(Original post by Anonymous)
So essentially I can't continue my uni course (Medicine) at the moment due to the ED. I have at least a year off - at the moment I do not know if I will be allowed to continue my course at all, this depends on the psychiatrist assessment and ultimately the decision of the medical school as to whether I am "fit to practice" as a doctor.
I would really appreciate your thoughts/advice on my situation.
I am staying on my boyfriend's boat in London. (We've been together nearly 3 years) My parents live nearby but due to 10 years of ED we have a very strained relationship and living there is impossible. In the past (mainly when I was 15/16 and the ED was extremely severe) I have been kicked out, made to sleep outside (& therefore urinate etc in the garden), hit, pushed down the stairs, hair pulled hard, been hit, been physically pushed out of the house, severe emotional abuse (e.g. mother telling me to kill myself, threats) etc. Things are slightly better now, but can turn nasty quickly. I am able to visit for a few days occasionally but usually have to leave as things get difficult.
The boat is VERY small and I'm not being fussy here - I've lived in small rooms in student halls and had no complaints, but it is very difficult to live here. To use the toilet/shower I have to go outside to a shared shower block. I am coping at the moment as it's not too cold right now, however I am very worried about where to live in winter because the boat gets VERY cold & damp in winter and the heating is insufficient. Also having to go outside to shower/toilet in very cold temperatures/snow every day will be hellish. I also feel the cold very easily due to ED.
RELATIONSHIP WITH BOYFRIEND
Another issue is the strain of the ED on my relationship. My BF feels as thought he is my carer and despite me reminding him that I am an adult and he has no legal obligation to care for me, he feels like my carer and tells me he is beginning to be unable to cope with my ED & mental health issues. I am trying my best to make things easier for him, but I don't really know what to do and we seem to be unable to make progress in our discussions.
BF tells me I am not taking responsibility for my problems and can't cope with me especially recently as in the past few weeks I have had severe depression, anxiety, panic, constant suicidal thoughts mainly because I feel my life is falling apart and I am scared I will be kicked out of medical school and that there is no hope.
He tells me I have become abnormally withdrawn and trapped on the boat/agoraphobic. In the past month I have left the marina to go to weekly therapy, weekly ED support group, supermarket, GP appointment, blood test, 1 x a friend after a lot of encouragement. I have tried to do the bare minimum I felt I had to do. I have spent a lot of time sleeping, crying and b/ping and couldn't face seeing other people, friends and wasn't able to reply to texts or emails for weeks. I wasn't able to return the consent form for the psychiatrist for over a month. I used to run 4x per week but haven't run or exercised in over a month. This all upsets my BF greatly.
He tells me he can't have a long term relationship with me if this goes on indefinitely. I agree it would be unfair on him so I would like to make things better.
Due to the strain on our relationship I may not be able to live on the boat for much longer. BF is suggesting I find a place of my own. Where the hell do I live?
I'm awaiting an NHS referral for the ED. I'm seeing a private therapist weekly and attending a support group weekly.
I have severe bulimia, currently bordering on anorexia bp subtype, depression, anxiety, recurrent suicidal thoughts, hypothryoidism and very abnormal sleeping patterns - I just get exhausted and sleep far more than a normal person would and this means I have little time for daily activities. Sometimes I get hypokalaemia from vomiting a lot and this has landed me being very unwell and in A&E in the past. I am having regular blood tests to check my thyroid levels and also my electrolytes. My regular medications are fluoxetine (prozac) and thyroxin.
I spoke to my GP (based in my uni town in Scotland) and she asked about where I was living now, how I was, what's happening with med school etc. She then said I should sign on/get benefits and go to the job centre. I said I don't understand what that is, I've never claimed benefits or been to the job centre. She said I need to go to the job centre, tell them I can't work due to health problems and she can write me a letter.
I now realise that part of the ED is delusions. Especially self delusion that the ED is not serious, that I am not really ill, that is is self inflicted etc. The fact that my doctor has suggested I claim benefits for sickness and offered to write me a letter suggests to me that I am considered to be fairly ill. Also that I'm not allowed to continue my course, failed lots of uni exams, am 2 years behind at uni and facing a psychiatric assessment. It sounds stupid that even after all this, I still find it hard to consider myself an 'ill person' or deserving of help in terms of benefits.
I had a on/off job in a hospital but I haven't worked for some time as I've been having a crisis and trying to work on recovery.
My boyfriend thinks I need to become independent and 'grow up' and thinks I should get a job, any job e.g. working in a bar and rent somewhere myself. He says part of recovery is growing up and becoming independent. He says working will help my recovery.
At the moment, I am finding it hard to cope with therapy/trying to engage with recovery, attend medical appointments, deal with the university and do the minimum basic things in life e.g. pay credit card bills, reply to emails/texts, online shopping. I am not coping with the day to day administrative tasks in life. I find the prospect of facing my friends very scary and am not able to maintain contact and friendships properly. The idea of working in a bar sounds very stressful and I don't know if I would be able to hold down a job in my current state. I don't even want to go to a bar in my free time right now.
He says I need to build my own life in London and I can see he has a point, but I'm not coping at the moment and everything feels like too much. We argue about this a lot and he thinks I am just being stubborn and not taking responsibility. I probably am stubborn, but I am trying to do some of the basics in life e.g. medical appointments, but coping with additional things is not going well right now. I would love to be normal and do all the things a normal person would, have a job, socialise, see my friends, go out at night from time to time, meet new people, hobbies, exercise etc but I don't think this will happen overnight.
I know this is very long, but any thoughts would be much appreciated.