Monday, 31 October 2011

Weekend round-up and a new blog!

Well, the weekend was really up and down. On Sunday night we went to watch We Need To Talk About Kevin at the cinema. It was unbelievably disturbing, even though I'd read the (equally amazing) book and knew what was going to happen. I'd highly recommend it despite being so disturbing, because it's a killer combination of a thought-provoking plot, clever - almost poetic - filming, and very talented acting from the whole cast. We don't go to the cinema a whole lot so it always feels like a real treat, or a "proper date" when we do go :)

Unfortunately, A and I had about three big arguments over the course of the weekend relating to either his parents or to his parents' house (in which we live), so that kind of sucked. I know it's important to try and get on with his family, though, so I did agree to write to them and tell them to stop friggin' interfering all the time how I feel about them forcing us to housesit and pay for the privilege, even though we've asked to leave our rental arrangements, and explain that I find their questions about our marriage / conflict management techniques / finances invasive, even though (through gritted teeth) I'm sure they intend them to communicate concern. I've spent literally the last 5 hours trying to write the stupid thing, but I'm just so frustrated about so many things they've done, or that I've perceived them to have done, that it keeps descending into a totally disrespectful and inappropriate rant. *sigh* Just man up, Sophie, and get on with it!

On the plus side - and I know this goes totally against my stance of promoting healthy eating and not advocating disordered behaviours - I'm so stressed about this whole situation with his parents that I'm restricting without even trying. I haven't been counting calories but a quick mental calculation makes me think I've been at about 700-1000 every day for the last three or four days. Unfortunately my scale is *still* broken and I'm too scared to get a new one in case it tells me I'm ginormous and need to amputate a limb just to lighten the load. So I've no idea what I weigh; couldn't even hazard a guess :/

The other thing I did this weekend was make a new lamp for our house out of origami cranes... and... finally set up the new blog where we can post our DIY projects. I'd started it a few weeks ago but it wasn't really presentable so I worked on it a little more on Saturday. It's over at Take a look or follow it, if you're interested in home decor or other creative hobbies. Just please don't ever leave any comments that explicitly link back to this blog, as I keep this one private for obvious reasons.

I hope you all are having a good start to the week, and for those that have plans of the costumed variety this evening, happy Halloween!

Friday, 28 October 2011


I know I've been kind of absent from blogging lately. I've just been really busy with, well, life I guess. I feel like things have been getting 70% harder and 30% better, but, y'know, I really think that extra 70% of effort is worth it.

The things I'm working on at the moment are:

  • Not feeling bitter towards an old friend who I feel is being needlessly cold towards me and only offers "no, it's nothing personal" as an explanation when I try to talk to her about it. Maybe she's stressed out about something at home. Maybe work is really busy and her boss is being a bitch again. Maybe her husband's long work hours are getting her down and she struggles with the fact that I'm not in that place anymore. Maybe she's investing in another friend who really needs her right now. Maybe it really *is* nothing personal.
  • Trying to stay optimistic about Christmas even though I'm apprehensive about A's family staying with us. I'm worried that all the frustration and resentment I've built up towards them this year is going to come tumbling out one day, triggered by some innocuous and unrelated question like "anyone for coffee?" and they'll be even more convinced that I'm a psychopath. After Christmas, you move to a new town, a new house, a new start for the two of you to build your own little family. Maybe there'll be a chance to have a measured, adult conversation with them about the things hat have bothered you this year, and you'll be able to patch up the relationship.
  • Trying to stay optimistic about Christmas even though I'm angry with A's parents for arranging for us all to go away for the Christmas week without asking me whether I'd like to spend any time with my own family. Maybe it'll be really good to hang out with them on neutral territory. You used to really like them before getting into all this "is it my house? is it your house?" tension. Maybe a little holiday will help you get back to that.
  • Not allowing my sense of apprehension about Christmas to send me into desperate-grasping-for-reassurance mode and either stop eating or eat bizarrely. When you're hungry, you're cranky. Getting really thin didn't solve anything last time; it only created stress for the people that love you.  Not eating doesn't put you in control; eating healthily does - when you're well-nourished you can think more clearly and make level-headed, rational decisions, but when you're under-nourished you're too emotional to think clearly, and other people end up making decisions for you.
  • Creating a positive atmosphere at home for A and his friend who's visiting, regardless of my own mercurial feelings. Whatever you're feeling isn't normally A's fault, and he shouldn't have to bear the brunt of it. On the occasions that it is his fault, just talk to him and resolve it like an adult. He treats you with love, and creating a peaceful home is one way you can do the same for him. 
I'm not doing real well at all of those things all of the time, but when I do, I really feel like it was worth the effort. 

