Why is it, the more you care for something, the more terrifying it also is… ?
That’s just the way I feel about this blog. Amongst other things. I love writing. I love activating the little minions hopping about in my brain, passing on the ‘baton’ to each other, like a relay race on Sports day. The way it arrives at my fingertips freely and the minions that felt locked in a police cell moments ago, when my self-expression felt muted, are free.
This is one of my favourite parts about being human. But also one of the most terrifying bits, too.
I’m scared that what I put out to the world, will be poked onto the conveyor belt towards a pile of bin-bags in cyberspace, and that it will portray about as much relevance as a banana to a chicken. (although has anyone actually tried feeding a banana to a chicken? Please get in touch…)
But when I ground myself with my intentions behind writing this in the first place, I begin to feel settled and re-focused. I’m writing this to share my experiences as a human being, so that other human beings that experience a similar thing can feel comfort, so that other human beings that have little experiences similar to me can be more informed and enlightened, and also I guess, to be a little entertained – one human being to the next.
Really, the nitty-gritty truth is to talk through the troughs and peaks of my Eating Disorder (and general mental health) recovery.
In terms of binging and purging, things haven’t been going great at all. I currently feel 20% in control at night, on average to my illness. And when the urges strike, I feel like a moth to a flame. As though these irrational and soul-destroying thoughts and behaviours are an in-built natural survival system.
I avoid mirrors to the best I can at the moment. I don’t want it to be that way, it feels painful and entrapping to be consumed with avoidance and a lack of acceptance. But I guess, I can only just about accept myself, if being able to get up and on with the day means restricting the view or feel of my body as possible. That’s included not showering too often at the moment, wearing baggy clothes only, and hiding behind a bobble hat, with my hair down covering my cheeks.
I feel like the secrecy on my evening juggling in hell (AKA binging and purging), seeps through my skin cells, and when I’m walking around people can either spot this dirty habit (how I feel personally, not generalised here), or see how ‘well’ my weight looks, and assume I’m having a jolly of a time in life.
Thank the Jigglypuff for bobbly hats AND the fact we’re still clinging onto the end of Winter! I’d be stuffed if it was the middle of Summer right now – in fact I’m sure I’d let myself sweat away, if it means a hat was the only way I’d allow myself to be out and about, around people, and be drinking much more refrigerated ‘Pepsi Max’ in replacement of coffee and tea. Where there’s a will (oops, did just type *willy* then, which could have completely re-directed this conversation…), there’s a way.
Back to life. Or should I say, back to ‘trying’ to do life…
…one of the HUMONGOUS things that has lifted me into a sense of motivation for the day, after numerous night struggles, is drawing. Art in general, really. It’s LITERALLY encouraged me to ‘look at the bigger perspective’ and not to base my whole outlook, or feelings on one small detail. (might fine habit of mine)
When I’m drawing, I do a lot of it with my eyes squinted, so that I can judge the relationship between the colours and shapes, rather be tempted to stay tuned in on the finer detail. And this leads me to re-create more of an accurate representation of what I’m trying to draw/colour/paint. I also, every few minutes, turn my paper round, so that I’m drawing whatever it is on it’s side, or upside down in order to keep my mind fresh, and to change the perception.
So I feel all of that stuff has ignited a more complete, level-headed outlook on my life, when things have felt mega shitty and swallowed up.
It’s also still important to hold on to the bits of recovery that are going ‘well’ for me at the moment, and reminding myself why I am choosing to let go of Anorexia and the temptation to turn back to any ‘rules’ and rigid life stuff:
- I have been able to cook for and invite round family members and EAT THE SAME AS THEM… without weighing anything or restricting the rest of the day. These people include my mum, my dad, and yesterday – my grandparents. Here I remind myself of how freeing this feels, and helps me feel helpful and accommodating, as well as to enjoy really being ‘with’ these people that I love most… instead of feeling side-tracked by Anorexia’s number-crunching. Or feeling guilty deep-down, because I’m not eating the same or as much as them.
- I have lots more free space in my head – yes this is a challenge in itself, but I am not brainwashed by digits or measurements. My head still cries out at times, to go back to this because of the whole “maybe things can be different… maybe they won’t go as far as before…” thing, but because of my personality, I know that whatever I do will never feel enough and I won’t know how to stop.
- I can talk about periods with my sister! The fact we’re both ovulating human beings, that were both once starved of hormones that want to be womanly… this is a strange but invigorating thing! I have my first ‘official’ (I like to call it) period, since being home, since way, way, WAY before my Leeds inpatient admission… I had two small ones whilst briefly admitted to Harrison House (maybe because the binging and purging was less during those times and I was still committing to a balanced meal-plan)… but having one at home, feels more real. And whilst my overall eating behaviours are still mentally destroying on evenings (but let’s hope, as usual, not tonight), with my hormones working, it’s a gift for my commitment to get up and try again every day with a full-balanced diet, INSTEAD of going back to restricting. It’s a step closer to having a baby one day.
- I’ve become less up-tight. Okay, not always… I think it’s in my personality to be very in tune to detail in everything, which sometimes proves a challenge, but leaving Anorexia behind has taken that ‘edge off’.
And there are a good few more advantages, but I’ll leave it there for tonight.
On another note, I did something earlier this evening that involved reaching out in a way I didn’t think I would ever do. But I have. I sent an email, which made me feel as vulnerable as a baby kitten with massive eyes as soon as I hit that ‘send’ button.
I asked something, I put myself out there at the risk of rejection. Which is utterly terrifying. That’s when I know I’m desperate. But I have to prepare myself for a response that could go either way – and remember to look at the WHOLE perspective, and not guess what the other person is thinking of me, or of any hidden agendas.
I’ll let you know what that is once I’ve received a response.
For now, have a peaceful Thursday night, and I’ll be back very soon!