercise, reaching target weight and staying there etc) and I’ve got the same sorts of nerves about trying it again now.  But I know it’s so important to address everything- behaviours, food patterns, taking responsibility for diet etc as well as just following the rules and I’ve got strategies for managing that which I’ve tried before and am writing into my plan to try to stick to it.

I’ve written a weekly ‘plan’ which is loosely based on the inpatient stablisation plan, and I’m going to make it a ‘rule’ to follow it for the next six weeks.  I’m really hoping that seeing it as a contract I’ve signed and that I ‘have’ to stick to the rules with help to follow it, and that knowing it’s time-limited to six weeks should make it more manageable and achievable.  I’ve thought about it a lot and although I’m absolutely bloody terrified about so many parts of it, I can’t feel much worse than I have done over the last year-ish and structure usually helps me to feel better and less out of control.  This is the plan:

I’m lucky that since I work in a school, I’ve already got a ready-made structure and distraction during the day which should make that part a lot easier, and I’ve also made a ‘timetable’ for evenings too which are usually my hardest time because my mood seems to drop and my brain starts on mega anxiety/paranoia mode, and it’s harder to manage with no distractions.  I’ve got an hour and 30 mins scheduled for ‘therapy’-type stuff which isn’t as much as you have to as an inpatient but I don’t have the energy or concentration for any more than that, plus it’s a million times harder when you’re trying to motivate yourself to make changes and challenge the horrible voice in your head which seems to get louder and louder instead of easing off so it’s like a constant brain argument just to make a simple decision.  It’s definitely A LOT easier as an inpatient when it’s not your decision and the guilt for actually choosing to eat and stick to the meal plan is horrible and causes so much anxiety.  But I keep reminding myself that by NOT making changes, I’m affecting people I care about and that even if they are amazing and tolerant, I want to be able to be actually ‘there’ when I’m with people and not zoned out or feeling rubbish.

So, that’s the plan for the next six weeks…!  So, so nervous but I really, really want to make it work.  The main things I’m nervous about are totally ridiculous though- I’m scared of people commenting on my food or thinking I’m eating too much/being greedy or selfish, putting on weight, eating carbohydrates and proteins in the same meal (I haven’t mixed them since 2009), eating between means and what people will think of that, putting on more weight, feeling fat and selfish all the time, not being able to stop eating, actually wanting to eat…  But I’ve had similar anxieties for the last 17 years and listening to the birch in my head and doing what she says hasn’t solved it, so maybe it’s time to try a different approach…  Will see how it goes and keep the blog updated!


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