The decade+ roller coaster ride

Rather famished and thirsty lately, the whole weekend I have been extremely hungry so I haven’t been super restricting. I AM GENUINELY JUST SO SO HUNGRY, a huge appetite like a growing boy. Sorted out the tuition issue and by Wednesday everything should be back on track so yay.

I am super excited for easter because on easter I give myself a free pass to binge on easter eggs and overpriced chocolate, it makes me feel sick afterwards but it’s a necessary ritual. Come to think of it I haven’t eaten actual chocolate since Valentine’s day, of course I have eaten chocolate flavoured food like cake and chocolate covered foods but it I haven’t eaten an actual chocolate bar since Valentine’s day. I am not really proud of the fact because chocolate has never been my weakness nor is it a binge trigger, it’s the biscuits, muffins, croissants, ice-cream, cereal that I can safely say that those are my vices.

I don’t even know how many packets of biscuits I’ve eaten in the past seven years… a truck load maybe. When you have an eating disorder the older you get the more your ED tends to escalate, I say so because as you get older you get a lot of freedom to go out and stuff and you can easily go out and buy your yourself binge food and you have the money to do as well. The excitement I get when I walk into grocery store is indescribable, it’s exhilarating. In Emma Woolf’s book An apple a day, though it’s a memoir about anorexia there is passage where she talks about how she walked into a grocery store she marched through the aisles feeling like a mass murderer, that is exactly what I feel like when I am patrolling the bakery section.

I go into the store walking really fast while fearful someone I know might see me with my hands full of muffins and ice-cream and making a bee-line for the biscuit section. I dread the day my mum catches me buying binge food I think I would just freeze. I used to buy from 3 or 4 different stores because I was afraid people would judge me and put two into two together and find out my shameful secret, it was very strategic, bakery stuff in one store, a bag of crisps in another store and the last store near the bus stop I would buy my ice-cream so that after my purchase I could just jump into the bus and head home really fast before my precious ice-cream melted.

It all got out of hand when I quit boarding school and became a day scholar, I convinced my parents to quit picking me up because it was so uncool and I used buses instead, I was anorexic then and mum would later send someone to pick me up after school to be brought to her office so she could monitor my eating, I was about 14 but that’s another long story. So when I went home after school on my own the temptation in town was too much, the smell of food was always hanging in the air and there I was an exhausted anorexic with everyone on my back telling to to gain weight, my parents, my friends, my teachers, the school nurse OMG!

I was physically and emotionally exhausted of the discipline of anorexia, the way getting into bed felt like climbing a mountain, the fighting with family, always being on defense most of all I was hungry not only for food but for sanity, I had been anorexic for about 2 years by then and I was just done. I started buying biscuits and snacking after school then later on I started bingeing hadn’t discovered purging, eventually discovered purging when I saw an episode of the Tyra Banks show, I knew about bulimia and the purging but hadn’t actually been exposed to it and I didn’t think I was capable of doing that because it scared me, but these girls on the show were saying they had been doing it for years and they hadn’t died. Feeling like I had gained too much I didn’t know that all these emotions and lack of self-worth were all part and parcel of recovery from an ED, I knew that I would have to gain weight but I guess I didn’t think it through because when I started gaining I was beside myself with something that I can only describe as grief, I was grieving the loss of the power being anorexic afforded me, I was grieving the loss of control. My parents thought I was recovering from anorexia and doing well, I wasn’t.

Recovering from anorexia isn’t shoving food down your throat, getting plump and then walking into the sunshine and moving on with your life, recovering from bulimia isn’t eating relatively normal sized meals and not purging, it’s something much deeper than that because the thoughts of food never disappear do they. You can be of normal weight and still have an anorexic mind especially if you’re always on the eternal bulimic-anorexic merry go round like I do. Always on the verge of something, always.

I am tired of being the sufferer everyone feels sorry for and worries about. In the words of Ben Howard from the song Black flies “every story must grow old” When will this story grow old and end, when will I get to tell my story, my recovery story… the one were I tell everyone who might care to hear or read about my struggles and how I triumphed in the end.

If I had gotten the proper counselling maybe my EDs wouldn’t have escalated like this, I have gone through countless rounds of anorexia and bulimia relapses I can’t even count how many. My parents didn’t and still don’t believe in therapy and so in turn I didn’t believe in it maybe I would have fought to get sooner if I believed it could help, now I believe it might work, as with everything in life it’s worth giving a go, maybe there is getting off this wretched roller coaster but I’m not holding my breath-Pessimist me!


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