Batten down the hatches, this is going to be an epic rant I’m afraid. It’s good for me, apparently, getting it all out there….
You know how I said I was amazed at all the free help there is for people suffering with depression? Well, yes, there is. But mention you have any issues with eating and those ‘closed’ signs go up.
You would think, that considering the way fat people are vilified, abused and generally treated as something a bit sub-human by a large section of society, people who get up off of their large arses, put their hands up in the air and meekly confess they are really damn well struggling to cope with overeating, binge eating and being fat, would get a bit of support.
Apparently No. Not only are we sub-human greedy, stupid, lazy, ugly pigs who spend all our lives hanging around Greggs, we’re also not entitled to any help. If we’re depressed we may be able to get in the back door by asking for help with that and THEN talking about having issues with eating caused by being depressed. But I was advised today to keep that a bit quiet to start with at least, because otherwise I might be sent away and told “Sorry, we don’t deal with eating disorders”.
In the town where I live, I have two choices. Pay for a therapist at £55 a session, or wait until the end of the month for a four-week support group with B-Eat. That’s it. I’m currently pulling my hair out because Dad’s really unwell and I’m stressing about that at the same time as beating myself up for not losing any weight or feeling like I’m making in-roads into my eating problems (which is what I promised him I would do.)
I don’t want to go to Overeaters Anonymous. The thought of making a list of people I need to make amends to over my addictive behaviour (sorry I ate your Christmas chocolates, Moley) or who I’ve done bad things to in the past…or a list of people who’ve hurt me that I need to forgive…it fills me with dread.
I hate that sort of thing, I also really don’t want to give control of my eating up to a ‘higher power’ (it seems to have been hijacked by a lower power as it is) and I don’t know how you can possibly abstain from eating. I don’t binge eat in the stereotypical ‘eat everything in sight and feel sick afterwards’ way, so I can’t exactly abstain from binging – I just eat all day long on a bad day, a bit of this, a bag of that….I don’t see how I could do it. Some days I don’t, really. Some days I eat like everyone else, but I’m just still fat and depressed.
Also, they advise you to stick to a plan – some people do Slimming World or Weight Watchers, avoid trigger foods (I don’t really have them) and check in daily with a ‘sponsor’ to make sure you do everything. OK I like the one day at a time principle but the whole approach to food issues just doesn’t fit me. And it seems like a step backwards to go to Slimming World and call someone every day to tell them whether I stuck to my Syns. It’s bad enough doing that every week!
So I have got to wait for a month and then go to the B-Eat sessions. If they get back to me to confirm I’m booked on them. And after four weeks, what do I do then? There’s a support message board but it’s not the same. I feel like I want someone to just say “OK Sarah, try this,” and help me out a bit with actual strategies and tools to help me manage my eating and moods. The woman I saw today suggested I take the tools from the Managing Depression four week course, which doesn’t start until May (and there may be a waiting list so I don’t even get in for May) use them to help get a grip on feeling low, manage moods and stress, and then try to get a one to one CBT referral from there. I think I’ll do that but all the time I’m worrying about having promised Dad I’ll get a grip and thinking “But I’m not actually doing anything….I can’t!”
I’ll keep plugging on with the book. It’s based on CBT techniques and I like the idea of fixing myself. So far I’ve realised I overeat when I’m anxious or feeling fed up. Also when I’m bored and my mind won’t shut up, I eat to distract myself. And when I am faced with something I need to write but I have absolutely no inspiration, I wander into the kitchen to see if that helps. It’s clearly a distraction technique for me, from feelings, stresses, boredom…
I also started the online ‘Managing Depression’ course with The Big White Wall. So maybe I’m doing something. Just not what I want to be doing.
I will beat this. I will…