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Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:46 pm

Hiya! :D

The theatre sounds great!! :D

"Sounds like you cannot win no matter what you do". That is exactly it. So I will just stop trying to please.
She's always been.... awkward.... yeah. Just as I've always been very sensitive. So we clash.
She's highly stressed and is still suffering physical symptoms from the accident some months ago. My dad keeps to himself. Zones out. :roll:

The community..... :)

I felt a sense of belonging. It just felt right. Like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
I felt fulfilled, challenged and a deep sense of purpose.
I loved the prayer life, the work, living with like-minded people in community, and experiencing different cultures.
I enjoyed it. Everything was new, exciting, challenging, inspiring, exciting, random and fun. It made me happy.
I felt loved by the community members and I loved them.
It was for the religion, yes. To me personally, it felt the best way that I could most fully give myself to my faith.
It was a long, two year discernment period and everything externally was falling into place.

I left India in the June feeling this way, although I was very tired. With hindsight, I should have returned home but I feared everything would change. I wanted to stay in India but my visa expired so I spent three months in Bosnia where I became depressed. It was as though a switch was clicked and everything changed. I returned to India in the September as a different person. Emptiness as painful as grief now ached within me. I started punishing myself. I was accepted to join the community in the January but returned home in the November (I booked a £400 flight the night before, said some hurried 'goodbyes' and came home.) I travelled in a blur, returned home and burst into tears..... There started my depression. In the January, I joined the community locally as a volunteer. I lasted a week. I spent my one day off crying in bed and hurried home the next day. I started slipping into anorexia soon after.

Bit of a life story for you there. :lol:

Yeah, it's a shame about the guy. I skipped child psychology last night too, but will be back on track again next week.

I've messed up massively. One big fat point to anorexia. :evil: I took on too many hours. I enjoy the job and because it's good for me, anorexia claws at me and I restrict my eating. This makes the exhaustion worse. My mother knows I've been restricting and has lost it with me. I've spoken to my boss but today I messed up. I am honestly too exhausted to work. It's not anxiety and it's not depression, it's because I am 9.5kg (1 stone and 7 pounds; BMI 14.3) below the minimum weight I could be to be considered at the beginning of the healthy range (i.e. BMI 18.5), I'm in a physical job that takes a lot from me mentally too, and I have been restricting my eating. I left for work today and came home. I knew I would be no help at work. I've explained to the boss my text (too embarrassed to ring! :? ) explaining the situation and no response as of yet. I've spent the majority of today sleeping and zoning out with a box set. This is how I used to 'recharge' during depression days. But I don't have these days anymore. Stupid anorexia has set me back again. I'm pissed off at myself. I want help and there's none available.

I have a lovely day planned tomorrow with my nieces and a family day on Sunday. By next week, I will be ready to start over. I don't want to lose my job. I've lasted a month. I hate anorexia. :evil: :cry:

"There is a difference between what we want and what we need". Couldn't be more right. I want so much more than I am capable of. Onwards and upwards. I can't go backwards after all I've achieved and I won't. A part of me (the anorexia-controlled part) wants to press that 'self destruct button' so hard that it's bony fingers snap into little pieces. :twisted:

Okay, question time! :lol:

I'm maintaining the anorexia. I'm not challenging it. I'm doing enough not to be admitted to hospital. I'm VERY convincing.

I'm challenging everything but the anorexia so I appear to be doing so well. I know I can recover but I don't think I will this time. Low body weight affects brain chemistry. In order to change my thinking, I have to restore my physicality. But, my thoughts are holding me back from restoring weight. My mind convinces me weight restoration is something that will make me feel worse.
The only way out is to eat myself out of anorexia! :lol:

I gained the 1kg after a year of gaining nothing. Chances are I've lost it through working now. I feel sad about this and disappointed in myself. :?

Yes, I don't have the resources to expel as much energy as I may wish too. :?

I have suppressed my thoughts about my weight and my body by becoming so underweight that I can't even think straight. :?

I feel like the ED team have just given up on me. :? My care coordinator hasn't been in contact for six weeks either when she was seeing me weekly. I can't share things with my parents either. Thankfully, forums like this really help.

My health isn't in danger, but it is precarious.

Recovery.... Freedom from constant mental torment. Energy to do more. Not being controlled. A better relationship with my mother. Less guilt. Independence.

Feeling 'real'...... Being able to really laugh and mean it, having a day when food or anorexia doesn't dominate me, feeling loved and feeling present.