I mentioned a while ago I think that A and I were hoping to set up another blog to "showcase" some of the things we make, and I'm really really going to get on that this weekend.  A and his friend will both be out all day tomorrow so I'm determined to sit down with a cup of tea and focus on getting that up and running. I recently repainted my wardrobe/closet, and am in the process of making a coffee table out of our old washing machine drum, so there are a couple projects to start it off :)  

I hope you all have a fun-filled weekend and, those of you in the Northern hemisphere, keep warm!

sophie <3

Friday, 7 October 2011

Thank you :)

I need to keep this post real short because I've done about 4 hours' worth of work during the 7 hours I've been in the office today and really need to kick my butt into gear. But I just wanted to say thank you to Stick ThinBeth, and Miranda, AKA Fed Up for giving me a little perspective after my last post. I did finally pluck up the courage to ask A about the letter last night, and he said he was "already half-way through it" and that it's hard for him to express himself in a way that he doesn't think sounds stupid... Isn't that just the sweetest thing? I felt unbelievably guilty for being so impatient and not trusting him with it... :|
Y'know, in the back of my mind I do know that he loves me and that he's the best husband out there (for me at least :) I'm sure your husbands are the best ones for you!) but sometimes I let myself get so worked up into a - what was the word you used Miranda? Oh, a "tizzy"! That was spot on - that I can't see past my own fears to what's true. And at times like that it's just so great to have you girls here with your calm words of wisdom and encouragement to remind me of what's really important.
I think all you girls (and guys!) who read this are wonderful. I just know that I'd be so much more insane without you! I wish you all a fabulous, free weekend.
Love, Sophie xx

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Somethin' Stupid

Spoiler alert: I know even before I've written it that what's in this post is going to be irrational and childish and stupid. I know. I know! You don't have to tell me. I'm just in that place right now.

First though, a response to Stick Thin's comment on my last post:
Your use of the phrase "black and white thinking" made me think of a quote from Wasted, (which, incidentally, I just discovered you can download for free from Marya writes:
"People with eating disorders tend to be very diametrical thinkers – everything is the end of the world, everything rides on This One Thing, and everyone tells you you´re very dramatic, very intense, and they see it as an affectation, but it´s actually just how you think." 
I read this book when I was right in the middle of my ED and that phrase (among many others) really resonated with me. I think a lot of us, whether we have an ED or EDNOS, are very diametrical thinkers, always thinking in black and white.  Part of my BPD diagnosis (which, for the record, I think is a load of bullshit) was based on the high incidence of "splitting" in my cognition, which is this very thing - any given thing at any given time is either all good or all bad, with no middle ground. And I can't help but wonder what it is that makes us think like that, and why it is that there's such a high incidence of this amongst people with EDs.
Anyway, back to more petty things... :|
I'm kind of in a quandry here so please advise freely! Last week A and I were discussing my lack of trust in his love for me - that all it takes is for one of us to make some silly mistake and suddenly either his love or the reasons for his love are (in my eyes) compromised. I asked him if he would write me a "love letter" of sorts - some short missive that I could keep in my wallet, and whenever I'm starting to feel anxious, I could pull it out and be reminded of both his character and his intentions towards me. I've never really asked him to show his love in a specific way like that before, so I was quite nervous about it (also because it could easily come across like I was just needy and fishing for compliments, which is embarrassing in itself), but he seemed to think it was a good idea and said he'd do it the next day. Well that was over a week ago, and he hasn't mentioned it again.
This is a pretty small deal, right? But for some reason it's provoked this huge, slightly crazy emotional response in me; suddenly I'm wondering if he hasn't written because he can't think of anything good to write? Or because it's not important to him that I feel loved? Or because he doesn't love me and doesn't want to lie? Suddenly I want to know whether he ever wrote to his beautiful, tiny, super-intelligent ex? There certainly wouldn't have been any shortage of things to compliment there. Part of me is angry that between his hour-long train ride every day, and his hour-long lunch break, and spending about 5 hours this weekend reading reviews of smartphones so he could choose the best one, he couldn't find 15 minutes to think of a couple nice things to jot down. Suddenly I'm pissed off that I come home exhausted at the end of the day and find the energy to make dinner and iron his shirts and make the house look nice so that he feels loved and cared for. I feel stupid for doing those things when they don't even make a difference to him. I feel stupid for ever asking this thing of him and setting myself up to be disappointed. I feel stupid and embarrassed for thinking (wishing?) that I warranted such a letter. and for caring that I don't. And I feel stupid for making such a big deal out of such a small thing. I know what any sane person would say; he probably just forgot. But he doesn't forget to email his new teaching colleague, or get on skype to meet with his old tutor at the appointed time, or text his friends to meet for a drink, and he certainly doesn't forget for a whole week! I'm not just throwing a tantrum because I asked for something and didn't get it; I'm sad because I told him this was important to me and that wasn't enough to make it matter to him. You don't just forget things that you care about. And I'm frustrated because there's no-one at whom to direct my frustration; you can't be angry at someone because they don't happen to find something important. The things that matter, matter, and the things that don't, don't. It's not a moral issue.
And always, of course, a little voice whispers, "but maybe if you were thinner..."
God, I re-read this and it's so whiny. You're truly a despicable soul, Sophie. But you'll be a pretty one soon enough.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Every morning at 10:30 my office provides tea, coffee and biscuits / cake / jello for everyone who works or studies there. I don't always go down for the tea-break - I might be feeling too ugly to socialise, or not trust myself to resist the carb+sugar overload, or just be too wrapped up in my work - but today I did go and ended up having quite an enlightening conversation with my colleague, whom I'll call Jake.

