Saturday 4 April 2015

‘The voice' that holds you back.

Why is recovery not as attractive as most people may think it is...?

Before I begin to explain why I think recovery might not feel such a glorious option to most ED sufferers, I want to tell you that I am for pro-recovery. I do believe that there is freedom and life beyond an Eating Disorder. And let's be honest here, having an Eating Disorder is not life at all!

I have suffered from anorexia for the first twenty four years of my life. Anorexia was there even when it did not control my eating style. I remember having a voice in my head telling me that I was never good enough and I was unlovable. I was only about 8 years old when I harmed myself  for the first time, because I felt that I deserved to be punished for not being good enough.( Despite of being best at everything that I have ever did at school or sport or whatever else ). And I never had weight issues. On the contrary, I had always been teased for being too thin...I even had a nickname: ‘bones’. Despite of my nick name I ate like a ‘horse’ it was a mystery why I was so skinny...Who would have thought that just by being tense and unhappy inside can burn up so much calories......! All that self hatred.....
At the age of 15, those self hating thoughts became actions. I would regularly commit self harm and starve myself as the "voice" inside my head told me that I did not deserve to eat. 
It seemed that my mission was, to prove that I am not good enough! I gradually begun to fulfil all those thoughts and ideas that I had about myself. Some of my grades dropped, my relationship with my first "real" boyfriend became messy....I became messy. I guess being a perfectionist served anorexia well, as I wanted to obey it perfectly and I wanted to prove that I was good for nothing. 
As I got deeper and deeper into destroying myself, I also got further from my dream to solve my parent's problems (finance and relationship) and to become a doctor.
And when it finally became clear that I could not save my parents from their financial difficulty, ‘the voice’ told me that it was the very proof, (right in front of me) that I am good for nothing and deserve nothing but pain. 
Believe me, starving is physically, emotionally and mentally painful. And crazy as it may sound, I thought the only way I could feel a tiny little "good " about myself was, when I followed ‘the voice’ in my head a hundred percent.

However, the real torment only just began when people got involved in my eating disorder world. Because, they wanted me to get better. ( Well, look better.) I felt I was being torn; because I wanted to be a perfect patient and a perfect person who follows 'the voices's orders. Often the conflict was too hard to bare that only hurting myself -physically- brought me some sense of relief. I often thought that the only way out was, to kill myself. But those thoughts about my self execution  filled me with guilt and shame....which then just pushed me to punish myself even harder.
Recovery meant one very obvious thing; I had to eat! It may seem a very simple task, but when you have your own personal "watchdog" living inside you, whom makes you accountable for every single bite, for every single gulp....well, then it is not as easy. I can still remember how my hands were shaking, literally, when I tried to put food into my mouth. 
My heart raced and the beating of it my ear was so loud that I could here nothing from the world around me. Sweat ran down my forehead and my clothes became damp. 
At the same time ‘the voice’ inside my head kept shouting at me: " What do you think you are doing?  What makes you think you deserve that? Look around yourself, you hurt everyone, you do nothing that is good, you achieve nothing and will never become anything. You do not deserve to eat.......You do not deserve to live!”

Just imagine for a moment to experience all this everyday with every single byte.... Would you be inspired to eat? Would you want to go through with all the physical and mental pain?

Recovery also meant that I had to face my past and my present situation, all that I have lost during the time that I let anorexia take away from me. I had to face and re-live some painful memories and experiences. I had to accept that all that 24 years will never come back and I will never have the chance to live it again. It was very painful to just think about what I have managed not to I let my dream of becoming a doctor being destroyed by anorexia. And ultimately, what all these meant for my future....What was I to become? Who was I? And who will I be without anorexia?

Recovery from anorexia was one of the hardest thing I have ever done.... It was scary, hard and often lonely. But nothing to compared to the loneliness living with anorexia. And it was 
worth it!

Nevertheless, I wanted to share this with you because I want those who have never been there, to get a glimpse of the inner world of somebody who is suffering, who is imprisoned by eating disorder. 
Because, we judge all to easily ( I even judged my own self) and we seem to think that with "willpower" anybody can break free. “ Why can’t you just snap out of it”, I have often heard people say to me. But there are so many reasons that can hold sufferers back from breaking matter how tormenting their life may became with the eating disorder.

Eating disorder is a very complex condition and there is so little and effective help available, but there is one thing that we can offer to those who suffer; love and compassion. With that there is hope that they may accept life and who they are and put up the fight with the illness.

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