I don’t know why I torture myself this much

I remember one night, when I was supposedly weight restored from my anorexia and on the way to recovery, and I tried to tell my Mum that I was eating too much now. I was so conflicted between hiding my new found bulimic behaviour, and being honest and cryng out for help, that my sobbing and anger that night seemed like nothing more than an anorexic struggling to accept what a normal quantity is.

During that conversation with my Mother I expressed my horrendous guilt about feeling fat and wanting to lose weight again or die. She responded with the most upsetting thing I have ever heard:

I just don’t get it. You needed to eat more, and now you just want to lose weight again. If being thin matters so much to you, why the hell are you sitting here telling me you can’t stop eating? It makes no sense. Why do you torture yourself?

I wanted to scream. Of course being thin was the only important thing! My anorexic brain was shouting at me like there was no tomorrow, but the bulimia was fighting back. Starve all day, binge and compensate all night. It made me wish I was dead on several occasions, especially as what my Mother said made me feel even more alone and misunderstood than ever.

A year has passed and I am still fully entrenched in my disorder- predominantly restricting. Today has been one of the sporadic binges, which are usually brought on by having been so deprived of calories and my emotional state. My anorexia tells me that I am a failure for allowing bulimia to even get a look in on my day. I cannot allow myself to go to sleep until I have walked around for 8 hours… I have done 3 and a half so far.

This is all just torture, but there is no other way. I won’t be able to sleep if I lie there knowing I haven’t done what I’m supposed to, and if I’m going to be awake then I may as well do something useful with the time.

Trundling along.

Tonight I am home alone. All of my housemates have gone out, and so I am enjoying the bliss that is getting some time alone. I love working with other people. I love having people around, but there comes a point where I just want to be alone. They don’t really understand it but I don’t care, as this is simply the way I am. Having time to myself gives me a breather from some of the more annoying housemates, which, when you have quite a lot of problems of your own as it is, feels like a miracle! I try to be tolerant and patient with others, but it is not always easy to hold back from going crazy when you are struggling physically and emotionally and then get provoked by complete ignorance and selfishness. (Some of them are absolutely lovely people. but sadly not all of them!)

Anyways, my college week has been pretty good. Everyday I am grateful for being in a place where I get to do what I love all day. 🙂 It is only one week until the half term holiday though, and the looming thought of adjusting to being at home again for a few days is creeping up on me. My exercise addiction is really getting on top of me too. Any moment I am sitting makes me feel like a failure, and so i find myself constantly jiggling or getting up and doing anything I can think of to keep me on my feet! 

Night for now…


When you feel enormous

Today I had one of those days where I felt totally overwhelmed by the feeling of being enormous. Usually, I can pinpoint what I hate the most about my body (although it is all always horrible), but today I just literally felt gross flab all over me. I wanted to cry and/or rip it off. This made me more depressed than normal and it irritates the hell out of me that it makes such a dent in my day.

Whatever I do is not enough. There is never an end in which my ed is satisfied with what I have done. Pretty tiring…

Spotting the signs.

A friend of mine has recently admitted to having an ed, and it got me thinking about how everyone has an individual experience.

For me, the warning signs were weighing out food and becoming increasingly inflexible about deviating from my food plans. Those were behaviours that people noticed as being obsessive and abnormal. But for her. it is different. She has become very spontaneous about eating, because she gets so hungry that she eats exactly what she craves, followed by nothing for several hours (length depending on the ed voice).

So, what changed when your disorder developed?

That’s a great story.

I was watching a documentary about different mental illnesses, and an 11 year old anorexic was interviewed on it. At such a young age, she identified that the modern ideal of thin being good does not cause eating disorders. What this little girl said was so articulate and true that I couldn’t help but write about it:

“I know that lots of magazines say that people who get eating disorders get them as a result of striving to be as thin/ beautiful as their favourite celebrity or model, and that’s a great story so I guess they wouldn’t want to change that. But it isn’t true. I didn’t get anorexia because I wanted to look like somebody else; sure, when you have the illness, being thin becomes incredibly important, but the only person I wanted to impress was myself. I didn’t ever fully trust the opinions of other people, and because I never felt like I had done enough to please my eating disorder I couldn’t stop what I was doing. I got anorexia because nobody ever noticed me and my whole life felt out of control. People did notice me when I got ill, but not in a good way.”

