Category Archives: Anxiety
I feel passionately about helping people struggling with eating disorders and anxiety. I have had a lot of experience with both and it was a long and hard struggle.
I have to deal with my anxiety on a day-to-day basis and some days are easier than others. I’ve talked about my anxiety struggle here and the journey hasn’t been easy. There are days when I feel completely relaxed and others where I feel so on edge that I feel like I’m gonna pass out or throw up. But seriously, I don’t think I would be able to control my anxiety as well as I do these days without the help of medication.
Medication isn’t for everyone but for a long time, I thought the same thing about myself. I believed that taking anti-depressants would make a numb and would change who I am. I believed they would completely change me or make me gain weight or make me ill. It wasn’t until my anxiety started to affect my life that I decided it was time to take that step.
Medication isn’t the be all and end all, however. Once you start taking it, it doesn’t mean you have to take it forever. Medication is something to help you get on your feet. I remember talking to my mum about going on medication and she gave me some great advice. She said,
“If you had high blood pressure, you would take medication to bring i down, wouldn’t you? It’s just like that. There is something that isn’t right medically and medication is a way to help with that.”
She is completely right! If you need that little bit of help to be able to control your anxiety (or depression) then why not?
I’ve been taking citalopram for over a year now and I think it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made. When I decided to start with medication, I was so crippled with anxiety that just stepping out of my house was a struggle. I couldn’t do things that scared me and it was affecting my recovery. Because I was anxious all the time, I really struggled to eat a sufficient amount, started losing my hair, and worst of all, I was losing weight. I did NOT want the anxiety to make it harder to recover.
Thankfully now, I have been able to reach a more than healthy weight, do things that scare me and basically live my life.
Medication isn’t for everyone but it has definitely worked for me.
What are your thoughts on medication? Have you ever taken medication to help you with anxiety/depression? If so, did it work for you?
Thank you for your awesome comments on my last post. Ugh, the Fitspiration movement just gets me so heated. It’s a disgusting movement and it makes me sad to see people following it and thinking that they’re being healthy. Oh well, it’s not my life. Not anymore.
For the past week, I’ve been housesitting for one of my brothers friends. When he asked me a month ago if I’d be interested I kind of freaked out and immediately thought, NO! But you know what? I scared myself and accepted to do it. I’ve never been flatting or relied on myself for food so I thought it would be a good little experiment for me to see how I handled it. Oh, and having a good friend to stay with me is always fun 😛
But when I got here, I realised that I had forgotten something really important…
My kitchen scales.
*Gasp* Katy, what are you doing with kitchen scales? Why do you need to be measuring your food? Just gimme a second to explain, please.
At the beginning of my recovery, I needed to start measuring food so that I didn’t use too little amounts. That was over two years ago. But because I’ve just never thought about giving them up, I just…haven’t done it.
Now that I’m all of sudden faced to eat food without measuring it first, it kind of brought about some anxiety for me. I never even thought I had a problem with this but then again I had never given myself the opportunity to face this.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t measure everything. Just things like oats, rice, cereal, etc. But to be honest, I kind of need to measure my oats and rice so that I get the right liquid to dry ratio. Or is that just an excuse? I can’t tell!
It’s been a week now without my scales and I’m not too bothered, to be honest. Like I said, at first it made me anxious but now I don’t really care. It’s all about intuitive eating right? Scales shouldn’t be determining how much our bodies needs. Serving sizes on packets should not be determining how much we should be eating. Our bodies know how much we should be eating. They will tell us when we’re hungry and they will tell us when we’re fall. Sometimes we will eat when we’re not hungry and not eat enough when we are hungry. It’s all about practice. Learning how to eat intuitively isn’t easy but it’s incredibly liberating.
I think I need to find some space in our cupboards at home for yet another disordered measuring implement.
Have you ever struggled with giving up your measuring scales? Have you ever even struggled with this? Tips?
I’m feeling quite low at the moment so I wanted to turn my mood around my doing some writing and reflecting on my life.
