This is quite difficult for me to write. For those wanting to recover, for those who feel that it will never get better. I want this to help you and provide you with some hope that it does get better.
I remember the worst days. I mean everyday was bad. But there were some REALLY bad ones.
24th April 2018.
Carm and I were in Cornwall for a few days with my step brother and his girlfriend. It was the four of us (meant to be six but my mum broke her leg) all in a big beautiful 6 bedroom house, overlooking the sea. Carm begged me to have a few days without any running or exercise. I said I would try. We got there in the evening, I tried to relax and we toasted some marshmallows over the fire. I told myself that it was a holiday, I was allowed to indulge. Once I started eating chocolate, I couldn’t stop. That’s what happens when you restrict yourself, you binge like a teenager with the munchies. I ate two share bags of rolos, minstrels, bar of galaxy and more marshmallows. I ate until I felt sick and a crippling pain in my stomach. I went to bed feeling anxious, guilty and irritable.
The next morning, I woke up at 7am. I laid there thinking about the amount of sugar I ate last night. The ED voice repeating “You better get moving, you ate about 2000 calories last night, you’re turning into a lazy slob, you’re surrounded by amazing views, you should go for a run.” I thought that I would be nicer to be around if I ran, it would calm my anxiety and I would get that temporary high. I will run so that I am better company. I actually convinced myself that I was doing everyone a favour. I NEEDED to run, if I didn’t then I would feel terrible and that would make Carm feel bad.
I quietly sneaked out of bed, trying not to wake anyone. I slipped on my running shoes and tiptoed out into the wind. I ran for 10 miles along the coast. I felt better straight away, a big relief, I could have ran for miles. I tried to creep back into the kitchen but Carm was waiting for me. He shouted at me, I said I was fine, the usual argument. He kicked things and shouted “You’re killing yourself and you don’t even care.”
I locked myself in my bedroom and I cried. I cried hard. Like really sobbed. I thought, what if this is it. What if this really is as good as it gets. I have never in my life, felt so alone. I was racked with guilt that Carm had to suffer with me. The guilt made the depression worse. I lay there thinking, this is never going to get better, it doesn’t matter what I do or what I don’t do. I could win the lottery and I wouldn’t have cared. My Mum and Chris offered to pay for our dinner at Rick Stein’s famous Sea Food restaurant. But it didn’t make me feel any better, I was angry at myself. Mum was trying to make me feel better but NOTHING worked. I felt so guilty that I wasn’t being grateful enough.
Nobody knew what was happening to me, I didn’t even understand it, so there was no hope that anyone else would.
This illness has taken over my life and Meg is no more. It got its claws in me and I can’t get out of its grip. I am anorexic and it has beaten me. It’s too hard to fight it, I want to let it win.
I don’t want to live like this anymore. Now I get it, I actually understand why people want to end their life. It is an easy way out of a dark lonely hole. It was never an option for me, but I didn’t think I would EVER get better.
My heart rate was 38bpm, my hormones were non-existent, and I would wake up at 3am dripping in sweat. My bum hurt when I sat down, my hips were constantly sore, I was always freezing cold. I didn’t tell anyone how much it was hurting. Because I didn’t want people to think me as weak. How ridiculous is that.
It’s like being stuck in a dark maze with no way out, you’re completely lost, with nothing but a voice. A voice telling you over and over again, if you don’t run then you’re lazy, if you don’t eat clean, then you’ve failed. The voice only shut up when I ran.
I tried to imagine the future, but all I could see were dark clouds. I was surrounded by clouds and I couldn’t see past them.
My friend came and sat on the end of my bed, she told me it would get better, and she told me that she struggled with depression. I never let anyone see me this upset, but I didn’t care anymore.
I had no idea that she was on medication for depression. That gave me some hope. She was getting through it, so I could too. Suddenly I didn’t feel as alone.
That day we all walked 9 miles. Everyone else was tired, but my body could have kept going. I could have run another 10 miles. Looking back now I realise my body was lying to me. The psychologist said not to trust my body and she was so right. How could I run 10 miles, cry and sob, then walk 9 miles and STILL not feel tired?!
That was one of my worst days. Because I had no hope, I wanted to give up and stop fighting, because being anorexic felt SO much easier.
I think that’s why it has the highest mortality rate for any mental illness. Only 40% ever fully recover.
It tears your life apart, and then holds the broken pieces down.
For all of you having bad days, it does get better. You can fight it.