Time and time again I am astounded how quickly things can change and the speed at which I can change. It happened yesterday, a gap slipped into my day and created a bridge from feeling as though I would never smile again to feeling pretty on top of the world.
I had gotten stuck in the fog again that left me feeling frustrated with myself because I could not get any work done. Everything had turned to static, thoughts had ceased and the anxiety was running through my body. I was tired and the pull of the eating disorder was strong…”if I could just numb myself out? If I could just make myself not care again then it would be ok. I would be ok.” It was tempting. Some days I just crave the oblivion that it used to bring. The hollowed out feeling where nothing seems to hurt that much because I don’t have the capacity to feel that intensely. Yet deep down I knew that it wasn’t an option. I could/can not go back to living in the bubble that I had created because I am not ignorant this time, I cannot fool myself into believing that it will all be fine, that it won’t damage me. The bubble that I had set up home in does not exist anymore and for a while I could do nothing other than let myself be sad about that.
By the time I got into the office my anxiety had turned to hyperactivity. I sat there making jokes, laughing too loud because I could not bear the thought that someone might see through my bullshit, even though I knew that if I needed them to be they would be supportive of me. Then something happened that cut through all that for a minute. My team has been invited to a big ceremony in December but we have only been given four tickets, and the process of choosing who would go was going to be done on a name in the hat basis. However when I got in I was told that it had been put to a vote and it had been a unanimous decision that I have one of the tickets for the work I’ve done this last year. It felt so amazing to have that recognition but what’s more my team like me and they think I’m doing a good job and that in itself it just a really nice thing to hear, especially when I’ve been doubting myself so much lately. The trouble is that it includes a 3 course meal. So I’m not sure how I’m going to handle that…but I have a month to think about that, and who knows maybe by the time it comes around things will be a little easier.
Then my mood kind of collapsed again when I went to group. I just sat there and realised I was spending the entire time using humour to break the ice and deflect anything hard and calling up everyone else on their crap and shooting holes in their beliefs and thinking. I wasn’t able to say anything that I needed to say. At times I sit in the room and stay quiet because I feel like I have all this other support outside of the group, such as my therapist and some of the group members have no one else, this space is the only place they can engage in a conversation about their eating disorder, it’s the only way they can get help right now, which is in part due to the lack of resources here. I just feel like I have a less of a right. Leaving I was irritable and frustrated with myself, that I am hiding behind things at the moment rather than just saying what’s going on in my head. Then I was angry, furious that I needed to be there still, that my body hurt and felt uncomfortable. On the drive home I began to get pissed off with the people I saw in the street (admittedly this has been going on for a while). “Why do they get to be thin and not have their bodies feel like it’s giving up? It’s not fair that they walk around, engage, have strength and still hold on to their small shapes” And it wasn’t directed at people with eating disorders, just at people in general.
The overall change came when I picked up my emails at home and saw that I got a 1st on Monday’s presentation. It felt amazing, a relief and I just started smiling. It was such a better feeling than any weight loss feeling had ever given me. It was actual joy and pride. I achieved something that was not based on the numbers on a scale. I am beginning to let this illness define me less. Strands of light are falling on a possible world where anorexia does not exist for me. Last night all the desires in my heart that I have not dared to voice came tumbling out as I spoke either to God or the nothingness around me. I am healing but it is slow and I must be more patient with myself.
The fog is back this morning but I am trying to fight my way through it. I will not let myself slip comfortably back into the depression, nor let the eating disorder dictate my actions or my anxiety send me to near hysterics. Not today. Nope. It can bugger the hell off.