Tag Archive | Heartache

The Hardest Thing

I know the pain and heartache involved in fighting an eating disorder, I know how exhausting it is. I know how tiring it can be to face one of your greatest fears – food, and to attempt to push through that fear because, quite frankly, it’s life or death. What I didn’t know, however, was how hard and heartbreaking it would be to fight an eating disorder from the outside. To sit, looking into the pleading eyes of the hostage of an eating disorder and beg with her to do what it would take to potentially save her life.

“I know how hard it is, sweetheart, but please, please put the tube in your mouth. All it’s going to do is help you think better.” She looks at me, and with a voice both weak, but full of venom at the same time spit out two small words; “I’m. Fine.” She tells me. Legs bouncing against the foot plates of the wheel chair and her tiny, clammy hands clasped around the tube of glucose, she looks me in the eye. One pleading look before her eyes glaze over and it’s like she’s not even there, an empty shell. Repeating her name and pinching the space between her finger and thumb, I repeat my statement until she hears me. “You need this, honey, you need it to live. If you don’t have this you’re going to have a seizure, end up unconscious and they’ll give it to you in an IV. You’ve got the control now to eat it, if you don’t, they’re going to take that control away from you.” She blinks slowly, “Sorry?”. She hadn’t heard a word I said. It broke my heart to sit and try so hard to get her to eat the glucose, to see her so scared, so vulnerable and so overwhelmed by her illness. Confronted to be fighting the same illness I fight inwardly on a daily basis, wanting to scream at the eating disorder to shut the fuck up so I could get through to my friend, my big sister, to tell it to let her go, to give our beautiful girl a break so we could save her life. Wanting to do anything I could to take that pain away from her. N and I both at a loss, both worried. I couldn’t be any more thankful to have had N there with me to help our friend, to have had someone else who understands, to help talk to her, to try to get her to work with us. To help talk her into going to emergency, to try to get past ED and through to our friend.

It broke my heart moreso knowing that if our roles were reversed, the situation wouldn’t be much different. I absolutely hated sitting there getting angry at her for not doing what she needed to do to keep herself alive, but at the same time thinking to myself that I was the biggest hypocrite in the world. It killed me to see what this illness does, as an outsider fighting for someone who’s been like a big sister, getting angry with her, getting frustrated, telling the nurse to just “give her a fucking IV, ’cause she’s not going to eat this!” because I was at a loss as to what else to do. It terrified me to be standing against her bed, calling her name over and over, pinching and rubbing her arms to get her to come back to us so the nurse could do a proper assessment. Two hours and a bag of fluids later, you wouldn’t even know that the quick witted, laughing, smiling young lady in front of you was the same person.

It’s times like that make me realise how quickly these illnesses can take hold of a persons life. It makes me furious that this illness has taken away so much from so many. And times like this that make me thankful that I have so much support. I’m terrified of what this illness is doing to me and continues to do to me. I’m terrified that Ursula is so loud and intrusive today. I HATE that she’s got so much power. She doesn’t have the right to be running my life the way she is.

I know that there is never going to be an easy part of recovery, there’s never going to be anything that ‘just works’, it’s going to take hard work and commitment, it’s going to make me want to scream and cry and yell and run away, but it’s those times that I need to put in the most work and take the most from those experiences. It’s the times when I don’t want to do it any more, that I need to fight the hardest.

Never, ever stop fighting. You’re not alone, and you’re worthy of recovery.

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Jingle Bells

Christmas is always a difficult time of year for some people, myself included. Regardless of this, I always looked forward to Christmas day, the Clichéd promise of a day filled with food, laughter and happiness overrode my knowledge that just because it’s a special day in some religions, doesn’t mean things are going to instantly change within one’s household. Of course, we still did all the presents and big meals and laughter, water fights and the afternoon nap before more food is consumed, but there was always tension in the air and I never really enjoyed myself, whether it be a result of a drunken rant the night before, or the impending ‘doom’ that is a result of a day filled with alcohol. However, despite this knowledge, I always found myself somewhat excited about the lead up to Christmas. I used to love snuggling up with mum and watching the Christmas movies on TV or buying Christmas decorations and putting up Christmas lights.

