Mindless

My stomach is in pain, a deep pain that feels like my insides have been beaten and stomped on. Purging an average of 7 times per day is wrecking more havoc on my body, I can sense an oncoming final binge and purge that will change everything. An event or some fictitious happy ending that will be so life altering I’ll completely change my ways. On the other hand it feels like I’ve given up and I’m just drifting in whichever direction the wind is blowing.

I quit the part time promo job because it wasn’t serving any purpose in my life and instead it was draining me of funds I didn’t have because the pay was ridiculously low. I didn’t work there for long but I have lacked purpose for 2 weeks since quitting. It was better when I had somewhere to be which meant less time with ED, I worked nights in a tiny uniform in heels in the freezing cold,I got diagnosed with anorexia again and it’s not exactly easy to work when you’re shivering and having heart palpitations, my blood pressure is always dangerously low and with that comes a load of health issues and in the end I wasn’t physically strong enough. That’s done, water under the bridge. Another opportunity stolen by ED and perhaps my nature of always having excuses.

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Free Fall

Our demons are never our own at least not wholly, there are always loved ones who take partial ownership.. casualties of these personal afflictions of ours. My mother has suffered for years at the hands of my eating disorder, she has suffered by my hand. They all have.

I was diagnosed with anorexia on Saturday.

Another relapse, another crisis, another rock bottom, another mountain to climb.
I went to the ER on Saturday morning, I was too weak, bathing felt like climbing a mountain. They did routine checks and my blood pressure was too low 88/62 and because of that I had to be hooked onto IVs for hours. I felt so defeated just lying there, the mighty had fallen, the purging queen reduced to nothing but just another shivering body on a hard hospital bed in a tiny cubicle.

I can’t recall how may bags they pumped into me, I just know that I felt trapped as though I was being held hostage with no way of cutting myself loose.

Now I am back home and I am trying to eat, trying to be normal but I am failing. A hospital stay is not even enough to stop me from me from finding my stupid selfish hands at the back of my throat. I don’t deserve the love I get from my mother, so unconditional and irrevocable and what do I do, I keep perpetuating the same behaviours that landed me in a hospital bed. I am keeping down some food but not all, I have no problem with small meals it’s just that after eating something takes over me and I end up bingeing and purging…. undoing all the progress. I can’t flip a switch. It will take everything to undo and to unlearn all the patterns of destruction that i have been weaving for more than a decade. Unlearning has always been harder than learning.

I have to gain weight, I am so afraid.

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!

Food is a drug and I am an addict

(Wrote this post last night couldn’t post because my Internet went crazy)

Well its official winter is here, it’s freezing out. I especially hate these leather sofas in the winter because it feels like you’re sitting on a block of ice, it helps to put a blanket then sit but still hate these sofas. All this cold never and has never stopped me from eating ice-cream, just had a cup! I ate breakfast lunch and a fatty supper, had calorie rich coffees and hot chocolate throughout the day. I feel like a giant especially after devouring a packet of biscuits and half a giant-sized chocolate croissant in bed last night, I panicked and went into “this food has got to go so it won’t trigger me tomorrow mood” so I ate it all, woke up full then ate again. On the upside at least mum saw me actually eat breakfast today. She always says “I buy those muffins you like but I’ve never actually seen you eat one, do you throw them away when I am not here?” No mum I binge on them like an animal… but I could never tell her this of course.

Mum accepted a long time ago that I have certain things I won’t eat, before she used to argue with me and try to convince me to drink regular coke instead diet, drink tea with milk instead of without etc, she would always say people who need to lose weight do that, you don’t need to lose weight you actually need to gain so please just eat what a normal person would eat. She then stopped trying to convince me to eat what she thought I would then she started buying me what I wanted and that was great for a while, still is actually in a way.

