“Do you actually want to get better?” was the question she asked me, when I had been caught, yet again, “bucking the system”. “And did I know”, she continued, “that the prognosis wasn’t good, for people like me?”

Well, no, actually, at fourteen I hadn’t stumbled over those particular statistics; and, no, since you’ve asked, I didn’t want to get better, if 5000 Kcal diet; pure terror; and you getting your way, were part of the plan.

“Difficult,” they decided, at 16, which confirmed that I was heading on the right tracks, and was perversely pleasing as it meant I would win. “Uncooperative,” they concluded, when I declined the weigh-in and I politely refused their attempts to come in.

“Not really doing your bit” was the conclusion he reached, at 18, when another attempt failed at the first hurdle (eat and don’t purge). “Never going to work”, was the resigned aside, as he handed me the ‘discharged against medical advice’ form, and casually wrote off my life.

“Uncurable” and “untreatable” was where I was heading, at 21, as the bar was lowered and hospitalisation was a last resort (“well, we had to wait until it was life or death”). By this point, the victory was bitter sweet, and I was done with proving a point.

“Making you safe” was what they settled for at 24, when beds were scarce, and they weren’t really resourced. “Less likely to die” was the discharge criteria, when maintenance and existence was the best that could be hoped for –

I didn’t protest.

I totally agreed.

Until –

“You can do it”, was what she said, when I cried that it was too hard, and that change was impossible. “I believe that you’ll get there” is the promise she made, even though I thought it was a gamble which I wouldn’t have played.

“Of course you’ll get better,” was what he replied, when I said that I’d slipped up and was going to stop trying. And, “because you’re strong”, was his unwavering argument, despite the fact that I’d lost my belief.

They were right, these last two, though I thought they were deluded – and they were wrong, those others, though I almost believed –

That I was uncurable (oh, really?) – and untreatable (still think that?) – and uncooperative (no, just afraid); or that I’d settle for maintenance (no thank you) – or an existence (I’m going for living) – or an eating disordered identity –

When actually, I’ve managed, to finally break free.

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2 Responses to “Uncurable”

  1. Mare says:

    I L O V E this! Love it! Despite the beginning… The power of believing in someone. The hope. The power of finally believing in yourself. And… the outcome. Great post.

  2. Catrina says:

    thank you….!

    I can so identify with this. Not only does it seem so much easier to give up trying, it also is so hard admitting to anyone that that’s what I feel like doing. I have told them twice before that ‘I was nearly there’, that I ‘just had to get on with it’ and that ‘I was much better already’. all lies. I want them to believe in me, I give up the last belief I had in myself for it. So when they’re reassuring, I can’t believe them. Because they must be deluded, deluded by me…

    it’s very inspirational to hear someone reaching out from the other side, again and again telling one that there IS a way to get better.


    I *want* to hope, even if I find it very hard.