I used to believe that if I was skinny then I would finally feel whole and happy. That I would be loved. Only when I reach perfection then I would deserve to be loved.
I could not be more wrong.
When I turned 27, a year ago, I finally decided to not diet again. My health does not require it even though I am slightly overweight. I want it to happen naturally because when food is my focus I lose sight of life. Food is my drug and unlike other types of drugs, I have to learn to co-exist with it.
So no more diet. No more trendy detox. No more fad diet and not just this summer but forever, I hope. I am healing my relationship with food.
I feel a little sad today and angry. Angry at my mother. She was completely hiatus over easter. I called twice and landed on voicemail. She called me yesterday and said she had been travelling. I understand that but couldn’t you send a text. She is over 70 and I worry. I worry sick about her. I am also angry because once again for the thousandth times my mother is not caring. I know that about her now, still it is difficult to accept. Difficult because it is sad and I feel as if time is running out.
I do my part, I call. Avoid talking about her work, which is her love and obsession. Then I usually hang up the phone with a heavy heart. I wish it could change but it won’t. I have expressed myself to her for my sake but to no avail. People don’t change.
Last night, I did what I wanted. I did not binge or fall into an unhealthy habit. Yet, I knew something was going on. A feeling was there but I wanted to turn away. It was anger and sadness. I don’t like when anger visits because it makes me feel guilty. Guilty that I am mad at my mother for being who she is. I felt guilty until I realised that I am entitled to feel angry. That was this morning. I have been going through this since my arrival on the earth. My mother never expressed her love even when i needed it. That is who she is. I let my anger bottle up and now it wants a way out.
So there you have it. Mother I love you but oh Gosh am I pissed at you !
If only I could tell it to just leave. Leave forever and never come back. Don’t linger here thinking you will get a hold of me again.
This morning I had to get my yearly referral for my psychologist. New GP. So I had to explain my story all over again. Where do I even start? When I was 14/15 bla bla bla bla.
Of course she has my file but I still have to explain. So the waterworks started. Memories are back. Feelings are here. I am 28 now and I still cry when I have to re-open the wound of my eating disorder. Quite frankly, I want it gone. Everyday I struggle. When I make it to bed without having restricted, purged or binged. It is my victory.
Lately there have been more victories. I love that. I love my life and I am liking myself. Hey ! I am not all that bad.
I am here to vent. I need to vent. I need to tell eating disorder voices to go away. Leave ! you have no audience in my head and there is no space left for you in my life.
You all know it is not as simple as that. Even so, today I am victorious again.
Since my loss of control I have made every effort for it to count for something. I let myself feel. I try every day to lessen the disconnection between my mind and my body. When I feel whole, I am content. At peace inside. Though I look fat and weigh too much for my frame. I do not feel fat. I just accept what has become of me. Telling myself it is only temporary and the priority now is to have a healthier mind.
Working towards a healthier mind. Feeling, sitting with my emotions and letting thoughts and fears be just that is exhausting. It consumes my energy sometimes but it seems to be necessary. When I do I need not to run to comfort and escape. I don’t need to be numbed.
I wish I had the ability and sense to face reality: pain, joy, sadness, stress in a stable way. I wish I never pushed them and locked them in a box inside me. At least I have learned the lesson now. It seems endless at the moment. I fear I will never get out of it. I will be obese again. I will keep drowning.
Battling not to escape or be dictated by new and unresolved emotions everyday has been tumultuous and unsettling. I am constantly training my mind not to give into my addiction and when it drifts towards food, I have to pull it back to the present. When I don’t. I binge.
I am sure many of you have experienced this before. I admire you for powering through it because today I wish I could seal the can of worms tight. So tight it will never pop open again. But I know the mature and healthier way is to deal with it. So today I choose to deal even with the sliver of energy I have left.
I thought i started the week fine until i binged again last night. Here is post binge attempt at eating and not restricting
I did not have the strength to go through the details until now.
I had two good days.
Sat with my feelings when urges came around. It was a difficult and painful process. Undoubtedly worth it as my eating was in check. Food was simply an essential life accessory. I was not overeating or undereating .
Then I slipped and fell.
I was exhausted from all the self psychoanalysis. Caught in a moment of vulnerability, I binged.