She is absolutely right. It is a great story for the media, and it may trigger (if coupled with other things) an eating disorder in somebody who is susceptible, but it isn’t true and most people see photos of skinny celebrities without developing a mental illness. Once again, I am reminded that my eating disorder is not about food. Food, exercise and my body just take my energy and stress away from the feelings and problems I can’t deal with.

“An eating disorder is not a diet gone wrong. In a diet, one sees a life outside of the weight loss efforts, but an eating disorder makes your whole life change. It is your life, you lose yourself as it takes priority again and again. The lack of understanding about these mental illnesses can be devastating for sufferers. Ignorance to their true causes  make people feel even more worthless and lonely than they already do.”



I feel more embarrassed about my bulimic behaviour than my anorexic ones, so tonight I just wanted to use my blog to be honest about what bulimia does to me.

When my eating disorder began it was purely anorexic. Eventually I had my first binge (during my first bout of therapy when I was trying to eat more, and I just couldn’t stop. I realised how much I had deprived myself of.)

This single experience made me more guilty than any, so I purged. Throwing up wasn’t enough, and so I stayed up to exercise for 4 hours that night. I chose to fast the next day, which ended with another binge, another purge, another night spent exercising.

Getting stuck in the binge/ purge cycle happened so quickly that I didn’t know what hit me.

My gag reflex is pretty crappy, and I often found I couldn’t be sick however hard I tried. Over exercising and laxatives then became my crux. I didn’t ever want to be sitting down during the day and literally moved as much as possible. I lived like this for months on end and have never felt more depressed and anxious.

Instead of admitting I had developed another eating disorder, I chose to stay in denial and be relived to have been discharged from treatment due to my returning to a healthy bmi.

Nowadays, my eating disorder is even more cemented, but thankfully the bulimia morphed itself back into anorexia. I know that isn’t really something to be pleased about, but when I have “anorexic binges” now (eating in a way that feels like binging, but does not amount to a binge amount or even a normal amount) I cannot cope with the emotional ups and downs. I would rather feel a bit down all the time than suffer the yo-yo and secrecy of bulimia.

Most people in my life know about my anorexia, so I don’t have to be so secret. My family know I am old enough to make my own decisions. They want me to get better, but they have given up arguing with me. In these circumstances I can be “openly” anorexic (although the ed still seems to make me lie from time to time), but not openly bulimic. Frankly, it just reinforces all the ed crap about feeling empty and perfect…

Doubting my disorder.. again.

As usual, I am pondering whether I even have an eating disorder. I just feel like I need to vent and reassure myself that I’m not just making a fuss about everything…

I perceive myself as disgusting and often feel like I just take up more room than everyone

I have a fear of weight gain. I always say I would rather die than be average or fat.

Every time I feel a strong emotion, my first thought is to control food, make food plans,(or occasionally to binge and obsessively exercise.)

I’m sleep either very lightly or I sleep constantly, often reaching a point of falling asleep as soon as I sit down when I get home.

I’m have an obsessive knowledge of nutritional content & love to talk about and cook it.

I have lost my periods due to my weight and lack of nutrition, and now they are random and light as I’m losing weight again.

I see everything as black and white.

I have panic attacks in the supermarket sometimes and avoid people seeing me buying or eating food.

Yeah.. I think that is a real problem. Cheers to the person who told me I was attention seeking earlier.

What would being recovered be like?

The other day I was clearing out a load of stuff, and came across my overcoming anorexia book. Inside I had done some of the tasks (before I put it to the back of a drawer.. ooops), one of which was to write a letter to your eating disorder to say goodbye and imagine a recovered you that you have mentally created.

