Insomnia.

It’s 1.28am. I’m wide awake, again. I’ve done all the usual to try and get myself back to sleep but tonight, or rather, this morning, I’ve given in.

During an appointment to try and get my eating back on track this week I was advised to limit my water intake as I was drinking to satisfy my hunger and therefore not eating. Trouble is, I’ve always drunk loads of water, my body is used to it so I’m mega thirsty, you known, the thirst of the morning after the night before? I’ve given into that too, drunk some water, eaten some popcorn (that will play on my mind shortly) and I’m just sitting here.

My mind is in overdrive

I can’t switch it off. I’m overthinking my week, how I’ve reacted (over reacted) to situations. Why I feel the need to push away the people I love the most. However, the overwhelming feeling is one of guilt.

I left my marriage, for 101 different reasons and I don’t regret that decision to leave. But, I feel guilty, I’ve caused such upset and pain to others by putting my own needs first. I lie here, in my own room, surrounded by only my things, in a bed which I chose and paid for. There is some element of contentment in this, I’m hopeful that as I settle further into my new life that feeling will grow.

The effect of my lack of sleep will be negative on the day to follow. Since my diagnosis of CFS, sleep has been the most important element of my day. I long to wake up feeling refreshed and raring to go. I can’t remember the last time I woke up after a bloody good sleep. 4 straight hours is a win. Tonight, I’ll settle for an hour.

H xx

When everything gets too much

This picture perfectly depicts how I am feeling. My anxiety is through the roof this week.

My goal on Monday was to eat, anything, just to eat. I’ve failed miserably, my weight is plummeting rapidly and this perversely gives me the most satisfaction even though I know it’s wrong, I’ve been warned I’m on the brink of hospitalisation I don’t care, I’ve pressed the self destruct button and I’m feel like I’m watching the consequences from above.

My dear, dear friend got it wrong last night and has caused me to feel more anxiety and hurt on top of the mountain I’m struggling with. He’s tried his best to apologise but I’m not letting him, I’m pushing him away even though all I want to do is be with him, I can’t see through the fog to let that happen. Is our relationship strong enough to weather this storm? I really hope so. I’m praying he loves me enough to realise that this is behaviour is a cry for help. I just want him to take charge and make me feel wanted again.

My return to work is looming over me. It watches me with every second of the day. I’m not ready to return, however pressure is making me.

My children’s father, my ex husband (I can’t get used to saying that) is driving me insane. I hid from him last night when he picked up the children, I can’t cope with his draining needs when I’m barely coping myself.

The only positive I can find about myself is I’ve been to the gym 3 times this week. In my previous life before my diagnosis of CFS, I was a gym machine, I trained hard every single day, it was my release. Now, I’ve dragged my sorry backside there and carried out a pitiful circuit of no more than 30 minutes. Even though it’s not up to my standards, I’m calling it a winner as I’ve made it there and moved my body.

Thank you Anxiety, you’ve beaten me this week, as my doctor put it yesterday, I’m spiralling down a rabbit hole. I need to slam the breaks on and find a way out of the gloom. Any suggestions would be gratefully received

H xx

When there is unfinished business…

I had a friend, we were very close, we spoke for hours every day about everything and nothing. We spent time together, he made me laugh, he bought me presents. Gifts which started small, a thoughtful mug which ended up lavish, expensive clothes, as our relationship grew. My marriage was in crisis, I needed him, or so I thought.

We fell out about a year ago over a mutual friend. He didn’t want me to spend anytime with anyone else. I decided that the new friend was worth taking the risk for (and boy was I right). I was told to choose because he wouldn’t share me. There was no decision to make.

As time has passed, I’ve unpicked our friendship. I realise that he was controlling me, keeping me for himself and jealousy was his driving factor. As I grew in confidence, I changed. I was on the brink of starting my new life, becoming free. It was time to reinvent myself. Exit one friend to make way for the one person who supports me like no one else.

