I’ve had a lot on my plate

I suppose I should really explain why I’ve been on somewhat of a hiatus…

I thoroughly intended to document everything. Everything, as it was happening, to show that no matter how terrible it gets, it’s still possible to come out of it.

Well I still haven’t come out of it. And I fluctuate pretty much daily between “yes, it is still possible” and “nope, not happening, not worth it, not interested.”

For weeks I was thinking how can I write about this? How do I put into words the fear and self-hatred I can feel burning at the back of my throat and stamp a positive message across it? How can I possibly write what is going through my mind-what I’m doing– knowing it confirmed my very worst fears about “getting better?” Continue reading “I’ve had a lot on my plate”

Out of the frying pan… into the fire

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. Continue reading “Out of the frying pan… into the fire”

Raising awareness carries too much weight

Perhaps last week was quite a strange one to choose to be so quiet, especially in the initial stages of both my writing and recovery journey.

My (non)engagement in EDAW2016 was not so much a definitive stand, more a nervous bather tentatively dipping the tip of their toe in water to see if it is too cold to bear… Continue reading “Raising awareness carries too much weight”

Chickening out already..?

Recovery is almost Bipolar. One minute I’m buzzing; confident that I’m going to do this and I’m excited about the freedom, the life, I will finally have. But the next minute, I don’t want to know. One minute, I want to hear that I’m doing well; I’m on the right track, hell- I might even be able to tolerate the idea I’m starting to look better… But the next, I want to stab someone for daring to comment on what’s on my plate and, my goodness, woe betide them if they so much as suggest I look nice.

There is nowhere in the middle… Continue reading “Chickening out already..?”

Positivity, I’ve got a bone to pick with you…

Learning to love ourselves, loving life and “staying positive…”
It’s all well and good and, of course, that’s what anyone wants; who doesn’t want to be happy? But when you feel like those things are so out of reach where do you even begin… Continue reading “Positivity, I’ve got a bone to pick with you…”

Having your cake… and eating it too

My patience is wearing particularly thin with a common self-help cliche- “Oh but that’s just the ‘anorexic voice’ telling you xyz…”

As if that little nugget of information solves everything…

Who cares who or what it is, it’s still there, alive and kicking, and it’s horrible! Continue reading “Having your cake… and eating it too”

Recovery: it’s an acquired taste.

I made a decision a few weeks ago…

I’d made similar decisions before but this felt different. I felt like I was doing it for ME. I finally had motivators and real reasons that were making me WANT to force Anorexia to eat its poisonous words. I could recite them better than the alphabet. And what’s different is, I believed them. It felt good, I felt excited.

Sounds positive doesn’t it…

Continue reading “Recovery: it’s an acquired taste.”

(not) About Me

I’m not quite sure how I got here…

I really am not sure at what point, at the age of 23, my focus became not what I was going to do on Saturday night; not what colour cami I was going to wear to go with my new jeans; not whether or not the cute guy in the lecture theatre was checking me out too and definitely not what the actual hell I was going to do with my life now that I’m a “grown-up…”

I’m not sure why, or how, I went from being a driven, (possibly overly) opinionated young woman, full of ideas about her future, to this.

Instead of getting excited when a friend spontaneously asks what I’m up to that night, I panic- wondering if I’m going to be “allowed” to take part in whatever activity she’s thinking of. Instead of planning my outfit for Saturday night, I plan what I’m allowed to eat that day. Instead of wondering if that cute guy is checking me out, I’m wondering if he- or anyone at all- in that lecture theatre thinks I’m bigger than the girl sat next to me. As if the answer to that statement actually matters. Instead of agonising about jobs, I agonise about food. Instead of panicking if I’m on top of my deadlines, I am consumed with panic that I must have miscalculated my intake somehow…

As I read back through that I’m embarrassed. When did my perfectly normal and agreeable life become so utterly consumed by something so trivial and unimportant yet something so completely disabling?

I’m angry and impassioned when I read back through this. Look at what it’s robbed me of!

“Yes”- I tell myself- “I’m GOING to get better.” “YES, I’ve had ENOUGH of having to live hour by hour agonising over a basic component of human survival.” “YES, I want to look WELL and WOMANLY, not childish and sick.” “YEAH, I want to get out there and start LIVING.”

It almost feels appropriate to have a celebratory fist-pump and scream: “I HATE ANOREXIA!”

These affirmations, and the genuine excitement it provokes in me, make me an ideal candidate for “recovery” it would seem… So why then, do I have to make this decision multiple times a day? Why can I talk a convincing talk, even to the point where I convince myself, but then can actively not “prove it in the pudding” so to speak… Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.

I want to get better. Genuinely. Better looks great; it looks so much fun! But how?

Well, this is what I’m going to try and show you. At the moment, I have no idea; I am quite literally at square one. Hang on, is there a prize for the discovery of Square Minus One?

Do I feel confident? No, not at all; I’ve been having to make this decision over and over again six times a day in the past month. Has anything changed yet? No. Not really.

But I don’t want to be singing from my pretty recovered pedestal. I know it exists somewhere, at least, I think I do, but its somewhere far, far away from here. I want to show you HOW I get there; HOW I argue with both the desires of NOT wanting to eat AND the desires of wanting to eat EVERYTHING. I want to show you IF it does get better because I am equally as doubtful.

At the minute, mere reassurances that I “just won’t eat everything in sight” simply don’t cut it. I don’t believe them when they tell me that what I feel is a “normal” part of recovery. I don’t believe them when they tell me I will enjoy SOME (sensible) exercise again. I don’t believe them when they tell me I won’t think about food at least once every hour. I definitely don’t believe them when they say I won’t care. The latter one in particular is a nice idea. A nice idea but, actually, its equally as frightening as all my other thoughts. I need them to prove it to me because the stakes are too high. And they can’t.

So, this is my starting point- right here. There will be no harrowing narrative of my journey to death’s door; there will be no revelations of the “benchmarks” I did (or didn’t) get to; there will be no heart wrenching details about how close I was to nearly dying (or not); and there will certainly be no “shocking” revelations about having to wear my old Barbie dolls clothes. And, when I do get to this elusive place of “better”, there WILL NOT be a “before & after” miracle transformation. These things aren’t indicative of a struggle. Those things are not indicative of how utterly rubbish this illness is; how much pain it brings to, not just me, those around me.

Its what you can’t see that is the most scary, the most alienating and the most dangerous. It’s what you can’t see for yourself in the future that prevents you from continuing to fight. It’s the massive gap between the illness and being “better” that you CANNOT BLOODY SEE that just makes the illness louder and stronger.

So, that is what I am going to try and make visible because I just cannot stomach this nasty, greedy illness anymore.