There is a section in the fridge sorely dedicated for storing “my foods” and a cupboard as well, nobody is supposed to eat that food except me it’s sort of an unspoken rule. this careful managing of my eating disorder makes me so ashamed because, nobody in my family knows I am bulimic, I have mentioned this in previous post my family thinks I am/was an anorexic who relapses often so they have to keep me in check by making sure I don’t relapse again. So I am ashamed of the fact that I buy binge food then come home and eat it all and never touch the food at home that I don’t eat so they worry I am starving myself, give me lectures when my belly is about to explode from surfeiting myself or about to pass out from puking so much. I try to cover my tracks by making food disappear, feeding it to the dogs but apparently I am not so good at it. If I cover up too much by making food disappear too fast I am afraid I will be found out, which is ridiculous because nobody has a clue I am bulimic, they wouldn’t.

That’s the thing about being a closeted bulimic so to speak, you’re always so paranoid, “I have to hide these chocolate wrappings because if anyone finds them they’ll out two into together” – that kind of thinking. You’re always busy worrying about losing control and bingeing then you binge and you worry about purging.. if something will go wrong then you worry about the post-purge clean up, everything has to look clean… normal, then you worry about the food wrappings… how to get rid of them, then you start getting dizzy from dehydration… you worry, then you worry about how much you’ve gained from bingeing by the time you lay your head on your pillow you’re exhausted from abusing your body and the lies you’ve told all day.

Tomorrow and the day after is the same but I believe cycles can be broken, I have recently started to believe so I didn’t. Breaking the cycle by way of conditioning. I believe you can never scare yourself into recovery, that never worked for me. Purging blood knowing I would die if I didn’t stop did not make me recover, of course in that moment I swore to myself that I would never ever purged but a couple of antibiotics later and healed throat I was back on my knees purging. So conditioning your mind, your body by eating the same foods over and over to the point where you don’t feel the need to binge and purge anymore. When all is said and done everything goes back to the same point, EATING.

Food is indeed a drug, I can go for two days without eating but the moment I eat something it’s as though this beast is awakened and I have to eat everything. Quod me nutrit me destruit- what nourishes me also destroys me. Food is a wonderful thing but to me it’s my enemy and my best friend at the same time. An eating disorder isn’t just about food but truly sometimes it feels like that’s what it’s all about. It is very tiresome. It’s like getting on a roller coaster and never coming off it.. ever because you can’t “quit” you need food to survive.

Food is a drug and I am an addict.

 

I messed up.. (Yet again)

On Wednesday I messed up pretty bad, I was on my third purge of the day and then I threw up bright red blood. In that moment it felt like I had immediately snapped out of the trance that was in and I am convinced that time stopped moving, my heart was racing and my hands were shaking. In my head I kept repeating “what have done, what have I done”. I then started to go through the purge to make sure just how blood there was in it and it was quite a lot, after I got up and cleaned myself up I started praying and asked God if he were to heal me I would never ever ever purge again, I have made God that promise before and I have broken it countless times but on that day, Wednesday, I really meant it.

There are days when I love bulimia, I could stand on the rooftop and yell, I fucking love bulimia and that worries me who thinks like that. I love it when it doesn’t come with complications, I love it when I think of how it was like it was in the beginning I could stop whenever I wanted to, I love it how good releasing those endorphins feels. When I come face to face with it and look it in the eye and it dawns on me just how much of my teenage years I lost to it, how much life i lost, memories that were never made because I was busy stuffing my face and purging, then I hate it. I hate it so much. God.

I didn’t die, my throat feels bruised but I feel fine. I took antibiotics and chewed a lot of garlic. No one knows the scare I had except me and of course those of you who are reading this. I have decided I cannot do this on my own and I have to the realisation that I need therapy or some sort of professional to talk to. I always thought therapy was not helpful and that the only person who can help you is you, it is true though the only person who can help you is you but sometimes you need to ask for help.

The only obstacle is that I would like to keep the whole therapy thing to myself because my parents don’t believe in therapy or taking medication to help cure a mental illness. Both my mum and dad have mentally ill brothers and when their brothers started taking meds they got crazier so they do not believe that meds are the answer. My mum is convinced that it is not a mental illness but rather demons and what not, she is very religious and she is convinced that all I need to do is to go to church pray every day and I’ll be cured. My dad does not really participant in my life and I am completely fine with it he always says “eat 3 meals a day and you’ll be fine my girl”. Another obstacle is the fact that none of my parents know that I am a bulimic they probably think I am doing great recovering from anorexia and that everything is great with some tiny slip ups here and there. I am not about to confess anything any time soon. I could easily go the therapy route easily and in secret but I am on my mum’s medical aid and she would know If I went to a doctor or anything and I am not sure if therapy or some form of counselling is covered by medical aid but I am sure it’s not covered. If not covered I don’t have the money, either way I feel unless I confess I will always be in this same spot.