Dear eating disorder,

you have been in control of me for quite a long time now. I do see that as a friend, but I hate how stressful it can be, how much I upset other people, feeling tired all the time, and not being able to do normal things. 

I want to be able to leave home in September and feel strong and confident, and ready to face a new phase of my life positively. I am so excited to start singing, dancing and acting all day everyday, but it is also scary. I am worried that I will feel out of control and want to hold on to my eating disorder.

If I can, I want to be happy, healthy and have a nice body. I’m afraid I will become fat, but in my mind I can imagine a version of me that is recovered and NOT disgustingly overweight. When I have recovered I will have more mental and physical energy to devote to important things. I will no longer be pinned down by rigid limitations and worries that my eating disorder imposes on me. It will be acceptable to take pleasure in eating and I will no longer be this ball of emotional energy that can be sparked off into a state at the slightest comment… I want to be enjoyable company for other people, as the odd times I have felt genuine happiness and confidence around my friends have been so good. I want to feel able to think in a calm, rational, focused way most of the time.

I want to feel free, not trapped in a box where I am battling to hold on to my genuine priorities, as my eating disorder tries to push out the things I truly care about.


Being anorexic and not being the lowest weight I’ve ever been..

I have been thinner than I am now. I have had worse physical symptoms than I have now, but my lifestyle is also different now which means that sometimes my present physical symptoms have a greater effect on me.

Having been both underweight bmi and healthy bmi during the last few years, I can honestly say that my weight does not change my mindset very noticeably. Whether or not I act on my ed thoughts is a matter of how I feel- and to be honest, sometimes I felt more depressed when gaining weight to recover than I did at my lowest.

Weight wise, I am presently between my lowest and “normal” body weights. I have steadily lost over the past months, after a horrendous “recovery phase”, which was actually the development of bulimia (not that I really told anyone that.) The bulimia subsided on its own, due to massive changes in my life causing me to feel compelled to restrict again. Now my anorexic thoughts and behaviours are dominant, but who bloody knows when that might change?!

Everything that I have experienced has really been making me analyse my own mindset recently. In some ways, I am a far stronger person than I was nearer the beginning of my eating disorder, yet I am also much more disordered at the same time: I am more entrenched in my thought and behaviour patterns, my attachment of lowering body weight and being happy is even stronger, and my worry and depression can be much more brutal than it was. 

At the start, it was a constant underlying worry and sadness, whereas now, the sadness and extreme anxiety symptoms come in bursts (perhaps half the days of the week) and are much more powerful. Instead of feeling quite on edge all the time, I feel somewhat on edge most of the time and frequently feel so unbelievably anxious and/or sad that I can’t form a sentence, or move, or even quite workout what it is that has tipped me over the edge.

My weight might not be the lowest or highest it has been, but how I feel and behave is as extreme as it ever has been at either of those points. I am heading towards the lowest, but my mental state is already there. My disorder isn’t worse, or better. It is just different. But I’m different, in a different place, with different people, in a different living situation… I guess that no eating disorder ever repeats itself, it just kinda moulds along with you unless you are one of the minority that recover. Out of the “death, developing another ed, or recovery” options, I seem to have only done the new ed thing… not really the best outcome, but I will recover when I’m supposed to. I am always learning more about myself because I of my eating disorder, so maybe I just haven’t learned whatever it is that fate has decided I’m supposed to yet…

“they all do”

Today I was having a casual conversation with a few people (all of whom are training as dancers in the same place as me), and somebody mentioned that a couple of the staff apparently take drugs. Most of us kind of responded neutrally, feeling that it is normal to find the odd few out of a large number of people who have or do take drugs. One person simply said “yeah, well all dancers take drugs.”

While I have no doubt that drug taking dancers DO exist, there are also many (if not more) that DON’T. I would argue that a long standing career is more likely to be based on making healthy choices than unhealthy ones?

(By the way, the person who made the sweeping statement doesn’t take drugs.)

I guess it just shows that life is full of stereotypes. Annoying.