Friday, 13 November 2009

Freakblog interlude

I'm fighting with my body at the moment. I hate it. It makes me angry and sick and I want to hurt it, scratch my legs over and over and make them bleed, pinch my sides, thump my upper arms until they bruise, squeeze my stomach until it's covered in red weals. I feel fat, and disgusting, puffy and featureless, like a dumpling. I can't bear to wear trousers, because I can feel them on my waist, which I hate. Anything tight is out of the question. I stand in front of the wardrobe in the morning and despair. There's nothing loose and anonymous enough for me. If I could, I'd stay in my dressing gown and tracksuit bottoms all day every day.

I look pretty much exactly the same as I did last month, or the month before, or in September when I posted a succession of pictures of possible outfits for a meeting, or even six months ago when I was briefly and gloriously body confident. That seems utterly outlandish now. I can't even imagine wanting to take a picture of myself. I don't want to see myself in a mirror.

Of course, none of us needs to have a psychology degree to realise that this is just stress finding an old, familiar path to escape down. I know that. I know I am massively, ridiculously, stressed in all manner of ways, including several I don't, can't, even discuss here. This is a hard, painful thing we are all doing and since it's my decision, I have to make it be ok, somehow. So every day, I go running around with a tape measure and a tool kit, for fuck's sake, and go to hardware shops and carpet shops, and discuss fencing and decide what to bring and what to leave, and continually make decisions. I suck at making decisions. I mean, I really REALLY suck. My decisions - in the practical sphere at least - are shit. I just go with whatever the person opposite tells me to go with. Wall mounted tv or free standing? Do I want someone to come and measure up for carpets or are my measurements accurate? Left or right opening fridge door? Freezer on top or bottom? 25 boxes or just 15 for the kitchen? I. Just. Don't. Know. The first one you said? No? Ok, the other one then. Just put down whatever seems best to you. I don't even know whether any of it will matter, but I'm certainly acting as if it won't. Nothing matters much mid-apocalypse.

So here I am, angry and frustrated with myself for all manner of things, taking it out on my body with wearying predictability. The wiser part of me knows that this is the absolute worst moment, and that as long as I am getting some sleep and some nourishment, I am probably doing as well as I can. I just need to hang on as best I can, and wait for things to improve. That wiser part of me would point out that despite all the pressure and the sadness, I haven't had the slightest bulimic urge. That I'm eating enough, albeit crappily, washing, dressing, functioning. That it will pass. It really will pass. It always passes.

For tonight though, I might just have a little cry. Maybe swear a bit. That's ok isn't it?


Anonymous said...

Utterly ok, and I can't say anything other than that you will find your way forward. You may write in fear and anxiety but I see you so entirely differently. You are wonderful and inspiring and give other lost souls a shining beacon of hope (believe it or not) x

RML- Being More Through Having Less said...

Wallow as much as you need to- hopefully you get a break from the little ones this weekend and can indulge yourself. Stay in your dressing gown and don´t make any decisions. Sometimes life sucks, but sometimes it gets better after the sucking.

rosiescribble said...

How reassuring to learn that it is not just me who goes through the mirror-hating and jumping-on-the-scales-every-day torture and body hating when I'm stressed. It seems so much easier to rant at myself, how I look and what I weigh than look outwards an the more logical causes for my angst. I just would not be able to write about it quite so well. Note to self: do not add that to list of things I am not good at!

Belle_Lulu said...

I've done this bit. It's shit. There's no better word for it. Totally crap beyond mention and utterly, utterly hole-in-your-stomach making. I know.

Three years on it is mostly loads better. I say mostly because some of it never changes. But your responses to it will change.

I dropped to my long term "goal weight" of under 7stone for over a year. (I'm 5'5" and at that weight was a hideous sight) I lost the ability to memorise events, retain information, make decisions, think, speak or function appropriately. It took time to recover.

But Emma, I've been reading your blog and following you on Twitter for a while now and I know how amazing and funny you are. You have a brain the size of a planet and you use it with panache and style. I admire you, I try to emulate the wit and charisma you emit without much success.