This year, each day in the lead up to Christmas becomes significantly more painful than the last. I’ve made some big decisions in the last few weeks, and whilst I don’t regret them, combined with the constant onslaught of Christmas ‘stuff’ in everyday life right now, they’re a painful reminder of the fact that I’m the driving wedge between my family at the moment and regardless of what I do, Christmas wont be the same this year. Each time I turn on the TV or go to the shops I’m confronted with images of happy families, children laughing, smiling, parents cuddling and kissing. The perfect picture. Each time my heart breaks, I feel the lump in my throat develop and I blink back tears. I find myself fighting back tears at work as well, sometimes as I help a customer shop for a present for their mum or a mother shop for their child. Even answering the phone reminds me that I’m a little more lonely than I’d like to be right now. All this will pass and I will learn to deal with it. I keep reminding myself that I’ve been going it alone for the past few weeks, with my psych away, so it’s all built up and I haven’t had a chance to really vent. I’m hoping that after I’ve had the chance to do such venting tomorrow I’ll see things from a different perspective and be able to focus on things better.

I’ve caused so much heartache and pain in the past few months, I don’t think any Christmas will ever be the same. I’ve opened up about assault, pressed for confrontations, begged for people to understand. These are all positives steps I needed to take to help myself, but it means that I’ve put a dividing line right down the middle of my family and for now, I’ve taken a step out of the picture while I try to work on how I feel about it and allow them to work out their own thoughts and feelings.

I know some don’t agree with my choice to cut contact with my family, but I still stand by it. While I fight daily with violent thoughts and I’m constantly flirting with suicidal ideations, my choice to cut contact wasn’t to isolate myself to make suicide easier, but rather to better my chances of over coming these thoughts and working on my own healing path. I’ve sent letters to people, many letters, explaining my feelings, articulating my needs and wants, and expressing my hurt. I sent a letter to my abuser. I told him how much he’s hurt me. I told him how much of an impact what he did has on me, and I told him how I feel about him. It was a release that I needed, so much more than I realised and I felt liberated until I received a response from him. The response I received was violent and shocking, and triggered my already lowered mood to plummet to dangerously low levels. I fought through, and a week or two later I understand that his response was inadequate, defensive and had nothing to do with myself but rather his own insecurities and issues that are his own to deal with. I’ve done what I need to do, what he does now has nothing to do with me and he’s no longer a physical part of my life. I don’t need to have contact with him. I have control over that part of my life for the first time in many, many years.

The last few weeks have been a big challenge, and also a big learning curve. I’ve limited the contact I have with my mum – putting boundaries on the contact she has with me and taking control of when and how we contact each other. This means that I’ve realised for the first time how dependant I still was on her for acceptance and ‘permission’. Even in therapy, I found myself ‘holding back’ in ways because I was always waiting for permission to follow through with divulging parts of my past or information about my family. Whilst I feel a little strange without the constant contact we used to have, I understand that it’s not forever. I just have control over what contact is made and when at the moment. I know I’ve caused a lot of hurt, but I need to build my own paths and work out my own directions without the influence of others right now. It’s fucking hard to explain, but I know I’ve done the right thing.

Despite this though, it means I’m a little lost and confused this year without family around leading up to Christmas. Will my parents even want to spend that day with me? Do I deserve to? Do *I* want to spend the day with my family. I feel like I’ve fucked up so much within my family, that Christmas isn’t even that much of an event. They’d be better of spending it with each other without me skulking around making a mess of things. They’d be happier without me, the burden child – the difficult one, being around. I want to send my mum an email, one to thank her and let her understand that I appreciate her respecting me and my choices and these requests, and two – ask her what she wants. But I can’t, I don’t know what to say.

Regardless of all that, in the back of my mind playing over and over is the constant negative thought train telling me I’ve fucked everything up for everyone and I should just stay out of everyone’s way all together.Who’d want someone like me around at Christmas anyway? I’m just a pain in the arse, waste of space, piece of shit.

Anyway, Merry Christmas. Jingle bells. Ho Ho Ho. Whatever. Just another fucking day, bring on 2012 – maybe the coming of a new year will see things change in a positive way. But then again, I say that every year so I wont hold my breath.