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I’ve had this blank page staring back at me the past few days. Want to write, know that I do, but about what? I don’t know.

I just don’t know.

My head is spinning with a thousand questions, so much so I won’t allow myself to even take a step back and appreciate how well the past three weeks have gone. I’ve not weighed myself at all and I don’t feel as much of a need to. Part of me thinks that shows massive progression but the other part tells me its because I’m scared to see the number, that I’m bound to have gained weight.

Every time I think I’ve made steps forward that voice simply tells me I haven’t. It downplays my success. I’ve not purged for more than 3 weeks…but that’s probably because I’ve been with other people, not because I’ve gotten stronger…

He wants to be with me. Says that he does. Says that he really likes me. But I don’t know. What if I’m setting myself up for yet another failure. Am I weak for going back? Or am I making the right choice by trying to work through whatever happened? But what did happen? I don’t know. I still don’t get it, I still can’t process it because he hasn’t given me a reason as to why he did what he did.

And my head keeps spinning.

When I’m with him, its perfect. As though nothing happened. But when I’m alone I just think of all that pain he brought to that Sunday a few weeks ago.

He said after a really long (and I mean really long) relationship he’s scared of picking the wrong person. He described it as akin to a mental health issue, that he panicked and almost couldn’t control the things he was saying. I can half understand that, even though none of my friends do.

But surely that means I’m the wrong person? I mean, of course I am. No matter how many steps I move forward nor how many achievements I make, I have so many failures and broken pieces of me that can never be forgotten.

Failures and broken pieces that are rooted in a bastard of an eating disorder.

Of course I would never be right.

Of course, each time someone ‘genuine’ comes along, they soon enough realise I’m not right.

Why would I be?

Does this mean he’s just going to end it another day in the future? Right now, he is right for me. I don’t believe its healthy to look too far into the future regarding relationships too soon but am I just here, making him better for the next one to come along? Just like always.

Always setting them up to treat the next one better.

For once I thought I was finally getting treated better.

I just don’t know anymore.

But he does treat me right. One stupid afternoon, one epic mind fuck but everything else feels incredibly normal and perfect. I can’t spend a relationship second guessing everything…just like I can’t spend my recovery second guessing every step forward that I make.

No more second guessing, back to going with the flow, I suppose.


Twitter: @elenip92

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Tis The Season

 

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It feels like I have this lump stuck in my throat. I’ve just gotten back from lunch with a friend and admittedly that’s all I’ve eaten today. I’m trying hard to keep the panic at bay but I’m really struggling. The fact my meal was healthy doesn’t matter, my brain doesn’t see it that way. My body feels full and so my brain goes into overtime. Ignoring the calories and focusing on that ‘full’ feeling I’ve become accustomed to hating.

God, it’s been tough today but I’ve not relapsed. I’m trying so hard but feel like I’m walking on the edge of a crumbling cliff the past few days about to fall any minute. I can never fully explain how frightening this time of year is. Especially because I simply adore Christmas. I love the lights, and the decorations and the general happiness that seems to surround everyone. It’s such a happy period but as we all know, going home for Christmas has never been fun for our family. Not for me.

It’s not the family drama though, that simply adds stress to an already stressful time. It’s more so that this is the season full of food, which means I’m going to be full of food. All the time. I’ve already got 5 Christmas dinners and parties planned over the next two weeks and then the week after I’ll be home and god knows how many dinners and parties are going to happen then.

I can’t stand feeling full. There was a time I was scared of drinking water simply because I felt full. I like to keep things small. I still confuse feeling empty with positive thoughts. I still critically assume feeling full means I’ve been greedy. After all this time, my brain still confuses fear and logic. Still tries to convince me I’m things that I’m not.

I’m trying not to overthink, not to panic but it’s so damn difficult. I just know the type of food that’s going to be on offer and if I don’t eat people will comment and try to make me eat because they think that helps. And so I’ll eat so they think I’m fine when in fact I’m not and then that fear of feeling full will emerge….there I am…overthinking, panicking.

Come on girl, deep breaths. You’re getting better, you know you’re getting better. 

Mind you, for the first time in what feels like forever, I feel like I’m getting stronger on the edge of that cliff. It doesn’t feel like its crumbling the way it used to. I’m holding on stronger than I ever have before, tougher than I ever thought I could be.

