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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Twitter: @elenip92

Instagram: @elenipapa92

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

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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Worthless

I feel as if I’m in a constant state of numbness. Nothing is getting me out of this rut I’m in and so many thoughts are running through my head. It’s starting to get clearer but that doesn’t mean the pain goes away, in fact, it makes it hurt more.

He tried to convince me that I, myself, wasn’t the problem. Rather, it was the expectations of a relationship that were the problem. It’s still so hard because that doesn’t make it feel much better. He said it was things he couldn’t change about himself, not me. That little voice whispers in my head, if I was perfect he would have wanted to do those things, that the root of the problem was still me.

I just want to be looked after. So many years of hurt, mental abuse, being used by friends, boys, family and the like whilst always being there to help others has made me into the person who doesn’t appreciate her self-worth.

I always feel like I don’t deserve to have someone who goes above and beyond to show me how much I’m worth but deep down I really want that. Don’t we all want that? Am I wrong to want to be shown how much I’m worth? Is it wrong to like romance these days? Am I expecting too much?

Will I never be good enough or right for anyone?

Surely I’m worth something? Surely I’m worth someone’s efforts?

Maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m stupid to want some romantic treatment. I don’t need to be treated as someone’s princess, I’m not like that, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice for someone to go that complete extra mile.

Don’t I deserve that type of effort?

I thought he was perfect for me. I tried to show him, I cooked and cleaned, I tried to find free stuff to do, I don’t think I pressured him to take me out, I wanted him to but I tried not to ask too much and I never cared he was financially struggling and so I tried to suggest cheap things. I couldn’t bear for him to constantly have wet feet with his ruined trainers so I got him new ones. I tried to balance my money so I didn’t have to ask him too much but that meant when I did ask we were both financially stretched. I tried so hard to get into football so I could enjoy it with him. I got him a card for our 1 year but never gave it to him because I knew he hadn’t got me something and I didn’t want him to panic or feel bad, so I ignored that and just hid what I bought because I loved him more than a card. I knew he was stressed for some reason back then but he wouldn’t tell me. I actually thought he was the one for me and I feel really stupid for letting myself think that.

I feel like I should have known better. I was so dubious at first because he had told me he didn’t like relationships and I was scared but I ignored that because I thought he was perfect for me. I fell in love so fast and I fell in love with someone who I do believe genuinely loved me but who doesn’t like relationships. I should’ve known it would end badly. That we would both end up hurt.

I know he cares about me, I know he’s not lied about ever loving me or that he still does. There was so much good in the relationship too, he wasn’t like the others, he was so much different. I don’t forget how much he helped me, how he reacted to my eating disorder, how great he was. I think that could be why it hurts more, because he’s a good person, just not a relationship person.

He’s trying to be so nice to me. He’s trying to tell me its not me, that there’s nothing wrong with me but its so hard not to take such a comment personally. It’s so hard to not feel this pain. The pain of feeling worthless.

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Brain = 1, Heart = 0

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I should have listened to my brain instead of following my heart. It was right, it’s always right.

I’ll be okay, deep down I knew it was coming and I know it was right. My brain knows but my heart aches.

It was a nice visit nonetheless and being friendly is fine with me and don’t get me wrong because I knew it was too soon for any sort of reconciliation. I know that everything is still too raw for both of us and that there could be potential in the future, but there’s just one little thing that’s stuck in my head. I know where I stand right now and that’s fine but he said that being out of a relationship made him realise how stressed he was being in one.

That he loved me but didn’t realise until now that being in a relationship stressed him out.

Ouch.

Ouch.

I had no idea he was unhappy with me. I mean, I thought he was distant and didn’t want to be with me but he told me he did and I believe him.

I thought he wasn’t treating me like a girlfriend and now I know why. He was unhappy with me. He didn’t like the relationship we were in and was waiting for me to move to London so things would get better. But he never told me that back then. He wouldn’t tell me why he seemed so stressed out but now I know.

It was me.

I was the problem.

It makes so much sense now.

Everything makes so much more sense. Deep down he didn’t want me and yes he wanted to stay when we broke up, he wanted to try harder than I could but now that its over he mustn’t have been truly happy in the first place.

That’s probably why he wasn’t telling me why he was stressed out and being distant. Because I was the problem. I’m always the problem. I know I’m too much, I know I’m damaged and have a million things wrong with me. I also know he loved me, he really did but I mustn’t have been good for him either.

I was so unhappy back then too because I felt he wouldn’t open up to me and talk and all I wanted to do was help him with whatever was stressing him out. Now I realise it was me. It was being committed to me at that time that stressed him out.

I caused everything to go wrong. Every last detail was my fault.

I’m not trying to play the victim. He would have been so hurt to to hear that I was unhappy and had reached the decision I reached 2 months ago. But I was  unhappy because I was convinced he didn’t like me being his girlfriend. I just really wish he had told me what the problem was. Rather than my mind jumping to conclusions…then again…surely my mind jumped to the right conclusion? That he wasn’t happy with me.

There was something wrong with me. Being with me made him distant and that caused the feelings I had. There’s something wrong with being with me. Something wrong with me. That’s how it feels right now. That’s how much it hurts right now.

It hurts so much to know that I caused so much stress. That he now realises being in a relationship was too much. I feel like I made him so unhappy and I can’t believe I did that.  I really love him and I wanted it to get better, I couldn’t understand what was going wrong but now I know.

I don’t know what I did wrong.

But it was me. I was doing something wrong. Being in a relationship was wrong. He would never have meant to hurt me with his words. Maybe they weren’t meant to come out the way they did.

I’ve never been good enough for many things. We had a lovely time hanging out and I do want to stay close but that realisation has really hurt me. It’s a different kind of pain right now. I’m not sure how to cope with this type of pain.

I should have listened to my brain.

My heart is so much more broken than before.