Don't be downhearted - be resolute. It feels like the end of the world because it is - the end of this conception of that world. There will be another one. A different and better one. You'll see.

Wish I could make it better now though.

L xxx

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you are feeling so awful. Sometimes life just sucks, doesn't it. And at the risk of sounding trite, this too shall pass. As hard as it is to believe, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year will come and you will get through all of this.

I'm sorry.

carla_fern said...

Hey, stop and relax for a bit..breathe. You don't need to do everything all at once and you know that stress makes you have feelings that make you feel overwhelmed,so enough.
Spend some time doing what you love best, a book, a bath, take-in food...whatever it takes.
It will get better. I drove to Niagara Falls today with my daughter and as we watched the river pouring into the gorge I thought of all the difficult times she had come through and how wonderful it was to spend time with her, to see her smile.
Take care little owl!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I know I'm anonymous to you and too far away in the confines of the internets to make much of a difference to your life, but I just wanted to say that you are incredibly self-aware, incredibly wise and incredibly strong. I really, sincerely, admire you.

It sounds like you're doing just fine, so feel free to cry if it relieves some of the stress. Coping is so often just about those basic things - getting enough sleep, nourishment and just getting out of bed and going out there into the world every day and then doing it all again the next day. It sounds like you're doing much more than those basics.

Going to carpet shops or buying stuff for a house is stressful enough as it is for anyone, in any circumstances. As for decisions, you didn't shy away from the most important one, so what difference does it make whether the fridge opens one way or another? That's all trivia, it won't matter in the long term.

I hope you have some real flesh and blood friends near you these days, for times like this when it all gets to be a bit much.
Be kind to yourself and be gentle to your body, you'll feel better soon.

Layla said...

Oh, best of all possible Waffles, I wish I could give you a huge hug, an industrial strength damson vodkatini, and a cuddle with Freddie on his Ektorp.

This is totally the worst bit, and it is perfectly natural for you to be howling at the moon for a while. Things will get better, but it will take time. Now you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Lots of positive thoughts winging their way towards you from the Aegean. Utku the fighting camel says hi, and that he looks forward to meeting you in the spring.

Thinking of you

C xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

I think someone mentioned this the other day, but to take some of the pressure off you for the time being, why not bring your stuff to the new house in stages rather than having the stress of having to move everything on a particular date? The CFO sounds very reasonable and I'm sure it wouldn't be too much of a problem.
Also, when deciding what to bring, you could decide what you need to bring for each particular room, rather than the whole house. Break it up into smaller tasks and just keep going...:) [Cybernetic hugs]

Anonymous said...

Sad to read your Freakblog Interlude. If you are fighting with your feelings at the moment perhaps a war-like approach, as advocated by Sir William Slim (General in charge of Allied Forces in Burma after the army had been defeated and demoralised) might be considered.
"The Foundations of Morale"
1.There must be a great & noble objective.
2.It's achievement must be vital.
3.The method of achievement must be active, aggressive & vigorous.
4. The persons living & working conditions must be as good as is possible under the circumstances.

So....BW that is why you are improving your surroundings (however haphazardly) and you WILL ...eventually reach your objective. It is a noble purpose!
Kind regards

Metropolitan Mum said...

Oh crap. You too?
I hardly know you, but if it wasn't Brussels but still somewhere round N1, I'd put on my wellies and get out right now to help you measure the floor, pack the boxes or just fill up your glass with some good old red.
Chin up, it will get better. Promised.

Rachel said...

Fuck yes, it's ok to cry. Do it in great galoomphing sobs until you fall asleep. It's shit, it's hard but it will pass, and you know that, so in the meantime go with the flow and HOWL.

Oh, and what she said. We are mostly strangers to you but you touch our hearts and you are special to us all. In your weird, indomitable way.

Top Bird @ Wee Birdy said...

I think Rachel said it best ... take care of yourself (and rant and rage - it's all entirely OK). Big hugs. xx

redfox said...

