18 October 2012 – Thursday
I feel really odd today. I can feel the gaps in my memory and my mind feels murky, difficult to navigate.
It’s hard to believe that just wanting chocolate/milky drinks hurts this much. It feels so similar to wanting a cigarette. Almost makes me want to try replacing food with cigarettes again.
I’m scared that it’s always going to be this hard. I can’t imagine ever being someone who can self-soothe without food. It just sounds like a fairytale.
Meanwhile, my body is screaming at me, telling me it’s missing something vital. But I know that cigarettes and chocolate won’t stop that feeling, can’t comfort me in the way that I need.
19 October 2012 – Friday
I think I had a flashback this morning. Back to the summer of 2005/6, when I first attempted to take anti depressants, and the first I almost “lived” with a boyfriend. Not pleasant, I don’t want anything to do with that past.
I feel as though I’m morphing, becoming a fundamentally different person. My views on sex are being shaken, I’m learning how to self-soothe without chocolate. There’s a dense fog in my brain interfering with my ability to be productive. There’s heat and an empty smell sending me several years back.
I can’t stand this feeling. I can’t stand my past. It’s boring, empty, meaningless.
I want to be new. And real. A real person, with the ability to comfort herself and focus on the day’s tasks.
Thinking about being stuck in the past fills me with anxiety.
Have switched to my fancy pen. House is nice and clean, thanks to cleaner. 5 hours for $150, and she has more areas to do next time.
I’ve noticed that the desire to eat makes me anxious. It feels so difficult to deal with and I’m scared I will never find anything as “soothing” as chocolate. My emotional belly feels empty.
20 October 2012 – Saturday
Spent today studying. I’m about halfway through Topic 10 (out of 12). Reading through the unit content, it finally clicked for me what being qualified actually means and why it pays more.
When this exam is done, I plan to devote my Thursday nights to study.
I ate so much throughout the day. I don’t remember any particular reason I ate; I wanted chocolate and didn’t want to fight myself over it, especially whilst studying.
Thoughts of being ADD crossed my mind. On one hand, it would be handy to take some pills to fix it all, but I think I would much prefer it to be a psychological “error,” something that learning mindfulness will help.
So here’s my ideal future: from here, I keep on top of my study and even fit in some socialising. Probably not as much as everyone else, but maybe at least once a fortnight. Plus Monday piano with an awesome friend.
I’m going to learn mindfulness and self-soothing, slowly integrate these skills into my life so I can be productive and shed this awkward fat. And I’m going to learn to swallow pills. Hopefully. It would just be great, to be able to take vitamins and anti depressants and other stuff with minimal fuss!
I also plan to start exercising Tuesday, just fifteen minutes a day. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be weight training, Wednesday and Friday is some yoga, and Sunday will be high intensity interval training. Monday is my rest day, due to ECT.
So there’s my ideal. I know I won’t get it straight up, but I’ll keep trying. I can do it.
22 October 2012 – Monday
Woke up from ECT miserable. It’s like waking up from anaesthetic with no memory and then slowly having things come back to you. I wake up, remember I’ve had ECT, remember that I’m mentally ill and that I’m fat and have problems with food. It’s like waking up into a nightmare. I cried.
I’m at work now and feel physically exhausted. Still so miserable that all I want to do is go home, eat chocolate, and sleep. If I wasn’t so minus in hours, I would. Except that I’m supposed to be trying to self soothe, rather than medicate myself with chocolate.
At home, suffering another strong craving. I already gave in once today, when I first got home, but I put my chocolate and mocha away when I started feeling ill. I wonder if I can get through the rest of today without touching them. I’m proud of myself thus far though. I’ve managed to resist a couple of cravings. Hopefully it will get easier. At the moment I want my mocha, so I think I’ll drink an orange juice or coke instead. And [my husband]‘s bringing me home some bubble tea!
23 October 2012 – Tuesday
Can’t even start. The ECT gives me such horrible feelings; I feel like I’m letting something terrible happen to me once a week. So tired, so sad, so scared. Trying to make positive changes in my life, but all I can think of is how horrible it feels now.
Had to get a student ID card today for tomorrow’s exam. I hate it so much, it looks like an ugly, old stranger.
