3rd-9th August ~ Twenty-Twenty.

Monday – I don’t feel as though I really did very much. I guess that’s okay some days. 🤷‍♀️ I got a lil bit of fresh air with my mum in the morning. In the afternoon.. I painted some more wooden sticks so that I can make some more fairy fences. 🎨🧚‍♀️ In the evening my Dad & I went for a walk in the woods at the reservoir & it looked beautiful because it was nearing sunset & there was a lovely golden glow through the trees. 🌳 We saw some squirrels & there was one sat on a wall & you could see it’s silhouette that the sun created & it was perched eating an acorn between its hands! 🐿 It was so cute! I very nearly captured a photo of it, but then the lil guy hopped off the wall just as I was about to take it! We also saw a gathering of fungicide! 🍄 There was quite a lot including a gigantic mushroom! I love these woods…the other week when we were here at dusk…we saw a little owl too! ☺️ We stumbled across the unexpected on our way back… we’d walked away from the reservoir & woods & back up the bridleway to be trapped on the footpath by a fire engine 🚒 wedged in the path. Why the vehicle was trying to go down a bridleway that was quite clearly always going to be be too small/narrow for it we shall never know?! 🤷‍♀️ It was a different experience anyway. 😆

Tuesday – Apart from having supported lunch at, well… lunchtime… I didn’t have anything else to do. This week’s focus is eating wraps, which I’m okay with I think – I know I like them, so that’s a start. It’s the fear that falls lower on the list, so that I’m not thrown in at the deep end of the challenge pool. The idea is to also replicate that myself this week, which is the most challenging part. I have another supported lunch on Thursday, so I’m going to aim to replicate that same carb on another day as well after that. That’s not to say that I’m skipping lunch on the other days, but I’ll have something I’m more familiar with on the days where the challenge isn’t replicated. I do rather enjoy a wrap… even if my eating disorder doesn’t want me to admit to liking a food item. It was also good getting to know my new support worker better – she’s really easy to talk to, so that’s been really helpful because when you’re autistic… it can feel really painful to make conversation if you don’t feel as though you ‘click’ with a person, so I’m relieved to feel comfortable with this lady. I spent the latter part of the evening cleaning & tidying… I find I get more obsessional about this when thoughts are running high & anxiety levels are high, so I got in a bit of a state with it, but it wasn’t too long a state thankfully. I kept putting it off actually – the longer I could ‘urge surf’ & refrain… the shorter the day was becoming & the less time I then spent cleaning, so it was a positive outcome in some ways. I ended the day with some self-care, because I knew I needed some kind of reason to stop myself from anymore cleaning & I needed to be a bit more relaxed before going to bed. I had a bath & used one of my bath bombs. I normally have a shower before bed, but bath’s take longer & are more relaxing & I was in need of taking a bit more time out to just calm & chill-out a bit.

Wednesday – I had a CPA in the afternoon. It’s not so daunting when the meeting point is basically a laptop screen in your room – it’s certainly less intense than being sat in a circle in a clinical setting. Everyone’s just comfortably sat in their own home & it feels more relaxed & everybody just seems more ‘normal’ (whatever normal is). It’s not that I want to remain stuck in my house forever & never experience face-to-face appointments again, because I still prefer face-to-face 1-1’s, but in terms of a CPA/meeting with more people… it’s more relaxed virtually. My care-co has changed now – I’m fine with that because I get along with all three of the professionals I work with, but naturally my work in some areas is coming to an end & the focus has changed into other directions. I think it’s good to have a meeting like this because it saves having to explain to one-another what the agenda is & everybody’s just on the same page & yeah… I feel fully aware of what’s expected of me. Later on in the day I ordered my dad’s birthday present, he’s 60 later this month, so it’s a ‘special’ occasion – he’s very precious about his car(s) & has mentioned getting a personal reg plate for a while, so I’ve been on the DVLA plate site & purchased one that’s relevant to him (obviously). I’m just pleased that I now won’t have a last-minute momentum-hunting panic at the end of the month! Phew! 😌 My mood today’s been a strange one.. it’s probably part of my autism.. sometimes I find a slight struggle with identifying what exactly I’m feeling. I think, I think it’s a mixed bag. I feel frustrated at myself & at the eating disorder. I feel frustrated & angry about the media & the government & programmes with their weight-loss ‘campaigning’ & forcing disordered thoughts & behaviours onto society (I did have a rant about this matter in a blog post earlier in the week). I feel emotional & grateful for the help I’m receiving.. even though I never feel deserving of it. Also confused as to why anybody’s still trying to help me after all this time. I’m happy that I have future aims & I have goals & I’m having support that’s useful. I’m also scared. Really scared of the future for a number of reasons. I’m scared of gaining weight & I’m also scared of being ill forever. I’m finding myself reflecting on a lot of things at the minute & some of it’s helpful, but some of it isn’t. I think I just generally feel in a very strange place. I have so much awareness of this illness & I’ve built up a box of skills to help me & it’s time for the therapy side of things to reach an end point, but that’s also quite scary too – it’s scary because it’s change & it’s standing on my own two feet, but it’s also scary because I’m like, shit…I’ve had a lot of therapy & here I still am with this flipping disorder still consuming more of my life than I want it to be…I’ve progressed a lot in recent years, but it still remains more dominant than I’d like it to be. So yeah… the day felt quite overwhelming & I don’t know if that’s quite an emotion per se, but I felt overwhelmed nonetheless & also utterly exhausted, so 9.30pm bedtime it was.

