6th-12th July ~ Twenty-Twenty.

Different kind of post, but I guess if I’m sharing my reality then I may as well post about my week (that’s practically repeated itself for the past 14-15 weeks since lockdown was declared…) I’m also faced with Sunday evening boredom.

Let’s face it though…we are still in this weird kind of lockdown, but not quite lockdown scenario…about as clear as the government advice, so yeah…prepare to be very underwhelmed!

Every day feels the same. Previously..I wouldn’t say I had a strict ‘daily’ routine per se, but my ‘weekly’ routine was more structured meaning I’d have a Monday looking day or a Friday looking day (if that makes any kind of sense?!) – for example..I’d go to the doctors on a Wednesday to put my repeat prescriptions in (boring fact), or I’d spend time with my mum on her days off on Wednesday & Thursday and we’d go out into town or something, or..I would walk with my mum to where she works on certain days of the week, or I’d have specific designated days/times for appointments & for those appointments I’d have walked or maybe had to have gotten a train somewhere & then I’d probably also get distracted by shops, or I’d schedule plans & volunteering into my diary to build in extra structure. No day was the same, but a particular day had the same routine each week.

So yeah…this scenario we find ourselves in allows for less of that weekly routine & generally just less freedom & excitement.

I have to keep checking the calendar to remind myself of the day.

So if you’re feeling about as excited as me right now (about as excited as the Grinch felt about Christmas) then you’re definitely not on your own.

So here’s a little insight into how my week went..;

Monday – My highlight of the day was in fact a dietetics appointment. Probably not what most anorexics say right? A whole appointment dedicated to making dietary changes that your eating disorder is screaming ‘no’ at! I suppose though…it’s a very mixed emotion kind of a bag…whilst yes…Anorexia is very vocal in my brain when discussing food…I have to say that my taste-buds generally do a happy little dance at the prospect of a potentially broader taste pallet, whilst also knowing that as painful as increasing variety &/or intake is..it’s part of a much bigger picture of recovery. It isn’t just about what you are or aren’t eating…it’s about how much better your life experience can be in the future having made changes & having gone through the scary parts (and just because I can’t resist using a pun)…it’s a very bittersweet thing! Thankfully, it’s also an appointment made much easier by the fact that I do actually have a fantastic dietitian who’s incredibly easy to talk to. Aside from my appointment..I don’t have much recollection of the day other than the evening stroll I went on, so here’s a picture…

Tuesday – There’s a theme emerging here…appointments are generally a highlight of my day atm, because they actually allow for human conversation 😆 (may sound strange because I have ASD, but that’s because it’s an incorrect stereotype that autistics don’t want to talk). Tuesday was a strange one, because on the one hand it was like ‘Yay! human interaction!’, but on the other it was an appointment that involved a lot of anxiety, so it was a ‘Yay!’ followed by an ‘Oh no!’ (followed by more ‘yays’, ‘nays’ & ‘yays’ during the session). Again..an appointment made easier by being comfortable & getting along with a healthcare professional – Tuesday was occupational therapy. I’ve been needing to call the college -that I intend on studying at in September- for a while, but I always get incredibly anxious about it & my way of dealing with that anxiety is to pretty much bury my head in the sand by not doing what I need to 🙃 – it does reduce the anxiety (albeit temporarily), but then you’re left feeling unaccomplished & the anxiety only returns later. My OT supported me to make the call though on Tuesday, so I was face-to-face via video link whilst then calling the college on my phone – I find being supported makes me much, more likely to do something, because as good as my intentions are when I say ‘yes, I’ll do that’ at the time…the anxiety only ends up getting the better of me again later. I called the college & spoke to someone, but I think I ended up being left with more questions than answers in addition to the fact that the college had in fact lost my up-to-date application (they merged it with my older application from 2 years ago), so…it was a call worth while, but equally frustrating. But…FYI…contrary to my beliefs…I did in fact survive calling college, so that’s a positive! The rest of the day involved rain, cuddling my hot water bottle (for warmth…I don’t just hug hot water bottles) & entertaining myself by saving relatable Bitmoji photos to the iCloud…for example;

Wednesday – Another rainy day. 🙄 Another hot water bottle day…in July! You see, my dad doesn’t turn the heating on & off dependent on the outdoor temperature, he instead determines it by the month, so an 11 degree, cold, windy, rainy day in July…it’s turned off, but 2019 when we had a weird February heatwave & it was 25C…yep, the heating was turned on because… it.was.February. 🤷‍♀️ Illogical to me, but I don’t pay the bills so I’ll just settle for a hot water bottle. Favourite part of Wednesday was definitely the weekly art group set up by First Steps (ED charity) & the ED team OT. The theme this week was based on ‘theatre’, a word that sparked many memories & also made me think about how much I’m missing being able to go and watch performances at the theatre, so naturally…I had to do something associated with ballet! 🩰 Not only do I miss watching ballet…I also miss performing ballet! I also loved the film ‘Black Swan’! Swan Lake is my favourite.ballet.ever!! I love the story, love the costumes, LOVE the music! I like doing the art group..it also provides me with something to continue doing after the group, as I’m quite slow when it comes to arty projects (probably because I tend to get caught up in details 🤔) so I never finish in the session, but yeah..it’s a good distraction to continue with afterwards too. 😊

