Promise.

Remember that dress you used to wear?
Leopard shift and it made you so pretty
Now it hangs alone, gathering dust
Never again will you wear it aged twenty

Things have changed now, that life’s gone
For an illness has stolen your world
An illness without a drug or a pill
It has stolen that smiling young girl

You look in your stained bedroom mirror
See a broken and unrepaired wreck
But you fake a smile with falsified pride
You have learnt about pulling that trick

You walk the streets that supply your home
See the shadows of your short-lived life
Replaced now with happier people
A man with a child, a dog and a wife

One day you decide this must be the end
Guilt and regret is too much to bear
So you brush yourself down and lift yourself up
Because there’s a wonderful world out there

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When Will it End?

I am sorry I have been gone so long. I don’t have much of a reason other than that of getting bogged down with life. But I am back now.
Sometimes I let myself get swallowed up by the hope that I am beginning to know will inevitably remain false. I don’t know if I am strong enough to fight this. I don’t know how to keep treading through a life paved with doubt, guilt, self-hatred and fear. Confusion. Who am I if I am not this disorder that has taken 4 years of my life? How do I come out of it being who I always was when it has physically and mentally scarred me?

It is so powerful. So so powerful. And I am starting to think I am not. I cannot live with this anymore but equally I cannot die. I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to have bulimia anymore.

It makes me so sad. So desperately sad, trapped, hopeless and helpless. I am drowning, I can’t breathe, and sometimes I emerge over the surface but the next wave comes crashing down and swallows me again and I don’t know if I really have it in me to fight and swim anymore. It’s getting dark and I don’t know if I’ll ever see the sunrise, the light, the answer, the solution, the freedom, the exit. I want somebody to hold my hand now, show me the way, every day, until I can stand alone. But nobody is capable of doing that because as soon as I think I am there I shake them off and tell them I’m fine, only to crash back down again. I am on a spring and I stretch away from the bottom of it and think I have got away but it drags me back, sucks me back no matter how much I will it not to.

I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write to you.

I feel so lost. I remember when I went for a walk one Christmas about 5 years ago and got completely and utterly lost. I had the same feeling of fear, desperation, coldness and lonesomeness. I was with my dad but of course if we were lost, he didn’t know the answer either. Nobody knows the answer and it is terrifying. Stranded. My phone had no signal so I felt so disconnected, so isolated. I could look in any direction but all I could see were rolling hills and wooded areas, whilst the dark loomed in further and further to swallow us up. We found our way that time even if we did have to climb some barbed wire and other obstacles that lay in our way. But I don’t know if this time I’ll manage with such success.

My head feels empty. There are days when it is full of stuff it should be full of. Thoughts, feelings, emotions, words, ideas, plans. But then there are days when the ED swells up so much that my mind has no capacity left for anything else. No space. It is completely satiated by this disorder, this disease. There is no space for me – whoever I may be – but only space for it. And those days are the worst because I am not human anymore. I am a failure, a mess, a cruel ED. I am not good enough for myself and so I let it consume me instead although it makes me sick and tired and miserable to do so. Actually no I don’t ‘let’ it, it forces itself upon me when I am at my weakest. I am hollow today. I am not the girl I was 5 years ago, not the girl for whom I am loved, not the girl with ambitions and dreams; today I’m not the girl with a genuine smile, not the girl who achieves, not the girl who is happy and hopeful, not a girl at all. I am it, I am consumed by it, and there is nothing to me except it. Tomorrow, I hope, will be different.

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Am I Fighting an Incurable Disease?

Everyone know what it is like to feel crushed. I feel so f*cking crushed right now.

Bulimia has won tonight. It is devouring every inch of me, I want to sink inside myself and shrivel up. I don’t particularly want to exist.

It isn’t real?! It is intangible! It is non-existent. It lives inside me yet it destroys me. It is trying to break me apart, crack my shell of pride and dignity and self-belief. I feel like I am fighting my disorder for control over my body. I feel like I am fighting my partner as we both have different views over what is best for our child.

I want to give up but I can’t, I am crashing as a result of this

I do not remember a day when food and calories and weight concerns weren’t splintering my mind with shards of indignant, stubborn reminders about how I should be compared to who I am.

