I know I promised another instalment of the Food History, but today I’m not feeling strong enough to dig into all that – it will come soon.
I do feel on shaky ground. It’s been over 15 months that I’ve managed to maintain my highest weight in a long time, and to stay out of hospital. That is a miracle for me. And such a relief – it was just hell, before that. Just utter screaming hell.
In my mind, though, I’m still very eating disordered. My mind is still tied up in tangled knots – and when I try and straighten them out I just seem to tangle them tighter. Rules and rituals, body image, self-hatred.. it’s all just as strong. The difference seems to be that I can feel all these thoughts and not ACT on them.
Or at least not act on them so much that it sends me downhill again with my weight and bloods.
When I was contemplating this, freaking out about how on earth would I be able to cope with a bigger body when no matter how emaciated I was, I never could cope in that – they told me “After twelve months of maintaining your weight your thinking will adjust and it will be okay”. Or something like that.
It’s been 15 months and it’s not happening. Not at all. In fact sometimes I feel it’s getting worse – not being able to STAND how huge I am (and I know I’m not huge, not really, my BMI is 15). Not being able to bear being in this skin. Not being able to get away from anorexia and bulimia. It’s just not happening.
Maybe I need to go all the way to an actual ‘healthy’ weight before that will happen? Because I CAN see many improvements – I’m happier, my thinking is clearer, I am stronger, I have far more insight… and so much more along that line. So maybe it’s better, but it’s not enough?
It just terrifies me… the thought of going further. Every day I just crave so badly to lose this weight “It-would-be-so-easy” and I can’t do it. I can’t. That’s choosing to die. I know if I go back I will die – I know my body can’t cope with that again. But it calls to me, it beckons to me. It whispers promises in my ear “everything will be okay, everything will be better, nothing will matter any more, peacefulness….flyaway…free from this life and worries and your body, leave it all behind because I promise you everything will be alright…..“
It’s a lie!! It’s all lies!!! Get thee away from me, you devil!! (If I had a crucifix at this point I’d probably brandish it..)
It’s a constant fight. A constant, never ending fight.
I feel shakier lately because I started physio, finally, to try and do something about the chronic pain I’m in from osteoporosis, stress fractures, and the fact that I’m so weak and wasted from literally eating my own muscles. And they ordered me to get out every single day and WALK. So I did. But it felt so good, so quickly, that I started walking way too much. Two hours, Three hours, Four hours, faster faster faster… as soon as I bumped up the time, it suddenly ‘wasn’t enough’ and I have to admit, I’ve let it catch me out – I’ve succumbed to the insidious whisper. Because I believed that I was getting stronger, I was getting fitter, I was getting happier from all the endorphins… somehow I got sucked in by the ‘everything is going to be okay because you are obeying and doing something about this mess called your body’. How quickly things go downhill!
So, now I’m struggling to turn it around. Today I didn’t allow myself to walk. All day it was tearing at my mind, screaming at me, causing my breath to catch and my heart to sprint in fear of what am I doing? But the sky hasn’t fallen..
I can’t not walk at all – it is making me stronger and happier, and it is part of recovery. I have to find that healthy moderation – HEALTHY rather than obsessive flogging myself til I drop. I have to learn to listen to my body – how is it feeling? Is it tired? Does it hurt? Listen to it and do what is best for it depending on what it tells me. Another thing that’s hard for someone who has always told her body to shut the hell up because she was listening to the eating disorder’s instructions!
I’m sorry this has been a tangential, winding, pointless, ‘poor me’ post.. I just needed to write about it for myself. The day to day struggles of trying to beat this ED and recreate a life from scratch are just that – tangential, never straighforward. They are also boring. It’s about repeating the same pointless seeming but so essential steps over and over. It’s about one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward… it’s about falling over again and again and again and still clawing your way back up to try again, no matter how exhausted and dusty and discouraged you are.
Because I want to live. And to live, I have to keep fighting.
What is the biggest day to day struggle for you?