Unresolved

Please don’t ask me to talk about my eating disorder if you’re going to end the conversation as soon as I tell you what’s going on.

Please don’t ask me to open up when I say I don’t want to, but you decide I should, and then leave me with these thoughts festering in my brain.

Please don’t ask me to talk to you and then leave the conversation without even telling me how you felt. Why couldn’t we have continued to talk about something else? Anything else?

You started a conversation that you weren’t prepared to finish and now I’m on my own with my ED emotions eating away at me. Now I have no one to talk through all these toxic thoughts with.

I think you could be hurting. Hurting because I’m hurting. But shutting down right in front of me…

I feel so alone.

You’ve left me on my own until you decide we can talk, which is in 6 days’ time. 6 whole days – that’s when you’ve decided we can finish this conversation.

Now I’m trying to find the courage to face those 6 days with all these unresolved emotions seeping through my body like poison. But I don’t think I have any courage left in me.

Things have been left unresolved and I am left unravelling.

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Restless Rest

I had a week off work last week for no reason other than I had holiday to use and figured that back in March, a random week off in June would work well.

I struggled that week more than I ever thought I would. Between all the hospital appointments I had scheduled and the inevitable ‘house hunt’ starting I struggled to fit in an ample amount of time to simply rest. I simultaneously struggled due to the lack of structure and routine I have settled into with work.

When I could fit in that much-needed-rest, I was just exhausted. I would sit in the park with my books and my laptop, ready to enjoy the sun when, in reality, I just sat there staring into the distance completely drained.

The fact I’d also gone through a period of work where I was finishing between 11pm and 2am every single night and having to work through the occasional weekend probably didn’t help either. It just meant I was exhausted before my week off, during my week off and now? Well,  I’m exhausted after my week off.

I started a new course of treatment at the hospital. They are trying to ‘de-scale’ my head as my psoriasis is getting out of control. They call the process ‘tarring’ and yes, that’s right. I sit there in my beautiful hospital gown whilst they put tar and various other concoctions all over my head. I’m then wrapped up in cling film, a shower cap is placed onto my head and I sit there for a length of time whilst I ‘bake’. Following this, they sit with an incredibly fine comb and ‘de-scale’ my head. They literally dig and scrape at the psoriasis in the hopes of peeling it off my head whilst removing as little hair as possible.

They want to do this 2-3 times a week and I hate it already.

I hate the psoriasis on my head. It’s itchy and it hurts. It gets infected and it makes my hair fall out. I’m also constantly leaving a trail of dandruff looking flakes everywhere I go. But the thing is, it’s also the least of my worries.

Along with psoriasis I have, psoriatic arthritis, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, a Volkmann’s Ischemic Contracture, nerve damage and ruptured muscles, kidney problems, endometriosis and the list of illnesses I’ve had over the years feels endless.

Oh yeah, don’t forget the bulimia now.

I’m almost half-way through my training contract and the department I am working in now is where I want to qualify. It’s where I want to work for the rest of my life following my training which means I’m so incredibly conscious of the time these treatments are going to take up. I’m terrified of not being allowed to qualify here for whatever reason and so I’m equally desperate to not give them any stick to beat me with, so to speak.

What’s worse is the way I look after these treatments. I have bits of scale that haven’t quite made their way down my hair strands literally just sat there and my hair is the most greasiest smelliest mess you can imagine.

It is oh so easy for them or anyone reading to tell me to put up with incredibly greasy hair for a short while but when I’m already so caught up with my body image I can’t shake this feeling of ‘ugly’ that’s seething through my body lately.

Even today people have been looking at and some have even commented on my hair and I actually cried over it. I cried because I’m tired. I am tired of frequently having to go to the hospital for something or other. I am sick of all these different appointments, treatments and medications that I have. I am just sick and tired of being sick.

All my illnesses and disabilities drain me completely.

Forever wishing I could know what it felt like to be normal because I just feel broken.

I feel so damaged and that makes me feel unworthy. Unworthy of my job, unworthy of my friends….unworthy of love.

And it’s those feelings that the ED clings to. It’s those emotions that the ED thrives off. That’s when it’s at its worst but just because I know that doesn’t make fighting it off any easier.

