Relapsing into anorexia as an adult and mother after being well for over 20 years was not something I anticipated. The shame I feel as an adult/mother with anorexia has been awful.
“How can this be happening?”
“If I loved my children enough then I could make myself eat.”
“Doing this is selfish and I need to think about my family and not myself all the time.”
All of these thoughts go around in my head and yet still I struggle to 'just eat'. Every day is a struggle to pretend that everything is OK. I find ways to get out of almost every situation that involves food. I lie, hide things and put on this happy and trouble free act.
But it doesn't work. People see that I'm not well, they comment on my appearance. It has made me realise what a distorted view most people have of what having anorexia is all about. Friends have asked me why I would want to be so skinny, like a supermodel, that I am too old to worry about things like that now. That I should stop looking in the mirror and worrying what I look like.
The truth is that I can't bear to look in a mirror at all, I never think about trying to a supermodel. The fear I feel at the thought of seeing the weight on the scales go up is indescribable. The panic I feel at the thought of eating anything that isn't a 'safe food' is not something I'd wish on my worst enemy. The amount of times that I've been told to 'do it for my children' or 'think about your family' is unbearable. Like I am not feeling guilty enough as it is. EVERY day I worry that my daughters will pick up on my habits, that I am going to make them become anorexic too. I love them more than life itself, I just wish I could switch off these thoughts in my head. I try so hard to ignore them but it is just not that simple.
I feel like anorexia and every other eating disorder, is seen by society as 'attention seeking' behaviour. For some reason, it seems OK to joke about celebrities who have lost a lot of weight, or to assume that individuals with anorexia want people to 'look at' or notice them. However, I don't think that is true. At least for me. The last thing I want is for people to notice, or to look at me. I try hiding myself in layers of clothing. I hate having to eat in front of people because I don't want them to notice that I am scared or that I am trying to not eat certain foods. The LAST thing I want to do is to be noticed, I actually wish I could disappear.
I guess I just wish that people could be a little kinder. I spend most of my time hating myself and feeling guilty as it is. Thinking that everyone else is judging me and thinking that I WANT to be like this is unbearable. Yes, it is me who needs to make the decision to eat and to take control of this; but trust me it is not that simple. I really don't WANT to be like this. I wish it would go away but it won't. I dream of waking up tomorrow and not feeling this way anymore but it just never happens. I have no choice but to keep on fighting this, to do my very best. I have to do it for my children. I know that ...I'm trying...nobody needs to remind me.