I was having an absolute ball in life. Everything was going great. (Well sort of…work was getting to a stressful point, and I almost resigned.) My friend Deb came down to visit for 5 weeks from Byron Bay. We were practically joined at the hip, with two other guys Mark and Ken. Us four hung out nearly every second night until all hours of the morning eating, talking, laughing. I felt normal and accepted. I travelled back up to Byron with Deb and her daughter, spending only one week there. Admittedly it was one of the best holidays I have had. After such a stressful time at work it was much needed. It made me realise that most things that happen in life are our own choices. Here I was thinking I was stuck in a hole at work, with no way out. I was paranoid that everyone in the work place hated me, and was so ready to leave. But really, it was my choice to stay at work, and it would only ever feel how I made it. If I felt that everyone hated me, in the end I would do things that made people hate me. If I felt people liked me then I would act accordingly. Living in Springwood, and staying at work were my choices because it was my security. I had the option to stay in Byron, or simply just not go back to work. Yet, because I need some direction in my life I need my work to keep me sane!!!
Although I had problems at work, it made me stronger in a sense. Everyone has problems with their work place, and it all depends on how you deal with. Personally I thought the eating disorder was easier, because that was my focus, and other problems went by, and I dealt with them by either starving or exercising. This time was different though. My whole problem at work was just feeling so inadequate at what I was doing. There were overall issues at the centre, and being an emotionally reactive person I blamed all those issues on myself and was paranoid that the staff were attacking me personally. I started becoming distant from the staff because I was so afraid that they hated me, and I couldn’t handle that rejection. I tried avoiding work, calling in sick quite often for a period of a week (which is a lot for me!!!). I was absolutely sure that they were all relieved when I didn’t come in because they wouldn’t have me bossing them around and making it all stressful for them. Funnily enough I didn’t worry about what the children thought. I knew they liked me and trusted me, and I felt the same way about the parents. The trip to Byron really helped de-stress me, and I totally relaxed. I managed to get back to work and see things for how they really were. Admittedly there were issues with myself that I had to deal with (like communicating with staff), which would help the workplace. There were then the problems of the centre overall, which was not my own fault. I didn’t cause these problems, but I could help fix them. I dealt with (well still dealing with) the paranoia about staff hating me, but at least I got through it without resorting to the eating disorder.
I thought that the whole eating disorder had just about vanished by now. I barely threw up food, I was definitely off laxatives, and I was eating breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. It wasn’t until the last few weeks that I had a pregnancy scare and became extremely stressed and completely lost my appetite. It was a deliberate act with no intention of relationship at all. It’s not until after the act, that I realise how stupid I was for being so careless. It didn’t only happen once that weekend though. It was twice, but the second time was with a different person. The moment we met up I knew we weren’t going to be discussing anything. We had unprotected sex twice that night, then decided we should never do anything like it again and remain as friends. Strangely enough we were never friends from the beginning. I made it clear to him when I first met him that I didn’t like him. One year later I am worried that I will have a baby to him. A million thoughts went through my head a day about what I would do if I was pregnant. Having just bought a new car that weekend, I was unsure on the finance side of things. The thought that I probably liked the most was if I had a baby it would be something I could love and take care of. At the end of the day I was very relieved when I got my period.
With all of that, I barely ate a thing in the last two weeks. The thought of even breakfast made me nearly throw up. I completely turned off coffee, tea, and even chocolate. As ironic as it may sound but I was so frustrated that I wasn’t hungry. Then at times when I was hungry I could never identify what I actually felt like eating. The less I ate then, the more I enjoyed not eating. That is until it took its toll the other night. The evening of the Christmas Pageant I was singing in was on, I started feeling extremely ill. I assumed it was because of my period, so I took some Panadol. I felt worse and worse as the night progressed, and could not stop vomiting. Late in the night I asked Jane to take me to the hospital because I could no longer stand the pain. My throat was burning from all the stomach acid, and my arms and face were feeling numb. Jane rushed me down to the hospital, where I was put in intensive care for the whole night. A series of blood tests was done to identify what type of virus it was, but nothing showed up. I was hooked up to a drip to get fluids into me, and it also had some sort of drug that was meant to make the pain go away, but it didn’t. My urine was tested and came up showing high ketone levels (not quite sure what it means, but something to do with not eating). After that, my heart rate was tested and it came up as low as 45 beats/minute. With the results of both of these tests the nurse became cluey, and questioned Jan about my eating habits. She told Jane that with results like these it is often linked to an eating disorder, and that is what is causing the stomach pain and vomiting. She stated that if I didn’t fix myself up soon, then it would be a re-occurring illness, getting worse and worse each time. It was a wake up call if ever I needed one.
I have been referred to a psychiatrist in two weeks time. I am kind of scared, but relieved at the same time. The counsellor I was seeing was great for the time, but I really feel I am ready to move to more in depth help.
I can honestly say it is a shock that it is all happening now. Here I thought it was all behind me and just a story to tell, but it’s still going. I am really having to make a conscious effort to eat and drink these days though. I really hate eating at the moment. Jane is doing her best encouraging me to eat. She will even tick off on the food pyramid daily, to see if I have eaten enough in all the five food groups. So far in 5 days I have not filled one pyramid. Looking at it in a sensible way I know I should have each food group ticked, with the right amount of servings from each group. That would mean my body is at least healthy. But I can’t help feeling scared that one day the boxes will all be ticked. At the moment for me it means I have eaten too much. I know it’s the anorexic talk, but I don’t have the energy to fight it.