This is an account of when I was severely unwell with anorexia nervosa. Through this essay I explored the ways in which I was coping, E.g. what I was thinking and how I felt. I wrote this piece in April 2003 after a nervous breakdown which had been brought on by the anorexia. The reason I wrote this was to get my thoughts and feelings across to my family who were looking after me constantly because I was too emotionally unstable to attend school. I came to write this from reading an article about three different categories of personality (which I ironically found in my counsellor’s waiting room) asking the reader which group they felt they fitted into. I only wrote about the group that I felt I belonged to. This dissertation is called six words about me
Worrying at the moment is a part of my life, it seems that I cannot stop worrying about one thing after another. For an average person worry can be controlled and slowly dissolved into nothing after talking to someone close who cares or even just re-thinking the problem through. But this is not the case for me at the moment for I have thoughts that I cannot help but trust no matter how ill and unhappy they have made me. Sometimes I can be persuaded around another direction by those that love me but they are not inside me with my thoughts; my family are not with me twenty four hours a day like the “monsters” living in my thoughts are.
There are three personality groups. But I will only be talking about the one I fit into.
The first group is the worriers group these people contain these following emotions and act out these words:
They HIDE things
They COMPARE themselves to others
They often feel GUILTY
They feel ISOLATED
They feel they are POWERLESS to their circumstances
And they feel AFRAID
I suppose I hide a lot things like a lot of worriers do because I am afraid of what people will do if they know me. I suppose I hide things because if I leave out the things that make me, me then maybe they won’t think I’m weird, strange - a freak! There is the chance that people could like me for being me but, like many worriers, I do not have enough self confidence to let them see the real me out in the open. Worriers like myself are possibly like this because we have been shunned by somebody, who we maybe disliked or liked very much. This is why we hide so many things away from the world. Anyway hiding’s what we do best.
Like quite a lot of people I compare myself to others frequently and yearn to be like them, e.g. I had their looks, personality. I feel inadequate every hour that I am awake. But unlike many other people I have the determination to go through with things which. For example, it can be good for me because if I focus intensely on something and concentrate all my energy on achieving that goal then I will attain it. But if I focus on an objective that the people that care about me dislike, I will find it hard to remain as close to them any more, because I am not easily halted.
As I have pushed myself so far to carry out this goal of weight-loss, I feel constantly guilty when I have been forced to change direction. I don’t want to eat because my thoughts which are with me every minute of every day tell me that eating is horrific because eating puts on weight, and eating makes people fat. Did you know there are so many overweight people in the U.K.? What’s stopping the doctor’s from thinking that overweight is the perfect weight for me? This is how my thoughts manipulate me…… But what people around me are saying is eat. You look ill, you look thin, you looked great, we just want to get you to a normal weight….Yet my thoughts tell me it’s all a lie. They infect me with their mistrust. I want to please my family because I love them but I like not eating because my thoughts make me feel good and tell me I’m not putting on any weight because I’m not eating anything to put on…….but then the guilt creeps in if I have eaten, “You shouldn’t have eaten, that was very bad, you’ll get fat…..but then it’s just as bad with why are you doing this? You’re so selfish!”.
I feel isolated all the time. I feel that I haven’t got a problem; so I don’t want to get rid of what people term my anorexia. For some reason everyone is against me, when all my life my family and friends have battled alongside me, now they battle against me and my thoughts. They see my thoughts as a gremlin but I see them as me. I see it in my imagination, a grey background horribly dull, me on one side and everyone else on the other. The ground is grey like the sky in January, deserted by the love and the warmth of the Sun. Everyone glares at me or looks through me as if I don’t exist anymore. I feel no love anymore. I feel worthless all the time with so much I could have done but so much I’ll never get the chance to do. I feel like a person who has just lay down in the desert there’s a chance of getting water but the water has no value to them anymore. anymore.
I feel powerless because no matter what I do I have no choice to decide my destiny; my fate is being chosen by my family and the medical profession and I am absolutely powerless against them. There is absolutely nothing I can do. I feel like I’ve put into a locked box with no means of escaping and I can never go back. It feels as though everyone has control except me. Everybody holds their own compass but instead I’m being lead down a different road when all I want to do is walk my own path.
I feel afraid because what they want me to become may turn them against me. In the end they will just stop loving me for being such a horrible obesity. Who would want to love the grotesque enormous pig I will become? Well I certainly wouldn’t !! At the moment I know I am not fat but when they get me to my “perfect weight” then they will realise that the problem isn’t that there is something evil inside me. It’s just me. Then they will loathe and resent me for what I’ve become. I’ll die alone, no-one caring that I’ve gone. That is why I am afraid to change the way I am because although I’ve been told I was nicer before, what if I become fat but my mind is still trapped the way it was, the way it is now. This is what scares me most in my life.
My Dad used to joke that I was going to go anorexic if I carried on, he never meant it. But what haunts me is that I used to think I’m not like everyone else I can be anorexic and happy. It’s possible to do both. I used to imagine me being bubbly and energetic and thin! I saw everyone liking me and everyone looking at me enviously going, “I wish I was as skinny as you are”. But this is a warning to anyone who even thinks of it, you can never be happy! It always wants you to go lower and it says you’re special and if that happens to you…. if you are admitted down to an anorexic’s ward. See how special you really are….
People ask me do I ever wish that I were normal again. But that is such a difficult question to answer, so I try not to answer it. In ways NO, I’ve worked so hard to lose weight and I don’t want to put it back on. In ways I would do anything I could to leave the road I’m on because I wouldn’t be alone anymore. But I wouldn’t be thin and there’s nothing worse than being fat. I don’t know why but when I look at myself in the mirror, I feel happy but sad, I feel content yet empty and most of all I look at myself and this is the only thing that isn’t confused, this feeling is the only one that I feel every moment of everyday - I AM WORTHLESS - and nobody can take that away from me. NOBODY!