The hype of graduation has well and truly passed. I am fully settled in at home and making the most of it before I have to move away to start my new job. I have reconnected with some old friends, and even made some new friends. I am having the best summer ever.
There is one slight hitch. A frenemy has resurfaced.
On the outside I am fine. Behind the façade, though, is a darkness that I struggle to escape. It is not depression or anxiety, but my one true sickness. Underneath it all…I am not really fine at all.
Some context: I noticed a few weeks ago that some of my clothes were much looser than they would normally be. At the time, I thought nothing of it because I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was going downhill again. But I have reached the bottom of the hill and I cannot ignore it anymore. I have to regain control of this.
So here is my confession.
I have not been looking after myself. I have not been eating, and it is starting to take its toll again. I have allowed my eating disorder to get back into my thought processes. The infestation has completely taken control. It is poisoning my brain from the inside-out.
First, it was a struggle eating lunch. That was fine. I could have breakfast and my evening meal just fine, with a light snack in the middle of the day to keep me going.
Then I started getting anxieties about eating again. Full-on feelings of panic and uncertainty about having something to eat. Taking forever to decide what to eat, mainly to avoid actually eating. Then sometimes deciding to not eat at all, just to get away from the distress of the decision.
And now…well, I’m really struggling. With all three mealtimes. Forcing myself through the day on as little as possible. Battling with my brain along the way – (‘I know I’m hungry but I don’t deserve to eat yet, I have to finish this long list of tasks before I can stop and eat’). Being in my head is torture. I cannot escape food.
I know why it is happening. I have carried a lot of pain and hurt over the last few months, and it has allowed me to return to my defence mechanisms. Unhealthy as they are. I know that I need to work on getting this under control again. I do not know where to turn. I will be leaving my hometown in a few weeks – I don’t really want to get comfortable with a support network here, to have to start the whole process again when I move. At the same time…I cannot let this go on.
I have to be more vigilant with myself. I have to remember that although the ED is a part of me, it is not the ONLY part of me. It does not get to control me. I can beat this. I will revise my mantra to remind myself of the fact: ‘Don’t panic. Food is not scary. You can beat this.’