For what feels like the first time in forever, I feel like someone’s arms are there.

I do hope that one year, I can enjoy this season for all its worth. To the full extent that I know I want to love it to. Loving it without the fear.

It truly is a magical season after all.

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Making Peace With The Mirror

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It’s oh so cliched but I need to start measuring myself in strength and not pounds. But why does something so simple feel so incredibly hard?

People see my smile on a daily basis. They hear my laugh at least once an hour and that’s what I’m best known for. The girl who’s always smiling. That’s why they all notice when the smile isn’t there.

I’m doing well and visiting my cousins this weekend was so amazing. I had incredible fun but there was so much food.

So.
Much.
Food.

And drink. There was a lot to eat and more to drink and as hard as I tried I couldn’t get that Demon’s voice out of my head. I was filled with panic whenever food was brought to me. I spent hours fearing just when they’d expect me to eat or drink next.

Simply in fear of the calories.

Just say no. I hear you say.

Just say no. I kept hearing myself say.

But how do you say no to breakfast, lunch and dinner?

How do you say no to a glass of wine at a party your family is hosting?

Should you say no to three normal meals?

You might not, but I always tell myself that I have to say no. That I’ve still got fat to lose.

My perspective has always been a touch twisted. According to others, I always see myself bigger than what I am. I never seem to care about any part of my body other than my stomach. Always looking at it. Hoping it doesn’t look big. Hoping, desperate to not see a fat girl staring back at me.

Sadly, most days I still do.

I never feel good enough because I was never allowed to feel good enough.

It truly was an amazing weekend and I needed it. I loved seeing my older cousin and messing around with my younger ones in the middle of the most gorgeous countryside. A world away from the tall glass buildings I’ve gotten accustomed to in London.

There’s more to life than avoiding my reflection.

There’s more to life than letting the scales define my day.

There’s more to me than I believe.

There’s more to me.

Perhaps I still need a little bit of help truly realising that.

It sounds silly, but if I get drunk I get a little bit cocky. What I mean is, I know I’m perfect the way I am, I know I’m really quite something, that I’ve achieved things many people dream of, that my friends love me for me, that my smile can infect the whole room, that I am just fine. Drunken words are a sober man’s thoughts after all.

But when it comes to a normal day I do get riddled with self-doubt. I think that being thinner means being perfect but surely not. Surely there’s more? I get the whole, you’ve got to love yourself first and I do but I can’t help but occasionally think of the friends and boys who have used me. Taken advantage. Assaulted me. It all makes me feel that I might not be worth it.

But I know I am. We all are. Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth so much more than we are settling for. We’re all worth so much more than we think we are.

It’s just that mirror, those scales and the Demon in my head.

At the end of the day, there is no scale that can measure just how incredibly precious we are. Long gone are the days where every single day was dependent on mirrors and scales. Just got to push through and keep going. Head up and push through these last couple of tough days.

I’ve made it through a mentally challenging weekend and I can’t ask for more than that. There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upwards: an easier day, an unexpected laugh…a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.

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Heartache, Heartbreak

I just feel so lonely, struggling to pick myself up. These past two months have been hell and I’ve never had to cope with so many different yet equally hard situations.

And its as if there isn’t anyone there. I feel like I’m struggling to get through this and I don’t know how to make it better. I’ve resorted to unreal measures to purge and I feel so ashamed of myself. There’s so much hurt, so many doubts, so much self-hatred that the only way out is to purge.

I hate myself, I hate everything about every decision I made, I feel so dirty and horrible and hate every piece of me that went wrong the past 8 weeks. I hate everything. I hate this feeling, I hate the purging, but I hate not purging as well. I feel like its the only thing that can calm me down at the end of the day, when the stress has accumulated over the passing hours.

I’m so stressed out and I just hate everything about myself right now. I hate the decisions I made and how they hurt someone, someone so special. But the decisions have hurt me too. No one seems to realise just how much I’m hurting, how hard the struggle is, how every day has become so dark and filled with hate. I’m hurting so much and I can’t keep this brave face on much longer.

They said it was the right thing. They told me it was the correct choice. But now that its done, now that there’s no way back, why do I feel so broken?

