None of us are free

Listening to: Frou Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires by Cocteau Twins.

It’s 5.08am. My stomach is empty and the diet Dr Pepper is making four days worth of heartburn worse. It’s become a toss-up between stomach pain or curbing my appetite, and so far the pain seems like the most sensible option.

See, restricting does strange things to your mind, especially when it comes to rational decisions. I may not have much confidence in my abilities or even respect myself much, but I know I’m not a stupid woman. I can dissect situations, and can think logically. Those have always been my greatest strengths, and though I’d never go so far as to say I’m proud – I don’t think I know how it feels to be proud of myself – it does offer me some comfort to know I at least have something I can do well. Right now though… logic simply doesn’t come into it.

I don’t know how long I’ve been avoiding food for now. Two weeks? It feels longer, especially when every breath brings a mouthful of acid up my throat. Strangely, I’m not dreaming of cake and chocolate. If anything, I’m just not hungry anymore. Or rather I am, but it isn’t registering as anything other than a pleasant sensation of emptiness.  This is what worries me – and worrying about my eating habits is a new feeling – because I recognise that pleasure. That feeling of being on a higher plane because your stomach is empty. Pure. Unspoiled. The only uncomplicated thing in your life. The only thing you have complete control over.

I don’t understand why I can’t bring myself to speak to S about all this. I still haven’t said a single word to him, even though I promised to when the anxiety was kicking off. I know it sounds like an excuse, but there honestly hasn’t been a suitable time to bring it up. “Hey by the way, you know how I used to be anorexic? And bulimic? Well, I’m aiming for like, 300 calories a day and pretending it’s the answer to all my problems. Want a brew?” doesn’t exactly go down well when everything between us is perfect and happy. I don’t want to taint the relationship by bringing up my failings.

I’m beginning to think I’ll never escape from ED. Never.

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  1. least you have a boyfriend. having only your parents as a support outlet is enough to slit your wrists (not that I would, I have an aversion to suicide) but you get the idea. I’m glad you’re putting stuff out, I was worried about you. When my best friend writes poetry I KNOW something is wrong she’s just not ready to talk about it and I think you’re in the same boat. Old poetry still rings true for the present. Good luck, trust in your boyfriend. That’s why you moved in with him right?


    • Oh, I’m so aware I’m lucky to have him. I’ve had to do this alone so many times – and as you say, only having the support of parents can be an utter nightmare – and the difference S makes is that I don’t want to get sick, because it’ll hurt him.

      I does seem easier to post old poetry when things aren’t going well; perhaps because I can identify with many of those feelings again.

      We haven’t moved in together yet – it’ll be a few weeks before we get the keys – but yeah. You’re right. I trust him, and that’s why I can’t understand my reluctance to speak to him. I trust him implicitly.


  2. Love from me on a pretty Maine morning — I want to say something about what you do right that you don’t take credit for; your ability to survive the extreme emotional waves which accompany mental health problems. I am concerned, of course, of looming anorexia — I only have a weird little connection, concerning not taking insulin to lose weight. But one thing — Please remember that, although it feels like you are in control, the inevitable upshot of this is you in the hospital, having no control over anything. Please know that my heart is with you.


  3. I’m really sorry to hear you struggling like this. EDs are strong and powerful things, and I know myself how quickly old ways creep uback in…

    . Two weeks is a long time and it makes me worry for you. Would you consider speaking to your doctor? If not, keep blogging and feel free to drop me a line in the (unlikely) event that I can help.

    Hugs xx


  4. Honestly? I don’t want to speak to my doctor, purely because it would mean yet more referrals and waiting. I know that sounds like an excuse, but I don’t think I could cope with speaking to yet another doctor right now.

    Thank you; I really appreciate the offer of help. And just… the kindness. Really. I’m not used to kindness when it comes to ED’s.



  5. Hey there,
    I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time. I too know the feeling of a pleasant emptiness. It’s a real step forward that you are aware you’re in the ED space. This is what I do when I need to start eating again. I make a commitment to myself to take two to three bites of something (anything) every hour, and I stock up on healthy, high calorie liquids. Milk shakes, V-8 juice, even the meal supplement drinks for the elderly and the young… and drink as many calories as possible. After a day or two my appetite will return. When you are eating better, it may be easier to talk to your man about the issues. Awareness is everything, this is hopefully just a speed bump.


    • Thanks much Cyndy; I have a lot of Slimfast hanging around so even though it’s low-fat, I do have drinkable calories around, and at least it has vitamins. That’s what I’m worried about most; not getting enough nutrients. I’m glad you realise when you have to start eating again – that takes a lot of self-awareness – and thanks very much for the advice. I’ll certainly take it on board, if I can face digesting anything.


  6. On a completely different tangent — in many cultures & traditions, fasting (in your case, inadvertant) has been a means of making a ‘space’ between Previous Life & New Life. A spiritual DMZ, in a way. Think: Lent, Ramadan ….. It’s a cleansing, a purification — which you alluded to feeling.

