So I’ve been relapsing pretty badly. My calories dropped alarmingly and so did my weight. I managed to pull it back for a few days but it drastically dropped again. I had a really hard therapy session (which included a panic attack which was entirely embarrassing – I looked like such an idiot) and I went spiralling back down. I became a horrible person again – angry, crying, shaking, shouting, irritable, scared (and had a panic attack at uni again – ergh). And I’m really cold again, which is ridiculously annoying. It was quite warm today and everything, but my toes were numb. It’s really not fun.
But yesterday, I don’t know, something changed. After not eating all day, sitting alone at home crying and hungry – I went and made lunch. No one was home with me so no one was there to prompt me and give me permission to eat and eat along with to make sure I’m dong it ‘right’. It was really late (four o’clock – hardly lunch time) and it took a long time to work up to it, but I did it. I had a whole serving of soup with a ciabatta roll (spread with one and a half servings of margarine!), a full fat yogurt and two servings of fruit! I know it might not sound like a lot (and I know it wasn’t enough), but it wasn’t abnormally small or anything. It was just a normal lunch that I got for myself. I was full of guilt – “what’s the point in eating at all if no one else can see? Your not really sick if you eat when you don’t have to – you’re a fraud!” etc. – and spend the whole time making it shaking and crying, but I got through it and the only reason I did it was for me. Then for stupid disordered reasons I argued with the mama and decided I was awful and I wouldn’t eat again till the next day, which wasn’t helped by the fact that the mama just made dinner without telling me so I couldn’t prepare mine the way I wanted to and didn’t see how it was cooked so I couldn’t eat it. Again I was upset and angry for hours, hating the world and hating myself. But then I did it – I went and made myself dinner. Again, a small dinner, but a normal dinner (channa masala and pita bread). Again. I did it alone and chose it without prompting or permission, though the boy gave ultimate support (lots of hugs and telling me I was doing the right thing). I had dinner for me. Nothing else played a part in my choice. I had dinner because I wanted to be better. And I did it again for my night-time snack.
Granted I didn’t get anywhere near my calorie target yesterday (though it was double the day before’s intake), but I think I made some progress. The psychologist told me that he thought I’d hit “a block” in my recovery and was becoming “stuck”. I think he was right – I wasn’t taking responsibility for my own recovery, I was just performing getting better for other people. I wasn’t even dealing with the idea of getting better. Every time no one was around at a meal or snack time it was a mini victory. Meals had become something I was scraping the lowest possible calories from whilst trying to make them look ‘normal’ to others. I may have been eating more, but in my head I was just thinking how much I wanted to get lower than my lowest weight and how I could get there without anyone noticing. I hadn’t committed to anything – I didn’t want to be better, I wanted to be worse. But then I realised – why do I even want this? Why do I want a lower bmi – my bmi is nowhere near healthy right now as it is, it doesn’t need to be lower. I felt like I needed to get sicker before I deserved to get well, which is just entirely ridiculous. It makes no sense at all and is entirely disordered, nonsensical thinking.
I’ve thought long and hard about it though, and I’m trying to commit now. I’ve asked my family to stop prompting me for meals now. I need to take responsibility for this as even if I make a healthy weight, if I still just resent it and want to be small, it’ll just happen again. There is no reason to get thinner before I deserve to get better – I deserve it now and it is only my anorexia telling me that, not my rational mind. I want to be better and healthier for me, not for anyone else. I’m taking responsibility for my own recovery and I will do this for myself. I’m aiming high – my bmi will reach 20/21+ and I will reach my body’s set point. So today, I got all my own meals for me and I went food shopping and got some tasty looking new foods to try. I am going to do this for me and no one else. Today has been the hardest day of this whole process – I’ve cried and had panic attacks and hated myself and am full of guilt – but I’m actually fighting. I’m not being passive, I’m really really trying and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m aiming for a minimum of 2,000kcals today (maybe more) but intend to get back up to 2,500kcals tomorrow and then I want to keep it up. I’m going to take it meal at a time and get there, face my fears and anxiety and want this. I want to recover and if that means gaining weight, so be it.
But I am scared. What if I look hideous at a higher weight? I feel like I look normal right now and I don’t want to look fat. And my belly looks so bloated. I’m terrified I’ll look terrible. I hope this is the right choice. I desperately don’t want to be large. Do you think a bmi of 20/21 would be too large?
I want this though. I hope I don’t freak out. I really hate my body and I’m scared I’m only going to end up hating it more and being more depressed. At least I can hope the OCD tendencies life a little.