I’ve been offline for a couple of months. Partly because I came down with a bad virus and wasn’t up to writing anything (although I did draw some stuff that I’ll share later). But if I’m being open, which was the entire point of making this blog, it’s mostly been because I didn’t want to be truthful and I felt that if I faked it then I’d ruin the meaning of this blog and why I post my life online.
So here’s the reality *deep breath*…
I relapsed into eating disorder, worse than my first journey into anorexia 5 years ago. Most people don’t know how bad I was last time because I didn’t actually admit I’d had it until 2 1/2 years ago. Those who have me on Facebook, Insta, or know me in the real world will be vaguely aware of the 2 year struggle towards recovery. The journey of learning to love myself despite the flaws I see, and learning to enjoy food without feeling guilty for eating it. It was a journey that was going great until recently.
On the heels of Christmas and New Year (a horrendous time for anyone with eating disorder, even in recovery), my anxiety disorder kicked off in full force. My coping mechanism has always been to find a channel to put all that anxious energy into. This time that energy found it’s ground in my eating disorder.
For a while I tried so hard to fight it, but that just made the anxiety worse and very unstable. I was worn out from being on edge all the time fighting against something no one around me could recognise, and in my tiredness I gave up. I allowed my eating disorder to re-establish itself little by little eventually welcoming with open arms as my anxiety stabilised and I began to feel in control.
That’s where I’m at now. Fully in the grips of an illness I fought I had defeated, and not wanting to let it go. Because when you’ve lived everyday of your life with severe generalised anxiety any peace you find, you hold on to for dear life. In a twisted way this ability to control my eating is giving me peace that countless medications and therapies haven’t. I know it’s wrong but it’s also my truth. I’ve hidden away for too long, afraid to break the image of recovery I had built this blog out of. Afraid to be controversial (because it’s controversial to speak about eating disorders without advocating recovery). Afraid of judgement, of comments, of letting people down.
I need to let people down (don’t you think I know I’m also letting myself down). I need to be controversial because I need to be truthful. The reason this illness is able to hold people in its grip is because we are so afraid of what happens when we talk about it. I need to be honest, as I always set out to be in this blog, so that hopefully the next person struggling will know that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to be open even if it makes others uncomfortable. Even if you face judgement, or criticism. Because being truthful, being able to trust your troubles with another person is the only way to get help. And getting help is only way to truly recover.
I’m not there yet. I’ll go to bed feeling guilty for what I’ve eaten, I’ll wake up tomorrow determined to eat less to make up for it, and go to bed again hungry. Live, breathe, repeat.
I’m not at the place where recovery is going to become my reality in the foreseeable. But that’s okay. I don’t need to be holding it together to feel safe talking about the world I live with each and every day. I’m not advocating eating disorder. I’m not saying this is an example of how to live. I wouldn’t wish this illness on my worst enemy.
I’m just learning to feel like I’m allowed to be me. Flaws and all.