HELP ME. Not literally (although if that were possible, it would be ideal 😂).
Let me walk you all through my messy brain. I’m feeling hopeless and angry because I don’t know the answer to the questions my brain is endlessly cycling.
Am I thin or fat?
Can I get better and not end up too big?
Does everyone have to gain a lot of weight in recovery?
As anorexia is defined by restriction resulting in weight loss/low body weight, does the label anorexia mean I am thin?
Would somebody big ever be labelled as anorexic by a professional?
If I lose a lot of weight in the next few weeks before a doctors appointment, will they validate my disorder?
I wish I had the energy and sense of calm enough to actually write about all this, but I simply don’t. My brain is on overdrive and I can’t settle to think each thing through.
As the queen of taking things personally, it’s sometimes hard for me not to walk away from a situation thinking negative things about the other person. Of course, it would be a far easier world if people said and did the right thing all the time, but sadly that’s not quite how it works, is it?
To cut a long story short, I was spoken to in a way I didn’t like today and it was apparently my issue (because the phrase “means something different in Spanish”). No no, it might not be my first language, but I speak it every single day and I know full well that this is just a dumb excuse to undo the idea that maybe you shouldn’t have used the tone of voice you did. Why not just say “sorry, I didn’t mean it like that”? It would SO EASY.
I could go on and on about everything that made me cross, but the actual conversation doesn’t matter now. Instead, here is a list of reasons why I’m the bigger person:
1. I could have bitched about that conversation with my housemate, but didn’t
2. I’m 11 years younger than this person, and am already more self aware that they are
3. I could have continued arguing given the level of emotion I felt, but I just left it, knowing I wouldn’t win
Side note, while I’m content with where I am in my career right now, I wouldn’t want to be doing this same position in 11 years time. I want to always be getting better and better and achieve more things. I’m not a complacent person, and I wouldn’t settle for this in a decade. I could be totally wrong, but maybe there’s a bit of jealously there?
Food was tough today. Really, really tough.
As somebody who knows all too well how painful it is to hate yourself, I want to remind you that you are loved. What you see in the mirror or on the scales bears no reflection to the beautiful person the rest of us know. Like me, you are getting sucked in to viewing the world through a lens that focuses on thin vs fat as a decider of happiness. That lens is a liar. It blurs the other things in your life, until years have passed and you haven’t enjoyed the things you should have. Don’t let that be you, you deserve so much more.
Whatever your mind tells you, one more time (be it one more restrictive day, one more pound lost, one more laxative/sit up/purge) will never satisfy you. The feelings won’t go away by the methods that caused them.
As my friend, I hold you very highly in my life, and your happiness is important to me. In fact, seeing you succeed fills me with so much joy that it can make my own difficulties that little bit quieter.
You are deserving of love- the love you have in your life already, and the love you should be giving yourself. Body confidence and security is a challenge for many people, partly because lots of things around us are photoshopped or posed, and most people would only post their best bits on social media. It’s human nature to experience self doubt, as we all feel a little lost in life at times. However, you are beautiful and talented just as you are.
If health is your goal, your body will gain strength and vitality with you; if a diet is the focus, it won’t ever happen in the way you desire it. Of course, I’m not at the end of the journey either. In fact, right now isn’t so easy for me either. But that’s ok.
All the love in the world
Maybe some of you guys have a friend who might also need to hear this. Feel free to repost or share if you do!
Lately I've been noticing a huge variation in my thoughts. I can feel a sense of breakthrough, of finally thinking I want to recover, only to experience extreme obsessive behaviour and thoughts of cutting fat off my body just a few hours later. To say I'm confused is an understatement.
As an over thinker in general, I'm sure I'm more aware of my thoughts and perhaps respond more deeply than others might. I'm worn out from so many highs and lows, and no progress in concluding what I want as a result!
In 6 weeks I will be back in England. That feels like a deadline by which I should be "thin enough", but also like a time frame in which I could achieve more positive things with my eating.
Can I have the middle ground? Can I be losing weight while making a tiny increase in calories? Can I get thinner and also take steps in the right direction? Deep down I think I know the answer, but I don't like it.
