An Honest Account of Relapsing With Anorexia

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:

www.beat.co.uk

www.somethingfishy.org

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11 thoughts on “An Honest Account of Relapsing With Anorexia

  1. My heart is breaking for you. I know from personal experience what this illness does to people. But I also know that its possible to take control.

    I want that for you, I want you to be able to get the better of this, get healthier and make that difference you talk about. xxx

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  2. sending you massive cuddles. The fact that this is a ‘relapse’ means you saw the light before and ran towards it, no matter how briefly. You will again, lovely and, one day, relapses will become further and further apart and you will be so much stronger for having lived through such hell. I hope so, anyway.

    Please stay strong and let this come true. As much as it doesn’t feel like it, you can be in control again.

    Xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wishing you the strength to hold onto knowing this is a relapse. And they are an integral part of change. I understand your worry about not being ‘ill enough’ oddly. As a child / teenager i was in and out of hospital regularly with acute asthma attacks. I had open access to the childrens ward as there was no time to go through A&E. They’d give me a ton of drugs, hook me up to a drip, oxygen anf often painful blood gas tests. But much like you i’d leave going in til almost the last possible moment. (Obviously when i was an older child; when very little my mum made all the choices) not until i couldn’t talk and my lips were blue. Reading your blog made me think about that again and wonder what thats about. For me there was something about needing to wait until i was really ill as that was the only way to get what i needed. Get the ‘right’ treatment. Make ‘them’ take it seriously. There is also something about extremes. I like extremes in life. Maybe i was seeing how bad it would get.
    Anyway, your post made me think. Sorry if what i’ve written is totally missing the point. I wish you well x

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  4. The stark and honest truth of this made me cry. I’m currently going through a bad patch and it’s not until I read this that I truly admitted its got back to this stage. The all consuming nature of this illness is so cruel and so few people are aware this is what Eating disorder sufferers go through 24/7. I hope things start to look up because you deserve SO much more than this hell.

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  5. It can’t truly be called ‘living with anorexia’ it’s more like dying. Everything of worth to you is gradually taken away as the behaviours and thoughts become so strong. I know. I’ve lost almost complete control of my life – I’m basically inpatient at home, with my husband as nurse and warden. I’m trying to accept the weight gain. Trying to be grateful for the food. Sending hugs and praying you’ll find the strength to fight this, to be who you’re meant to be. Believe me, it’s not this. xoxo

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  6. So sorry to read this. You describe the effects of anorexia and the way it grips you so strongly very powerfully. I hope and pray that you will be able to fight this awful, horrible disease and that someday you will find freedom from it. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok I can relate to this 123%. I am now in recovery and got out of a long but incredible treatment a month ago, and I feel so Teo between recovery and relapse. I struggle every day feeling that I’ve never been ‘sick enough’- I always feel that my bones should have stuck out more, I should have ate even less, I could’ve exercised more etc. You mentioned “leg jiggling” and I know exactly what you’re talking about, I’m still struggling with that although it’s not as bad. It’s EXTREMELY difficult to concentrate on anything when literally all you think about is food.
    This has become my life, this cycle of obsessing, exercising behind my parents backs, counting, weighing, yearning for relief….I must give myself credit though, I am doing sorta ok on my meal plan. ANYWAY anorexia freaking SUCKS MORE THAN A DYSON VACUUM CLEANER but yeah go recovery!! One day we will be free….

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  8. I just hope so much it gets better. I mean, I’m too young to judge this correctly, but you do have a perspective don’t you? You wrote about what you want to achieve. So you are currently just searching for the strength to find it!! Please do not let this illness win.
    The term of fighting against cancer is wrong, but it could not fit better in the terms of anorexia recovery. You can fight. You do so every day. You are such a wonderful person, even though you probably won’t be able to accept this compliment because your illness doesn’t allow you to, but that’s not fair and it’s driving me crazy right now because you DO deserve all the kind words and encouragement here!!!

    Love

    15-year-old German girl
    also measured in kg
    nearly relapsed yesterday
    but didn’t
    because of an amazing friend
    wishing you the best ❤

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