Hehe, glad you liked the waffles! I also love The Wizard of Oz!!!
My depression is soooooo much better nowadays than what it was in previous years. Think I've recently hit a plateau with the meds is all, so today I've decreased yee ol' sertraline down to 150mg with the hope to feel less numb and more, uhh..., more real!
Yes, I went twice to India. Six months first time. Returned for a year but came back after two months when I started to feel ill. First went to Kerala on holiday with my parents as a teenager though and fell in love with it!!
That's really cool that you've done so much traveling. Nothing wrong with escaping the humdrum monotony and pressures of *dun dun duuuuunnnn!!* 'real life' now and again
*shudders at the thought of responsibility and purchases another Indian Visa
* to explore the beautiful world! A lot of people would say that traveling is actually making the most of exploring the 'real world'. Be kind to yourself Emma, and remember you are the same wonderful you whether you're immersed in a culture completely opposite to your own in a country furthest away from your home or whether you're cuddled up with your pup at home spending time with loved ones you've known your whole life. You are the same wonderful you whether you are conversing in broken Chinese, making connections all over the world, dressed in funky Indian haraam pants (loved these!!) or up-chucking exotic/slightly dodgy street food, as you are chatting with me just now, working the 9-5, spending time with your gorgeous pup and getting your nails done!
Seems to me like you have a good sense of balance between everything now. All very positive.
So, I simply must ask, where have you explored in this big, wide world?
Any favourite experiences?
Sounds like you had some emotional experiences volunteering. Please don't think you're making anything 'all about you'. You're not at all!
You are sharing your significant experiences with me and I am happy to hear about them! Besides, it's another shared interest of ours!
So never worry about what you say (or sing!
) with me.
It really can be life-changing and I can empathise with you with regards to adjusting to life at home feeling really difficult. Was this what triggered your mental health difficulties? I only ask because having such intense experiences day-in-and-day-out whilst traveling - though initially amazing - certainly took its toll on me and was the very starting point of my, erm, breakdown?
But don't feel at all pressured to answer this or expand on anything.
Aww I hope a furry friend snuggles their way into my life, too!!
Ah yes. My relationship with my mother.
Between therapy sessions this last week, I have realised:
1. My mother is angry at anorexia because the symptoms (e.g. manipulation, deceitfulness, disobedience, volatility, selfishness ingratitude and a really unpleasant, negative, rude and depressive nature) completely contradict my true self, our family values, and the type of person I was lovingly brought up to be. She is exasperated by both our inability to control this destructive illness. I sense she feels an element of inner-frustration, self-blame, guilt, failure, inadequacy and shame.... But she would never admit to having such emotions. The physicality of anorexia causes her all-consuming worry and intense, persistent and easily-triggered anxiety. Her deepest fear ultimately is that I will die. (has been an actual possibility on three occasions.)
2. I have taken the blame for anorexia from as young as nine years old and it has only really been this last year that I have been able to separate myself from the illness. So that's six intense years of blame-taking and eight years of occasionally taking the blame during blips into my eating disorder. So, I developed the belief that I - not the illness - am the one who is manipulative, deceitful....etc. This has led me to develop the strongly ingrained beliefs that 'I am a bad person', 'I am at fault' and 'I am a failure'.
3. This leads me to apologise for no reason, excessively question if everyone is okay, take the blame, act as a 'pushover' and 'people-pleaser', experience low self-esteem and low mood and have feelings of guilt, shame, fear and anxiety.
4. I also feel indebted to my mother because, whilst she is anorexia's biggest threat (she's the only one who really gets through to me and she saved my life from this illness), she is my biggest support and the most important person in my life. I thus feel I 'owe it to her' to please her and not to upset her. I also feel an immense sense of guilt and shame for still living at home with her. I feel inadequate and undeserving. I fear her kicking me out because I fear being alone and unable to cope in the unknown.
5. Early childhood experience of a severely mentally disabled sister threatening to hurt and kill me, lashing out at others and herself, wanting to attack me and screaming, shouting, wailing-crying and projectile vomiting.... Made me extra sensitive to anger. As a child, I was protected from my sister's violence. But, I remember many times being alone and crying, unable to deal with the intensity of my emotions and the uncertainty of my sister's behaviour without the support from those I needed most. Anorexia then became my coping mechanism. Whilst I don't like anger and confrontation (uh, who does?!), I have been able to let go of all that earlier trauma. I'm still nervous of my sister (she can pack a mighty THWWWWAAACK!!
