Yesterday I officially hit my late twenties. It was an OK day. Nobody made me push harder than I was capable of and for that I was more grateful than anything else. I managed to pull myself out of the sadness which had left me hiding out in my house for the latter part of last week. Today I woke up and the sadness is back, a quiet roar somewhere in the centre of my chest that is faltering and I wonder if it will get to the point where even that roar will give up the hope that I will have the energy to pay attention to it. I guess you could say that I am almost contemplative as well and I think that that is something that is common when you have a birthday. You start to assess the life that you have been living and when you find that it is making you unhappy or that you are stuck, you make plans to change it. If you’d have told me 10 years ago that as I get closer to 30, I would still be living with an Eating Disorder, I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of it. It would have been an unthinkable thought even though at the time, I had no belief in the notion of the possibility of recovery. I suppose I figured to some extent that I would essentially grow up and naively grow out of it. One day it just wouldn’t matter anymore and therefore I would give it up without a second thought, start eating the way that everyone around me seems to be able to do and accept that this body I am living in is all that I have, therefore all that would matter is that it was healthy. That’s how it was supposed to go…
I often come back to this thought about change though of do I still want to? Forget about how much energy and work it will take, forget about the anxiety and the fear, if I could just turn it off, would I? It is an easy question because yes of course I would. I get nothing from it to want to keep it. I hate having it inside of me, taking over inch by inch of my brain, my body and I suppose my soul. Is it just that apathy then that seems to have settled in my bones that makes the idea of recovery so unappealing? Here’s the problem when you’ve already tried recovery a few times, you know what it will take from you and that has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that you know what to expect, you expect the pain of refeeding, the odd sensations that will take over your body, the onset of puberty yet again(!) and the insomnia and the exhaustion. You expect the bad days but you also expect the good days, when the body is healing, when it runs longer and faster than you can remember, when you laugh real laughs or experience a triumph. The disadvantages though is that you know how much effort you have to put in everyday, without fail, you know that no matter how hard you push sometimes it just won’t click, you know about the pain, the tiredness, the fear and the horror and sense of being paralysed as your body changes right in front of your eyes and you can not go back to changing the thing you have spent years hating. You also know that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you give, sometimes it just doesn’t work and you fail and then you have to do it all over again. The repetition feels tedious and horrific at the same time, then the hopelessness settles in. Maybe it’s the anorexic voice gently instilling in you the thoughts that you have told yourself for so long, that you are nothing, a waste of space and delusional to believe that you could ever be free. It whispers “why try…?” and that’s when you realise that you have no idea why anymore because all the reasons you had before no longer seem that important.
Of course as I write this, I realise I am making excuses for the relapse. I am trying to justify something in my mind that I thought was unjustifiable. I thought I was done with giving up years ago. Yet here I am again, not quite giving up but not quite going either. Just here I guess.
I hope your day has been good to you.