I’ve decided that I’m going to use my tumblr to write about my experiences living with an eating disorder 9 years after diagnoses and over a decade after onset. I’ll still be reblogging beautiful stuff and all the usual jazz (though I’ve been neglecting my tumblr for quite some time, I know)
It’s 10:34PM and all I’ve been able to keep down today is a cup of coffee on low fat milk with 1 teaspoon of honey, a cup of tea with the same, 3/4 of a banana and a small handful of dry roasted almonds. I’ve binged and purged twice today and not managed to leave the house. I just went to attempt to make myself some dinner, I had some leftover vegetable gyoza and some rice paper rolls in the fridge I had planned to eat. As soon as I got to the kitchen my anxiety levels started rising and as I went through each step, getting the food out of the fridge, unpacking it, putting it on my plate.. It became to much to handle and I couldn’t do it. I put the food away and cut up an apple, I have to keep trying.
I grabbed a handful of dry roasted almonds and put them on my plate when I realised that I didn’t know how many calories they contained. 183 for 30g. I felt sick and scared and weighed my handful, exactly 30g. I put them back, I really wish that I hadn’t looked, hadn’t weighed them. Because now that I know.. I won’t be able to eat them without experiencing a very high level of anxiety. They’ve been one of the very few foods I feel safe eating when I feel able to eat anything.
Every day is so much the same when I’m experiencing a relapse. I wake up and have to think about breakfast, some mornings binging and purging is instantly on my mind, the first thought in my head when I open my eyes. And on those days I try to avoid the kitchen at all costs, but I have to eat, I want to recover.. So eventually I have to, and it ends in binging and purging, if not then, later. Other mornings I manage to put my “game face” on, grab a piece of fruit and a coffee with the fullest intentions to eat multiple times that day and night and not purge or weigh my food or count calories.. And sometimes I manage to do it, it’s very rare that happens on days when I’m alone though. And I am pretty much always alone.
My mother is a beautiful person who loves me very much. But she is also an enabler. She has been buying my binge food for as long as I’ve had Bulimia, even after she found out I was throwing it up 10 years ago. She has seen me almost die in hospital beds and taken me out on leave hours later to binge and purge. She knows I want to recover and I believe she wants me to get better, but I don’t think she understands how much she has helped me stay unwell. How much she is hurting me, physically and emotionally.
I’m trying to move out. I want to live alone because I know that this is going to be an intense time of my life, I really want to recover but I am not in control right now. The level of support I need is more appropriate to an inpatient unit than a sharehouse, even with friends, so I’d rather have the space to feel whatever I’m feeling while I throw myself into this outpatient program.
I got a letter saying it will be 2-4 months before they’ll have a space for me. It was really hard to take. It’s really strange because for so much of my eating disorder I was forced into treatment and now that I want help and am willing to really work with them I can’t find anyone who will help me, at least within my meager price range.
It makes it hard to keep fighting. I feel like I might not make it if things don’t change. I’ve put my body through so, so much over the past 10 years. I have pushed it so far.. I weighed the same at 19 years old as I did when I was a skinny 9 year old. I have been in ketosis, I’ve had hyponatremia and hypokalemia simultaneously which resulted in me almost having a heart attack while in hospital, I’ve had blood sugar levels only just above that of someone in a diabetic coma, I have muscle wastage in certain areas of my thighs, I’ve lost my hair, I have osteopenia, I’ve had bradycardia, dangerously low levels of this, that and everything, my digestive system is all kinds of fucked up, my teeth are ruined. I have lost friend after friend and dream after dream.. And I am tired of fighting with myself every day just to fucking keep myself alive.
I am scared that I am going to die, every day. And I know that everyone could die any day.. But I know the risks I’m running. I know that my body won’t be able to bounce back forever, after 10 years I’m at the point where my next major relapse is probably going to be the end of me. Every time I see my GP she reminds me that the next time I purge could be the last time I do anything. I wish it were enough to stop me doing it.
I have the best boyfriend in the whole world in my eyes, he is the love of my life and I do not want this to be a part of our life. And I have the best friends, the most amazing best friend! I want it for me, too. I want to know what it’s like to not be afraid to eat, to not have to force myself to “just do it” or feel like I’m the most disgusting thing on the planet when I do. I want to be able to think about something else long enough to actually achieve something.
It’s funny because so many people talk about eating disorders being about control and I totally get that, but at this stage of my eating disorder and recovery.. I feel like I have no control over my eating or my body. I feel like the eating disorder just runs my fucking life and I am trapped in a corner of my mind, too terrified to argue with all of the insane rules about when, what and how I can eat.. What cutlery I can use, how I’m allowed to cut it up, how I’m allowed to eat the food.. It feels like I am breaking out of my mind and realising that what I had thought were my own thoughts and wants were actually delusions. It’s only now that I’m trying to become healthy and disobey all of the rules that I’ve found that I’m just a slave to my eating disorder. I read somewhere about addiction or mental health that engaging in the symptoms is only slightly less painful than not engaging in them, and little has rung truer to me.
But I am still fighting, I think deep down I always was.