26 October 2012 – Friday
Life is so fucking unbearable. I’m so angry and sad that I wonder how I’m still alive. I’m so sick of everything. Considering running off home. That’ll only put me into minus nineteen hours. And when the fuck will I make that up? When am I ever actually going to be okay enough to make up the hours I keep losing?
The worst part is that there’s nothing and no one who can help me when I’m in this state. There’s nothing I can do, NOTHING. I just want to go home, drown myself in chocolate, cry. I want to do that every day. Every god damn day. How will I ever function?
I don’t know how I’m ever going to be okay. I really wish I could make it stop.
28 October 2012 – Sunday
Things effecting me today:
- Several years ago, a young boy was doing work experience with his uncle, using a woodchipper at the oval near my parents’ house. On the way to see my parents today, I recalled the story about how he was pulled into the woodchipper. It’s such a horrible thing, being pulled in and your life ended. Sometimes it sticks to me.
- One of the examples in my book on recovering from sexual abuse was about a girl remembering her grandfather ejaculating onto her when she was a kid. Today, it makes me feel like the whole world is wrong.
29 October 2012 – Monday
Today sucks. Incredibly anxious before ECT, crying afterwards. Am obsessed with the idea that life is a nightmare. It feels like a nightmare. I can’t stop this pain, this horror.
I mentioned to [my husband] yesterday that I loathe my past, and he responded that I am obsessed with it. It’s true, I wish I could explain it. It doesn’t hurt me, the things that I remember. They’re like a novelty. That person whose life I know, yet have nothing to do with.
Dr Orr had spoken to [my husband] before my ECT session, knew that things were getting bad before I told him. He asked me how I was and I told him that it depended on whether he wanted the polite answer or the real one. When he said that he wanted the real one, I told him I was terrible.
It was the other anaesthetist this morning. He tried both arms before finding a receptive vein in my right wrist. While all of that was going on (incredibly painful), Dr Orr mentioned that he looked up Poppy Z. Brite, which led to us conversing about all the strange things she’s done and how, “reading between the lines,” she isn’t well.
The resolution of this morning is that Dr Orr will call me during the week (I couldn’t hear him over all the beeping and commotion in the recovery room) and we will try one more unilateral Friday morning before switching to bilateral, as we’ve reached the maximum charge with unilateral. [My husband] isn’t happy about it, since bilateral has a much greater negative effect on memory, but if upping the ECT to twice a week on maximum charge doesn’t help, I may have no choice.
30 October 2012 – Tuesday
I am doing my best to make sustainable lifestyle changes. For a bit over a week now, I’ve been eating less chocolate and drinking less dairy. I decided that morning exercise, for the time being, is not sustainable, so am going to do my best with evening exercise. Last night I went once through my circuit and decided that it was a good enough start.
This morning I felt really tired at my desk. I realised it had been three hours since breakfast and had some trail mix, which woke me straight up.
It’s hard not to push myself too hard.
31 October 2012 – Wednesday
Paying attention to my food cravings, I’ve realised how easy it is to ignore passing thoughts of food. Thoughts of donuts, ice cream, other dairy desserts are easily brushed aside with the idea that I can indulge in such things at a more convenient time.
But there’s a gnawing emptiness that is much harder to ignore, and sometimes I feel that only very specific foods will help to fill it; specific chocolates, biscuits or dairy drinks. Sometimes turning to those provide comfort, or sometimes even the thoughts that I will turn to those can make me embarrassingly happy. However, they can often leave me feeling sick and just as empty.
Yesterday’s session with Josie helped to remind and reassure me that going easy on myself is the right way to go. It’s like I have permission to do this as slowly as I like, and get to grips with everything, get to know myself and what works for me.
She also said that I should put my achievements around me, in a way that will force me to see them. That even if feeling good or congratulating myself for what I have achieved is too hard, that I can begin by simply acknowledging them and not mentally throwing them in the trask.
Josie also believes that maybe my birthday prompted this slide.
I’ve decided that I don’t want bilateral ECT; not if it can impair my cognitive function and make the memory issues worse. Josie told me not to get swept up in Dr Orr’s enthusiasm.