Memory, Emaciation and Survival

When I talked about the memory problems I’ve suffered due to ECT, no one believed me. Well that’s not entirely accurate – 1 person believed me, R but she’s related to job searching and participation requirements for my disability pension, not my mental ILL-health directly, and my friend, well you’ll think I’m just saying this for effect but I genuinely don’t remember what her stance on the situation was. But my parents, my case manager, my doctors all insisted it was a normal response that would alleviate with time, that I was overthinking and that I “remembered the important things”. It didn’t matter that I reminded them I’d had ECT treatments PRIOR to the offending round and it wasn’t like this. It didn’t matter that I told them I KNEW with every ounce of my being that this wasn’t within the realm of normal or that it wasn’t improving or going to improve with time. I knew something was seriously wrong, and I don’t know if others were in denial, or afraid of culpability/covering themselves, thought I was uneducated or just dramatic. But of all the things I have forgotten, and still am forgetting I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of a NO DOUBT problem falling on a crowd of deaf ears.

Even when my Case Manager conducted a memory and cognitive test on me I honestly believe it was done with the intent of easing my concerns rather than assessing me. But it was an assessment. And I failed that assessment. I failed that assessment enough that my Case Manager is now set to consult with workers on the aged care team who have experience with dementia. We have to be taught how to use some sort of computer program (pseudo-educational) to assist with trying to bring my results up. I have to be retested I don’t remember when, to see if it’s improved.

But the point of this post isn’t strictly for me to vent about my memory. What I realised while I was out smoking, before I just HAD to open this page and write is that misunderstanding and marginalisation of KNOWING something and being constantly told you’re wrong is also what happens with me and my eating disorder.

I know that I NEED to lose weight. I know that it’s the only thing that will keep me alive. I’m told I’m wrong.

At BMI 17 and heavily B/P the doctors and nurses and MH staff and support staff and family and society tell me I need to recover, that it’s dangerous and my weight might be stable and high for me but it’s not healthy and it’s risky and it’s just food and numbers.

At BMI 13 and heavily B/P they see emaciation and an irregular heart rate sitting at 28 and jumping dangerously high just by standing. They see low potassium and a mass of other electrolytes. Critically low blood pressure and blood sugar. Whatever else. They see dying that they have to fix. They see disorder that I have to fix.

Those problems they see, I’m totally asymptomatic. I’m not in denial, they just don’t matter to me OR my body because I’m doing what I have to. What I KNOW is right. The risk of one or a combination of those things killing me is real, and at that weight, or the BMI 12 I need to be it’s even imminent. I KNOW that. But what I also KNOW is that the risk of my death by suicide due to my depression is far more real, more painful and more imminent – especially at BMI 17. I’m not being dramatic. It’s real both in psychology and biology. At a low weight my MIND is more focused and satisfied by living in a world of numbers and achieved or achievable goals. Simplicity. And a far lower level of self loathing. Not because I’m classic AN with body dysmorphia and see an overweight girl in the mirror. But because of these goals, the feeling of changing, of taking forward steps in a direction I NEED to go and because of my (I’ll admit disordered) obsession with numbers, purity, deprivation and societal rejection. Physiologically a deprived BRAIN is slower, thinks less, processes less, doubts less. This is science. And when your internal environment is brutal and dangerous and full of blood and hate, this is a welcome reprieve. A LIFESAVING reprieve.

Do they understand yet. Do you understand yet. There is no healthy wonderland when your reality is turmoil. There is only SURVIVAL. And this I KNOW.

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Depressive Apathy

I’m tethered to the couch. Blanket, pillows, dog. There’s a working TV, and Netflix when the former becomes painfully tacky – weekend daytime TV sigh. Caffeine limited. Just enough to avoid a headache. I don’t want to be awake and anyway the effort required to get an energy drink out of the fridge or worse, make a coffee is just monumental. Too monumental. 

I have no money. Related is no desirable caffeine options. No WoW distraction thanks to an expired subscription. No smokes – but a good chance to quit. No food. At all. Not even restriction options. No B/P. No fucking motivation.

I might not live off “good” things. Healthy or desirable or moral. But these things give me a reason to be concious. Right now. 90% of these tbings are gone and I can’t even fathom the thought of being functional. 

