I didn’t sleep particularly well last night and really wasn’t ready to get up when my alarm went off at 5.30am. I felt totally exhausted and, weirdly, HUNGRY. I haven’t felt genuine hunger in nearly ten years and it was very, very weird. My stomach actually hurt with hunger and I felt like it was being sucked inwards- not in the vertigo-y suction of feeling rubbishness but real, physical aching. For a few moments, I wasn’t sure what to do and wanted to hide under the duvet and try to get back to sleep, but if I did that I’d be late for school so I had to get up.
When I went downstairs, I made some coffee and automatically sipped it slowly so it wouldn’t make my stomach burn any more (weird how things like that come back to you!). I started to feel really anxious which didn’t help the stomach issue, but I had no idea what to do. Breakfast wasn’t for another two hours and I still had a cross trainer session to do first but the hunger was making me feel really weird, and I wasn’t sure I’d be OK on the cross trainer. It wasn’t the physical discomfort that was making me nervous; it was the weird ‘muscle memories’ it was triggering- I felt like I’d fallen back in time about 15 years and I kept having vivid semi-memories of being in Glasgow and feeling my stomach burn with hunger, being at school and feeling like my stomach was clenching itself inwards, doodling pictures of ice cream and chocolate bars during lessons to distract from the burning sensation of real stomach hunger.
The weird thing is that all the times I’ve experienced it before, I’ve been either underweight or losing weight but this time I’m actually eating more than I have done in nearly decade :s it seems totally wrong and counterintuitive to feel that bloody hungry! Especially since I’d eaten fish, polenta and vegetables the night before and felt totally bloated afterwards. I compromised and had half a glass of smoothie before the cross trainer (even that felt too much since I hadn’t actually done anything yet) and took a can of diet Coke with me. I LOVE early morning cross trainer sessions- it’s such an amazing way to wake up and feel like you’re fully connected with the day before it’s started, and the hungry feeling subsided a bit by the time I’d finished so it was just a mild achy sensation in my stomach rather than intense clenching pain.
The rest of the morning was pretty standard- porridge, coffee and medication which amazingly isn’t hurting my stomach the way it used to (it used to feel like a mild burning when I first took it even with food), and I think maybe my stomach’s just trying to get used to eating so bloody much? I had a pretty full on day at work today and had to stay late for CPD training so I felt like I was packing for a hiking trip instead of a school day! I think the hardest part was trying to accept that I was going to eat all that food (the bitch in my head was trying to convince me I only needed the baked beans) and that it was OK to have snacks and more than one thing for lunch, and it was exhausting trying to deal with that as well as psyching up for school. I kept rationalising that it was OK to take the food and if I genuinely didn’t need it, I wouldn’t eat it which made it a bit easier and less anxiety-provoking to pack it in my bag, although I spent most of the day worrying that someone would see it and think I was massively greedy or selfish.
The day went OK- nothing major apart from a few intense anxieties about getting things wrong which is pretty typical for a Monday especially, and I think the Lent resolutions are really helping with managing that because in the scheme of anxiety I’m feeling about foods pretty much constantly atm, a potential mistake that might not even matter to anyone which would usually cause a mini meltdown/panic attack actually doesn’t seem that important and is a lot easier to deal with than it usually would be. I don’t think my brain or body have enough space for that amount of anxiety without going into shutdown!
After school, the teachers from my department were going for a meal and I wasn’t sure if I was going to go (usually I wouldn’t), but they’ve been so lovely and supportive of me working with them that I decided to risk it and go with them. Amazingly, it went OK!! I was so nervous about it and scared of ordering food I didn’t know, but the restaurant had a salad bar with lots of different stuff (including several of my ‘safe’ foods) and it was totally acceptable to just have salad so I did and made a ‘meal’ out of a mix of proteins, carbohydrates and salad in a similar structure to the meal at home would have been. And no one said anything or commented which was amazing and such a massive relief. Can’t believe I did it!! Achievement for the week.
SO TIRED now though, exhausting trying to keep up with it and talk down the bitch in my head who takes every available opportunity to tell me how greedy, SELFISH and ridiculous I’m being and how everyone’s going to be judging me and thinking how horrible and selfish I am, and it’s hard not to listen to it because there is a (pretty big) part of me that really does believe that. But part of Lent is challenging toxic thoughts and ideas, and I keep reminding myself that if Jesus could last 40 days and 40 nights in the desert with absolutely no distractions while the Devil was tempting him, I can ignore or accept the bitch’s words without acting on them…