Anorexia nervosa has this amazing way of warping reality
One of the hardest yet most helpful things for me during my recovery was accepting anorexia as a serious disease. I was so hard on myself, and I felt that I simply had to ‘get a hold of myself.’
The reality is that this illness is heavier and more complex than most people imagine- anyone who has suffered or been close to someone who has knows this.
Anorexia nervosa has this amazing way of warping reality. While I was unwell, things were very skewed for me. Things that were typically ‘good’ became ‘bad’ and vice versa. Feeling vibrant and energetic was bad to me, because it meant I was eating ‘too much’, while feeling weak and faint felt right.
The voice is a powerful and persistent force, which sat in my minds eye constantly. It’s an aggressive tone, which only calms down if you obey it. It’s as if the weaker you become physically, the stronger and more powerful that voice gets. I have always felt like the voice fed off my physical form to grow. During recovery you will find that with more physical strength you gain, and the less you listen to your voice, the weaker it becomes.
As soon as I walked through the doors of the treatment facility, I knew I wasn’t going to waste any more of my youth like this. I recovered with plenty of struggles, but overriding those were hope and optimism.
I view anorexia as a disease that will always lie dormant in me; it has taken years to shake certain behaviours and thought patterns. Every so often I find myself being triggered and practising harmful behaviours again. I recognise this as the disease trying to come alive again. I choose to view these behaviours as self harm, and dissect where that urge is coming from.
So, ‘recovery’ is really an ongoing maintenance. I think it’s about remaining aware, and not being ashamed to reach out- even if you look fine.