Friday, 6 February 2009

Weird space

First of all, thanks to everyone for the well wishes yesterday. And I honestly wasn't that upset about the follower. It just makes me wonder: "Did I write something taht offended him / her? Does he / she find that I'm no longer entertaining..." And so on.

Good news is... the follower is back. *gleeful grin*

Secondly, overshare warning... this is one of those self-involved navel-gazing posts that would probably be more appropriate in a private diary. I have warned you.

So... onwards...

I'm in a strange space with myself at the moment. You may be thinking that any space I'm in will be weird simply by association, but it's more than that. See (here comes the overshare), for those of you who don't know, I've suffered from various eating disorders over different periods in my life. And although I have been fine for the past three and a half years, I don't think I'll ever really "get it out of my system".

What I mean is... Yes, I don't make myself throw up anymore. Or abuse diet pills / laxatives anymore. Or starve myself or exercise compulsively or weigh myself a million times a day (in fact, I don't even own a scale). I no longer compulsively count calories, pretend to eat food and then hide it or even forbid poor TSC from eating certain food groups along with me. I don't do any of those insane things I used to do. But... I do go through periods of "darkness" when I feel tempted to step out of my sanity and do one or more of those things again.

I never do.

I KNOW that the best way forward is to eat healthily and exercise enough. I understand that eating small meals throughout the day and allowing myself treats without going overboard or being a food Nazi keeps my metabolism up and stops me from craving. I know that exercising regularly not only stops me from freaking out but also gives me a great endorphin boost.

I know these things. That knowledge doesn't, however, stop me from having stretches of absolutely hating my body (specific bits more than others) and getting completely distraught about the fact that I can't change it quickly enough to make me feel better. And I'm not talking about a blue mood or two... these are spells of depression that last weeks and sometimes months and remind me of really dark times when I was fighting against hospital admittance and contemplating suicide and all that crap.

I once explained it to my shrink (poor woman) as having twin personalities that battle it out in my head. The one twin is fairly normal. She has moments of insecurity like most women and doesn't like her squishy tummy very much. But she believes that she's doing her best and that should be good enough. She lives moderately, understands that certain times of the month will be rough and gives herself a little leeway.

The other twin is completely loopy. It's when she's won the argument that the insane complusive behaviour starts. She is never satisfied with herself and gets disproportionately upset about things. She overanalyses compliments and turns them into insults and she rages with anger at the drop of a hat. She believes that everyone secretly can't stand her and is convinced that action - severe action - must be taken against her useless self as punishment or something. A complete control freak, she is irrational and unreasonable and she cannot live in a middleground of any kind.

Hmmm... just reread all of that. I'll forgive you if you do stop following me - I don't make very much sense sometimes.

I've been in one of those yuck phases for the past few weeks. Not too extreme, thankfully, but still not-so-nice for TSC to have to deal with. I really wish I knew what triggers these things, but I just don't. They happen seemingly without my involvement - pyscho twin takes over and I'm just along for the (unpleasant) ride. My brain seems to turn into an organ of pure, extreme emotion and lose any ability to process logic.

For instance, I discovered that one of my favourite girl bloggers is pregnant a few weeks back. She wasn't planning it and she and I had actually discussed how terrifying the thought of pregnancy is. Reaction? Psycho twin latched onto this new idea to explain her unhappiness with her body - she must be pregnant. Her body had decided to wage war on her and do something really extreme.

Now please understand that TSC and I sorted out our contraception ages ago and have been very, very careful ever since. Neither of us feel ready for children yet. But almost every month, psycho twin has a panicked moment when she supposes she might be preggers. Until the curse arrives and then sane twin steps in.

This month was infinitely worse. Sane twin should've done the smart thing and bought shares in the home pregnancy test company before psycho got going. But she didn't. And psycho went into all-out-compulsive mode, stressing and fretting and measuring and imagining. She's a bit stupid, this twin, because she doesn't talk to anyone about her panic. She just carries on, dragging the weight of her crazy illusions with her in a constant blind stress-fest.

Thankfully, her period arrived at long last. Relieved as she was, this meant that she needed to find another reason to explain why her body won't behave the way she wants it to. And her thoughts turned once again to those severe methods that might beat it into submission.

Sane twin continues to resist these compulsions towards self-abuse. Fortunately her strength is enough to hold her twin back from taking action. Even if she can't make her stop thinking about it. That's something, isn't it?


boldly benny said...

A very raw, very real and honest post. Thank you for trusting us enough to share it with us.