May 18, 2017

I feel like today has been a roller coaster even though I don’t really think that much has happened. I don’t know, it probably really doesn’t help that I’ve resorted to alternating my meds, I’m on 6 and 4 are running out. I literally can’t afford to by them til Tuesday (at this point) so I’m down to taking x every second day and y on the other days etc. Not smart, not deliberately self destructive but it’s what my financial situation has forced. That’s genuinely the ONLY small benefit of being on an Involuntary Treatment Order (ITO) – free meds.

Anyway, felt miserable this morning. Turned World of Warcraft on and it was running at 1 fps. Devastated. Me and my very limited practical knowledge actually managed to fix it though. Surprised cause all the websites were telling me to clean out the fans which I couldn’t do with the wrong screwdriver. So I found the issue and fixed it successfully all on my lonesome. I’m rather impressed with myself.

Volunteering with a youth organisation at 930am. That’s every Monday and Thursday. Really didn’t want to go. I was (am?) at that point where ED and Depression collide and the only conceivable way of leaving the house is by putting on the blackest and baggiest clothes I own. What a fucking cliche, but it’s the truth. I live in black anyway, did the “gothic thing” for years, now I’m just too apathetic to care but people probably still use or think that word tbh. So I drag myself there and rock up on time. There’s me, one of the 2 coordinators and the other volunteer. NO YOUTH. Good job guys. So hung around for 20 minutes while the co-coordinator called those on the student list before sending us home. I wasn’t relieved. I’d fucking forced myself there while I was drowning. I didn’t want to go, but the person I WANT to be is reliable, so I fought and pulled it off. I felt let down. Walked home in the rain. Stopped to by binge food. -$19.45 of my $36. Great. Started BUCKETING down while I was in the shops. To get the rest of the way home I had to carry my (slippery) sandals and walk bare foot and even with an umbrella my pants were literally saturated by the time I got through the front door. Good excuse to change baggy black pants to baggy FLUFFY black PJ pants at least. Oh and the rains so bad the 2 trees in my backyard have lost their grip to the earth and have fallen over onto the back fence. I have no idea what if anything the real estate can do about that but I still have to tell them.

So Real Estates. I moved house 2 or 3 weeks ago. Spent days and a lot of money cleaning the old place and a lot of time worrying about if it was good enough. Old real estate lady called today and thanked my profusely for such a wonderful job and talked about how rare it it and I’m glowing. And relieved cause that’s $640 worth of Bond I get back. But I do owe them 1 days rent cause yeah IDK. But that’s only $22. But right now? Yeah literally don’t have $22 which means its coming out of the bond and i think it’s a bit more paper work and maybe a bit more of a wait time. I’ll find out more tomorrow. I really have no idea whether the process from now is like 1 working day or 2 weeks… I’m so fucking broke. At least this might force me to quit smoking. I only started again recently. We had a cyclone that cut power and roads and cell phones for days and I was actually kind of traumatised by being stuck in the house suicidal with no distraction and no way to call for help. Thus the smoking. Australia is crazy about trying to get people to quit. There’s a SIGNIFICANT price hike on tobacco every year for like… IDK maybe 6 years. I might write a post on my opinion of that later but it doesn’t belong here. I don’t even know what this post is, diary crossed with word vomit.

I should just end this before I keep rambling. It’s 511pm. Tobacco critically low. Debating B/P run with critically low funds and pouring rain. But I also really don’t want to leave the house. I want to curl up on the couch with the TV on and never get up. But I guess I have to see what tomorrow brings. It’s the weekend thats really going to destroy me. I wonder if I could nap for 2.5 days?

May 17, 2017

I’ve spent the day thinking about someone I shouldn’t be thinking about. I miss you, I don’t know why, and I know its the epitome of futility. My memory is impaired (more on that later), but I remember losing control and screaming at you for something you did or didn’t do. Screaming and crying and probably bleeding, mental patient personified. But you apologised, sincerely. You were the “them” and the “them” NEVER admit a wrong, let alone show compassion or regret. But you did, and I knew you were different. That was a long time ago, and I don’t even remember the details. But I remember that’s when I knew you were special. And that’s what I can’t get out of my head today. I want to see you again, that’s all.

Maybe I should take a minute to talk about my sexuality. It won’t go for long, cause frankly I’m rather baffled. I couldn’t care less if someone is straight, gay, or bi. I couldn’t care less if I am either. But you see I’m not, or I don’t think I am, and that’s where I get confused. I’m almost 27, you think I’d have figured something like this out by now. I like some people, male, female, as friends, and as a want – for more than friends. Simple, until you move past “romantically” into “sexual” because for me, they are very different things and sexual is something that I don’t think I’ve ever desired. It’s not something that’s ever felt natural. There is something called asexuality. I guess that’s kind of what I’ve identified with most, but it’s difficult to deal with and accept, on a personal level, when I do “want” someone, and even more, on a societal level. For all the fight and acceptance (which I fully support) of the LGBTQI… where is the A?

