Blitzkrieg Bop

O, hai.  How iz you?

Yeah, everyone starts their blog entries, or zine introduction, or whatever else, with “sorry i haven’t posted in such a long time, but i’ve had all this stuff on…”  So i’m not going to, because it goes without saying, right?

Here are some things i’ve been meaning to write about, here in my blog, recently:

  • Going back to Overeaters Anonymous
  • Having a nasty incident and going teetotal
  • Money money money
  • My dissertation/placement
I think there may well have been more, but, well… i’ve forgotten what else.  Anyway, that’s quite  enough to be going on with, isn’t it?  It’s not like i’m an especially prestigious blogger who Must Tell The World Everything.  Even though i am a bit of a bigmouth and can’t seem to shut the fuck up, i’ll admit – part of the point of this blog is so i can Talk About That Shit here and not in my daily life where, quite frankly, i imagine most people i know are sick of me referencing it in every other sentence.  Let’s do ’em one at a time, then.

Twelve-step Fellowships

Yeah, i’ve started going to Overeaters Anonymous (O.A) again.  I’d been meaning to for ages – years in fact – but for some reason never got round to it.

(There’s also A.B.A – that is, Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous – but to be honest i prefer O.A because all sorts go, including anorexics, bulimics, binge-eaters and compulsive eaters; plus there are a lot of similarities between all eating disorders.  You can learn a lot from someone who might, upon first glance, appear to be very different from yourself.  I prefer the variety and i just prefer the style.  Seems many people do.)

So i went back, finally, after what, three years of intending to, perhaps?  Ha ha… never let it be said that i faff about or procrastinate, eh?  And to my surprise, it was very good to be back.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, despite having been before; i wasn’t sure if it’d be any good or if i’d feel weird or uncomfortable or anything.  But no, absolutely not: i was reminded how kind, accepting, welcoming and non-judgemental people can be.  They all have their own stories and real lives and experiences.  They’re all pretty amazing if i’m honest.

Now, i am still having reservations about the whole Twelve Step / spiritual approach.  I mean, what a load of freaky-cult pseudo-religious bollocks, eh?  To be fair, i don’t really think that – i’m just voicing (well all right, typing) what a lot of people think and, to a certain extent, what i did and still do think.  People who dismiss it like that, let’s face it, are the people who’ve never been.  But anyway, i certainly don’t think it’s bollocks, but i do kind of think, well, that’s not going to work for me.  I’ll just go along to listen and talk – you can see how that’d help.  But how do i explain my thoughts on this?  All this God and Higher Power stuff, well i can’t see how i’d do that – i can’t just switch faith on and off – nor, for that matter, can i see why i’d want to.  Meditating and saying i’m powerless and praying to some non-existent deity to ‘cure’ me?  How’s that going to stop me bingeing and puking?

Well, the answer is, firstly it’s not that simplistic.  There are all manner of things going on in the programme and within the meetings themselves.  People who ‘get it’ are there to support each other.  It’s all very well, me half-saying bah, what do i need them for when i’ve got loads of lovely mates who know about my shit?  I’m not isolated or lonely.  It might be a good thing for people who are, but i’m not like that.  Right?

Thing is, i do feel lonely.  I isolate myself, choosing the eating disorder over real life.  And there’s only so much you can talk about with your mates and your family, isn’t there?  They can be caring and patient and supportive – and yes, mine certainly are and i’m incredibly grateful and glad to have such amazing people around – but it’s hard for them to understand what we do and why we do it.  I mean, it’s hard for us to understand!  And let’s face it, it’s a horrible subject and we don’t really want to overburden anyone with it.

As for being so resistant to the twelve step approach itself, well i think i’m just being an arsehole, really.  What makes me so special, so different, that a programme that’s worked for who knows how many other people, won’t work for me?  And when did i get so wise and clever that i can know this before even giving it a proper go?  And finally: what i’m doing now certainly ain’t working, so maybe it’s time to try Something Else.

“Fuck-ups of the world, unite!  You have nothing to lose but your eating disorder!”

What’s next?  Oh yeah…

Having a Nasty Incident

A couple of weeks ago i got really drunk and things went badly.  I’ll point out here that i don’t have a drink problem, as such – but when i drink, i have problems.  I was stupid: i know i can’t take a lot of booze, but still i over-do it.

This time i seriously over-did it.  I woke up in hospital on Monday morning, still drunk, concussed, gash on my head, all my possessions gone.  Bruises everywhere that still haven’t gone.  Seems i slept on the street and maybe got robbed whilst unconscious.  Then i think i tried to walk home across London early in the morning, caught the bus with a complete stranger who paid my fare (perhaps altruistically, perhaps not), went into my local police station to shake the fella off then passed out as i left.