Unfortunately, the first friendship isn’t quite finished. I actually don’t know what to do next. He contacts me from time to time. The first time was after 6 months had passed. He was very drunk and let his guard down with his true feelings. It broke me, I had really hurt him and for that I’m saddened. I never wanted to hurt him, there was just someone else who I need more, someone who has kept me sane, listened to my heartache, hugged me when I’ve cried, laughed with me over things which are utterly daft, has grown to be my chosen family. I couldn’t have them both and I was made to choose, I made the right choice. And for once, I’d put my own needs first.

Today, I saw him for the first time this year. I can see the expression on his face. I know it’s not over. I’m vulnerable at the moment and my concern is that he will pick the wrong moment to contact me and I’ll be weak and do something I’ll regret. It’s a complicated relationship which has overstepped so many boundaries. I can’t move on until it’s closed but I’m scared of the closure.

I’m keeping my eyes to the ground, my face neutral. I’m off the popular social networking sites for now. I’m trying to put a barricade around myself but I fear that it’s not enough.

A tangled web I’ve weaved and I need an escape route.

H xx

I’m literally dragging myself through Tuesday

Ever woken up in a strange mood? I did yesterday and its continued today. I can’t shake it, I’m grumpy and irrational, I want to be on my own but I’m lonely. I’m tearful and I know if I let the tears fall, they won’t stop. I dragged myself out of bed this morning, I really wanted to stay there with the covers over my head but as I’m a single mom of 3 and have 2 dogs, that isn’t an option.

I should have woken up happy this morning, my new bed was delivered yesterday. Due to the breakdown in marriage, separation, splitting of our possessions and house move, I haven’t slept in a bed since Boxing Day, I’ve slept on the sofa, a couple of nights in a hotel and then the last 6 weeks on an air bed. But no, not even the first night in my very lovely, extremely expensive (who knew that buying a bed cost so much money!) bed could lift this strange mood I’ve descended into.

I wrote yesterday about my fear of eating and how I was going to do my best to beat it this week. I failed miserably yesterday, on day 1, I don’t think fried plantain, a handful of peanut M&Ms and toast really adds up to eating enough food to sustain me. I’ve been a little better today but no where near enough. The lack of food is certainly contributing to my mood, lack of energy and headache. Irony is, I’ve just baked a batch of peanut flour, no sugar cookies for my friend as I’m worried about the snacks he is eating. I need to put my mindset of worrying about what other people eat into my own food intake.

I made myself go to the gym this morning. I used to train hard every single day. I was focussed and dedicated. My head was down, I worked hard early in the morning before a day of work. Since the start of this year, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve trained. I’m just not interested. I’ve bought shiny new gym clothes, brand new trainers in a bid to motivate me. It’s not working. I hated every minute I was there earlier and to make matters worse, one of the women I’ve known for a long time bounded over like an excitable puppy to tell me how tiny I was, how amazing I looked and what was my secret. If you have ever experienced body dysmorphia then you will get that my head went into over drive and all I could see was fat and I hated looking in the mirror. I finished my set, cut my loses and got the hell out of there. At least I escaped the gaggle of senior aqua ladies whose conversations drive me to insanity in the changing room.

So, what do I do? I need to shake this mood quickly. I’m finding the immediate weeks after the separation tough, it is literally a case of survival, get through each day by the skin of your teeth, pretend to the world that you are winning. Even though I instigated the split, it still hurts like hell. I sat outside my old house late last night and sobbed, I loved my house, I miss it and I feel like I’ve let it down. In a nutshell, I’m drowning. I am sure that this is all part of the grief for what I’ve lost process and it will pass with time. Until then, it’s probably best to give me a wide berth and if you are brave enough to talk to me, please don’t comment on my weight loss.

Hxx

Monday. The day of good intentions and new goals

Most goals are set on a Monday. If the Monday happens to coincide with the first of a month then its definitely a winner! I hear these goals all the time:

  • Stop drinking alcohol
  • Go to the gym
  • Stop eating cake
  • Eat fruit instead of cake
  • Stop drinking fizzy pop
  • Drink water, 2 litres a day

Today, being Monday, I have set myself a goal for this week. This is unusual for me but I have a serious problem that I need to face urgently.

