I’m going to start by warning you that this may potentially be triggering. I am not writing this with the intention to trigger anyone, that is the last thing I want to do but I am in the grips of quite a bad relapse and hope to give a true picture of my situation to raise awareness and understanding of what it is really like to live with this life destroying illness. I don’t often open up so much, usually when asked about my current situation in media interviews I will say, “I still struggle but I’m getting there.” I hope that my honesty helps others in some way.
Today I woke up and the first thing I thought about was the scales, I went through my obsessive routine before standing on them. My scales weigh in kgs so I then figured out my weight in stones and then in lbs. I worked out how much weight I’d need to gain in order to be healthy. It isn’t just a case of getting on the scales and getting off. It’s a long routine and a maths lesson, I hate maths.
Breakfast time. I decided that after 3 days of thinking about it I’d actually drink a mug of chocolate almond milk, I sipped it thinking of actual chocolate. In fact, I don’t really remember drinking it because I was thinking about food, planning my next ‘meal’ and my plan for the day in terms of exercise.
I got dressed, put my ipod on full volume and walked up and down the kitchen for hours. Occasionally I’d worry about neighbours seeing me and thinking that I’m nuts but it didn’t stop me. I carried on until my friend came to pick me up. I’ve been walking up and down the kitchen a lot lately, nothing has really been achieved this week because I’ve probably spent way over 10 hours just walking around the same room. That’s fairly frustrating to think about. I’m sat down at the moment but I’ve got this whole leg jiggling behaviour going on.
I’ve mainly been living off of fruit and vegetables which is totally unhealthy because we need protein and carbohydrates and fat in order to function properly but not only that, my intake is fruit, vegetables, water and pepsi max and trust me after a while that makes you feel so sick! Your digestive system won’t appreciate it either. I’m spending hours looking forward to a ‘meal’ that then makes me feel sick-great!
My obsession with food seems to have gotten worse each day. I couldn’t concentrate in my psychologist appointment yesterday because he said about putting all your eggs in one basket and I started thinking about eggs and Easter eggs and chocolate and how I couldn’t eat chocolate and figuring out if there was a way I could before coming to the conclusion that no I couldn’t. Standing in a cinema foyer and I was so amazed by the sweets and chocolate and popcorn around me that I nearly said to the other person, “oh my gosh look at all the food!” but then I remembered that they are not in the depths of anorexia and therefore probably do not stare at food in a mixture of amazement and disgust. I spend so much time looking at pictures of food on instagram, who knew the chocolate hashtag could be so thrilling. I completely zone out, I’m not in reality, I’m just obsessing over foods that I couldn’t bare to pass my lips. I mean, I’m not even taking my liquid medication because it has a flavour and therefore my mind is telling me it’s full of calories. This illness is so ridiculous.
Physically I’m destroying my body, my concentration is almost non-existent and I have little tolerance for others. I’m an unexplainable degree of cold. My blood feels cold, my bones feel cold, my organs feel cold. I have become my illness, psychotic, delusional. I’ve become mean and harsh from hunger and the false sense of power that starvation gives me. It’s not nice to be me or to be around me. Negative thoughts flood my mind. This is not who I am. This is anorexia taking over.
Opportunities are disappearing, doors are closing. I used to have drive and ambition. I wanted to make a huge difference to mental health, I wanted to speak out to as many people as possible and to fight for better health provision for people. Now I’m too tired, or simply don’t have the head space and energy for things. And those brief moments where this illness isn’t stealing my thoughts I do feel sad and disappointed and I do want to grasp life with both hands and achieve things but I feel as though I have to put those things off. I am not well enough now.
I want to change, I want to be posting pictures of kit kat chunkys on instagram and saying, “you know what, today I enjoyed my food.” I want to follow my meal plan and eat the pizza I’ve spent three weeks thinking about. I want to sit in group therapy and eat the white bread we have to eat. I don’t want this illness. But then there’s so much stopping me, scaring me. I’m not sure I’m capable of coping with the guilt, with feeling the calories crawling on my skin. I’m doubting myself a lot. I also don’t feel ill enough, like this relapse isn’t that bad, like my weight isn’t that bad. I can’t justify eating that food, which is stupid, who needs to justify eating?! That’s like justifying breathing. We need to eat. But it’s a thought and it’s there and it’s real to me. I just find it so frustrating that with anorexia I often struggle to recover because I don’t feel ill enough to, as though things need to get worse first, but you’d never hear me say, “I didn’t take my inhaler because my asthma isn’t bad enough yet.”
Anorexia is such a frustrating and confusing illness. I feel very trapped right now but I am determined to find my way back out. Even if the achievement is as small as sitting down for an hour or drinking a hot chocolate. I am going to do my best to fight it. I hate this illness, I do not understand why some people strive to have it. I’ve had a lot of pro-ana accounts follow my instagram and twitter this week and I just want to say that if you are striving to have anorexia, please seek help. If you want to look good, go and buy a new outfit. Anorexia has made me ugly inside and out, I’m miserable and it has cost me dearly. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.
If you are suffering from an eating disorder you may find the following links helpful: