Gain 11: Challenges and Changes

Gain 11: Challenges and Changes

Recovery in the last month has been good/ bad/ difficult/ complicated interesting.

Basically, it’s been up and down like the value of the pound.

In my last post (here) I spoke of how I am coming to terms with being happier(?) which is surprisingly a sort-of-issue. Naturally, a day after posting, I crashed and burned… it’s always the way: you appreciate the good and life comes knocking some sense back into you!

Last week was my Graduation Week, which largely consisted of socialising, partying and one or two alcoholic beverages (okay, maybe three…) o and the small event of graduating  with a 2:1!

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My boyfriend graduated this week too!

Aside from the clinking of glasses and glamorous dresses, we were all faced with the reality of what our final week truly meant. Clearing out my room and packing my bags was tough as I said goodbye to the experiences I had had in that house over the past two years (first year was spent in halls).

In a way, I waved goodbye to some of my worst encounters with anorexia: where I had sat and cried alone instead of being out with friends or attending seminars; where I had hidden to avoid meals; where I had driven myself to despair after staring in the mirror at my always less than perfect appearance. I said goodbye to that.

Bidding farewell to the positive experiences I had accumulated whist residing in that room was equally as difficult. Especially when I began to recall how I had worked strenuously to grow and change.

I am completely overwhelmed with how wonderful things have turned out. In spite of the symptoms that don’t seem to be going anywhere soon… there are still little things, little annoying habits, which I cannot seem to shake. They are all connected to the eating disorder and I’ll shortly be elaborating on that.

The symptoms do arise, but they do not prevail. The other night, as an example, I purposefully skipped a meal. Not a big deal for the average joe, but I soon descended into a fit of melancholy, during which I extensively planned a severe weight loss plan and boarded the self criticism train. Lo and behold, a few hours later when my boyfriend arrived unannounced, armed with a bowl of cereal and a steely determination at gone 9:30pm- I cried.

Not only was it an ‘unacceptable’ time to eat, but I had already resolved to abstain from food for the rest of the day. What followed was the usual torture when I get like ‘this’. Tears, complaints, refusals, attempts on my part to instigate discussions/arguments (anything to delay the consumption of food) and eventually, the inevitable start of the meal.

By refusing to listen to the anorexia and refusing to leave me alone(!) my boyfriend helped me to eat. It was solely down to my boyfriend that I ate that bowl of cereal that night as there was no way I would have gone through the hell of preparing a meal for myself.

He’s an angel.

An hour later, after I had consumed the last spoonful of the now -very- soggy cereal, I felt slightly better. I had one up on anorexia and I had won that battle.

My fights with the illness are rarely so visible, they usually go unnoticed by the passerby. For the most part, I am better, but it is wrong to assume that one day you wake up ‘recovered’ and never have a food related disaster again.

Challenges are so important to keep up with. We all have room to improve. For now, mine revolve around the eating disorder as there are still things I ‘cannot’ do. For various fucked up reasons, these are the things I must try to do, that at present, I have great difficulty in doing:

  • eating past 9:00pm
  • finishing the last bit of a meal or snack
  • liking the lid of yoghurt pots
  • eating ‘unhealthy’ foods in front of others
  • expressing the fact I am hungry
  • drinking more water

These may seem trivial but the fact that they are there show me that it’s not over. These are all illogical and they all stem from the root of the issue- anorexia. it’s not me who can’t lick the lid of yoghurt pots, it’s a habit I can’t shake.

I need to show myself that I won’t die if I prod and poke the eating disorder, that I won’t have to witness my life falling apart if I eat at 10:15pm… because that’s all it comes down to: fear.

Fighting those little fights is how we overcome the monster: we weaken it bit by bit.

On a final note: I desperately want to start running again! I miss it so very much. If anyone has any tips on how to start up again in general (or after an ED) then please comment!

~Alee

 

 

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