I hate food, that’s why I am fat!

I know what you are thinking, how can you hate food and be fat? Surely I am fat because I love food and I can’t stop eating it? But that isn’t the case. I don’t get excited by the thought of a nice meal out. I don’t sit down and enjoy a home cooked meal. I eat because it keeps me alive. But I do enjoy junk food. I do enjoy sweets, chocolate, cakes and crisps! That is all I want to eat and so I am fat!

I have a very bad relationship with food. I am uninspired and it bores me. Each week when we do the food shop I’m not filled with excitement about what we can make for the week, I’m filled with dread of having to come up with something. So we eat the same things as that is all we know. I don’t get inspired by cookbooks either. It all just looks like food I won’t enjoy. I can’t get excited about a sauce or a pasta dish. I only get excited by sweets and chocolate. I only enjoy junk food. But that isn’t right. So because I don’t appreciate a real meal, I feel I have to have some sugar or junk each day (even crisps). I say that I can’t eat real food and true I can’t eat a lot of fruit but everything I eat is so bland, I turn to the junk to get some enjoyment out of food.

I need to learn to appreciate food and enjoy real food. I need to fall in love with food. I need to learn to cook and be inspired by real food not junk.

Even food I like I don’t get enjoyment out of anymore. My husband tells me these foods that he is excited about and I’m just meh! That is why I am fat! I only enjoy chocolate and sweets and so eat them a lot. For me it’s either salad and fruit or chocolate and crisps. But what about everything in between?

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The social anxiety of starting a new job

I feel really low at the moment and I don’t know why I am letting things get to me. Each day I am challenging myself by coming into a new place and trying to make a place for myself at this job but in the mornings I have no desire to get out of bed and do it. These aren’t good thoughts to be having but I am acknowledging them as just thoughts and then getting on with things. My desire to stay at home in bed is my desire for control as I still feel uncomfortable at work and so I desire to stay somewhere where I feel safe and secure. This is similar to what happened when I started at Monotype except in that case, I was also coming off my medication, and just going back on the bcp. I also didn’t know about Thrive then and didn’t understand how my brain works. I just remember feeling uncomfortable at work (as I hadn’t forged my place yet) and feeling sick because of it. Now I understand that my stomach hurts due to my feelings and I am feeling low because I am feeling uncomfortable which I don’t like.

I know I can make friends as I am a nice person but I really struggle with the Locus of Control question ‘I believe I can make any body be my friend’. I don’t believe that. There are just going to be some people who find me annoying (like my habit of joining in every conversation) just like there are some people that I simply don’t like. So I am putting thoughts into other people’s heads that they find me annoying because I find some of my habits annoying. I am taking every little remarks as something bad, or taking to heart the jokes that one of my colleagues makes that seem quite mean (though she makes them towards everyone). It is my self-esteem being knocked as I am putting myself down which I should not be doing. But I know how to handle this. I know that I just have to start writing down my positives again to boost my self-esteem and my social anxiety will disappear with it.

On the plus side, I still feel like I am getting over my emet. A couple of times I have felt worried about going into my new work place with a stomach ache but I haven’t panicked about it and I don’t think I have been anymore worried than the next person. When I first started here I was good at not antibac’ing my hands all the time but slowly I have started doing it more. I don’t want them all to know that I have an issue with germs as I am ashamed of it (I know I shouldn’t be). Plus I  want to stop those safety seeking behaviours as it is what is making me hold onto the emet but I guess there is another small part of my that believes if I don’t do those things, I will feel uncomfortable and will get sick. Yes I proved to myself that I might not necessarily get sick by touching the door handles etc. at work but 1. the warehouse is all dusty so I feel like that means I have to wash my hands when I touch the door, and 2. it just makes me feel so uncomfortable.

I know I need to make myself feel uncomfortable to make myself get better, but I struggle to do that as I hate it so much. That is why I am still not 100% thriving!

Isn’t life confusing?!

