Old Goodbyes and New Beginnings

27 Jul

I have been thinking a lot about life today, about how strange it can be, how when things end there are things that are still yet to begin. I’ve also been thinking about things that I want that I’ve never let myself really think about before.

Firstly let me start with last night. Clearly I was struggling quite a bit and after writing on here and reading a comment left for me by a fellow blogger I decided that I was going to try to fight against that. So I made a hot drink, put my tablet down and attempted to engage with my family. That in itself was a challenge as practically they hadn’t put out an extra chair and so I was kind of perched on the end of the couch in the other room trying to chip in every now and again. If you met my family you would understand how difficult that scenario is. They are very overpowering people and your voice can get lost even when you’re sitting across from them. I tried. I still felt like an outsider…and then today that feeling just kind of continued. I’m not sure how much of that is me or how much of it is the eating disorder making me feel like I have to cut myself off from having any connection with them.

Anyway, it was always going to be a hard day today that is kind of clouded with sorrow. It’s the anniversary of my Grandads death and I’m trying to figure out where the last 13 years went because it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. My Grandad was an amazing man, he was/is the person who I will always measure any guy by. He knew how to be strong and loving, he knew that making us happy was about silly songs, kindness and drawer at the bottom of the fridge with chocolate in it for after school. I never doubted that he loved me and when he died…It’s hard to explain that grief, how in one moment everything can feel like it no longer makes sense.

I can remember him now and it doesn’t hurt quite so much but the missing him part, that never really goes away.

So I am thinking of old Goodbyes today…and then everything changed again. It was time to embrace new beginnings. My brother had his baby this afternoon. She is a beautiful and healthy little girl. I am absolutely in love with her and whats more there was this type of feud going on between his girlfriend and my family, today it all got swept away. Life’s too short and their differences don’t really matter that much. It’s a fresh start for them all and to not be in the middle of a fight anymore is also something to celebrate.

In the start of this post I said that I’ve been thinking about things that I want and one of those things is to be a Mum. I never thought I did or I would never admit to it. I had my reasons and most of them were fuelled by fear and by this desire to not appear to have wants like everyone else. I have been afraid that if I have a child I will pass on my mental health issues, I have been worried that I would fail them or not protect them properly, that my love would never be enough for what they would deserve. I thought that it was better to not have kids then to run the risk of messing another human being. I’ve been telling myself this for years and I very nearly believed it…but the truth is that I want to have a baby at some point. I am only now beginning to understand that there is more that the eating disorder can still take from me. It can take away that possibility. Even I got my shit together and had the career I’m working for and the stability to raise one…I am doing damage to my body which may take away my fertility. I’ve always known that consequences, I just never thought it mattered that much. It does matter.

So I have come to the decision that if in three weeks – when I get back from my trip away – I am still at this point or worse I will seriously think about giving up my life again in order to go into treatment. In the meantime I have to figure out how to stop any further pain and keep myself stable both mentally and physically.

Therefore I am giving you a pre-warning…things might get difficult but I hope you’ll bear with me.

I hope your day has been good to you.


26 Jul

Tonight I am noticing how incompatible it is to have a normal life and live with an Eating Disorder.  A few weeks ago my Mum asked me if I would come and stay at my aunts house when my other aunt came to stay. At the time it seemed like something that would be ok, hell…it might even be quite nice. So I’m here at my aunts house in one part of the country with my mum, sister and aunt from another part of the country.  We’ve been here a couple of hours now and I’m struggling to engage socially. My words seeem to have dried up. Any stories that I thought I had to share no longer exist. Silence is descending quickly.  As far as foods concerned thats the biggest thing that’s isolating me right  now. When we got here I had a sandwich for dinner as my family were getting a Chinese takeaway. Their food has just arrived. I’m sat in the living room section whilst everyone else is in the dining room part. They are sharing a meal in terms of the food and conversation.  I feel like such an outsider.  What am I even doing here? Honestly I just want to cry right now. I feel sick from my inadequate intake but the hardest thing is how alone I feel. I miss the ability to feel like a part of my family and that is what the Anorexia is taking from me.

Because thats all Anorexia will ever do…take and take, way beyond the point of nothing. 

I hope your day has been good to you.