Thursday – I had supported lunch at 12.30pm – the 2nd day of the week to challenge the wrap! I think I feel okay with wraps.. I like them.. it’s just a form of bread, but.. flat.. & round.. & a completely different texture! 😆 I got the rest of the pack out of the freezer today, so that I don’t have any reason not to replicate. There are another 2, so I’ve made another wrap for tomorrow & will make one for the weekend with the remaining one too. I find making ahead/prepping things often helps me to stick to my meal plan more because it takes some of the decision making away when you’re stood in the kitchen contemplating whether or not you should have a meal or what to have. My mum, Pippa & myself had a short trip out afterwards.. we just drove 10 miles to a retail park – I spoke to my Occupational Therapist on the phone whilst mum & Pippa had coffee. We then just went into three shops (2 for essentials, 1 for a browse/shopping) & then I had a latte on the way back. It was nice to just have a couple of hours out & to have company tbh. The OT & I came up with some goals for this next week to reduce my activity levels – there are 3 things for me to try to see what I find helpful. I also need to have a look at my list of distractions to see what activities I can become engrossed in alternatively to exercising.

Friday – Had my first supported breakfast this morning – it felt more challenging than I thought it was going to be. It’s not that I haven’t been having anything for breakfast, it’s just that I’ve floated off track from where I previously was & I dunno.. it obviously wasn’t going to feel easy to switch back otherwise I’d have been able to have done it myself by now, I just didn’t expect to stress over it as much I was doing – it was a wake-up that reminded me of just how quickly the eating disorder can take back over if you even remotely take your eye off the ball. Give it an inch & it will take a mile, without a shadow of a doubt..it will sprint off ahead & leave you playing catch-up. I’ve had this illness for over half of my life now, so I don’t suppose I should be that surprised. 🤷‍♀️ I don’t think you should write-off recovery based on how long you’ve been ill for though because I think sometimes it’s getting too fixated on statistics that makes people hopeless.. if you have that motivation to change then that’s all you need – the neural pathways are more well trodden the longer it goes on for, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reroute & create new pathways, it just means a heck of a lot of patience & persistence. I think supported breakfast was a good call from the dietitian – it’s an area I’ve been struggling a lot with again. Admittedly.. I find it challenging even being offered support in itself & especially just how much, because Anorexia seems to stretch itself across to other areas aside from food & numbers & makes you feel extremely guilty for being supported – it’s kind of obvious really when you consider that the support is there to help you fight the eating disorder. The ED will always tell you that there’s somebody more unwell, more deserving & more worthy of support, so ‘why would you deserve it?’ Other people with an ED probably feel the same way. 🤷‍♀️ I’ve been reminded by professionals & have to regularly remind myself that I’m being offered all of this for a reason & that if I wasn’t using the support proactively then, well..I wouldn’t be having it & certainly not for all of this time. So yeah..I feel guilty, but when does Anorexia not make you feel that way for doing something that goes against it? So I’ll use the resources despite what the ED says & I’ll use them to try & fight it. I met my friend afterwards – it was really good timing as well, because she came around about an hour later, so I got myself ready in that time & it meant that I didn’t have time to dwell on breakfast all morning. We had a bit of a stroll & sat on a bench at the end of my road beneath some trees so I didn’t get sunburn. (Medication makes me very photosensitive). It was so good to chat to one of my best friends in person! It will be even better when I can give my friends a nice big hug again, but for the time being.. safety is more important & no hug basically means no COVID & no COVID means that we still get to see our friends & that is a very precious thing! 💞

