It’s pancake day today. My mum made some for her and my sister this morning when everyone else had gone to school/work, and then for the other kids after dinner. If I wanted some I would have had to make them separately, with wheat free flour and oat or rice milk, but I chickened out. Way to go, Katie. I don’t know whether to be angry with myself or with the eating disorder. It’s easy to say that the anorexia has stolen a lot from me – time, money, my studies (repeatedly), work experience and beginning a career, friendships, relationship opportunities, bone density, a normal digestive system, the list is endless – but is that a bit of a cop out? I never know how much of this is within my control, how much is my own fault. At the moment I don’t feel very in control of things at all, but this is still down to a hell of a lot of bad choices I’ve made over the years.
At which point could I have made a choice which led me somewhere other than here – at age 11, when I was bullied at school and didn’t tell anyone? At 13, when I started self harming and starving myself instead of telling someone how depressed I was? At 16, when I said yes to trying antidepressants for the first time and they made me more unwell? At 18, when I chose the wrong person at my new college to try to befriend and ended up being raped by her and her boyfriend? At 20, when I chose my first university based on academic reputation rather than for a course that really interested me, and just ended up incredibly depressed? At 22, when my sixth or seventh attempt at taking antidepressants ended with me being suicidal and in hospital for three months? That was when my weight was last in the normal range, since then it’s been downhill all the way. Effexor made me suicidal, then manic, then after being put on and taken back off seven different meds in six months my digestive system packed up entirely and since then my diet has had to be extremely limited because so many things make me sick, and my phobia of being sick has been a lot worse. If I’d not taken the effexor things would be so different. But I was desperate, I was so depressed…if only I’d been able to hang on a bit longer, until I reached the top of the waiting list for therapy, maybe I could have avoided all of this.
In the last year I don’t know if I’ve made a single good decision. I should have stuck with the day programme at the local EDU, I left for all the wrong reasons. I shouldn’t have applied to university again in the middle of a relapse when I was manic from restricting. I should have been honest with my therapist about beginning to relapse even before I left for university, maybe I could have done something about it. And I should have done everything at university differently, I should have given it a chance rather than diving straight back into the anorexia. Maybe making some friends and getting back into my hobbies and studies would have helped me stay stable and given me a reason to keep up my recovery until I’d reached the top of yet another therapy waiting list.
Regrets are useless, they don’t change a thing. But at the moment I feel paralysed, I’m not changing anything, and without change every moment which passes is another one which I’ve lost to the anorexia, and another loss which I mourn, often even before it’s passed. I need to get going and actually DO something about this…but I’m terrified and exhausted and I don’t know what to do.