It appears to be thinking Sunday morning again. I am not going to lie: it’s the end of term and I’m so, so, so tired and when I’m tired stuff is hard.
This week, because life is so utterly rubbish sometimes, I have this to say:
For me, the hardest bit of recovery is the middle bit. I don’t think I’ll ever quite forget the droning voice of misery and screaming emptiness of being halfway there. It’s like being on a bridge and knowing that you can go forwards and backwards and not knowing which the right way is. For someone with anorexia, logically, you want to go back. If being thin’s made you happy, then putting weight on must be what’s making you feel sad? Therefore, the obvious conclusion is to go back the way you came: to the comfort of losing weight.
However, what you can’t see from the bridge is that, really, you’re feeling miserable because you’re still really poorly; really underweight and still not really at a point where you can think rationally. It’s so easy at this point to hate the body you’re in; hate what you’re doing to yourself and wonder why your head’s not caught up with what you (dysmorphically) believe is happening to your body. As usual, the best advice I can give is to remember that being a ‘normal’ weight is the only answer. There isn’t a compromise: nobody is happy floating at a BMI which needs a maintenance diet which classifies as inducing clinical starvation to stay there.
Happy doesn’t always mean smiling and ice cream and balloons. For me, the biggest change is that I no longer have thoughts whirling round my head at all hours of the day and night; the dull ache has disappeared from my throat and I no longer wake up every morning wanting to lie on my front and scream. This sort of happy is quiet contentment. It’s being able to read a book without swimmy head and gnawing hunger.
To get there, that means throwing all rules out of the window: if it tastes nasty, eat it; if it’s cold, eat it; if it’s not what you thought it was going to be, eat it. I did things that were far, far, far worse to myself before, so I know I’m capable of some minor discomfort now.
I guess, dear reader, what I’m trying to say is please, please, please don’t give up, even if it seems impossible, because the end is better than the beginning ever was and you are far, far more important to me (yes, all of you. I care, honest.) than you will ever, ever realise.
Never. Ever. Give. Up.