Isn’t like confusing?! I am just coming out of a period in my life where I have been in limbo. My job has been shifting from the small town in Surrey to having to work in London and that is not something I want to do. It has been good for challenging my emet but not good for spending time with my family and trying for a baby (both stress and being too tired when I get home!). I like stability. I like to know where I stand in life and what is likely to happen next. I am risk adverse. I want answers to everything in life. I need a reason why. Now this is a typical thought pattern of someone with anxiety. My main issue is not being able to predict things and not being able to accept that some things are grey, not black and white!

Just recently I was offered a new job that would mean I wouldn’t need to commute to London. I was so excited and accepted it as soon as I could. However, my body decided to play tricks on me and I was six days late for my period! My husband and I have been trying for a baby for a year but decided when I was offered the job that, providing I was pregnant that time, I would take the job and we would have a break until I have at least passed my probation. So naturally, I got stressed about needing to come on and so it was late. Bring on days and days of knicker checker and peeing on sticks! It wasn’t until I decided that I would take the job either way and just deal with not having statutory pay that I came on. Anyway, I digress. My point is I spent the whole time looking for the answer and getting stressed that I wasn’t getting one, which was only holding the answer off even more!

Why do I do this to myself?

 

Why do I do this to myself?! Why

Trying to conceive!

Trying to conceive (TTC) is an emets nightmare. Or at least a recovering emets nightmare. Not because of the fear that I might get morning sickness. It surprises me but since completing Thrive that doesn’t faze me that much. Today I felt a bit sick and I just told myself to get on with things and I did. Just like a non-emet would. Not it isn’t the feeling but that is the nightmare but the fact that you can’t control anything about it! Not when it happens, not what gender your baby will be, not what effects your hormones are going to have on you. Nothing!

Suddenly I feel like my body is being controlled by my hormones. Yes this is true but I mean like I have no control over anything! My face is covered in spots and it feels like I can’t do anything about it. Obviously I could if I wanted to. I could take the contraceptive pill which would clear my skin right up but I have chosen to come off it so I can have a baby. But that hasn’t happened yet and it has been nine months so far! Yet something else that I can’t control. My husband and I can only do so much (if you know what I mean!) and even that doesn’t guarantee anything. There is something stupid like a 25% chance each month and it decreases with age. I will be 31 soon! I just fail to see how this month or the next will be any different from the nine that have already gone before. What will make those different? I get that it is all down to being in the right time at the right place and the boys and girl growing into a baby but with all the talk about luck and mumbo jumbo of homeopathy around, it is easy to feel down about it without that blanket. I can feel my internal locus of control wavering as I try to understand why it hasn’t happened yet and how I can ‘make’ it happen this month. Once again I searching for a way to control the uncontrollable. Sound familiar? That is exactly what Emet is all about. Trying to control every aspect of your life because the one thing you really want can’t be controlled. I am trying to protect myself from failure and stress by doing everything I can to avoid that which only makes me more stressed which in turn doesn’t help me get pregnant! With an external locus of control and a high desire for control you feel the need to control every single aspect of your life as you try to get control of things that you believe you can’t. I hope that makes sense! Take for example germs on a door handle. My black and white thinking tells me there is definitely germs on the door handle to the library because the public use it. They will all be bad germs and will definitely transfer to my hand when I touch it and I will get sick. I can tell myself that some of the germs on the door handle may be good bacteria but that won’t make me believe it. I can tell myself that there may not be any bad bacteria on the door handle but that won’t make me believe it. I can tell myself that those germs may not transfer to my hand but I won’t believe it. I can tell myself that even if those germs are there and do transfer to my hand, it doesn’t mean I won’t get sick but it still won’t make me believe it. That is black and white thinking and is a particularly bad way of thinking when you have a strong desire for control.