Anyway, that’s where my heads at at the moment, and it’s a very confusing place to be, but unfortunately its also a background status quo. However, emphasis on the “background”. But this is my mental illness blog/diary (that again I’m going to try and be active on). So there’s this – I don’t care how it sounds – I’m actively pursuing AN1. I’m sick of the bingeing, I’m tired of the purging, I’m drowning in self loathing and am in extreme financial strife as a direct result of this vile behaviour. My weights been high-yo-yoing for months (maybe I don’t really remember anymore). More self loathing. I don’t want recovery and again, I don’t care how that sounds, I’m not going around corrupting your children so lets leave it at that. I NEED to lose weight. 17 to 13. And I fucking will. But of course lets look at today, 3 B/P’s and fucking useless. I have to cut soon. To bleed out some of this corruption. I can’t even fucking afford my meds at the moment.

I’m going to write more. Online and in notebooks. I love notebooks but I also miss being engaged with people who can relate.

– Sidenote Memeory Problems: I had 12 treatments of ECT last year. It had mild side effects and did lift my depression for a few months. But a few months later I was unconscious and bleeding out in a bathroom with a backup suicide means ticking away as well. So I had more ECT. I had something like 16-18 treatments before I withdrew my consent. It was not lifting the depression and more importantly the side effects were devastating. I struggled through weeks or months of people telling me that memory problems were common and mild and would ease with time, until enough time had passed for my Case Manager to conduct a clinical cognitive and memory test on me. I failed. I’m an intelligent girl. Now I’m the girl who runs into someone on my street who knows my name and all about me and I have no idea who they are or how I even know them. It’s difficult. And just one more reason to hate myself. Oh, and now that there’s documented proof this isn’t “normal” my Case Manager has started blaming my diet/eating disorder. Like, fuck off. I’ve had an ED for 8 or 9 years, ECT and memory problems both started at the same time this yeah, that’s not a fucking coincidence.

Okay, that’s my rambles for tonight,
Until tomorrow x

Frantic

My thoughts are all running together. I’m frantic, excited, hopeful and scared. I’m stuck at home, what with it being Sunday and there being no buses here now. I haven’t been good at being at home since the severe cyclone. It’s not all bad though – I’m getting things done.

I’m making goals, plans, dreams, rules. Sure, weight loss and restriction is one of them – but so to is “B/P Free” and that in my opinion is the most pressing concern, for my physical health, mental health, finances and life in general. And sure a few of these immediate ideas come with the post-script “If it doesn’t work out it’s a sign and I’ll just kill myself” but that “IF”, that implication that maybe things could be better is a hope that after the last 8 years I will never take for granted.

I’ve budgeted (current as well as recurrent). I’ve found a site and app called GoodBudget which seems to be really ideal – if not a little daunting ha. Plus mum’s informed me of a potential subsidy type thing due to the natural disaster which would infinitely help things in the “immediate”. Thing 1 that has to wait til Monday.

My coffee shop has a sign up that they’re looking for staff. This is one of those things that my racing thoughts chase with “or suicide”. I shouldn’t say that, firstly because how desperate does it sound? But I want it so so bad, I KNOW that it would be life changing. Secondly because my resume is predominantly gaps due to my mental illness so I KNOW it will be very easy to be quickly thrown in the trash pile. But regardless I updated what I could in my resume yesterday, and spent a good portion of today writing a cover letter. Thing 2 that has to wait til Monday (to update references, print and hopefully hand in).

I’ve searched for rentals. I want to move places because the suburb I’m in is quite far out of the town centre, has no supermarkets or the like and I rely solely on the bus for transportation. The problem is finding an affordable place that also allows pets (I have a little dog). But I found a listing online that from what I can tell would be IDEAL. Thing 3 that has to wait til Monday.

500pm
On the awesome side – 17 hours B/P Free
On the shitty side – I’m rolling way too many cigarettes. Especially considering I broke and bought my first pack in months and months just yesterday.

I need it to be tomorrow. I’m already planning on taking a valium with my 800pm meds just to try and make this day end sooner. Though I don’t know if that will be enough. This post is longer than I had intended and still only feels a fraction of my thoughts. Hypokalemic thoughts.

Peace x