An Update.

It’s been quite a while since I opened up and gave you all an update on how I’ve been doing for the past couple of months so I thought it was high time I wrote a post on it all. For any lovely new readers, if you’re interested in my condition I suggest you read this, this and this (if you don’t want to read it all then the last link is the most informative!) first so that everything makes a bit more sense.

As most of you will know, I recently transferred to a university closer to where I live so that I could move back home in the hope that it would give me a better chance to both do well in my degree and to recover. The move has been a lot easier than I expected, I’ve adapted to being home and losing my independence was a reasonably small sacrifice, and my first few weeks of studies have been going well. I was so nervous on my first day – petrified I’d get lost and unsure about how my classes and the people at uni were going to be! However it turns out there was no reason for my nerves, the lectures are really interesting, seminars are fun, and the people are just lovely.

In the last month and a bit I have been into various doctors/hospital appointments, sorting things out, having checkups, going to CBT sessions, and working with my physio. The outcome is fairly mixed which I suppose is to be expected. We already know that they will not be finding out the cause of all of my issues anytime soon and therefore won’t be finding some kind of “magic wand” cure. That sounds depressing but I’m used to that, it’s what I’ve been hearing from nurses, doctors, physios etc for years. But what has me feeling a little down is that no progress is really being made. Maybe that means that I’m slightly in denial, that I am still searching for a cure, but the thing is I want to feel like I’m improving, even if only slightly!

The doctors and nurses at the pain clinic seem to be fairly stumped. The woman I saw for my two CBT sessions (I’ve already been discharged) said that there was no need for me to carry on coming as from a pain management perspective, as well as the mental perspective with my psychological relationship with my condition, because I already do all of the things they recommend to chronic illness/pain sufferers. I’ll be completely honest, I’m not sure whether I’m pleased that I’m doing things right, or annoyed that she couldn’t do more…

I know I seem like I’m coping, but coping is a difficult concept. I’m getting to uni, I’m spending time with my family, I’m visiting Tom, and I’m keeping up with my work. But there is so much more that I want to do, and I can’t help but worry about the future.

This worry brings me to the most important change in my medical situation at the moment. The one positive that came out of my final CBT session was that we decided it was a good time to venture into the world of eating disorder help etc.

I have never been diagnosed with one of the big three (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating) but as everyone who is interested with or concerned about eating disorders and food issues knows, there is a lot more to having an eating disorder than fitting into one of those exact categories. Food and body image is something I have struggled with almost constantly since the age of 14 – that’s almost six years now. I don’t feel like I am currently suffering from a proper eating disorder, on the whole I eat pretty well, but I know that on the mental side my relationship with food is far from perfect. It’s actually pretty messed up.

So I’m going to be making an appointment with my doctor and getting a referral, recommended by my cognitive behavioural therapist, to a specialised out-patient centre in order to start seeing someone to help me in my journey to full, mental recovery.

I have to completely honest, I’m scared. I don’t know exactly what to expect but I have a feeling things will probably get a little worse before they get better – I am going to have to delve into memories I don’t want to dredge up and issues that I mostly ignore. But I feel like I’m in a good place, at least physically what with being at home, and now is the time. It’s always going to be difficult to do but it makes more sense to do it before I properly became independent and start full-time employment!

I’m sorry if this post is a little dense to read, and a little intense. I just feel like I owe it to the wonderful readers who always comment and really care about how I’m doing. As well as to all the readers who have been, or are going through, something similar.

I hope you’ve all had a great week!

Have you ever have any CBT? Was it helpful for you?
Have you ever been diagnosed with any kind of eating disorder, or EDNOS? Did you have medical help?
Any words of reassurance or advice for me?

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39 comments

  1. Sophie, you’re SO brave to open up about all of these things! I think it’s awesome you’re taking action and going to your doctor even though you’re scared. Stopping those negative thoughts before they get out of control is definitely the key to success! If you EVER EVER need to talk to someone, shoot me an email asap!! I’m here for you girl, your little Texas cheerleader. You can and will mend your relationship with food, I know it!!! ❤

    1. Thank you so much Alexandra, I really appreciate your comment! I love the idea of you as my Texas cheerleader 🙂 You’re such an inspiration to me because of how far you’ve come, you’re amazing! Thank you for all of your support 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing such an honest post with us! I truly commend you on wanting help with the eating side of things, it takes a lot of courage to be able to admit that something’s not right. I think you are such a beautiful person inside and out, and I truly know that you will conquer these issues due to your positive nature. Just trying to keep your head above water can sometimes be hard, but with determination and persistence you will get there xxx

  3. I’ve never commented on your blog before but have been reading for a while now. It’s such a brave thing to admit that food/ body image is still an issue and to reach out an ask for help- never an easy step and especially so when you have everything else to contend with.
    Good luck with talking to your doctor- it’s a really positive step to take and amazing how much of a weight it takes off your shoulders to get it out there. I’m currently on the waiting list for outpatient treatment for anorexia so if you want any reassurance/ have any questions about being referred then I’m quite happy to try to help out, I remember how terrified I was when I went to my GP but they were really kind and reassuring.
    Best of luck x

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this post, it really means a lot! Thanks, I hope that the doctor is able to help. It is good to hear that someone else is in a similar situation, I am quite nervous about it all. I really hope that your move to recovery is going well!