No answers here

25 Jul

It stuck. That stupid thought from the beginning of the week has stayed in my head and I cannot seem to shake it. Even though I don’t want it, there is something that keeps me attached to it. I’m running out of the belief that things will ever get better. I don’t know what’s going to help…Nothing’s really inspiring me to make the consistent changes that need to happen. I had at my appointment at the unit this morning and that was all I could say. I don’t know how you can help me anymore. What I was really thinking is at what point do you give up on me? At what point do you decide that this is as good as its ever going to get for me and somehow how I have to learn to live and manage that? I think I’ve been expecting them to give up on me because I kind of have.

Instead after being weighed the subject of going into hospital came up again. Would I consider it? I said that I was hesitant to think of it as an option at this point. I’m trying to think why that is and it’s probably because I don’t feel like I need to or in other words, I don’t think that I’m that unwell. My weight isn’t at a critical point so to go into a treatment centre in the UK is hard because you are around people who are so unwell that it makes you feel like you’re a whale. We don’t have insurance here so we are dependant on the NHS, which in itself is an amazing thing but it also means that we don’t have many specialised Eating Disorder facilities. There is only on in the whole county and that is a 20 bed ward and because resources are in such short supply it is reserved for those who are acutely ill. I don’t feel like I fit that criteria. That’s not me trying to downplay the Anorexia. It is fact based on the numbers. That’s what it comes down to here most of the time. There are people who struggle a ridiculous amount and because they’re BMI’s is 0.1 above the BMI criteria they are not accepted in to the service at all. No outpatients or inpatients. That’s messed up I know…but that is what is right now. I doubt it’ll get better anytime soon either.

I’m going off on a bit of tangent there…

Anyway that was one reason why I’m not inclined to want to go. The other is that I’m going to have go through that process of eating things that scare the shit out of me again. You can’t hide from it there. I think about their menus and having to eat it and it just makes me want to cry. Then I get frustrated because it makes me want to cry and it shouldn’t be like that. I should be fine with whatever they would throw at me. The final point why I don’t want to go is that I just don’t have the time. Going into treatment is really inconvenient and time-consuming. I have a lot of shit to do. I can’t just take a few weeks away from it all. It’s tied in with my work as well. I spend so much time educating people about mental health and talking about recovery that I think that it would feel like I had been lying to them…and I guess in a way I have been.

I am aware that these are all excuses that mean nothing if I let this carry on and it ends up killing me. I have things to lose now and that scares me because the first time I went in, I didn’t. Part of me worries that if I take even the smallest step out of my life then my place in it will cease to exist. I won’t be needed anymore.

So I said I would think about it. See what happens. See if I can maintain this without getting worse. Yet there is the voice of two of my friends saying that if I could have turned it around by now then I would have. If I wait then I’m just letting it get stronger.

I’m confused right now. I don’t know if I can get better or if I can what that would even look like. I don’t know what’s going to help. Basically I have no answers right now.

I hope your day has been kind to you.

A stupid thought

22 Jul

I’m ashamed to write that I have been letting Anorexia get into my head…more so than usual these last couple of days. I have retreated from the people around me. Gone quiet and insular. I had this thought of ‘what if I just stopped trying?’ and somehow that thought became me letting go of fighting the voice that hates me and giving into it. In case you were wondering whether or not it does make anything better, going back? It really doesn’t. You see I thought letting go meant that I would get some quiet in my head. I would stop hating so much. I could give from morning till night in a relatively stable manner.

None of that happened.

The moment I stopped then it was like chaos broke out. Suddenly I was obsessively counting numbers, analysing, bargaining, excusing, belittling and just downright putting my mind through hell. Part of me is left thinking ‘well…what not?’ Recovery is proving too difficult, not recovering is just as hellish…how do I live? How do I get through my day this way?

I need something solid to hold on to right now.
I don’t know what that thing is. The future seems abstract rather than something that is dependant on me being healthy. It is important for me to be healthy otherwise I won’t be able to continue with my degree or work the jobs that I want to work. I know it all. I know what I have to do, what I want, what I run the risk of losing and yet I am here…and it still just bloody hurts.

I told my friend last night who also has struggles with food that she would never be able to feel comfortable within her own skin until she let herself maintain a healthy weight for a while. The comfort comes later…the acceptance comes later. I was telling her this and believing it and yet there is still that bit that exists in me that says I am the exception. I should be able to feel comfortable first. I don’t need to get to a healthy weight and maintain it first. The rule doesn’t apply to me.

