This morning Florence and the machines “sweet nothing” came on and oh my god it related exactly to how I was feeling.
I sometimes thin an eating disorder is like an abusive friend/partner.They treat you like crap,tell you how worthless you are and yet when you try to leave them you end up finding you simply cannot because you are attached for a variety of reasons, many of which are not even logical. Or you do leave them, only to find yourself running back to the net of safety and comfort they provide.
The last few days I have felt so sad which I know is normal in recovery. Your body has so many changes to adjust to. I sort of think about is as going through withdrawal symptoms if a person was to suddenly stop drinking alcohol or stop smoking. Thinking about things in a logical and scientific way helps me to make sense of my emotions.
I realise I am incredibly sad at the thought that each bite and kg gained takes me further away from the eating disorder. Its so irrational as that is something to be happy about. Right?
No matter how abusive and controlling the eating disorder voices are I cant help thinking I will miss them. Its so strange trying to make decisions not dictated by the eating disorder. In a way I like being controlled by the eating disorder, It makes it so much easier to decide things.I feel like I need the eating disorder. It is like a safety net. I am nothing without it because it is me.Like a part of me.Like if you had leg which was rotting away and needed to be amputated you may be horrified at the thought of losing such a vital part of you even though you know you need to let it go to survive.
The loss of security, control etc which ED has provided for so long scares the crap out of me.But at the same time I felt physically awful when binging/Purging so why do I not want to let go of the ED?I guess partially I don’t want to let go of the restrictive side of the eating disorder.
I feel like no one knows me as well as the eating disorder does.I also feel like nothing can quite compare to the raltionship you have with the eating disorder.On one hand you hate it and it steals your life.On the otherhand it fills holes which seemingly nothing else can fill.December 2015 and jannuary 2016 I felt like I was finally happy without an eating disorder and could make decisions based on what was actually good for me not what the ED wanted.Running I founf had many parrelels to recovery and helped me to learn to appreciate what a human body is capable off when nourished properly.Perhaps when I start to regain things such as running I will feel ED Recovery is worth it.That all depends on getting to a healthy weight though so for now I must accept running has to wait.
I really hope I can start working as a nursing assistant soon and for that I know good health is needed. .I reckon the patients need someone who can be their strength to help them cope with the illness.By recovering I will have more strength to give to them.I am not sure if I am making sense.I would also like to add that I am not saying someone with an ED cannot look after patients well.I am sure they can.But personally I know the healthier I am the more energy I will have to help others .I feel like if I was a patient and a sick looking nurse was looking after me I would be a bit doubtfull about wether she/he is in a good frame of mind and physical health to help me.I would also be worried about his/her health Again I don’t mean to offend anyone.But I think when taking care of vulnerable people you have an even greater responsibility to take care of yourself.
It might seem silly to some that I am talking about the eating disorder as a personality or a real being and not a condition but that is what it feels like to me. feel like the eating disorder comes along in times of stress,confusion etc when you are vulnerable clasps your hand and tells you it will be ok,as long as you do what they say.I didn’t even think ED was coming back into my life as this time round it crept up more slowly.The weightloss was not drastic.In fact my weight remained fairly stable for a quite a long time but slowly more and more behaviours crept in and I didn’t realise how tight the grip of the eating disorder was until I tried to escape it over and over again and failed.Maybe because I didn’t really want to escape.Or did I?I don’t know.I cant believe how far I fell.When you relapse Its like the eating disorder promises this time will be difeerent.When you are vulnerable it is hard to see through ED Lies.But it’s the same old games.
Its difficult to sometimes admit to yourself you are relapsing.For me because the ED changed forms I didn’t know how to recover. The strategies I used before didn’t seem to work.It took a long time before I realised I need to get help.Its not a sign of weakness,it is the responsible thing to do.
Maybe that is why it is so hard to maintain friendships and relationships when you have an ED because it feels like you are cheating on everyone. You cancel on friends because you cannot go out for a meal as you binged earlier that day. You cannot go to a gathering as you purged 5 minutes ago and are drained. You cannot spend time with family as you are worried they will see right through you and know what you are hiding.You bury all this guilt and shame deep inside you and as soon as someone confronts you its like they have stripped you bare. The very thing you have been hiding for so long.To protect others,to protect yourself is now out in the open. Its one of the most horrible feelings.Maybe there is some relief but mostly guilt,shame and anger.
The anger stems from fear of hurting others.It would be foolish to think your ED will not hurt your family.The anger is also that they are trying to take you from the ED.The ED is MINE I would think.Leave me alone.On the other hand buried somewhere deep under ED lies is a voice that screams “help,help ,help”.I have no idea how I will make it up to my parents.Mostly my mum.
Furthermore how on earth are you meant to maintain a physical and emotional relationship with someone when you just want to crawl away and hide.How on earth can you be affectionate.What is being affectionate I question that myself?What is a successful relationship?Will I ever be able to be in a relationship again?What if I recover and relapse?
When I went to the appointment on Tuesday the nurse asked how I feel about the large weightgain.I said all I feel is sadness and dissapoitment.Not over the gain because gaining is a good thing but because I wasted so much time with the ED whn I could have been living.The fact that I hurt so many people.I know we should not regret but I am human and I regret it.At the same time I feel like I didn’t choose it.But I did,but I didn’t.Its hard to explain.
At the moment I am doubtful whether I can let go of the eating disorder completely but I guess that will take time. When you are in the grips of something for so long you cannot expect that within a week it all goes away.Also how do you when you are recovered?How long do you have to be in remission for before you can truly say “I am better off without ED”
Maybe for some its a one day change in mind set,for others it can take years.I am certain I want to recover though.I have faith that as long as I continue with recovery and begin finding joy inart,yoga,running,helping others etc again that maybe naturally the grip of ED on my mind will loosen.This has actually given me another idea for a post on how weight and BMI are not indicators of how much someone is struggling.It is often when you are at a healthier weight and you begin to question who you are without the ED and you realise the lies you have been living in,that is when it gets tough.Because I truly think an ED is not actually about weight or food.Thats what the nurse told me.She said weight and food are just the distraction from the problem that ED stems from.I trust her.
Perhaps this its hard to let go of ED because it feels like I am letting go off other things such as school, friends going off to uni etc.Everyone says you feel exactly the same when you turn 18 as when you did previously at 17.I actually disagree.Though maybe it is just the feeling of leaving school.Exiting that safe little bubble where your friends are and theres routines and you know what is coming at the end of the year,revision,exams,results.I have no idea what this year is going to be like.For now its working and recovering.Maybe travelling or volunteering abroad in 2017.
“there came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Taking the risk feels so wrong but you NEED to do it.I know this.It is so hard to accept but you cannot live a full life and be in a relationship with an eating disorder. That’s not living it is compromise.Please can we look at all the life and love around us and hold on to that and not the ED.Please can we listen to the rational voices of those around us who are not consumed by ED lies.Please can we do this for them. Yesterday I had to leave work early and a waitress told me “you are so incredibly loved here”. That is what I am holding onto and not the ED voices crawling around.