13th-19th July ~ Twenty-Twenty.

I actually have more to say about this week than I thought I would. I’m mainly just typing this as a diary recap for myself if anything, so excuse the length & boringness of my life. 🙊😂

Monday – Would it even be a Monday without an AM appointment? 😆🤷‍♀️ When I have therapy I like to refer to it as therap-day because I’m sad like that. Therapy was good – my memory isn’t very good though because it was at 9am at the start of the week. 😆 Just sort of discussing what else we need to cover because I’ve had therapy for a long time now & worked through a lot. It’s a matter of continuing to thought challenge & work towards psychologist input coming to an end, but with a likely scenario of potentially needing some support when college begins in the coming months. I went to the supermarket with Pippa shortly after therapy. I suppose going out to a shop is still quite the novelty considering I’ve mainly been at home for months on end – the things that people had as a novelty back when we was in a strict lockdown are the things I’m experiencing now, as I didn’t step foot in any shop/supermarket until the end of June. As much as it’s a novelty though…it’s also rather anxiety provoking & I feel as though I’m paying extra attention on others in case they get too close. 🙊 Was nice to grab a latte with Pippa on the way out as well though. Had the bonus of then arriving home to two deliveries. Went for a walk with my dad again in the evening.

Tuesday – I had another video appointment on Tuesday. It was time to chase college up again, but it was another morning of high anxiety & catastrophising over it. I also had my eyes opened a bit. One of the most important things when working with a team is honesty & transparency between everyone. It was brought home to me that I appeared ‘drawn & tired’. The truth is that the future I’m working towards is also creating stress that’s impacting my ED. It’s so easy to focus on what you’re recovering for & to project your attention into that, but you also can’t afford to forget about recovery. I would say that’s kind of what’s been happening. As much as I can say that I’ve found some alternative coping mechanisms… I do still use my ED a large amount of the time. In the past… it’s come to light faster. Weight loss has been quick… the decline more frighteningly obvious. In the past two years (longer than 2 years, but it’s been 2 yrs of a ‘physical’ downward trajectory) I’ve learned a lot & I’ve achieved a lot in recovery, but physically… things have gradually & slowly declined more & more & rather than it be instantly obvious… it’s only really now that it’s becoming apparent as to how much I’ve slid back over to the dark side. I’ve clung on & clung on, but I guess with any achievement I’ve made… it’s lead to ‘small’ restrictions elsewhere that’s kind of counteracted those achievements. I was made aware of how I won’t necessarily be able to do these things that I want to do if I don’t have my health & yeah… the more I ignore this… the more likely it is that I won’t be well enough to embark on education again. I was given ‘permission’ to allow room for breathing – an agreement to relax over the college stuff & to let them contact me over it whilst I give myself two weeks to just solely focus on recovery. To be honest…it gave me a massive sigh of relief. It certainly gave me a lot to think about. I feel so driven to embark on my journey towards medicine, but I need to project some of that motivation back into my recovery & it’s becoming more apparent to me how much more difficult that’s feeling the more my BMI drops. The ironic thing is…I’m wanting to study science & it’s the science of my weight falling that’s making recovery harder & my chances of studying science smaller. I see the same face everyday & I guess I just didn’t even know it had become visibly apparent that Anorexia is taking its toll on me. Yet the signs are there. I’m cold…all the time. It’s not the most obvious one to me, because however healthy or underweight I am… I am quite a cold person (what a cold-hearted bitch I am 😂) but joking aside…my circulation is pretty poor in general, so my toes, knees & hands are regularly purple with lil orange patches & my extremities are usually cold to touch as well – recently though…I’m constantly making hot water bottles during summer to keep myself warm. I saw my reflection on my phone screen & I saw it. I’m cradling a hot water bottle feeling absolutely exhausted & cold with my pale reflection staring back at me. It’s been such a gradual decline for me this time that it’s crept up on me without me even noticing how bad things are actually becoming. I’m glad I had that conversation. It was exactly what I needed to be honest. I’m also aware of how difficult it now feels to move forward though. Now I’m not thinking or worrying about college…I’ve noticed how much those ED thoughts are there. I’ve been so distracted by worries that I haven’t even paid attention to challenging the ED thoughts & now I’m realising how much they have been there in the background. I’m feeling a bit lost if I’m honest. It’s also not the best time of year for me though & I guess it’s another thing on top that’s distracting my attention away from what I need to do. It’s a painful time of year. How do I make this better? Anyway…putting the ‘woe is me’ malarkey to one side..funnily enough..college called at 6.30pm that same day after agreeing to relax about it. 🤦‍♀️😂 It was a call that made me feel a lot better though. We fast tracked a new application through, as they’d accidentally deleted my newer up-to-date application, so they instead had my original one from 2018. 🤦‍♀️ The woman was lovely to be honest & I felt reassured about a few things afterwards.

