I had to admit to myself today that I am in the middle of an eating disorder relapse. And that I can't actually remember the last time it was this bad. 2010 maybe? I thought I'd moved beyond it, so it is depressing to find myself so mired in it again. I keep thinking "tomorrow will be different" and then tomorrow comes and it isn't any different. I've been starting to feel desperate and out of control.
Hand in hand with that goes a general failure to do any of the things I want to do. I have been flailing around, and failing all over the place. I fully intended to go the workshop this morning and I just didn't. And I don't even know why. The people at the workshop are friendly and easy-going and I really enjoy the carving. I knew that going would make me feel better. But the time kept ticking away and I didn't change my clothes and I didn't leave the house and then it was too late.
So I have been disappointed and frustrated and annoyed with myself. The house is a mess and I haven't showered for a while and I haven't touched my paints or clay. I feel like I am wasting my life away.
But I'm slowly starting to figure out that confronting myself, pushing myself, driving myself, forcing myself doesn't work. And it is exhausting to try to do battle with myself all the time. Sometimes I need to come at things sideways.
So this afternoon I took a cup of coffee into the garden and looked around at all the plants that are busily growing, and felt the sunshine on my face, and thought a little about my situation, and dipped in and out of an anthology of Chinese poetry. And I felt something relax inside me, I felt returned to myself. It was such a relief. It was like someone had pressed the reset button. When I came back into the house I found myself picking up some clay and beginning a pot. It just kind of happened.
Tomorrow I am going to spend some time tidying the garden, weather permitting. Then maybe on Wednesday go to the garden centre for some seeds. I want to grow sunflowers. Hopefully I will then find myself able and inspired to tackle the house. And break the cycle of the eating disorder by turning my attention outwards towards the world and remembering how much else there is to think about and experience and enjoy.
Well, I guess I do know what I'm doing, I'm just not entirely sure why, and whether it is the best idea I've ever had or completely idiotic.
I've stopped taking the quetiapine and the depakote. I'm still taking the other two for now. I figure that the paroxetine and lamotrigine work against the depression and I hate the depression and it scares me whereas I can handle the high moods. Or do I always think that when I'm not in the middle of one?
Anyway it hasn't taken long. I stopped taking them, I don't know, two days ago? I'm definitely a little buzzy. Streams of words in my head, great long monologues. I have no one to bore with them so I tell them to myself, pacing round my room, gesticulating, animated. I have had surges of feelings, and various urges, and all sorts of ideas. Wonderful plans! But I am being sensible. I am able to be sensible. I am NOT going to London on Saturday (£70 just to get there and back) and I am NOT spending a fortune I do not have on hundreds of plants that won't even fit into my tiny garden, however much I am in love with the colours and the shape of the flowers.
I've done this before, of course. And it hasn't ended well. But I'm still convinced that this time will be different. Because - well, because. Because I know more now. Because I'm wiser now. Because I'm just going to go with the flow and not fight it. I'll clean my house, I'll make art, I won't spend money, I won't hook up with strangers, I won't pick fights on the internet. And I definitely, definitely won't call for help. I'm tired of being a psychiatric patient, I'm sick of being a service user, I just want to live at full force, to be myself, a bit strange and fierce and chaotic sometimes, prone to passions and raptures, and always seeing strange connections and having images and ideas flashing in my mind. But not ill.