Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

I was sitting outside (okay, so I admit I was having a cigarette) when I saw one of my neighbours walking up the back path towards me.

I said: “Hi”
He said: “How are you?”
I said: “Good”

And that was it. I had lied through my teeth, but it was okay because he just kept on walking and then walked in his door, leaving me to contemplate what I had just done. The conversations (if you can call them that) I have with this neighbour never amount to much more. I have similar conversations with another neighbour. I lie to him too. But that’s how we talk to most neighbours, isn’t it?

This time I was struck with how easily the “good” rolled off my tongue when actually I was feeling anything but good. Would it matter if I said, “good” in answer to any such questions, for the rest of my days? Does anyone actually want anything beyond this lie?

It’s easy to say, and it’s easy to hear. I’m not requiring anything of you when I answer your question this way. You can just keep going about your day. Even for friends and family, it’s easier that way. No need for you to do or say anything. I’ve given you a ‘free pass’.

But I could get side-tracked by that as I write. It’s easier for me if I don’t tell you how I really am here, on my blog, either. Maybe it’s easier reading for you too. But I’m going to push myself to not opt for the easy. You see, I’m not good. Actually, I’m struggling.

I know you want to read positive stuff on a blog that refers so often to hope, but right now I’m struggling to find my hope.

My mood is dropping and I am fairly sure it has to do with the stress in my life right now. The more stress, and the more I struggle. My stress comes mostly from caring for my mother. She needs more from me now, but has less to give me in return. She mostly knows who I am. She certainly always still recognises me, but clearly has trouble connecting that recognition to the right person. Me. Sometimes she thinks I’m her sister and she used to mistake me for my father. That doesn’t happen so much now. She struggles to remember him at all (he died nearly six years ago). Nearly 54 years of marriage seemingly wiped from memory! This illness is so cruel.

It’s hard. I don’t have expectations of her, but it’s not easy day after day, teaching her the same things. Telling her stories of her life. It would be heartbreaking no matter who she was, but this is my mother. All the things she taught me as I child, I now teach her. And I feel very alone in this.

There’s more, though.

My eating is considerably off track, and to even admit that much takes an enormous amount of courage. Much more will require more than simply an empty screen before me. You’re just not going to get the details, this time anyway.

In the last year, I have lost 17 kilograms with no conscious effort. I know, lots of people would love that to happen, and true I love that I have lost it. I needed to, I was overweight (yes, people who have had Anorexia twice can be overweight!) but I hadn’t done anything to lose it. It has really gone through firstly ill health back at the middle of 2016, and the rest I guess, has been through stress.

The reason I’m telling you this though is that unless you have been where I’ve been you have no idea how tantalisingly dangerous it is. Seventeen unconscious kilos are tempting me to consciously step back onto the eating disorder ‘merry-go-round’ (don’t think for one moment though, that such a move would be the fun of the fair!).

I don’t make it a habit to weigh myself, mostly because of this reason. It’s too easy to get taken in by one kilo lost and before you know it I’ve been sucked into losing 20 or 50. I was weighed when I was admitted to hospital briefly back in July. I saw then that I had lost seven kilos. Then I was admitted to hospital briefly a few weeks ago for an minor procedure. The deadly mistake was looking down at the scales. And I choose to use the word ‘deadly’ because that’s exactly what it can be when you have an eating disorder.

So I admit it. I am back to considering every mouthful. And part of me hates being back there, but I admit, part of me loves it. That’s the ‘deadly’ part.

But then, there is more…

  • My black and white thinking is very definitely more black and less white.
  • There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Whoever said there was, was fooling me.
  • Everyone is against me. I struggle to think anything different. I can’t believe that anyone would be on my side.
  • I said a few weeks back that I would write about anxiety. Meanwhile,it’s just getting bigger and bigger. And yes, more consuming
  • Is the sun going to rise tomorrow? Right now, I just don’t know.
  • I’ve come to a new appreciation of people who choose to keep their curtains pulled shut through the day. Sometimes it’s a way to cut the world out. They can’t get me! I fool myself so easily!

I’m sorry if you came here for a post full of recovery and hope. I guess what I need to say to you is that recovery and hope is not a linear journey. Sometimes the dark overwhelms us. Sometimes people are throwing so many lemons at us, that it is almost impossible to make the damned lemonade. Sometimes all we can do is throw the lemons back. Let someone else make the lemonade, I’d rather have a coke.

Thanks for reading

 

Cate

What I Missed Out in 2016

Even though we are into 2017, at least in my part of the world, I do have a nagging thought on my mind. The posts I should have written in 2016. Of course, it’s too late for regrets and rather a time for looking forward, but I know that I take, drag these unwritten posts with me. They are posts I still need to write.