Wednesday – Bloods. What an appointment to remember! I can have bloods back at my local practice again now. I was concerned about entering because I already find it concerning that there are generally unwell people at surgeries let alone when there’s a pandemic, but I was literally the only patient waiting for an appointment. The actual blood tests don’t bother me..I’ve had enough of them over the years, so it’s a good job really. What I didn’t realise..was how many bloods I was having. I normally have quite a lot due to anorexia, but I was also aware that I was having an extra test for a cortisol level. Normally..I have about 3 caps taken, maybe 4 sometimes. 🤔 Not today…7! 1 blue tube, 3 gold tubes, 1 grey tube & 2 purple tubes! Never in my life have I had that much taken..it felt like I was there to give blood. 😂 The phlebotomist was supervising this new member of staff & she was there feeling sorry for me having so many tests, but I was there really feeling sorry for her that she was training & had the unfortunate experience of having me as a patient. Thrown in the deep end. The ironic thing about the appointment was that I walked in & the usual phlebotomist said ‘Rebecca’s easy…she’s got a good vein.’ The 5min appointment was 25 minutes! All of the forms that needed printing off! All of the caps & labels needed! Then..my 1 good vein that I have..it collapsed after the 2nd tube. The alternative vein also provides blood (if it doesn’t..butterfly needles are usually required to access small veins in my wrist or hand). The 2nd vein is ‘wobbly’ apparently, but hallelujah..it provided the remaining 5 tubes. You may think that that would have been it. The lady started labeling up the bloods. I started feeling a bit funny, but I don’t like to make a big deal out of these things. The phlebotomist I’m familiar with started talking about Kate Garaway’s husband & I’m there trying my best to focus on that conversation to stay conscious & the next minute..she looked at me & said ‘you’re not okay are you?’ I began to lose consciousness. I remember being asked if I could hear them..I don’t remember answering. I had a member of staff each side. I was being cooled down with wet paper towels (it isn’t just dinner ladies that use the wet paper towel method to cure ailments 😂) & then my legs were being propped up on a cushion & a chair. I then tried not to vomit into my face mask & then I said hello to the water I’d drank half an hour prior as it landed in the sick bowl I’d just been handed. So yeah..not a great experience. Hadn’t fainted at a blood test for 3 years, but I think the fact I’d had so much blood taken didn’t exactly help. Along with the recent ED struggles & the fact that face masks don’t allow for easy breathing. My goodness! I was provided with water & then offered them several apologies! I hate being an awkward patient. It’s mortifying! They were literally so good with me though. So that was my dramatic moment of the day! College called at midday – I spoke to a man who was really empathetic & helpful & also really encouraging over me wanting to continue onto medicine post-college. I really feel as though they’re doing all they can to support me whilst studying. 2pm.. Art Group – this weeks theme was ‘road trip’… I took a slightly alternative take on it, because my brain got a bit carried away with ideas of what I’d do or where I’d go on an ideal road trip, so I chose to draw the vehicle I’d like to go on a road trip in instead & began drawing a very hippie, VW camper van. ✌️ I enjoyed the group a lot! It’s always good at the end being able to see what others take on the theme has been & to listen to their ideas. 😊

