Irrationally Rational.

My delightful eating disorder has reared it's ugly head well and truly recently and along with it a whirlpool of irrational thoughts and feelings. I am yet to decide which is worse...being irrational and not realising, or knowing that your thoughts are irrational yet feeling powerless to change it.

I'm keeping a vague handle on things, having dropped 13kg fairly rapidly my weight is now stable. But the weight is just a symptom of inner turmoil. I've lost the enjoyment in food once more. I'm back to all or nothing and it's very difficult to keep myself on a stable, even keel. I'm eating a relatively healthy diet - full of cucumber and houmous, ryvita and light soft cheese, home made soup, salad and greek yoghurt but my "safe" diet has become incredibly limited once more. I can and will eat other meals - but they leave me feeling fat and guilty

Being irrationally rational quite frankly sucks. I know one thing to be true, whilst I feel something entirely different. Take work for example...

I am a 22 year old healthcare assistant who works on acute surgical ward. In the past 16 months I have developed many new skills - including that of noticing and reacting to the deteriorating or poorly patient. I have also been offered a secondment to do my adult nursing training - being given one of only 8 places, I must've been a desirable candidate. For the most part, feedback I receive is always positive and encouraging. I manage to work full time despite having a life altering long term condition which makes work a challenge.

However, despite *knowing* all of the above, I feel very different. I feel that I am useless at my job, that I'm just waiting for this bubble to burst and be sacked. I'm certain that people become ill because of me (because, y'know...shock horror... that people might become unwell whilst in hospital...). I am finding work incredibly stressful and that must therefore be a reflection on me being a useless HCA and a weak person. I'm becoming increasingly fearful of beginning my degree because it will be yet another failure to add to the already rather long list in my life.

Today, I am having a relatively good day. I've eaten relatively sensibly, I've had a day off so been resting and catching up on odd jobs and the internet. Whilst perusing my usual blogs, the lovely Emma Scrivener posted with something that hit me like a tonne of bricks. It was probably just what I needed to hear - but I wish I hadn't, denial is easier!

I have most definitely been pretending that this "slight wobble" is okay. It is not okay. Succumbing even slightly to my old behaviours is not okay, it is a slippery slope that needs to be stopped in it's tracks. My eating disorder has the potential to overwhelm me, I need to take a hold of it whilst I still have the chance.

Point 5 on Emma's list rang particularly true to me. Desire to beat this independently and to avoid being a burden has featured highly in particular friendships in the past few weeks- and realistically hasn't benefited anyone. I'm just as stuck and they are just as worried. The desire not to be a burden is definitely a cop-out on my part, because I can't do this alone, I have tried and failed many a time. The desire not to be a burden is actually just a desire to continue restricting, the opportunity to keep dropping kilograms.

So it's time to stop avoiding the truth and to start challenging the lies.

"Remember that this will not last forever...anything worthwhile takes time and effort...challenge the lies with the truths of the gospel. I am loved. I am precious. I am forgiven. I have a purpose...This is important. This is life-changing. It's hard but it's worth it. And you are doing it, a minute at a time" - Emma Scrivener

I'm not entirely sure where I go from here. Eating sensibly is a good start but past experience says that the emotional stuff is far more tricksy to deal with. But even just the desire to stop before things get worse is a good thing, right?


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