This phrase seems to have been incredibly diluted through excessive use in popular discourse. My brother uses the abbreviation, ‘tbh’ too frequently in text messages. Why do we feel the need to prefix certain statements and/or opinions with a warning of honesty? Surely we should be confident that every opinion we express is done so with pride, conviction and, above all else, honesty?
I have entitled this post as such because I feel a need to qualify my previous post My 30th birthday…
This blog honestly describes my path through anorexia, depression and recovery. My 30th birthday… described how I enjoyed and experienced my fabulous birthday weekend. If, however, I am to be true to this blog, then I should also describe the other aspect to my birthday weekend because, recovery isn’t all party poppers and Champagne.
My path through recovery seems to be hellishly bumpy. Just as I begin to gather strength, a degree of contentment and self-confidence, a demon inside me hits the self-destruct button and I spiral downwards at a rate of knots.
In my writing, I purposefully separate myself from the demon. You may think I’m seeking a scapegoat, so that I can excuse my thoughts and behaviour. This isn’t the case. I know this isn’t the case because I have lived most of my life without anorexia and depression. I know that I do not want to walk the path to self-destruction, yet there is something inside me that paints an extremely convincing picture as to why I deserve only self-destruction. You may say; “Well, if you know that’s not the real you and that you want to behave differently, then why don’t you?”
At this point, I hold my hands up. You may give up reading here, and I don’t blame you. You may despise my weakness and think I should, ‘pull myself together’; I know that’s what I think.
I am a strong character. I have been strong for the last 17 years. I really don’t know why, but now, for some reason I can’t quite muster that all-encompassing strength to put myself on the right track and continuously keep myself there.
Oh, believe me, when it’s called for I can put on my ‘Game Face’ and knock it out of the park. But, during the hours I spend alone (and they are many), I struggle with the other voice. I’m so tired of putting on my Game Face. Even at the weekend when no Game Face was required, just being happy and being me, is enough for the other voice to kick into gear and put me in my place.
So, here it is TBH:
I was shaking and crying when I saw my birthday cards and presents….I don’t deserve that love.
Mum held me to ransom outside Aberdeen: “We will sit here in the car until you’ve eaten that bread roll. IT doesn’t want you to enjoy this weekend, we are not giving IT what IT wants.” I hid half of the bread roll in the folds of the road map until an hour later when I confessed to Mum what I’d done and then ate the rest of it, knowing that doing so was like throwing a grenade into the heart of Ana’s camp but that I needed to do it.
I felt I didn’t deserve the effort my brother and his girlfriend had gone to to make a wonderful, relaxed birthday buffet for me (including all my safe foods).
I don’t deserve, I don’t deserve, I don’t deserve.
This all sounds so self-pitying, and I won’t think ill of you if you interpret it that way.
As a small token of defence I will say that; I am trying. Yep, I’m tripping up and cocking up an awful lot, however, along the way I am telling those who need to know all about these mess-ups. I don’t think I’m strong enough to do this on my own.
I would so like to bury my head in the sand and stay there, but if I do so I will be signing my own death certificate.
Suffice to say, something is still preventing me from signing that death certificate and at times, I really resent whatever that ‘something’ is.
In the meantime, I’ll just keep walking, making messy mistakes, stumbling, falling, reaching out my hand, getting up and falling again until, finally, hopefully, I am able to walk alone.
This is not a pretty truth, but it’s my truth.