Someone very close to me battled anorexia for years. I am so thankful to have her in my life and admire her strength. You too a strong and special person.

Anonymous said...

Shame man, that's alot of stress you go through, I wish I could just say, chill the fuck out dude, stop worrying about that nonsense, and then you'd say gee thanks I'm all fixed now, and live happily ever after. Too bad it won't work, you have self esteem issues, who cares what other people think seriously, no one is worth it. you have to change your mindset, n stop being so sensitive, and think of all the good things, and you have TSC who loves you.

I go through some deep depressions too (contemplating suicide etc), it sucks! we all have our problems, just remember you're not alone, we all go through shit, it's part of life, and we're all fucked up one way or another :)

momcat said...

So sorry to hear that you're going through such inner turmoil. You must be totally exhausted. Sometimes I feel depressed and sick at heart about where I am in life and when it gets too much the sane side of me kicks in and I can almost feel myself looking at myself as if I was a spectator and the depression seems to lift a little because when you think about it life is short and it is definitely too short to spend the whole time psycho-analysing our every move all the time. We have to learn to forgive ourselves for our mistakes on a daily basis and not keep on punishing ourselves by being depressed. Life goes on however we feel so its better to be accepting than to try and control. Go and sit in the garden and you will notice life going on around you. Our hearts and thoughts are with you all the way.

Hayley said...

Wanted to say the same as Boldy Benny...'thanks for sharing this with us'...I hope you feel better soon.
Thinking of you.

Caz said...

I'm so glad you wrote this. It is very real.

I find i get introspective like this when i have too much time on my hands. some people are just naturally inclined towards depression. That's probably one of the reasons I'm a total booknerd: I am forever reading. And not depro stuff - happy uplifting stuff.

I realise that is not exactly the deepest advice ever, but it seems to work for me. :)

Oh... a bit more depth: In my first few years of varsity I really really battled. I started a gratitude journal (how Oprah of me!) every night as i got into bed i wrote 3 things i was grateful to God for that day. As a result, during the day when something would happen I would be like "Score! I can write about this in my gratitude journal!" Helped me appreciate how incredible every day is.

Sass said...

I think this is my favorite post of yours, ever. This is real, raw, and honest, and so appreciated.

I'm always joking about having several "people" living inside me...but it's exactly what you're explaining here.

Try, as hard as you can, to remember how good it feels to listen to the "sane twin." When you're feeling good, write about it. Write the good things, not just the bad.

And you an anonymous friend who understands. ;) I'm just sayin'.

Shania said...

I think you're good as long as sane twin stays in control. I'm sorry you have to deal with this and I wish you luck.

Wenchy said...

You sounds very 'normal' to me... I have the twins... my demons are just not food related...

phillygirl said...

Wow, your description of the twins is just so perfect. And I think, like wenchy said, there are loads of us with them in our head, but not neccessarily fighting over the same things.

If you're interested (and although I don't think it'll change anything), I'd recommend you read The Female Brain. I've found that reminding myself of some of the things in there helps me get past my crazy times a little easier.

Louisa said...

I love te way you introduce this as a navel-gazing post - mwahahaha, that is such a cool description!

I've been lucky that I've never suffered from an eating disorder (unless you maybe count eating too much), but I know people who battle the same demons you do and I can see that it's always tough on them even years after the fact. Just hang in there, you'll get through it.

And furthermore, I don't think you have anything to worry about - I've seen you, and you are far from squishy! :-)

Jeanette said...

I've never had an eating disorder, but twins of yours sound quite familiar.

po said...

Hey Tam, I know exactly what you are saying about the twins and the struggle to keep moderate.

I have exactly the same thing. But it has died down a lot over the years for me. I hope it does for you too.

Don't ever give ok? Don't let bad twin win.

These days I think I am quite normal. But if I am really honest, I feel I can only be acceptable to myself if I am skinny. I don't make a huge effort to be so, but I still feel just awful when I put on weight. Like an abject being.

But I love food too much to let that stop me :)

Being Brazen said...

Great, honest post - thanks for sharing...

Pray alot and keep venting.....

*big hugs*

Gill said...

{{hugs}} I fight an anxiety issue a lot and it's been rearing its ugly head a lot lately, so I have at least some notion of what this internal struggle must feel like for you....not nice! Hope you're feeling a whole lot better really soon.

Slyde said...

wow. all i can say is hang in there. and congrats to you for fighting the good fight and getting the best over your eating disorder.

angel said...

i lost a follower too, and i have no idea how to trace who it was!

and being preggers is all i wish for right now...

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