It suddenly dawned on me recently that I am nothing like the person before Anorexia took a hold.
This realisation has actually been tough, probably the toughest thing so far. For years I functioned as an Anorexic, hiding, dealing with depression & anxieties I felt so overwhelmed. Its only now as I step back, often whilst meditating I realise I have become someone I don’t really recognise.
I had a career but for the last year of my demanding job, Anorexia sunk its claws in. Do I blame Anorexia for playing a part in my career abruptly ending (I was politely shown the door in true corporate style) on some part YES! Would I have handled the situation differently if I had not been dealing with a mental illness – DEFINITELY.
Life carried on… We started a food business (ironically) and ended a food business, we now run a successful Chauffeur company, we sold our house, bought a boat and we now travel pet and house sitting all over the world – so we have an amazing life but underneath all of this Anorexia still hides.
Anorexia has tested many of my personal relationships, with my partner Paul suffering the most. I am no longer the girl he fell in love with, she has been hidden…but we know she is still there.
I have lived most days in an insular world of worry and anxiety – I don’t have room for anyone else in amongst all this?! Days and months passed and we functioned as a couple, but soon we stopped laughing, everything got serious, a big dark cloud hovered above us – permanently! Resentment and anger sets in. Paul often feels like I just shut down, living in my own world, still present but not mentally interested. The sparky, determined, funny girl he fell in love with lost along time ago and replaced with seriousness, angst & emotions beyond my control.
As I learn to cope and recover from Anorexia, I am interested to learn more about it, I guess to feel I am not alone and to understand what I am feeling is part of my recovery. I found this really good summary from a website www.eatindisorderhope.com – The site has some really interesting (well researched) facts on mental illness and eating disorders.
Impact on Relationships
Anorexia is in the destruction business. This is not confined to the individual with the disease. No matter what the connection is — parents with an ill daughter; a husband with an anorexic wife — the relationship will be profoundly impacted, if not destroyed altogether. This is because such a disease is unfathomable to anyone who does not have it.
Whereas a woman may have some understanding as to why she embraces certain behaviors, those in a relationship with her simply see self-destruction. With each additional pound lost, she inevitably changes. She becomes more obsessed with food and weight, frequently loses interest in normal life and activities, and often isolates.
Basically, she transforms into a completely different person. How can this notnegatively impact relationships with friends and family? Friendships, even marriages, often end due to frustration or fear. Although parents may remain connected and involved, even that relationship is dramatically affected as they watch their daughter slip away into the disease.
The darker days are starting to pass – It has not been easy and we have been close to break up over the last six months, 15 years of happiness succumbed to Anorexia. We talk, talk & talk and I no longer hide feelings from him, in turn he does not resent my quietness and lack of communication. We will keep talking and I hope as I get better, the old me will come back and we will be happy again – really happy!
No one said recovery would be easy!