The secrecy doesn’t exactly kill me, I feel guilty of course but I don’t lie awake at night thinking about my big secret.. my family don’t know I am bulimic. I tried telling my mum once, I started off by saying how to this day I don’t feel comfortable with my body and that I would give anything to go back to 2010. (2010 in my family is the word we use to refer to when I had my relapse with anorexia, the worse of the worst of all the relapses I have ever had. The doctor told me that my BP was so low I ought to be in a coma fighting for my life) After I told my mum about wanting to go back to 2010 she flipped and I could not tell her more, how could I.

I will find a way to get the help I so desperately need. I have to learn to be self-sufficient, I feel like my decision to study further was a bad one. Maybe if I had seriously looked for a job I would not be this dependant on my mum, I could probably work my arse off taking extra shifts and pay for my own therapy without divulging information to anyone. In theory it all sounds doable but in practice I know myself, If I were to make the decision again I would choose studying further because I hate reality, being out there working and struggling. I love to have it easy but it makes me dislike myself because I know I am capable of doing great things by myself for myself but I can’t seem to get over myself.

It’s not worth it.

PicsArt_1390581514481
A pic of me, just messing around with photoshop post-binge.

You know when you have been holding it together (whatever “it” is, I never know exactly these days) for the whole week then on a Friday afternoon you just lose it. I have been running myself ragged the whole week, doing favours for my whole family “oh no don’t worry I’ll make dinner” “I’ll do the dishes” “I cleaned the bathroom” “leave it I’ll take care of it” it goes on and on.

I have been doing all this for a while now but this week it was on another level, I know I’m overcompensating for my behaviour but at the end of the day no amount of cooked dinners or sparkling countertops will make up for the fact that I am relapsing more than ever before. In a matter of weeks I went from purging once or twice a WEEK to 4 times a DAY.

To me purging is the ultimate act that “completes” the cycle of bulimia. If I binge and don’t purge I feel disgusted of course but I don’t get worried, if I do purge then I’ve completed the “act” and I start worrying about a heart attack or my throat rupturing.

Today I binged so much it’s horrible, I feel like someone opened up my stomach then stuffed it with bulky material of some sort then closed it up. SO. FULL. I had full intention of purging but something just made me get up and I mumbled “it’s not worth it” under my breath. I wiped my hands left the bathroom and watched tv even though I was in agony (still am) but I stuck to my decision. Tomorrow deep down I will be glad I walked away from the wretched porcelain.

When you decide at the last minute to not purge, it is the most difficult thing to do but you feel so relieved, like phew I don’t have to put myself through this but you fully know that the next few hours are going to be the hardest. Feeling full is the most unpleasant of feelings, I cannot express this enough.

So now it’s almost 7pm and I am watching Extreme makeover with one eye, the other eye fixed on my laptop. I am wearing red lipstick for apparent reason and I have no plans to go out.

I cannot reverse today’s events ie my sheer lack of control but I have to get over this, tomorrow is coming. A fellow blogger mentioned something in her post about when you fall off the proverbial wagon the day after is like a “clean slate” I can attest to this!

Imminent

On Wednesday the 4th I purged. After 25 days purge free I just did it. A small binge and suddenly I felt this urgent need to get rid of it, this time it was different it wasn’t an emotional ordeal afterwards, I just cleaned myself up took some throat lozenges and went about my day.

I didn’t obsess over it nor did I feel an ounce of guilt, It’s because I expected this would happen, I knew it! I would have loved to go one solid month without purging but I didn’t. If you ask me today how many days I’ve gone without purging I’ll say one month! Today is the 8th of December I last purged on the 8th of November (not taking into account Wednesday’s slip up)
Perhaps it’s cheating, cheating myself in a sense but having that one month purge free is what’s keeping me going.