Family

Family is more than just the blood that runs through your veins and its more than being related to those with the family name. Its hard to think about how certain people within your family aren’t actually family, whereas, some outside of the blood ties and relations are some of your closest family members.

I don’t consider myself to have grandparents. I never really have. My mum’s parents and dad’s father dead and the sole living grandparent I had left was simply not a grandparent at all. I used to get jealous when other girls would say they were going to their Gran’s. It always sounded so wonderful, away from the strict parents, being spoilt rotten like the way kids were supposed to be treated. But I got none of that. I was fat, an embarrassment to the family and stupid. First and foremost, however, I was a girl and entitled to derogatory treatment from birth.

Friends talked about their Granny taught them to bake. Mine slapped me for not stirring some Tzatiki quietly enough. Friends spoke about how their granny let them eat treats, mine poked me and grabbed my fat. She ridiculed me and would imitate chubby cheeks and a chubbier waste. Friends would speak about how they didn’t have to lift a finger at their Grandparents, all I remember was scrubbing the floors and washing the windows without being allowed any sort of break.

Friends spoke about how much they loved their Granny. I questioned how much mine actually loved me.

I wish I had that experience. I wish I had known my English Granny and Granddad because they would have treat me right. They would have told me I was beautiful and perfect and hung my pictures on their walls. They would have made visits enjoyable and taught me so many things. They would have made me feel more than accepted. I wouldn’t have ever had to question if they loved me.

But unfortunately, like many, I didn’t have that. I also had a stressed out (pretty much single) mum doing everything she could for me. An absent father who supplied the money but didn’t truly supply any love, only stigmas, and hate, and shame, and lies. Oh god there were so many lies. There still are and I don’t know whats true anymore. I don’t know who knows what or what secret is a secret between who. I just don’t know.

Me, Mum, John and the dog. Thats one reason I love animals. They don’t judge. They love unconditionally. They don’t question. They don’t care about your weight, disability, finances, or intelligence. They love you for you. And I love that.

I always thought that was all the family I needed and used to withdraw from people so much. It wasn’t until my 5th year of Uni I began to open up and it was the bravest but best decision I have ever made. My Muslim family. I’ve written about them before and I’m about to write again. They’ve truly helped me through so much and I genuinely care for them like family. I love the way they don’t once act as if there is a guest in the house. I love the way I just help with little things occasionally, like setting or clearing the table.

I love the way they seem happy to see me. I love the fact its not a lie.

I went through this weekend and two comments were made and I realised that not only do I see them like family but they see me as family and thinking about it from this two-way perspective made me unbelievably happy. I was asked to be part of a family selfie and although it seems like such a small gesture, it truly meant the world to me.

Family is where you walk through the door and you don’t panic about how you look or what’s going on in your life. Family is where you’re not judged for what food you do or don’t put on your plate. Family is when you feel so comfortable your best friend can leave the house and you’re not at all put in an awkward position. Family is when you go for a bike ride and come back to find the house empty so you just jump around on their trampoline without a care in the world. Family is where you don’t have to ask for anything because you know its going to be provided or you can get it yourself without asking permission.

Its not just them but its my friends too. I see S and E as sisters sometimes and not just my best friends. I’ve had to get used to not seeing them as much as I’d like due to third year and different lectures but when I see them and my face lights up and my heart gets all fuzzy I know I’ve missed them. Its that feeling when you’re randomly walking down the street and unexpectedly all three of you bump into one another and you scream like little kids. Its that feeling when you have no time but you see them and you make the time and in those 30 minutes you are just smiling uncontrollably.

Its that feeling of normality being restored. Happiness being restored. Nothing can bring me down when I’m with them. They make me stronger than you can imagine and I’ve learnt to truly cherish every minute I get with them now.

They’re all my family. And they all make me stronger.

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Tuesday Night

He caught me. I heard his footsteps but I didn’t have enough time. Not enough time to clean up or sort myself out. Just not enough time.

I panicked and I freaked out. It happened so fast yet felt so slow. I heard him coming in and I rushed, I tried to sort everything out. Don’t see me like this. Please don’t see me like this. Not now. Not ever. I tried to hide it but it was pointless. I tried to cover myself up but nothing was within my reach. The fear had filled me up completely, I’ve never felt so scared than in those few brief moments.

