Sunday 15 September 2013

So what's going on inside my head?

I only wish I knew. Which is why I'm booking back in with the counsellor I saw for a number of sessions last year when things were getting a bit too much like a cat's cradle inside my head. This, and the fact that I'm just getting over a goddamn awful bout of gastroenteritis (yuk!), and the fact we were on holiday last week, is why I've been keeping a low profile recently. But I decided it's time to put pen to paper again, so to speak.

There is so much knotted and tangled up inside my head at the moment that, most of the time, all I want to do is stand frozen to the spot, like a rabbit stuck in the headlights. Or sleep. And when I'm not doing that I'm "spiralling", which is something I'm all too familiar with. I think others might call it anxiety or panic attacks. Plus I'm not sleeping well, feeling light headed and generally naff. And low.

Then I feel guilty because I know there are others far worse than me. For instance my dear long-term supporter and mentor Charlotte who has terminal breast cancer. How dare you, I admonish myself, feel cr*p when you should be so very grateful to be alive and well?

And other parents whose children are neck-deep in an eating disorder and who are fighting The System tooth and nail to get some kind of treatment to save their lives.

How dare I feel sh*t, when I have every reason on this planet to be thankful to be where I am right now?

So I haven't written anything here because I feel as if I'm being oh so selfish.

The thing is, try as I might, I don't seem to be able to do anything about it. And I, of all people, should know that we humans can't always get our brains, moods and behaviours back on track simply by giving ourselves a slap on the back and telling ourselves to "snap out of it".

I went to the GP about it on Friday and he put me back on Fluoextine which I first went on during the Summer From Hell in 2010 and eventually came off some time in the spring. He said: "Do you have any family support?" "Well no, not really," I said, because I'm loathe to moan about my woes to my worked-to-death, stressed-out husband, my elderly mum or anyone else for that matter. So he told me to take plenty of exercise, take Fluoextine for four weeks, then see if I need to up the dose.

Today I decided to book in with Christina, a lovely (private, unfortunately) counsellor I saw last year after my friend Sue passed away. I figured I needed a little help in unravelling the tangle that seems to have frozen me into a deep apathetic paralysis.

I know that some of it is due to the anxiety of Ben leaving for university in a week's time. This time last year I was so excited about it. But then we had all that stuff where he couldn't handle it. I worry it might happen again. I don't think it will, but it might. And I'm not really noticing any excitement or planning on his part which is kind of worrying me... Almost as if he's in denial that he's going. Maybe I'm wrong...

So I know that's one thing.

But there's a whole lot more: fallout from the eating disorder, trying to pick up the pieces of my career again in a business world that's changed in the last four years, having too much going on at once and wanting to run away from it all and just sleep...

And, on a totally materialistic level, living in a house which has gone to the dogs during the eating disorder... Paint swatches on the hall and staircase which we tried out but left during Ben's illness... And a general tired look throughout the whole house which would take £thousands to put right, £thousands which we don't have after four years of recession and my income dwindling from pretty damn good to pretty damn disastrous...

And could it be that, just being in the house, brings back bad memories? Which is why I've been away from it so much this summer?

I don't know.

Oh, and there is this deep-set feeling that is overpowering me at the moment. I feel like a huge failure. You may shout back that "Good God, Bev, you're not a failure, look at all you've done over the past four years?!" etc etc.

But I feel as if I've failed. Failed at my career which seems to have disintigrated during the years that I haven't been able to focus on it. Failed at getting my son better sooner - and getting more weight back onto him. Why, over four years since it all started, can't he just say "What the hell" and stuff his face with Mars Bars or whatever to get those few remaining kg back on? And more?

And then I feel anger at CAMHS who, I feel, were largely responsible for making him believe that "good enough" is good enough and who were never really concerned about getting him back to his pre-anorexia physique.

Which, although Ben still remains 99.5% recovered, thank goodness, there are still glitches that need fixing and they're the same glitches that have been around since he was discharged from CAMHS over 18 months ago.

Oh blimey, there is so much going on in my head that isn't good that I'd better stop right here!

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