Laura Branigan probs didn’t have an ED

Control, that elusive beast. I’ve always been told I have it. I get things done. I got things done. I am disciplined. I was disciplined. Then I slowly began to lose all of it when the ED got more and more into hanging out in my head.

I’ve been told I am proactive, creative, can use my own initiative, am analytical, reflective, clever. Hey, I ain’t gonna deny these things if someone gives me a compliment. I probably am at least some amount of all of those. But darn it, to muster up the application of all those skills in recent years took up all my energy. I was fighting something that wanted to sit me down on the sofa for a year and feed me to health or alternatively delete me from the world. Of course as Pihla, I wanted none of the two options offered. I was fighting against the fatigue of someone who has been on some bizarre Survivor -esque holiday camp of thou shalt not eat regular meals yo. Try be a functional human in those conditions.

Anyway, I digress. I wanted to speak about control. It’s a very very crucial point to make to someone with the type of ED I had, that YOU WILL NOT LOSE CONTROL WHEN YOU START MEALING ON THE REGULAR. THE OPPOSITE WILL OCCUR. PLEASE BELIEVE! As hard as I have tried, and partially succeeded, to take control in my life and achieve the things that I find meaningful and beneficial to the general maintenance of this world, I also had so much going on in my head I was not able to control. Compulsive, irrational thoughts and the compulsive behaviours that would follow from these thoughts. When I went to the supermarket to buy my binging food I’d be a zombie. A crying zombie. When I had the end-of-the-world doom and the all-consuming anxiety, the belief that I am such a bad person that I must die, I could not reason myself out of these. I love using my (un)common sense. I studied philosophy, for f’s sake. I love asking why and demanding an answer well argued. There was no argument for the thought ‘If I eat this sandwich the world might explode’. Yet, I could not get rid of that thought. It was (drum-roll) uncontrollable.

Now, I gain more control every day. My head works, simply. When irrational thoughts come, I can deem them as such and chuck them in the bin. Sometimes I feel positively invincible. Of course, bad moments still occur every day. That is expected. I am but a young blossom, ripening up to fully bloom in some hopefully-not-hugely-distant-although-it-doesn’t-matter-as-long-as-we-get-there-future.

When I have control, I am now inclined to make healthy choices. Why wouldn’t I? I have been unable to care for my health properly for years, why would I now waste the life I have regained control over? This I think is a very good point to make to someone who is ill. In my experience, the fear is that if you start eating regularly/enough, you lose control and eat everything and it will all be unhealthy food. Actually, this does not happen. I have no desire to give my body cream cakes and chips all day long. I want to heal myself and swallow a ton of vitamins in food form. Yesterday I was explaining to my mother how it’s amazing to read labels to find out what the health benefits of some food item are and care much less, if at all (this is a trigger for me so I try to avoid it as much as possible) about the calories. All my disorder obvs cared about was calories.

Yesterday I also bought indoor exercise foot boats. I am trying out a gym today to do some bone-aiding exercise. Unheard of, Pihla caring for her health. Unheard of, Pihla exercising for wellness instead of using up calories. But I am. I care about my health now. I care because I can. I wanted to before but could not very well. Now I have control again and damn it feels good.

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