I said I wanted to be honest didn’t I? I said I wanted to give a real, present, on-going account of what this battle is, not what it looks like. I never wanted to paint some black and white picture, coloured only with hindsight, sharpened only by assurances from another, far away side…
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever written down. I feel sick with embarrassment, full to the brim of regret and, yet, strangely light-headed with confusion.
I think I just had my first “binge.”
It’s always been at the back of my mind, manically shifting between a fierce conviction that I simply wouldn’t and feeling as though I was just one tiny bite away from the entire contents of the cupboard.
When people- family, doctors, therapists- have been encouraging me, I confess to having these temptations; once I start giving myself permission, not only to eat, to enjoy it, then I won’t stop. Reassuringly, they say “but you won’t.”
Now, I want to SCREAM at them: “I TOLD you I would.” “I TOLD you I couldn’t control myself.” “I was RIGHT that I wouldn’t be able to stop…”
In my head, I knew I would feel awful. I knew what it would do to me and the effects it could have on the rest of the week. I knew what it would make me feel as though I wanted to do. But I Just. Couldn’t. Stop. I haven’t once let go quite like this. In two years there has not been an instance where I haven’t lost exact count of anything that has gone past my lips.
Sure enough, I feel awful. I feel disgusting and disgusted. I feel like a total fraud.
But, I think… I think I also feel… relieved. Relieved that I finally gave in to the temptation that’s been torturing me for so long. It has always been a frightening “what if…” of imagined scenarios that have sent shivers down my body, each one colder than the other.
The more you fear something and the more you shy away from it, the darker and more threatening it becomes.
At some point in the last hour or so, I think I was carrying on out of curiosity, almost arrogantly revelling in my new found freedom; what will this be like? Will I do it again? I almost felt defiant over my eating disorder. That was short-lived, though.
Yes, I feel exactly as I predicted; intensities of awful that I cannot even put into metaphors.
So what happens now? No, really… what?
Well I could tell you what I WANT to do. My brain is busy plotting away how I can make up for this; what it thinks I should/shouldn’t do- firing orders at me like bullets. The noise is dizzying.
BUT. There’s a tiny, almost inaudible voice in my head that reminds me I still want to get better; I still WANT a life… Yes, I still am cornered by what anorexia means to me- what I think it gives me. But those things are, in fact, controlling me; they are cruelly teasing me and dragging me further in NOT saving me or strengthening me.
Giving in to all those things my brain is, unhelpfully, suggesting might not actually be the answer…
If I were to listen, then this cycle would just start all over again. I gave in just then because years of restricting, fearing, and constant obsessing finally went beyond fever pitch. If I just start that process again then I will also only feed the thought in me that I just want to devour everything. And I don’t want to be held hostage by a faceless “what-if” anymore. I want to dictate my own day.
I did it. I can’t change it; I can’t get it back. It just is. And it is horrible. But I won’t compensate for it. I can feel muscles in my body I didn’t even know existed flexing, preparing to fight against everything my brain is DEMANDING I do.
I will not because the desire to binge will only come back. I will not because the only way to even try and get rid of this is by BREAKING the cycle.
It feels about as natural as chopping off my arm but if I don’t its grip will only get stronger.
Maybe, now I faced what I was so afraid of, now I might not fear it quite so much… Now, I might not obsess over it quite so much. And maybe, just by writing this off as a really, really bad day and going with it, maybe I will have actually learnt something…