I’m going to be honest.
I’m not in a good place at the moment. Physically, I know that I’m the furthest away from what I should be that I have been since I was discharged from hospital. Mentally, I’m never so sure, because I always feel that – when I get to the point that I can admit that stuff is a bit rubbish – I’m in a better place than when I was pretending everything was ‘OK’.
Does that make sense?
I’d forgotten how hard making changes is. I’d forgotten the pain that comes with staring into your lunchbox and fighting with yourself about its contents. I’d forgotten what it’s like to persuade yourself to eat an extra biscuit. Most importantly, perhaps, I’d forgotten how easy it is to be sucked back into my own little world of Eating Disorderedness.
There are other things I’d forgotten, too, which are the things that Anorectic Thoughts always promise me will be ‘different this time’. I’d forgotten the pain of banging a bone against something; the way my legs ache as I walk up the stairs; the unstoppable shakiness after doing something as undemanding as planting some vegetables in the garden. None of them are ‘different’. They are all the painful same.
The realisation that everything is not going to be ‘different’ has the same hollow disappointment as being lied to. Apart from the only person I’m lying to is myself. I tell myself that it’s better that I eat the bare minimum during the day because it will make me more grateful for tea; because I will be able to eat a lot later; because I can have a weekend full of treats. This, of course, never happens. I get so wrapped up in the thoughts that I forget that I am allowed these things without the hardship and the starvation. I forget that I do not owe myself anything. I forget that I am physically the same as everyone else.
I forget that the laws of the universe apply to me. I am not special: I will lose weight like everyone else; I will become poorly like everyone else.
Food stops tasting of anything when you’re stuck in panic mode anyway.
And I’m sorry, because I know that I am letting people down. The people I love, and who I worked so hard to get better for; the people I work with, who have enough on their plates without the added stress of someone mental next door to them; strangely, I also feel that I’ve let down the people who read this blog: I was the person who said recovery is always possible, and here I am – for want of a more poetic way of putting it – fucking up.
Where do I go from here?
I change my behaviour. I change my attitude. Neither of these things are instantaneous or easy changes, but I know that both are possible. I don’t want this life and I am not going to continue to travel down this path. I can be happy without being skeletal.
I read somewhere, once, that the average duration of Anorexia Nervosa is seven years. I spent some time waiting for this ‘milestone’ to appear, in the belief that I would wake up ‘thought’ free at this point. What I’ve recently realised (not the brightest!) is that it won’t just stop: it’s more probable that people who have been living this way for seven years can’t deal with it anymore; can’t continue to put their friends and families through it anymore, and so they make the changes that can only be made by people who are truly serious about recovery.
Even though things aren’t particularly easy at the moment, I still believe that recovery is possible if you try hard enough. Maybe recovery isn’t a ‘wall’ that it jumped over, but a state that is achievable even if you waiver occasionally?
I like that idea: I’ll stick with it.
It’s not going to change overnight, because these things don’t tend to. But I am going to start making changes today – because procrastination is nobody’s friend – and I am going to start making the choice to live – instead of exist – each and every day because every day that I don’t is a wasted day.
I’m not perfect, but I can try.