Sunday, 6 September 2009

Selfish or sensible?

A blog came through my RSS feed this morning that (for some reason) I'd subscribed to recently by another girl/young woman, in the UK who has an eating disorder. It was a pretty general post but the content and photos left me feeling almost angry, or perhaps now i think of it, jealous.

I've come to the conclusion that i do not want to read or see photos of suffers who are underweight. I have never posted photos of myself when i was at a very low weight here mainly because i looked so horrendous but of course also to try and keep my anonymity. But even in places where i am open and myself, i have only recently posted photos of myself, now that i am a healthy weight, only if they don't show my protruding stomach which is where the weight has decided to position itself right now. Looking at this photo made me want to comment on the blog.

"Why would post a photo of yourself when you look like a dress with 2 sticks for arms and 2 sticks for legs?!"
"You say you want to recover, yet you talk about doing great periods of exercise & still wanting increase that exercise. Looking at the photo, you should be on bed rest!"

My immediate reaction was anger, in that the person didn't really want to recover (which i guess is a very possible underlying truth) and that i wanted to scream "I've done it so why can't you??!!!"

But then when i started typing this post and tried to identify my anger (too much therapy over that last 10 years, i could get a job as one myself these days!) i began to question the anger. Was it anger or was it jealous? Was i jealous that she still had the power and self control over food? That she was able to keep her weight low? Where as i now just enjoy food too much.....

I wanted to say "you can just start eating again" but the tried to remember how i felt when i was that weight. I wanted to start eating again but there was this invisible force that stopped me and forced me to tears instead. I tried to recall all those people who didn't understand me and didn't comprehend how i supposedly (and honestly) had no appetite. If someone one had told me to just eat another apple or even try a banana, i know that all i could say to them would be "Its not that easy." and carry on crying inside.

I feel guilty for feeling this way, i feel like i'm not being understanding of their situation, which seems ridiculous when i've been there for the last 3 years. It also almost reiterates my feelings of being a fraud and a fake. Something in my mind says "If you feel this way and can't show any empathy then maybe you weren't really anorexic. After all you were only underweight for 3 years and only got help for 2 years of that. You weren't a proper anorexic". The fact that i reached a critical BMI of 12 doesn't seem to feature now that those digits are reversed (yep, from 12 to 21 in about 4/5 months!).

I'm not saying when you start eating again (like a bull in a china shop) that its plain sailing, for the first couple of months i was convinced i was going to kill myself because i felt so out of control. My self harm escalated again, not to the state that it had been before the eating disorder, however the fact that it had become at least weekly again was a sign of the struggle (not that i told anyone about that until last week). But i really do believe if you ever do feel that urge to just eat, find some support and just go for it, because once you awaken your appetite although its terrifying and feels like it will never stop, it does settle down. 5 months ago i was sobbing, asking people how long it would take, wishing i'd never started eating again, but i know it was the best thing to happen. I really would love to post a photo of my progress but i really don't think i can do it without revealing some clues to my identity. I'll have to work out a way of tracing my outline and posting that rather than the actual photo!

Anyway its breakfast time (well, once mum & D get downstairs), its the weekend & i fancy pancakes!!!! Its been so long since i had sweet pancakes, possibly not for the last 3 years at least! And my 2 attempts at buckwheat pancakes for dinner don't count! No lemon juice but i do have limes in the fridge, and i'm still debating between sweetner & sugar (actually i have some light sugar which is half sweetner and half sugar) some old habits are still hard to break.

I hope everyone is well & Lola, can you see through the boxes yet?!

take care,


3 people had something to say about this:

Katie said...

If you're talking about who I think you're talking about, you're not right in thinking that she doesn't want to recover. She's terrified and taking it slowly, but she has put in an awful lot of hard work and is a hundred times better than she was at the start of the year. I do understand your frustration because I sometimes find myself getting annoyed with people who can't seem to get going in recovery too (not this particular girl though, I know her too well!) because sometimes the only answer, however hard it is, is to eat more and gain weight. But try and remember, it's not really an issue of will power or control. I don't think I've ever felt more out of control than when I was very underweight and honestly felt like I couldn't eat. Genuine power and control only comes with recovery, even though that does sound like I lifted it straight out of a self help book :P
There will be a lot of other people with eating disorders that you want to scream at in the future, but that doesn't get you or them anywhere but upset and resentful. You have done amazingly well to get yourself out of medical danger and no one can take that away from you.
I hope you enjoyed your pancakes :)

Susie said...

hi katie,

there was one blog that set me thinking this but i have read a couple of others since, and actually found another post saying that a blog friendship had come to an end because the other person felt unable tobe in contact with someone who was still deep in the depths of an eating disorder while she was trying to recover. So it wasn't just one particular blog really and if you read some of my early posts there are things that i said where you would think i didn't want to recover when all i wanted was to be rid of anorexia, i didn't genuinely think she didn't want to recover, i'm sorry if i came across that way. I doubt there is really anyone with anorexia who wouldn't be shot of it in an instant if could snap their fingers and magic it away.


P.S the pancakes were good although a little thick (went for crepe style) as mum was using the big saucepan so i only had the small one, oh and lime juice works just the same as lemon!

Katie said...

Ah, I read that blog about the friendship coming to an end - I was the subject of it. I am still friends with her, just via snail mail rather than online where I can see photos and read graphic details. I know what you mean, I read through my diaries from this winter and think it's amazing that it was me that wrote them, my attitude towards recovery has changed so drastically (for the better, obviously!). Magic wands sound like a good idea, if only!

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