I wish I could make the following materialize on your doorstep: an owl in a box, several comforting but diverting novels, a genuinely delectable cocktail, and a magic fast-forward button. I hope you at least have the necessary elements for providing yourself with cups of tea before, during, and after weeping.

My WV is "distesse" which seems all too apt. Poor Waffle.

mountainear said...

Howl if it helps. Sob. Wail. Do what you need to to get through the next bit.

We were always told - in management-speke - that we could eat the elephant - just not necessarily all in one go. Take it piece by piece and, then one day it will be gone.

In the meantime - so sorry it all hurts so much. I truly wish there were something I could do to help. Very best wishes.

katyboo1 said...

I have checked my clipboard and I believe the only thing left on it for you to do today was cry until you hiccup. Well done. you are on target.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Lots of liquid, Emma, some sweet treats and snuggle that Weepette until it squeaks. You will come through this terrible phase and you need to give it time - It won't clear overnight - this is more grief you are going through and I know you know that... You might need to reach out for specific counselling for that rather than the depression/bulimic counselling - Our minds are very conplex things, are they not... In the meantime, do weep anywhere - In fact, I recommend supermarket aisles. Big cyber hugs and 'props' xox

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I am sorry you are at that place right now, as in the beastly abyss-iness. I too read and appreciate your humour and honesty so much. We commenters are tangible witness and proof of your wonderfully creative, intelligent, honest & hugely entertaining (& enlightening!) wittiness! Just take it hour by hour and no further, or bird by bird (isn't that a quote from some book on writing that my challenged brain is incapable of recalling the name of??). But you know all this already - I just wanted to plink in and reaffirm that you are WAY larger than this abyss-iness! We can all use all the humour we can get these days- thank you for sharing your humour and all your life bits with us!

Layla said...

And another thing - you are Wonderful, you are Ace. your blog is Genius and you are just SO F***ING FUNNY.

Since I got to know you, and then your blog, reading it has become a highlight of my day.

Belgian Waffle: It's the new Archers.

I can offer no greater praise...

karen said...

I don't know what to say. There's nothing that can make this bit better. I know - I've done it too. But ten years down the track I have no regrets and I am in one piece. You can do it.

Ami said...

Sometimes it seems that the expectation is that when you're the one making the decision, you should be fine. But that couldn't be farther from the truth. Cry, drink, be "not ok" - whatever it takes. Don't apologize for it. It will be better someday, a little bit at a time. Be good to yourself.

Pueblo girl said...

Most decisions suck because they are not important. Important decisions suck because they hurt.

Sounds like you're fine at making important decisions. Which are the ones that matter.

Sabine said...

Just having stumbled over your blog I feel not intimate enough to comment on the first part; but I certainly totally understand the dilemma of ??? when it comes to making 'interior design' decisions (actually all decisions). Sabine x

Nimble said...

Yes. And I think you're right, maintenance levels of food and rest are all that's needed to get through.
And here -- have some lambaby.

Anonymous said...

KBO lovely smart E.
And don't listen to sad music too much.
You are ace.

Mrs Trefusis... said...

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well
(come on babe, let's say it together: all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well)

GingerB said...

Cry, swear, and stamp your well shod foot if you want. Only you can make it throiugh this part, and you get all the comforting behavior you need. We love you.

sally3195 said...

It will pass. It will pass. Just keep on with the functioning, one day at a time.
We all think you're wonderful. I've been reading you for ages but only just plucked up the courage to comment, because it seems like you could use as many people telling you that it will, it will, it WILL get better.

Iheartfashion said...

Crying and cursing would be totally appropriate responses to what you're going through Emma. And I see no reason to get out of your dressing gown for the moment. Sending much love through the Internets.

pinklea said...

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt AND sent the postcards. And you are right: it is awful right now, but little by little it passes. Every single moment brings you closer to the time when it will all be okay. Howl, sob, wallow all you need to - now is NOT the time to be strict with yourself. Sending you many cyberhugs!

WrathofDawn said...

If you can swallow any solid food at all, you're doing better than I did in similar circunstances.

There will be much suckitude before things get better, but get better they will. Just hunker down and wait it out and know that the "I'm ugly" thoughts are completely, totally mad. We've seen the pictures. You're lovely.

