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.


  1. Been there. More than once. Do you have family support?

  2. HI LOVE - you are amazingly strong. Keep on going, one morsel at a time. It is good that the cottage in the woods is still safe. Speaks volumes to the relationship you have allowed to develop. :-)
    I am loving you from here

  3. Anonymous - Hi. Thanks for stopping by and asking such an important question.
    I consider myself more blessed than I can ever express to have such incredibly supportive and kind parents. They have showed more kindness, understanding and encouragement than I deserve.
    You've been where I am..? Did you get out?

    Gail - Thank you. I feel a long way from 'strong' though...
    Thank you for your words about the cottage in the woods. The relationship which dwells there is less frightening than it has been and I trust more.

  4. My heart goes out to you my friend. Sending you encouragement and love.

  5. Hey WS. your description of the woman in the woods makes me smile. I'm so glad she's there....a comfort in everything you've gone through and are going through. Stay strong.

  6. I got out. For a bit. And then not so much. And then out again. But I never went back to that moribund 32 kgs youre teethering at. Please don't give up.

  7. Wanda - Thank you so much, and... it's mutual.

    Sarah - I'm glad it made you smile! :)

    Anon - I'm not giving up. I'm so determined to beat it. It's just so bloody hard when it tears you in half. I understand now that recovery is a long process, often involving relapses. I hope that you are doing well yourself now. Thanks for your words here.

  8. I completely understand what you are going through. I actually created a blog just after reading yours! You seem like a very intelligent, lovable, kind and sweet person. And an amazing writer :)
    I've been struggling with depression and anxiety since I was 9, when my sister got ill with anorexia nervosa. It ripped her, me, and my parents to pieces. She was very, very close to death, and I had doubted (100% of the time) that she would ever get better. She was hollow inside, unlike the usual sweet, generous, adorably bubbly and intelligent sister I had been used to. Keep faith, though, hun. Simone did. And now she's a very healthy 18 year old who is now attending university! Though she does still struggle, she has transformed from a self-consious 13 year old into a remarkable young woman. I'm fourteen now, and i've changed a lot too. If it wasn't for my sister and my family, I would be most-likely be very sick too. I've always struggled with anxiety, phobias and bullying, and in grade 6 I witnessed a girl (AKA bully) vomit in the classroom. The problem is, I have a very bad phobia of vomit. I have all my life, but it worsened when Simone was ill. I got an anxiety disorder (i'd already had one, but this one affected a new area in my life) and stopped eating, because I was petrified of throwing up. I always felt like I was sick. I became phobic of crowds and small rooms. I still am. I had lost over 20 pounds, and I couldn't eat. I just couldn't. Then I began to critique the way I looked. At first I told myself that my thoughts were just harmless, but I knew they weren't. Every morning i'd wake up and see my sister with ...that monster eating her from the inside, and I knew I wouldn't let myself end up the same way. So bit by bit, I force the food down my throat. Even when I don't want to. I close my eyes, clear my mind, and swallow. Im also a wrestler, so having a little bit of meat isn't too bad either ;D I still have to fight suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks, and a whole lot of other stuff, but I know now that living life is worth the fight. Even if you have to fight every day. I recently took control of my own life and switched to homeschooling. I am SO much happier. I can't even describe it in words. The thing is, everyone at school, mostly the girls, don't understand 'the monster.' So this battle I had to fight with only a couple of friends-----> my real ones. Most of them were, ironically, guys, who didn't even know why I was so depressed. But they supported me anyway. I feel for you, I really do. You are a role model to me.
    Think of me and all of the other people who look up to you with each bite. Think of the 14 year old girl who is 5'11, weighs 130 pounds, and still thinks she's beautiful. I think you're beautiful too. Even though I can't see your face, I know you're beautiful. On the inside, and the outside. Keep fighting. Every day is a new beginning. <3 :)

  9. Snoodle - This is one of the most touching comments I've ever read and it's so late at night that I'm too tired to write the reply it truely deserves.
    I recognise a maturity in your writing that belies your years, no doubt born of early suffering and loss. You express yourself beautifully and I understand very much where YOU are coming from.
    Thank you and bless you for your visit here and for your uplifting words. I'm so glad you have been inspired to begin your own blog journey in order to make sense of the path that has helped shape you so far.
    Take gentle care as you step forwards.

  10. Thank you so much. I don't even know what to say. Your comment brought real tears to my eyes. I've reached out to so many people at my old school, but they all just pushed me away, as if they were afraid of my seeing their real personna, and they were afraid of themselves. It's too hard for me to see people block themselves off like that, and hurt so much behind their walls, because that is exactly what Simone and I struggle with. You truly are amazing, God Bless You. I know how hard it is to speak when you yourself have trouble recognizing your own words. But rest assure, others will listen, like me to you and you to me. At school, I'd become depressed because my poor hurting peers wouldn't and couldn't listen to me, but I knew that sometime, somewhere out there, someone would. So I keep my thoughts and hurt and inspiration, and I bottle them up into songs, where I can let them go but not forget about them. I am hoping to post some of my songs onto my new blog where others can listen and sing with me. You are my inspiration, and rest assure many future songs of mine will be written and dedicated to you. Again, God Bless You and your well-being, you are healing beautifully, and you always will.