Wednesday 23 August 2017

I really, really want to write a sequel to my book 'Please eat...' but I just can't...

It's been on my 'to do' list for some time now. After all, it's been four years since I published the story of my son's struggle with and recovery from anorexia: Please eat... But every time I decide that, yes, this is the day I'll start work on the sequel, I open up the folder I've created on my PC, have a quick read of the final chapter and epilogue (written in 2014) of Please eat... and quickly close it again.

I just can't do it. It seems 'too big'. When I think of the work I put into Please eat, I just go into panic mode at the thought of doing it all again. Even though, of course, the sequel will be largely positive stuff except, probably, my own emerging issues with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress  Disorder (C-PTSD). This is probably why I can't face it yet. Writing my blog is far simpler and 'do-able', as is responding to parents' issues on the Around The Dinner Table Forum (for parents of young people with eating disorders).

It's so very frustrating. On the one hand, getting my life back together after my son's eating disorder, and following massive inroads into the C-PTSD issues, things should be more positive than they've been since 2008. But on the other hand, I'm still struggling with things, despite the enormous amount of help I've had, both from NHS and private therapists.

I really thought that my private therapist, Steve, had 'fixed it' once and for all. That all I had to do now was to work out where I go from here, just get out there and embrace life in a post eating disorder, post PTSD world. But I'm becoming increasingly aware that there are still issues that need fixing, because if everything was OK then I'd be able to get on with life and do stuff, wouldn't I?

I have been naughty, though. I haven't looked at any of the self-help books since before I went away cycling a couple of weeks ago. So I really should make an effort to continue working through these to see if they make any difference.

And of course I have made inroads. Not very long ago I wouldn't have been able to face writing this blog. There are large gaps in my blog archive where it just seemed 'too big'. Ditto helping parents on the Around The Dinner Table Forum.

It's just that, as regards the immediate future, I feel this massive block. As if I know that a fantastic life is out there, easily within reach, with so many things on my 'to do' list including writing that book sequel and doing a ton of business development stuff because no way am I ready to retire just yet. But I just can't move on. It's as if I've suddenly ended up in a grimpen mire muddy bog during a country walk: I can see where I need to be, but I just can't get there.

I'm stuck.

And there's still a heck of a lot of anxiety and panic. Old stuff, of course, because there isn't anything to be anxious about. Also flashbacks. I can't abide it when there are sudden noises in the house such as a shout, cheering a football goal on the TV or my husband striding noisily around the house as he gets on with the decorating. Noises like these take me back there...

But surely after umpteen therapy treatment models and sessions I should be OK now. What is it about me that is so very tricky to fix when, according to what I'm reading in the experts' PTSD books, some people have just take a handful of - say - EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) sessions and - hey presto-  the cloud lifts and they're OK?

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