Eating Disorder Recovery

Probably needed that to happen

I’ve been afraid of letting myself cry for such a long time, thinking that if I started I was never going to stop. The thing is though that you don’t or can’t cry forever, it comes, it happens and then somehow it passes. I woke up this morning with the residue of yesterday still lingering, only it felt worse because I was solidly here in the present and not disconnected. I looked in the mirror and I wanted to hurl something at it, I weighed myself and felt sick. I went back to bed and crawled under the blankets and cried. I got dressed and then I weighed myself again. I cried some more, sat down and felt the skin on my back being burnt from the radiator and wondered if this pain that I felt was ever going to end. I was paralysed to that spot for some time, my limbs felt too heavy, my head felt like it was trying to climb its way through the quicksand to a safe place where it could gather itself. I left the house, drove across town with the radio turned up full blast and screamed. In the waiting room I tried to pull myself together. “Stop crying this instant! This is not what you do. You do not show emotion in public, you don’t fall apart. Stop being so bloody pathetic”. It didn’t work. My therapist came, took me into a different room to be weighed because the other scales were broken and I couldn’t say anything. The number stopped in its place and I could feel the tears burning, trying to escape but still I resisted them. I fumbled with my boots, hoping that it would give me time to compose myself but it was no use. I sat down, she asked me what was wrong and that was it…”I don’t know. I don’t know what it is wrong with me. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I’m done.” Those words “I am done” which had made me feel powerful only a few days ago suddenly made me feel very weary and broken. I let go. I cried. I talked. I said all the things that I hadn’t wanted to say before.

It feels like I’m on the edge of something very big at the moment and it is terrifying me beyond belief. I want out of the disorder, but the disorder doesn’t want to let me out. I don’t know why I cling on to it anymore. I don’t know what purpose it serves. All I know is that it is hurting me too much, it’s taken too much. I remembered thinking Anorexia was going to make me powerful, yet today I had to acknowledge that that wasn’t real. That it actually left me powerless, incapable of showering myself or walking down a flight of stairs. I thought the Anorexia was going to make me safe, but now I have to know that it doesn’t, that my weight actually has nothing to do with whether something good or bad is going to happen. I made the eating disorder my God, my sun, moon and stars with the hope of a promise that it was going to save me. It didn’t. It took and took and still takes and yet I still feed it. I think a really hard thing for me to recognise today was how much of a hold I let it took. I guess I’ve always told myself that I could walk away at any point from it. It would be easy enough. If I wanted recovery enough then I could be ok. It’s not true. I can’t just walk away from it because every time I try, it strikes back twice as fast and twice as hard, knowing all the right buttons to push to keep me to stay with it. I’m starting to truly see it as the parasite it really is.

What I learnt today though is that it’s ok to show emotion, it’s ok to be undone by this and not have to keep it together all the goddamned time. I also learnt that I want recovery more than I thought possible. That this game I’m playing with myself of gaining/losing, going backwards and forwards is doing nothing but putting off the inevitable, causing me more distress in the process and that I need to stop. I also learnt that it meant more weight gain because at this point my brain is programmed to fixate on food. It’s survival. The only way it lessens it by reaching a healthy weight. I learnt that I am going to have to keep going, no matter how much I hate it because that’s the only way to break through the barrier, it’s the only way that I am ever going to find some conclusion to this chapter. I have to let my body heal so that my mind can follow. I have a choice, but it doesn’t feel like much of a choice when the alternative is living like this forever. I can’t do that. My soul cannot take it.

I am exhausted now. The tears have passed, the gut wrenching sadness doesn’t feel so acute. I hope I sleep tonight and that tomorrow is a brighter day. Perhaps I needed this to happen and I needed to get it out of my system once and for all rather than trying to manipulate and distract myself away from it. I really hope that it gets better soon.

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