A difficult decision had come to fruition, I’d sold a dream I’d created, the family had grown up. Stress, anxiety, overwhelm… Life gave me lemons but I struggled with the recipe for lemonade. Change still tasted a tad sour.
My feelings took me back to when I was fourteen.
I’d been assured that I’d made the right decision. This time I was in control, walking the path through the legalistic jargon alone. There were delays as paperwork went back and froth. The simple process of signing a sales contract seemed convoluted. My faith which hadn’t faltered began to wobble. I waited and waited for the phone call assuring me that it was all on track. Days stretched into weeks.
With each passing day my anxiety increased. I began to make phone calls. The type of calls that go round and round not really providing the answer. The dog died. My loyal friend, an old lady now was failing. Loss added to the burden.
Over lunch after another failed phone call, I felt it: that familiar feeling. It lives inside still though largely regulated these days. A moment of public tears became an epiphany! Just change. Its easy just eat, just stop exercising as much, just stop obsessing about your belly, just, just , just…
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, anorexia begins slowly, innocently. a few well-meaning changes here and there. Then a few more. and more again. and just when more seems impossible just a little more again. I was in a cage of my creation, unwittingly captured. Rapidly, I found myself in a corner with so many observances to attend to; I had little time to live. To laugh.
Joy vanished and hard work became part of everyday existence. Just cut yourself a bit of slack. If only it was that easy. Not keeping up with the routine led to guilt and fear. Guilt said, ‘You can’t even stick to a few simple rules. Fear said, ‘We’ve come this far, do you want to lose it all now?’
Unlike an acute episode of anxiety, the anorexic experience permeates every aspect of life. The web, so carefully created ensnared every moment. It fills the mind with activity, thoughts, fears and on top of the demands of everyday life; there is little energy for change. Life becomes a secret hell. I for one didn’t fully understand the gravity of my situation. I knew something was wrong but how could I share my inner world experiences?
As an adolescent, I didn’t trust my migrant parents. Marginalised in the school yard, finding a friend proved difficult, a confidant impossible. What if they didn’t like me? What if they blabbed? So I held my secret, a weight that dragged me like water surely going down the drain.
Just change, as you can see is not so easy. It is however essential. If you find yourself in this space, please reach out. Check out the links below.