I was on instagram last night when I went onto my instagram profile. I decided to just stroll through my pictures and found some from 2014/2015. For those who know me, you’ll understand that during this time I was in the depths of my eating disorder. At the time, I didn’t really know this. I thought I was okay. I thought I was better than I’d ever been. How wrong I was though. June 2014 consisted of doctors appointments, hospital appointments, blood tests, scans, meetings with college, intervention from community mental health teams and social services. My weight was drastically dropping by each day. The calories kept getting lower and lower.
Whilst going through those pictures last night; I had the realisation that I was actually really sick back then. How I had managed to feel so healthy I have no idea. How did I survive on no calories for a week? How did I manage to exercise every waking hour of the day?
I knew that I was sick, I just don’t think I realised how sick I was. I thought I was getting healthy and stronger, not unhealthy and weaker. I remember getting every single illness going; my immune system was very weak. I was always cold yet I still took freezing showers. My muscles always ached and bruised but I would walk for hours on end.
All I wanted to do was sleep and food plagued every single thought.
Anorexia is such a wretched disease.
It stops its victims even noticing theres something wrong. It refuses to let them see their true self or feel any sort of happiness.
Anorexia is strong, but Savannah is stronger.
Day 1 of placement is over – and I can finally breathe a little. I survived. Savannah survived. I usually back out on everything that gives me anxiety and I didn’t…and I did it. I actually did it. I am tired; I am drained; I am feeling anxious, but I did it and I feel happy. I know I have to face it all again tomorrow but feel slightly more relaxed now that I’ve done it once…
My anxiety has been so severe these past few weeks – but that’s expectant when you have both Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, mixed with Avoidant Personality Disorder – right? It’s been so severe even standing up after being in bed gives me great anxiety, and it hasn’t been that bad in a really long time. So, I thought I’d share some insight into how I actually survived today…
Most of you know I’m religious, and I used this today to relax me. I put on my christian playlist on the bus which calmed me slightly. My tactic? Imagining Jesus sitting right next to me. Imagining him getting off the bus with me and walking into placement. Jesus walking right beside me every minute at placement. Feeling as though I wasn’t doing it alone – slightly helped.
The other thing – stimming. Stimming, stimming, stimming and more stimming. If you’re not sure what stimming is head over to my blog post on stimming. I pretty much stimmed when I got up until I got to placement. Then I tried my hardest to relax and be professional and be socially acceptable (because as much as I hate it – stimming is not seen as a positive). Then, as soon as I left the building; the stimming began again.
Anxiety is deliberating. It stops me from speaking; from asking questions; from expressing my thoughts. It stops me from having self confidence; from looking people in the eye; from getting involved in group conversations. It makes it harder to be alone; to work; to do things out of the ordinary routine. It gives me headaches; sickness; tummy problems; panic attacks; cold sweats.
It affects the way I think, feel and behave as well as sending lovely physical symptoms.
But anxiety isn’t going to win…
because Savannah survived today; and she’s going to survive tomorrow
It’s really hard to put into words how I’m currently feeling. I just know its a severe, intense feeling that is consuming me 24/7. It’s crippling anxiety that I haven’t felt in a really long time. It’s deliberating tiredness that even sleep can’t heal.
It’s emotional. It’s time consuming. It’s horrendous. It’s draining. It’s lonely. It’s darkness.
It’s really funny how a small thing such as going to a new place or taking on a new role with new people can cause such emotions and make you feel completely helpless. I start work placement on Monday, at a school for two weeks, and I know this is one of the causes for my extreme anxiety and mood. Every day, normal people get up, get dressed and go to a new workplace without worry. They greet people, laugh, smile, ask questions without a second thought. They interact, they eat lunch, they catch a train or a bus, and feel completely normal for doing this. They go to bed at the end of day without feeling anxious because its just another day with new people.
I think that’s why its so hard for people to understand why I struggle. Why I struggle to even leave the front door because I’m freaking out inside over somebody seeing me. Why I can’t walk into a coffee shop without hyperventilating and playing with my hands. Why I can’t greet people or look into their eyes when they want a conversation. Why I can’t ask for help or ask questions in new settings with new people. Why I can’t be myself because I think people are watching me. Why I can’t get onto a bus or take a seat because I think I’m going to trip or do something stupid. Why I can’t ask the bus driver for a ticket without going over and over what I’m going to say. Why I can’t pay at the till with cash because I worry I won’t have enough. Why I can’t answer phone calls without preparing for days. Why…just WHY.
Work placement is one of my worst nightmares. New surroundings, new people, phone calls, parents, taking responsibility. It’s a day filled with social interaction and trying to smile and laugh. It’s a day filled with sitting in a quiet staff room – wondering what to say and worrying to eat in case someone’s watching me. It’s a day filled with people observing and watching you interact with children and staff. It’s just a day…but it’s not just a day – not when you’re battling with severe anxiety.
Why can’t society be accepting and accept the fact that sometimes I just can’t function…I really can’t.
Extreme anxieties feels like you’re cornered; you’re trapped; you’re dying…your chest is tight, your lungs don’t catch air, your mind is a whirlwind.
Anxiety, I despise you.
I’ve suffered with anxiety for years, but every now and again I get severe bouts that really prevent me from doing anything. Over the last few days, my anxiety levels have soared. The minute I get out of bed – anxiety. The minute I get dressed – anxiety. The minute I do absolutely anything – anxiety.
I can’t breathe without feeling intense anxiety and a sense of hopelessness. Dropping a pencil is bringing me to tears. I’m not stressed…I’m anxious. I’m anxious about nothing, nothing at all but at the same time anxious about every single thing.
Breathing. Eating. Walking. Inside. Outside. People. Clothes. Cars. Planes. Internet. Myself.
The sad reality is anxiety gives you such negative emotions. I’m irritable. I’m tired. I’m teary. My anxiety triggers my depressive episodes. I have panic attacks. I have meltdowns.
I. can’t. breathe.
When you tell someone you have anxiety they think you’re just momentarily worried because you have an exam or you’re going to be late for work…but an anxiety disorder is absolutely crippling. It’s a 24 hour constant disorder – not emotion – that threatens to destroy you.
The strength a person needs to simply cope with such anxiety is tremendous and i’m tired…
New Year’s is a time filled with diets, resolutions and the promotion of weight loss and exercise by the media. For those with eating disorders – this time of year can be very hard so I’ve created a list of uplifting songs to get through the triggers.
- Recover – Natasha Beddingfield
- Firework – Katy Perry
- Brave – Sara Bareilles
- Carry On – Fun
- Roar – Katy Perry
- Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
- Fight Song – Rachel Platin
- Scars to Your Beautiful – Allesia Cara
- I Love My Life – Robbie Williams
- You’re Worth It – Cimorelli
- Skyscraper – Demi Lovato
- The Climb – Miley Cyrus
- Recovering – Celine Dion
- Try – Colbie Callait
- Fighter – Gym Class Heroes
- I Lived – OneRepublic
- Masterpiece – Jessie J
- Gold – Britt Nicole
- The Lost Get Found – Britt Nicole
- Fix You – Coldplay
- Human – Christina Perri
- Hold On – Extreme Music
- The Greatest – Sia
- Anchor – Novo Amor
- Perfect – Emma Blackery
- Jump Rope – Blue October
- Recovery – James Arthur
- Save The World Tonight (Acoustic version) – Collin McLoughlin