Community Support & Outpatient Therapy · Living with anorexia

Sleep, glorious sleep

I think I mention often enough on this blog that sleep is something I have struggled with over the past few months.

Severe anxiety at night made falling asleep virtually impossible.  So convinced was I that I would die during the night that I refused to allow myself to drift off to sleep.

However, what I had not realised, was how big an impact this was having on my day-to-day functioning.

Just over a week ago I started a new medication, to reduce my anxiety.  For the first few days I was incredibly tired, struggling not to sleep during the day and never feeling fully awake.  However, after four nights of solid 12 hour sleep I felt better than I had in a long time.

The pains in my chest had all but disappeared, I had more energy during the day and felt brighter, more positive.  I was even inspired to indulge in a little self-care.

The importance of this medication was proved to me earlier this week when I forgot to take it.  That night, I struggled to fall asleep, my chest felt wrong, I had heart palpitations again.  Since then I have taken the tablets religiously.

The unintended consequence of this is that I am struggling to follow my meal plan.  I feel better, I don’t need all that extra food!  I am losing weight and physically I am still fine.  I know this is my anorexia talking, but I am finding it hard to fight it.  I feel such a sense of achievement to have defied everyone trying to help me, by continuing to lose weight.

I considered falsifying my weight at my weigh-in this week.  I knew my meal plan would be drastically increased if the extent of my weight loss was discovered.  In the end, I decided against adding another lie to the ever increasing web.  My weight had fallen significantly since the previous week, and I am under stricter supervision this weekend.

Last night, for the first time since taking the tablets, I didn’t feel right.  The old chest problems re-emerged, and I woke up this morning feeling weak.  I know that I need to follow my meal plan more closely, I can’t carry on like this, the tablets won’t keep me feeling well forever.  If I don’t put on some weight soon I will have big problems.

I have made some positive steps forward though.  The good quality sleep I have been getting has made me feel more positive.  There have been a few little breakthroughs.  The biscuit I ate yesterday for my snack, even though I could easily have hidden it and lied.  The half slice of toast I had with breakfast on Thursday, completely of my own volition.  The squares of chocolate I allowed myself as a snack on Tuesday.  I am trying to see these things as positive steps forward, not as failures.  It is difficult, but I will keep trying.



4 thoughts on “Sleep, glorious sleep

  1. You’re obviously trying, and that’s great. It seems to be in the nature of your illness that you think a healthy you is not good enough, though, and I hope you also can internalize that intrinsically, no matter the poisons of a dumb society , you with more weight — with a healthy weight — are more than good enough. It’s a much better, deeper world — the one where you’re eating more and healthy, than the one where you’re eating less at the whims of a brain that says, “no, you’re still not good enough and never will be.” That’s a mirage in a desert.

    As uphill as it may be, keep going in that other direction. That is where the best you is.


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