Posted on May 12, 2012
Four years ago today – almost to the hour – I reached the end of a long downward spiral which unfolded during my first year of uni. After an initially promising start, I endured a traumatic experience which propelled an already-budding eating disorder from mild to severe – going from mild to severe bulimia, with a direct transition into anorexia (only resorted to in a last-ditch effort to “cure” the bulimia) which, in turn, took on a life of its own. As these things tend to do. Eventually, I checked into a clinic in order to temporarily hand over the controls to a third party, as I had clearly demonstrated I wasn’t capable of doing so anymore. A place which I had never previously given a second thought to, simply as a place of luxury where those in “high society” would go for a quick holiday, refreshed and ready to taint themselves with debauchery all over again, until their next check-in.
For me, it was either that or go somewhere hundreds of miles away, and that was something I couldn’t deal with. So it wasn’t so much the “luxury option” as the “only bearable option” at the time.
My entire memory of that time in my life is quite hazy, characterised by even more peculiar than usual thoughts and decisions and obsessions, all pursued in the futile attempt at taking back the reigns in my failed attempt at a new life. It even reached a point where – for reasons still not entirely clear to me now – I didn’t feel like I deserved to be “me” anymore, the “me” who made all the mistakes which led to me getting into that state in the first place. It took an extremely long time to return to the things I once loved from then on.
I’m not sure I’m able to, at the moment, give a full auto-bigraphical account of the time but in short, after a testy bout of physical and mental re-feeding, I began to slowly piece my personality back together, having become a weird sort of drone obeying strict and incomprehensible self-made laws of living, and I began to fight back for a pitiful shred of self-control which I mistook for a sense of autonomy. However, before I could tackle this properly, I was ejected prematurely – good old health insurance – and ended up in a limbo consisting of “just holding on”, which would last into the foreseeable future.
Many things have changed since then, apart from making an almost accidental physical recovery. I moved back to my hometown, moved away again, had my “first time” (I think you know what I mean), came back to my hometown, restarted uni, got a dog called Charlie, my Gran passed away, I went on a few mini-breaks, I got inked for the first time, I got together with a long-term friend who would become my fiancé, discovered a fondness for cycling in the countryside, went away some more, started eating more…
Even a year ago today, I remember thinking about all the above which had happened in the few years since that rather strange day. I still had, and have, much of the same issues with my mind and my body and overall sense of self-assurance. Replacing one problem with another has been a lifelong tendency of mine, and that doesn’t look set to change.
The cause of all that has happened is probably more important to realise than the actual stuff that has taken place since then. But I owe it to myself and to those in my life to try and find a better way to make the most of life I have remaining.
It will be interesting to see what will happen in another year’s time.