It was while being sat in a cafe being faced with a cup of tea (with milk in it) that it really snapped in my brain just how much of an irrational place I’d got to with regards to ‘recovery.’
I’ve been living with this disease, anorexia now since I was eight years on and off with relapses in between. Yet, here I am, six months into recovery after my last relapse and I’m freaked out about a bloomin’ cup of tea with a drop of milk in that I’d usually have black. What even is that?!
Coincidentally, it’s not just any situation. I’m sat opposite my First Steps ICS support worker, the lady who somehow week in week out sits opposite and gives me this magical oomph to get a Fortijuice down, when usually I’d want to shove it in the bin or not bother. I know, before you go on with that judgemental ‘I’m not impressed face’…that’s not realistic, is it?
To not eat and to not get the sustenance in me isn’t sustainable.
That would be silly and mean that I was back in hospital on the dreaded inpatient unit or severely poorly fighting for my health on a normal ward with an infection that I’d contracted.
Recovery. We all aspire to get to it. We are all encouraged to work for it. It’s what we want secretly even when our anorexia voices decide to have a screaming dicky fit at us and tell us that we don’t. Living with the demons taking control is no life. No matter how much we kid ourselves. Yes, comforting for a while maybe when we want to hide, but is it nice?! Nope. Not at all.
It was a comment that my worker said to me about the fact that when I got to an old lady (which at this rate I’d be lucky to reach anyway, the amount of torment and torture I’ve continually put my body through); would I really look back at my life and think about how I wish I’d weighed a few pounds lighter or a stone heavier?
Anorexia tells me that it’s important and that yes, I need to find an answer to stick up for this. However, the reality is that no. I would not worry about this in the slightest. My life isn’t valued by how much I weigh, what the measurement of my waist is or whether I look like a ‘respectable woman’ or not. Reality is that I should aspire to be healthy and live with nothing more but that and the comfort of being able to enjoy my life as much as I can without restrictions and rules.
I’m not saying that we should all go out there and be anarchists or some crazy-assed man or woman and not conform to the law. However, what I do mean is that we all deserve to live a life that isn’t bombarded with rules. With social media telling us that the apple shape or pear shape should only be fit for certain men or women. That if you don’t fit into Topshop’s size 8 jeans and need to creep into a 10, then you’re fat or you need to get down to the gym or eat less sugar or treat yourself less. That there are ‘good foods’ and ‘bad food’s and that we shouldn’t be consuming as much sugar and fat.
None of this is true. We all need rules but in a healthy way and to keep this world ticking on over. We can all be whatever size we naturally are and we should be able to embrace that. If you don’t fit into a size 8 jeans in Topshop, then so what?! Go to New Look or a vintage shop and chances are their size 8’s or 10’s are very different in style and shape anyway. Nobodyneeds to go to the gym. Yes, exercise is great, but go for a walk and bloomin’ well enjoy it rather than putting pressure on yourself. It’s not worth it and hell, if you want to have a day lying in bed watching TV, then DO IT! As for foods…my god. Eat them, eat it all in moderation and as long as overall you’re keeping balanced than what does it matter?! Eat the sweets, have some chocolate, just keep the veggies and protein in there as well.
I can, of course, sit here and type this knowing that every word on this page is true. However, I understand that implementing such a thought pattern is a lot more complicated for us that suffer from an eating disorder. It’s not easy in the slightest to conform to. We can tell ourselves this every day, yet there will still be the days where our voices win and when the fight feels too much to cope with.
I don’t know you. I am not you. But what I can tell you is this…You are worth recovery. You are worth the fight and nobody deserves to be determined and ruled by these unhealthy mannerisms and coping strategies for the rest of life. Why? Because living like this and by thissimply is NO life. You are human. You deserve love, appreciation and self-worth. Nobody is perfect I get that, but at least give yourself that chance to strive that bit further into living the most wonderful life that you can.
Stop giving in. Stop restricting. Stop binging. Stop thinking you aren’t worth it because you are! You are beautiful and no matter what your mind or the rest of the world feeds into it, it’s not true. You are amazing because you are YOU!
LMFC (Little Miss Fighter Chops)