At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...
I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)
Friday, 31 October 2014
So this is what is what it's really like...:(
I was at the doctor's...again. As was the case the last time I was there three weeks ago, I went with the intention of asking for advice about my foot, which has, of late, still been causing me alot of bother, and is still far from being one hundred percent better.
As I walked - or sort of half-walked, half-hobbled down towards the little health centre at the far side of Trinity, I drew in deep, long breaths of the fresh autumn air and felt my mood lift a little with each inhalation. It would be ok. It would be ok. The doctors were going to help me - they would, in some way or other, miraculously heal my foot and I would be able to walk properly again. How bad could it be? It wasn't broken; there must be something that they could do, that I could do, to help it heal good and proper.
And then, I thought to myself joyfully, as I turned the handle of the clinic door and stepped into the bright, cheerfully-lit waiting room with the health-promoting posters and the little TV set with those irritatingly amusing british TV shows...and then, then I really, really would be able to focus on my weight gain good and proper. Being able to walk properly again, I would be able to resume once more with my long blissful promenades in the morning and the evenings once again...and I would have the appetite of a horse! I was going to eat loads!!
That morning when I got up, this was the main train of thought in my mind. This new hope had filled me with positivity. Before I left for the train I treated myself to a good, hearty breakfast: a thick crust of multigrain toast slathered with a load of peanut butter, and 2 - yes, 2, not 1 and a half!! - weetabix with lots of warm milk and a sprinkling of sugar. I was stuffed afterwards, but it felt good. What had once been, at one time, a source of anxiety and alarm to me -that being fullness - now didn't really affect me at all.
But I walked out that very same door that day in a flood of tears...I went straight to my friend in the library and we went for hot choc in Insomnia, which served to soothe me somewhat. But it couldn't quite eradicate the strong, overwhelming sense of guilt and disappointment which was bludgeoning through my head. With every throb of my pulse, the word failure echoed within my skull. For that's what I felt like, in every sense of the word...a complete and utter failure.
For my meeting with the doctor that day...a different one from the gentleman I saw last week, this was a female doctor with a quietly serious expression...served to remind me once more of how far I have yet to go. Of how lucky I really am, as well. For I am lucky to have got to where I am today...it was a miracle that I even got through the past two years of college. How I did it, I honestly don't know. The lady doctor gravely told me, at one point in our meeting, that students like me have been taken out of college due to their condition. And boy do I understand why. For I know. I know! I know all too well what it is like, to be starving...because of yourself. Because you are too scared to eat. I know what it is like to not have the energy to actually sit down, take out a book and do some study. The reason for that being your mind can't focus on anything...because it is deprived, like your body, of the vital nourishment it needs to function properly.
I still need to gain weight, I still need to eat more. Now, I know what it is really, really like - to be, I suppose, sort of "diagnosed" with an eating disorder...things have been taken out of my own hands, now. And it's my own fault. Like, I could have done this on my own. But I didn't take it seriously enough. All those silly little habits and ways related to my ED that I still wasn't quite prepared to let go of...those times when I didn't have appetite and thought, carelessly, I don't need to eat as much today, I'll be fine...all those days when I walked and cycled so, so far, but didn't eat extra to compensate for all that energy lost...well, I regret it now. Now I'm being monitored and have been forbidden to exercise and it's just...awful. I have to gain something by the next time I see my doctor; a dark cloud of pressure is hanging over my head every morning I wake up, at every time I sit down to eat. I wish, I wish I had known better.
If you take anything out of this post today...just please, remember what has happened to me. If you reached the half-recovery stage and were too afraid to go on...please, please, please, don't turn back. Don't end up like me..walking around like a cripple and having to sit in the doctors waiting room once a week in order to get your bmi taken and your weight checked again and again, with the doctor sternly telling you that students like you have had to pull out of college, Emily...you are lucky to have got to where you are today...
Please, please, please, don't let your ED hold you back...don't let it stop you from making that full recovery, and becoming the person you really want to be. Don't let it stop you from becoming truly happy, healthy, and free.