Is it possible to be living your life based on two conflicting thoughts that are running at the same time? If so, this is what I think I’m doing. On one side I have this dialogue saying “You got this, it’s going to be ok, you can find contentment. You will know what it’s like to be free if you just keep going. You’re so close, don’t give up”. Yet the other side is saying “Nope, this is not ok! You are incapable and you’re being ridiculous to even think that you can attain even a tiny bit of peace. Stop fighting. Stop trying to prove that you’ll ever be anything more than a screw up because you won’t be. This is all it’s ever going to be so give up”. It feels like most of the time I’m battling my own mind more than I am trying to take down the Eating Disorder, that’s if we go with the belief that we are separate and don’t live in the same house. You see, I think I am beginning to believe that it’s not actually the disorder that is going to ruin me but me instead. If I can’t outrun my own doubts then I don’t stand a chance. If I don’t move out of my own way then I’ll destroy myself and all Anorexia will have to do is stand by and watch. It is so tiresome to not be able to trust your own mind and even more so to not feel safe there either. However this is nothing new and maybe that’s why it’s so frustrating now, I know the patterns and the traps and yet repeatedly I trip in to them. It’s like when you are learning a new skill or a dance. Intellectually you know the steps, you know the way you are meant to move your body, the twists and turns are driven into your memory. You hear the music in your sleep and see the entire routine in your dreams. You know all this but when the time comes to move your own body to the beat, you can’t do it. There are trips and stumbles, your arms won’t stretch the way your head is telling them to, your legs don’t extend as they so easily do in your head. You know it but you can’t do it. That’s what I feel recovery is like sometimes. I’m telling myself to jump higher, stretch further, not to forget the next step but in reality it doesn’t work. I can’t get off the ground. I’m not strong enough to do what is so easily done in my mind. I want it but wanting doesn’t mean you have the ability.
It’s not a reason to give up though. If I have learnt anything over these last few years is that giving up has never actually gotten me anywhere. When I was younger, I thought it meant that I would get to rest. I would stop and I would die and that was perfectly acceptable to me. Can you imagine being a kid and your only ambition is to not be here anymore? I expected it to be this clean transition. That you simply drifted from one plane of existence to the next or to nothing if that is what you believed. I had this idea that if you wanted it enough and you willed it then it would be enough. Life would get the hint and let you go. Stop eating, stop crying, stop talking, stop hoping. Simple. Only it wasn’t. People try and save you and it gets more complicated. There isn’t an easy way out. Suicide is certainly not easy and neither is life.
The other thing I learnt was that by giving up, I was making me exist in this painful state all the time. I was so busy trying to escape that had I been able to pay attention and stop trying to numb the pain and fight the world, then I may have noticed that there was potential for goods things to happen. I blocked it all out because I convinced myself that if I could not handle the bad, if I didn’t want that…then I sure as hell didn’t deserve the good either. I thought it was all or nothing. You couldn’t be half in and half out. Again, simple.
So here I am…years in to this and I am still searching for the thing that’s going to make me want to stop giving up. There is still that childish belief in me that thinks it would be better if I let myself go under. I would drift away quietly and everything would be fine. That isn’t real though. If I give up…I will feel every single drop. It will hurt, I will hurt and as my self fights me to stay alive, I genuinely believe that it will tear my soul in two in the process. There is no peace in stopping that way. Not when it comes to this. Anorexia is not a silent disorder, it will go down with you screaming like a banshee for the whole world to hear.
I am conflicted everyday.
Yet I can’t be about this. Giving up cannot be an option anymore. It’s too much of a heart-breaking experience to keep going back there. To keep wondering if I am capable of or not. I’ve lost too much time going over the same debate. I’m still losing time.
My family is kind of fractured right now. I have another head injury going on as of yesterday. My license is in jeopardy. My world is unsecure right now but this recovery has to stay stable. If that goes then everything goes. I have 3 months left of treatment. There isn’t actually a lot of time left to lose.
Lets go hard.