Thursday – I actually ventured out into the scary world briefly. I entered a ‘non-essential’ shop! 😷 Just the one, but it was nice to have a hint of normality. It was also a little bit scary because you can not control other people or what they touch, but I can have my own self-awareness, look with my eyes (not my hands 🙄) & follow the guidelines & again…another thing in the week that I survived! I felt safe in TKMaxx as it’s a large store, with high ceilings & more open spaces, so of all the non-essential shops I guess this one felt safer due to the environment & it was also a quiet part of the day in the week. I know it’s something I’m going to have to get used to again & some people won’t know what the big fuss is about, but others will know exactly how much of a big deal it feels. I was glad I went because I found a Ted Baker cushion for my bedroom (with the bonus of my mum being kind enough to treat me to it). I have a bit of TB (not to be confused with tuberculosis 🤦‍♀️) theme in my life, so it was a rather satisfying find. 👌😏

Friday – I had another appointment to review something called intensive community support (ICS for short) – I’m very fortunate to be offered this because it’s not something widely available. I was originally offered this support to integrate eating into a social aspect as I hadn’t eaten out in several years prior to it. Later, ICS was adapted to work on more goals in other areas I was struggling with. Unfortunately, the lockdown situation threw me off track quite a bit, because of changes to the home environment & the disrupted social life that we’ve all been faced with, but that can become all the more challenging when you’re faced with an eating disorder & autism on top & I’m so grateful to have been in the position of still being able to access support -remotely- throughout this time, as I’m aware many people have struggled whilst either being or feeling unable to reach-out. I’ve been able to access ICS via video link. With the support, we’ve been able to come up with a different kind of a plan & although I’d fallen off the track I was on, it’s enabled me to find my feet again. On Friday we were able to further adapt the plan to continue to progress over the coming weeks. I have some rather challenging things to face, but like I said on Friday..if I don’t face these things now whilst I have support..what’s the chance of me ever facing them? I know it could be possible & I wouldn’t encourage anyone to ever give up trying, but I need to use the resources I have whilst I’m being offered them. I reluctantly agreed to some of the challenges, but reluctantly agreeing now, will hopefully lead to no reluctance later down the line. In addition to the dietary changes..I’m also faced with progressive replication challenges where I need to try my best to replicate change by myself as well & honestly…that is the single most terrifying thing & probably one of the things I struggle with the most. (I won’t go into detail about my plan, because it isn’t helpful for anyone to compare their recovery/eating disorder to other people’s, especially when we’re all faced with different challenges & are at very different stages & I also feel that it’s as much my responsibility to keep professionals confidentiality over their advice, as much as it is theirs to keep mine 🙂). Later that day… a (nearly, not-quite sunset) walk in the woods around our local reservoir – it’s one of my favourite places in the locality! 😊

Saturday – My sister turned up in the morning, but because nobody is entering the house yet (to eliminate my immune system being faced with potential virus)…she was on the doorstep. For some reason…my sister always carries a camping chair in her boot ‘in-case it comes in handy’…I find it amusing, but she did prove that it does in fact come in handy. As is usually the case for my sister…her ‘just calling by’ turned into a 90 minute doorway conversation. 😂 Post-big sister communication…I filled in some missing stones/pebbles to my fairy footpath (I’ve dedicated part of the garden to ‘fairies’ during lock-down…I’ll do a separate post to honour the fairies! 😆) & also pulled out loads of those mini tiny weed-lings that start growing through…tedious task tbh! I then spent some time with my favourite neighbours in their garden! I feel privileged to live on a small street where I’ve lived for 23 out of 26 years of my life where we all know each other. My two particularly favourite neighbours though live a few houses down & I often enjoy lengthy conversations & sometimes trips out with them. Paul kindly donated some plants to me that he’d been growing & Cathy sent me with some freshly picked strawberries & raspberries from their allotment. We also chatted for a while & I gained more plant knowledge from looking around such a wonderful outdoor serenity – they pretty much have the garden of Eden..it’s beautiful with so many different varieties of plants/flowers & they’ve definitely played part in inspiring me to get into gardening a bit more. I also had 2 deliveries on Saturday, so I didn’t leave the street, yet ended up with plants, fruit, shoes & pyjamas. And finally!!…a nice day where I could actually be outside gardening again! 🙌

Sunday – after no fairy time in the week due to the rain…I actually did a bit too much gardening for my liking today. 😆 To say that I hate bugs, spiders, worms, slugs & generally just.. creepy crawlies.. on top of really hating getting dirty.. I’d say that I’ve been doing pretty well spending so much time gardening in the past few weeks. Gloves! Gloves have been the saviour. Gardening gloves as well as disposable gloves! They came in handy when removing slugs today! 🤢 Oh my.. atm I feel as though I’m at war with the slugs & snails. They’ve already destroyed 2 plants & today..I found more plants with slugs on them than I did without. 🙄 They’re generally just those really tiny ones, but the slime trail they leave is just gross! We’ve had to resort to the use of slug pellets because otherwise we’re going to be inundated! Also been raking over the garden today (as best as I could considering there’s a lot of really intricate fairy stuff to go around). Then I got roped into pulling weeds out at my Nana’s house. Unfortunately my Nana passed away earlier this year, but we’re fortunate enough to still have my grandparents house full of memories – what that also means is continuing to maintain it. A solid half hour of trying to quickly pull out as many weeds as possible on the front lawn. 😳 My back aches! 😂 Finished the day with an evening walk around the village.

Part of the fairy garden…(still need to add a couple more things I’m making)

I probably could have condensed the week right down into bullet-points, but… I’m good at rambling on 😂 … especially when I have time to fill. 🙊

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