Sometimes I try to lift the shield that the ED enslaves me with, and pretend to myself that I am better simply because I don’t know how I can live with this illness anymore. But sooner or later it comes back to me that I am still enraptured by its power because I cannot just walk away, I cannot act as if everything is fine, I cannot breathe when it is suffocating me, I cannot keep going when I want to fall down, I cannot grow when I want to stop, I cannot do anything without this damn illness telling me what it’s opinion is on my life; on me. And it’s opinion is never what I want, its always negative. It hates me and it tells me so all day, every day.

How do I fight it?

It is like bindweed. You can hack away at its existence and when it is no longer visible you can pretend it is gone. But it never is, because it is still there in the roots, and one day you wake up to find yourself covered by it again.

Bulimia sure knows how to batter me about.

I don’t want to fight it anymore, but I have no choice. I am fighting it and simply cannot give up now.

Its like I am waiting for clouds to clear so I can see a blue sky. But just when I think it am getting somewhere the cloud morphs itself to take up even more of my field of vision. But it will pass.

I guess an ED makes you feel like you wake up every day in a body that you don’t want to exist inside of. You loathe it. You fight it, cut it, try to change or morph it because it’s mere existence depresses you but it is the one physical thing in life that you cannot leave. You want to run away from it because it terrifies you but unfortunately however hard or fast you run, your legs remain stuck to your soul and bring every inch of your flesh along with them. It isn’t something that can change overnight but I hope with time I will learn to like my body, work with it rather than against it, and maybe such a unison can bring more positive results.

It is debilitating sometimes. Is this what it is like to have a physically apparent disability, or to be transgender? To be afraid for others to see you in case they judge or because you dislike what you see? I am sure those are more difficult to live with in the sense that they are more prominent and more difficult to change, but trying to explain to somebody who has never had an ED… It is just a way to try to describe.

 

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A poem by Anorexia

When the world is a quiet place

you’ll hear me call your name

I will not leave you peacefully

To be the girl you used to dream

 

Because, you see, I never leave,

I’m stubborn as December snow,

I will make you lose your sense of self

So you won’t ever leave my spell

 

You’ll hear each and every order

You won’t doubt my commands

Because if you do then we’re through

And where else will you turn?

 

Don’t listen to those around you

They know not what they say

They claim that I am a disease;

But you’ll love me that way

 

Without me you would fail

You’ll regret letting me go

But if you let me hold your hand

Together we’ll win the world

 

Because with my grip so tight

I can take you so very far

Further than this universe…

Somewhere beyond this life

 

You can either die alone

At the end of a lonely life

Or we can go together

With me by your side

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Endless.

Where do I turn when all that face me are walls?

Sometimes I pull the plug on my emotions so that I can live. Sometimes I tell myself I will fix it tomorrow even though I know that this leads to a never ending wait for a day that never comes. But sometimes, I do this because I am too weak for today to be a battle. So I let it win, I let them win, I let myself lose. I binge, I cry, I question, I hate, I despair, but most of all I find I don’t really think, because I can’t bring myself to do that for its consequences may be too dire.

I have to tell myself that today doesn’t exist. Today isn’t another day of my life being thrown down a bottomless pipe of wasted time. Today I couldn’t have achieved anything other than self-pity anyway. Today wasn’t real. Today is a day where time has stopped because if I accept how much I could have accomplished if ED had not won then I feel so alone, so afraid, and so desperately hopeless. I have been doing this for four years now, and I turn round to see four years floating away behind me that I have forever lost.

Are these years not meant to be the best of my life? I am young, I have so much to do and so much to achieve and so much to smile about. Instead I cry, in my bed, feel alone, and worry about how I will recover and if this is a dream that will ever come true. These are not my dream years that they are supposed to be but a suffocating fight for a potentially impossible freedom. Why oh why am I wasting my life simply so that bulimia can live inside of me?

It is like a fetus. It takes everything from me. It takes so much energy and so much strength but I can’t let it go, because I am so emotionally tied to it I don’t know how I would cope. Yet once it is gone I don’t think I will want it back. But how do I let it go forever? It is like an evil child, my evil child. I cannot kill it off because it is a child, and not just any child but mine. It is alive so how can I kill it? I couldn’t kill a fly. But it is destructive, hateful, loathsome. It hates me and I hate it. We despise eachother. It wants to kill me and I want to kill it. But I cannot. How do I kill something that is so dependent on me whilst I am also so dependent on it?!