  4. I admire you so much for being so honest and brave about your feelings and experiences. I think that a lot of HLB’s are guitly of glossing over the difficulties and only presenting positivity…which is nice, but not as genuine.

    I’ve never been clinically diagnosed with anything, but I have had (and continue to have) difficulties with various harmful/self-worth/body image issues. You are so inspirational for taking the right steps in the right direction. You’re doing a really, really great job, Sophie!

    1. Thank you Alex, I really appreciate the lovely comment and your support! I think that most young women have some kind of issue with their body and it is just so sad. I’m sorry you struggle with these issues too and I really hope you find a way to overcome them! Thank you so much 🙂

  5. Beautifully written, Sophie. I’ve enjoyed following your blog for a while now, and have been cheering you on from the US.

    I have several blogging friends who are going through some really tough times right now, and they often mention in their posts about how they don’t feel very strong. I just want to encourage you by saying that the fact that you’re keeping up with your normal life on top of all this is a demonstration of enormous strength! Don’t give up! You’re an amazing young woman, and I’m sure you can see by all the comments what an encouragement and blessing you are to others.

    I’ve struggled with unhealthy body image and depression for over 10 years now and I have to give you a round of applause for actually taking steps to do something about it before it takes over your life! Way to go!

    Thanks again for being bold enough to be honest and for wanting to share with all of us!

    Sarah

    1. Oh thank you so much Sarah! And thank you for taking the time to comment on this post, I really appreciate it.

      Thank you for the encouragement, I think I sometimes forget that just managing to live a fairly normal life is an achievement for me! I’m sorry that you have suffered with depression and body image issues, I really hope that you are doing better now!

      Thank you again for all of the lovely things you’ve said!

  6. I’m being called away right now so don’t have time to type much, but just wanted to say something incase I forget to come back. I think you are fab, and I love that you are such a strong and lovely person, and I hope that you are able to get some help that you find beneficial. If you need a sounding board, I am more than willing to listen. xx

  7. You’re a brave person to put this out there but I think that’s what we all love and respect about you and your blog.

    I was never diagnosed officially but you don’t need a diagnosis to know what you are doing to your body and what is going on in your mind. However, it’s one thing knowing but admitting to yourself that you need help and seeking said help is a whole other step and I think the fact that you have done so and are going to talk to some about this, is great. It’s the first step. I truly believe that as much as everyone is different in responding to treatment for eating disorders, everyone needs an outlet to talk about it. Be that with a doctor, a therapist, a parent or a blog – it’s healthy to be honest and to give yourself that accountability in a way.

    Good luck with the doctor, I hope they are helpful. I also echo other comments, if you’re ever feeling low and need someone to vent to about body issues and food, don’t hesitate to drop me a message. 🙂

    1. Thank you Jessica, that means a lot! I have just seen that you have written two posts on your own eating disorder story and I want to read them both properly tonight and respond, I think you’re just as brave. You deserve to be happy and free from any issues!

      Thank you, I might follow you up on that offer 🙂

  8. Just about to start getting CBT sessions myself and I have no idea what to expect! But mostly I just wanted to say actually taking the steps to get CBT sessions have helped me so much, I avoided the the whole situation for a year and didn’t even tell my parents, but actually going for professional help has really made me feel like I’m finally tackling the situation…and I hope it does the same for you and your relationship with food! Ignoring it just means the problem silently grows and I had no idea how good it would feel to properly acknowlegde it and start to do things about it, even if you think it’s going to get worse before it gets better…at least you’re on the journey to showing it who’s boss 🙂 Keep us filled in! xxxxx

  9. Hi sweetie! Yes, I suffered from anorexia for many years (about 10) and I got diagnosed and got help. The talking therapy part of recovery helped me to finally speak openly about a problem I felt very ashamed of. It helped me achieve a sense of release….however, be prepared for it to stir up a lot of emotion! And take some tissues! It can be a very emotional and draining thing to go through. It may tire you more than you’d ever realise – it did to me! I hope it goes well and that you find peace. I’m here to chat if you ever need me x x x

