A quick check on my last post before I start-I got back on track after my illness and increasing anorexic drive. It was very difficult initially but I didn’t give in!
Now for this weeks post…
Last week on Facebook a picture popped up in ‘my memories’, showing me a photo from 9 years ago. This time 9 years ago I was in my first year at uni, having returned to halls after being home for the Christmas holidays. We had a few birthday celebrations and went out to celebrate these, as well as the usual nights out. I had lost a bit of weight since starting uni (about half a stone) and anorexia was growing but it hadn’t completely taken over as yet. I wasn’t dangerously underweight and I was having fun and enjoying myself. I had made really good friends, I felt part of a group and I felt liked…a very rare feeling. But as the months rolled on, anorexia grew stronger and stronger until it had possessed my entire being; destroying my friendships, destroying my health and ultimately, destroying my life.
|Me and my uni mates at the birthday party 9 years ago|
The photo that popped up last week was of us out celebrating a birthday. And now, looking back at that point, I would give anything to go back and tell myself to stop there and not lose any more weight. Until now, whenever I have looked back on my life, I have always concluded that I would make the same decisions…that I would still have chosen to lose all the weight I did. I wouldn’t have wanted the years that followed with painful, lengthy hospital admissions and a life dictated to by the slave driver anorexia…no, I would change that. But the actual initial weight loss I have always thought that I would still do again and just change what happened subsequently.
|Me and my friend at the party|
But not now. When I saw that photo from nine years ago I thought to myself, ‘why the hell did I give that up?’ I had everything going for me-I was doing well academically and athletically, I had friends, and I had a nice figure. And this is also the first time I have looked back and not thought that I look too big or too fat…and that maybe I could get back to that weight.
And that thought was terrifying. That I actually considered it possible that I could accept being bigger. I have mentioned that a part of me has thought about recovery more so now than before but last week it wasn’t just a thought about partly wanting to recover, but that maybe I COULD actually do it. and I have never felt like this before. And often, when I tend to make progress with regards to challenging my anorexic thoughts, my reflex reaction is to run straight back into its arms…back into my anorexic prison cell and locking the door. Because that is what anorexia does. If you dare to step away from it, it makes you feel guilty and makes you feel that you need it. anorexia feels safe and comforting. And this is what happened a few days later. As I sat on the sofa I thought to myself, “I could not bear it if my I could feel my legs touching. I 100% do not want to get back to that size, where my legs touch.” I cannot tell you how exhausting it is living with a mind where half the time you think one thing and half thinking another, always in contradiction, never knowing what to do.
|Me at the party|
But, if I carry on as I am, yes I will continue feeling safe and comforted by anorexia, but I will not be happy. I cannot go back in time and change what happened. I can never get that back. But I can change the future. I have made one step forward and I cannot let myself take two steps back.