You cannot just snap out of an eating disorder. I know, I’ve tried. It’s like an addiction – you can be forced to go cold turkey, you can be forced to act in a way that you would never choose to, but that doesn’t mean that it’s gone. It’s still there, lurking in the background, just waiting to strike when your walls falter just a little bit.
However, even though you cannot literally snap out of an eating disorder, I believe that your mindset can radically change in a very, very short amount of time. It might take a few weeks, months, or years, or it might just be a second of realisation, but your mindset is indeed something that can change quite significantly. At least, that’s what I think I’m going through at the moment.
I have tried a lot of ‘treatment’ methods of trying to get my eating disorder under management, and to no avail. I have been told that magical crystals would help me, which they didn’t. I moved to the other side of the earth, only to be deceived by the people I was living with, which ultimately ended up with me in hospital. I have been threatened with being sectioned and detained, only to have nearly every health care professional turn their back on me. I’ve gone private, I’ve been sedated, I’ve been given medication that would’ve stopped my heart due to being too low of a weight. I’ve been through quite a few things with this eating disorder, and I will be exploring them in more detail as this story progresses, but my point is; people have kept giving up on me.
So what’s changed? My therapist – the one who hasn’t given up on me and who is soon coming back from maternity leave, thank goodness – recently asked me this in an email, and I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. I don’t think anything has really changed. My mindset seems to be shifting a bit, but I haven’t changed my mind about my worth or my self image or how I feel myself. I think, above all else, I have just realised that, for the first time in forever, I can picture a future that I want to live. And I do want to live it – which means that I cannot let this eating disorder kill me. I’m too stubborn to let it do that.
And, yet, I sit here, typing this, terrified of the fact that I need to stick to my meal plan tonight. Because, despite the want to live for a better future, I still do not feel worth it. I do not feel like I’m allowed to gain weight or weigh a healthy amount or eat a healthy amount, which is why I’m writing this. This is not a story with an ending yet – it is ongoing, and I think it will be ongoing for the rest of my life, but writing this is at least a start.
If you’re happy for me to share, I will, but it’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be smooth sailing. I’m updating this I go – which means that, if it all goes downhill, you’ll probably hear it here first. This is not a story of recovery, because I am not there yet and I cannot envision that yet, but it is a story of trying to learn how to manage. Please feel free to follow the blog and help me with this journey.
First, though, I need to tell you what the hell has been happening during the time that I haven’t had this blog. There may be a lot of more general posts that I write about specific issues that I’ve struggled with or certain events that I have faced, but this is a more general account.
Where do we start? Well, I can’t start from the beginning of my eating disorder, because that would be taking you back to when I was 8 years old and, despite being able to write a lot, I don’t think I can write that much! So, instead, I’ll take you back to the beginning of 2017, after a long, hard December of having my mind set on making a change.
More to come.