Thursday – a day offering another taste of some normality. I even wore ‘real’ clothes & put some makeup on for a change. Braved some non-essential shopping. I still take the Covid situation very seriously, but I know if I don’t give myself some normality, then it will get more difficult. (As I know from past anxiety experiences) I’m prepared…I have about 9 washable face masks/coverings because they obviously need to colour coordinate with what I’m wearing. 😂 I’ve also always made sure that every bag I own is equipped with things I deem ‘essential’…one of those items is hand sanitizer, so whilst everyone else was fighting over hand gel in March..I was quite happy that I had 30-40 bags at home each equipped with sanitiser, so throughout this pandemic…I haven’t actually had problems with accessing that. I also ensure I strictly follow rules & the guidance & those of us considered to be at an increased risk can now start going into shops. It’s kind of annoying though..I wear a mask, but my mask doesn’t actually protect me. I wear it out of respect of others & also because one of my OCD issues is me being ill & killing someone by contaminating them. Totally irrational, but one of my thoughts nonetheless & something I’m trying to overcome. It’s annoying though that others don’t have the same desire to protect others, but I obviously also have to understand that we all prioritise different things in life & not everybody has the same anxieties that I do – in fact..a few people actually panic over their face being covered, so masks to them are actually overwhelming & so it’s important to always take other perspectives into consideration. I felt okay with where we went. The McArthurGlen outlet isn’t as busy mid-week & it’s also outdoors, so you’re not constantly indoors with circulating aerosol droplets. I’ve also been reminded this week that when we challenge ourselves..we should learn to reward ourselves in some way whether it’s something relatively small or what ever really. I did see some nice things I liked & I was going to choose one thing out of what I’d seen in Yumi, but as I was thinking…my mum actually snatched all of these dresses that I liked out of my hands & declared she was having ‘an F it day’ & those items went to the till where she put the bill on my dad’s credit card! 😂 To be honest…some places have discounted stuff that much due to lockdown that the cost of 5 dresses was the same as the usual cost of 1 dress, so she declared the purchase a ‘bargain’! I guess that’s one way of rewarding a challenging trip! Then there were some more things that were ridiculously reduced at Next also. 🙊 Retail therapy was definitely a thing on Thursday. What I did actually buy though…baby clothes! 🥰 I can’t resist! My nephew is only 6months old (on the 21st anyway) & baby clothes are just so cute! It’s been painful not being able to have baby cuddles all of this time, but when I do see him…I have some clothes for him. (Not that he’ll be aware, but it makes me feel a bit better at least). He’s at that chunky stage now where I just get emotional because of how cute babies are at this stage! 😭 The pelicans from Dumbo haven’t delivered me a baby in a bag yet, so I like to make the most of my siblings babies! 😂😂

Friday – Went back to the same shops as we did on Thursday because Pippa needed to swap something, but it gave me a chance to get Yankee refills for my bedroom air freshener & bought some things from Holland & Barrett too. Just a brief visit, but bought coffee before we left & then drank it by a nearby fishing pond in the sunshine. I was feeling physically crappy, because I had IBS pain all night & only had 3.5hours sleep – my energy levels didn’t feel bad..I was just feeling horrible & uncomfortable as I still had really uncomfortable bloating & stabbing pains in my right side. Acted opposite to how I felt though, so instead of staying home feeling sorry for myself..I put some makeup on & put one of the new dresses on to make me feel better. Thankfully the dresses I bought are a size bigger than my usual size, as Yumi only go down to a certain size, but I don’t want to be buying clothes that fit me at the minute anyway because that would create a reason to avoid weight restoration & would just give the ED ammunition – the material & how it hung & being a bit big made me feel way more comfy & in the end…I was really glad I went out instead of allowing my body image & mental health dictate my day. We had a lil walk around Bakewell for an hour (which is a cute, pretty, little town in the Peak District). Saw a cute lil sign for my fairy garden & a quirky plant pot outside a gift shop too – I can now put the plant from my neighbour in the new pot & give my bedroom a little bit of the outdoors. Came home & planted my mini sunflowers – my mum brought them on Monday, so they really needed to be planted, as they were beginning to look a little bit sad. I continued with the abdominal discomfort all day, but I at least challenged myself & had a good afternoon distraction. Unfortunately, I had some news that made me feel a little bit uneasy, but it isn’t something that’s in my control & I have to think about what options I’ve been given – I’m not sure how I feel & my main issue is dealing with change. I guess the coming week will bring clarity when I have further discussions though, so it’s something I’ve tried not to dwell on too much.

Saturday – My brother popped by briefly, as I said I’d got my baby nephew some things & he obviously kind of needs then now before he grows out of them. 🙊 So I got to see my niece & 2 of my nephews & it was just lovely to see their lil faces! 🥰 Also received a delivery 📦 & I’m so happy with my new watch! 🙊 My FitBit screen has broken & although it’s annoying…it’s probably a good thin ED wise because although I haven’t focused too much on my step count recently…I know that my watch is a bit of a safety net. It still works, but I don’t like the idea of wearing something with a cracked screen, so yeah…instead of buying another FitBit.. I went for a none-exercise-related watch, which I love way more! 😊

Sunday – I tidied up some parts of the fairy garden outside & in the process… I discovered that I’ve actually managed to successfully grow some peas from scratch! A lot of the seeds I planted have began providing peas & I don’t know how I didn’t notice them before considering how big they’ve gotten! 😂 It’s perhaps because I usually just focus on watering the soil. 🤷‍♀️ In the afternoon I had a long video chat with my friend & it was just so nice tbh! 😌 I was in need of positivity as the 19th of July doesn’t hold very good memories for me, so chatting to one of my best friends for nearly 3 hours was such a laugh & such a blessing! 🥰

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