TRIGGER WARNING. THIS IS NOT PRO ANA. REFERENCES TO SELF HARM
I’m not sure about anyone else but I can’t believe it’s already the end of February 2017! Time just goes and it’s nearly been a year on the road for us. To think of one week in all that time is like thinking of a second, this week is eating disorder awareness week and although it’s great to see the mental health issue get some attention, I’d like to see it talked about more all year round.
When I suffered with Anorexia a week went by like a year and I’m going to share with you what a week with anorexia, bulimia and all the other things that come with that, was like.
I wish I had slept more this weekend, I’m still exhausted. Early morning coffee and a cigarette to wake me up and my stomach is already hating me. No breakfast for you, let’s see how long you can last. Bike to college, freezing cold no matter what I wear. Cigarette break to stop the 11am stomach aches. Lunch time, so one more cigarette and a piece of fruit to balance sugar levels. I’m doing well today, just over 100 calories. Bike rides in the cold help. Get home, shit. Cheerios and milk make there way into my stomach and my mind goes haywire, I eat 3 bowls and I’ve ruined all the goals I set myself this morning. DO NOT EAT, too late. 30 sit ups and push ups before bed and I wait for the nightmares.
Awful sleep and my head is doing this thing where everything appears faster than it actually is. It’s hard to explain but I feel like my life has been put of fast forward and my brain can’t catch up. Go into college later today. Cigarette and coffee, cant look at the cereal bowl. I pack some extra fruit and 2 cereal bars in my bag, perhaps that will stop me binging when I get home. Shorter day today and not as cold. Get home, avoid dinner. Less than 500 calories today, good girl. 40 sit ups and 30 push ups.
Stressed about college today, can’t focus or concentrate on anything. But it’s Wednesday, the week is ALMOST over, can sleep all day on Saturday. Avoided people going to get lunch by buying more tobacco. I’m so hungry. Scared of binging. Mum went shopping today that means more cereal, she does it on purpose, she watches what I eat and bulk buys. It’s terrifying. Get home and break down. Feel so helpless and sad. WHY am I so sad. Nobody understands. Punish myself for eating 7 biscuits and cry until dinner is called. Parents wait at table for over an hour while I sit and stare at my potatoes and peas. They hate me, I think. Everybody does. No push ups or sit ups, too exhausted. Fall into comatose sleep.
Today I visit my psychologist. I think about what I’m going to say over my early morning cigarette and coffee, shaking in the outside cold. I get weighed today. I hope I’m thinner, but they don’t. I don’t want them to notice. I won’t water load later, I have to do that at the doctors though. I’ll eat lunch today, so I can say I’ve eaten lunch. Or maybe I won’t eat lunch and I’ll eat dinner, then my parents will think that I’m feeling better and on the mend. I hate lying, but I’m good at it and it keeps people off my back. Anorexia whispers in my ear, she tells what to do and she’s not a very nice person. I’m scared I’m not either.
Meeting went well yesterday and Friday is my favourite day. I WANT SUGAR so badly, and I’m shaking more. I’ve made it through this week with only one binge, keep it up. Weekends are always the worst for that; staying in the house surrounded by food cupboards just begging to prised open. Chain smoke and lunch and think about how to avoid food, always thinking about how to avoid it. If I go for a big run when I get home I can eat more dinner, ah dinner. Maybe I’ll even have some gravy. ALL THE GRAVY, no. Too scary. Nearly passed out on the run and when I came home mum said I looked grey, I did look grey. Half a pint of water and blackcurrant cordial and I feel okay. God, when is dinner I’m going to binge so hard if it’s not soon. Dinner went down way too quickly and my stomach wanted more. Couldn’t look like a failure. Must keep strong. Shit, the chocolate biscuits are out. Run upstairs and brush teeth, that’ll stop me eating.