I struggle to eat. Seeing those words in black and white hits me in the gut, hard. My goal for this week is to eat at regular times during the day. I’m not going to concern myself with the nutrition, the carbs, the calorie intake, I just need to eat.

With the help of my amazing friend, I have started to unpick the reasons behind my fear of food. He was the the first person to notice that I starve myself, that I can go for hours and hours and not eat and when I do, I rarely finish what is on my plate. Along with his “Are you still breathing?” message, I often get a “Have you/what have you eaten today?” message. When you are struggling with food, to have some accountability is very important. I will often eat because I don’t want to see his disappointment, he’s never angry, in fact he has really helped me understand why I’m scared to eat.

I’m scared to eat because I don’t want to be fat. I’ve been fat, there is a whole blog post waiting to be written about the day I realised how fat I was and how that day has changed my life. I lost my weight through sensible eating and intensive training in the gym. I can’t pinpoint the day the eating disorder took hold, I think it crept over, slowly and sneakily until it became my way of life and nobody noticed. Until recently. I’m currently not fat, I’m a UK size 10 but I don’t see myself as slim. I struggle with body dysmorphia. I look in the mirror and I see a fat stomach sticking out, I see chubby, wobbly legs. In reality, I know that I haven’t got a perfect figure but I am no where near fat. Try telling my brain that.

So, I starve myself, I can go all day and not eat. I go past hunger, I feel my body starting to shut down. I’ve had fuzzy vision, shakes, violent headaches, emotional outbursts. All because my body was starving. why oh why would I put myself through that? But I do and I continue to do so on a regular basis.

To admit you need help is massive. I need help. I don’t want to fear food. Irony is, I love cooking, I’m good at it. I love to see people eating my food, it makes me very happy. I just need to learn to love (or at least like) eating again.

H xx

Anxiety. It’s real and it hurts.

There have been major changes in my life in the last month, I’ve left my marriage, I’ve sold my family home, divided our possessions and taken my 3 children to a new house to start a new life. On the whole, I’m doing well. I see small steps of progress in how I’m feeling, I catch myself smiling or even laughing occasionally. I am not spending all night awake, sobbing uncontrollably, then hiding my eyes away the next day because they are puffy and sore. I’m doing ok.

Or so I think. Anxiety. It catches me unawares. I think I’m in control, then the smallest thing can set me off. It may be a drive down a road near to my beloved family home, a song on Alexa, a photo on my time hop. And that is it. I’m off, the emotions are unchecked, I’m irrational, angry, stressed, you name it, I experience it.

I’m doing my absolute best to cope. I didn’t want to stay married, I was so unhappy and trapped that it was making my health suffer. I’ve made the best decision to leave but coping with the fallout of the hurt is hard. I was warned about the loneliness but to actually experience it first hand is another level. I just didn’t expect to feel so alone, I wanted out, and the feeling of loneliness has hit me hard.

I’m doing the best I can, my big girl pants are on. I have good friends around me, I have my amazing family and my fab children. To do this without a supportive network is unimaginable, I am one of the lucky ones, I have the chance to live my life how I choose. I need to allow myself to have these feelings but not let them destroy my day, night, weekend, week. I have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Ultimately, this will make me a better person.

H xx

Finding the happiness in the simple things

Saturday Morning

Simply stunning

The smallest things in life bring me the most pleasure, sure I get a kick out of buying something from a new car to new trainers but I find that the happiness that material things brings is short lived. I love the random, the unexpected, the thoughtful. A thank you card left for me to find, an unexpected compliment, appreciation after I’ve cooked a meal.

This morning, I walked my dog as I do every single morning. I looked up from the top of the field and was greeted with the above picture. Simply stunning. My mood lifted, the smile was genuine and there was a spring in my step. Nature has a funny way of just being there but often we do not take time to look up and appreciate the natural beauty that is all around us.

It is raining now, absolutely pouring so I guarantee that the field is not quite as beautiful and if I were walking, my head would be down to avoid the rain. I am blessed with nature’s gift this morning, she chose to share her beauty with me and fill my heart.

Happy Saturday

H xx