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It's so sad seeing you beat yourself up and insult yourself so much for being at a healthy weight, and you looked so sick at your "happy BMI". I don't know, maybe your weight is a little higher than your biological ideal weight, I can't see your genetics or biochemistry so I can't tell ;) but that's surely just a consequence of running so much, being very muscular and your body desperately wanting to keep a healthy body fat percentage on top of all of that to avoid damaging your bones and organs any more than you did when you were underweight. A few years ago I had a friend who was hospitalised for anorexia at a BMI of 17.5 because of her body fat percentage - she was so athletic that she was as sick at that BMI as many others would have been 20lbs lower.
I know it's pointless and possibly patronising trying to reason with your eating disordered thoughts, it's just so sad (I know I said that twice, but it is and my brain isn't up to constructing coherent comments today) watching you wage war with your body, when it seems from a fairly objective standpoint to be reacting much as any other body would react under such intense punishment.
Of all the points I could pick up on, the one which jumped out at me most was the idea that people can't get better without someone else to get better for. In my experience - not that my experience is universal - the complete opposite is true. Getting better for someone else might work in the short term, and if you're really sick then any reason you can find to change is a good one worth hanging on to. But what happens if that person leaves? What if the relationship goes wrong? What if the roles are reversed, if the other people gets sick or dies? Recovery entails learning so much about yourself, rebuilding yourself from the ground up. If you cement another person into the foundations of your identity you'll get into trouble quickly if they rip themselves out again.
(There was more, but I can't really remember what I said. I'll tell you some other time <3 )
I got into a relationship too soon into my recovery, and I'd been getting better for a whole year already by that point. From what I remember, AA makes a point of saying that relationships in the first year of sobriety are discouraged too. You have to get better for yourself, not for other people. That's not easy given that eating disorders, addictions and other mental health problems usually come with no small degree of self loathing, and the self destructive behaviours become this strange mix of punishment and comfort. I didn't believe I had any prospects or potential to get better for, and in any case restriction felt like the only way I could cope with life, it was comforting and familiar and safe. The idea of recovery seemed ridiculous, because I was nothing without the eating disorder. It had developed in tandem with my identity and personality, and it had twisted itself into my values and opinions. It had stolen everything worth living for from my life and made itself the replacement for all it had taken. There were no rational reasons to recover. God knows why I tried it anyway, but I'm glad I did now. I guess those reasons to stay sick started feeling hollow to me, and I wondered if I dared try for something better. It's not like I magically started believing I was a worthwhile human being overnight, it was just an experiment to begin with, and I am the type of person who throws themselves into things head first, which worked in my favour.
Still not giving up hope on you Jess, however hard you argue we should <3
Three years ago I expressed a similar sentiment to your words on suicide in my diary on a forum for people with EDs. Someone had said I was brave (bloody word follows me around) and I quote: "The thing that gets to me about surviving all the stuff I’ve been through is that a lot of the time, I didn’t want to and wasn’t trying to. I see the fact that I didn’t kill myself as down to weakness on my part, me being scared and not trying hard enough, rather than actually wanting to live". A friend of mine called Christy replied to say that she understood exactly what I meant as she felt the same way, and we talked about how unfair it was that an illness could make people feel like being alive was a personal failure. Christy was in her late twenties, had struggled with eating disorders and depression for most of her life and had been suicidal on many occasions. She finally went through with it two years ago. So I take your feelings incredibly seriously, even though you don't feel that you are able to act on them now, even if you don't imagine ever being able to. On an entirely selfish level I don't want to lose you as well, but more than that, regardless of everything you've said on your blogs over the last two and a half years, regardless of your disgust over your body, personality and behaviours, regardless of how hopeless you feel about your future, I have not and will not give up on you. As long as you're still alive there is still hope that things can get better. It might seem a ridiculously optimistic and facile sentiment, but I've seen stranger things happen ;)
Love to you xxx
Of course you're allowed to say things like that. I'm sure it will shock some people and hurt others, but pretty much anyone who has experienced an eating disorder of any variety will understand these sorts of thoughts. I'm a big believer in free speech and as long as you're not promoting something illegal, no one is going to stop you from spreading the contents of your brain out on your blog.
Contrary to what you seem to believe, you are not the only person to either think or feel this way. It's not true to say that people with restrictive eating disorders will never have to go through the same kind of pain you're in now - over the last decade I've come across hundreds of people who started out with anorexia and went on to develop bulimia or BED, and vice versa. If you really must play at comparisons there are people out there who would call you lucky, because despite your problems you have managed to keep your weight within the normal range, when off the top of my head I can think of one friend who gained 200lbs from an anorexic to an obese weight during and after her first pregnancy, and another who gained 70-odd lbs in five months during one bad phase. I can also think of several friends who have struggled with anorexia for ten or twenty years and are now close to death in their late twenties or early thirties. Eating disorders are horrifically painful and soul destroying in whichever form they take. You can think what you like, but why publicly lash out a group of people with a serious psychiatric disorder? If I said I envied people with bipolar disorder for their manic energy I'd be bitchslapped from here to Mars, and deservedly. Comparisons are symptomatic of eating disorders all by themselves and you can't really stop yourself from thinking things like that, but do try to keep a little perspective.
When I'm tired, anxious or in pain I think things which I'm sure would shock other people too. It's only natural; many people react to pressure by trying to hurt everyone else around them. You're not a monster and I can see just how angry and tormented you're feeling at the moment. But people reading your blog want to help, and alienating a large proportion of them who have experienced anorexia in isolation or combination with other ED subtypes isn't going to achieve anything.
Feel free to tell me I'm a patronising arsewipe. I'm just trying to stay calm because I don't think responding with equal anger will help.
I really hope your mum picks up soon x
I don't hate you at all Jess, I'm just worried about you. I hope tomorrow is better <3
My definition of having a life these days basically entails surviving, and anything more than that is a massive benefit. I don't expect to be happy and I rarely am content and peaceful in every way, but I do love spending time with friends, being able to take part in (small) social gatherings, studying for a career I'm passionate about, being well enough to go for long walks with my camera, being free enough around food that I can eat to live rather than living to eat, and very occasionally doing big things like randomly flying to Washington to take part in ED conferences. I pay for those big things - they destabilise me and exhaust me for weeks afterwards, but they are calculated risks and I'm happy to suffer the backlash for the few days of exhilaration. Most of the time that sort of life isn't sustainable - I know I'm a bit of a delicate little flower and I live accordingly. I'm never going to be an out-all-night party animal, but that isn't the only fun available in the world, so it's okay. I decided when I started recovering almost three years ago that I had to ignore what people though those in their 20s should be or do, and just create my own life - one which would keep me healthy and stable.
I don't even know what I'm trying to say, really. Maybe that I have accepted that I cannot and will not ever have it all, but learnt to work with what I have (ridiculously sensitive nervous system, health problems and unstable moods included). Not that it's easy and not that I never get resentful towards people I perceive as having things better/easier than I do, but then all those "wasted" years and all that regret is just another thing I have to live with if I want a better future. I sound like a bloody self help book so I'll shut up now.
I made you a Christmas present which involved ordering a component online and it still hasn't turned up (along with my mum and gran's presents!) so sorry about that! I'll have to give it to you when the Royal Mail gets its shit together again ;)