Today I woke up with a rather unusual perspective of my situation. No circumstances have become any less shitty overnight, but maybe I’m not that ill.
I’ve come to realise that I am able to somewhat ‘control’ my ED, in that I can eat ‘normally’ in social situations, and sometimes I can eat regularly for quite a few days and only feel moderately shitty. So that’s okay, right?
I don’t know what I’m trying to convince myself of here, but I guess that’s the whole point. I’m not sure whether the whole social aspect of an ED is allowed as some sort of a personal protection of the disorder itself, as a way of making sure nobody finds out, a way of stopping people from worrying. These situations often feel freeing because for a moment I feel like my old self again, without the restrictions or the counting. Completely internalising the guilt is very difficult though, and the repercussions that follow such behaviour are imminent, as always. But I guess I look for those little social moments for a bit of breathing space. I know I’ll have to make up for it later, but somehow, that moment of freedom is worth it.
This method of escapism is, however, fucked up by the hell that is anxiety. Social situations scare the shit out of me, and I avoid eating around people that I’m not 100% comfortable with, and/or those that make me nervous. It’s a balancing act, and one I’m still trying to master. I’m not ready for people to know the truth yet, because I’ve barely begun to accept it myself, and I’m terrified of the judgement that will follow.
The thing is, my weight loss is becoming more noticeable, but not yet to the point where too many concerns are being voiced. I accept comments as compliments, whilst simultaneously feeling sickened by my undeniable sense of achievement. The level of perfection can always be improved. There are always smaller jean sizes, more pounds to lose and less meals to be had. I think that’s the worst part, the part that scares me the most. I can’t deny the fact that I’m a total control freak, so the infinite levels of perfection I could attain, may mean I’ll never stop. What if I can’t stop?!
Some days really are better than others. Some days I can wake up and don’t notice the grey so much, I can laugh, sometimes I can forget why my brain is always racing, and why my heart beats faster with every trigger. Some days it’s easier to pretend, and the smile isn’t so difficult to paint on. Some days it just takes a particular person or activity, and some days it takes nothing at all. It’s cliché and it’s so cringe, but it really is a hell of a rollercoaster, and an unpredictable one at that. Other days are horrific. Other days getting out of bed feels like the worst thing in the world. Other days there is nothing that can help, you’re a prisoner within your own mind, and it’s dark, and it’s lonely. But these ups and downs make me feel guilty. I bet there are so many people out there that are way worse off than me: I still have the occasional good day so everything must be fine, I just need to deal with it and surely I’ll be fine?
An extremely soul destroying aspect of mental illness is its unpredictability, often robbing you of the good days, with the imminence of the bad. I’m learning, slowly, to accept that, to try and make the most of each day, and enjoy the good ones while they last. I’m getting better at finding the positives, and hopefully, one day, I really will be okay.