Archive for the ‘Anorexia’ Category

Girl Stuff

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

I developed anorexia before I really went through puberty. On the edge of womanhood, I sunk just before the major changes kicked in. This meant that, aside from a brief spell post my first inpatient treatment and a few months when things seemed to be on the up, I haven’t had periods. My last one was in 1996 or 97. As regular readers of my blog will know, I’ve been quite upset about this (here and here).

I’ve been at a normal BMI for nearly a year now; and, as I’ve watched my peers begin families and enter the next stage of their life, I’ve been left wondering whether I really have closed some doors that might have been open and if I will ever be able to repair the damage that I might have done.

There doesn’t seem a huge amount of research in this area. It has been hard to find any answers.

This isn’t the kind of thing I’d normally announce online, but my periods came back yesterday. I don’t know much about the medical stuff, but I think that this means I will be okay. I guess it proves that there’s always hope. It would, at least, explain why I have been such so hormonal and stressy over the past few days. ..

I don’t know what this means for my fertility. My GP has always been wildly optimistic, so maybe it’s time I started trusting his “the body will repair itself” mentality. That is, however, all some time off, so I’m just going to focus on the fact that I appear, finally, to be on my way.

Eating Disorders: The Bottom Line

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I have been intellectualising and analysing my eating disorder a lot recently. Scrutinising it under my mental magnifying lens. Looking at it from this angle – and that one. Trying to order the complexity into some semblance of sense.

I have wanted to unpick each sordid secret and expose every unspoken rule. To break down the perceptions. To write myself into recovery. To say the things I shouldn’t say because maybe, together, we can help to make things change…

It is important, I think, to talk about these things.

But it is even more important to remember that eating disorders kill.

It is even more important to remember that eating disorders kill.

I am worried that I have diluted this message. That in the to-ing and fro-ing, I have blurred over this one, crucial point. That in the detail, and the dissection, I have forgotten to re-iterate the terrifying bottom line –

Eating disorders kill.

So, this is a reality check and a reminder. An acknowledgement of the cruel truth about eating disorders – but also, that recovery is possible and that there are people out there who can help.

There are people out there that can help.

It is a message that makes my eyes watery and my stomach, clench –

But it comes, along with the experience and hope of recovery, as the most important thing that I can write.

Black Ice

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Outside, the snow is ankle deep and shot through with black ice.

Twice this morning, I have seen a frail figure, clad in leggings and a thick woolly hat, run past my window.

This is why I am writing this website.

Anorexia does not do holidays and it certainly doesn’t do days off.

This is why the message is so important.

If she falls, she will break.

This is why I’m telling my secrets -

Because the prisoner running up and down the road whilst the rest of the world is wrapped up in warmth or shouting with laughter reminds me of where I’ve come from –

And where too many people seem to be going -

If we don’t change the trend.


Friday, September 11th, 2009

I’m not sure that I’ll be able to have children.

You might not care at 14; but it hurts at 29.

The signs aren’t looking good; so, whilst the rest of my peers are busy reproducing, I’m still waiting for my body to get used to being healthy.

After 17 years, it’s taking a while.

Children didn’t enter my eating disorder dominated head very often; but now I’m getting back in touch with the world, I wish I’d explored the concept a little. It’s only with maturity that I understand that it’sone of the most important things a person can ever do –

I’m kind of hoping that I haven’t destroyed that option.

Please learn from my mistakes.

Fixated with Food?

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

It doesn’t take a genius or the horrors of Belsen to illustrate the connection between anorexia and food fixation –

There’s nothing like a touch of starvation to really focus the mind.

Anorexia gets you hooked on an emotional level – but it’s the physical reaction that will really screw with your head.


Saturday, July 25th, 2009

I’ve managed to cover quite a lot of ground without mentioning anorexia. I’ve sidestepped the key feature. Managed to avoid any serious discussion.

It’s been a bit of a pattern, this whole denial avoidance discomfort thing.

It’s an indication of how incredibly difficult and entangled it all is. It’s an indication of how exhausting and monotonous and ingrained it all becomes.

But there are things that need to be said and bits that I need to work out.

There’s a whole misunderstood epidemic out there that I seem to have got unintentionally caught up in.

And I’m really hoping that what I learnt was part of the reason.

Lady Lazurus and Anger

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

“I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it—–

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?——-”

Sylvia Plath, extract from Lady Lazarus

Sylvia Plath scares me.

I could hear my eating disorder in her voice.

I could feel the anorexia in the taunts and the mockery; in the red hot anger and the reckless self-destruction.

When I first got ill, this was what it was like.


The cost of anorexia (physical)

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

My stomach gave way this morning.

It is a strange source of inspiration but I’m taking it as a sign.

I can’t afford to be prudish at a time like this.

It’s all very well viewing the possibility of death as a medical scare tactic; but you never reach the destination immediately – there’s lots of steps along the way. Nature doesn’t take much notice of the it’ll never happen to me approach.

And, whilst Anorexia may start out as an artificial anti-ager, you might as well press fast forward on the aging button: I may have looked like a child but anorexia has transported me straight to geriatricity.

It’s just taken a while to see this.


Unspeakable Things

Monday, June 1st, 2009

At the height of my anorexia, no one asked me whether I was okay. I’m far more approachable with a fractured ankle. It’s been quite a talking point.

The contrast is striking.

People are scared of anorexia. They tiptoe on eggshells around it. People don’t want to say the wrong thing. They don’t want to aggravate it. They don’t want to be implicated in it, maybe.

I completely understand. I didn’t want to talk about it either.

And therein lies the problem: we’re all concurring with it. It’s privileged, permitted to run riot, tacitly prioritied – because no one wants to speak about it. No one knows what to say.

The silence is deafening.

Anorexia is the great big elephant in the room.


Getting ill

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Time anaesthetises.

I’d forgotten how bad it felt.

I’d forgotten how many twists and turns an eating disorder can take.

8 years ago, I started looking at the whole process. My aide-memoire: captures the stuff that time heals; gives the whole process a bit of shape – from the first, fatal slip, to full blown subjugation; sheds a little light on how it happens.


Consumption (Stage 3)

Friday, May 1st, 2009

A quick recap.

Stage 1: Getting ill. You know that something’s wrong. A little voice in your head has made its debut – and the puppet on a string analogy begins to take shape.

Stage 2: A subtle takeover. The little voice makes itself at home. Word by poisonous word, it gets inside you. It talks its way into your head.

It’s a wily enemy – but it starts out as your internal friend. The perfect ambush for the next attack:

Stage 3: Consumption.

Two voices become 1.

You get eaten up by it.