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A letter to my nearest and dearest…

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Dear friends and family,

I feel like I owe each and everyone of you an explanation. As to why I’ve been distant, cranky, up and down, unreliable and unsupportive of you all over the past weeks.

Things are hard right now. I’ve been rubbish at keeping in contact with everyone, I’ve wanted to just shut the whole world out, at a time I probably need you all the most and some of you have needed me. I see so many of you thriving and moving on up in the world, building your futures, making happy memories with loved ones and above all else, smiling, deep, joyful, happiness. I’m so proud to have you in my life, but I will not be that negative impact, emotional drain or the one bring you down. The easiest way to protect you from this is and myself from the guilt of it, is to build a wall around myself. Yet you’ve all still stuck by me and for that I am grateful and I owe you everything.

Don’t take it personally that I’ve been alien and needed space or needed to give you space. I’m in the midst of processing an awful lot of things. My life feels like it’s in a state of limbo and crisis currently in all aspects – parenting, my career, financially, my health, my state of mind. All of it. I’m trying to figure out where I am at, and it’s taking its toll. Previously, I’ll admit, I’ve probably buried my head in the sand and brushed over the issues, shrugged it all off as “ahh, it’s nothing” and if you’ve asked “How are things?” I’ve more than likely sugar coated it, given you a brief response or expected you to just guess. However now, the realisation is setting in, the extent of the situation has become apparent and for the first time I’m consciously aware of it and trying to accept this as my new (hopefully temporary) reality. My mind is working 10 to the dozen, trying to make sense of everything.

As you know my eating is a massive issue. It’s only within the past few weeks that I’ve realised myself just how detrimental it’s become and looking back through food diaries, how disordered it really is. The impact I am having on my body is shocking. My legs are in constant pain, my chest hurts, I can’t swallow hot liquids and heartburn has had me in tears. That’s hit pretty hard. Along with the obsessive thoughts and rituals that have overtaken my daily life. My days revolve around food; food thoughts, avoiding food, meal planning, binging and purging, calorie counting, weighing (food and myself), justifying, panicking, body checking, activity tracking and a tiny portion in comparison, actually eating. Add to that a dose of depression (almost like being locked inside a bubble of negativity and unable to see good in anything) and insomnia (it’s now 5:28am – I’ve been awake since about 3am), attempting to occupy, amuse and sustain an active 6 year old (let alone myself), maintaining a household (I can be very obsessive with cleaning, if things are out of place and not spotless, I get an awful wave of anxiety which can turn me in to a complete, panicked mess), acting like I have my s**t together to the outside world and coping with daily exhaustion. I’m screaming internally, I need help but I don’t know what would help, I don’t know where to start and my mind is like one big circus act gone horribly wrong. I’m plodding along now, but I feel on the verge of a complete breakdown! It’s frustrating knowing that I need to drop my stubbornness and pride and talk to you as my family and friends and ask for the support, when no one really understands it. I would never want any of you to be in the position where you would. I find it so traumatising to really open up and explain the full thrall of it, so I don’t expect you to just know. Your lives go on, you have your own responsibilities, without the burden of mine.

I’ve lost my direction in life. I had completed my Uni degree, had a job I loved, was (in most part) happy, I had (have) you, my wonderful friends and family, whom I kept in touch with, loved life and had good times with. That’s all gone. I’ve given up working (physically and mentally, I’m not in any kind of position to work), that was my 9-5 purpose. That sustained me on a day to day basis, my routine, Harvey’s routine, financially, socially and gave me a massive kick being able to help people. That’s gone too. It’s only in the past couple of weeks that it’s really sunk in; that I don’t have a job, that I’ve thrown all that away and I get up in the mornings purely to just exist. I have nothing going for me, I have no personal goals and aims, no focus!

Then there’s Harvey. 9/10 I think he’s better off without me for the time being. I can’t protect him from the reality any more, he misses out and he sees the daily struggles and believes it as normality. No child should have to live with a mother glazed over half the time and shutting off from everything. I can’t do all the things he loves doing anymore. I can’t kick a ball around with him or take him on bike rides, I can’t bake cakes with him or take him on exciting days out. This frustrates him (and me), but I don’t blame him. He doesn’t get it. I wouldn’t even want to attempt to explain it to him. As far as he needs to know, I’m happy and healthy. But he knows thats not the case. He is becoming increasingly aware of what’s going on around him. At times when this has become apparent and he’s mentioned about being fat or not wanting to eat, it’s broken my heart. As a parent our one job is to shield our children and set them in good stead for when they grow up and go out into the big wide world, I’m not succeeding and no matter how hard I’m trying I can’t do anything about it at the minute.

I worry day to day as to what the future holds, more for Harvey than myself. I’ve lost a lot of my hope since things have taken a backwards turn. I can’t provide for him emotionally – when he needs my emotional support, when that would be the most productive way to deal with one of his ‘I-know-better-than-you’ meltdowns I can’t offer him that. I can’t financially provide for him- I’m blessed to have so much parental support but that’s not a sustainable solution, long term. Binging and purging is an expensive disorder and the guilt of it hits me every single time. “I could have spent that money on a day out for Harvey or saved it for him” etc… but instead; I’ve consumed it, to get rid of it. Ridiculous isn’t it. Add that to the guilt that I can’t even cook a square meal for him. Anything more than a Toastie and I’m beat, so we’re eating out a lot more than normal – it’s the only way I get anything close to a meal too. I can’t be at home to eat but I struggle to not be at home to eat (go figure), I haven’t eaten a meal (even a sandwich or something that simple) at home in weeks. It was only yesterday I actually managed to prepare something and pack it up to have while we were out. I am relying on other people to do it for me, I can’t be in the kitchen, touching food, looking at food, smelling food. This is the point I am at. I love food, at least I did and now it’s my worst enemy, yet we need it to live.

I hate this ongoing daily battle. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed I’m fighting against myself. I know what to do to get back to me, can I do it – I don’t think so. Not alone, not without a long, bumpy path on the way. Knowing what I need to do but not being able to do it, because I know it will mean gaining weight or eating more, destroys me. It makes me so angry at myself. My motivation is at an all time low and I’ve never felt more alone in my whole life.

So if I’m looking a bit dazed or I haven’t been in touch for a while, I’m not being ignorant or rude, I do care about you, I do appreciate you getting in touch with me and your support but I’m struggling and need to find my way back to the ‘right’ path. I’m not a clown and can only juggle so many things at once. It pains me that I have to let things slide, but I hope now you can see a bit more clearly as to what life is like.

If you’re reading this, thank you.

All my love,

Caitlin

Xxx

4 thoughts on “A letter to my nearest and dearest…”

  1. It’s a brave person who is able to bare their soul wide open. There is a kind of strength in that believe it or not and a determination to eventually succeed. The ‘big ‘ picture ie the future is too massive to contemplate so small goals on a day by day basis will suffice.
    You have all the love and support you need around you. Never doubt that even if we don’t always seem to understand or know what to do . xx

    Like

  2. Caitlin I think you are amazing and would like to remind you that you bring so much good into peoples lives (inc mine). Keep battling on and teaching me what it’s like. Your friends are here for you because we want to b. Love Ruth

    Liked by 1 person

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