Eating Disorder Recovery

Sadness seems too hard

A sadness is resting inside of me and I don’t know how to make it let go of me, neither do I know how I am supposed to just sit with it without trying to transform it into something that’s easier for me to handle. It’s always been a difficult emotion for me because it doesn’t go anywhere, there is nothing you can do with sadness. You cannot let it burn up into some motivation like you can with anger. It just cracks open your chest with a heaviness so profound that words dry up, you feel paralysed and all hope seems to flee.

There is so much sadness in me. For the here and the now, and for the past and the future. I’m losing my faith in the belief that I’m going to make it through this or that I’ll be ok. I should have seen it coming rather than ignoring the warning signs. I should have said something sooner in a serious manner rather than always making a joke out of it and trying to laugh it off. And instead I’m here in a place that feels so lonely and the only thing I can think about is restricting, hurting myself or ending my life (don’t panic I have no intention of engaging those thoughts). I’m not ok with that. I’m not ok with the fact that it always comes back to this.

Yesterday I was delivering some training which includes sharing parts of my story in the hope that people can begin to have a better understanding of mental health and for the most part it was fine. I let people in to my world a little and even though I couldn’t say the word Anorexia out loud and be truly honest about how painful it still is, I could say what it was like before. And then that’s when it hit me, instead of despising and realising how shitty that existence was, I began to miss it. Fully and fiercely long for that state of mind when I still believed myself to be untouchable and the whole sadness could not reach me. It unsettled me. The body image and my ability to tolerate that is getting worse. I cannot articulate this need to get the flesh off me, as though that is the reason for why I feel so wrong. It comes in waves, unrelenting and leaving me breathless just like the wind had been knocked out of me. At the point I was still coping fairly well in terms of the smile on my face did not slip, my features remained fixed as they were supposed to be, I was playing the recovered, insightful person very well. Then the colleague decided to make a few comments in the discussion afterwards and that was when hopelessness mixed with fury settled into my bones. You see, we both have the same diagnosis of a personality disorder, and yet we experience it very differently. He buys into the labels, the criteria and the stereotypes. He sits in a room telling people how extreme it was, how fucked up he is and giving out of date research and statistics…anyway he interrupted the conversation to hand out these wonderful bits of information such as:

“The doctor told me there was nothing worse than this diagnosis.”
“There is no hope for us.”
“The doctor said it would be better if I was brain-damaged.”
“You have to be very careful with what you say to people like us.”
“We are manipulative, we are sick, we are only here because we’ve experienced mental health worse than anyone.”

Seriously, wtf??? We are supposed to be breaking down the stigma attached, not making it worse!

Afterwards it was hard to shake it and yes complaints have been logged and noted so things will change in that respect. But I took it very much to heart, the idea that this is all I’ll ever be. My whole life will be nothing but a battle of juggling the personality disorder, the eating disorder and the anxiety.

Today I had my therapy session and it hurt a lot. To carry on unpicking the protective stories I have told myself in order to carry on living and not feel so damned powerless is a challenge. I know this work has to happen for me to heal, that it is not good for somebody to carry around that much guilt and hate but it leaves me feeling raw and exposed. As though my skin has been peeled away leaving my nerves exposed. Then I got weighed. It was like a blow to the stomach. I know that I’ve been working on the weight gain but to see it there, to have those numbers flashing up in front of me and not be reduced by it was too much. Something inside of me fled. This current state is intolerable…so are the numbers. I don’t know how to make myself moving forward. I didn’t want to break in that office today because we were running out of time, and even if we weren’t the idea of talking about it was not something I was ok with doing. I almost made it the full hour with any tears and then when I was putting my jacket on she noticed some self harm wounds and she asked me about them. That’s when the tears started and I could not look at her. Instead I focused on putting my shoes back on, writing next weeks appointment down and getting my stuff together. Then I left. Telling her it was fine. I was fine.

I’m not fine.
I need to write essays this afternoon. I have to be productive in some way because otherwise I will begin to question my own existence and that’s not really a good place for my brain to go to.

I hope you are having a better day. Look after yourself.

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5 thoughts on “Sadness seems too hard

  1. What the heck, how can your colleague say such things?! I’m angry at him right now being so careless about his words and hurting you with them… Remember that the personality disorder, the eating disorder and the anxiety are not your identity. They may be part of you at the moment, but they are not what defines you, they are not YOU. You have a will apart from any kind of disorder, you have fought so hard already to get where you are now, so you know that there is more to you than those diagnoses!!!

    1. I think everybody was angry with him at the end. Hopefully I will not be working with him again. I know that my problems are not my identity most of the time and that I’m more than that, it’s just when he tried to convince everybody those with personality disorder were only ever going to be that which mixed with a bad day left me feeling a little hopeless. Thank you for your words, they mean a lot to me :).

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