What i am certain about is that they then called an ambulance and my sister and later my Mum turned up to sort me out.  I spent the morning, a few days later, writing thank-you notes to the paramedics and everyone.  Thank fuck i wasn’t raped and murdered – it means i have another chance to live properly and take better care of myself.

So that’s it for me as regards alcohol.  I know people often say that, myself included, but i’ve never ended up quite this bad before.  Drinking just doesn’t appeal now.  I’ve never enjoyed getting even slightly drunk and i can live without it, thanks, especially if that’s what happens.

Some of my mates have said stuff like, oh, how awful – you must’ve been so scared.  That struck me somewhat.  Fear is not something i experience much, if at all.  No, i wasn’t scared, though perhaps i should’ve been.  If i felt anything much, it was more along the lines of mortified – that i could be so fucking stupid, act like such a cunt, upset and worry other people, piss them off with whatever drunken behaviour i, perhaps mercifully, couldn’t remember.

And all my stuff had gone and had to be reported missing or possibly nicked, bank card cancelled, new phone chosen and figured out (a particularly baffling subject for me), new this and that and the other.  It’s all too much to cope with and just served to remind me what a useless sod i am, no clue how to manage my life or look after myself.  At 33, that’s just shameful.

So it’s time for change.

My dissertation

Oh it’s all go.  Well, it would be, if i could do more than sit around in my pants staring into space with my mouth open.

Obviously i put on a few extra clothes before going off to where i’m doing my placement.  I don’t actually want to get arrested.

But it’s bonkers, how hard it is to fit all that work in around being unemployed.  Yeah, unemployed.  It’s bad enough feeling like a pointless waste of space, when not earning a living; self-confidence wanes and vanishes but time also loses its value.  I end up doing even less now, despite having more time than ever.  I sleep far too much and of course i Do That Thing i Do all the more when my time’s unstructured.

Just to give you an idea: quite aside from what went on earlier in the day, i’ve binged and purged four times just while writing this blog entry so far.  That’s almost eighty quid down the bog today alone – and this is budget bingeing.  Yeah, it seems a bit unbelievable and unreal to me, too; but unfortunately it’s only too real.  This is why everything hurts and why i’m in such a dire financial situation.  As my Mum says, it’s like being a drug addict – and she’d know because she used to work for the needle exchange.

It’s funny, or interesting, though, isn’t it – how ‘addiction’ appears to combine ‘a-‘ (not, or lack of) with ‘diction’ (speech).  I’m not sure it does actually mean that, because ‘diction’ comes from the Latin ‘dicere’ (to speak) whereas ‘addiction’, according to the dictionary, comes from ‘addictio’ which seems to be something to do with… deciding on and awarding property of uncertain ownership.  No, me neither.  I prefer the thing about not having a voice.

My dissertation, anyway – i don’t ‘alf go off on some bloody tangents, eh? – is underway this summer.  I’m on the final leg of my journey to being a qualified librarian.  Of course, there’ll be no library jobs – no fucking libraries, in fact – by the time i graduate.  Bah.  So i’ve been thinking about a move into the wacky world of I.T.  I know, right?  Nerd alert, nerd alert!  Still, it’s quite sobering to think, i’ll be qualified for something; assuming i pass of course.  And i’m nearly middle-aged.  Time to grow the fuck up, innit.

For my dissertation i’m looking at poetry in relation to health and wellbeing.  It’s amazing there, where i’m working.  People keep bringing me cups of tea and i’m surrounded by lovely books.  I keep getting distracted by all the lovely books though and have to make a supreme effort not to just read poems all day.  I’ve already half-wasted three weeks and i really, really don’t want to end up in that situation AGAIN where i’ve got two days left to do three months’ worth of work.

I’d like to write more about librarianship and politics in this blog.  I’d like to write about things that matter to me, those other things that factor enormously in my life.  It shouldn’t be all about bulimia and how miserable and crap i am.  There are other aspects to me, other things that define me.  I have hopes, ambitions, a dark sense of humour.  Libraries are my passion.  I’m a feminist and an anarchist.  I’m a veg*n.  (I mean, i’m vegetarian at the moment, but when i sort my stupidhead out, i’ll go vegan again.)  I used to feel so strongly, get enraged or excited; i used to really care about stuff.  I find it really difficult, these days, to muster more than slight irritation or despair.  I keep telling myself i won’t be this way forever, but then i wonder, is it because i’m getting old and i’m just too tired?  I’m writing a novel (ohmigod, aren’t we all?) although it’s on hold till i’ve finished my Masters.  I love zines (i write one myself) and comics (or comix, as i like to call them).  And my dream is to be on radio four one day.

