CW:- Illness, depression, eating disorders.
My daughter goes back to school on Wednesday which marks the end of the Summer holidays.
And I’m absolutely dreading the questions that come with that, because to the question of, “Did you have a nice summer holiday? Do anything nice?” it’s going to be pretty hard for me to say anything but, “No, it was shit”.
My daughter and I have been ill for the entirety of it.
We had a weird tiredness bug/serious aversion to food bug first. It was so weird, all we both wanted to do was sleep, not eat, and we both felt depressed as hell with some pretty bad digestive issues and severe acid stomach. My daughter is currently going through the phase of “I’m about to be a teenager, give me ALL THE FOOD”, and it was just so weird for her to be off food too. That lasted about a week, and then I got a strange rash that surfaced all over my body. This was in July, I still have the rash now.
I went to the doctors and they got scared of this mystery rash, and sent me to hospital because it doesn’t disappear when you press on it which rings alarm bells here (very much fair enough, I’m glad this is the case). I got put in solitary quarantine for the amount of time it takes to watch 3 downloaded movies on my phone, and had a tonne of blood tests. It looks like a blood spot rash, so you know, that can happen for a multitude of reasons. Everything came back clear, except for the fact my blood pressure was 90/50 and my blood sugar refused to go above 3 (4 is normal here we use different units) despite chugging glucose packs, and them giving me several biscuits and sugary tea.
They ended up discharging me around 1am with a suspected weird viral infection. They were happy I had nothing serious and told me to eat often.
My daughter went on holiday with my mum, I was still ill anyway and I was glad that she was going to have a break from this crap.
So I thought.
She struggled immensely being away from me. We hardly ever spend time apart anymore, and she has been struggling with her own anxiety. She is fine when she is with me, she says that I make her feel safe and she is capable of a great many things when we are together. You wouldn’t think she had anxiety if you saw her with me. Either it’s that she has separation anxiety, or just a lack of coping mechanism:- me. I have this way of being able to stop one of her anxiety attacks in it’s tracks. I know when one is brewing just from the way she moves and body language, and then she tells me what it is she is fearful of, and then I explain why her anxiety is wrong and reassure her massively. As we’ve had time alone being ill since then, I’ve been trying to help her gain other coping mechanisms but anyway…
My daughter caught the sun really bad also, and text me really upset saying all she wanted to do was come home, and she couldn’t enjoy herself even before she got sunburnt because she just kept thinking about me the entire time and said how it was really busy there and the crowds were making her feel really anxious.
Then I got sad because all I wanted to do was hug her, and I couldn’t. Anyway I suggested to my mum that she bring her home which she did the next day. Her sunburn sounded so bad anyway that I thought she’d need to rest out of the sun, and be careful that she didn’t overheat and make her drink extra fluids. The sunburn was that bad. We couldn’t go out or anything, she couldn’t wear clothes, except my giant oversized t-shirts and she erupted in painful blisters. She came home and she didn’t let me go for like an hour, hugging me. Even though hugging was probably painful for her.
While she was away, well, I wasn’t coping so well with her being away from me either.
Not just because I miss her, but because it made me question things. My whole ED recovery, my whole life, basically, is devoted to her. People ask me all the time how I managed to “recover so well”, because I didn’t do it for me, I did it for her and then everyone else who wanted me to recover, because I wanted to make everyone else happy.
So what is my life when she is not here?
I literally have nothing without her.
And that scares me because soon, in a few short years she will be doing her GCSE’s/A Levels and going to University.
I can’t not cope when that happens. I want her to go away to the Uni she wants to go to, and not worry about me. I want her to go after her happiness with the same determination she had for getting 90%’s in all her exams. She worked hard at that, and I know she can at this too.
I don’t want to hold her back, I don’t want to be the reason she doesn’t do that.
She can’t be the only reason I do things anymore. But she is when I am ill.
And that’s all my brain could think about the few days she was away. I couldn’t get it out of my head and got pretty depressed about it all.
She came home, and this thought did not get better.
Except for when, well, we got ill again, with another virus. It’s been about 2-3 weeks now since the initial virus, my daughter is better now, but I’m not. Doctors think it might be glandular fever (which makes total sense because my daughter was fine but still has fatigue from it), so it freaking hurts like hell to swallow anything, I dread taking my meds and antibiotics because it hurts so freaking bad. I also have a lung infection, which the antibiotics are for. Glandular fever or mono, doesn’t get better with antibiotics, and when I have things, I have them for a pretty long time.
So for reasons that are not my fault, it’s been pretty difficult to eat anything solid and I’ve lost some weight, (glandular fever causes weight loss, lack of appetite and difficulty swallowing), which has awoken the ED idiot in my head.
You know it’s funny, whenever I hear the ED idiot in my head, I have this really big urge to play Mass Effect. So I played them all from Mass Effect 1, which was kind of cool as my daughter goes to bed the same time as me now and I used to game when she was in bed, so she was able to see all of mass effect for the first time (except for the “gross adult stuff that happens for some reason I don’t understand” her words lol) and that was pretty cool because she loved it as much as I did.
I think it’s a survival tactic, “I need to get obsessed with something else, lets go down the Mass Effect obsession rabbit hole”, or it’s because the first time I ever played Mass Effect 3 I was in recovery, so Mass Effect 3 scenes are tied to certain things. For instance, the bit at the end, where Shepard, Anderson and the Illusive Man are fighting, reminds me SO MUCH of certain things that happened in recovery.
As for the idiot, there’s nothing I can really do about that. I have 0 control over it, fighting makes it worse, I just have to ignore the shit out of it and eat anyway, but I have 0 appetite and it hurts like hell to swallow. I have sores in my mouth now also, which I’m probably going to have to get checked out at the freaking dentist, although I’m sure it’s part of this glandular fever thing, or the antibiotics I’m taking.
I know when I get better though, that it’s going to be hard as hell to eat properly again and gain the weight back I lost, and no one is going to understand that shit.
I don’t understand that shit really.
Well I do, see, remember I said I was feeling really freaking depressed about the whole my life is nothing without my daughter in it?
Now I’m really not thinking about that and I don’t feel totally depressed and hopeless anymore, because the idiot in my head is so loud, it’s blocked everything else out.
As much as ED’s seem about weight, they really are not. So it’s not, I don’t want to gain the weight back, it’s I don’t want to eat normal and have to deal with those feelings again. There’s nothing I can do about them.
I can’t work, I can’t do anything really. I even had to stop volunteering with the NHS because I just kept getting too ill both mentally and physically to work on stuff even though I wasn’t even helping them that often. At one point, I couldn’t even handle opening my emails from them. It was too stressful, and I felt so defeated, like nothing I did was making any change at all.
The dude running things there kept calling me and I was in the hospital for something else entirely. Couldn’t even answer the phone.
So how do I accept that I can’t do anything? Because I’ve never been able to accept that.
I used to have all this hope that things would be different, but as each year passes, all I seem to get is another diagnosis.
This year was Sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Last year was my confirmed Bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms.
How much can one person deal with?
I guess we are going to find out.
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