Anorexia, myself and I – 60km of contemplation and tears!

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I have not posted for ages, I have had a birthday since my last post, walked 60km for charity and writing has got crazy busy. I am having a ball involving myself in other peoples passions and projects. This is a good and a bad thing!

The good – is that I start to get self esteem back and have a purpose, the bad is that I can throw myself into my work and forget about my deep routed friend. She still sits there every morning and every evening and pretty much every mealtime, but I can lose myself in other stuff for a while and forget about her voice for a while! Its lovely but gut wrenchingly awful at the same time.

The trek! It was the hardest thing I have ever done! Or should I say ‘we’ have ever done. 100km was the target, but after a measly 20km I soon realised it was going to be tough, really tough. After a 3000ft climb in the pouring rain, all in the first 28km, I literally had nothing left. I could not believe it, this tough marathon running determined person had been mentally beaten. I cried and stropped out a lot and without Paul keeping me going I could have sat down in cowshit and cried…..

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Of course we were not going to ‘give up’ and we walked through pain, black toenails and awful weather until the 60km checkpoint. At this point, we had been trekking for 19 hours straight without stopping and I was living on dark chocolate and some soggy sweet potatoe I was carrying in my rucksack….when your body is put under that much strain, you do not feel hungry or thirsty but when you are underweight anyway its worse, you have no where to pull energy from.

I went into the trek scared, I never get scared at this kind of thing, I love a challenge but after being constantly reminded of how I should not be doing it, you are not well enough……it really left me with doubt and when you need to get through pain, lack of energy, cold, wet and plagued with blisters doubt is the last thing you need.

In the end at 60km we had to give up, Paul went into shock from the cold and low blood sugar and I truly believe one of us would have ended up really poorly if we had carried on. I was truly gutted, giving up is not an option for me and it was so disappointing. Its the same determination that keeps me battling Anorexia.

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BUT lets me honest who the f&ck am I kidding at the moment! The same ‘you have to get better’ conversations have started again between those around me and people ask ‘How are you’ and say you look ‘really well’ or FAT in the case of what I hear – little do they know that nothing is different, there is no weight gain, there is no reduction in exercise and most importantly enough is never enough.

Being busy is great, but the fine line of stress I start to put myself under starts to increase and thats when I find myself exercising twice a day or reducing what I eat even more – I don’t even notice it happening as its so deep routed. Sorry – You have all heard this before and I realise it must be boring and frustrating for you as it is me.

However, I did something I was petrified about and had a birthday party, it was amazing and I danced the night away without a care in the world. It was the best form of therapy but the next day was the biggest downer! One night of freedom of thought and expression made me feel alive, happy and I felt surrounded by people who loved me, well most of them! Imagine waking from that the next day, its like an alcoholic the night after a binge – what now, I actually did have a hangover from the glass of wine (I know what a lightweight) I treated myself too BUT I also walked around feeling a little sad and lost. Could I go out every night and party and drink to forget – worryingly absolutely!!

 

Its under three weeks until we move to Spain, I feel excitement, fear and guilt all at the same time. Family are clearly upset we are going, I feel fear as its unknown and I feel excitement because who wouldn’t at the prospect of living in a new country…..well apart from if your from Wiltshire ;-))

In three weeks we will be arriving in a new country, everything will be unknown and the potential to feel stress fills me with fear – stress is my biggest trigger. OK, I know we all have different stress levels but when I worked in a corporate environment I lived on a MASSIVE stress high for 7 years, so lets just say its built up over time and my capacity to handle it pretty much dramatically reduced.

At the same time I love stress, it makes me feel alive, I work well under stress and I thrive on whats next BUT its when the stress stops that the after effects take a hold. Spain will be a slower pace of life, I will still be working but we won’t be having to worry about moving and caring for a boat, running a business, house and pet sitting – what happens what that all stops?! I am scared. Don’t we all need stress to some degree?!

So therapy! I have learnt some useful tools and certainly learnt a lot about myself, but I also feel people around me feel like its made me an Anorexic with attitude. In realising who you are, you feel empowered to say NO more and express feelings truthfully to friends and family, feelings often expressed in a way people are not used to and find ‘sharp’ or potentially hurtful. This then carries guilt, guilt you have to work through and realise that its OK as you have to be true to yourself and look after your feelings and let other people be responsible for theirs. It would be British to call that selfish – in my case its having compassion for yourself.

I never imagined that in getting to know myself it would mean putting some relationships under strain and making others stronger.

Will I carry on with therapy, probably NOT at this point but I know I have to make time for myself, time to relax and also forgive myself of my imperfections and others imperfections.  Also – not sure a Spanish therapist will be much use…..

I have realised what friends mean too – I am no longer sorry for people I have failed to stay in contact with, if they were meant to be in my life, they would have stayed in touch with me throughout this cr&p time and text me to see how things are and most importantly friends are people you feel you can call at anytime for support and assistance. I think I have one true person I can call a friend. Alot of that is my own doing, but some if it isn’t.

Few people can be arsed to worry about you (quite rightly), they have their own family to think of and worry about and the last thing they need is an Anorexic friend with the potential to bend their ear and want to ‘talk about their ‘feelings’.

I met with one of my true best friends this week and left feeling sad, I felt sad that I have not made the effort to be around her more, get to know her children and ultimately be there for her when she has been through some really crappy times over the last two years.

I also left feeling overwhelmingly happy that I can move to Spain knowing I have a true friend, a friend I can call at anytime, a friend that always bothered to text and ask how I was and a friend that put up with me constantly cancelling our meeting up for coffee times! If you have a friend like that, keep hold of them!

I had the urge to write a post this evening, the journey still carries on. I feel a little mentally stronger, but still scared at the prospect of being no further forward. Spain maybe the change WE need!

 

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