Saturday – I saw my baby nephew today! 🥰 I’ll never not get emotional over babies! Got to see 2 more of my 5 favourite mini humans too! My niece & nephew came over briefly too. It was only for about half an hour, but it was half an hour more than I expected (it wasn’t a ‘planned’ visit). I obviously love my niece & nephews all of the time, but I think being apart from them for so long due to COVID has just made it feel like an even bigger privilege to spend time with them. I also bought my bunnies some treats/toys this morning, as I felt it was overdue – I wouldn’t normally buy pets clothes, but I saw a rabbit sombrero that they can actually eat, so you basically take a silly photo of them & then they get to eat the straw hat. I spent the rest of the day in the garden – I pulled out all the mini weeds before they grow into big ones…it took forever though! I think it took so long because I get too caught up in every tiny little thing I see that I don’t think should be there. 🙊 Being in the garden keeps me out of trouble though & I’m trying to make the most of the sunshine whilst it’s here – I just basically dug, redistributed & tidied all of the soil where my fairy things are…I only intended on the fairy garden taking up a relatively small area, but it’s now taken over a larger area. Definitely kept me occupied during lockdown all these months at least. I stayed in the garden until about 6.30pm, washed & got changed & then went on a walk with my dad before we picked my mum up from work – we went to the woods & reservoir again which just seems to look more beautiful every time because the sun’s setting earlier & just giving the view a lovely golden glow…we won’t be able to go here much longer that late in the day though because it’ll be too dark before long, but I’m appreciating it whilst it lasts. 🌅 I have a history of developing rather low/bordering severe levels of Vit D, which I believe have now been rectified, but after all the time I’ve spent outdoors this year.. I’ll be pretty annoyed with my body if my Vit D drops anytime before winter.

Sunday – Today was spent baking 40 cupcakes for my mum to take to work, as she nominated me to bake for their training evening. I haven’t baked cupcakes for about a year!? 🤷‍♀️ I do regularly bake normally for family, but obviously this year’s been a bit of a write-off. I baked loads at Christmas, but in 2020 I did nothing until my cousin asked me to bake brownies for her boyfriends birthday & then I made a lemon drizzle loaf cake for mum’s birthday & made her breakfast pancakes on Mother’s Day (all in March) & since then… I made a banoffee traybake in April & my mum & I have done 3 cakes for friends of hers & a birthday cake for one of my nephew’s, but that’s it this year which is not much for me. I normally make 2-3 desserts for family gatherings at a time plus other stuff for occasions during the year..it can be fairly regular for me to spend a full weekend just baking all day, washing dishes, cleaning up & then sleeping. 😆 It’s nice to do a bit less in comparison to other years (I cut down because when I was at my physical worst with the ED, I was just so obsessed with thinking about food & feeding others that it all got too obsessional & exhausting, so I made a conscious effort to cut-down after hospital). But yeah…covid’s basically meant that I’ve barely baked so far this year! Certainly haven’t made any cupcakes for well over a year, so I was a bit nervous to do any for people when my mum told me she’d nominated me to do them for her work colleagues! Anyway… it gave me something to do & they turned out okay, but I’m not particularly in a rush to do anymore just yet! 😆 I haven’t felt very well today, so apart from baking…I’ve just tried to rest – reducing my activity was a piece of homework from the team anyway, so I feel as though I’ve done some homework today without really having to do any. 😆 I need to master reduced activity levels even when I physically don’t feel crappy though 🤔 … I’m generally trying to do that & I’m way, way better with compulsive exercise than I used to be, but there’s definitely still room for improvement & just because I’ve made progress..it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t keep trying to progress or just stop where I am, because I know that I need to continue tackling this because it’s too big a part in my life still & my body isn’t in anyway thankful for it.

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