Saturday 5 March 2011

Identifying all the stuff that fuels the insomnia and breaking free

It's been a difficult week which is why I haven't been blogging much. The main issue this week (apart from the  usual insomnia) has been to make a list of all the other things that the anorexia still controls with a view to working on them one by one to move Ben up to the next stage of recovery (and help to address the insomnia in the process, hopefully). Many of these are things that keep him awake at night - worrying about stuff, planning stuff, etc. Basically, the pychiatrist asked him to picture his life as it will be without the anorexia and list all those things that won't feature in it, which are currently driven or controlled by the anorexia.

Many of them belong to the same category as compulsive exercise (although he is managing that reasonably successfully). The main issue with that is that he finds it very hard if not impossible to "do nothing" as he puts it - and, still, if he treats himself to extra food, he feels he needs to do activity to compensate for it. "Doing nothing" isn't necessarily what you or I might perceive as "doing nothing". Spending the entire afternoon walking up and down a shopping mall would be classed as "doing nothing" whereas you or I would see it as quite tiring exercise! "Doing nothing" is being at school all day which is the main reason (apart from lack of sleep) why Ben still does mornings only. We hope that as we start to address all these extra anorexia "nasties", it may help his sleeping by reducing the anxiety.

This week Ben's weight remained the same although he was convinced he'd "put on loads" of weight. It's yet more proof that his perceptions are not always accurate and hopefully this coming week, he will feel able to eat more.

The good points this week were a huge impromptu frozen yoghurt snack at the shopping mall the other afternoon (no way would he have done something like that in the past). He also made some scones (and ate them, too). Plus we've had "challenge foods" in evening meals for example lamb mince.

But, all in all, he still feels as if he's on a kind of plateau. Yes, his life is jam packed full of improvements and we have come on a heck of a long way in the past six months and more, but he is very aware that many of the so-called positive things are still very much controlled by the anorexia, "control" being the watch-word...

Basically he wants to do these things, but free from the rules and regs imposed by the anorexia. Rather than having to plan stuff in advance (which he often finds himself doing in the early hours of the morning), he longs to be more impulsive and not to feel guilty or that he needs to "earn" the right to do / eat something.

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