How do you believe in yourself when all you ever do is prove yourself wrong? How do you tell yourself it will be okay when all you ever do is show yourself that actually it probably won’t? How do you keep treading through life when you are afraid of tripping on every step you take? How do you keep pretending that you are like everybody else with a false exterior when inside you are wondering how you can make yourself cope in the way that they appear to?
I feel so weak. I feel so afraid. Every time I think I am getting somewhere I fall and must smash my head on the way because I get up again with so much confusion as to how to progress. I tell myself tomorrow will be different because if I don’t then I won’t be able to keep on striving in the way I do. I tell myself that tomorrow I will be back on the road to recovering or else I won’t be able to continue about my day whilst enduring the conflicts of bulimia. I have to tell myself that tonight whilst I sleep a fairy will wave a wand and I will wake up without these thoughts, without this mind, without this illness, without such hatred and disgust for my body, without such confusion, without the part of me that is so undesirably prominent. But when will that fairy come to me? Or will it never come at all? I know it won’t come, because I don’t believe in magic wands. But I have to pretend she is out there somewhere so that I can simply survive. Really, I know I have to dig my own way out this hole, clean up all this mess myself; I have to get better myself. No pill, no person, no wand will cure me. The first two can help, but no one and nothing can cure me. The worst thing is I am starting to wonder whether or not the one individual I believed capable of doing so truly is – myself. I am questioning if I will ever make it out or if I should give up? Not on life, not on happiness, not on ambitions, not on relationships, but on recovery. Is it a mystical place that is anomalous to reality? Can I get there?
This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Harder than killing myself for A-levels, harder than my first day at school or university, harder than my first steps, harder than smiling at someone whom I hate. Because this isn’t a fight with something else, or another entity, but a fight with myself. And I am not sure I have ever encountered anything more destructive or soul-destroying than questioning two contradictory sides to your own mind and body, or fighting a disillusion that blindfolds you to reality and which no matter how much you struggle it cannot be removed.
I can see myself, crying. I keep yelling for freedom, stuck in a barren land and running aimlessly in panic in different directions hoping to find signs of life. It’s almost like a dessert but it isn’t, because there are some shrubs, some greenery, and some days it rains. But there are no humans and no animals. Nothing with whom I can look into its eyes and feel sympathy or have it understand me. The plants and greenery comfort me with their mere existence and presence, but they cannot understand because they are emotionless as to what I am feeling. They function, they need the basics – food, water, air – but I need so much more. I need my sanity and communication and understanding. I look in every direction trying to find the exit. I got here because four years ago I decided I would go for a walk to get a bit of exercise and lose a bit of weight. At first it was a pleasant journey as I left the grey meek city and entered an empty and calm land. It was exciting, an adventure, and the freedom to do this as I pleased was so thrilling. But when I turned around to realise I did not know how to return – that was when panic struck. That was when I got scared, afraid, lost, confused. And now for months I have been crying to find my way. I have been strong and followed a set path in the belief I will get somewhere with life eventually – but so far to no avail. I have screamed, I have slept, I have wept, I have hurt myself, I have started to believe I might go crazy. I have tried to make the plants understand but they don’t, not quite. I have desperately run because I want to get home asap and any pains in my legs and lungs mean nothing compared to the mental despair. But then I collapse, because physically I cannot run forever like I had hoped. I have slowly walked, but soon lost patience. I have hoped and hoped. I have searched for hidden meanings. But everything I try, nothing I try can get me back. I am so stuck out here. Lost. Alone. Desperate.
But I will keep searching for the right way, even if in doing so I take myself further into the plain heartlessness of this desolate land of ED. Because I cannot sit here in despair. I cannot be calm when I am panicked. I cannot be completely lethargic. I have to keep going because although each step I take may lead me in the wrong direction, it may be leading in the right one. And surely, eventually, I have to find my way back? There’s a chance and I won’t risk losing it.
I want to be found. I want to be found because I am on my knees. My direction is lost. I am broken and two halves can’t carry each other home to form a whole; they need to be carried there and mended by someone who is still in one piece. Anyone, everyone, fix me. But please, don’t let that be translated to no one because I cannot do this, don’t force me. I cannot fight this alone, I cannot find my way alone, I cannot give up but I cannot run on empty. Someone please just give me a map, directions, a way out. Tell me the right way to go or the right thing to do. I have no idea. Sometimes I see a dot on the horizon and think I am nearly there but my heart sinks when time after time it morphs into another disillusioning beam of false hope. I need it to be real, I need to get there, I need to recover.