Small Victories 

​​I am in bed having breakfast. Is this really me. 

It is  by no means adequate but I am eating nevertheless. The ED patterns are still evident. Dissecting a muffin and eating only the top part whilst leaving out the rest. This is very abnormal but it’s the only way I can do this eating and retaining food thing. I still feel embarrassed when someone looks at me whilst I am eating which is why in public I only consume fluids, less chance of looking like a greedy big hipped gal but eating is good an appetite is nothing to be ashamed of. This is something I need to change.

I still do buy secret food and eat it in my room. Biscuits, lollipops, ice cream. I get anxious if I don’t have a stash even if end up bingeing and purging it. At least I haven’t purged in days, yesterday was an exception, I needed that release and so I did.

I am contemplating eating cereal. I am going into dangerous territory. It’s only still 8am, I don’t wanna go off the edge now. 

Nourishment 

My appetite is back somewhat, I really have been forcing myself to eat regardless. My weight gain is now so much more noticeable. A dress that used to hang over me is now body hugging and my hips and bum are now protruding in ways that make me realise that I am a woman and its okay to have these things.

My face looks healthy, an eye bag here and there but I look restored. Maybe all this is just the interim, suppose I am too in shock or anxious about what is to come and because of that I am finding it easier to abandon these habits. I break easily when purging and bingeing. Everything is magnified, I lose my senses and disappear in plain sight. I don’t want that. I don’t need that.

Hungry soul

Just another day spent on the edge of collapse. Literally. I can’t stop having numerous mini binges and purges throughout the day. The thing is I now can feel hunger, the sensation is no longer foreign to me. The hunger is intense and crippling. At first this was perculiar and thought for weeks I was pregnant. I am not. My body has had enough of this starvation bullshit. I am so sick of this secrecy and seeing this drained, frail, hollow eyed person in the mirror. I am not afraid to gain weight anymore, I can’t believe I put my whole family through hell all these years. I want to eat and keep it down and be happy.

I crave, feel hungry and eat but my problem like all bulimics and binge eating sufferers, is the will power to stop. To stop eating for the love of the good lord. I get it in my head that I can simply eat more then purge and then eat again because yes I have an eating disorder but I also love food, a glutton. I have always been since birth.

Today I did not purge but I did stuff my face with a takeaway and I enjoyed every minute of it. I had dessert too and I am incredibly now hungry now. It feels as though my soul is starving.

Meal Dodging madness

6pm
Calm, is how I can describe today. I had a couple of coffees, fruit and a cookie. It’s almost 6pm, I should have eaten 2 meals by now but I can’t, don’t want to flip that switch in my brain. A yogurt is not just a yogurt it’s stepping on the accelerator and then the inevitable driving off the cliff. I avoided that by just not eating anything, so I’m safe, empty (the good kind).

My mum has placed an embargo on low fat/ sugar free food items- the horror of having to face full cream milk. I have to remind myself that I will survive not having aspartame filled beverages and that it’s OKAY to drink regular coke because people do drink that stuff and they’re not obese. Mum thinks I’m doing well-ish, yesterday I ate for show because she was home, she peeks into my plate, asks what I’m having, the subtle monitoring, I feel like a child.

On Saturday I went to a casting and that really derailed the “progress” I was making this past week, I was okay with skipping breakfast but having lunch at least… Celebrating small victories. Now I’m just not prepared to make that sacrifice. I can’t stop weighing and measuring myself, I want to stay the weight I was when I went to that casting on Saturday but at the same time I have to eat and be healthy, It’s fucked up! I have to stop this madness, I want life at the end of this nightmare.
I suppose modelling is not what I should be pursuing right now but if I quit my eating disorder wins and I’ll never know.

23:03
Ate an inadequate dinner of boiled veggies and meat then I panicked after eating yogurt, purged and now I’m a dehydrated,headache-y, ravenous mess. Mum is in the other room praying,I am so loved by her, my brother, my family, friends but I keep engaging in these sick and selfish behaviours that could kill me,unbearable guilt is eating me up inside. I am exhausted from all the lies.