Feeding others and food obsessions are a symptom of anorexia. For want of a better word, such behaviours 'feed' the anorexia and keep me locked in it. :roll: For instance, I made three big batches of sausage rolls for other people. How many did I eat? Zero. :?

Escape rooms sound awesome!!! I've never been. Have a great time!!! :D

Have a good weekend. Much love, Em x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:08 pm

Woweee, thanks for explaining and sharing! It all sounds so tough and complicated Em. I can only relate to the depression which was worse than i ever imagined and so....Sending big hugs. Why don't you contact your care co-ordinator- she was a great support to you and knows your journey-there may be a number of reasons that hasn't been in touch. It does sound that you need help for the anorexia over everything else.

Please start writing a book- i would definitely buy it x Do you think if you hadn't got depressed in Bosnia, that you would have gone back to India and stayed there? Do you think the Anorexia or depression would have still come out again?\

Anyway, as for the current situation- don't waste your energy on being annoyed and frustrated about 'messing up'. Be kind to yourself! Your body needs all the energy it can get- don't waste energy. You were keen and motivated and wanted to be working and out there-just took on a bit too much, too fast. Remember slowly, slowly, catchy monkey!!! Good that you feel you are not anxious or depressed- that will make things slightly easier.

Do you think it would be useful to call your boss too- maybe when you are feeling bit more energised.

How else can you get the help you need? Have you written to your MP? not sure it will do anything, but i agree you need specialist help for the anorexia. Are there any UK anorexia charities that can help. Are there any nurturing, therapeutic centres where you can get support for the physical and mental? Something different needs to happen! A year is a long time to be not really maintaining weight- a really big booo to anorexia!

Who are you very convincing to? So energy goes into doing enough not to be admitted and convincing others things are better than they are!?! Maybe acting as a future career or hobby? You deserve to really do well rather than 'appear' to do well- these things are for others, the latter is for yourself. What is the barrier to challenging the anorexia? your thoughts? especially if you know you can recover. What do you mean by "i don't think i will this time"?

Also- you have battled many negative thoughts and have so many tools you really understand to challenge the thoughts- which you have done so well in other areas. What gets in the way of you applying the same tools to your faulty cognition that weight restoration will make you feel worse? It is clear that at times you are ready for a job but the weight restriction is holding you back. What stops your normal strategies working here? Suppressing the thoughts is not good my friend- no wonder you feel how you feel. However don't forget all the good stuff you have done and how far you have come with the depression! Perhaps you needed to put the anorexia aside to fight the depression as it was something you could do. Now the way is paved to fight this anorexia, for you, because you deserve more, not for everyone else, not to stay out of hospital, but because you are a lovely, talented, kind young lady who has so much potential in all areas and so much to give this world. You also deserve to feel healthy, to be healthy and to have the energy you need to fufil your dreams.

Wait- you don't yet know you have lost the 1kg- so don't again, waste energy on feeling sad and disappointed in yourself when you don't yet know know- MRs Fortune Teller are we??

Okay- so working with food and making food is like one up for the anorexia??? I'd like to punch the anorexia for you and i am not the fighting type!

I have been using my light and really enjoy it- yesterday i sat and meditated with the light in my face- was so very relaxing. I am pacing myself-day by day.
Take care of yourself and please make some noise about the lack of support for your ED.
I hope today you are able to fully enjoy your fun family time this weekend (and perhaps explicitly notice when you are genuinely laughing, feeling loved and feeling present-as i'm sure it does happen, even if just for short periods time). Perhaps some more mindfulness would help here?
Did i mention xi gong to you ?
Lots of love,

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:43 pm

Hiya Emma! :D

Heh. ;) Hope I didn't over-share. :lol:

Hm. I don't like to bother my care coordinator. It's her role to coordinate my treatment which she has done. There are people in real crisis, especially at Christmas, so it's not really her role to pop out and see me just to cheer me up or whatever. :lol: She gave me a message via my therapist that she hasn't forgotten about me. I already know she's been working lots of overtime at the weekends. It's okay.