When it comes to trying for a baby I just think that I would have been pregnant by now if I was going to be. There is nothing I can do to change the outcome. The positive mental attitude isn’t there and I struggle to remember that having that will have an impact on whether or not we do conceive. Everyone tells you that it is when you stop thinking about it and relax that it happens and I 100% believe that. If I could just tell my desire for control this and it would make life a lot easier! Lol

Anyway that is a quick rant about trying to conceive when you are an emet or recovering emet. Or a control freak as I have been calling myself! Maybe that isn’t the right terms as freak has many bad connotations to it. I need to think of another term. I wouldn’t call myself an emet anymore as this isn’t about being sick and never was. I wouldn’t say I have OCD either really as the not touching the door handle is all about control. I guess it doesn’t need a label (again another Emet trait, trying to tie everything up in a nice little bow!), but I must stop using the word freak!

Remember the symptoms…

Feeling like throat is numb and stomach is numb
Stomach feels strained – usually when tired – feel like sleeping would help
Feeling like can’t swallow
Feel like something is trying to push its way up – wind?
Unsettled stomach whenever I eat – acid reflux
Feel like full to my neck
Slight panicky feeling because I feel like this
Feeling like need the loo or like cork in bum!
Acid reflux is worse when tired
Feeling like I can’t eat even due to anxiety (think I am too full for this so if I eat I will be sick)
Panic that have no appetite – probably just constipation but worry that it is because I am ill
Bloating
Wind pain that travels from upper to lower and then out
Lightheaded – most likely ME/CFS but could also be constipation or anxiety
Feel like stomach in a knot
Feel all spaced out
Temperature affects my anxiety – if it is hot or cold I start to feel weird and panic
The numb feeling in throat is like what you get before you yawn or burp. Like something needs to come up. Always said it was like my throat was opening up to be sick but know that it isn’t
Get empty burps that make my throat and stomach feel more numb
Nausea, lack of appetite, numb feeling all happens when I am constipated or need the loo
Lots of wind in stomach. When get the wind bubbling feels like really hungry. Then I burp and it feels better. Can feel it moving in stomach.
Seem to quickly move between feeling full to feeling really hungry. Guess that is the wind and air
So confused whether hungry or not so sticking to a schedule. Still get panicky that eating will make me sick even when I know that it won’t. I am just constipated and like that bag in the video (even though I am still going).
Wind also feels like burning. Can hear my whole stomach gurgling and can feel it moving
Really, really thirsty a lot. Don’t fancy dry food, want wet food

Numb throat and stomach makes me panic. I worry that because I am not hungry it means I am ill when it is likely just to be constipation

If I think about stomach it makes me get a sudden feeling of nausea and panic in my chest. But can stop it now

Remember there is no point going home as there is nothing to do there. It is better to be here doing work and socialising with people. You won’t be sick. It is just your anxiety flaring up because it is Thursday and you are tired

Anxiety is always worse on a Thursday for some reason

Maybe the reason I am numb and feel like my I really need the loo (but can’t go) is because of the red meat I ate working its way through?

The Bisodol that I had this morning really helped with the burning and unsettled feeling but not the numbness. Remember that.

Right now you just need to accept that the feelings you are getting are IBS and that you won’t be sick at all. Now get on with your work.

You have had all these symptoms millions of times before and it has never made you sick. It is IBS and that is what it does so stop it!

Gurgling stomach just makes you feel hungry all the time. That is why you struggle to diet as it just makes you feel off and then you worry about whether you should actually eat or not. Eating makes the feeling go away

That numb feeling in your throat when you eat or drink is not because you are going to be sick. That is part of the constipation IBS and you won’t be sick. So stop being silly. You would have had a temperature if you were going to be sick

Do not look up the symptoms of constipation as it will say being sick. But that is only if it is really bad and has been weeks. You won’t be sick. Nausea is a normal side effect but you won’t be sick.

I remember often feeling like this before with my IBS. It is normal. You just let the phobia get the best of you that is all. Because you were concentrating on food through dieting and then you were concentrating on what your body was doing through trying for a baby. That is why you felt sick the whole time. Yes you have fatigue and have done for a long time but the focusing on the IBS made it worse. Stop it, you won’t be sick.

