I’ve been debating what to write here. Do I write about how well I am and how great life is? Do I tell you all about the essays I need to write and the stress that come with being a student? Do I write and post photos of the fantastic manicures I’ve done for myself recently?
It’s not that those things aren’t true or don’t matter. It’s just they’re such superficial things. They’re all on the surface. Being great at DIY manicures or feeling good occasionally or writing essays… they’re just not terribly important right now.
I am fantastic at playing the part of a “normal” person. A functional person. A high achieving, talented, intelligent person. Those things are true, it’s just that… well, my every day reality is different. Not all of the time. Sometimes appearing normal actually coincides with my reality.
Yesterday, for example. I caught up with a good friend in the city for brunch. We ate together, shopped, ate some more, hung out and then headed home. It was a great day. I went home smiling. I felt hopeful about life in general.
My current reality – food and eating enough of it is hard work. Dissociation is manageable but still causes chaos and stress. Uni is great but does add stress – two assignments due in under a month.
I’m angry and irritable. I just… urgh. I hate this. I hate being unwell. Not that I’m so unwell I can’t function. I’m functioning incredibly well. I’m working, doing extra hours at work, studying, and socialising… like a normal person. I appear happy and okay but I’m being eaten up inside.
There’s anxiety and fear and dread… amongst other things. Eating me up. I don’t deal well with negative emotions. I do cope with them. I manage them. I just, I suppose, don’t express them appropriately. Or express them at all. Maybe that’s being a bit hard on myself.
I know these negative emotions fuel eating disorder behaviour. I know they do. I also know that it’s not just me responsible for engaging in ED behaviours. Rex hears my own concerns about food, weight, shape and health and jumps on it. He seems to know that he doesn’t stand a chance until I’ve started thinking that way. Then, and only then he starts. Quietly nagging, gently encouraging, subtly commenting.
I’m moving, in terms of behaviours, between restrictive and more balanced eating. I’m not self-harming but the thoughts are there. I’m not suicidal, and I don’t think anyone inside is either. I do, actually, appear to be quite okay.
I know I haven’t eaten enough today. I don’t need to count the calories to know – my stomach is making it clear. I’ve filled up on appetite suppressants and a fibre supplement. I’m weighing myself daily. I’m checking the nutrition information before I eat foods I consider unsafe. It’s a very slippery slope. I’m trying not to let it get out of control… and I’ve done well so far. The Recovery Record app (see last entry) has been useful in the past week. It reminds me that I do need to eat. It’s just hard.
I’m not okay. Just putting it out there. I’m not in crisis… it’ just hard right now. I’m struggling. Not terribly, but enough that it’s draining me of what energy I have.