My ideal was to stay in India. I loved it so very much. I didn't want to go home because I didn't want things to change so that I wouldn't be able to return. (It took a long time for me to get my parents on board with me going to India. The week before I flew out, my brother actually asked if I was really going!?! :lol: ) I needed to go home. I was exhausted - emotionally and physically. Before I left India, I had been so ill that others thought it was typhoid. I needed rest, to see my family, to sleep and to eat decent food! :lol:

If I came home, I may not have been depressed. I may have recharged, gone back out and volunteered or even joined the community. I won't ever know that. It could have been through taking the time to rest and reflect at home, that all the suppressed intense emotions (no time in India to process anything. I dealt with very harrowing situations, was stretched physically and mentally and emotionally, I formed strong bonds and bid farewell to new friends each day, and I experienced an overwhelming surge of emotions - love, fear, laughter, grief, anxiety, excitement, bemusement.... and the environment was a constant assault on the senses..... BEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP! :lol: Maybe it would have hit me. Maybe I would have been in a better place to cope at home than in Bosnia. I don't know.

Bosnia was the worst place to go for rest and to reflect. I worked in a VERY intense community as a housekeeper/general slave. :lol: 5am starts, 18-hour working days, 1am finishes, erratic hours.... Hundreds of people constantly there. Constantly everywhere always!!! :shock: The standard was an unattainable perfection. The work was physically demanding. Exhaustion is my biggest trigger. I became hyper sensitive emotionally. It was a religious community and the views were often hypocritical, narrow-minded and very intense. I was emotionally all over the place. I couldn't stop crying out there!! The depression started. :?

What happened in Bosnia and India isn't now maintaining my mental health problems.

I had gained weight in Bosnia and a few comments were made when I returned to India. Had the depression been treated sooner (sought help in the January but only by the August did I finally start the lowest sertraline dose, but by then I was too far into the anorexia. My meds kicked in the following January of last year and then I started therapy for depression.), I wouldn't have relapsed into anorexia (I've had a bad depressive episode for nine months at the age of 19, but my eating disorder was not affected or triggered.)

Next waffle! :lol:

I rang my boss. Told him I had MH problems. He said we will have a chat in private on Tuesday about what hours I want. They're not getting rid of me! :D So, I am going to say I want Tuesday-Saturday lunch times 11.30am-3/3.30pm. That, plus the tips, will at least equal permitted work and ESA. Then I am NOT budging on these hours! I also didn't get PIP after the mandatory reconsideration. But it's okay. I'm happy to no longer be reliant on state benefits and it gives me the motivation to do what needs to be done to hold down my part time job.

I've finished all my child psychology work and the final session of the course is this Thursday! :) So I will only have college one evening a week. I'm not taking on anything more. :)

The only source of support for the anorexia is 20 sessions of CBT once I have restored weight. No other support is available. If the therapist still refuses when the time comes for me to be entitled to therapy, I will pay for it privately. I've completed a survey for a recent review to improve treatment of eating disorders and I have written to my MP, both through the eating disorders charity Beat. Nope. No centres. Only a support group run by anorexics (I'm sorry, but how does that encourage recovery? :roll: :lol: ) and beat have online support groups that I've used in the past but only when things were REALLY bad. Thank you though for the genuine concern and caring suggestions. :)

I'm not one to mope around and draw attention to being anorexic. So, I guess it makes it less likely that anyone would suspect I have an eating disorder. The barrier is not a conscious decision. It is a warped cognition caused by the physicality of the anorexia that is holding me back.... convincing me that weight restoration is a bad thing. :roll:

I just guess it hasn't gone on for this long. It seems never ending sometimes. :roll: But after a tumultuous weekend, I am committing to weight restoration. Enough is enough now. The treatment for anorexia is gaining weight. Shit news for the anorexia (which makes me feel shit), but otherwise nothing changes. I need to let go of the anorexia. I don't want to because it feels 'safe' or whatever, but only I can do this. I will do this! I AM doing this! :D

Thank you so much for your kind words. They meant so much. I've been so low this weekend.

I think I've gained weight! My mother thinks I've lost. I get weighed tomorrow. :? Bleurgh.

Yeah, but the dishes are alright. :lol:

So pleased to hear your light is so beneficial. :D

One genuine laugh of me winding my dad up bless him ;) , felt loved (or genuinely cares about) when I read a kind email from a friend, when my brother (not the intermittent-asshole one :lol: ) said it was nice I joined everyone for dinner today, and when my dad said kind words to me (especially considering my mother has said such UN-kind words to me this weekend), and genuinely present when my little niece was giggling). That was helpful to do that. Thanks.

