Saturday, September 27, 2014

You survived too.

I opened Pandora's box.

 This week I am moving house, and whilst packing I came across the box I keep with all my Inpatient memories in, from both admissions. This includes almost everything, cards sent from friends and family, journals I wrote whilst in there, food log, creative writing extracts, NHS letters, Weight charts, Care plans, CPA notes, Dr's notes, Hospital letters, Blood results, Keyworker notes.......everything. 

I must admit, tears were shed. At first, admittedly, because I saw all the different weights I have been, from low to high to lower to middle ect. I then went on to read all the cards sent to me, the 'I love you's, the 'You're amazing's and I felt a rush of nostalgia, a longing for the comfort and safety of being so ill that you are removed from the real world. So poorly that everything stops and your main priority is surviving.

With things feeling so topsy turvey right now, nothing being stable, this was not something I wanted to see. I plummeted into feeling overwhelmed and wanting to delve back into the world where I was capable to shut everything out, where numbers numbed my emotions and fear of the unpredictable. 

Then I found a letter from my dad. I keep one by my bed, I have spoken of it before, the letter where he outlines how the 'little devil' is winning every battle and killing his daughter and dreams before his very eyes. This one was different. This one was when I first admitted to my problem and shared that I was seeking help. This one was my beloved Papa bear telling me how proud he has always been of me, and how proud he continued to be, and how sure he was that I would beat this thing. I remember the day I received this letter, and I remember being touched beyond words. 

All I want to do right now is find every single person that my Anorexia touched and say I am sorry. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry
This illness does not just consume those who suffer but also those that are included in said persons life. Those that witness you're destruction and feel helpless to it.
The agony I put my family through is something that saves me from falling over and over again. It breaks my heart to think that they had to stand by and watch their daughter, their sister, be so hell bent on self destructing with no real reason why and no way of helping. They had to stand back, with an awareness of the health implications whilst I was safe in the bubble of denial. Day in day out they feared phone calls in case it was their worst nightmare, their worst fear. I have said it before, but no father should ever have to write to their daughter telling her that she is going to die soon if she didn't stop destroying herself. No father should ever have to write those words. No Mum should ever have to keep her phone on her just in case. No sibling should be scared to next see their sister for fear that she's gotten even worse. No family should have to go through that.

I understand that those that have Eating Disorders don't chose to enter into such hell, it is an illness and not a choice, I understand that. I never chose to feel the way I used to, and I never consciously chose to get by by engaging in such a dangerous coping mechanism. It was something that took hold of me and that I couldn't control, but for what it's worth;

I am so sorry for all the times I could of chosen to fight and didn't. All the meals I could of fought harder on, all the days where I could of called for help, for all of the tablets that I could of flushed away, for all of the days where I could of accepted help sooner, for all of the hospital admissions that could of been avoided, I am so sorry. 

Sometimes I look back on my past and feel sad because of all I have lost due to this. I have learnt that this is pointless and that there is no point in dwelling, that there are better and happier times a head. That even though it was hell it has made me stronger, more confident, wiser, and that the silver linings outweigh the nightmares and memories. But for my family I'm not sure what silver linings they have, just the relief that it's over.

It was never just my journey, it was never just me surviving Anorexia, it has always been me and my family surviving Anorexia, and for this I will forever be sorry, grateful for them sticking by me and believing in me, but truly deeply sorry.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Finding stability in instability

I usually write after having a few bad days, when clarity has hit me and I feel strong enough to write a positive post that can show people that there is hope, that bad days don't always mean relapse.
This morning I decided that 'screw it, I'll write in the midst of the bad days', but as I start to write I feel it has once again passed. Go figure.