I remember when my troubles started like it was yesterday. I was sitting down on the couch and for some reason or other I looked down at my tummy only to see what seemed like massive rolls of fat protruding over my trousers. My heart sank. I went to look in the mirror to see what my tummy looked like whilst standing up and a wave of sadness and disgust came over me as I grabbed the fat in my hand. I immediately went to weigh myself and then came up the highest number that I had ever seen on the scales.
It was that moment that I told myself that I would do anything it took to lose all the unsightly weight.
You know how the rest goes.
For years I punished myself for getting to that weight. I would read pro-ana blogs to give me motivation. I would watch channel E! so that I could look at all the skinny celebs for inspiration. I would exercise until I could no more. I would eat bland and and low-calorie food while watching others eat sandwiches, chocolate, chips. It made me feel superior.
But at the same time, I would yearn to be able to eat the same foods as these people without feeling any guilt – without putting on weight and feeling like a fat pig.
Then one day in 2007, I literally woke up one morning and just didn’t want to do it anymore. Before I knew it, I was a healthy weight, all the while still thinking disordered thoughts and acting on them without realising. Yes, I was a healthy weight but I still had an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food and exercise.
In 2008, I fell in love and stopped caring about food and exercise. I started going out on Saturday’s without worrying about having to do any exercise and I genuinely started to have fun without anorexia. There was a time during that year where I don’t even remember having the disorder in my head. I remember sitting on the bus and thinking, “Wow, I haven’t thought about food or had disordered thoughts for a long time. Life is good.”
And then I joined a gym.
That was probably the worst thing that I could ever have done. The reasoning behind it, however, was because I started to put on a whole lot of weight in that relationship and I hated how I looked. Little did I know that it was really the eating disorder coming alive again.
It started at a few times a week. Then 4 times. Then everyday. Then to the point where I couldn’t go a day without destroying myself on a machine like a mouse in a wheel. I was exhausted. I became a terrible girlfriend. I was insecure, irritable, snappy and I had just lost my spark. He saw it too. I was on the phone to him one evening and he was talking to me about how I would always put the gym before him. I really had no excuse for it. He then told me to “wake the fuck up”. He said he wanted to smack me round the head just to knock some sense into me.
You can imagine how I took that. I hung up. It was this point where I completely lost all respect for him. I no longer loved him the way I did.
For 6 more months I stayed in the relationship because I didn’t want to break up with him and regret it. I relied on him so much. I was so reliant on him that I could even call the doctor for a pill prescription because it freaked the fuck out of me. He had to do everything for me.
Then came the night where I got a phone call. It was him and he was crying. “I think you know what I’m going to say so I won’t. I wish it was different, Katy.” He was crying. I wasn’t.
I was actually relieved. It meant that I could spend more time at the gym without feeling guilty. Two weeks later it finally hit me what had happened.
Fuck. He’s not coming back. I’m all alone. What the fuck am I going to do?
The downward spiral happened. I went from bad to worse. Borderline to so far away from the line that the line became a dot in the distance. Everyday I would wake up and want it to be over already. I would sit at my computer devoting my time to an eating disorder recovery forum because that was the only place where I actually felt at ease. I felt that I could relate to the people on there and that I wasn’t alone. But as I read about people on there recovering and eating more, I was so jealous of them because it was something that I just couldn’t do. It was like I wasn’t allowed to eat. They can do it but I can’t, I would think.
The day that changed my life was the day that I went to the hospital for a consultation with CREDS (the eating disorder specialists in Wellington). They basically told me that if I don’t change, I will die. They wanted me to go into their inpatient programme immediately and stop studying until I have my health under control.
I cried. Oh lord, did I cry.
I went home and cried. I told my Dad and cried. We cried together. He told me he would help me through this no matter what. That night he helped me get through my first dinner that didn’t just consist of chicken, salad and a potato.
That day was a massive turning point for me and i will never forget it.
