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

This Is Getting On My Nerves

Or an alternative title which I could turn into a song?

‘There’s Coke In My Veins’

How does that sound for a song title?  Lyrics have never really been my thing, but I had this brainwave so decided to share it with you.  Let me be clear though, that I am not talking cocaine here,  I mean coke, as in coca-cola.

Image credit: Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee) Wikipedia.com

Right now my fibromyalgia is getting on my nerves, both literally and figuratively.  This past week I have started tingling (according to the texts) but I prefer fizzing.  I feel like someone came along in the middle of the night (Sunday night, I think) and switched my blood for coke.  It’s not just my hands and feet either.  It’s every where.  And I have this weird, what seems like a permanent state of feeling like all my hairs are standing up on end.  I am in a permanent state of shock.

I know using the word permanent is probably exaggerating, but on day five it feels like it has turned permanent, and I don’t like it.  Actually it’s very… uncomfortable and weird.

I learnt quickly that fibro is one of those conditions that is different for each person.  For me, it seems that nerve pain, fatigue and brain fog are perhaps the worst of the following list of symptoms.  Don’t be mistaken though, and think this is the complete list.  I’m sure most fibro sufferers could identify other symptoms that exist for them.

Here’s some of the symptoms of fibro:

  • Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness
  • Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy
  • Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep
  • Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long
  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks (“fibro fog”)
  • Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Tension or migraine headaches
  • Jaw and facial tenderness
  • Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold
  • Feeling anxious or depressed
  • Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)
  • Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise
  • A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet (actually I get this in my knees)

Fibromyalgia Health Center, Web, MD

As you can probably tell, it’s not fun.  As I said, one of the biggest struggles for me is nerve pain, which doesn’t even really show up on this list.  Regularly I feel like I have electricity pulsing through my body, some times burning as it goes, now tingling as it goes.  (My brother, who is lucky I love him dearly, kindly suggested I remove my fingers from the light socket).  The weird thing about nerve pain for me is that it doesn’t physically prevent me from movement, and actually sometimes movement is best because it masks the pain.  But then fatigue means that constant movement isn’t such a good idea, let alone a possibility.  I’ve learnt that the hard way.

This week has been a write-off as a result.  The fatigue and brain fog, added to feeling like a bottle of coke, leave writing too much for me.  My brain just won’t work how I want it to, and without the aid of spell-check you’d be unable to read this.  Reading other bloggers posts has also been pretty much out of the question because I just can’t focus.  I try, and find myself either distracted, or simply going back and forth over the same line.

So if you’ve missed my posts this week, this is my excuse. And if you think I’ve missed that special post you wrote and thought was a major contender for ‘fresh pressed’?  I haven’t missed it.  I will get there.  I have an enormous pile of posts to read.  It seems to be growing by the hour, and probably serves me right for developing an addiction to the word ‘follow’.  Meanwhile, fibro wins.  Damn it!

PS.  No sympathy required.  We all have our trials and battles, This one is simply one of mine.  Just send dark chocolate.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”   

―    Haruki Murakami