You also know that the flare up and the symptoms don’t last forever. It will get better. I have noticed in the past that my anxiety gets worse when I am in a constipation phase of my IBS and I think this is true. Back in 2012 I remember feeling very ill before my period and someone asked me if I was constipated and I was so that made me feel sick. Same thing happened this time and back in the summer when I was trying for a baby. So basically I get constipated (although I am going a little) and then get acid reflux and my stomach feels off. This then makes me panic that I am going to be sick when I should know that I won’t be as it doesn’t do that. That might be why I felt less sick with my period this time because I had an upset stomach the night before I started and so was empty and not all blocked up. Have been told by my parents the whole time that I am that bag from the advert and that it is just my IBS but my anxiety was clouding my judgement. I think I felt sick before my period when I was off the pill due to my constipation. However, because I thought it might be a sign that I was pregnant, I then got anxious and made myself feel more sick. I also convinced myself that it was morning sickness and therefore made myself feel sick!

Thought diary…

I actually went back to work on Monday and did a whole day! Currently on my lunch break of my second whole day and still struggling a bit. I found it helpful on Monday just to write down how I was feeling and this was the result (sorry if it is a bit of a ramble!):

I basically just can’t tolerate uncomfortable feelings. That is what this is about really isn’t it. The most uncomfortable feeling is being sick as well as feeling sick so that is why I am scared of it so much. I feel uncomfortable at work for one reason or another and so I just want to go home. But then I feel uncomfortable at home as well as I know I should be at work. It’s catch 22 really. I do find that journaling helps though. Just writing down what is in my head seems to really help me.

I think I am uncomfortable at work as I kind of feel like I am not important or not needed. Really the company could continue without me. In fact it has when I was off sick. There is no satisfaction in my work, no reward. I don’t have any targets to meet and don’t have a team to work with. I know that is not the only problem going on (I don’t really have anything to strive for at home either) but it is a big part of it I think. How can I thrive when I feel so repressed at work? But I can’t move to another job until this stupid anxiety has done one really.

I keep asking myself whether or not I feel sick which is ridiculous. Obviously if I have to ask myself that it means I don’t! The feeling in my throat and head is anxiety and my stomach is IBS and acid reflux. All I want is for them to go. But I just have to accept that they won’t go. I have to learn to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings. People get on with their lives when they have chemo or much worse things. People continue to go to work with depression, eating disorders etc. Some even continue to work with flu or even stomach bugs! Yet I can’t even tolerate the uncomfortable feelings of my period! I don’t even seem to be able to stand the feeling of being tired which is ridiculous! I think everyone feels rubbish at some point in the day. Whether it is when they first wake up or when they are ready to go to bed etc. I know that before all this I used to feel off at least once in the day but it didn’t scare me like it does now. I’m not even sure why it scares me. Even if I tell myself it won’t make me sick I still get scared. I think it’s my perfectionist thinking that does it. I think my mind tells me I have to feel perfect every day but I don’t think anybody feels perfect every day. I wish there was some way I could do a survey of people to find out how often they felt something wrong with them and then how often they just got on with things. There is no point me doing it on the emet forum as they are all people who think the same way as me.

This is why it doesn’t really matter if I am at work or at home as I feel anxious in the morning everywhere. I get anxious about whether or not I will feel ill and anxious that day and then that creates the anxiety.

All I think about at the moment is how I feel. I try and concentrate on other things but all I can think about is how I feel. Do I feel sick? Does my stomach feel off? Am I hungry? Do I have acid reflux? I get like this after a stomach bug all the time. This time I haven’t had a stomach bug but I felt very ill for a long time due to my hormones and it has left me this anxious mess.