I managed to bargain my way out of going into IP somehow. I then lost contact with CREDS altogether because I didn’t want to be associated with them anymore. I had a devoted family and as well as a supportive doctor and counsellor that I felt I didn’t need CREDS help anymore. I was determined to do this on my own now. It was time to turn this around.
I went from a sad, lonely and quiet girl to a happy, healthy and energetic woman. I have goals, I have friends and I have people that I see every week. Sure, I have had set backs like my anxiety disorder becoming rampant at times but that is nothing compared to what I have been through in the past.
Recent events such as my Nan’s passing and my Mum’s break-up have made me realise how bloody strong I am.
No matter what thoughts pop into my head, I have made it a habit of doing the right thing for me and no one else. I have gone from being afraid of eating an apple for a snack to eating muffins and chocolate. Sure, they may not be the healthiest snacks but they sure are the most satsifying of snacks after having deprived myself for so long.
Food is not only fuel but it is pleasure. It gives you a zest for life that nothing else can give you. Without food, you are nothing. Without energy, you have no drive. This past year has been the hardest year I have ever experienced but it has been the most rewarding.
I started my first ever working job last June, I went to England in November last year, I developed anxiety and have found ways if controlling it. And in March this year, I started my honours degree in meteorology. This is what has been getting me down recently because I don’t feel as though I’m smart enough to be doing this. I work so hard and find that I don’t know as much as the other people in my class. Then when I start to feel dumb, I begin to lose faith in myself and lose all motivation.
I know that nothing worth having comes easy so why is this any different?
I know that I can do this. I know I have it in me. I just need to realise this. Believe it. Even if I don’t believe it – fake it. I have it in me somewhere.
I will make mistakes and I will succeed. I will learn from my mistakes and be motivated by my successes. I will fall down sometimes but true strength is when you are able to pick yourself back up again.
I have done this already and I can do it again.
I will stop being so proud and ask for help. Just because I don’t have a meteorological background, doesn’t mean that I can’t know as much as the rest of the people in my class. I just need to work a bit harder than they do.
I can do this. I will do this.
No more excuses. No more saying that I want to quit.
I’m not a quitter.
“You shoot me down but I won’t go. I am titanium.”
So…it’s kind of been a while, hasn’t it?
My life has been extremely stressful of late. Not due to my own happenings but because my Mum’s partner broke up with her about a month ago and Mum hasn’t been taking it very well.
She came to stay with me and Dad for about 3 weeks which was by no means easy. It’s not easy to see you Mum cry, threaten to kill herself and rely on you to keep her sane.
I have to concentrate on my studies on top of all this and it is just so damn hard. I just don’t even know what to do, to be honest. I’ve talked to my counsellor and she’s telling me to take a step back and stop acting like her mum but if I did, I would feel like I would be abandoning her.
I’ve been giving Mum a lot of tools to help her move forward and she has been taking them onboard but it’s like I have to constantly remind her what it is that I told her last.
What irks me is that they have a son together and her ex doesn’t even seem to care. It’s sick.
I am currently sitting on Mum’s couch because a few months ago I had already organised to see her – not expecting to see her prior to this. All I’ve been witnessing is her ex and herself fighting back and forth. I have lost all respect for her ex, K. She broke up with her a month after her mum died, and then she proceeds to treat her like shit.
Thankfully, I’m sitting with her doggy, Harry, and he is making me happy to be here…sort of.
Suffice it to say I have been struggling with my anxiety during this period but it could be so much worse, I guess.
My Easter break ends this week and I’m back to regular lectures. Uni is the only thing keeping me going at the moment. Well, uni, my Dad and, my friends. I don’t know what I would do without them.
On a positive note, I have been learning a lot from this experience and it just goes to show how much I have learnt from my own experiences and I am only 22! Mum suffers from major depression which doesn’t help her situation but I think the fact that she is receiving advice from someone who has overcome their own depression makes it easier for her to take advice from me.
Hopefully the next time I update, I have something happier to talk about. I’m very sick of all this change. I need some stability. Just for a little while.