There are some days the heaviness of the Eating Disorder weighs on me. I find myself drifting off in to thoughts that I should not be thinking or sitting down to a meal and finding that the fear of it paralyses me and knowing that I have to get over it and do it anyway. Some days I wake up and I realise that a food which felt doable or even relatively safe has slipped back on to the unsafe list. I can’t rationalise it. I have no idea where it’s come from or why, all I do know is that if I eat that one food then something terrible is going to happen. I have no evidence for it but it’s a feeling that has slipped into the deepest part of my heart and leaves me on the brink of a panic attack. You know what the hardest part of it is though is that there is no one to talk to about it. There is no one I will let in enough for them to able to tell me that I’m being ridiculous and sit with me whilst I do the things I’m afraid of the most. Let’s be honest here, I don’t really remember the last time I challenged myself properly or brought out that old list of all the foods that I was supposed to try to prove to myself that it was fine to eat. Instead of allowing that safe list to grow or even find a way to abolish the lists that makes a food one or the other, the ok list is dwindling. More honesty? That list currently has about 20 items on it. 20 items to make breakfasts, lunch, dinners and suppers. Things get repetitive around here.
There are reasons why I don’t tell anybody about how things really are. The first is that I am bored of this entire situation and therefore am pretty sure that the people who care about me are too. I struggle to have the same old conversation again and again. I know that things are probably going to be like this either for a very long time or even forever. I have to just accept that and no amount of words is going to change. Yes, I realise it’s not the most positive statement that’s ever been written on this blog.
Secondly, I’m weight restored or at least my weight is now in the healthy range according to that ridiculous BMI scale. I don’t look like I have a problem and I think people who don’t really understand an Eating Disorder see weight as the benchmark for how difficult an individual is finding things. The thing is whenever I eat, there is an internal freak out going on, even though I do my damned hardest to not let that show on the outside. Some of it is ego, I don’t want people to see how much it breaks me down everyday. I don’t want that person and be judged on it or if it even be known. I once watched a TV programme about obesity. In the show they take people who are extremely overweight and over a year they go through this process of losing weight, becoming active and doing the things that their weight had stopped them from doing. I’ll admit part of the reason I watched it was because I have a little bit of a crush on the personal trainer. Anyway, there was this one woman who hadn’t sat down to a meal with her family in over 8 years and never ate in public. They picked apart what was going on for her and the reason was because she was ashamed of eating. She was ashamed, be judged and people would think “Why is she eating that? Look at the size of her”…apparently it’s a thing with people who are overweight. They’re embarrassed to eat in public because they’re afraid of what people will say in relation to their size and how they shouldn’t be eating. I’m not overweight but that’s what I feel every time I eat, even when I’m at home, I feel it because I am judging myself. I am thinking that it’s completely unnecessary to be doing it.
The final reason is that sometimes I can convince myself that what I am doing is normal. You know what it’s like…you develop a routine, stick to your lists, it’s all predictable and you do what you need to do to have the energy to get through the day. You can see the bigger picture, why you put yourself through all that you do and you’ve made some sort of twisted peace with it. You get complacent, even a little bit cocky because you’re doing it. You have this recovery thing down. Then someone throws something expected and everything falls apart. This has happened a few times this week and I pretend that it’s cool, that I have it but I genuinely don’t. However, me being me, can’t actually let anyone know. The thing I fearing the most at the moment isn’t happening until a couple of weeks but I got asked about it today. I’ve been asked to go for a birthday meal out and my response when asked if I would be ok with this particular restaurant was “of course, sounds good to me”. It does not sound good. It does not sound doable and because I don’t want to let her down, because I don’t want to admit to a ‘weakness’ and because I have a ridiculous sense of stupid pride I want to be ok with it. I only brings this up now because that’s my curveball. That’s when I am reminded that this stupid disorder lives on in my brain and I can pretend that it’s all fine but if it was, would a meal out really make me want to breakdown and throw some kind of messed up tantrum? Probably not.
I think the point that I am trying to make is that I got to a certain stage in my recovery and then I just stopped trying to move any further forward. Yet all that time, probably 8 months of standing still, the Eating Disorder has not been receding, just chipping away and attempting to find a new way in. I feel it working on me at all angles and so far my resistances have held up. I tell myself it’s enough, that it’s ok because my weight is ok but believing that makes me no better than all those people who are uneducated about Eating Disorders. I’m reducing it down in a way that I would never to do anyone else. Somehow though, it’s ok to do it to me. This is the boring part, when the world expects you to be fine but you’re not but there are no words to explain that you’re not, but you’re better than what you were when you needed treatment and maybe this half-life will have to be acceptable because this half-life may be all that you actually get…did that just make your head spin a little too?
I want it to just stop. Haven’t I given it enough days of my life already?
I hope your day has been kind to you.