Nightmare Realities

The illness crept up on me full force when I was reminded over an awful night that happened almost a year ago…wow, it’s almost a year ago now…one year…12 months…52 weeks…365 days ago.

Can I even call it an anniversary? Surely that day doesn’t deserve to have an anniversary? Nevertheless, the date is fast approaching and I can feel the pitch black darkness of that day catching up with me.

I’ve been running through mud trying to escape it and now I’m stuck. I’m stuck in the illness that’s got so much worse when the memories were triggered. When the pain came back. When the fear infested me all over again. When the nightmares became more frequent and more intense than ever before.

It’s like I can’t breathe. He’s there on top of me and I can’t move. I’m weak and I can’t get him off. My chest tightens and I can’t breathe. Can’t breathe, can’t move and it’s all because I’m weak. I was too weak to stop it then and I’m even weaker that I’m letting it affect me now.

That’s what the voice tells me. It was all my fault and I could have stopped it and if I had stopped it I wouldn’t be having the problems now. I wouldn’t be bouncing from restriction to purging like the broken boomerang I am. I let myself be in that position when I was vulnerable. I could have stopped it. I could have prevented it.

But no.

Because I was weak.

Because I am weak.

He’s there. His hands, his body, everything and I can’t get him off me. I can’t move, can’t breathe…I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. I just want him off me. I can’t breathe. Just get off me. Please stop. I can’t breathe. I’m dreaming. I need to wake up but I can’t wake up. It’s not happening again. It’s a dream. But it’s happening and I can’t move. I can’t breathe.

Can’t move.
Can’t breathe.

Eventually I do breathe but it’s a scream that escapes my mouth.

I wake up crying and shaking. I’m covered in sweat and my heart is beating so fast I feel like it’s going to burst out my chest. The fear sets off my epilepsy and I’m sat having seizures in bed. Crying. Shaking. Sweating. Fitting.

I smashed a bowl that was by my bed one of the last times. I actually reached out from one side of the bed and smashed it on the wall in my sleep because I was that convinced the dream was real.

Each time it happens I’m feeling weaker and weaker. There’s nights I’m scared to fall asleep and I feel so weak.

I. Feel. So. Weak.

I. Feel. So. Out. Of. Control.

I should have been in control of that situation, it’s my fault I was there. I should have known better. I should have been strong enough to stop it and I wasn’t. I let myself down. I wasn’t in control and I was so damn weak.

Fucking stupid girl.

I know my ED is based on control and feeling weak…maybe there’s a bigger link between my recent relapse and that upcoming anniversary I can’t avoid.

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Raw

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Hands tense, gripping what they can. Trying to stand tall but everything is crumbling.

Heavier weights to try numb the even heavier pain.

But it’s falling away. It’s being ripped away.

It hurts. Oh it god damn hurts.

The pounding starts. The voices come running. Whispers turn into screams.

Walls back up but still spiralling downwards. One step forward yet five leaps back.

Lift even heavier. Push through the pain. It helps the hurt.

But why does it still hurt?

Tears stinging. Why is it still so raw?

I’ll never see him again but why am I scared that it might happen accidentally?

How did one person take away all my strength? All my confidence? All my self-worth? Why did he have to take it, just to have sex with me for a few months?

I can’t do it right now. I can’t fix myself right now. Somebody please pick me up because I really can’t stand on my own right now. Anyone. Please.

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Wise Words

 

Words are powerful. They can crush a heart or heal it. They can shame a soul or liberate it. They can shatter dreams or energise them. They can obstruct connection or invite it. They can create defences or melt them. We have to use words wisely. 

My motivation to write can come from a variety of sources and when I get an idea or the urge to write I take a picture to include with each post. Admittedly its usually a selfie or a picture of something I’ve done that day that’s made me happy but I never post the pictures where I’m sad.

The words from the small paragraph I’ve included above could not be truer. The picture on the left is from my morning coffee in the back garden and I took the one on the right about 5 hours later. The change is staggering and the reason for the change? One small sentence said to me shortly after the first picture was taken.

I would never usually take a selfie of me crying, desperately trying to hold myself together but I decided today I would. I wanted to show the reality. I want people to see the hurt and struggles that I still go through because no matter how hard I try to ignore it, no matter how hard I pretend I’m okay, there are days where I’m still in incredible amounts of pain.

