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These days, I find socialising incredibly difficult.  I’m a completely different person these days to the woman I once was, and any opportunity to socialise arises feelings of anxiety rather than excitement.  I’m too self-conscious, nervous, and just basically rubbish at it.

However, these opportunities to socialise are rare now.  Previously, I would be out every with friends regularly during the week (I didn’t used to suffer hangovers as badly as I do now!) and I was very rarely at home.  I’d be in a different city most weekends, visiting friends, watching bands, drinking, just basically having fun.  Now?  Now I stay in.  Every night. I don’t get invitations to go out any more, and it’s no surprise.  There are only so many times you can invite somebody out, and be repeatedly fobbed off before you just stop asking.  I don’t blame them at all.  We had a great group of mates at University, but our courses were different lengths (3/4 years) and unfortunately we all lost touch, 2002-2005 was probably the best time of my life – I had no idea what anorexia/eating disorders were, I was a carefree student having fun.  I miss that.

After Graduation, and pre-ed, I met a whole new group of friends and we did so much that I can’t ever imagine doing now.  Weekend trip to Amsterdam?  Yeah, why not.  Fancy visiting Paris?  Yep, lets go.  There’s a gig in Middlesbrough, want to go?  Yep.  My previous replies of ‘YES!’ to everything have now changed to endless excuses of why I can’t go.  I hate this.  I hate that I feel so unsociable and I have alienated all of my friends.

There are only 3 people who I think are my friends now, and despite constantly pushing them away, they stick with me and I love them for this.  Two live around 250 miles away from me now so I don’t see them often but we keep in touch, texting every week or so.  The other is an old school friend (the only one I’ve kept in touch with, “friends” on facebook don’t count since I’ve blanked/been blanked by many of them since school!)  One of the ‘far away’ friends is around this week, so I’ve asked her if she wants to go for a meal tonight, and asked my school friend too.  They have met each other before, through me, and get on well so figured it would be a good opportunity to get out of the house and perhaps start to socialise again.  When I made the suggestion, I must have been feeling brave.  Now, I’m scared.  We’re not booked until 7.30 which is later than I’d usually have dinner, so I’m wary of being overly hungry by then and I’m doing my best not to restrict during the day.  So far so good.  2 x breakfasts done.  Snack, done.  Next up, lunch.

Then there’s the clothes!  Oh dear.  What the hell am I meant to wear?  I just tried on some jeans which fit me about 2 months ago and now they look nothing less than obscene.  It’s a shame because I really liked them, they’re a sort of khaki colour (but have faded a bit so now look a bit grey) and because of the light colour it seemed to highlight the huge lumps and bumps from my squishy thighs.  Also, I couldn’t do the button up so they’re going in the bin.  Or being made into a pillow as Sooz suggested!  One thing I will say though, is my bum is definitely back.  This makes me happy.  Although I hate my legs with a passion because they’re stumpy, short, stocky and I have stupidly big calves – I used to like my bum.  It’s the one part of my body used to get complimented on so now it’s back and it did cheer me up.  (I wouldn’t get compliments if they saw it sans-clothes…not a pretty sight!!)  I really don’t have anything to wear, and one friend wants to go for drinks afterwards so that’s stressed me out even more, I don’t want to look like a tramp.

I’m half-excited and half-nervous for tonight.  I love the restaurant we’re going to, we go there a lot (I think I’ve mentioned it on here before) and the food is lovely but incredibly rich.  Like, sickly rich.  The two girls I’m going with know about my ED, and I know I’ll feel I have to out-eat them to prove a point (to them and to myself) so I’m mentally preparing myself for the uncomfortable full feeling which is to come.  Another sensitive issue is the fact that my friend from far away has food issues of her own, and I don’t know what this will be like tonight.  She has had an ED in the past (bulimia I think, although we’ve never really talked about it) and has now turned Vegan so I don’t actually know what there will be for her to eat tonight and I’m worried she’ll just have a plate of steamed veg.  I’ve text the manager though and asked him if he can make sure there’s something she can eat, so fingers crossed!  I’m surprised she agreed to come to be honest, she often avoids eating out (and avoided it before she turned Vegan) so I’m a bit anxious and hope she’s ok with it and hasn’t accepted just to please me.

On a more positive note, it will be brilliant to see her because it seems like it’s been forever.  We have made and cancelled a lot of reunions recently so hopefully this one will actually happen.

Recovery is going okish at the moment, although I don’t feel the anxiety reducing at all.  I’m enjoying a lot of the food I’m eating, but still find change of routines very difficult.  I think the bloating has gone down a bit recently, although my stomach still has the domed pregnancy look about it.  The water retention which was awful a few weeks back has also gone down, not completely, but it’s definitely reduced.  I set myself a challenge as well, to buy a muffin which wasn’t low fat.  I absolutely love the Starbucks Skinny muffins (and eat at least 2 a week, hot with ice cream nom nom nom) but I’m never brave enough to tackle a full fat one.  Monday, while in Asda, I spotted this beauty:

Nuked it in the microwave it was bloomin’ lovely.  I didn’t look at the calorie content, or the fat content so I can’t freak.  This never happens.  I can’t remember the last time I bought something without automatically checking the fat content first.  This is major.  It was also probably a one off, because I’ve been shopping since and checked every single bloody thing.  Practice makes perfect.  I’ll keep trying.  I bought some Chocolate Pop Tarts as well this week because I used to live off them when I was younger.  I easily ate a box a day during the summer holidays, just because I could.  Because they tasted nice.  Because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with eating a lot of the food you like.  Because I didn’t worry about the possibility of ‘getting fat’.  That’s what I want to get back to.  I haven’t been brave enough to eat one yet, because my god they’re high in cals/fat!  But I will.  I definitely will.

Well, it will be lunch time soon.  I have already promised myself not to skimp at all.  I will eat the lunch and snacks I usually have, regardless of the fact tonight’s meal would make 2500 calories on its own!