I’m not sure whether that’s arrogance or delusional. Either way as I type it, I know that it is not logical or real.

One of the things that I was asked to do this week was to keep a food diary. I really struggle with this because writing down what I eat only serves to make me feel more ashamed, however I recognise that it is a tool needed right now so that my therapist can see how things are.

I wish I had more positive news for you. I am aware that this blog has gotten a little negative lately. As always I am trying to be honest with you and what I realising is that this blog is about recovery and recovery is not this one step to the next in an upward motion. Sometimes its frustrating and being stuck and going backwards. Hopefully soon things will start to look that way again.

I hope your day has been good to you.

Don’t excuse not trying.

20 Jul

I did a challenge today that I have been trying to do for months! Sure I could think of all the ways that I made it fit the Anorexia and how I made it safe, but I still did it. I keep thinking that maybe even when I feel like I have nothing left to give, there is still something inside of me that refuses to let me give up on myself. I am not ready to give up on me or my future. I won’t sign myself off for a life that is hurting and hospitals and one sickness after the other. I stopped seeing that I was worthy of recovery and I kept wondering who was I to think that I deserved anything better than what the Eating Disorder could offer me. I’ve been wrong to think that.

The fear of losing my freedom or having to give it up again has unsettled me. Time and time again I have worked too hard to get it back, only to have it gone again. I’m not ready to let that happen. I have to figure out a way to live and by living I mean that I need to find a way to recover. At home and mostly on my own. Surely there is an untapped source of energy that I can call upon right now. It’s just a puzzle that needs solving, right?

Going into treatment the first time was one of the hardest decisions I made, staying in treatment was the hardest. I’m hoping that I can stop whatever this is before I have to make those choices again. I have watched so many people around me get sick again, go back in, get better and continue to repeat the cycle and I have also watched people who just got better. People who are living with the eating disorder only whispering at them rather than screaming. If I can’t have silence then I want that. This semi state of recovery or pseudo recovery, or whatever you want to call it is not a place that I want to be in. It never was and it never will be.

Here’s the thing, we can be pissed at ourselves for losing so much of our lives to the Eating Disorder and we can also be pissed that we aren’t better yet. That’s ok. What isn’t ok is for that to become an excuse to not try anymore. We may all be tired of fighting this battle daily but we are not allowed to give up. It’s not ok to sit back and watch whilst this happens to us and do nothing about it. We are not victims. A victim to me implies powerlessness and I promise that you and me are more powerful than we will ever believe possible.

You can do this.

I hope your day has been kind to you.

Let me go

19 Jul

Dear Anorexia,

Lets have a chat.

It’s been two years since I first sat down and wrote a letter to say goodbye to you. I was ready to end our decade long relationship and find a way to live on my own without you. Yet here you are…still present, still trying to devour my soul and destroy my body. Did I not make it clear enough that you were not wanted? Did you doubt my words or my sincerity? No one made me give you up, no one made me choose between you or myself. Those were my choices. It was me that didn’t want you! I still don’t. You have worked so damn hard to ruin me, to make me reliant on you and believe that without you then life cannot go on. However I know that life can only go on when you no longer hold a place in my head or heart. I thought I needed you but I don’t. I am enough of my own. I am enough.

I admit there are days when the sadness becomes too great and I search for you, seeking safety in the arms who once held me so comfortably. I become unsure, afraid or anything too difficult and I expect you to be prepared with an answer for me. You never fail to be waiting for me but you have been without answers for too long a time now. I wanted you to save me. You couldn’t save me though…you could break me apart but asking you to pick up those pieces and put them back together again was something you was never going to be capable of doing. It took me a long time to see that and maybe it was because I didn’t want to…maybe I didn’t want to believe that the way to fix myself was far more complicated then starving myself. I fell for every line you ever fed me and only I can take responsibility for that. I thought I was and always would be stronger than you and I was far too arrogant to believe that you would never be able to claim any real sense of power. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t stupid enough to get sick but you don’t care how smart a person is…you’ll go after anyone won’t you? You’ll do whatever it takes to make them turn their own thoughts against themselves. How do you do that?

