My way or the highway
And so it continues! The fight, struggle, internal voices, hatred of food, over-exercising….you get the idea.
My determination, stubbornness and utter belief I can FIX myself fills my thoughts and feels as prevalent as ever.
What is it? Why do I believe I can fix myself? Why will I not seek help from professionals?
I have been down the road of referrals and help from the outside; none of them seem to resonate with me and before I know it, I am walking away and canceling appointments.
The best-laid Plans
I know I have said this before, but humor me. I have the most thoughtful and patient partner.
He suffers my moods, tears, tantrums and food issues on a daily basis and he is still there when I wake in the morning.
However, the ‘It’s me or the eating disorder’ conversation seems to bubble to the surface of our lives most weeks.
A month ago we put a plan together, we sat down and we agreed this would be the last attempt at trying to get me better by ourselves.
We are not nutritionists, doctors or therapists; we are just an average couple with a sh*tty illness in our lives, an illness we are trying desperately to get rid of it.
If we cannot beat it this time, I will have no other choice but to seek professional help and admit myself into an eating disorder clinic.
Our plan is simple, introduce a few basic foods and see how I get on. We worked out a few foods I feel comfortable with, wrote them down and looked at which ones would offer the most nutritional benefit without making me feel full and horrid!
Eating Disorders give you incredible knowledge into the calories, fat, and sugar in everything. It is a curse and a blessing.
The plan was pinned to the fridge.
The first week started well, the second week it started to fade in my mind and for the last couple of weeks, the plan has basically been forgotten – by me anyway!
It is so hard to explain, but the food tasted horrible, like everything I placed in my mouth tasted like mud or ash. Every mouthful was harder than the next, the guilt and shame just got too much. It physically and mentally hurt and still hurts.
Yet again – I have failed.
Mental Reality Check
The reality is that my mental illness is stronger than I am, it has had years to firmly embed itself within me. I let it grow, I nurtured it until eventually like an unwanted weed, it pushed it’s way through.
No matter how many times I pick it, it keeps coming back.
Mental illness and especially eating disorders have a greater chance of being successfully treated if they are caught early. Like most illnesses, early diagnosis and treatment give a better chance of full recovery.
Where does that leave me? Nearly nine years with this disease has left me feeling it is impossible, I will never win. Its grip is just too hard.
For better, for worse?
Maybe this is how I am supposed to live? Maybe this is the ‘real’ me, the me who needs control and security in life.
I always reason with myself and others and say that I have not got any worse over the last two years since I ‘outed’ myself. I am stable, my health has not deteriorated and although I struggle with food I certainly eat enough to sustain a pretty hectic lifestyle.
The problem my dear friends is that I do not see what YOU and OTHERS see, I do not see a skinny, tired girl who will one-hour be on top of the world and the next, be crying uncontrollably and feel utter ANGER.
How do you see what OTHERS see?
I have looked long and hard at myself in the mirror, I have meditated, I have looked to a religion of some kind and I have sought professional help. What else is there?
This may sound like I am writing this from desperation, I am not. I am writing this from a place of peace and contentment. I am used to these feelings, I learn to manage them BUT I know they will ultimately lead me to loneliness. Is that not enough for me to change?