To read this blog in order start at July right at the top of the blog archive and progress down in order. This is an account of my battle with anorexia and bulimia

Wednesday 3 August 2011

the process of grieving

Realising how you feel is not always a good thing, sometimes it can become very confusing
It was our last year at tech. Our biggest project was to write a report on any topic at all of our choice, providing it was relevant to children. Naturally my first idea was anorexia in young children. But to actually find information on that was absolutely ridiculous. So, my next idea was on how do children cope when a parent dies. It is not a concept I ever gave much consideration too. I naively thought that parents are meant to be there until you are married, and have your own children. That thought was instantly changed once mum died, and I realise that little children may even have to deal with this.
Step one of this project, for myself, was too obtain as many books as I could on the topic of death, and grieving. The first book I found was called “
I came to realise that the process of grieving may actually take many years. Being one who always kept feelings to myself, (or told the dog) I never really told anyone how I felt about mum dying. I can speak easily to people about any problems, but never how I feel deep down. My problem is though that I just don’t know how to open up to people. I so desire someone for closeness to help me feel secure (and for the interest of readers I do not mean a boyfriend, I mean anybody I can solely trust!!) . I
constantly avoid mother’s day, and now even father’s day. I had made time to see a bereavement counsellor for the project, but was listening very closely to the different stages of grief. I briefly told her about mum and how I felt, and she actually advised me to see a bereavement counsellor who deals with adults. Unfortunately I never did this.
I had actually became so involved in this project that it became all I worked on. I slept it, dreamt it, ate it and drank it. It was a great way to avoid eating at all, because it meant not being able to go out much. I would stay up til all hours typing away at this project. More so because the more I read and wrote, the more I understood about grieving.
I soon had to put that on hold for a while because we had our final two weeks of prac to complete. Mine was at a long day care centre in Springwood. I absolutely loved this prac. The staff were all so caring and helpful, and also encouraging. This centre provided meals which they did try and encourage me to eat but I wouldn’t have a bar of it. They laughed at me when I took at my eency weency container full with lettuce, alfalfa and tomato. They were my safe foods for the first few days there because I knew how low in kilojoules they were. I was also known for high amounts of tea consumption there. After the first few days of bringing salad it became very tiresome, so I just had an extra cup of tea to compensate for it. The staff there continuously commented on me losing weight even in the short time I was there. That was the encouragement I liked to hear. They were really supportive with all of my work , but to hear I was losing weight was the best. My prac teacher came to see me twice. She was such a lovely teacher and was extremely pleased with my work. But as much as I liked her I still saw her as my enemy because she was so skinny. To this day I don’t know if it is natural or not, but I do know how mad it made me. Somehow we quite often got talking about food etc. She thought my eating habits were rather insufficient (but how could one piece of toast and tea all day be insufficient??) but said no more. The staff began to make numerous comments throughout the day about my eating and weight. They diagnosed me as “anorexic” and actually questioned me if I had become “anorexic” after mum had died. I denied that I even had a problem although I knew did. But because I was back to the 40-41kg mark I assumed I was too fat.
* * * *
Back at tech, and in our final weeks. So basically it was party time. I had finally finished my project and had come to the conclusion that grief takes a bloody long time. There are so many stages in it, but each one taken when and if appropriate, and some may even happen twice. We had to do a report presentation to our class and I surprised myself by getting an “A”.
Suddenly our final exam crept up on us. I had reached burn out point just before this and was at a loss as to what to study. It was all so repetitive. Instead I often found myself going for long walks just to clear my mind. My brain barely functioned and I was just worn out. I went into the exam room not stressed at all, and came out of it feeling mightily relieved.
For the next few weeks I panicked about failing because I knew that not eating would affect the way I thought. But I can gladly say that I passed with flying colours.

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