Hello there. This is my first post, so I'll start with some basics. I'm a forty-two year old woman, and I live with my three children in a very small house, at the bottom of a hill in New Zealand. I am stuck in the middle of an eating disorder, and trying to find a way out. I have set up this blog in the hope that it will help me recover. It is such a solitary journey, so I hope also that I might meet some fellow travellers along the way. Here's my story.
I'd had an eating disorder when I was much younger, in early adulthood. I really thought the starvation business was behind me, but I was wrong. Last March, the heavy weight I'd been carrying on my back for a few years became too much to bear. The last drop of hope I had was squeezed out of me, and I began a rapid descent into the bleak, hateful world of disordered eating. I restricted my food intake, created a prison of numbers, and focused all my energy, emotion and thought to losing weight. And lose weight I did.
I won't talk about specific numbers regarding my weight or BMI on this blog (it isn't helpful for me or anyone suffering from an eating disorder who might be reading this), but I will say that my weight loss was significant. At my worst, more than a third of my body weight had vanished. It has taken me to very dark places, and I've been scared - that I had gone too far, that I was losing all control and that my health was in danger. My body and life were unrecognisable, and I didn't feel like a woman anymore. The numbers I saw on the scale were frightening me. I had to imagine my children living without a mother.
The fear that I felt at my lowest weight propelled me forward, beginning a sort of 'recovery'. It is where I am now. The eating disorder changes shape almost daily, and it's messy. I swing wildly between restriction, binging and vomiting, with very brief glimpses into what 'normal' eating might look like. My weight changes direction as often as my mind does. I want out and then I don't. I think I can and then I know it's impossible. I thrash around in a cage of my own creation, yet it seems to exist outside of me. It is incredibly frustrating - I want answers. I ask the therapists, I read, I listen, I Google and scour you tube, searching for the solution. Show me the way, and I'll do it! Just give me a diagram and let's get this done! What I know though, and what I hate, is that there is no one definitive solution. And the answer for me is, infuriatingly, in me. Somewhere.