Anxiety 2, Caitlin 0.

I cannot keep up with myself at the moment. One minute, I feel crazy motivated and as if everything is getting back on track. I’ve taken back my control and I’m beating all things mental illness. Depression, ED, anxiety. I’m in charge. Then all of a sudden, flip reverse it and I feel like I’m trapped under a big rock, weighing down on me, with no way out, just slowly being crushed by all the things I’ve been fighting so hard to beat! Monday evening and Tuesday morning I was on full form, kind of. I was ready to rule the world and show the ED who’s boss. That was it, I wasn’t having anymore of this mental illness malarkey. I know what your thinking, it’s not really that simple? Nope, hence why it was contained to a mere few hours!! But in the moment, I was determined (this is one of my major flaws when it comes to recovery – bear with me). The motivation and drive came off the back of a really upsetting therapy session of harsh truths and a reality shake up. I’m not going to bore you with all the ins and outs but in short, up until recently, my attitude towards the ED and negative emotions has been very dismissive and intolerant. My therapist said to me “I don’t take it seriously or realise how serious it is”. I brush off all things bad as “oh, it’s nothing” and I’m forever beating myself up for ‘just not eating properly’. On a daily basis I will tell myself I just need to do it and I believe it. But that’s not the case. If it was that straight forward, would mental illness even exist? Admitting that I do think that naievly wasn’t easy, but it’s a fact that is halting any progress.

I shoot myself in the foot a lot of the time. In the mind set of “yes, I’m doing this”, I come up with all these crazy, wonderful ideas, that at that point in time would probably be a success. In reality when it comes to it, I couldn’t think of anything worse. This has happened twice this week alone. Anxiety has stopped me from doing things I previously thought would be good for me. I know they would be good for me. I just can’t bring myself to leave my safety zone and venture into the unknown. I was meant to start Yoga classes on Monday. Aside for my legs being in pain and coming out of a very tearful therapy session. I was worrying about every little, tiny detail. Who would be there? Am I wearing the right things? Do I need to take anything? What if I do it wrong? In the end I brushed it off as “oh, I didn’t realise that was the time! Never mind” and didn’t go. A very similar thing has happened this morning. I’ve enrolled on a painting and drawing course, as something to keep my mind busy. I should be there now but I’m not. I’m sat in my bedroom, wrapped in a blanket, writing this. Once again anxiety wins. I was so looking forward to going, this time yesterday. This morning I’ve been a panicked state. What if I don’t have the right things? What if I can’t do it? What if I’m put on the spot? Where do I have to go? Have I filled everything in? A million and one “what if” scenarios flying round my mind. It was all too much, the worry and anxiety was too much. I’m feeling overwhelmed. Stood at the front door ready to leave this morning and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t force myself to leave for the course. As much as I wanted to, I was holding myself back. I feel as though others would potentially misinterpret this as “I can’t be bothered” or “I’m letting myself down”. I guess, yes, I am letting myself down but that is such a huge internal battle at the minute and goes back to my point earlier about telling myself to ‘just eat properly’. I will it to be straightforward and plain sailing but the reality is it isn’t. I can’t accept that. Where’s the logic?! Really though, the mind isn’t a logical thing. In fact, I think it’s possibly one of the most illogical human features. We discussed this a bit in therapy and to put it bluntly, because what’s the point in beating round the bush… No matter how much I tell myself to just do it, it’s not going to happen just like that. In fact, by convincing myself it’s that easy, I’m setting myself back. Failure is inevitable, progress is unlikely if not impossible.

The take home message from this week’s session was to be patient. Something I’m absolutely crap at, at the best of times. Let alone with circumstances and situations that have consumed my whole life and dictated my day to day being. My priority, for now, as suggested by my therapist, is not to take control of my eating, stop binging and purging, eat regularly or increase my calorie intake but to acknowledge and understand how and why I feel a certain way rather than brushing it under the carpet and using the eating disorder as a deflection. Ultimately trying to face and deal with negativity head on. My ED recovery will only make it to a point if these other issues aren’t addressed first or in line with. Realising the issues run much deeper that I’ve previously admitted or comprehended, that it’s going to be an extremely long and bumpy process and feeling ‘fed up’ and ‘ready to quit’ is just going to be a part of it hasn’t been easy. There have been a lot of mixed feelings. Anger and frustration being the dominant two. I’m still trying to get my head around everything and process where I am at. So if one day I seem happy and Larry and the next I want to shut the world out, this is why.


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