Friday, 18 June 2010

As a rule, most of us never really believed we were any good in the first place

"You never come back, not all the way. Always there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier thin as the glass of a mirror, you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and no one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad."
- Mayra Hornbacher

I feel like such shit at the moment. The only things that are keeping me sane are keeping my calories in check and swimming. I am not actively engaging in my eating disorder, but I am sort of teasing around the edges of it to a certain extent. I don't want to get sick. I am past that. But I do want the people who are supposedly looking after me to realise and accept that I have and had anorexia a Hell of a long time before I had this borderline nonsense and that most of the traits I exhibit have come after I 'recovered'. Yes, I self harmed when I was younger and attempted suicide and was depressed and very obsessive-compulsive, did restricting my eating trigger all that, or was it just one of those fairly severe cases of teenage angst?

When I became what I guess I call ‘acutely anorexic’, in 2005, I didn’t self-harm at all, I didn’t feel depressed at all, and it was only a little blip with self-harm that occurred in the months before the restriction started. The depression that I felt so acutely in the years previous never came back until way after I got out of the EDU, more than a year at least.

I wasn’t put on medication until 2007, all the time I spent in hospital with anorexia everyone always commented on how ‘happy’ I otherwise was. I wasn’t one of those depressed, agitated patients, I just didn’t want to eat or gain weight.

I didn’t start self-harming again until 2008 after a pretty horrific incident and after that everything just went to shit, overdosing, psychosis, proper chronic can’t function depressed, more hospital, then I got the BPD diagnosis and since then no-one has taken my ED into account, to all of them it is just a part of that label and nothing more. To me, it is one huge big stinking issue and I think the reason why I never really recovered, just bounced between purging, restricting and binging, is because I have never (since I left the hospital in 2006) gotten any real advice or support for my ED.

I’ve had two relapses since then, in terms of ‘dramatic weight loss’, periods of Hellish bulimia and binge eating, that I just had to cope with on my own. I have asked for specialist help and been refused to be even passed on to them because of my weight and ‘other behaviours’.

One of the biggest driving forces of anorexia is a need to ‘be seen’, but the repeated dismissive attitudes of people, either because of weight or in my case BPD, just leaves people stranded in the wilderness, alone with their thoughts of ‘maybe, I won’t eat lunch today’ or ‘maybe, I’ll just swim for another fifteen minutes’ that keep getting stronger.

There is only so long you can challenge these thoughts yourself, when everyone around you is encouraging or enabling them. I am being praised for the amount of exercise I am doing, I am being told that I could do with losing a stone and a bit. Over and over and over again all this positive reinforcement is sucking away bits of resolve and determination.

How the Hell do I block it all out and just concentrate on me, and what I want? How the Hell do I get treated as an individual and not from a fucking skills handbook that’s aimed at a whole group of people the mental health world as lumped together?

1 comment:

  1. I don't have those answers Emma. I think it is a very realistic thing to say that the other issues came after you started to eat and gain weight.
    I know for me, what ticked me over the edge was the rapid weight gain IP and then being left with it after being discharged.
    What is hard to know is whether that would have happened for me, or even for you, anyway.
    Things in your world seem incredibly chaotic. What I am seeing here, and maybe I am not right, is that for you, even subconsciously, is that the noise is made quite through restriction and over exercise.
    That okay, yes, Anorexia is that in many ways,but more the over eating, bulimia, self injury, paranoia and such, are loud, inappropriate, scream too much too much too much (often what then gets the BPD diagnosis) and that the weight loss, restriction and exercise, soothes that, eases that.
    But, it is a fallacy.
    If your core struggle is Anorexia, you need to not be engaging in those very behaviours that are that.
    You need to not use your body - make it emaciated - as a means of communicating this, you need to find words.
    No one is saying you have to stay in this therapy. You find your own therapist. There are ways to pay for it. You get someone who sees you as Emma, not a diagnosis.
    These are your choices.
    But you better make them fast, because if you don't, the grips of Anorexia will be wrapped around you tighter than you ever can believe. And this whole cycle, which it is that, a cycle, a pattern of anorexia and into other behaviours and anorexia etc etc will just go over and over until it eventually kills you. Which may take a month, a year, 5 years, 15 years.
    But it will eventually kill you.
    Use your voice.
    Use your voice.