I can honestly say that this week has been difficult.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, every week is difficult, but for some reason this one was different.
I had yesterday off – hence the new appearance of the journal – but I spent the entire day alternating between thinking “I don’t want to do my homework” and actually doing said homework. I managed to get through 1 and a half weeks worth before I quit working on it just after 7.30 (so you know how much there is left, I am over 4 weeks behind because of my Coleridge Essay, and the next one is due in a fortnight). At this point my nan came upstairs to remind me that I hadn’t eaten since lunch time and ask me “aren’t you going to have some supper?” I can honestly say that I blame a lot of my food obsession and addiction on the various members of my family who have had influence in my life. My mum has always been skinny (well in my lifetime, my nan is all too keen to point out that when my mum was a teenager she was a size 12 – yes so big!!! A British size 12, which is about a US size 10), and she has a problem with food, and my nan has this strange need to feed people – so I immediately associate food with comfort and guilt!
When my mum was ill after my dad died we went through a stage where we had hardly any food in the house and would run out of things like toilet paper, hair conditioner and toothpaste…conditioner and toothpaste were easy to replace (bicarbonate of soda in the cupboard and fabric softener in the kitchen), but from the age of 12 onwards I learned to always buy those small packets of Kleenex and have a few of them in my knicker drawer/school bag just in case we didn’t have any toilet paper left. Food was also at a premium, so from the moment I started earning money for babysitting I would put a bit aside and stupidly, instead of buying healthy fruit and veg, I would buy myself a bar of chocolate (or two) on the way to school, buy a bar of chocolate and a can of full-fat coke at break and again at lunch and by the time I got home I didn’t care if there was any dinner or not.
My nan is the total opposite to my mum. There is always food in the cupboards and although she doesn’t eat too much herself and is far too skinny for her age, she seems intent on forcing other people to eat.
Quite often when I am busy – be it studying or writing – I forget to eat at least one meal (if not two) in a day. I have reached the stage in my life where I acknowledge that my eating habits aren’t anywhere near as healthy as they should be so I try and have at least two meals a day (at work this is difficult), but sometimes I fail very well in this. Yesterday I had breakfast and lunch and a fair amount of liquid to drink, so dinner wasn’t really on the radar, until she came upstairs and started to pester.
Where food is concerned I have a huge weakness. If I don’t think about it then it goes out of my head and I don’t think about it at all – no “Wow, I’m hungry, I only had breakfast and lunch today”, no “I really should go and make myself a salad and something”. But, the minute I am reminded I can’t get the thought of it out of my head and have this incessant need to stuff myself until I feel ill. Of course, my nan just had to come and remind me that I hadn’t eaten since one, and therefore should be feeling hungry. I ended up having a low-fat mini pizza (with feta, steamed ham and fresh pineapple on top) and then a bowl of pomegranate and pineapple afterwards. I didn’t need all that, but after I was reminded I was conscious that I hadn’t had anywhere near as many vegetables/fruit/fibre grams or vitamins as I should and I forced myself to make something healthy that contained the things I hadn’t eaten already. I managed 13 out of my 20g of fibre, 4 out of 5 of my fruit and veg, and just over ¾ of the calories I am allowed in a day. I went to bed on a full stomach and wished that I hadn’t eaten the last spoonful of pomegranate seeds.
Anyway, less about food – as I sit here typing I feel a little bit hungry, but not hungry enough to have my lunch break earlier than usual, or to open the tuna and cucumber roll I have to eat…I am saving that particular ‘treat’ for later when I can settle and read without this horrid anxious feeling in my stomach.
I guess one of the reasons I feel so restless and nervous is that I had a wonderful series of panic attacks on Wednesday night (thank goodness I had yesterday off work)…Until 6am I refused to sleep, and for some stupid reason that even I can’t understand I wouldn’t take the pills that the Doctor gave me to alleviate the panic attacks, as I was terrified should I go to sleep I wouldn’t wake up again…I can hear him now, telling me that it was ridiculous, that there was absolutely no reason for me to panic or to fear going to sleep, but I just couldn’t tell myself it insistently enough. I wanted to go to sleep, but not enough that the fear would vanish and I could force myself to take the pill that would get rid of all the anxiety and agony that the panic attacks had caused – oh, I just love the cramps, the sweating, the fast pounding of my pulse in my ears, and the chest pain that radiates all over my back as I struggle not to hyperventilate…
My main problem with any and all of my past panic attacks has to be that they can’t occur when I can get support. I could always go and wake my nan, but I don’t imagine for one single second that she would sit with me and comfort me (and trying to get her to hear anything, as hard of hearing as she is, when I am mid-hyperventilation is as far from what I want to do as you can get), she would probably just tell me to go to sleep and everything would be all right in the morning.
Believe me, I know that I am not the only person in the world who suffers from panic attacks…mine are brought on by irrational worry and, quite often, work stress…not that work is stressful or anything(!) lol, BUT those are the causes and until I a) change job b) stop worrying about pointless things c) get a decent night’s sleep d) all of the above at once, things aren’t going to improve. I am going to continue having these attacks and they are going to continue making me feel rubbish. One of these days they aren’t going to happen when I can take the day off or hibernate, one day they will happen on a night when I don’t have the luxury of staying in bed the following morning, I will have to get up having had 30minutes (or less) of interrupted cr*p sleep and I am going to have to function. Needless to say that is not what I want, and I want to cure them, but I just can’t see a way out at the present time. Sure, I could take the pills, but all they guarantee is that they will knock me out so I can sleep – they will also make me feel less than perky the next morning courtesy of the after-affects that so many pills have.
Wow, this has turned into a very long post, not bad for the second one of the year. Hope you didn’t read hoping that it was something mindblowingly interesting or anything…