She’s Back

Up until last night it had been ten days since I ate. It felt and feels like a disaster. Like an epic failure. Previous to that I had planned on eating on day eight, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat that day, and so I decided to make it either ten or fourteen days, and now I am annoyed that I actually ate on day ten, not eleven, because I broke the fasting cycle.

I flew here from Greece just over two weeks ago. I was either going to come here and sort myself out, psychologically (as I have been a total mess) or I was going to totally self-destruct. In the end the latter happened.

It was bound to happen eventually. I never finished rehab in 2015 and I never received treatment for my eating disorder since then. I might have been in remission for nine months in Greece, living there with my boyfriend and him giving me a reason to eat, but I missed anorexia and the relief it gives me every day. The critical voice never went away- as it never has done since this first started- and I desired that feeling of control and even the weird addiction to self-destruction. I never felt like I deserved to eat.

Of course, my medication plays a role in this too. Whenever I am on Olanzapine I gain a significant amount of weight, and this was half the reason I had the episode in 2015. In my world the weight has to come off eventually, dieting and exercise doesn’t seem to work, and anyway I am kind of an all or nothing kind of person when it comes to that. And so I turn to total starvation.

As much as I enjoy the sensation of being anorexic and waking up empty every day, it is also an extremely scary thing. I take my medication at night, close my eyes and wonder whether I will wake up the next day. It’s not just that I am starving myself and it is dangerous, it is also that I take all of these heavy drugs, all sedating, and it’s not good to have them without eating anything. When I was in hospital with it last time they reduced my medication because it was affecting my heart. My doctor’s advice yesterday was to keep taking it because I will be even worse, mentally, without it, but I don’t know what will happen in a month’s time when my health deteriorates even further.

People don’t get it. Some refuse to broach the subject, like my parents most of the time, and some just get angry or tell you “just eat.” But it doesn’t work like that, it isn’t that simple. It is not simple at all. I feel like it is illegal to eat at the moment. It brings me physical pain: Exhaustion, aching muscles, lack of sleep and faintness, but that isn’t enough to drive me to eat. I feel such a sense of achievement when I wake up empty, and the longer I go without food the better that feeling gets.

I don’t know how Gabriel will cope with this when I get back to Greece on Sunday. He has been through this, in a less extreme form, with me in the past and we ended up breaking up over it, because he hates that I don’t look after myself. Nothing is enough to stop this, more often than not. I don’t know what it’s going to take to make me change. Of course I don’t want to suffer and I don’t want to make others around me suffer (I know it is hard for them too) but I have a long-term love affair with anorexia.

It went on for a whole year last time. Because I have come out of ‘the other end’ so many times now, and eventually started to eat, I think some people expect it to suddenly end when my circumstances change. Like when my doctor said yesterday that perhaps when I have Gabriel around me again I will feel like eating. But it never ends that quickly, definitely not after two weeks. I can never lose enough weight, either; it’s never enough. It’s hard for the first couple of days but then it’s almost like you become less hungry the more time you go without food. You would think you’d get hungrier as the days went by but it doesn’t go like that for me. For example now I am really hungry because I ate yesterday, I have kicked off that craving again, but I know it will start getting easier from tomorrow.

No matter what is going on with my life, no matter what pains I am experiencing, it feels so much better when I don’t eat, as if I am defeating negativity and depression. I tell myself that everything will be ok so long as I don’t eat. I go numb.

I just want to be thin and not have to think.

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