I want to be the best possible advert for recovery. My illness robbed me of so many many experiences and gave me years filled with anxiety and pain, both mental and physical (although I personally don’t subscribe to dualism anyway). It’s like a garden that’s starting to bloom when you recover. I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. When I was locked in the box of my unwanted thoughts and behaviours, it was like being boiled in a soup of your own potential. I was paralyzed by my illness, yet I knew I had the potential to do many things and attempt to do other things I wouldn’t be so good at (and be okay with that). I just couldn’t do most of them.
It felt like constantly being on edge. Being a violin string stretched to its maximum capacity and beyond. I could never relax. I was constantly running away from my anxiety and if I didn’t fill my day with millions of activity and people and things, it would catch up on me. At night I was scared to go to bed and read a book. Not that I could’ve concentrated on it anyway. But the thought of being alone in a room with no sound, trying to read and hearing my thoughts, filled me with such anxiety that I just didn’t do it. I was scared that there was some monster inside me and it was going to appear when I was alone in silence. And that it was going to swallow me and that I would never re-appear.
What I am describing didn’t manifest itself in such clear terms and formalized thoughts of a monster. I wish it had – you can get a better handle on killing a monster when you spot it. But my mind was clouded by irregular meals, blood sugar highs and lows, binging, purging, fasting. The fog was deep and all-consuming and no monsters would be seen inside it.
It’s so much easier now. On Monday, 26th of February I was able to win my fear of eating and have breakfast. I instantly had more energy. I didn’t attribute it to food of course, for the Pihla with the eating disorder is unaffected by such carnal, secondary things as food and should exist on holy spirit. But I kept going and had another meal at lunch time. Then a snack. Between these meals I fell apart and called my mom, boyfriend and the mental health support/advice line. It was good that I was safely contained in an office where my proletariat burden was being lived out during that particular month. In the safety of my surroundings I coped. The world did not explode. I did not die. I ate and cried and ate again.
When I think about the effect it’s biblical. ‘On the third day she rose…’. It was Wednesday when I felt the effect on my mind. It was magical. All the compulsive thoughts started to lift, the anxiety, the paranoia. It was then that I met the monster, saw it finally separate from me. That’s the day when I knew I could beat this, for I had finally met my enemy.