Anonymous said...

All sounds reasonable given the circumstances. Have a lie in, stay in pajamas, howl, and finish it off with a gin and tonic. You are stuck in the worst for the time being but just breathe and know you only need to keep going day by day and it will eventually lift. From around the world I send you a creepy cyber-stalker hug. I'm sorry you are going through this.

Laura Jane said...

Yeah...its all sounds appropriately shitty given the circumstances. But DO be kind to yourself sweetheart.

This week WILL pass.

You WILL look back on this and not punch yourself(and probably write an excruciatingly poignant memoir of it)

I wish I could offer you a spare pair of hands and a bit of decisive brain-power.

In the meantime you will soon be in a randomly furnished but new space, with less strain and conflict. I hope.

warmest wishes for survival and thriv-al (if that it a word)

livesbythewoods said...

You've seen that chart that shows the top ten most stressful things that can happen to someone?

It lists (in an order I can't remember) bereavement, I'll health, job loss, divorce/seperation, childbirth and/or having children in general (I think), moving house.....the list goes on an on.

Trying to tackle so many of them at once is not just hard but also exhausting, demoralising and terrifying. You're doing it, though, and every time you make a decision, get dressed, eat something, talk to someone, or manage a smile, you are winning.

It will get easier, mate, and you will be alright.

Z said...

I used to think I was indecisive, but then I discovered that I don't really care about a lot of stuff. If it matters, you'll know what to decide. Otherwise, duck out of all the decisions you can.

dragondays said...

I always seem to be about the last one to post ... that way everyone else has written what I would have said!
As Livesbythewoods said - moving is one of the most stressful things in life, but be positive - you are only moving some of the stuff and you don't have to do it all in one day.
It's shit, it will pass, promise!
Watch some crap on the telly, a couple of large drinks and some awful junk food - then fall asleep on the Ektorp - easy.
Bon courage et merde!
WV smargar (smart girl and removals obviously)

ali said...

Can I just say that I am also shit at making decisions. Utterly pathetic. I will foist it on anyone if I can. When my first marriage was going down the shitter I hovered in a state of pathetic indecision for months, paralysed by my own crapulence before the arsewipe that is my ex-husband pretty much forced my hand. I am (overwhelmingly) happy with the decision now but at the time I wanted to hide under my bed and just make it all stop. You have made a very brave decision. You are a decision making dynamo as far as I am concerned. Baby steps. You're doing some hard shit and you ARE DOING IT. You don't need to keep it all together. Just manage as best you can.

Grit said...

dearest dearest waffle, it is not the end of the road but the beginning of the field. and i can promise you it is not always pissing down with rain, covered in mud, or home to doggers, grizzly bears and wolves. sometimes there are beautiful views, wide horizons, and buttercups.

Decantate said...

I've been there too. Hang on to the thought that it gets better, because it so does. It so gets better. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life and I never thought I'd get there when I was where you are.

Léonie said...

I am thinking of you so much, sending you so much love. Also, what Rachel said. xxx

(WV is resst. Sounds like you need one...x)

screamish said...

Just because bad things are happening doesn't make you a bad person.

You're beautiful, funny and smart, you're a loving mum and you're a brilliant're GREAT.

Feel bad for a bit, it's normal. It'll get better.

It comes in first the waves of despair/bad feelings come several times a day, then once or twice a day, then they space out, and soon the gaps between are longer and you can breathe...just ride it through, the first hard bit, and know that (as you said) the suckitude (in the words of commenter wrath of dawn, above)will pass...

JPM said...

Oh Wafflelady. I read you every chance I get and have for a long while now, and I like so many others I am so rooting for you. I am very glad that you have proper nesting materials and that you are taking care of yourself as best as one can through something like this. I honestly admire you so much because you are following through with a decision you had to make from a place deep in your bones and your brain, and you have the resources to make it work out in the end, both mental and material. I think the way life works when you are going through something like this transition is that you are allowed to go on autopilot for some of the minor practical stuff if you need to. Just, you know, stay hydrated, etc. Great heaps of respect for you....if you need to have a cry here and there you don't need me to sign off on it.