Christmas is hard, notoriously hard for any sufferers and recoverers from EDs. I don’t really need to tell you all that, you already know but to hear my brother say to me, ‘if you’re going to be sick today can you at least clean the toilet because my girlfriend is coming round today and we don’t want the toilet to be dirty.’

His words echoed in my head and the tears came running. I really struggle with my recovery when I come home at any time of the year, let alone Christmas and to hear what really was an insensitive comment cut right through me. I hadn’t been sick this visit, I hadn’t purged, I hadn’t bent over the toilet with my fingers down my throat and yet his words…the thoughts came running, the tears came burning, the storm came thundering and then the fear set in.

I’ve been trying ever so hard this year to keep purge-free. So much so I’ve been coming across angry and grumpy to my family because I’m simply so stressed out. I wish they would understand a little bit more but I don’t know how to make them understand more. He realised he had hurt me and when he tried to make it better I screamed at him to leave me alone.

I’ve not screamed at anyone like that before.

But the thought was there now. Purge. I need to purge. I stared at the girl in the mirror and couldn’t believe how fat she looked compared to a week ago when she was alone in London. I needed a shower but all I could see was the fat girl in the mirror. God I wanted to smash that mirror. The thoughts were pounding and the girl became blurry as the tears stung and I could barely stand up, holding onto the sides of the sink desperately searching for some strength. Any ounce of strength.

Come on girl. I heard myself say. Pull yourself together. Its Christmas…

Christmas.

Every year.

Something happens.

That all happened about 30 minutes after that first picture was taken.

The second picture was taken shortly after Christmas Dinner.

I feel weak. I feel disgusting. I don’t want to write this out but I know I need to. I know admitting helps me recover.

I relapsed.

But I sunk to a whole new low.

In the past I’ve done some incredible things to hide the purge from others but I did something I’ve never done before.

I knew eyes and ears would be on me at home and I went to the park. I knew that would probably be empty. I found somewhere secluded. I checked no one was around. I tied my hair up. I took a final deep breath, shut my eyes and I bent over.

I relapsed.

And the relief came rushing. I felt that instant relief that I learnt to wrongly associate with positives all those years ago but then I cried. The vicious circle had started once again. I’m home now and no body knows, that makes me feel worse. 5 years in a row that I’ve relapsed on Christmas Day. I feel like I’ve failed even though I know I haven’t. I’m just hoping I can get a firmer handle on things tomorrow. That’s all I can do, take each day as it comes, keep aiming for small steps upwards.

 

I understand I can’t let everyone’s words affect me but I don’t see why I should lower my feelings because of someone’s choice of words or their ignorance. He didn’t mean what he said but it really damn well hurt at the time. It’s hard to get out of this claustrophobic house at the best of times, let alone when the Demon’s voice starts to scream.

The second half of the day was surprisingly amazing. The family bickering had stopped and we actually ended up having a great evening as a family. There’s always silver linings I suppose. There’s always laughter in sadness and hope in darkness.

There’s always progress to be made at every hurdle.

There was a time I was purging every day. That was a long time ago. That’s the progress I’ve made.

That’s what I should be proud of today.

And the below pictures of dad dancing with me on his shoulders…that’s the memory I want to remember about Christmas Day 2016.

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Mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you

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This has been one hell of a horrific week, physically and mentally. I didn’t even realise today was friday, I’ve been that lost all week. I was going out last night and could see how tired I still looked under that make up (and an instagram filter!). I can see there’s a lack of my usual happiness. My spark isn’t there.

My mind was so distant yesterday and I binged. I almost didn’t realise I was bingeing. All I knew was that I wanted to purge, I wanted to throw up the pain I’m in and so I ate. And I ate a lot but when it came to purge I couldn’t.

Not that I couldn’t physically bend over in the freezing cold and put my fingers down my throat (apologies for the crudeness) but that I couldn’t purge. I was gagging and choking but nothing came up. I was so full and yet nothing. The tears were stinging as my whole body was pushing to be sick. My mind racing demanding that my stomach expel all the food. But it wouldn’t. I couldn’t understand it.