There's a mindfulness course starting in January come to think of it..... ;)

Ooo what is xi gong? (if this hadn't followed 'mindfulness', I would have thought it a typo!) ;)

World's longest waffle. :oops:

Tell me ALLLLLLLLLL about you, now! How has your weekend been? Amy plans for the week?
Holy heck, I can't believe it's the 17th December tomorrow!! :shock:

Much love, peace, admiration and gratitude,

Em x

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:24 pm

Hi, Don't forget- sharing is caring!!!
Well done for calling your boss- that sounds productive! Just be honest with him tomorrow-he sounds understanding. Let me know how it goes! I think you have done so well to get off ESA and you should be really proud of yourself and your work ethic- well done you!! I hope you get to your criminal psych course this week and are able to enjoy it!
So is this your first time back to Bosnia since everything? Will it be okay? Sounds horrific! Doing all that when you weren't at your best mentally and physically- gosh!
As for your weight restoration- is there anything i can do to help at all? should i check in about it with you- or not at all, is it good for your to talk about it here or not. Like i say, if there is anyway that i can help you with this- let me know! In terms of letting go of the anorexia- "let it go, let it go" I have the song on my phone and often used it when i couldn't get other irritating thoughts etc. It is quite cathartic to fling your arms in the air to the tune :)
I love that you did have moments of feeling better over the weekend- your dad sounds cool! and your family sound like they also give you much joy (selected members ).
We escaped the room- it was great fun- i really enjoyed it. It was great doing it with my old mates (we have known each other since school)- we worked well together. My secret santa also gave both me and Tilly home made bone cookies. Which was such a sweet thought. Today i took Tilly for her injections- she was such a good girl.
As for me, I'm taking it a day at a time. I only had one nap since Thursday. I have been telling myself 'I have energy, i am healthy'. Sleep has generally been good- apart from the od night when my mind won't settle and then i just take a sleeping tablet. Anxiety has been pretty good- just the odd crazy moments/days/hours. I also have been reading and am on page 78!!!! We can have a party when i finish the book :)
I can't believe it is the 18th- like where did even november go?!?
Anyways, take care, love and seasons sprinklings :)

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:18 am

I forgot to talk about the Qi Gong- so it is a version of Thai Chi/qi and is for me like moving meditation. I first discovered it on a retreat where we would do it every morning and i loved it- not as balance focused as yoga (which i suck at). I have recently got back into it and forgot how it channels your energy and can revitalise you. Anyways it isn't everyones cup of tea but i have found a really good morning and evening youtube clip- there are two morning ones- a ten and a twenty minute one- just finished the 20 min one so it reminded me i hadn't passed on details. I hadn't done the morning one for ages - i normally love the evening one for calming my head. Anyways google ;
Qi Gong 10 min Evening/morning Exercise by Lee Holden if you are interested. Hope all is okay and you are plodding along :)

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:49 pm

Hey!! :D

Great to hear that you had a nice weekend!! Escape rooms and secret santa sound fab! Sounds like you have some really lovely friends, too. I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

Oooo tai chi!! :D That sounds cool. My mother wants to do that!! Maybe it will be something we'll start in 2019! Choir one night, tai chi the next..... There'll be no stopping us! :lol: I will defo check out the videos. Thanks. ;)

So how's your week ticking along?
How's the sleeping?
Hope all is well! :D

Thanks for showing genuine concern about whether to mention the anorexia or not. How very perceptive, empathetic, sensitive and thoughtful of you! Thank you. :) You can ask whatever you like. Don't be worried about it. Just be you! You are a great support to me. :D

Got through an awfully, horrendously VILE weekend of DOOM. Feeling more like I'm back on the right foot again. PHEW!

Dealt with work. Everything is back to normal there. I'm enjoying it. :D

Returned to criminology course. The guy there didn't irritate me whatsoever! :lol: Shows it was just how I was feeling that day. :roll: Tutor was also really understanding. :)

Last child psychology class tonight. Tutor said my work is excellent and ready to be submitted. Whoop! Whoop! :D

Keep me posted on all things you!

Ciao for now!

