How Recovery feels for an Anorexic
Possibly one of the hardest posts to write down- ever. The one that I don’t want to put down into words for a fear of failure and nor giving my fight the justice I feel it deserves.. I need some form of a creative outlet, so I am going to go all Dear diary, I think I’m going to re-invigorate our old diary by giving it a name.
From the years 2012 to just before summer this year in 2015. I thought I had recovered from Chronic Anorexia. How fucking arrogant is that? I started eating more types of food and letting myself indulge a small bit. I got into exercising to be healthy. It was great I lived with a set weight that varied by 1-2 kilograms
Roll on to the present day…
Seemingly from out of nowhere, those Anorexic thoughts have managed to take on Greek tragedy chorus effect. Telling me things I don’t particularly want to hear. It tells me that I have put an extra two kilos on and that is way over the limit. My mind can’t process this thought. The weight needs to go down. Some days I can shake off those critter thoughts in my head. This is great progress from a few years ago. If I had put on a couple of kilos back when I was entrenched in my illness, I would hide away from the world, purge and restrict all food and fluid intake until my weight was back in my safety zone. It feels like being stuck in a painting with no room to move and evolve.
I have been challenging my thoughts for the past few months now and for the most part, they have been silenced.but then they release a double whopper and it literally throws me into irrational thinking and behaviour. It grabs my animated emotions by the scruff of the neck and bullies me with my own negative emotions. Then I think I have ‘fooled’ myself into a body that I don’t know how to dress for. I wear proper bras these days, that makes me feel self-conscious and womanly. I am now forced to confront my true identity. This is a huge mountain of ‘oh fucks’ in itself.
These past few weeks I have wanted to scream and ask people to tell me if they think I am thin or average or chubby in places. I have been thinking a lot about my food intake. I feel myself falling down that spiral staircase into unhelpful thoughts and behaviour. I get angry when I say yes to food and ‘give in’, I weigh myself a lot, I am obsessed with capturing my weight gain in images again.
Let me get something straight: I don’t want these thoughts. I don’t. I was so happy and then seemingly out of the blue, the thoughts came at me like arrows. One after the other. It seems like pot luck if I manage to escape from one or another. Eventually, I knew I was going to get hit- in my case, repeatedly.
I have moved ahead in my life!
I said that to that Anorexic part of me. It still haunts me. I could dress in anything. I didn’t have to worry about size-all clothes would fit me and look ‘great’ on me. I was non-conforming to society. I was in the elite who had the willpower to restrain myself. I didn’t need pro- Anorexia websites. The power was all in my head. It reminds me how intoxicating and almost euphoric that feeling is to surpass hunger is. Then the adrenaline kicks and I get a kick out of that too. The figures go down on the scale and that drives me on even more. Then the food cuts down. Drinking water turns to drinking coffee or Pepsi max. Chewing large quantities of chewing gum.
I communicate less and less with my world until I am genuinely scared to go out. People begin to terrify me. They might talk me back into recovery to stop me from relapsing. I can only see a merging of people. A black unfocused mass. The mass becomes a force conspiring against me. The panic attacks start. The hissy fits and pouts begin. Excessive exercise takes over more of my time and I push myself to go until, I literally pass out
RECOVERY from eating-disordered goes in cycles and not in a linear way. It is very easy to relapse.
I don’t want to relapse. I want to enjoy time with my family. Eat what I damn well like and without shame and guilt. I want the anxiety and depression to go. I want to embrace my womanly curves. I want the next 30 odd years of my life to not be held at knifepoint by a merciless pirate whose only aim is in collecting things. I am not a thing! I am a person.
I suppose this is where I start talking to people, using my WRAP and getting my plan out to challenge my thoughts. Even thinking about going to war over fighting my thoughts has brought on feelings of betrayal. Something- a whole identity- a person-almost- has been in my life for nearly 25 years. A whole quarter of a century.
Not an easy post.. but it is out of my head and on paper. The one thing I have to remind myself is it doesn’t matter if other people read this or not. It is the fact that I am articulating my pain and my issues in a way that releases some of the pressure..
So Sid.. thanks for being a good diary. You are doing a great job. Keep it up!