9 January 2014

"You know what you need to do.."

It's possibly one of the hardest things someone recovering from anorexia will hear. 

In the early days, meals, food, calories, weight targets, blood tests, specific therapy challenges and tasks are set out on a plate for you, they're dictated to you. You really don't KNOW what you need to do. 

You've somehow forgotten everything you ever knew about logic and reason.

A sort of anorexia induced amnesia. 

But from day one I guess I DID know what I'd need to do. Eat, restore weight, work hard. I knew I had to think one thing and do the opposite. I knew I had to run from anorexia.

But I also knew I had no choice, if I wanted to stay outpatient, I knew I had to drink a hundreds of Fortisips, I knew I had to make breakfast and I knew even if I hated every mouthful, even if the world was caving in around me, through hell and high water I knew I had to follow my meal plan.  

I also knew I had to trust my team and what they were telling me. I'd already trusted anorexia and her promises that turned out to be complete lies. She didn't solve anything. 

I knew what I needed to do. I needed to trust in the process. I knew what I needed to do, but fortunately at that point that was dictated, signed and enforced to make me accountable. But I used that 'excuse' to calm anorexia down, I blamed my team and asked anorexia not to be angry at me.  

But now, two and half years into recovery, I DO know what I need to do. I've been learning, practising and doing it for long enough to know and not need to be told again. So they don't. I get told "I know what I need to do.." and they are right. I do. 

I am healthier, I am more aware, I have more of a life again, I am stable. But I am NOT recovered and as much as I hate it or don't feel it (at all) I am not FULLY weight restored. I am not yet fully healthy, either physically or mentally. 

Recovery ticks along. I eat. I am coping with managing the arguments with anorexia and dealing with anxiety. But trusting the process, trusting people, trusting how I feel is harder. Trusting ME is hard.

I will admit, keeping food safe and coping though compensations gives one a false sense of security in recovery. It's easy to say your okay and wave hello from your comfort zone.

Being aware of what I need to do to beat anorexia, escape my comfort zones and challenge myself, but not having Ms. F. dictating food challenges is harder because I know what I need to do.

There is no justification or comprise with anorexia that I HAVE to, I don't, but I NEED to. 

It's painful because it is now the prospect of head on clash. It really is 'Sarah versus Anorexia' and I keep putting that battle off by staying in my bubble. 

I now know what I need to do. I'm just struggling to TRUST that doing it will feel better. So I don't seem to be doing it with any sort of conviction recently, despite knowing and not DOING causing guilt too.


  1. I can relate to this so much; after my last dietitian session, I came home and cried saying "I don't know what to do, I don't know how to get better." But I DO know, I just don't like the only answer.

  2. so so true and very well written. I can completely relate and wish that I could 'trust' as you say, but it is no good wishing, the only way it will happen is to do it myself...what a hard and exhausting battle this illness is.