I did not want to sulk in self-pity or shame for the rest of the week. So after overcoming my hesitations and embarrassment, I called my therapist. Seeking a little support, some clarity. We talked things over.
I am trying to focus on picking myself up. I had the willpower and strength before. I can do it again.
Strength ! I shall find you now.
A tiny victory however a few weeks ago I was in a state of constantly numbing myself with food. Completely escaping the responsibilities of dealing with my ghosts.
20 th of september about two months ago I fell out of control. My eating that is. I hate the word binge. But that is what it was. I put on 20 kg since. Unbelievable my trainer at the gym says. If only he knew the truth he would understand. I don’t tell. If I do, i’ll only feel exposed, judged. I know this because when I did long ago that is exactly how I felt. This is my struggle, a part of who I am that I want to change. Food will not enslave me.
Anyway yesterday I did not restrict or binge. It is always somehow easier during the day. At night is the worst. After an attempt at a balanced dinner. Rice, fish and cauliflower. I rummaged through my kitchen looking for a fix. I don’t keep food in my apartment anymore. At least not for now. Until i am a little stronger. Then I stopped. Couldn’t fall asleep. Started drawing. My back hurt. It was so painful. I knew it was all the feelings and anxiety calling out for attention. So instead of numbing it with food I gave it the attention it wanted. I felt lonely. Though i knew I wasn’t alone. Worthless. Wondering why the guys I met who seemed interested in me never wanted to spend more time with me. Was it because I wasn’t pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough? What was it? I then fell asleep listening to music.
I don’t have the answers to those question. I didn’t tell myself that I am better than that or beauty is within me. I just let it be. Too tired to self hate I fell asleep.
I know I have other qualities. Being the thinnest person in the room will not enhance them. My quest and desire for a perfect body is not a solution. I have to learn to be proud of myself sometimes.
Dad left this world about two years ago
He is amongst the angels
Here are words I wish I had said
Everyday I miss him
Good morning Dad
I decided to write letters to you even if you are gone. Let me first confess that I always wanted to write on your birthdays, father’s day, christmas and so many other days while you were alive. I bought cards, just for you. I still have them. Never sent them. Not because I do not love you, simply because we don’t really do that in our family. We never show emotions. When we do, we brush it off. Dismiss it. I have grown accustomed to that. I don’t know how you, mum, and brothers do it. It turns out that I am more emotional than I portray. I kept them in all these years. Sadness, happiness, anger, all kinds of feelings. Suppressed, jammed down, hidden deep down. What do you know. They want out. Always wanted a way out. I realise now that this is one cause of my addiction to food.
Just this morning I thought about flapjacks, starbucks cinnamon rolls and pumpkin spice lattes. Indulging myself, seeking comfort. Using the idea of going to a cafe to write and people watch as an excuse to eat. It’s a cold and grey morning. Truth is I would rather stay in bed than get up and sit at a cafe. I would just to satisfy my addiction. Instead. I stared at my exploding body in the mirror. I didn’t hate it. I missed my old body. The fit, thin one. These thoughts are once again an attempt to escape. When, the fact is that I missed you. My heart wanted to drift away from my brain. Old habits die hard. I learned from the past and instead of giving in. I stayed in my apartment to write this letter. I miss you everyday. It is not the food or the self-hate that creates this disconnection between my body and mind. The real thoughts and feelings were about you not the cakes, cookies or chocolates. They were about How one day you were here, still joking with me. Welcoming me when I arrived home. The next you were weak. So weak and tired. No one even noticed. I did. I mentioned it to Daniel, brother who loves you so much. You died in his arms, I wish they were mine. He said it was the medicine that caused your fatigue. We should not have travelled that day. I wish I listened to my gut feeling and insisted on taking you to the hospital. I cannot turn back time now. Mum says it was your time to go. To leave this world. Even if we took you earlier to the hospital you would have left us anyway. She says what God does is right. We just have to accept it. But did God ever thought about how your absence would be so painful. Dad I miss you. May be mum is right, we all die some day right. I just wish I had gone first if it hurts this much.
Dad I don’t want to binge anymore. I don’t want to abuse my body anymore. It is tired and so is my mind.