Forgetting how to live
This is the first time I have shared anything like this, but after reading the threads, I feel less abnormal and alone in my feelings. For a while I have struggled to find the motivation to do anything, so much so that I don't even recognise myself anymore. School was once my biggest priority but now, in my second year of uni, I can't seem to bring the same effort to any of my current work. Nearly every day I simply wake up, am overwhelmed by the thought of facing another day, and so distract myself by watching Youtube or Netflix until the day's over. I can only move for work. I'm so frustrated with myself because I know that I have such a great family, great friends, and the incredible opportunity to be educated, so why can't I do anything!?
I'm scared of going out and seeing people, mostly because I fear what they will think when they see me. Battling an eating disorder for the last three years, I am extremely self-conscious of my body and weight; it seems impossible for me to think of anything else. When it first started, I would constantly get comments about how great I looked, and how much weight I had lost. But now, as I try to develop a healthy relationship with food, I have gained back all of the weight I have lost and more. I feel disgusted with myself and cannot escape the thought that I am worthless because I am not the image of beauty that the world tells me I should be. I have never felt so much self-hatred. I think I escape into other film and tv worlds just to imagine what it would feel like to live again. I feel like I haven't allowed myself to really live for a long time.
I have this constant battle between the idea that I am not worthy enough to be alive, and the other side which tells me I am so selfish for being consumed with my own issues. I want to be there for my family and friends, and I want to be there for my community through activism and volunteering, but I just get so caught up in my own darkness. I don't know how to stop being so self-centred. I'm terrified it will be like this forever.
I see a therapist regularly, but I am battling with the question of whether I should also take medication. I was prescribed antidepressants but I didn't take them as my family thought and I thought I could make it through without them. It's not working, so I think I want to give them a try. I would love to hear of some people's experiences with them if they are willing to share. There's no one I can really talk to about this.
If you find yourself feeling particularly overwhelmed, please know that there is help available to you. The Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or our friends at Lifeline on 13 11 14 are available to provide support and advice 24/7. Please do feel free to use these services to talk through what's on your mind when it's feeling like too much to cope with.
Please feel free to keep us updated here on your thread with what you are feeling and experiencing whenever you feel up to it - we hope that you find this to be a safe and non-judgemental space.
Welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.
When I read that bit where you said "as I try to develop a healthy relationship with food, I have gained back all of the weight I have lost and more. I feel disgusted with myself ......" I thought 'yeah, I know right! I feel your pain.
I too have have had my own issues with food and radical changes in my weight for almost 30 years now. It started when I was about 21. At the end of July I will turn 50, and I KNOW that as I age, it gets harder and harder to lose the weight. I did manage to lose about 24 kilos two years ago, and went from a size 18-20, down to a 12-14. I am really happy with that, but I am also very aware that I have put back on 3 kilograms since lock-down and winter have hit. I do NOT want that 20+ kilos to find me again.
I too try to have a healthy relationship with food, but yes, it is difficult sometimes. Right now, for example, I am craving choc chip biscuits ...... but a few things are stopping me; one is that I don't actually have any here, two, I am already in my PJ's, three, it is COLD outside and I don't like the cold weather (I swear I should move up north!) and four, if I hold out, the urge will pass and I KNOW I will feel better about myself, knowing that I did not succumb to the craving. Plus, I have chewing gum. And that too serves a good purpose; it keeps my mouth busy and 'tricks' my brain. Plus, it actually makes my breath feel a bit better, and my teeth feel that tiny bit cleaner too ....... and who wants to spoil cleaner teeth with sugary snacks!
Also, if you were actually prescribed medication, but didn't take it, then that is perhaps just being your own worst enemy? My suggestion is to do what is best for you, and what the PROFESSIONALS suggest, and let your family members have their opinion, without having to adhere to it.
Anyway, I don't know if any of that helps. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
Take care, and feel free to keep coming back here for as much support and encouragement as you want and need. We are all here for you and with you.
Take care, I'll be thinking of you. xo
I don't know what to say....
It's been my experience that if your parents are not supportive of medication in the first place and you don't react well, then you get a sermon how it was the wrong thing to do.
This can also lead to being taken off the medication (by parents reading up about it) and then getting suicidal thoughts - however, because that is a side-effect of stopping the medication but parents aren't doctors so weren't aware of it you can then get a lecture about "why would you want to hurt us". This led to not telling how I was truly feeling... because for some strange reason I didn't like seeing my parents distressed.
You say you have a therapist so at least you could discuss things... I didn't at the time... though my parents organised someone but I didn't talk because I was having suicidal thoughts and it was first time I saw that person... because initially a psychologist told me I was too unwell to see a psychologist and I needed to see a psychiatrist so I had no psychology when seeing the psychiatrist...
I have similar experiences with trying to develop a healthy relationship with food and my body. It can be a big problem that I face daily and I am often consumed by my thoughts. It seems like you are going through something similar. It is great that you are seeing a therapist and have someone with who has professional knowledge to give you advice. But I also know how it can feel really alienating to feel like no one around you understands. I have recently been turning to instagram and youtube for a more positive insight on body image. Often these places can make me feel really insecure and lead me to scrutinise my body however, a big helping step has been to unfollow everyone who makes me feeling insecure about my body, even people I know. It is important to feed yourself positive messages and imagery throughout the day. A movement that has helped me is the #normalizenormalbodies hashtag/movement. Looking into pages who support this and watching videos of women who have gone through similar experiences has really helped me to feel like I am not alone, I wonder if this is something you would benefit from?
In terms of motivation: diet, meditation and exercise are what helps me most. I know it seems like everything is too hard some days and honestly on the days where you really can't get up for even a 5 minute walk - that's okay too. Dont fight yourself because this will lead to unnecessary guilt. I often tell myself I will do 5 minutes of stretches or 5 minutes of walking and then I end up doing more because my body starts to crave it. This is the same with eating a healthy diet. I will eat fruit or veggies first and drink lots of water to hydrate because this helps me feel awake and gives me energy that my body needs. However, if I find that I am still wanting some chocolate or chips etc. I will let myself have some otherwise I will wait til the end of the week, tell myself I've done well all week and then binge eat the whole packet which leads to me feeling groggy and unmotivated to do anything. I am not sure what your experience with your eating disorder has been like but maybe you could talk to your therapist about ways to find motivation to move your body and eat healthy because it gives your body energy and the love it deserves - not because you want to look a certain way. Once I started doing this (and I am still learning), I found I was more motivated to do other things too because I simply had more energy.
Sorry to hear what a rough time this is for you. You sound very conscientious and hard working and whilst I am not living in your shoes, I understand what its like to have high performance standards that you impose on yourself. Sometimes it drives you forward with great determination and sometimes it’s a relentless voice that makes you feel never good enough. Anyway all I want to say is good on you for seeing a professional and in my experience medication does help, with a doctors support and patience it can prove life changing. Oh and one last question what do you do that is pointless, engaging fun? Maybe finding 1 non-productive thing to do for an hour a day or each weekend will help inspire you over time - I say engaging because TV or instagram is passive and doesn’t really help release feel good chemicals - engaging can be walking, running, swimming, cooking, climbing trees, painting, singing in a choir really anything that mixes some physical movement with your thinking brain at the same time 🤗
All the best Kiki big hug and you keep going you will get your motivation back.