Jake is probably in his mid-50s, in the process of getting divorced, and has two teenage kids; a son and a daughter. He also volunteers once a week at a recovery course for people with addictions. He himself took the course some years ago and says he found it immensely helpful in helping him beat his addiction (of which I don't know any details), and has now gone back to help others in a similar situation. Jake's probably one of my closest "friends" at work, despite the age gap, and I've also spoken to him briefly about self-harm after he spotted the scars on my wrist one day and asked me about it, as he was struggling to understand why his daughter was doing the same thing.

Anyway, today we were musing over addictions of various kinds, and I thought some of his insights were quite applicable to both EDs and self-harm. I don't currently qualify for an ED, though I'm not yet ready to completely close the door on all the behaviours I learned when I did, but I am trying really hard to close the door on self-harm. So I'm posting some of Jake's comments here as much as a reminder for myself as anything else, but perhaps they'll be helpful to some of you, too.

  • Statistically, people who recover from an addiction almost invariably fall prey to another one soon afterwards, unless they consciously identify what it was that the addiction was giving them (control, escape, protection from vulnerability etc.) and find a healthy way to fill those needs or address the issues driving them. 
  • Addicts tend, either consciously or sub-consciously, to view their addiction as a "friend"; a never-failing source of comfort who's always available to buoy us up when times are tough. Nowhere is this more evident to me than in the personification of Ana and Mia; all over these blogs I read phrases like "Ana will always be there for me", "Mia welcomes me back with open arms", "Ana is my secret saviour". I'm not pointing any fingers here - I think and write in exactly this sort of language myself sometimes. But if ever you want to escape an addiction, be it an ED, or self-harm, or negative self-talk, or anything else, you have to let go of this perception and realise than the addiction exists for one purpose alone - to destroy you and take down as many relationships, opportunities, and successes as it can on your way down. However good it may make you feel in the short term, your addiction is not your friend. Ever.
  • If you want to recover from an addiction, it often helps to see things in black and white. Write two lists, one for all the good things in your life, and one for all the bad. Then mark which things in each list have been caused or enabled by your addiction, and which have been jeopardised, compromised, or destroyed. Write a third list of things that you dream of for yourself, in terms of relationships, career aspirations, hobbies, travel, etc, and mark which of these will be more difficult to attain if you keep up your addiction.
In more personal news, I did manage to narrow down my list of adult education classes that I mentioned in my last post. There were a whole bunch of things that looked interesting, but I've whittled it down to Italian, Pottery, Plumbing, and Calligraphy. Kind of a random mix, I know, but those were the ones that really jumped out as being the most interesting to me. I think, realistically, I can only afford to do one or maybe two though, so i'll have to choose... Will keep you posted!

I hope this period - a new month and a new season - marks some new beginnings for all of us, and brings renewed focus and commitment to our goals, whatever they may be. Have a good week, all.