Eating Disorder Recovery

I do not want to be bloody delicate.

Each morning I get up with the belief that I am fuelling my body adequately, maybe even too much. The guilt of yesterdays meals lingers and the anxiety of the food ahead makes me want to go back to bed. Yet I cannot deny that I like waking up, getting up without the floor flying up to meet me and black spots dancing in my field of vision. I love that I don’t have to be so careful when uncurling my body that is twisted round in blankets because the stiffness in my young body hurts too much. I bounce around the flat without getting breathless, my heart doesn’t feel like it’s doing backflips or beating out of sync. My mornings are the better part of my day. It’s the time I can convince myself that I am fine, that my body is strong again and will no longer fail without my approval. A thought sneaks in, that shouldn’t make me feel better but it does “Maybe I don’t have to try as hard today? Maybe I could just skip a few things here and there and it will be ok?”

Somewhere in the middle of the afternoon I will question this idea and by 6:15pm as I attempt to tackle the bus journey home I will think it is downright ridiculous. How is it possible to even feel this tired? My whole being hurts, my heads rushing with a headache and I’m pretty sure at some point I’m going to just drop down and not move for a while. Sitting in the traffic it comes to me in pieces. How do I expect myself to run around like this and not give my body anything extra to work with? I’m expecting it to do more on the same or less. Maybe I can hold the scales still but I cannot deny that my body is not coping by this time. In those moments I hate myself…and it’s not the hate that I usually get, but the type that makes me want to weep for what I have done. I hate that I have reduced myself to this, that I feel like this, that I have made myself fragile when it was the last thing I ever wanted to be. We tell ourselves that we are strong when we refuse food, we are strong for existing on adrenaline and caffeine. That’s bullshit. In attempting to make ourselves ‘strong’ we have made ourselves delicate and breakable. Who the hell wants to be that?

I wish I could hold on to those moments for longer. Long enough so that when I get home I will have a better dinner rather than giving into the eating disordered thoughts which seem to rage as soon as I step across the threshold and I am faced with nothing but myself. Maybe some day. Maybe tomorrow. My only worry is that tomorrow is a very long time away when you tell yourself it everyday and that’s how you lose whole chunks of your life. It is possible that I need to get up in the morning and say “Today is the day” and have enough balls to follow it through without terrifying myself into doing nothing at all. It is a thought…

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12 thoughts on “I do not want to be bloody delicate.

  1. Just a question, do you ever like that experience of fragility? I’m just wondering because that’s what it’s like for me sometimes: I have the impression that feeling and looking fragile is a sign of achievement and discipline, especially when I still press on and do normal things. In these moments, the weakness feels like strength, which I know is really twisted and it has already changed a bit, but when that is the case, I don’t even want to be less delicate. Though at the same time I dislike these thoughts because I know that I am damaging my body and I am probably losing opportunities that way…

    1. I can’t say I liked it as such. I can’t even say I was aware of it at the time and it’s only now that I can. I thought I was stronger though, that I could live on less food and push myself to all these crazy limits and still get everything done that I needed to get done. It was some weird power adrenaline high. I remember having myself convinced that I was invincible because I could do that. Then I couldn’t anymore, and I couldn’t run and the adrenaline dried up and there was nothing left. I didn’t like that fragility at all. I didn’t like that it when it backfired, when everyone’s warnings came true and how quickly it happened. Being delicate is portrayed as this beautiful thing all over the world and yet is there anything less pretty or endearing than having to have someone else shower you because you are too weak to. It takes time to distinguish what thoughts are the eating disorder, and it takes even longer to begin to let them go. You are re-writing the rules right now that the eating disorder put into place, trying to see a future, trying to understand that being less doesn’t make you stronger, trying to change your thoughts. It’s not easy but you’ll figure out what you want more, the eating disorder in your life or not in it.

      1. Changing the thoughts and re-writing the rules – that’s it exactly πŸ™‚ Constantly teelling yourself you do not have to live according to the rules you once set up, you don’t have to be mastered by the negative thoughts and emotions that come up when I eat “too much” for they are only lies. I know what the truth is, but I have to remind myself all the time because it doesn’t feel like the truth…

  2. When I was anorexic, I never actually passed out from standing up, but I’ve come damned close several times. I remember needing to just hang my feet over the edge of my bed before actually standing up, and then swaying there for a few seconds while my black vision cleared up and the pounding in my head went away before starting my day.

    One of the continuous hells of an eating disorder is telling yourself, each day, that that day will be different. I know that I would feel so strong for the first several hours, and then around noon, I would start to fall apart. Each day the cycle was the same. Nothing changed. I got worse.

    All I have to offer right now is words of comfort. Be open to the possibility of recovery but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen when you want it to happen. Life RARELY works that way πŸ™‚

  3. And, Mirijam? I experienced a liking of my fragility. Like nobody could touch me anymore. Nobody could hurt me anymore, because I was already hurting myself so much more and worse than anybody ever could. I actually PREFERRED to think that I was hurting myself. That gave me an incredible strength I needed at the time. Though, looking back, I can start to appreciate just how bad things were for me if self harm was preferable to what I was experiencing.

      1. This is a bit different for me. I don’t actually experience it as hurting myself; it’s more the idea that sometimes I hurt anyway, for no reason I can really name, and this way I am entitled to feel that hurt. I guess I am not as much afraid of other people hurting me as of them not truly noticing me. Though what I have come to realize is that I cannot force anyone to truly care about me. Trying to do so with the means of anorexia is only manipulative. I may get someone to worry about my health, but what I really long for is to be acknowledged as a person, the innermost core of me, and I now know that I cannot achieve this through being too thin. Now I am trying to live upon this realization.

      2. You are worthy person. Anorexia will not do anything to make that anymore true. You deserve to be loved, and happy and healthy. It is ok for you to be hurt and you don’t need a justification for that, everyone feels pain at some point but trying re-direct it so it becomes focused on the body only prolongs it. You will get through this when you truly own that you are good enough and that you are entitled to feel how you feel. Keep fighting. I have faith in you x

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