Madame DeFarge said...

I'm sure that they'd be very fashionable tracksuit bottoms. Try hitting cushions. Usually works for me. Hope you come out of this soon.

Z said...

Ooh, Madame DeF, you are so right. Actually, I've only ever done it once, quite twenty years ago, but it was so cathartic that I've never needed to do it ever again.

Bryony said...

cry away sweetheart, whatever helps - as mrs T says, all will be well...

Elsie said...

of course you know that I am thinking of you, and trying to channel everything good your way, like everyone else. In honor of you, I just played common people by pulp at top volume, on repeat, on my stereo, out my back window, while I was raking leaves (moving them about, at least).

Anonymous said...

I've just met your blog. I have no advice to give - except possibly that deep down you really know that you need a fridge. (But that could be my Australian cultural consciousness - you guys managed without fridges for many many centuries.)
I am really sorry to hear that you are a 'lost soul' - according to one of your commentators. I hope you become 'found' again soon. Is it better or worse to be 'lost' in a foreign country? (I think, worse.) I am in a foreign-ish country, and I am lost some of the time, but not always. I fnatasize that i would be less lost at 'home'.
Love and regards
PS I blog on wordpress

Anonymous said...

Don't know if he reads your blog, but it sounds like the CFO is trying in a roundabout way to reassure you about your body-related angst with his comment. I think it's very sweet of him, actually.
Hope you're feeling better today.

Laurel said...

I feel particularly bereft of words good enough to communicate what I would like to say, but all the other commenters are right--you are lovely, hilarious, an amazing and talented writer, I wish you nothing but the best, and it will be okay, although it is completely logical that it sucks so much now. I just wanted you to know that one more person thought so.

Anonymous said...

Ne vous punissez pas plus. Parfois, il est normal de se sentir désolée de tout. Si nous ne nous sentons pas mal, alors comment allons-nous connaître et apprécier ce que signifie le bonheur?

Margaret said...

Everyone here is singing you this song:

Cry if you want
I won't tell you not to
I won’t try to cheer you up
I'll just be here if you want me

It’s no use in keeping a stiff upper lip
You can weep, you can sleep, you can loosen your grip
You can frown, you can drown, and go down with the ship
You cry if you want to
Don’t ever apologize venting your pain
It's something to me you don’t need to explain
I don’t need to know why
I don’t think it’s insane
You can cry if you want to

The windows are closed
The neighbors aren’t home
If it’s better with me than to do it alone
I'll draw all the curtains and unplug the phone
You can cry if you want

You can stare at the ceiling and tear at your hair
Swallow your feelings and stagger and swear
You could blow things and throw things and I wouldn’t care
You can cry if you want to

I won’t make fun of you
I won’t tell anyone
I won’t analyze what you do or you should have done
I won’t advise you to go and have fun
You can cry if you want to

Well it’s empty and ugly and terribly sad
I can’t feel what you feel but I know it feels bad
I know that it's real and it makes you so mad
You could cry

Cry if you want to I won’t tell you not to
I won’t try and cheer you up
I'll just be here if you want me to be near you.

Jo said...

Je suis d'accord avec anonymous français. Courage, Emma. Tout sera bien, tu verras.


Views from the UK 2006 said...

We havea all been there, Churchill called it his Black Dog days, its when we think the world is agaisnt us, and for no reason, its just a matter of working thought it, minute by minute, hour by hour, etc, also its handy to have someone to talk to. I guess the point of a blog, when I am down I try go through the process and see what is wrong, are they real problems or just made up in my own mind. I find a nice cup of tea and toast and watching the seaons go by can have a calming effect, the problems dont go away but on context on the whole they are small minus in the great game of life.

justmeagain said...

Ouch. Chocolate and Gin. I am repeating myself I know.....but is all I can think of to offer. And a hug. x

justmeagain said...

Ouch. Chocolate and Gin. I am repeating myself I know.....but is all I can think of to offer. And a hug. x

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