I HATE how much my mind obsesses over numbers. Today, I was filling in a form and had to go and buy a tape measure in order to complete a few measurements. Some of these were no issue- arm length, head circumference etc. I decided there were some that I wouldn't be able to cope with knowing, and avoided them by making an educated guess. There have been periods throughout my disorder where measurements have been my main focus, and so I have an idea of my biggest and smallest figures and can make a reasonable estimate.
The problem is, now I have that tape measure and part of me wants to do everything and monitor it. I'm not sure I could handle it emotionally though, as my weight number did once cause me to become suicidal. Of all the measurements I did do today, my thigh is my biggest worry. They seem huge now, and now it's hard to believe comments I've had about being thin lately.
My mind has a folder where it stores an entire spectrum of numbers. Without trying, I can remember my thigh circumference from 2012. Clearly this unnecessary information to have stored up there, but nevertheless it is. The constant comparison to try and work out where I am on my own size spectrum is confusing and tiring. Partly I want to forget it, and partly I want to get small enough to write off all the big numbers and be done with it.
This was a therapy task, but here seemed like a good place to share it.
When I'm in a logical frame of mind, I can see that anorexia has cost me in some way or another in almost every area of my life.
As a teenager my body didn't develop like everybody else. While friends matured physically, I fought against the fact I was changing and have now missed the chance to develop alongside my friends and learn to feel comfortable. They are all accepting of their bodies, are all different shapes and sizes, and all have a relationship with food that allows them to be spontaneous, have energy, and build relationships. Because of my obsessions, I've never had a crush or felt interested in love the way other people are. In many ways I feel like an outsider when it comes to romance.
Unlike my female friends who have proper periods and experience a normal cycle, I don't. I've now reached a point where having periods scares me as I feel unable to cope or accept what that means.
Anorexia has cost me money, too. All the times I've bought expensive food because I couldn't make an alternative choice, or I've bought food I never ate simply because having it there felt comforting. Bulimia also made me waste money on foods to binge on, which I only felt guilty and ashamed about later. I spent money to get to NHS services which I didn't engage in, and I missed out on classes to do so.
At sixth form, the anxiety caused by my eating disorder took me out of classes daily, as having several panic attacks a day was my normal state.
Anorexia has also cost me in confidence and self trust. I have no idea anymore if I'm even thin, if I'm even truly anorexic, or if i should trust anything I think whatsoever. It's taken up hours of my time; time spent worrying, time not spent doing things because they involved food, time spent changing clothes several times until I felt able to leave the house.
On the outside, I've had people tell me they see me as highly successful. I was an A* student, a school prefect, member of the highest level orchestras, achieved highly in my dance and instrumental exams, and often received praise from teachers throughout my education. Despite what people see, anorexia has added to my perfectionistic tendency to see things as not good enough. The A that wasn't an A*, the 2 marks off Distinction etc etc were seen as failures. In light of these small events, anorexia took the opportunity to make me believe even more strongly that being thin is an important consistency that I need to feel good enough at life.
Anorexia has cost me my health (maybe) although I can't think of one key point. Perhaps people on the outside would say they don't see a healthy individual. (Here goes the me not trusting myself again!)
More than anything, I'm sad that anorexia has cost other people their time and energy. I feel guilty for how much worry, frustration and exhaustion I've caused for my loved ones. All those endless, repetitive conversations, all the times I've ignored people or taken out my feelings on them.
When something affects me, I can handle it, but seeing people I really love suffer gets to me much more. Anorexia has made me choose it instead of the people I care about.
Ah sleep, remember that? I generally find I'm sleeping all the hours possible, or struggling to drop off night after night. A lot of mental health problems can affect but, but combine more than one and it can feel like you're destined to feel sleep deprived whatever.
Depression when I'm down, I will fantasise about getting to go to bed all day long, then be awake for hours on end unable to sleep. That's because my old pal anxiety rocks up to remind me of every worry under the sun.
Having an eating disorder not only adds to my anxiety, but can also mean I'm awake out of hunger which I can't mentally merit settling by eating. Instead, I lie there trying not to think about it.
I don't like the silence of bedtime, so I always play podcasts in the background. I've found Sleep With Me can be quite good (it's free and is basically rambled, non-sensical stories designed to be engaging enough to distract, while dull enough that you can sleep). Im also a fan of guided meditations, although I will say I find it very easy to stay awake through the whole thing (but at least feel slightly less tense by the end!)
Any top tips?!