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.



I’m sorry for the start and not post. Things have been crazy, good and bad both.
I’ve taken my night meds now, and am completely consumed by the apple I just consumed so I can’t write much but from tomorrow I’m going to do my best to reconnect with writing.

I’ve got a number of goals in progress. I’ll elaborate more later, but Goal 1 is to stop bingeing and purging. I ended a 100 hour (4 days 4 hours) streak about 2 days ago. I am starting again as of 600pm tonight – it is currently 830pm so early days. Like I said, I’ll elaborate more on this and others later but I wanted to get this start time written and published in the hopes I’ll be less likely to “start tomorrow”.

Okay, sorry for this shit update. Daily posting here I come, even if it’s just for myself.

Peace x


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.

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