I found out that one of the girls I was in EDU with had a heart attack last week. I've stayed in regular contact with another girl who's really, really sick again. I have no idea about the other girls I was in with, one of them went on to a personality disorder place, the other completely cut contact with everyone from hospital which I always take as a good sign, that they're letting go of that part of their life completely, and I really hope that's the case. Then there is my flatmate...
Where did I go right? Why have I made it through when they haven't? Everyone thought I was gonna be a 'revolving door' patient, because I was discharged and re-admitted within the month, but I wasn't and I've been out of treatment for five years. Sure, I've had a couple of bad relapses where I've been really sick again but I pulled myself out of them pretty much on my own, my anorexia has been under control for about two years now. I'm not saying things are perfect, I occasionally eat and throw up when I'm really stressed out, but atleast I'm aware of the fact that it's triggered by what's going on inside/around me rather than food/weight, and binging and excessive weight gain is unhealthy and disordered but at the same time it could easily have tipped me right back to starvation and it hasn't, I've coped with the fact I'm overweight and accepted the fact that I need to get rid of all my ED'ed behaviours, not just swing from on to the other. For quite a long time now, I've been painfully aware of the fact that I'm still quite young, yet have been ill for over half my life.
Something else that I've had to terms with recently is the fact that other people will still be disordered around me, that people I know will still be under 100lbs, restricting, binging, purging, self-harming, overdosing, etc and that I can’t do anything about it, I can't stop them or save them and I can't keep going over the fact that 'it used to be me' and that ‘comparing’ myself to them out of some misplaced nostalgia is only going to make me miserable. I am no longer jealous of other people's eating disorder and that in itself is a great feeling to have. I no longer feel like I've 'let myself go' but have let go of something that was out to kill me, that's ruined my life in ways I will never be able to repair. I don't want it back.
For the most part, I've got out, my happiness doesn't depend on what I eat or what I weigh, for the whole of my depressive episode late last year, and the anxiety and flashbacks and rape counselling that's on-going, I have never once had the thought that 'this is happening because I am fat' or 'this will stop if I don't eat and lose weight' for a long time everything that went wrong in my life I blamed on the fact that I was too fat and ate too much, these last few months I've known that it has nothing to do with that and that I would be exactly the same no matter how much I weighed or ate.
Well, that's not quite true, there was quite a chunk of time where I felt much safer being obese, it became a kind of comfort blanket, I was so convinced that I looked so ugly and vast that no-one else would want to even look at me, let alone anything else... Since the start of the year I've tried damn hard to get that under control and just a couple of months on things are already so much better, my mindset and attitude to how I look have had a complete revamp. I do need to lose weight but I just make a real effort to eat decent meals and distract myself when I want to binge, but I don't spend all my time on the scales and if I want to eat chocolate or crisps or whatever then I do, I just don't eat it and eat it and eat it.
I don't want to be underweight, I don't want to be sick, I don't want to starve... But I really don't understand how or why and I've never felt more aware of the fact that I still don't really know what I'm doing, what's keeping me going, and I feel so scared that it could all disappear in a heartbeat.