I am spinning in circles. I am stuck on a roundabout yet I am not only getting dizzy from going round it so many times, but I am running out of fuel. I cannot do this forever. Obviously. I have a life to lead. Why am I here?

I try to believe I am not alone in this but that can be difficult when nobody can hold your hand because you are living on another planet.

I try to believe the disorder doesn’t rule me, but that is hard when my life seems to revolve around its existence. It is an excuse, a validation, a fight that I must accommodate every single day.

My head is full of so much sh*t. It is only my head but I am sure if I were to puncture it, it would be the equivalent of opening Pandora’s box. Never ending negativity.

Do you understand? Tell me you understand. Tell me I am sane. Tell me I am still human. Tell me I am not a walking disease. Tell me, that I will be okay. Tell me that recovery isn’t a myth. Tell me that I can be the girl I want to be. Tell me I am as good as everyone else. Tell me I don’t need to change. Tell me I am stronger than Ed. Tell me that he is dying now. Tell me I am at least half way there, half way through recovery, because it is such a struggle.

I feel like I am pulling a steam train up a hill. A massive black hunk of metal that is thousands of times my size. I am at the front, pulling it by a rope that wares down on my shoulder, and I am worried I will not be able to take much more. My whole body aches and my mind is sick of questioning any method to let me carry on and let me keep pulling. But I can’t let go because then it will fall and I will have to go all the way to the bottom, cry, hate myself, and start all over again. I cant do this again. It is so hard. But I can’t see the top, I can’t see how much further I have to go. I need to turn round, and see that you are right behind me, pulling the train with me, getting it to the top with me, and that this weight won’t drag me down if I fall or let go. That it is not hanging on by my raw hands that function from my raw nerves that are communicated to by my destructed brain.

 

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What will be?

Is recovery inevitable like I make myself believe? Or is it a mysterious land that spurs me on to exist even though it is a beautiful place which I will never reach? I feel like I am waiting for life after death. Does heaven exist? Or will I just float into oblivion? Will I go to hell? I don’t know.

Ok ok so I have actually been doing incredibly well for a week now. Eating clean, no calorie counting, exercising regularly (slightly obsessively?) and generally not listening to Mia or the thoughts she instills in me; or tries to. The thoughts and beliefs I am trying to resist. I feel like someone has a remote to my emotions because one day I wake up feeling so damn positive I think that life is the best thing that ever happened to me. The next minute, with the click of a finger, somebody has turned the serotonin switch off and I feel more black and blue than the midnight sky. I just don’t know which mood will strike and when. Or how to counteract them. Or how to change my own channels.

So I guess, at least I am getting somewhere. At least the on button is pressed occasionally. But it is still turned off all too often. All to often I still mentally curl up and close myself away from the rest of the world. Wither away in silence hoping that I will be flourished with sprouts of hope and I will once again stride on positively.

The thing that has never really left though is the questioning. The obsession. The confusion. Sure I haven’t counted calories and sure I have eaten pretty healthy. But that doesn’t mean every day I am not asking myself if I am doing the right thing? Have I done enough to feed Mia? Or have I done enough to kill her? Will she die or is she now a segment of my soul that will only die when I do? Should I eat this or should I stay away? Should I treat myself? Should I exercise though I feel ill, or tired, or my muscles ache? I don’t stop questioning the rights and wrongs. It feels like normality because compared to the depths of Ed it is incredibly, beautifully, calmly normal. But really, does everyone question this much?

I guess what I am questioning now, is that I feel like I have come very far in recovery. Despite the fact that I am well aware I am not recovered. But I am questioning if I will ever be free again? If I will ever be the girl I was? Well, that’s obvious. I wont be the girl I was because Ed has changed me forever. Mentally scarred me I guess. And whenever the stress of life’s hassles become too much Ed will always be there waiting for me, waiting to catch me when I fall into his sickeningly, deviously, manipulatively beautiful trap of competitive reward. However, will I ever be a girl who is completely and totally free of this illness? Will I ever be a girl who no longer feels the remnants or shards or broken pieces of Ed inside her? Will they dissolve in my blood or will they float forever, feeding through my system as my heart pumps them round my body with all the other cells that are so definitely part of me? Will they gradually be exhaled from my body, bit by bit, with each pump of my lungs? Or are they irremovable like tar-stained lungs, permanently damaged, from a heavy smoker? A smoker who no longer actively partakes in the process of smoking, but the remnants of such activities in the past scar and tar and damage their lungs with symptomatic smokers cough?