) but I understand her disability and I love her to pieces!! It upsets me if I ever see her self harm but this is a totally natural response of her loving little sister!
6. So ultimately, I want to please my mother not just because I love her .... But because I fear her abandoning me. I fear feeling alone and at my worst emotionally without her or any other support to enable me to cope. I fear not knowing what my inability to cope will lead to. I fear the unknown. I fear the outcome.
Does that make sense? I'm glad I have finally been able to identify what the fear is. Now.... I need to explore how to eliminate this bad boy! Haha!!
When my mother is better, she nit-picks more, comments on every mortal thing.... and I take it as a criticism. She just stresses me out. Like, she will ask me to do something, then as I'm doing it she will ask me to do like five other things, and once I rush to do the next thing.... If I don't do it quick enough, she's there doing it before me!! And when I have done what she's asked, I will never ever have been able to have done it 'her way'. If I don't answer because I'm busy doing the first thing out of 200 that she's asked me to do in the space of ten minutes....
she will start calling me... 'Ehhhhhhhmmmmmm!! Ehhhhhhhh-mmmmm! Where aaaaaaare yooooou Ehhhhhhhh-mmmmm?' all the while knowing full well where I am, how many tasks behind I am and exactly what I'm doing 'just not quite right'.
A massive trigger for the 'I'm not good enough' and 'I'm a failure' thought montage.
She is more appreciative when she's ill. Gosh, that sounds awful of me doesn't it?
I feel appreciated, more relaxed, more in control of my life, lighter, more free and more like I can breathe without *shudder* 'Ehhhhhhhhhh-mmmmmmm!' coming at me left, right and centre.
We had an argument at the weekend. What's new?
Her full-on screaming and F-bombing at my anorexia - 'Anorexia, I beepedy-beepin' hate beepedy-beep-beeeeeeeep you!' I shouted back (first time I've shouted at her in like a year?!?
) and expressed how anorexia is an ILLNESS and NOT ME! I told her I feel constantly criticised by her (she not so likey this new information
) and I focused on how far I have come. She was angry, very sarcastic, unwilling to admit to anything.... but came around gently-gently by the following day.
The referral for family therapy has been made. *Wipes away an ocean of sweat from forehead* Phhhhheeeew!
I'm keeping the supported living place as an option (my mother dearest was anti this idea). I trust my care coordinator not to send me somewhere unsuitable for me! When a bed is available, they will be in touch with her and she will take me there for a look-see around.
Hey, so cool about the child psychology!! Bet I will be picking your brain in the coming weeks!!
It looks like it's going to be a really interesting course! I totally understand what you mean about taking a step away from stuff around mental health, anorexia and depression. This course has nothing to do with any of that. More about child development with regards to learning and play.
Aww thanks for your kind words. I am great with children and well into the future working as a nursery assistant could well be the right sort of job for me.
Still can't class it as a 'dream' job mind.... Screaming kids, headlice, runny noses, stinky nappies......
I have secured a voluntary work placement in a care home working with the activities coordinator starting in November. The home manager is incredibly lovely. She's from my Church, knows all about my situation and has been encouraging me to volunteer there for aaaaaaages.
I popped in yesterday for the paperwork and will meet with the activities coordinator on 1st November. The manager was keen for me to paint my flower pots with the residents and to give the elderly ladies hand massages and paint their nails! I surprised myself in India that the home for the elderly was my absolute favourite place to volunteer! Whatever the outcome, it will be a positive step forward to try something completely different! I still help at the shop I've been at since January, but it was getting a tad boring (hardly any customers ever!!
) so this seems a good, achievable step between the shop volunteering and part time employment. Starting slow, just one morning a week.
I'm at the shop tomorrow morning, haven't been there for a good while so I'm sure it will be nice to see a few familiar faces.
Loving the dog-friendly pub! I absolutely love a walk in the sunshine to a nice, cosy, old country pub. I used to work in a dog-friendly pub in a seaside town and loved my time there. Great atmosphere. Glad you had a nice time with your friends, too.... and I'm loving the afternoon snooze!
Speaking of sleepy, any updates on your iron levels situation? I've started on a multivitamin, get myself like those chaps on the berocca advert.
I have no idea if you know what I'm on about!
I love reading your messages, too! Adequate time?
That made me chuckle. I really do go all-out with mahhh waffles.
Hope your week got off to a good start and that you are having a good day today.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Wednesday and beyond!!
Gosh, that's a waffle stack with all the trimmings and a milkshake on the side. My bad.
Keep me posted with toasted waffles!
Love from The Waffle Monster