I thought I was being careful. I thought he couldn’t hear me. I thought I had gotten good at being silent…that sounds so bad now I’ve typed it out.

I’ve never felt more scared than I did on Tuesday night. I was convinced that was it. He would leave. Why wouldn’t he? I’ve never felt so disgusting or embarrassed and the pain burned through me like a thousand knives stabbing their way to my heart. I’ve not panicked like that before either. I just couldn’t bear to think he was about to see me purging, that he was about to walk in.

Thought he wouldn’t notice. Bath running, doors shut, music blasting. Thought it would cover any sound I made. I was wrong about that. But I was wrong about other stuff too.

He caught me on Tuesday night. But he didn’t leave. He wasn’t cruel to me like others have been in the past. He picked me up and held me. Held me so tight I could barely breathe but I didn’t care. He didn’t make me apologise or make me feel the way that Demon does. He just held me whilst I cried. Whilst all the tears came running and he didn’t let me go. I’ve never needed him as much as I did that night.

I’m almost glad he caught me. I don’t feel like I’ve lost his trust but as if I’ve lost my trust in myself. He didn’t even ask me to but I’ve made sure I’m with him after meals and all the doors are open when I’m in the bathroom. Its weird because its not that he doesn’t trust me, but rather, I don’t trust me.

One relapse. And a bad one at that, but I’ve stuck to my food plan this week relatively well otherwise. Half way there. One step back but a few steps forward.

Raw

They wanted to weigh me and I hadn’t anticipated that. They sat me down and oh so casually said they needed my weight

I haven’t seen my weight for more than two months and the instant panic made it impossible to speak, I could have told them I didn’t want to see it, or that maybe I didn’t have to, but I couldn’t. So I got up and I stood on the scales.

64.5kg

That’s what the skinny girl weighing me called out.

And the voices came running. The pain struck me and all I wanted to do was cry. I’m sat in the waiting room waiting for the consultant and the tears are burning, trying to burst and run down my face.

I haven’t seen my weight for more than two months and all those doubts were right. I’m fat. I’ve gained weight and I’m so fat. I need to lose it. I knew I needed to lose it but I ignored the voices and let myself eat. I allowed myself to eat similar amounts to everyone else and whilst I haven’t trained I have paid for it. Oh have I paid for all that over indulgence and wrong choices.

Why did I eat what I ate?

Why did I drink what I drank?

Why did I not train as much?

It’s my fault. I’ve gained so much weight and its all my fault. I feel numb and broken inside and it hurts. When that number was called out I felt as if a thousand knives stabbed me at once.

I just felt raw.

I felt the self-hatred come back. It seethed through my body and it burned my insides. My head started spinning and I had a lump in my throat. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I almost didn’t want to breathe as if I could pretend I wasn’t there. As if I could pretend it wasn’t true, but it was. Almost 65kg and yeah I had my clothes on, but that doesn’t really add much on, does it?

No point hiding from the fact that I’m fat. No point trying to comfort myself and soften the blow that I’m so fat right now. Its blatantly obvious. No point denying it.

One year since things went downhill with swimming and I’ve gained 9kg.

I feel like a disgrace and I need to get my anger out. I just want to scream and shout and just cry…I just really want to curl up and cry away all the pain.

As if crying would make it better anyway.

I can’t even describe how I’m feeling with my words in any sense that is actually an adequate representation. All I know is that I am fat and it hurts. I used to be 55kg and I want to be that weight again. I don’t care if I was purging at that weight, I just want to get there without purging.

I want to be that tiny girl again.

I need to be slim. I need to be better than what I am and I want it now. I don’t like feeling this hurt, I don’t like the pain that burns in my head and my body and I’m sick. I’m sick of being this mess. I’m sick of my life revolving around my weight and the sooner I sort it out the better.

I feel so raw.

I need to sort it out.

I feel so numb.

I just need to lose weight.

I feel so broken.

I just need to be slim again, that small again

I’m so scared that I can’t do it. I’m so frightened that I am always going to be this fat.

I want to do it healthily but I’m scared that that option won’t work.

I just feel empty inside. I feel so hurt and depressed when I look at myself. I want to be more than this. I want to be slimmer.

I feel so broken and numb, but it doesn’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it.

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