I must take this leap.
I must take this leap...
100 ml...125 ml...over 125 ml...I said I'd have more milk today, more cereal...that was my goal for today...
My hand snapped back then like a door bouncing back upon its hinges.
Put that extra milk back!! You greedy......!!!!
My hand quivers. I can feel...I can feel him pulling on my wrist, trying to pull it back towards the still open milk bottle; to clumsily slop the "extra" milk I had poured myself - and more, probably - back in through the plastic neck. Yes, I can feel him. A vice like grip; which has held me for so, so long.
The kitchen was freezing , but I could feel my face becoming gradually hotter. As if I and It were engaged in a vicious tug-of-war, one in which we were both clinging doggedly to the slippery rope of control.
Always, in the past, such moments of attempted resistance on my part against ED would see me tugging desperately at that rope with trembling, clenched fingers; the knuckles white and drained of blood, the rough fabric cutting into my hands. But I was never strong enough to hold on for too long. Eventually, I would lose hold of it and fall, and then ED would trample mercilessly over my body, reveling in its triumph.
This time round appeared as if it was just going to be the exact same. My hands were wavering, hovering towards the awaiting milk bottle.
No! - a weak voice of resistance, pushing desperately through the heat, the dizziness. No, Em! You can DO it...!!! Just think...
HE has done to you...
Slowly, inch by painful inch, my hand withdrew.
I can, I mouthed wordlessly, and then it was going in the microwave and I was pushing the buttons and then there, it was done, there was no turning back, I had done it.
An hour later saw me crying bitter tears all over my Eagle of the Ninth notes, nursing my swollen, bloated stomach. The hateful screen, taunting me. Only 2000 words to go, Em! That cruel, sneering voice whispered, maliciously. 2000 - words - I can't - do this...
I wanted...I wanted more than anything else in the world, right then - for someone to comfort me. But I was alone. And I know that this is my journey: the road I have to tread alone. It is only me and noone else who can save myself from the wreck, pull myself from the freezing, icy waters, in which, if I remain, I know that I will drown.
So. That was my morning. A morning in which I, once again, failed once again to make any progress with my essay.
It's true to say that I am getting scared now. the deadline is the 16th of January.
It's just all getting a bit too much. The extreme hunger; my lack of concentration; my raw, pure terror at not being able to write, one single, single word. My very head feels like it is going to explode with the intensity of the pain; the bitterness of the frustration.
I succeeded in just one little thing.
I went against my eating disorder.
I achieved my goal of having extra milk and cereal...
Such a small, small step -to someone who knows nothing about eating disorders, it might seem totally laughable that I regard such a feat as actual "progress" - but, to me, it constituted a major victory. It was a point scored against my eating disorder; and, though the anxiety was horrible, I proved to myself that I could actually do it.
And as a dear friend told me a few days ago...yes, the time is NOW to recover.
I am 22. 23 in a few month's time. I have seven years left to improve my osteoporosis. Every day matters. Every hour and every bite.
It's a small step, it's true.
But is that not what the longest and hardest of journeys ultimately is made up of? Hundreds, upon hundreds, of small, tiny steps...?
Anyway, today I made a number of important decisions, it being the first day of 2017, and all: that I AM going to make these meal plan increases; as I strongly feel that I would benefit from introducing them because I am, after all, still doing my household chores, walking the doggies, and moving around more than a person in recovery ideally should.
It's just a matter of reducing my exercise a little, for now...and also, eliminating the "obsessive exercise" which yes, it's true, I did sometimes engage in.
I define this kind of exercise as being compulsive and forced; not practiced for reasons of pleasure or enjoyment - but rather, for when any of the statements below ring true:
- I feel like I "have" to do it, even though I do not want to, or the weather is bad, or I am busy doing something else, etc;
- I want to do it because it will slow down/prevent weight gain through burning of calories.
Today, I was reflecting upon my current exercise patterns and it struck me that, despite everything, I actually made some progress on this score since beginning to tackle my relapse:
Before (Between the end of the summer and November 2016):
- I felt compelled to do at least 2 hours of exercise. If I did not meet this target, I would "make up for it" the following day.
- I sometimes - not very regularly, but sometimes - exercised in secret in my room by jogging on the spot for a short length of time. I also got up early and powerwalked for 20-30 minutes down the road. For me, back then, going out with Benny at 9 o clock, and then taking him again in the afternoon, was just not enough. I felt compelled to do more.
And here are some of the little changes and increases, that today I have started to introduce...
- One of the new things I was contemplating adding into my meal plan was to have some extra protein in the mornings. The addition of these foods is, if I was very honest, a change I felt I "should" introduce solely for the benefit of the health of my body, rather than for reasons of personal preference - if that makes sense!! You see, to be brutally honest, I would personally much rather eat an extra piece of toast and another big bowl of cereal , say, than a slice of chicken of fish or whatever. (And then of course there is my own moral principles surrounding eating meat, which make me even more reluctant to eat it; but again, that's a topic for another blog post). But protein - protein foods, so to speak - is the one thing that I have restricted most severely since becoming ill, and I suppose that is what served to make my osteoporosis as bad as it now is. So that is the main reason why I thought in the mornings I would add in one if the following, probably with either my breakfast or my first morning snack:
- Now, another change I am going to make is to be MORE GENEROUS with...well, everything. With peanut butter, with cereal; with my nuts and tuna mayo at lunch..you get the idea.
- I am really going to try to listen to my body and respond to cravings and hunger when they hit me.
- To not hold back from eating more of the foods I love...namely, you know.. ;) hot choc, chocolate, bananas,peanut butter, nuts, cereal, toast, hot custard. Ooooh bring them on <3 !
- And also, if I feel like them - not to hold back from eating stuff like maltwheats, hot cross buns, scones - things I cut out from my diet despite really enjoying them. I did so purely because I was worried about my sugar consumption, what with having alot of hot chocolate, and chocolate, every day. But I suppose in recovery it's all about breaking those ED type rules one has made for oneself.
- Fear foods..more on this in another post, but I really want to start tackling them soon. I don't have many, but there are a few. But more on this shortly.
- And the change I referred to above and which I tackled today (with success, yes; though I'm not going to lie; I did find it very hard.) that is to make my breakfasts even bigger..I might even try adding in a 2nd peice of toast (and still have my half a bagel later on, too, mind!!)
As I'm going on my journey
Oh, I might be lost...
Well no-one told me just how to get there
But when I get there I'll know...
'Cause I'm taking it
Stone by stone.. brick by brick...
Step by step, day by day, mile by mile...