How do I formulate the words to say that I am neither happy or sad? Or how one minute I am fine and the next it feels like my heart has dropped out of my chest and all I am left with is a hole, so deep and painful? How do I explain that in between place that I find myself existing in right now?
If you saw me, then you would think that I was doing ok. I laugh now. I make jokes. My personality has developed and turned me into something more than a numbed out robot. I don’t spend every day crying. I don’t wait and pray and dream of my life being over. Recovery calls to me more than ever and talks to me about how much I want to be well. Yet Anorexia is also there. That part of me, that disorder which only wants to twist me up in knots and make me doubt every step forward that I’ve ever taken. I’m afraid that the moment I let my attention slip or my gaze wander, it will be there, trying to consume me in a way that I don’t have a chance of standing up and fighting back against. Will it always be this way? Will I always have to be this vigilant and as a result, this exhausted?
My time at the unit is going to end soon and even though I am really looking forward to leaving here, it would be silly of me not to be scared. I’m excited because I have missed my life a hell of a lot more than I expected to and I want to go back to it…but I am scared that there is the potential for me to slip backwards, for me to not be able to sustain either my dietary intake or weight. I cannot do another round of treatment again. This admission has changed me but in the process it had to break me too. I touched points of despair that I thought I had left behind a long time ago. I had thoughts that I believed I had mastered and would never have to experience again. I have felt the pull to give up more times than I care to remember. I didn’t…I couldn’t. Yet in the middle of my treatment I thought about walking away. I was angry at myself for ever acknowledging that I even have an Eating Disorder in the first place. I was annoyed that I allowed myself to start to care again when all I felt was the need to go back to that place where death was the only thing that I wanted. It burned less to wish to escape. However I moved past that and as my weight increased towards a healthy BMI, my thinking did get better…and as much as we all want to think we’re perfectly capable of having clear and rational thoughts at a low BMI, we’re not. Our brains cannot physically do that. Yet with clearer thoughts came stronger feelings. Feelings are harder to deal with because most of the time they don’t make any sense, you can’t explain them but neither can you put them in a box anymore and push them out of sight.
Yet although I know that…I still try.
A strange thing happens when you get towards the end of treatment, suddenly you put this expectation on yourself to be better, that you can no longer take how you are feeling to your team. You tell yourself that you have to just deal with it on your own. I think I’ve been doing that for a couple of weeks. Taking my internal world and distancing itself from everyone else because it feels pointless to talk about. These things are so deep-rooted that I know my last couple of weeks on the ward are not even going to begin to check them out. I’ve been shutting myself up because I think a part of me wants to appear to be one of the success stories…even though I am not. The programme that I chose was a little bit about recovery but not fully. It was one that was going to help me learn to manage my Anorexia better, get me physically healthy and start the process of healing. The bulk of my work will not be done on the ward as many other people’s are but out in the community. It’s going to be intense community work but it feels more do-able then staying inpatient for any longer. This admission has taken up far more time than it was ever supposed to.
I will be out soon. Life will begin again and as always it is up to me to not destroy my own world again.
I hope your day is good to you.