Let me be clear that this post is not those unwritten posts, if that makes any sense at all. Rather it is a commitment, at some time in the near future, to write those posts and share those parts of me. They may end up with different titles than I use here, but the content will be there. My commitment to you as readers is also a commitment to myself to get those issues out in the open, and in doing so hopefully shed the weight that they currently are on my shoulders.

Reckless Compulsion (Another Addiction?)

I’ve Been in Denial About for Years (Anxiety)

Eventually, there will be links above to the written posts.

Both posts-to-be-written are deeply personal and perhaps that goes some way to explain why they have been on my mind, yet not written, for a few months now. It’s hard to put them on ‘paper’, yet I know I must do so in an attempt to take some of the weight off my shoulders. In an attempt to begin to heal. And that is all that my posts are ever about.

Keep reading…

 

Cate

10 Reasons Why You Need To Stop Stigmatizing People With Mental Illness

I don’t reblog often. Actually hardly ever. But Rachel Griffin’s post here makes for some great reading. and so I have broken my rule. It’s long, but well worth making it a ‘must read’.

This is the billboard she talks about:

COUJpuzWUAAuDHV

wehaveapples

I normally post online about Muppets, coffee, musicals and cats, (not Cats the musical, the furry-animal-kind) but recently all I’ve been posting about is the Kenneth Cole billboard that links mental illness and gun violence. Why? #1 Because it perpetuates mental illness stigma. #2 The effects of that stigma are devastating.

Yes, I am now on a tireless quest to get people to understand why the billboard basically ate my soul when I saw it. CRUNCH! Don’t worry- I recovered my soul, undamaged. Souls are really durable.

I posted a blog critiquing the billboard on Facebook which was mostly ignored.. (got maybe 2 likes) I’ve had friends say, “What’s wrong with the billboard again?” I got 318 likes on another post.. but that one was about my hair. :/

Believe me, I miss my tweets about Kermit and the keyboard cat, too, but for now I need to focus…

View original post 2,566 more words

Blessed… And Otherwise

If you’ve been following my posts (and I know how hard it is to stay updated) you will know that, for a variety of reasons, I have been having a tough time lately.  Because of the need to protect privacy I haven’t been able to go into the details of what’s been happening.  Regardless of that, you as readers, reached out to me in the past few days in a way that has left me feeling very blessed.

The support I have had through, both this blog and, other social mediums has been amazing.  Thank you so much.  You remind me that human beings are really very good beings, and that we are lucky to have each other.

Something that has really helped me is the number of people who have told me recently that I, through this blog, make a difference in their lives.  Wow!  I don’t care about being ‘freshly pressed‘ (okay WordPress, go ahead if you insist, but it’s not what I’m here for) and I don’t feel the need of thousands of readers.  If I make a difference in simply one person’s life?  Then that is absolutely enough for me.  That makes it worthwhile.  More than worthwhile.  So thank you to those of you who took the time to tell me how my blog helps you.  That helped me enormously.

Actually Sunday, the day I last posted, was the first day I had felt some peace for several months.  Nothing was fixed, healed or even put right.  But I knew I was supported, and that was enough

But unfortunately this time there is the ‘otherwise’.  Sometimes we do things with the best of intentions, and in those times we would never mean for anyone to be hurt.  But sometimes because we don’t know all the facts, or the history behind the situation, or even the personal histories of the people involved… it can backfire.  We meant to support, but in reality, harm was caused.

This is what has happened for me this time.  I’m not upset with the person involved (I don’t actually know, or want to know, who it was) but some things were said in support of me, which actually triggered a whole lot of historical fears and worries and well as some interpersonal issues I could have done without.  Think Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  These traumas have a habit of repeating on us, often when we least expect it.  Especially when we think we’ve finally got through it.  Slam!  And it’s back in our faces again.

I’m only sharing this because it has been a lesson for me, and I thought maybe someone else might gain something from it.  It’s one thing to be careful with words that we use, but we also need to think through the consequences of what is said.  Sometimes that’s out of our hands, but other times it is in our hands.  I also don’t believe that we are responsible for the actions of the person we speak to, but I do believe our words and intentions should always be made with kindness and compassion as their core.

The person involved could probably have never foreseen what happened, but that simply reminds me that we need to be aware of what we don’t know.

I am very blessed by the support I have had, and that includes the person who spoke up seemingly on my behalf.  I appreciate the good intention and so thank you.  I guess we just need to be careful with each other in so many ways.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding… And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy” 

― Kahlil Gibran