Ok so it is definitely acid reflux that gives me that weird throat feeling and then the anxiety makes it worse. That is why I panic when it comes to eating which is just stupid really! Now my throat feels off and my stomach a little bit churning and I hesitate to eat. But eating will help me. Why am I so afraid to eat? It is stupid! I just need to accept that it is acid reflux and IBS and that it isn’t going to make me sick. I need to accept that I will feel like this most mornings and that eating will help it. I have lived with it for years so why does it suddenly scare me so much? I think it might be because it got so bad when I was off the pill and my hormones were free to wreak havoc on my body! If I could just realise that eating will actually make the acid reflux die down and the wind die down then I will feel better, Also need to sort out my black and white thinking regarding my acid reflux and IBS as well. I need to tell myself that it isn’t here to stay and that it does get better. For some reason in my mind I have decided that I am going to have it every day for the rest of my life. When in actual fact it is just worse around my period. I also need to remind myself that the burning feeling I get along with the desire to burp (which happened just this minute) does not mean that I am going to be sick. If I could somehow disassociate acid reflux and IBS with being sick then it would help. But I also need to accept that it won’t be there all the time. Besides I’m not sure the burning feeling I get is due to acid reflux anyway. If it was then surely the medication would sort it and it doesn’t. I think really I should be referred back to a gastro doc for a review but I know they won’t do that as they think of me as a hypochondriac. You know what? I have had the burning feeling and burping for some time now. I think I have always had it and managed to get on with life. It is obviously just part of my IBS. It’s not behind my breast bone which is where indigestion is, it is on the right hand side and in my bowels. Yet I do still get that feeling in my throat of what emet people call throat nausea. It is like a gaggy feeling. Or like something is trying to push its way up (which I believe is wind or a burp). If I could just stop concentrating on it and realise that it won’t do me any harm. It is definitely a burp trying to force its way up and getting stuck (think I read another emet describe it as that and how it makes her panic). I get this burning in my chest and then I have to burp or fart. That then relieves the burning temporarily. I think it is anxiety induced acid reflux. I have felt it hundreds of times before but why is it sometimes I just can’t handle it? Is it because it gets worse and makes me feel more sick? Or is it because it is combined with other things going on (such as the nausea from my hormones) that makes me eat less and makes my acid reflux worse? Why can’t I just accept that I have acid reflux and that nothing can change that and it won’t make me sick? Guess it is my desire for control going crazy like normal. My period makes me very gassy and I think that is what makes me burp more, not necessarily acid reflux. Surely if it was that I would feel the burning behind my breast bone? Plus I get the burning feeling in my bottom as well! Wow I really am going round in circles here. This is what goes round and round my brain all the bloody time. It never settles in the morning. I can’t seem to find anything to settle my stomach. I was ok after my breakfast but now I have had a cuppa and some biscuits my stomach feels off. It’s all churning and burning

I guess it is acid reflux and the more I think about it the worse it gets. I always burp after having a cup of tea and I am sure that is due to acid reflux. I just feel like there is so much air in my stomach is won’t come out and it just burns and pulls on my throat. But why don’t the PPI’s work if that is the case? Why is it that someone with emet has to suffer these digestive issues? But you know it won’t actually make you sick Jen. You know it won’t. It is just an uncomfortable feeling that you need to put up with and get on with your life. The medical world obviously can’t do anything about it otherwise they would have done already. Lots of people have said the cause of it is stress and your hormones so you know that is what is causing it. It might make you burp a lot and make you throat and chest feel funny and off but it won’t make you sick and you can cope with the feeling. Nothing is going to happen to you at all. It is just IBS and acid reflux. Why is it that even though I have written that several times I still don’t believe it? At the same time I get the burning I also get the desire to go for a poo so maybe it is related to that as well? It just makes my stomach feel off and makes my back and ribs hurt. The doctor told me that was just IBS not acid reflux and that IBS can make you feel that way. Oh for goodness sake, time to stop thinking about it now. At the beginning of this diary you were fairly positive now all you are talking about is how off your stomach feels and that is probably because you are worrying about having lunch!

Damn acid reflux

My acid reflux has flared up and I can’t stop obsessing about it. I know that obsessing about it and not eating is making it worse but I can’t stop myself.

I’m told that obsessing about it makes the acid reflux worse. But can it really? Some people say it can be the sole cause of it and that the tummy meds didn’t work and it only went away when they took an antidepressant. But I take an antidepressant and it doesn’t help.

I’m so fed up of feeling like this all the time. How can I break the cycle? If the stress is causing the acid reflux but the acid reflux is causing the stress. It’s all my damn desire for control!!