Thursday, 20 October 2011

A Post In Pieces

Again and again I stare into a murky pool of muddled metaphor and ill fitting adjectives in an attempt to find something powerful enough to describe the chaos of trying to recover from Anorexia Nervosa.
Plucking tangled fronds of slime gripped sentences that have no visible beginnings or ends... Dark words that, lifted lightwards, slide and slip heavily back into mud, resisting context and order.
Somewhere, there's a likeness between this 'independent' agony of being unable to adequately express the agony, and the quandary of being desperate to recover whilst being unable to physically complete the actions necessary for recovery to take place.
Re-feeding... This 'process' a mouth-less creature, starved to its skeleton, placed before a piece of fresh, tender meat. Driven mad by the hunger, its endless pacing surrounds the meal, carving circles in the earth.

I hold a license to eat but find my mouth has been stitched up.

Enough metaphors. 
I did warn you...

For those interested, these are the facts:

  • Although I'm not in the unit anymore, I attend fortnightly reviews / weigh ins with the head consultant, a fantastically dedicated man with whom I have a very good rapport. 
  • The aim is to move my weight up by following a strict meal plan. 
  • The consultant's recommendation is that I return to the unit. I steadfastly refuse to do this. If you had to sit in a circle and discuss how you feel about your weight day in, day out for over nineteen weeks, so would you.
  • I am managing to maintain a steady weight, although at 34.6kgs, it is still very low.
  • My current BMI is 14.1.
  • My ALT levels continue to be much higher than they should be. Doctors are monitoring it carefully. The nurse at my local surgery does weekly ECGs and takes enough of my blood for us to consider each other as friends. 
  • I had planned to return to work at the beginning of next half term. Occupational Health, my consultant and my bosses have told me this will not be possible.
Importantly, I continue to see The Woman. 
The little house in the woods is my safest place and she is a worn piece of warm, brown leather with all the woody comfort smells of autumn fog and fir and fires.
She has been the one constant in the chaos, and although my financial situation reduces my time with her to once a week, this feels plenty enough balm for a mind  addled from trying to win a battle which bleeds deeply, no matter which side wins.  

I keep reading my flashcards (see Recovery Resources page). 
The mantras are clear and loud at the start of each day but seem to wane as the hours pass. Towards the evening, I can barely hear a whisper.
It appears that the coherence and volume of these positive statements, corresponds with the amount of food I have inside me.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Declaration at Dusk.

Still the battle rages,
And though the field dark red,
Rather now the agony,
Than live already dead.

So 'til the foe is silent,
Ignoring pleas of aching limb,
Through soul's dark night of madness
My heavy sword shall swing.


I'm fighting so hard that the mental exhaustion of the constant clash of thoughts, matches, even outweighs, the physical exhaustion of the eating disorder. 
At times, the swords swing so fast that I can't recognise whether it is me, or the Anorexia, who has won the round. 
Two things I know for sure: It hurts like hell 
it doesn't stop for a minute in any waking hour.