So that’s the big question. Do I really want to recover?
Of course, I say. Why do you even need to ask? Of COURSE I want to recover. More than anything.
Being sick is awful. It’s stolen so much of my life. It’s pushed people I love away, in some cases forever. If I don’t get better ASAP, it might take my LIFE, ultimately.
So why ask?
Because I don’t know if I really, really, want to recover.
(Let me just say right now – I’m using ‘recover’ here because it’s a word that describes ‘a lot better’ for me. I don’t necessarily mean totally cured when I refer to it here, I mean that I can LIVE and FUNCTION in a way that means I’m healthier, happier and able to lead a relatively normal life. Most of the time I’m not entirely sure full recovery exists, maybe just remission. But for the purposes of this post, I will use the recovery word here.)
So, back to the question. If I don’t really want to recover, why am I fighting? Why don’t I just give up now?
If I WANT to recover, why do I even need to ask myself this question?
I’m so confused…
I do want to get better. I do want to leave this behind. Somewhere in my future is the possibility of a much healthier, less painful, more functional life. Maybe even a happy life.
Do I believe that? I think that is where I get stuck. It’s so hard to believe in anything ever being different from this a lot of the time. Recovery seems to be something that happens for everyone else. Everyone but me.
I fully believe it’s possible for other people. But for myself.. it’s so hard to even imagine. I can’t imagine being different from this. I can’t see myself having a relationship with food that’s in any way normal. I can’t even imagine being able to cope with a full stomach of food and letting it pass through every single day.
I can’t imagine myself ever being comfortable in my body, no matter what my weight is. Every single day I’ve wanted to jump out of my own skin, and I’m still not near a ‘healthy’ weight.
I have been told by friends who have, amazingly, inspiringly, RECOVERED for REAL that it is possible, and that most of the changes in thinking will happen after I reach and maintain a healthy weight and healthy nutrition. But for me?
Self belief is something I’m lacking, and have to work on.
When it comes to the question of do I WANT this? I really can’t honestly say yes, and that scares me. Being better means a lot of things that I’m scared of need to be faced. A lot more fear and pain need to be tolerated.
I find myself thinking all the time that I really miss being emaciated. Which is crazy because when I was actually emaciated I hated it, loathed it. Was so ashamed at what I’d created – made myself a monster. A caricature of a human being.
I don’t understand that tug of war. Hating myself at what I’m NOT. Wanting to be ‘healthy’ when I was emaciated just to feel human and not like some horrible monster people kept staring at, to be able to wear clothes without sleeves in summer instead of hiding under layers to try and bulk me out…
Hating myself now, hating being so massive (in MY perception). Hating the way things wobble, hating the way I can grab handfuls. I’ve thrown away most of the clothes I used to wear, but even the clothes I have now make me so uncomfortable – I hate feeling the waistband on my waist, I hate feeling the clothing touch my skin – it’s too tight. I’m too there.
Compounding this, I do have a partial obstruction in my bowel – it showed up on the xrays as fecal loading. In other words, I’m all blocked up with poo. Years of nothing much passing through has paralysed my bowel, and now I’m paying the price. We have started trying to treat this with Movicol, but so far no joy. Back to the doctor tomorrow for the next step.
The result is that i’m bloated up, my stomach hurts and is distended, and the oedema, whether it’s related to this or separate, is still really bad. Adding a lot MORE weight to what I’m already struggling with.
Now, I KNOW that this extra weight is not real weight. I know it’s composed of fluid and stomach contents, and that there is a lot of it. I KNOW THIS, rationally.
But the ED has been particularly active. It’s jumped on this with glee.
“You know you are in denial. It’s not just fluid and poo. You are hiding from yourself that the reality is – you are a fat pig who can’t stop bingeing and you are gaining weight. You are getting fatter and fatter and it’s not gonna stop. And when they do finally figure out how to ‘fix’ these problems, you are going to be so dissappointed to have to face the truth. Truth, girl, you are just getting FAT.”
And yes, this is my biggest fear. All of the time.
If I truly want to recover, why does all this bother me so much? It shouldn’t.
I don’t know if I have the courage to press through this and actually LIVE when I come out the other side. I don’t know if I can actually cope in the real world. I’m scared that the real world will eat me up like a shark snacking on a swimmer. I certainly didn’t do very well before the ED took over. People hated me, and I let them hurt me. Oh I made it seem like I was a cold, unfeeling fish who felt no hurt no matter what they said or did, but I was hurting big time. I was crumbling inside into a million little pieces.
Sometimes I feel those little pieces are too many to ever put back together again.
But other times, I feel that in order to be healed – we DO need to be broken. And it does make us stronger. (Add in every cliche you have ever heard, but I have to say some of them are very true – these two are for me, I think.)
I wonder why all this happened and I come to the conclusion that it was meant to. That everything happens for a reason, and if I don’t keep fighting this, I will be wasting a life that had a meaning, had a purpose, that I won’t even know til I get there.
If there is anything I fear MORE than the eating disorder, and MORE than the fear of life and failing at life and having to face pain and fear – it’s the thought of my life being meaningless. Just a waste of a life.
I don’t want to have been nothing and lived for nothing. I don’t want all I have gone through and survived to have been pointless.
So I’m gonna keep fighting. And I hope all of you reading keep fighting too. I may not know if I want to recover now, but I’m certain I’ll want it when I get there. And that it’s worth fighting for.
And I’ll never know if life is wonderful or not if I don’t give it a go, will I? I have nothing to lose by trying.
When you doubt yourself, how do you convince yourself to keep fighting?