Whilst on the bus today to the airport I read an article about a lady who had a friend who sadly died from an eating disorder.Ill add the link https://themighty.com/2016/09/eating-disorders-are-not-a-joke/ as I think it’s quite a reality check for those who suffer from an ED.She was in treatment for anorexia and she was weight restored and doing well.However she purged and her heart stopped.
The article really bought tears to my eyes and made me realise eating disorders are dangerous even if you are weight restored.The past two days I’ve fallen into binging and purging again and I’m so ashamed and annoyed at myself.I seem to be stuck in the pattern of doing well for two,three,four weeks and then falling back.I don’t even know why,I know purging is a big anxiety relief,partly I feel like it’s just habitual.Like it’s such a strong habit and compulsion that I can’t break free of it.I can only go so long without purging.
I think in the same way you can become attactched to your eating disorder you can become attached to the identity of being in recovery from an eating disorder.Like by saying you are in recovery it’s a form of validation that you need to eat and maintain/gain.But after you are recovered it’s hard to think of where the validation comes from,I guess you just don’t need it anymore?How does one move from almost recovered to recovered?
Since leaving for South America this morning I have had some strong ED urges.It makes no sense to me,life is good and I have no reason whatsoever to turn to an eating disorder so why do I have all these thought?Maybe it’s just the fear of being in the unknown,in different countries.I am beyond grateful to have my health and the opportunity to travel and yet my mind drifts towards thoughts of restriction.I am an adult now and I need to be accountable for my health despite being away from home.I can’t forever rely on a weighing scale or a health professional to feel accountable.I know this trip will be physically demanding so there is no room for restriction or purging.It would be downright stupid and irresponsible especially as we are trekking at altitude of 4000-5000m.Thoughts are just that and I don’t want to act on them.
I am reading a memoir about a girls struggle with anorexia (however that is for another blog post) but I just wanted to share a quote from it ; “food doesn’t help us to be,it helps us to do.It enables us to volunteer,see the world,accomplish our goals and it gives us the power to change lives.Your future patients need you”
I feel like that quote is very relevant to me right now.Very relevant to starting university and being a nursing student in septemeber.No way will I let almost a year of recovery go to waste now.I don’t think I could put my parents through that either or stand the guilt of wasting all the great opportunities coming up in the future.
I really want to show my mum that I can do this,That she doesn’t have to worry.For me the worst thing about an ED was probably all the arguments and tensions between me and my parents.I never want to go back to that again.A life with an eating disorder is no life,not just for you but for those around you.Sure it’s your body and your life but going along with the ED impacts those around you too even if you do not intend it to.
I’m taking courage and pushing on.Everything is falling into place and I won’t let it fall apart for a stupid eating disorder which brings nothing but misery.Going to embrace the challenges travel brings.Literally just about to land in Colombia!Two flights down,one to go!Am terrified but excited too!