Broken ankles and traffic jams

There’s a high probability that I’ve fractured my ankle. The irony in the situation is fantastic. I’ve been paranoid about it for years and then, when I am least expecting it. Wham.

Another reminder that we’re not infallible.

Another reminder that you can’t control everything.

Another reminder that we’re small fry in the grand scheme of things.

I’ll explain how my random chain of thoughts all links up.

A couple of years ago, I had a tooth extraction. Nothing unusual there – unless you’re a bulimic, confronted by a significant obstacle in your throwing up routine.

Lesson 1: bulimia is not very adaptable to changing circumstances.

Next, a particularly snowy winter. My anorexia demanded its usual lengthy excursion. And nature dug its heels in: walking in snow is not only unpleasant; it’s near on impossible.

Lesson 2: the world – and nature, in particular – is bigger than me.

Finally, a traffic jam on the way back from Brighton. Totally unexpected. Beyond all reasonable traffic jam timescales. When you’ve got anorexia, timing is very important. Particularly in relation to meal timing. Getting it wrong is very unpleasant. It has been known to evoke panic, desperation, tears, anger – not something I’m proud of, but it happened.

Lesson 3: some things are beyond your control.

These are the extreme examples, the lightbulb moments that have been imprinted in my memory; but they definitely linked into some recurring themes. They definitely contributed to two parallel realisations that had some pretty significant implications for my eating disorder.

First, it’s impossible to get along with the world when you have an eating disorder.
And, second, you’re not just going against the grain with nature: you’re actively fighting it.

And this is when the broken leg speculation made its debut:

It’s easy to become a little paranoid when you realise just how many things you’re depending on that are totally out of your control.

It’s hard when you realise that an eating disorder is highly incompatible with normal life.

You start, uncomfortably, noticing just how unnatural the whole thing is.

It’s a great impetus for change.


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