Sorry it’s taken a while to post, it’s been even weirder than I thought re-reading these diary entries! This one was particularly weird- I can remember the feelings so so clearly, and it feels so strange and like it was only a few weeks ago instead of ten years. I was so scared that admission, much more than the previous two and I think it was partly because I was starting to realise that I really did have an issue with food and I actually had to do something about it up till then, I’d thought people were overreacting and making a big deal out of nothing, and that I was selfish for being such a problem (I still feel that a lot).
The whole ‘program’ issue was really scary in itself- you basically had to sign a contract saying that you were committing to the ‘rules’ of the ward (three meals, four snacks a day until BMI 20, no self harming or compensatory behaviours, no contraband items or foods, staying on the ward 24/7 until you started to get leave at about BMI 17), and if you didn’t stick to it you’d probably end up with an NG tube. It was ‘official’ and scary, and I’d have such a bad experience of it on my second admission that I really wasn’t sure about signing up for it this time. But there really isn’t much of a choice I remember feeling so so trapped and guilty.
‘Liking’ the foods was a constant issue during all my admissions and it still is now, when I eat foods I actually like the taste of. It’s weird, I’ve had an ED so long that I don’t actually know what I like/don’t like any more so it’s hard to compare but back then, it was ‘relatively’ early days (saying relatively; it was about 7 years rather than 17) and I still ‘liked’ some foods that I remembered eating as a child, and flapjacks was a big one. I can still remember the flapjacks we had as an inpatient- they were genuinely terrifying and amazing at the same time and mostly scary because of how good they tasted and the intense guilt and anxiety that caused. They were HUGE- really, really big and sticky, and they had proper ‘big’ oats in them which I loved. Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings made me nervous and excited equally (Wednesday was technically cheese and biscuits but cheese was one of my dislikes so I had flapjack again instead), and that’s probably one of my clearest memories of being inpatient. Especially Wednesday when it was followed by the terrors of psychotherapy!!
I can also remember so so clearly the brain fog, exhaustion and absolute inability to concentrate that I experienced those first few weeks. It was HORRIBLE; I’d literally gone from full-time college straight to inpatient, and my brain seemed to have shut down with trying to process all the food and newness. My blood sugars were taking a while to adjust so I was in the obs room for about six weeks instead of two which really didn’t help because it was right opposite the nursing station, you had to keep the door open and basically got no privacy but I was so so tired anyway that I basically slept all the time between meals, snacks and supervision. I still have no idea what causes that but it’s horrible!