Today I am procrastinating! I have a load of articles to write but I feel the need to write a blog and get some sh&t off my chest – I know, how much sh&t does one girl have – right?
It is my birthday this week and I have made the big statement of ‘I am postponing it’.
I do not want to celebrate. I am single, living alone, fighting a mental illness, what is there to celebrate? I keep replaying ‘what was I doing this time last year’ and it is just too hard, too painful to think about.
I remember being happy, but I also remember being in the grips of this disease too. A happy, yet a bitter memory.
I am not feeling sorry for myself or seeking sympathy, but I do not want to celebrate another year with my eating disorder.
This week I have been thinking about how much Anorexia has fundamentally changed my personality. I used to be confident, funny, and an extrovert. Nothing scared me and I was so enthused by life and my future. I wanted a career, love and happiness. Don’t we all?
I love people, I love being around positive, happy, funny people. The more I look back, the sadder I feel. Looking back at the person I used to be fills me with sadness.
Anyone meeting me now only gets to see this shell, angry, moody and often distant person. I would not want to be around me either.
Anorexia has left me unsociable, fearing social situations, fear of talking to people, meeting new people and I struggle to engage with the remaining friends I have.
There is always an excuse as to why I cannot meet with people. I hate it, I hate being known as ‘flakey’ it is not who I am.
I have made so many RASH, HASTY, AWFUL and ANOREXIA fuelled decisions over the last month, most people would struggle to make some of the decisions in their lifetime, let alone in one month. Most of the decisions have been me lashing out, anorexia constantly looking at ways to start a battle and prove we can survive without people.
I now have to live with my decisions, sometimes that thought consumes my every waking hour.
Room with a view
Moving into a new place on my own has been, well awful. I did not really have a choice. I had to find my own space.
I physically and mentally cannot buy anything for my new place.
I have a camp bed, three lamps, a picture of a Buddha, two small tables and some necessary kitchen stuff and that is it.
My clothes lay in their bags unpacked, toiletries remain unpacked and my shoes are all shoved in a bag where I left them the day I moved in. On the first day, I sat there for three hours and stared at all my bags, shaking, feeling sick, scared and in shock.
I cried so hard my ribs hurt.
A pair of curtains I reluctantly bought still remain thrown over the curtain pole! – Good job I live on the third floor.
This place feels so alien to me. This is not my home.
I lay on my super comfy, small camp bed and listen to the traffic and drink in the empty space. Strangely, I like the emptiness.
I like the quiet, I like it feels temporary.
Although I am lonely (especially without WIFI – I know!!!), it is somewhere I can shut away from the world and meditate, do a little yoga and think about recovery.
A glimmer of hope this week has seen me eat a few different things, overeat a few things and possibly gain a little weight. Although I have not weighed myself I can feel it.
Learning to deal with weight gain is like having to touch something you FEAR the most in the world and touch it every day. I feel scared, shameful and guilty but at the same time, I feel proud and excited about battling this disease….finally.
Has the switch been turned on?
Will I eat a piece of cake for my birthday this year? Maybe – I’ll let you know.
I do want to educate people about this disease as much as possible. I have faced judgement, lack of empathy and pure ignorance over the last few months. I do not blame people for their opinions, but we can all make the effort to learn rather than remain ignorant.
Please see below a few facts on eating disorders and namely Anorexia.
What are eating disorders?
Eating disorders are mental illnesses with a genetic basis.
Eating disorders can affect any person, at any age, of any gender
Eating disorders are deadly. They have the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness.
Eating disorders affect far more than just food and eating. While these are the most visually obvious symptoms, they actually affect almost every aspect of the sufferer’s life.
Eating disorders are not a choice
Eating disorders are not anybody’s fault. If a person has the genetic disposition for an eating disorder they can fall sick to one at any time in life.
Eating disorders are nothing to do with wanting to be thin.
Eating disorders are nothing to do with the psychoanalytical idea of “control.”
For a person with a restrictive eating disorder such as Anorexia, when they go on a diet and create that negative energy balance within their body, they feel really calm, relaxed and have a huge sense of well-being.
When they go to eat again, they feel stressed and anxious. When they starve themselves it feels “right” and eating or trying to eat again feels “wrong.”
Here is the most important point in all this: For those of us with restrictive eating disorders, restriction feels like safety and well-being. This is why we go there. It becomes like a drug.
We have to learn to resist it. We have to learn to eat regardless of how horrible eating feels. We cannot be lured into the safe space that restriction feels like.
This is why we go there. It becomes like a drug. We have to learn to resist it. We have to learn to eat regardless of how horrible eating feels. We cannot be lured into the safe space that restriction feels like.