More than a rollercoaster ride.

Published 28 August, 2012 by ladyem83

I’m tired of the psychological fairground ride I’m on.  It only takes the slightest of triggers (perceptible or not)  and my mindset flips to that of Ana. I can be ‘up’ one day: confident; happy; optimistic; and just as quickly I can be ‘down’ the next day: insecure, questioning, confused; tired.  The in between time is spent spinning around on a waltzer of confusion, challenges and counter-challenges.

The waltzer’s strobe lights try to blind my rational views with new ideas, new ways to cheat, new ways to be ‘clever’, new ways to deceive.  The music blaring tries to drown out my timid voice of reason.  I’m gripping the handrail of this waltzer for dear life.  My eyes are shut tight against the disorientating light.  I’m trying to shout above the thumping music. I’m trying to focus on my centre, remain grounded, fight the incredible G-force that is trying to throw me out.

Why did I wake up on Monday morning not feeling comfortable with myself?  Why did I have to keep myself busy all day?  Why was I afraid of stopping, thinking?  Why did I feel that I didn’t deserve to be?

If I’m having a ‘wobble’ day then anything I perceive to be a slight against me strikes me to my very core and my immediate reaction is to punish myself.

When my best friend told me her boyfriend had proposed I swelled with happiness for her, and then in the split second that followed I told myself: that will never happen to me, it only further cements the truth that I’m not worthy of anybody.

When somebody said my writing wasn’t quite the right subject for their website I interpreted it as a personal dismissal of me.  I’m not good enough a person, I’ve failed.

My only coping mechanism is to punish myself by restricting my eating. After all, I don’t deserve to food!

Right now, other than breakfast and dinner (which I’m comfortable with, providing they’re my safe foods) anything else needs to be justified.  What have I done to deserve that treat?  Have I been sufficiently active to burn it off?  Have I done something good so that it will constitute a treat for myself?  Do I deserve that treat?

I spoke about this with my dietician this morning.  I am all too aware that feeding my body is not rewarding it but rather fuelling and nurturing it, allowing it to grow, repair and rebuild.

But I feel disconnected from my body.  My body is my outlet:  the target of my fears, failures and anxieties.

I baked a cake yesterday with no intention of eating any.  After dinner, however, I thought it would be nice to sit with a cup of tea and a slice of cake.  I thought about it and decided that I would.  I enjoyed it.  Banana and hazelnut.  Deliciously moist, fruity, crunchy and fresh.  The perfect accompaniment to my Earl Grey tea.

Afterwards I sobbed until the tears ran dry.  Ana was telling me that I’d been weak; that I hadn’t done anything which deserved that cake; it was empty food and eaten out of my sheer indulgence and greed.

STOP!

I heard Ana’s words and recognised the malice in them.  Those words weren’t nurturing, they weren’t caring, they weren’t protecting me.

THINK!

I had only eaten a piece of cake.  That one piece of cake was not going to make me fat.  It was not going to damage me.  I deserved to enjoy a piece of the cake which I had baked for no other reason than I wanted to try it!

ALLOW!

I made a promise to myself at the weekend that I would start each day afresh.  I wouldn’t allow one day’s negativity to permeate and infect my new day.  I would take strength and encouragement from the positives and carry them forward with pride into my new day.

My instinct had been to restrict my eating today to compensate for the cake; but that’s not in keeping with my promise.

So, I acknowledged my feelings.  I accepted that Ana’s voice had plagued me and tried to break me.  I forgave myself for letting Ana in.  I recognised that I had found some strength to challenge Ana’s rationale.  I promised that tomorrow would be a new day.  I would face tomorrow’s challenges afresh.

I’d love to say that I slept soundly in the comfort of my own words but it wasn’t so.  I questioned, I deliberated, I worried, I doubted, I went around and around on the violent spinning circles of the waltzer; overlapping, tangling, spiralling, colliding circles.

Where am I this morning?  I’m not sure why I’m trying to change, I don’t feel like I’m doing it for myself, out of pride for myself, out of love for, or interest in myself.

But today is a new day.  So I tell myself:

I am deserving. I’m allowed to be happy.

I am worthy.  I’m allowed to nurture myself.

I give myself permission to be happy.

I give myself permission to be open to other people and other experiences.

I forgive myself.

I accept myself.

NOW I MUST NOW LEARN TO BELIEVE THEM & EMBODY THEM.

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2 comments on “More than a rollercoaster ride.

  • Wow – you are so, so hard on yourself. I wonder if you can see how hard it would be to achieve all the goals you set for yourself in this post. Not only to eat, but t0o be happy eating, to feel confident and to love yourself. I have no doubt whatsovever how wonderful you are,and you need to give yourself a break, if you are to achieve these als, which you can and you will.

    Just focus on one thing – eating. Keep it simple and safe. Plan meals with your mum or friend and focus on completing each one. dont feel a failure because Ana screams at you, or you cry. That will happen. Accept the tears and carry on. It will be so, so hard and that is NOT because you are weak. It is because it is really hard and Ana fights back every time. In the clinic where L is, they won’t even consider therapy she reaches a BMI of 16. Because she is too weak with the starvation of anorexia. For now she just has to eat. And it is agony for her, but she does it. there is no way of making eating easy, none at all, except doing it and keeping doing it. You berat yourself for not being strong, would you shout at someone on crutches for being really slow? No, of course you wouldn’t. so be s kind to yourelf as you would be to others.

    It will take months before you can eat out in restaurants or cafes and not feel the tyranny of Ana. So eat in safe places, eat at home or with people who know your struggle. Take the decisions away – thyey are exhausting. Each decision is a chance for Ana to argue with you and intervene. As you get stronger, and you will, so will Ana. Be prpeared for more tears, to loathe the weight gain. Feeling like that will not make you weak or a failure.

    The Yellow Brick Road is full of challenges and instead of finding the Wizard who makes it all better, it is about finding yourself and that happiness is not over the rainbow, but in our backyards. Take small steps and celebrate each one. You made cake and ate it. That is so amazing and incredible, well done. Of course Ana kicked back, it will. In time you will eat it and be happy. But not now, because that would be a miracle and i have learnt there is no such thing. Somewhere in all our heads is a voice that says anorexics just need to snap out of it. That voice is as toxic as the anorexic voice. If you are to truly love yourself, then accept you will find it hard.

    We have never met, but I am so proud of you, for finding a voice and sharing with others, for cheering on L and me, for eating cake and for being able to hear when it is ana whispering poison in your ear. Keep going – and be proud of yourself

  • If you think you are beaten, you are,
    If you think you dare not, you won’t,
    if you like to win but think you can’t
    It is almost certain that you won’t.

    If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
    For out of the world we find
    Success begins with a person’s will
    It’s all in the state of mind

    If you think you are outclassed, you are
    You’ve got to think high to rise
    You’ve got to be sure of yourself
    Before you can ever win the praise

    Life’s battles don’t always go
    To the stronger or the faster person
    But sooner or later the person who wins
    Is the person who thinks they can.

    You WILL win not only the daily battles but the whole damn war!!

    Love you, YSM.

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