Step 5… A Step Back In Time.


How does someone get so low? How can a woman get into such a state? It all began when I was 8-years-old. I was a healthy child with chubby, rosy cheeks. I was always bigger than my older sister was and I was strong with my weight. Then I had Colitis. I still to this day do not know what Colitis is, exactly, other than I was very ill for two months. Weight dropped off me dramatically and all family members mentioned it often. When I recovered, I felt the weight gain. I felt my arms wobble, my legs wobbled and my jeans rubbed. I was just 8-years-old and my body made me feel sick. The feeling of that wobble has stuck with me for 19 years. I fear it. I hate it. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, it is not a vanity issue, but a sensory issue. I do not know if this is the case with others who fight these demons.
I was not a ‘girly-girl’ in the slightest. I was always competing with the lads. I was a member of the football team and the second fastest runner over-all in my school. I always wanted to be more like the boys than the girls. I compared scars, raced my BMX and jumped in muddy ponds collecting frogs. I have not changed much. My partner is my best friend. We play football together, climb mountains, race around in cars and swap hoodies. He is my soul mate.
My Dad has always teased me with the nickname ‘Annie’, short for anorexic. Not in a cruel way. My family have always commented on my weight as a compliment. However, not everybody comments with the same sincerity. I have never understood how commenting on a person’s weight is a compliment. Neither have I understood how people who say that skinny girls are unattractive do not ‘get’ how hurtful and damaging that can be. I CANNOT gain weight for the fear of suicide. For me, putting on weight is as difficult as a bigger person losing weight, if not, harder.
As much as I live for my son, pregnancy was a nightmare. The body-change was far too much. After my son was born, I was still 9st 6oz. I was young and I had no idea that my figure would change so significantly. I worked out for 6 hours everyday until I could fit into a size 10. Within 6 months, I was 8st.
Now, I am a size 6 in clothes, so why on earth do I feel so heavy, so lethargic, and so bloody huge? I have tried and tried, but I cannot lose any more weight. My stomach aches for food. My head hurts from crying. 19 long, unhappy years. As I am aging, my body seems hungrier more often. It is getting harder to live off so little. I have promised to try to stop making myself vomit. If I could lose just 7lb more and maintain that weight then I could be happier… Maybe…


Step 4… A Long Wait.


I have had a better day today. I am still laid up with flu, but I have had a clearer mind and I have not thought so much about things that normally bring me down. I thought this may be a better time to post as I am usually quite upset when I am writing.

I still have not spoken to anybody about me running away from the dietician. I feel ok about that. It has given me time for things to ‘sink in’ a little. My biggest worry is that if I was speechless on Friday, how am I going to manage to talk about my problems to the Psychologist. I have qualifications in Counselling and I have had sessions with Psychiatrists in the past, but I do not know if Psychology involves the same methods. I also only attended my Psychiatrist appointments twice so I do not know what the outcome would be. Do they do the talking. Does it involve hypnosis? Will it be as painful every time, to have to un-open those wounds all over again and expose my deepest darkest secrets to a complete stranger?

I have not eaten properly for days. So far, if anything, all this waiting is making things worse. Sometimes I catch myself wondering if I need to lose more weight to be taken seriously. The worry is affecting my appetite mostly.

I will post more when I calm down. I have worked myself up a little.

 


Step 3… The Brick Wall.


I have given yesterday a lot of thought. I have not spoken to anybody but my mind has not stopped screaming for a second. I have so many new worries. My appointment is Tuesday. It is Friday already. When I left the hospital yesterday, I felt hurt for not getting the help that I was praying for. I was clearly imagining my appointment to be with a Fairy Godmother, a magic wand and a wish. The last thing that I was expecting was to be told that I had been directed down the wrong path. Another brick wall!

I am worried that on Tuesday, I have to start all over again. I have to answer the same questions, tell the same stories and believe the same bullshit about how there is help out there for me. I am beginning to believe that I will be let down much more over the coming months; Nothing is ever simple and straight forward; not when it comes to me.

I imagine this weekend is going to last forever. I do not want to think anymore. I would give anything to get away for a day. I would give anything to sleep until Tuesday morning, or even better… Wednesday!

My heart tells me that I cannot turn back; to keep on keeping on and to get the support that I need. My head tells me different. The voices scream loudly, “STUPID!”

So, that is all I can add at the moment. That is as long as I can hold my concentration. I guess the brick wall is staying put… For now.

 


Step2… Denial.


I do not know what went wrong. I was sitting in the waiting area, laughing at my partner’s lame impersonation of the very mean looking Physiotherapist that was stomping through the ward one minute, and the next, I sat in the Dietitian’s office unable to speak more than three words. She was a lovely woman, Irish and very kind.

She asked what brings me to see her. I had no idea that she was going to ask that question. I thought she would have been told with my referral. I am still not sure if she was unaware of the reasons for my appointment. I opened my mouth to reply, but no words came out, just unrecognisable, unhelpful noises.

You see, my secret worry is that I do not believe that I am thin. I think I am average weight for my petite stature, so, how can I look a Doctor in the eye and ask for help for a problem that I do not believe that I have. That makes sense in my head, but like most of my thoughts, it sounds like a load of head-work when someone echoes it back to me. My problem, to me, is not my weight. I could weigh two stone and still have the voices of echololia which chant and bully my mind,

She worked out what it was that I was trying to say, somehow, and explained that the reason I was referred was to be guided into a healthy diet to gain weight. I knew it! It was everything I dreaded. I sat, speechless for a moment. She looked into my eyes and told me that she does not think I am ready and that I need to see a Psychologist before a dietitian. She asked if I would be happier that way and with a reassuring but un-keep-able promise, I legged it.

My appointment with the psychologist is in five days time. I dread that most of all.

 


Step 1… Exposed.


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…

 


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