What about you, dear reader?  What makes you, well, you?  Even if it’s buried under the misery and overgrown with weeds and you’re not sure how to dig it out again, what can you think of or even just remember being really into?  What about now – can you see a way to get back into those things?  Or, if you’ve been through and out the other side, how did you re-discover, well, life?


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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Mina, I stumbled across your blog from the website of ‘that telly show’ and found myself reading through your entire blog.
    A lot of the things you talk about and question, are things I also find myself struggling with, but I guess you already know that you’re not alone.
    The 12 step approach does sound pretty, well, weird, as I’m an Atheist but let us know how it goes.
    It sounds like you had a pretty rough night with the alcohol, good to see you’re safe.
    In regards to having more time, but less time to do things – I know exactly what you mean. I also envy those who achieve so much in a day.
    i guess I just wanted to leave a comment so that it didn’t feel like you were shouting out into the void or something, I don’t know.
    I’m listening.

    • Hello Eva! Thanks loads for your comment. How are you?

      Ha ha, oh dear… there’s a can of G&T in the fridge singing my name! But it’s all right, i know i won’t drink it.

      Yeah, the 12-step thing is proving pretty hard. But i’ve met so many people for whom it HAS worked, including other atheists/agnostics; and it’s got to be worth a try, right?

      Isn’t it funny – how we’ve all got the same number of hours in a day, yet somehow some of us have no time whilst others seem to have so much? I’m sure there’s a thesis in there…


  2. Hi Mina, I’m glad you are ok,after your night out. I can’t drink anymore, I think the abuse I have put my body through fights back when I drink.
    Good question what makes me, me? A combination of bad genes, past events and madness I think. But I do believe I’m here to make others feel better, hence why I work in health, not a good advert mind you. I feel better if I have made someone else happy, but unsure how to make myself happy anymore. Maybe I need the 12 step approach???

    • Hello lady, how’s it going?

      Well, there’s only one way to find out if the 12-step thing will work for you. I think i put the web-site above but it’s in case you’re curious to have a butcher’s.

      Well, if i’m honest, i can’t drink anymore either. Our bodies are remarkably resilient, but there are some things we just don’t need – and cutting out alcohol isn’t like cutting out a food group or anything.

      Hm… well, you have family and mates who love you; don’t you think that to make them truly happy, you have to be well and happy yourself? Cos that’s what they want, alongside the other things they want.

      Furthermore, there’s only so much good you can do for others if you’re not being good to yourself, cos how can you do your best if you’re not at your best?

  3. hi there, i came across your blog through c4, and feel i should comment. i enjoy reading your blog as your sense of humour and wit comes across and you’re a great writer. in answer to your question, i really don’t know anymore as i have had an eating disorder for years and it has drained the happiness out of life (mainly bulimia and binge eating). i used to love playing the piano and studying. the drinking situation- i can relate to, i have put myself in dangerous situations when drunkso i prefer not to drink anymore. the overeaters anonymous sounds like a good idea- i have found that there is a lack of support for bulimia and binge eating sufferers. in fact my doctor has told me in not so many words that “it” doesnt matter and that not drinking is more important for me/my health. i hope you can find some support in the meetings.anyway sorry for the rambling comment.

    • ‘Ello Emma,

      Blimey, thanks. Compliments!

      Ah i’m sorry you’ve suffered for so long. Crap, isn’t it? And it makes me so fucking angry, as you’ve probably read on here somewhere, how little help there is out there for eating disorders if your BMI’s above a certain magic number – despite the terrible state we can be in physically and mentally.

      And as you say, it drains the very essence out of life. The things you used to enjoy – were they purely for enjoyment, or did you always feel a need to achieve? Was there anything you did that you just did cos you liked it, not cos anyone else thought you should; and could you give any of them a try now?

      Seriously, go and see another GP. You don’t need ME to tell you that yes, it does fucking matter.

      Glad to hear you’re not boozing anymore though. Did you do it to numb yourself in a similar way to the way you use eating disorder behaviours now? Did you replace the one with the other?

      Honestly, please don’t apologise for your comment – it wasn’t “rambling” and even if it were, i wouldn’t mind! I love to hear from people, whether they enjoy reading my blog or not.

  4. I’m going to uni in september as a “mature” student so I will register will a another gp there, see what other help is available. i think its partly because of where I live; not in a big town/city so there isn’t much mental health help around (other people i know say this too). but hey ho, um well i used to go out drinking a lot, i suppose to numb myself yeh but i also had the eating issues, but i got really depressed when drinking (as many people do) so that is why my gp said to stay off it :). good luck with everything, i hope your studying works out and you get a job afterwards.

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