    1. Hey lovely, your journey with eating disorder struggles is part of what pushed me to finally get help. You are so so inspiring with your determination to get better! Thank you for all of your support, I may just message you once I start if I’m struggling with it! Hope you’re doing well 🙂

  10. Hello lovely! I think that you are brilliant =)
    Anorexia crept in when I was 16, and six years later I am thankfully no longer in that dark place. I definitely still have challenges when it comes to eating, though, so am very much still on this journey to peace. What I realise now is that I have actually been at my worst, mentally and emotionally, when I have been at a healthier weight.
    I did see a therapist and it did helped enormously, but only when I was ready to get better. That’s what makes recovery stick, I think, really wanting it. Clearly you do! And then to embrace everything that goes with it, good and not so good.
    Much love as you embark on this next stage of your journey xx

    1. Thank you so much Lana! 🙂

      I’m sorry you have had to deal with anorexia, I am so glad that you are getting better and moving away from it all!

      Thank you for the support, it means a lot and hearing a positive affirmation from someone who has experienced similar circumstances is reassuring!

  11. I think if we started to look at the number of people that have undiagnosed or uncategorised ED’s there would be a LOT of people needing support and advice. Its so scary that so many of us – almost every woman I know, have a messed up relationship with food. Its really positive that you have the opportunity to see someone about it. I’m sure that seeing someone about it will be a great help – even if that means looking at painful memories. You just stay strong x

    1. I agree and it is just so sad! Nearly every girl I know has experienced at least minor issues and many guys are starting to as well. Thank you for all of your support, I really appreciate it Laura!

  12. Hello dear Sophie, I am sorry I have not commented on this sooner, I read when you first posted it, but then kept not getting the chance to write a genuine response.. so I apologize for that! First, you are so amazing for opening up like this and seriously, good for you for doing so. “Letting it out” is beyond helpful, and a coping mechanism that I most certainly use and find very helpful.
    You are brave for telling us and yourself that the food and body issues are still a major part of your life. Although I have never been diagnosed with an “official eating disorder” that sure as heck does not mean I don’t have one… or at least have some serious issues with my body and food. Right now, things are going as well as I suppose they “should” be and it’s because I am stressed with school and don’t feel like dealing with it. Bad attitude but the point is, I get what you are saying, so very much. Not the whole situation, as you are dealing with much more, but the mental aspect of this illness. I find that therapy aids me the most in a time like this… just talking it out and getting out what you need to say, like you did here!
    Keep your head up Sophie and please don’t hesitate to email me if you want to talk more, I am here for you!

    1. Thank you so so much Tessa for all of your kind words and support – it means a lot! Your journey to health and freedom from your issues is part of what motivated me to finally get some help. You always inspire me with your determination, you’re amazing 🙂 I may well email you, I can imagine it will be a difficult journey for me!

  13. Thank you for sharing this, Sophie! I’m sorry you have still not been feeling great with your condition. I truly wish the best for you, and I think it is great that you moved home so you could spend time to rest and recover. Thank you also for opening up about your issues! I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting some help if you need it. I know it isn’t the same, but my mom has been battling depression for a little while and she was scared to go talk to someone, too. It’s natural to be a little scared of something like that, but getting help will just benefit you. We are all here for you! <33

    1. Thank you for the support Brittany, it really means a lot to me! And thank you for the encouragement, it’s lovely to know there are all these people out there who care despite never having met me in real life!

  14. big huge (hugs). it takes so much to share something so personal in such a public space and i find it so commendable that you’ve done so. i also wanted to say how awesome it is that you are seeking help. that is such an important step. i know i am technically still a stranger who reads your blog and really it doesn’t matter what i say and that you have to do what is best for you but i just wanted to let you know that I am so proud of you. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Diana, and thank you for all of your support and encouragement! Your comment really made me smile, I’m so touched and blessed to have people care about me despite never having met me 🙂

  15. Ok, I’ve finally got around to commenting. I read this as soon as you posted it and I thought it was so honest. I know that these kind of posts are difficult to write because it’s so personal, but I hope you realise that they are a lot of people rooting for you.
    xxx

  16. It takes a lot to be so honest and out there. Obviously you’re very strong having acknowledged all this and hope you know that we’re all here to support you!! ❤

  17. I’m sorry I missed this post, Sophie! I’m sorry you have deal with..well, everything you have to deal with! But you are so smart, intelligent and personable that you make the most of it all! You are out there talking to professionals, asking questions and getting help and advice–You are already so far ahead of those who refuse to speak up or don’t want help. I can see how the future may seem a little scary, but heck, you’re still tackling it without hesitation. All you can do is take it a step at a time and address issues as they come!

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