I should probably draw this to an end because I am well aware I am rambling. I won’t be the same person I was before the illness because it has changed me. I believe it has changed me for the better though. It has made me more capable, stronger, more aware, more conscious, more understanding, and at the end of the day hopefully a healthier person. But I just want to know, are symptoms of the illness itself going to persist forever, or simply these consequences? Does a broken computer function the same as it did before repair despite being made of different parts? I guess it’s different though because I am the same parts but I function differently now. I recover from Ed with many positive consequences. But will any negative symptoms persist? Will they only persist during certain times such as stress? Will they be avoidable? I don’t know. Maybe I won’tever know if I am truly free of it because I can’t remember how that feels. All I  know is, it is getting so much better.

 

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Breaking free from the grip of Ed.

A fight with yourself is one of the most bizarre fights you will ever experience. Everyone else is on the side that is ‘good’. The side that will help you, will let your body function and free your mind from this overwhelming demon. But you are on the side that will hurt you, emaciate you, starve you, cut you, eventually kill you. I wonder, hundreds of years ago when man was building himself into a dominant and greedy species who was still just a mere inhabitant of the planet, I wonder what he would have thought of suicide, self-destruction, self-induced loss. Did those individuals ever partake in self-denial? Did they ever bring their own life to an end or draw blood from their own skin? Did they ever fight themselves whilst still in a world where survival of the fittest was of utmost importance?

I have been in fights before. I was bullied by numerous faces because I was never sophisticated, or perhaps slightly too mature to play their games. But those fights were clear because at least it was me against them. They were still painful, but they were clear-cut. Now? There is no one side. One day it is recovery and the next it is Ed. I wake up unaware of who will win and sleep each night carrying my mind away from their constant bickering. Paralyzing myself from their thoughts. Freezing myself in time so that recovery and bulimia can both stop, even if I have to too. This is only when my dreams escape them,that is.

Tug of war but you’re at both ends.

Imagine waking up tied down. Not tied down by each limb, but your whole body is taped to the bed. The sheet that you lie beneath is tightly sewn to the mattress and you only have enough room to breathe. Imagine how it feels. The tightness, the suffocating fear that you will never break free and the question of how? Do you cry, beg, plead? People watch through glass walls and they try to tell you what to do, but their words are shrouded out by the unbreakable layers and their movements are dulled by a light that shines from the room. They are in a distant, dark place that you cannot remember but long to be whilst you are in a painfully brightly lit room where they can only watch your struggle. It hurts them, too. Do you shake and violently throw yourself against the sheet that pins to every centimeter of your being? Do you lie still and hope the sheet will thin and weaken? Do you tactically fight each thread that pins you to immobility and a non-existent fate? Do you give up? Please imagine this. A prison cell-sized room with a white ceiling and glass walls. So illuminatingly, uncomfortably bright, whilst they are somewhere cool and calm that is on the other side of something unbreakable.

And imagine when you start to hear the ties rip. When a finger moves for the first time, when you can see over the surface and vision splits your pupil for the first time in 4 years; vision of something other than the murky sheet that shrouded your eyes. Imagine the outside merging into this room as the windows dissolve, people walk in and you hear them again, the light entangles itself with the comforting darkness of the outside. The cool, calm, senseless darkness. Imagine the disbelief when after years and years of trying and failing to empty yourself from this trap, you can hear the beginning of liberty. You can feel the beginning of liberty. You once again experience basic, everyday senses and freedoms that you have not experienced for four years.

An eating disorder is like being mentally tied down to a safety net that is actually going to kill you. Mentally chained there, stuck there. Like a fly in a spiders web you can wriggle but the more you try to fight it the more stuck you get. Until you ask for help and someone wiser, more trained, more experienced in breaking the ties can set you free.

But first I believe you must be free enough from its grip to ask for that help. Maybe this is controversial; maybe an individual should seek help regardless of the stage they are at. But it wasn’t until I was ready to open the door to those outside the aforementioned metaphorical glass greenhouse of my mind that I could accept their help. They could beg to come in and I would be too stubborn in my belief that I could fight it myself. But when I decided I couldn’t? When I gave them the signal that they could enter? That was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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