Em xxx

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:11 am

How's your week been? Sorry to hear last weekend was so awful! It is just hanging on to the thought that life won't always be like this- even though it feels like it at the time! I'm so happy everything is sorted at work and with your success on the child psychology class- sounds like you are a top student- probably a breathe of fresh air for the tutor! Also glad you returned to the other class.
I'm cool actually- just really taking a day at a time- not getting obsessed with the tired thing- got back into a bit of a routine with meditation and chi gong which is great for my energy levels- and like essential medicine i need. Plus i have continued reading- so i am 3/4 through the same book!!! It helps that it is an easy read and short chapters but as ridiculous as it sounds, this is a big deal :) Celebrating the small things too. Sleep on and off but if i haven't been able to sleep it hasn't been due to any manic type thinking so i have been okay about sweating it out rather than zoning myself with the tablets. If I'm tired I'm tired- so what!?!?!
I even had a really stressful meeting at work and felt personally let down by my boss and worried about the future- i definitely thought this would be a test of my lower dose of meds-however i came home- went on a big walk- then did my xi gong and a gratitude meditation which was perfect. Next day my work production wasn't great as i wasn't motivated but i did send an open and honest email to my boss saying how the meeting had effected me and that i hoped we would meet soon in the new year to discuss what happened and next steps- i also thanked her for her help over the year. So- i think that was a good outcome as not that long ago i would have really been hit by that and it would have knocked me down low.
So the only thing i am resisting is reducing my meds further. I keep thinking while i am feeling well... but in the past i have reduced too soon. Just want to hold on until i have been on it for at least a month!
So how you feeling about the week ahead? You working over xmas? When you off overseas?
I am out for a curry with my parents and aunt and uncle this evening. Then for xmas day it is the four of us (no siblings which never happens). So it is good as we aren't all together in one go which can be stressful and too much- however it means xmas is going to last forever! My brother is down on the 27th so we are having another xmas then. I am going to try and chill- go with the flow- enjoy Tilly cuddles and not going to work. I never really love xmas but this doesn't have to be forever. Tell me your plans. Take care, hope you are pacing yourself xx

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:32 pm

Hello! :D

Just wishing you a very happy and peaceful Christmas time. I hope you enjoy it! :D

Lots of positives coming through in your post. Well done on reading the book!! So glad the meditation is helping, too.

Much love,

Em xx

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby littleem » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:52 pm

P.S. I am good my end! No news is good news but I thought afterwards that it might look like no news means something's up. :lol:

Work is going well. Remarkably, I love it there! :lol: Off to my bro's for Christmas, then Bosnia on Friday. Weird, but I would rather stay home and go to work and do my own thing than go there! :lol: I don't have anxiety or anything. I just can't be arsed! :lol: I just don't fancy it. It's a pilgrimage place and can be really intense. :roll: It's also freezing there. I HATE the cold. :lol: But my aunty was overjoyed by the surprise. There's no way that I could, should or would not go. With Christmas, I have a very silent and inner thought process of 'just get through it, it will pass, it will end' that helps me just get on with it. Sounds awful I know and I am not a Scrooge. Let's put it this way, I will be glad when it's Thursday! And more so when I'm back home and back to doing my own little thing. :roll: How (secretly) selfish of me! :lol: Guess I feel a bit dragged around here and there. Because I live with my parents, I have to go with the same flow they're going with. :roll: I want to go with my own flow! Guess I'm ready to be on my own, now. Plan for 2019 - Get myself into my own little place. 8-)

Aaaaaaaaanyways..... ;) It's not Christmas without a waffle. It's not me without a waffle, either!
You're the only person I have ever actually admitted my feelings about Christmastime to, too! My secret's out, as EM-beneezer Scrooge. :oops: hehe!

Speak soon! X

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Re: Social Anxiety.... Advice please!

Postby emloja » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:07 pm

Ha ha- hey Scrooge! One it- you cannot be further away from being a Scrooge if you tried. I think more people have mixed views about xmas than we know. I think you have a sensible view of it all. Thanks for the update- ha, you know me well! It isn't selfish- but selfless- to me selfish would be you not going because you don't want to rather than going to please others and visiting your Aunty because you know how happy it will make her. What does she do out there then?
I think you have now done some fab prepatory work for 2019! In so many ways- yay! Are you going with your family to see your Aunty? Please look after yourself when there- the intenseness sounds a bit hard core- remember you are just visiting and be kind to yourself while you are there!
So, i have survived xmas number 1 (which was the easier one!). So i guess my view is also a bit similar to yours- get through it. My mum got really upset with the stress of it all and worrying about my brother's visit and i was the calm and rational one!! Yay! Got to apply some of what i have learnt- she was just overwhelmed with so many negative emotions. I am home for some 'me' time today before they arrive tomorrow. On the plus side Santa bought me a great new Karaoke CDG so cannot wait to give it a go!!!
Sending you some Xmas spiced Waffles with hot caramel sauce and glittery sprinkles. Lots of love and cheer :) Emma xx

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