I am scared. I am anxious. I am living in a world of panic attacks; I often dissociate, seeing myself from outside of my body.
Since I started both trauma therapy and working with a specialist dietician life seems to have got harder and harder. Maybe this is inevitable, but it makes it hard to trust that doing the therapy and dealing with anorexia is a good idea. Why would I do things that have made me feel so much worse?
I don’t know what scares me more: letting go of anorexia or staying ill; moving on from my trauma and finally making peace with what I have lost, or not? In my mind I fear that if I let go I will shatter, feel everything and not be able to cope; I can barely cope as it is.
I wish that I could picture my life free from it all, so I had more of a reason to fight rather than leaning on the belief that it is possible. I need something concrete.
I find myself floating around in a weird floaty state of panic, unable to do anything while also unable to not be distracted all the time. I know that I need to give in and face it all and I know that the panic and anxiety come from the internal fight generated by me resisting what my mind and body need; I can sense it coming.
My body knows me better than I do in many ways and it is screaming at me to listen, but I still want the numbness. I think I need it. I do want to accept and move on from my past. I do want to regroup and rebuild; I definitely don’t want to spend the rest of my life living like I am now. It is the consequences and subsequent losses that make me grip on so tightly. That said my intellectual side knows that the losses are already in the past, I am already living with them but I haven’t let myself mourn. It is hard to grieve people who are still alive, no matter how badly they have treated you; the conditioning of loving them is not something I can just ignore despite being comfortable intellectually with the need to do so.
I need to grieve; I need to eat. Finally I have experienced some ‘fuck it’ moments where I have realised that I just can’t keep doing this to myself; I can’t keep starving. I am done and my body is taking over, it is demanding food and I am giving in. I tackle fear foods as well as eating more. In one day, I eat both bread with butter and jam as well as brownies and custard. I don’t know what to make of it though. Am I taking the steps into real recovery? Why does this scare me, why do I want to run from it? I think it is because I am heading into the unknown. Ill has been my normal for so long now, it is ingrained in me and I don’t know who I will be without it. This is the heart of the problem. Who will I be? It is terrifying.
At the same time though I know that I used to be happier and that I was fitter and stronger in the past when I was heavier. This should be enough. Chronic kidney failure should be enough. I wish I could say that they are and that those days of good eating were the catalyst for longer term change but they weren’t, or at least I haven’t been consistent. One step forward, two steps back.
I fear that if I give recovery and therapy all I have got, if I surrender to the process then everything will unravel: I will feel the fatigue that I deserve to; I will be exhausted mentally and physically and incapable of doing anything; I will be feel the pain of my past and I will end up a blubbering mess in bed. Or in hospital. This is terrifying. The loss of control petrifies me.
What sort of person will I be when (or if, as it feels like at the moment) I finish trauma therapy and recover from anorexia? Logically I will be healthier in body and mind. What I struggle with is questioning what sort of person can be at peace with choosing not to have their family in their life? What does it mean to have caused pain? Who will I be? But also who was I and who am I? It is all very philosophical but it is crippling me and stopping me from making progress.
I am a house of cards and I am doing everything I can to stop it falling down. If one card goes, they all go and I know that. Both my psychologist and psychiatrist think that it needs to come down for me to rebuild and heal. Easy to say, horrendous to even consider. That said if it has to happen (and I hope it doesn’t) then sooner would definitely be better than later.
Ultimately life as it is isn’t working for me and I do wonder why I can’t give another way of being a go. I need to trust that if that house of cards disintegrates something will catch me.