The in-between

Some days are better than others and today was alright, it was a typical Saturday: restriction, watch sport, eat fruit and drink sprite zero. Yesterday was an epic fail stuffing my face with bread and peanut butter and eating coco pops straight from the box then washing them down with hot chocolate (who does that?), it was an uncontrollable feeding frenzy that ended up with me purging up to 5 times the whole day and as if I hadn’t filled myself with more guilt than one could bear I later stuffed my face with chocolate chip cookies and chocolate while watching films in bed, promising myself that when the clock struck 12 midnight I would restrict like no other.

It’s just after midnight and technically it’s Sunday, I am ravenous  & I don’t think I can restrict any longer, I have a migraine and my feet hurt this is pms I’m sure of it, I swear I feel as though I have my cycle every 2 weeks or something. My cycle is messed up, with each relapse with anorexia when my period would go away every time it came back it was a totally different experience, now I get horrible horrible menstrual cramps, it’s a lot heavier, erratic & it’s worrying. I lost my period during what I think are the “most important stages of body  development” 12-15 then 17-19 & who knows how much damage was done. This is just one example of the effects of an ED, my body will never be the same but I don’t get to cry about it because it’s already done what I can do is to prevent further damage by not perpetuating the same habits, the tools to do that are already in place but just because they are there doesn’t mean recovery is a done deal.

There is sea of eating disorder recovery stories out there but one that touched me the most is the story of Shaye boddington
http://www.your-bulimia-recovery.com/about-shaye.html
I have been following Shaye’s stories/tips of life after recovery and frequent her website a lot, it has recovery tools and people share their ED stories. Her story grabbed my attention because Shaye was a bulimic for a decade and somehow she managed to recover. Like me she had worries that maybe her ED had ruined her body to the point of not being able to have children but years after recovery after having that fear of infertility marinate in her mind for years she now is actually expecting, I have never met this woman but I am so happy for her, it gave me hope and made me worry less. It gave me bucketfulls of hope, nothing is impossible if you really think about it & force yourself to accept it.

When reading recovery stories it all seems like a myth, my reaction towards recovery is always absolute cynicism. I have never known normal eating, I ate too much as child then when I became conscious of my size  I started to eat nothing and the eating disorder(s) came to be, I have never known the in-between state. I have to actually learn not relearn & you know what they say about teaching an old dog new tricks.

Recovery

I was watching Supersize vs Superskinny earlier this afternoon and they said that the average time it takes for an ED sufferer to recover is 7 years, Woah! I know it takes quite a while to recover but hearing it like that made it so much more real. I then just randomly googled something about ED recovery and this article was the result http://www.anred.com/tx.html I already know the information in the article as most ED sufferers do, we suffer from these EDs so when it comes to knowledge of recovery statistics  and what not we are all aware, its not as though we are ignorant of what it is exactly that we are doing to our bodies. Anyway what struck me the most in the article is the bit where they mention what recovery really is, it’s not about eating, gaining weight and maintaining a healthy relationship with food but there is so much more you need to be able to do, like maintaining age appropriate romantic relationships and what not… you’ll see the list when you read the article. When I think of recovery I think of getting fat and food, in my mind those are the only things I need to address but in reality there are a myriad of things… deep down I have always known this but seeing it like that made it seem new.

I tend to avoid articles on recovery, I really do. When I think of recovery I think of shoving muffins down my throat, I think of my hips getting massive, my thighs being hilariously huge and I just give up because I’d rather carry on with these behaviours and at least maintain my current weight as opposed to letting go of the steering wheel in the hopes of recovering and actually end up in a worse position but then again this is no way to live.

The whole it takes 7 years to recover is scary but I suppose it depends on where you’re standing. If you’re really anxious to recover it can feel demoralising because it seems quite lengthy but if you’re like me and you’re flirting with recovery it can be comforting it takes 7 years because at least you can forgive yourself when you try the recovery and fail since it takes quite a while. At the very end of the day after ED statistics have done our heads in, putting a timeline on anything is never a good thing so I guess not rushing yourself and taking it step by step is ideal but then again the more you continue with your behaviours the more damage you’re doing to your body and the closer you are to your demise.

I don’t know.

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!