I exist in a world that is filled with people who I am grateful for. They have no idea how sometimes just their very presence can make my day into something that feels good. It reminds me why I want my life back and that there is something to come back to. I was in a team meeting for most of the day and although we did get a lot of work done, just having random conversations – which happens a lot! – felt amazing. In those hours the Anorexia did not exist in the way that it usually does. Instead of a roar it became the annoying pesky voice which is more irritating then distressing. I could forget, be normal, be productive for a while and I suppose in a way it reminded me that I’m not such a waste of space. I am not someone that people have to find a way to tolerate. They actually like me. I never thought I’d be able to say that or believe it. I matter. My existence is not pointless.
Afterwards I met up with a friend who I was in treatment with the first time. It’s been a few weeks since I’d seen her and so filling each other in on our respective lives took some time. She has seen me struggle and today shared some much needed honest opinions. I think I have been really focused on time, focusing on getting treatment over and done with like it’s a point on my list that needs to be done and checked off and then moving on to the next thing. I’m expecting it to be hard admittedly but I also may be under-estimating how much it’s going to take out of me. The thing that worries me is that I don’t know how to be still and the idea of an empty diary terrifies me. I don’t understand the concept of doing things just for the enjoyment of them. There has to be a reason for it, a way that I can justify putting my energy into it so that I feel there is some sort of purpose to my existence. If I rush through treatment and then jump straight back into my education is there the potential for me to get distracted from recovery again and burn myself out? I don’t want to take out anything from my life but running at full steam between work and school has tired me and left little room for fun things. I always thought that I was ok with it but maybe it’s simply that I don’t know any other sort of life. I don’t know any other way of being. I also realised today how hard it must be to be my friend sometimes, especially in regards to those that were created through treatment. It must be frustrating. My friends want good things for me and yet they see me destroying myself everyday and no matter what seemingly insightful words that I say, in the end they are only that…words. We all talk about those people in recovery who are triggering, who have let the Anorexia consume them to the point where they can’t think about anything else and this idea that I may have become one of them struck me today. It kind of goes back to that belief that I am not like those other people, the ones that are actually unwell. I don’t want to be put myself into that category because I don’t want to admit that my world has been reduced so much. It can be exhausting being the friend and I wonder if at times I am exhausting to be around too. I don’t want that to be the case. What I did fully recognise though today was that if I want to have a family, a career and capable cognitive functions than I can’t do that with an eating disorder. There were these women who I knew in hospital and they had spent decades trapped and you could see how much the Eating Disorder had destroyed their brains, left them alone and barely functioning. I think that frightens me more than anything, certainly more than the stillness and so it is clear to me that in order to prevent one thing I must do the other. Either way I have to stop trying to run away.
But it has been a positive day and more than anything it is has just boosted my motivation. I really hope that the day comes soon when I can meet my friend and instead of having coffee, we go for dinner. That would be a really nice thing to do.
I hope your day has been good to you.