Today marks exactly 1 year since my admission onto the high dependency unit for Anorexia Nervosa.
I still remember my Mum getting the phone call that night. The phone call when she realised everything was not what I described as ‘fine’. The tears that flooded her eyes, drowning any kind of hope. A barrier of twisted lies Anorexia had weaved. ‘I’ve eaten…I’m not hungry…NO I haven’t lost weight’ She blamed herself…
“What kind of a Mum am I not to have realised my daughter is dying in front of me?”
I suppose its something you here about it, but never believe would ever happen to you.
Two days in hospital; I watched my family and closest friends powerless to Anorexia’s force. My Nan crying at my bed physically shaking with fear whilst my nurses worried about me slipping away. My closest friends leaving the ward in tears, sent away to protect them from my distressed state. I watched as though an outsider. It was no longer me.
I felt I was taking up a valuable bed. Undeserving of help. I screamed, shouted and locked myself in the bathroom till the door was broken down. I ran away from the ward, refused to make eye contact and at points just hid my face.
My family was separated by an untouched plate watching as I dug my grave with the knife and fork.
I am ever grateful to some of the staff on that ward who understood I just desperately needed help. At the time I didn’t always come across well, but it was my fear. I felt out of control and that was a scary aspect. I said and did things that never before in my life have I done. I wanted to push those that cared further away from me. I wanted them to give up, ‘I was a case not worth saving’.
Yes, I needed more intensive treatment than just two weeks in general but looking back I can’t change what happened. Recovering from an Eating Disorder to me means more than just eating… it means learning to cope without the thing that gives a false sense of control. It means learning how to feel again after numbing your emotions for so long, accepting how you feel and holding them feelings for a while without using unhealthy methods to distract yourself. It means facing whats really going on and remembering that too shall pass…
There’s a huge fear that recovery means letting go of the comfort zone the Eating Disorder once provided and forgiving ourselves and others, learning we are both worthy and deserving enough to heal. It’s about learning to accept who you are without your eating disorder.
I have been in recovery for a while now, but I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere near fully recovered. I have times I want to give up fearing I’ve lost control but I suppose you have to continue to choose recovery at every meal time…
The comfort knowing tonight I can sleep in my own bed without a heart rate monitor bleeping all night long, being shaken constantly to make sure I’m still breathing whilst on 24 hour one to one. Not many understand what it’s like to be watched in the toilet with “high risk” of collapse, having to be held up by nurses and family too weak to walk.
Mentally I’m still struggling, not everything’s perfect and my family don’t always have it easy with me. I carry my Eating Disorder on my back daily, sometimes it weighs me down more than others but now I know no matter how tough it gets I have the support around me and the tools I need to fight it.
Recovery is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.