I woke from a dream the other day, a dream that I've not been able to shake. 
I dreamt that I was back where I was a year a go, not life wise, but body-wise, that the year to follow had just been a dream in itself, and when I woke the first thing I did was body check. It was distressing. As much as I don't want to be back in that horrible head space anymore, placing my hands on my new curvy figure when my brain expected something else was, well, distressing, to say the least. 
Since then I've had to persuade myself constantly that I do not want to go backwards, every second of every day, I do not need to go backwards. 
Yet I'm feeling all nostalgic for the comfort that going backwards brings. The invincibility I remember it surrounding me with, the stability that I have been so recently craving, the numbing of the anxiety from the unpredictable,

I guess that's the underlying issue. Stability, or lack there of. 
It's been going over and over in my brain, having things that you are scared of losing, getting to a place where you are happy and having the fear that it could all be lost for hundreds and thousands of reasons. I struggle with change and with losing people, in fact I'd say they were my worst fears, and it has been weighing down on me for the past few days.

Until I realized that maybe I should stop being such a pansy. 
That I am lucky to have things I am scared to lose, because if I had nothing to lose what would be the point? 
That the fact that I have things I want to keep hold of should mean that I am finally getting to the good parts in life, that I hit rock bottom and had nothing to lose but now it's a different story and that instead of wanting to rush or run away that I should embrace the risk, because 

“The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.”Erica Jong

Risks helps us grow, help us move forward, help us gain more out of life, help us achieve our dreams.
I know now that I would rather have things that I'm scared of losing but be happy in the here and now then revert back to something that appears to give me security but also make me miserable.

So I have decided that instead of looking back towards my Eating Disorder for stability, instead of siding with the safe and comfortable, that I will find stability in instability, security in always choosing to move forwards, and safety in knowing that I can push through the fear. 
Life may be unpredictable, I may not be where I want to be in life, I may not be able to help those around me that are suffering, I may not be able to ease the burdens of my nearest and dearest, but I can rely on the fact that I am stronger then I have ever been, and instability may feel like bad things could happen in the blink of an eye, but it also means good things can too. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

What now?

I am impatient. 

I am being impatient about life, and it's getting me down. 

I came to Exeter to start my recovery journey, to slowly adapt to being content and happy, to learn how to cope with lifes ups and downs in a less life threatening way. It's been a bumpy road but I believe that I am now there, I have achieved a strong stability in recovery, which is great, but what now? 

Now that I am no longer striving to just be able to cope with myself and the world around me what am I supposed to be doing? I feel like I am in limbo, the limbo of not quite recovered but recovered enough to move on. Which is great. But I am impatient and I now want everything all at once. I want everything that Anorexia took away from me and I want it all at high speed. I am in a place where I can look back and want to cry out of frustration because of all of the time and opportunity that I have robbed myself of. 
I feel like I'm back to square one in life and to start rebuilding seems daunting and I crave just being able to jump a few years a head to being at the place that I was before I let everything fall apart.

I am happy and content, everything in my life is good, some things even amazing, but me? me as a person, I am not enough.  
I have built myself a firm foundation to grow from but I can't help but kick myself for still being at the foundation stage, and yet I know why I am still there, because I don't feel good enough for the dreams that I hold so dear. 

I took time out of my course, I let my illness win and to me that feels like I have let the world of DMP down. I avoid my research and tip toe around getting back involved because I feel like I am not worthy of being part of that world. As I write this I know how stupid it sounds but the feeling of not being good enough is holding me back more then it ever has. I have a lot to prove and that's even scarier then just being purely capable.

I will talk to anyone that will listen about the wonders of Dance Movement Psychotherapy, and I will feel that fire reignite inside of me, I change, I feel alive, animated, excited and I will smile and remember how much I believe in it all. That passion becomes so strong that it takes over all of me and I FEEL it, really feel it, and I automatically want it back in my life then and there.  It's an amazing feeling, until I remember that the fear of me going back to it is crippling and petrifying. 

As my mum has always taught me 'Where there's a will there's a way' and that wanting something doesn't mean you get it. Things take hard work, and I am willing to work hard, I can work my ass off if I put my mind to something. I just need to get past my fear of not being good enough, my fear of failing, my fear of not being the best I can be.

Recovery has been the best thing I have ever done, hardest, but best, yet now that journey feels over and I'm all of a sudden just a girl who wants to be more. 
A girl who wants to be more, but yet isn't sure she can be. 

Being impatient and insecure is not a good combination.