    So, BraveGal — what is it that you could be Leaving Behind, & what is it you could be Inviting In??


  7. If you’re not eating, and you’re having acid problems, I have a horrible feeling that the acid is just going to get worse and your stomach will quietly (or not so quietly) digest itself. Can you face drinking some milk? It doesn’t have to be full-fat, skimmed is fine, just so that you put something into your stomach to calm it down a bit and make you less uncomfortable. As for telling S, he’s probably already aware something’s wrong and is worrying, so you might be doing both of you a favour by telling him what’s going on. And you don’t have to give him full details, you don’t have to mention the “a” word, just say that you’ve been struggling to eat. He’s smart and will make the connection without you having to say any big scary words.

    *sending love & hugs*


    • *many, many hugs back*

      I’m taking Lansoprazole, which neutralises the acid. I don’t know if it’s doing such a great job at the moment though, but there’s room to up the dose. I may do that. I’m drinking fine, it’s just solid food; so there’s something in there at least. I am eating, just not much; I had a baked potato with baked beans yesterday, ate about half of it. I’m eating something every day.

      Still. It hurts. And you’re probably right.


      • What if I said the word “soup”? (Meaning a chunky soup that’s perhaps a little nearer a stew but is still pretty liquid-y.) I saw you comment to someone else above about having the slim-fast shakes, which is definitely a good idea in terms of making sure you get some nutrients, and reassuring to read. Another thought, if you want to sneak calories in without telling yourself, is to mix ice-cream into the milkshakes.

        I have to go pray – it’s nearly time for me to be in Chapel, so I’ll just go a bit earlier and spend some minutes asking God to look out for you. (Doesn’t matter if you don’t belive in Him, He still believes in you. And I only use “He/Him” because “She/Her” doesn’t sound any better.)


  8. Little bites…one or need to help block some of the acid your stomach is producing – for that alone will make you feel even less in control and back at the doctor..Your tummy is talking to you sweetheart..


  9. You might want to hide your failings from S, because you think it’ll hurt him to know you are/were anorexic, but don’t you think it’ll hurt him more if something happens to you as a result of this and he begins to feel that you didn’t trust him enough to tell him about it?

    Perhaps his knowledge of your ED will speed up your recovery. Perhaps.
    It is at any rate better than suffering alone and thinking things and killing yourself from inside.

    Hug. Take care of yourself.


  10. I don’t know how you make it through the things that you do. I’ve got my own list of problems, but you just seem so much stronger.

    I know you may not feel that way sometimes, but you are an inspiration to some of us that deal with our own issues.


  11. I’ve been following your blog for a while now. I found it after I had gotten my diagnosis of BPD and through it found that for the first time in my life I wasn’t the “only” one, I wasn’t alone. That has meant so much to me. Often I’ll be reading what you’ve written and be startled when I remember that I’m not the one who wrote it – that’s how perfectly your writing describes how I feel, even when I don’t have the words for it myself. Your courage and honesty have so helped and amazed me – and I know you have like a-bajillion awards but I can’t not include you as one of my 10 nominations for the Sunshine Award. It wouldn’t be right after all that I’ve gained from you.

    Cheers <3


  12. Hello my blogging friend

    My comp has been off line intermittently and is still a bit wonky – have to take the phone of the hook to make a connection. So it is just now that I have read your post.

    Sorry to hear that you are experiencing ED ‘ishoos’ – and it is really good that you are aware of this and are having a little battle with yourself too regarding it?

    I have read your two previous posts and it struck me that perhaps you are (secretly) afraid of the commitment of moving in with S? Commitment is probably the wrong word; perhaps you fear that when you give your all to S that you may be hurt again and that he might leave you as did your ex-fiancé?

    If so, you are carrying a big burden alone and in MHO I think you should share your fears with S – and I realise it is easy for me to say this and not so easy for you to do.

    You write: “I’m hoping a lot will change once S and live together. He grounds me. Keeps me balanced.” These are your gut instincts – believe in them, share with him, the longer you leave it the more difficult it will become to do and it will be a further angst on top of everything else.

    I accept that I might be completely wrong but nevertheless I do think about you! Also I would repeat WeeGee’s offer – email me if you wish.

    Millions and trillions of hugs!

    Anna :o]


  13. Stuff like this, you have to make time for.. Just say to S that you’re having some issues, and if he’s worth what I think he is, he’ll try to help you. Don’t be afraid to talk to him. If it ruins the relationship (which I highly doubt it will) then he wasn’t worth it. You’re worrying a lot of people. Please just ask S to have a talk with you..


  14. Hello there my friend. I’ve been missing you.
    Your post here is you communicating, you’re very good at it. This s person, I bet he/she thinks you’re good at it to — so do it, do the hard thing and have that conversation.
    Not eating is the easy part, saying the words… Writing the words… staying in the conversation even when it may be painful, that’s the hard part, that’s the brave part, that’s who you are my friend.


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