What does it feel like? What do you think when a big cup of full fat milk is put down in front of you and you are expected to drink it. A plate of macaroni cheese you are expected to eat. Pudding afterwards, ice cream, yogurt, all to be consumed. How does it make you feel? It hurts, God it stings. I am burning when I think about all I have consumed this week. I am panicked, I must be spinning out of control. Bite by bite moment by moment I am being assaulted. "YOU PIG" "WHY ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?" "WHY ARE YOU STANDING STILL?" Then, as if for conformation, I am weighed every morning, 6am, woken and weighed, recorded, the numbers going up. It is terrifying, but it must be done. I am very lucky to have a caring mother at home, someone to look after me, because being in hospital all the time proves to be too much. I beg and plead with the doctor, hyperventilating when he says "You are too ill to go home", I need to be comfortable, I need to sleep, I need my mum. I cannot have those things here. Finally, he goes to get a second opinion from another doctor, I am granted leave for the night, I can go home to my mum and cuddle up and let her hold me whilst I eat. I will be good. It will be hard.
It's tricky to explain what it's like, half of me is happy that I am doing this, I know I have to, I look and feel like shit. I am exhausted and boney. Poor Jacob was scared to cuddle me too hard, frightened of breaking his girlfriend of fragile bones. I look like hell, yet my fragility reflects my insides. Inside I feel fragile, I do not feel strong and ready for the World, I am in pain and screaming and the lack of nourishment reflects that. That is what anorexia can do, gives you a platform to reflect how you are feeling. To get better, I must disentangle all my feelings of self loathing, disappointment in myself, feelings of low self worth, from my feelings related with food. I must put all of them to one side, and food on another. I must feed myself for my brain to work though. That is what I will do. Bite by bite, moment by moment, things must get better. Please, I beg of you, do not say to me "you're looking well", or "oh Maya, you're looking much better". Not until I am ready. Those throw away comments can throw me into a depth of despair I cannot explain properly, I know it must seem silly, it is the aim of the game to look well, to get better, to move on, but right now I cannot hear those things. Also, until I truly am 'recovered' (in a weight sense) it is not helpful. Hearing how 'well' I look, when I may still have another 5kgs to go will make me feel as if I needn't bother, and I am sure that is not what you mean. Anorexia has the capability to twist anything and make it into a verbal assault. I am hoping that over these next few weeks I will work to restore some of my weight, and work to feed myself, as I am unwilling to relinquish all control. If I give up all control, then I have not really fought the battle, and I have to to recover. I have to look the monster square in the face and say "FUCK YOU-I am worth getting better". So I will. I will munch and guzzle and it will feel crap, but I will do it for me, so that I can get on a plane and use the rest of this year to do lovely things with my mum and friends. I will get over this. I will be proud to say 'I am recovered'. I will listen to what those who love me have told me, that I was so much more attractive curvy. I always wanted to be thin, I always hated my hips. How many young women have struggled with hating their bodies? How many times a day do you hear people making comments putting themselves down or talking about things related to their appearance? Think about it. It's like a girl code, self degradation, I will put myself down to fit in "You look nice", "oh no, I look a bit chubby in this". On my birthday my gorgeous Grace uttered to me "Boobs look GREAT in that dress Maya". Anorexia reared up, ready to whisper about mounds of fat, but I battered her. I took the compliment, I did not shoo it away. "Thanks GC". It felt good. Good to be a girl. I want to be a woman. I want J to be proud of his girlfriend. To not have to hold the hand of an emaciated 8 year old. My big strong man, over double my weight, well over double my weight, it's not right. I truly believe that in order to combat some of the causes of eating disorders, we need to stop putting ourselves down. We need to take the compliments and just say "thank you", or offer one back, if we are being sincere. Why not? It makes you feel good. I must also learn this skill to beat my monsters.
Along with others.
For now, I will lift my fork and eat.
I'd love to hear what you all think about the way we bash ourselves and about feeling fat/dieting etc. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people are dieting in the UK at any one time, this number is phenomenal, and I want to know why we cannot just have a healthy relationship with food? Please comment if you've got any thoughts, what body parts get you down, if you think we go self-bash and why etc etc.
Would be really interesting for me and others and you can even comment anonymously now, whether you have an account or not!