In my first letter I said that I would miss you and I am sure that I would if you gave me the chance to, but I also know that I would never miss you enough to want you back. I don’t cry at the thought of you leaving me, I cry because I worry that you won’t. You weren’t supposed to happen and when you did, you weren’t supposed to stay this long. You took my childhood, my adolescent and the start of my adulthood. You have taken my health and strength and at times all of my hope. Why would I still want you? Haven’t you taken enough yet?

I need you to leave. I need for us to not be a story anymore. If we keep going, if we keep up this relationship then I won’t live. I won’t reach 30. I won’t fall in love. I won’t finish my degree. I won’t travel to random places. I won’t eat just because I want to. I won’t have a family. I won’t have friends.

You are not compatible with life.
You never were. I was just too hurt to really ever see that. I didn’t want life back then. I didn’t want to feel anything and you offered me that. You made my emotions less, you made my dreams less, you made me less. But you couldn’t stop. You didn’t know how.

This has to end Anorexia.
I don’t want to fight you anymore. I don’t want to have to watch my back all the time, terrified that the moment I drop my guard you will be there, waiting to climb back into my life. I don’t need you.

I am beyond trying to shout you down. I know that my voice is not loud enough. I know that you still own too much of a piece of me for me to win those head games you wish for me to engage in. So I am begging you with everything I have left. Let me go! Just let me go. We don’t have to do this anymore.


Why am I doing this?

18 Jul

The last few days have been a little hectic and maybe for the first time in a while I am relieved that is now the weekend. I’ll admit that my body and mind need to get some rest otherwise I’m not going to last much longer. I feel like I’m reaching a breaking point soon, the tiredness overwhelming me and my emotions have completely developed a will of their own. I can’t keep up. I go from compensating with being overly smiley and engaging to tears that I can’t control. It’s confusing mostly.

The Eating Disorder continues to beat me down. I don’t know what it wants from me anymore. Haven’t I given it everything already? Has it taken enough from me? Sometimes something catches me off guard and the sadness that follows makes the ground feel like its completely unstable. For instance last night, I went to a community performance which, in itself was amazing. It was a variety thing, so some sketches, music and dancing etc. I sat there and at some point between several of the dance acts I began to ache for how I once was able to move like that. I used to have the energy to throw myself around and not worry that at any point my body could just fail me. Now I get tired walking up the stairs. I get dizzy in the shower. I can’t catch my breath when I go to the supermarket. It all takes an amount of effort that I have drained from myself. Did I really once believe that being thinner would make me stronger? That it would make me run faster and move quicker? I did. I confused thin with power and strength. By the end of the night I wanted to sit down with all those little dancers and tell them that their bodies are amazing, that they are enough and not too much. I wanted to tell them that an Eating Disorder is never something to want, thin is not something to aspire to. Enjoy your bodies, enjoy how they move and stretch and allow you to express whatever it is that inside of you. Don’t give that up. Don’t let it be taken from you!

I kept hoping that it would motivate me…in fact I’ve looked for motivation in any place I could find this week and yet I still have come up short. On Wednesday at group I got called out. There were truths that needed to be said and I needed to hear any yet somehow still they weren’t enough. I deflected. I avoided. I apologised for doing both and then continued to do them. Why am I doing this?

This morning was my appointment at the unit and it is fair to say that all I could say was that I was stuck. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know how to move forward or reach my targets. I’m lost in the Anorexia and it fills up all of my senses. There is little room for anything else. She asked me if I had thought of Inpatient…quite honestly it isn’t something that I feel like I could do again. That’s fine for now. They can’t force me. I don’t think I’m at that point of needing to re-enter treatment. I think I just have to be very aware that the possibility of it is not that far away and so if I’m going to get my shit together and make changes then it has to happen very quickly. Not just for my physical health but also because mentally I’m not sure how much longer I can go on living with the Eating Disorder being this brutal on me.

It’s been a difficult week and instead of getting closer to where I want to be, I just appear to be moving further away. However on a positive note, I have finally moved into my new place! It is kind of anxiety provoking but I think it’s just going to be about letting time heal those wounds. It is really good though to have my own space. To do and be as I want to be without feeling like I need to be this performing monkey who has to continuously be switched on. I can let it go…or at least I will be able to as soon as I can let myself relax a little.

It will get easier I’m sure.

I hope your day has been good for you.

Shine On Be.U.tiful

Food. Healing. Living Free.

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