Woke up at 1:00pm. Avoided breakfast but Dad woke me up to come downstairs and have ‘brunch’. Oh, how I loathe brunch. Big plates of greasy, hearty food and the smell it sends around the house is so tempting it makes me want to scream. I manage a slice of toast, no butter, some beans and a sausage. DO NOT MAKE ME EAT MORE, I say to myself, please let me sleep all weekend. People are coming round tomorrow, even worse, family are coming round tomorrow. I wish I could tattoo a smile on my face so I don’t have to walk around like I’m actually fine all the time. I won’t be changing out of my PJ’s either. I love my PJ’s, so baggy and warm. I’d take my duvet everywhere if I could, it makes me feel so safe and small.
I hurt myself a lot this week and I hope I can hide the cuts from everyone for another weekend. It breaks my heart when people see, especially my parents. I wish I didn’t have to do it. But I do. Lots of work to do but too tired to do it now. Tomorrow.
I feel a lot better this morning and crack on with the work I have to do. Finding it hard to concentrate but I can go outside whenever I want. Why am I never warm! Then lunchtime comes and I make pasta and grate some cheese. I grate so much cheese and then the binge begins. Over 600 calories, wasted. That’s not the worst part. Sunday lunch wit the family is yet to begin and I HAVE to eat there. I don’t want to make a fuss but now I’ve well and truly fucked myself. Great start to the week ahead. I binge for the rest of the day and as much as my stomach is thanking me. The bathtub drain is not. Throat hurts and I just want to go to bed and not see another soul. 4:00pm and the grandparents arrive. Prepare for the worst. Smile, eat and excuse yourself as fast as you can. Don’t listen to comments like ‘you look well’ or ‘you look better’. It doesn’t mean you’re fat. Yes it does. Not that is matters. Worry for the rest of the night about the week ahead. More work, more social interaction and more self hate.
How long can this go on for?
One week felt like a year and that they were all the same. Although I still managed to make it into college and make it to most of my appointments, I made life so hard for myself. Everything was a battle in my head and I completely ruined my relationship with food and even with the people closest to me. It took me years to fix those relationships and now I am where I am I still can’t truly understand how it happened.
To me, it was about taking control of THAT part of my life, what I ate, when I ate and how my body looked. But somewhere down the line something else took control of all that and started controlling me. I was the puppet on the string and I just had to keep dancing, keep smiling and keep performing. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. I honestly thought I was doing something that would make me perfect.
Anorexia is terrifying, controlling and unfair, but you can beat it
It not only takes over your mind but also your body and once it’s got hold, it doesn’t let go. I wish I owned the remedy of this illness, so I could give it out for free to everyone who is suffering but I can’t. I can only show you who I am now. I can only tell people that it DOES end, it’s a fight you have to be prepared for but YOU CAN WIN. I want anyone who is suffering to know that it is WORTH giving your life to finding the right path. It is WORTH waking up every day and saying I CAN DO THIS. You just have to find the strength within you. You have to find the old you and the person you want to be. I didn’t want to live past 16. 16 years old and I couldn’t see any life worth living in front of me. That’s what it does. IT TAKES OVER and makes you FEEL WORTHLESS. Please, if you are in that place just please keep looking, keep dreaming and thinking about your life without this evil inside you and REACH for it. Mouthful by mouthful and tiny step after tiny step you will make it and you WILL find your freedom. Darling, believe me when I say this freedom is better than any chocolate biscuit you will ever eat, it’s better than any food you will ever eat and it’s better than any relationship you will have with anyone. Being free of an eating disorder is having your body and mind to yourself, COMPLETELY yours. It was worth the fight just to say I’ve made it though.
I’m almost 21 years old, an age I didn’t think I would make. My body is mine, my mind is mine and my future is full of dreams and good spaghetti.
If you think someone is suffering with an eating disorder and you’ve just read my post, I hope I’ve given you a small insight into what that person might be feeling. I wanted someone to help me find my way, not help me eat or help me forget about it, but someone who understood how stuck I was and how ugly I felt. SUPPORT is the thing that will beat this, bit by bit we can all help by showing SUPPORT, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING.
If you are suffering from an eating disorder, I hope I have also helped you in some way, if it’s only to know that there’s someone out there who will understand you. The fight must go on. You must win, there is only one loser in this battle and that loser is NOT you.
All my love, support and understanding,