Saturday, 14 March 2009

Growing Up

As much as I want the FREEDOM I talked about in yesterday's post, there is obviously something holding me back. I don't know quite what it is that makes it so difficult to give up my eating disorder, as much as I want to, but there must be SOME kind of pay-off to being sick.

Perhaps it's partly habit- in terms of eating, exercise, food choices, etc. I have been stuck in patterns for so long that breaking out of the pattern feels strange and almost unnecessary (ie, why would I eat more when I am comfortable with my current intake/why would I gain weight when I am *just* accepting of the size I am now?)

But I am pretty sure there is more.

Something about facing up to life, to myself, to the world, without hiding behind my behaviours or appearance is terrifying. Life confuses me. The unpredictability, the constant changes and need to adapt, the whirlwind of emotions in everyday life, never mind the extra turmoil that major events cause. Seemingly small stresses overwhelm me- a part-time job, going out for lunch, paying bills. I feel like I am still the same 12 year old I was when this all started. As if the hands of time stopped in my internal world, leaving my completely unable to "just deal".

Of course, restricting, overexercising, bouncing in and out of hospital, etc hasn't helped the situation. The less I eat, the more overwhelmed I get, the narrower my vision gets, the less capable I am of coping with day to day life.

I know this. And yet I continue to retreat into what is familiar and predictable as soon as life gets "too much" (by "too much", I mean I stop hiding and face up to the responsibilities of adulthood and realise, I don't know what the hell I am doing- I think a lot of people probably feel the same and make it up as they go along...at least, that's what I tell myself!)

There is also the very real fear of being just as screwed up emotionally/mentally at a healthier weight, but due to looking "normal", not getting any support/help with it. The times I HAVE been at a healthier weight have been when my mood swings have been out of control, my urges to self-harm have been through the roof, and barring the suicide attempt I made last year, all the others have been when, to the outside world, I looked "healthy".

Remaining in my anorexic body is, in a way, how I can communicate and say, "I'm not doing so well". But on the other hand, I cope with things so much better when I have the starvation-induced numbness. Because I don't feel so deeply. I don't have to think about what I want to do with my life, worry about the world/my place in it/how it all comes together because all I care about is food/eating/weight.

I want a bigger life? I need to buy some bigger jeans.

So do I *want* a bigger life? Yes. Without a doubt. I want the freedom back that I wrote about yesterday, I want to sparkle and shine and have a true purpose and meaning to my days beyond that false satisfaction and security that anorexia gives me.

It's just so complicated. I don't know HOW to actually change things. How to literally scrap the life I have created for myself where there are a zillion rules and regulations, habits and compulsions, rituals and obsessions. How to create a life worth living, how to deal with life the way people my age do. How to eat properly regardless of what size jeans I am wearing, how to exercise in an appropriate way, how to fill my time, how to be ME, in a world where I have experienced all but a few months of adulthood as a patient/anorexic/crazy person.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
Anais Nin

7 comments:

dancelikenooneiswatching said...

i knw exactly how you feel..i am worried i wont get 'help' if im a normal weight but what if my brain doesnt recover so to speak?
i hav faih though that with health we restore mentally..
i just want to experience the real ups and downs of life without hiding behind a false control mechanism xxx

Burp and Slurp~! said...

it IS a freaking tough battle...it's so hard to get rid of these rules and habits and ingrained thoughts that have been so integral in our lifestyle already! but we need to continuously FIGHT and CHALLENGE them. there can be no change and victory without struggles...but the struggle and fight is worth it, because as you said, we earn a much BIGGER life rather than living like frogs in a well.
good luck in your fight and journey! I know you can do it, because you have realized the need and desire for a better life without ED.

Katie said...

I struggle with this a lot too. I suppose one thing that helps me is remembering that whilst leaving the anorexia behind doesn't guarantee me health and happiness, things will definitely only get worse if I carry on like this. Health problems accumulate, habits become even more ingrained and harder to leave behind, and every now and then being a 'functional anorexic' backfires when an unexpected crisis or health problem means that I have no physical or emotional reserves left to cope, and I end up in serious trouble. I am terrified of not just rejoining the world but inhabiting my head again without the numbness, but I suppose if we don't try, we won't know what we might be missing. Everything could go wrong, yeah - but everything could just as easily go...right! I think it's worth finding out, anyway.

Lexi said...

I can totally relate to this post, I have the same fear of facing reality. I do tend to run away from things when they aren't going my way as well.

I also relate to everything you said about "Breaking the habit" - It is SO SO hard.

I am here for you girl, this post was really inspirational. I want a bigger life too, and we can both have that!

Lots of love,
Lexi

ElleMigliore said...

Ellie,

I always look forward to reading your posts because you write in such a way that it reaches out to everyone with this problem, but who can't put it into words. You describe it and write so eloquently. You really should give yourself more credit because i truly believe writing is one of your strengths.. have you thought about that as a life direction?

In regards to your post, once again you have hit the nail on the head! I can completely relate, as can most, and also struggle with the worry that if i'm not "sick" how will people know i need help? We dont wnat to feel that abandonment, which maybe is where a lot of this stemmed from to begin with. Maybe we just need to stop thinking so much and start living.. so much easier said than done.

Maybe a good challenge would be, instead of a food challenge, to do the opposite of a "skinny jeans" challenge. Everyone always wants to lose weight to fit in their skinny jeans so maybe we should buy some amazingly cute pants that are just a bit too big and we will know we have conquered another goal and fear when we are able to fit into them without them falling off us.. Just a thought.

Also, i'm so sad for you that you dont have a whole foods! PLEASE tell me if there is ever something from there you're craving and i'll drop it in the mail!! What country do you live in??

Happy Saturday. Have a wonderful weekend

Pammy said...

I can completely relate to this post. Recovery is tough but I have complete faith in you that you can do it. Everytime you face a challenge or ignore Ed's voice you are taking a step towards recovery and making yourself stronger. Keep up all the hard work you are doing.

Peace and love
Pam

Cacti Don't Cry said...

"Remaining in my anorexic body is, in a way, how I can communicate and say, "I'm not doing so well"."

EXACTLY the way I look at it!! (Well, that combined with the part where I don't actually think I have an "anorexic body," but whatever, total side point.)

But ... If you're trying to communicate that you're not doing so well, would you really be any more unhappy if you were healthier?? You know what "they" say -- "You can always go back." (Not the best way to look at it, admittedly!!)