There’s no vlog this week, just a plain old blog. But I did spend about six hours on Tuesday editing that video of my fun ride to the gym, so there’s that.
I’m halfway through my two month stay at my brother’s house, and it felt like a turning point yesterday. I came here to enjoy some time off, to mark the end of my time at my job, kick off a new life chapter, ride my bike, hang with my family, but mainly I came here to heal body and mind. It was a rough summer.
I had a full blown tonic clonic seizure a few days before flying here, my third ‘proper’ seizure. Unlike the other two, this one was during the day and in front of my wife. It was disturbing to hear what went on while I was unconscious, but not nearly as disturbing as it was for her watching me go blue and thinking I was choking to death.
I was terrified this would happen again in front of my niece or nephew while I was here, because since my first seizure in July I haven’t made it a month without having one. But I know my stress levels have gone down, I can feel it. In the last couple of weeks I’ve barely had any epilepsy symptoms at all. The weird aural effects, the intense deja-vu, out-of-body experiences that were a daily occurrence before arriving here have almost gone. It’s by far the longest stretch of feeling normal since May.
So that’s a huge positive. The first four weeks have felt pretty great. With so much time ahead of me here and with so few things to worry about, the days have flown by. I’ve been riding my bike loads in this perfect weather, and I’ve been doing my circuits work out at the gym so much that it’s actually become quite addictive and I can already see the results in my muscle tone. I’ve settled comfortably into the relaxed routine of family life with Sam, Sara, Eliot and Lucie. Being so far away – physically, from the situation at home has made me feel emotionally distant from it too.
But, like I said, it felt like a turning point yesterday. Something caught up with me, something I thought I was getting over but I think maybe I wasn’t – I was just burying it – well it bit me hard. I’m not ok. Watching back through the little video updates and Instagram posts I’ve been making up to this point, it’s a false picture of how I’m doing. Things caught up with me in a big way and honestly it was a struggle to stop crying for most of the morning. I felt crushed, pathetic, worthless self-loathing and homesickness for a life that isn’t waiting for me when I get back home.
Part of the despair and certainly the self-loathing was this clear-as-day realisation that I’ve got an eating disorder. That still sounds extreme even to say it in my head but I know there’s no other word for it, so I’m saying it.
I’ve gradually become a control freak over the last few months; I’ve started tidying mess almost before I even make it, cleaning obsessively, lining up my sunglasses and shoes, folding and re-folding t-shirts until they’re exactly the right width. But I can’t get the same control on my cravings for sugar and snacks and what’s worse is I absolutely hate myself for it. I punish myself the next day, restricting food and over exercising on an empty stomach until my hands are shaking. Right up until the evening after dinner when I lose control, say “fuck it” internally and start the process again. Despite going vegan and having the most beautiful and delicious food laid on every night by Sam & Sara, something clicks in my head and I cannot stop thinking about snacks and I can’t stop at just a handful. My efforts to substitute sugary food for lower carb, high protein options failed because I bought cases of protein bars, and sat and ate 5 of them at a time until they were gone. Emptying my bin yesterday and seeing all the shamefully hidden wrappers really brought it home.
Well I don’t really know why I wrote this, I started writing it yesterday whilst trying not to think about diving into the snacks. It’s perhaps a little too honest, especially given that this blog sits on the back of my work website. But I can always delete it and looking at the stats I only have about 7 readers a day so I doubt it really matters, it’s just cathartic to write about it. I’m looking for a silver lining to end on.. I guess there’s three: It’s five weeks today since I had a full blown seizure, I’m not feeling so sad today, and last night I managed to only eat a handful of chocolate covered squishy banana pieces.
It’s a good start.