It’s bad enough this illness makes me feel disgusting let alone having to have all that food on my stomach. I’ve never been so ashamed nor felt so fat. I avoided all mirrors this morning and I know its bad when I’m not weighing myself because I’m scared (rather than because I don’t care about my weight).

No wonder my epilepsy has been so bad. That should have sent the warning signs going the other day, and it did but last night was a whole new low. A low I’ve not been at for a very long time.

Maybe the scare is worth it though. Made me realise that my body could be at a stage where it really is refusing to throw up. Immune to the gag reflex or something because its in dire need of food.

I actually googled it last night and I came across all these pro-anorexia/bulimia sites. They were horrible. Girls encouraging each other and teaching each other tricks. The thing that did shock me was that these are all tricks I’ve learnt on my own. I don’t want to be part of these sites at all, I was looking to see if the logic in my head, that my body really is refusing, is true.

It hit home a bit, I’m not the only one to experience this. Not just the inability to purge but the thoughts that these other sufferers are feeling too. I knew these types of websites existed but it still shook my system a bit but their words are so relatable.

“Fat”

“Disgusting”

“Going to gain so much weight if I can’t purge”

“Weak”

“Wish I was anorexic”

I really hate myself. I hate myself when I purge but last night, not being able to purge at all, made me feel ten times worse. My brain wants to restrict again. It doesn’t think about just small healthy portions and exercise. That’s the problem. My eating disorder does and always has hopped between anorexia and bulimia.

I want this to stop. I do so bad. But I need to deal with all this emotional stress before I embrace the practical side of it. God knows I hate myself. I hate how fat I’ve let myself become. I know I can do it. I did it before. I can do it again.

Getting out of the downward spiral is the hard bit. The hardest bit.

I know I can do it though.

I saw one of my best friends last week who’s just had a baby. It’s a bit cliche but when I was holding her I was thinking about the day I have my own and how it would kill me if they grew up and suffered in the same way I have done. I can’t let that happen. I can’t let myself be ill for the rest of my life. It’s no way to live.

I want to lose weight, yes. I want to tone up, yes. But I don’t want to live my life in the clutch of this demon.

I need to restart the clock. No matter what number it is this time. It’s okay to restart again. I don’t care if I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again. Today is going to be day one. Today is going to be the first day of my recovery. I’ve recovered before. Today is my day.

Sometimes our best success comes after our worst mistake.

It’s not how we make mistakes but how we correct them that defines us

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Pain demands to be felt

I don’t quite know how I’ve ended up back here. Back at the bottom of the pit with the demon’s claws digging tighter than ever. The pain I’m feeling lately is excruciating and I don’t even remember how it got so bad.

I did so well towards the end of summer but at the end of August it all went to pot. All came crumbling down but the stone walls went up. I’ve never been so scared to tell anyone, I know I need to open up and reach out for help but I don’t know how.

I’ve never hated myself as much as I hate myself right now. Words like, weak, fat, disgusting, failure spinning round my head on a daily basis. Scared of eating out again, scared of eating in front of people again, scared of calories, trying to find opportunities to purge. Eating food I know is easier to purge.

I’m a mess. Every day I genuinely stand in front of the mirror, hands on the sink struggling to hold myself up, tears falling like rain down my cheeks and the burning in the back of my throat. I can taste it, not the aftermath of the purge but I can taste the hate I have for myself right now.

The pain is just stabbing. I loved myself over summer, I worked so hard and my blog posts show how much progress I was making. How happy I was…I mean I am happy…it’s just why the fuck did I relapse in August…I know why…but why…why was I so weak? They even said ‘you can’t let things constantly make you relapse’…which I don’t…just that one thing. Fucking idiot.

When did this darkness creep up on me again? When did it overcome me? Why was I not strong enough to stop it? Can I stop it?

I need to get rid of this pain but I don’t know how. I feel lost and confused about so many aspects of my life and the only thing keeping me going is law school. But sometimes I want more than just my friends. Sometimes I do want someone there. Just to hold me whilst I cry out all this pain.

Oh I wish I could fall into someone’s arms, even a friends arms and cry all this out. But I can’t. No one knows and I’m not strong enough to tell them right now.

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