So, I was just eating my lunch today, minding my own business, when I suddenly realise that half of my tooth has broken off, and vanished (presuming I swallowed it!). This is the outcome of near enough 6 years of bulimia – amongst other problems such as chronic irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers in my oesophagus, I have rotten teeth that are gradually getting worse as I get older. Bearing in mind I am only still 25, most of my back molars either have lots of fillings or have been taken out. This tooth, unfortunately, is near the front of my mouth, so depsite how painful it is, I am dreading going to the dentist as I expect he will just take it out. Plus, I am so scared of the dentist, I actually get physical symptoms such as feeling lightheaded, racing heart, shaking.
So, this leads me on to my next thought, last night I went through various ways of improving the moment through distress tolerance. Although all of them would not be suitable for facing this situation which I am going to find very distressing, skills such as imagery, relaxation, vacation, encouragement or even prayer might be. I can’t see that one thing in the moment/one-mindfully would be helpful here, only to serve making me focus more on the distress or the pain.
I want people to understand bulimia is not cool, it doesn’t make you skinny, it doesn’t make you strong of beautiful. It makes you damaged, flawed, ugly, disgusting, alone. I found my strength and overcame it to a certain extent, although I am aware the bulimic tendencies and the draw to that lifestyle will always be there, just like a smoker drawn to cigarettes, or an alcoholic drawn to drink. Don’t get me wrong, I am not completely over it. I still am slightly less careful than I should be when preparing food in the hope that I will catch food poisoning and subsequently lose weight. I still mess with the dog then without washing my hands eat food in the hope of catching something. I am working on these things but the respect for myself has increased dramatically, and so has my self preservation.
The meeting with Karen the CPN went well last night. She had good news for me, I should receive a letter about an appointment for an assessment with the psychological therapies team in the next few days. She reminded me there is still a long wait for DBT but at least my name is now back in the system, and in the meantime I can struggle on, going through the resources I can find on the internet. She also mentioned whether I would consider mentalisation based therapy (MBT) but I don’t really know too much about it, and explained that I really feel DBT would be most helpful to teach me the skills that I know I am most lacking, which are inhibiting my ability to lead a normal life socially and otherwise.
In the meantime, she has referred me to a group in town for sufferers of low mood and anxiety, which I’m hoping will help get me used to being in a group format.