I am facing demons… or should I say ‘battling’ demons… and it has come to a point of all or nothing. You see, I have battled these demons all of my life. They come in E numbers and calories and they declared war on my thoughts before I was old enough to tell them to Fuck Off.
Let me take a guess at what you are thinking after reading that. Vanity? Well, you would be wrong. I can put my hand on my heart and assure you that I have no want to be attractive. I am not painted orange and smelling of burnt chicken, I do not have bleach blonde hair, I could not care less if I break a nail and do not tot around with a face full of make-up and a nose full of powder. It is far deeper than the stories in the magazines about celebrities having to be painfully thin to get noticed on the catwalk. It is far deeper than a teenager sat in her bedroom thinking she has to look like Cheryl Tweedy for the lads to look her way. It is far deeper than wanting to fit into a size 8 dress for the Christmas party. Sometimes I really wish it was about any of those issues. Then I would not feel as alone and peculiar. I would give anything to wear a short sleeve t-shirt or a strapless dress. In fact I would give anything to wear anything other than a thick, black, baggy jumper.
I am 27 years old and I am 6 1/2 stone. I have an 11-year-old son and I wear 12-year old’s clothes, yet, I cannot bear to undress, bathing sends my into terrible panic attacks, I cannot leave the house, I have binned all my clothes because I am too frightened of trying them on and my lung has collapsed due to my weight and dietary issues.
6 weeks ago, hospital appointment number 14, was the day I admitted I may have a problem. I have a terrible fear of weighing scales. The Doctor looked into my eyes and brought me to tears. The hospital staff have tried to get me to talk for two years. I have confided in concerned friends in the past, but other than with my partner who accepts me for who I am, I have never discussed ‘it’ in detail. It has always been a very private matter.
He referred me to the Mental Health Unit and Dietitian and I left with a prescription for antidepressants,
Mental Health Unit?
My appointment was painful. My wounds were un-stitched and exposed. Each bruised was prodded. My heart bled rivers. The woman who asked the questions was half my size. I kept thinking “I bet she thinks I am pathetic. The fat on my thigh weighs more than her. She thinks I am wasting her time. Why am I here? I need a good fucking diet, not a shrink!!!”.
After one hour of integrity, I gained a counsellor, a psychologist, an open invitation to the next eating disorder group and stronger antidepressants than the last ones. To say I am tired now would be an understatement. My thoughts have been analyzed enough for one lifetime. How on earth am I going to get through so many appointments with so many people, having to tell them each dirty little detail about problems which I would rather not have to discuss ever, ever, ever again??? I feel unclean knowing what people, who would not ever talk to me if it was not their job to, know about me. They must think that I am some sort of circus freak.
Tomorrow morning, which is in about 4 hours time, I have my first appointment with the dietitian. I have had to record everything that I have had to eat and drink for the last three days, including time consumed, brand names and quantities. My partner has been making sure that I do not cheat. I had no idea that I eat so little. In three days, I have eaten 4 pieces of toast, half a cup of white rice and a jam scone and I have drunk 12 cups of coffee. I really, really do not want the morning to come.
It is 5:25am and I have not even been able to close my eyes for a second’s sleep. I am so petrified of having to stand on the weighing scales, that I vomited earlier. My father, out of worry, has always threatened to sign me in if I do not eat. My Mother and Father are only just finding out that there is a name for my problem, but I have caused them years of heartache. That threat is why I cannot sleep. I cannot even begin to tell you how horrified I am of being force-fed through a drip.
It is the first step into a land where my nightmares chase me and my past bites hard. It is the first step at rock bottom… but they lead upwards…