Failure

Something that Jemima wrote yesterday inspired this post. She was saying that another one of her friends that she met in IP has had to be readmitted, and this makes her feel really guilty that she’s doing well. I’ve felt like this so many times before – like somehow, although I know logically that anorexia is an illness and recovery puts you back in control, gaining weight feels shameful. Like doing well doesn’t mean that I am strong or courageous, it just means that I am a ‘failed anorexic’, that I couldn’t hack being at a low weight, or maybe that I was never really ill at all.

I’ve been a member of online communities for people with eating disorders since I was 16 years old, and I’m nearly 25 now. In this time I’ve known hundreds of people to say the same things that I’ve thought. That although recovery sounds like the ‘right’ horse to back, gaining weight makes them feel ashamed, guilty and like a fake. Well, I have decided that if the majority of people with eating disorders think these things regardless of whether they weigh more or less than me, however extreme their behaviours are, however many times they have been in hospital, however long they have spent at a low weight, however many years they have lost to this illness, then it is clearly bollocks. So, I am declaring myself proud to be a ‘failed’ anorexic. My goal, in fact, is to eventually be the worst anorexic there is. I am going to do things every day which make me a crap anorexic, such as:

– not weighing my snacks (I should be a good enough judge of nut butter portion size by now)
– eating an extra biscuit before I go to bed if I’m hungry even if I’ve met my calorie requirements for the day
– occasionally eating things which have no nutritional value whatsoever just because they taste good (gluten free chocolate muffins anyone?)
– pushing myself to continue gaining to a healthy weight rather than stopping at the lowest acceptable point
– eating all of my meals and snacks even if I’ve gained rather more than expected one week
– not doing my Pilates DVD every day
– having a couple of days a week where I just sit around and relax
– telling my therapist about any anorexic thoughts which are causing me particular hassle
– listening to my therapist, GP and family rather than the anorexic thoughts
– not reading eating disorder porn (I have only been half successful with this so far, I really need to stop completely, it makes me feel on par with an alcoholic who doesn’t drink but keeps going to bars anyway)
– eating with or in front of other people
– not panicking if I can’t eat what/when I planned
– and…I’m sure you guys can think up some more πŸ˜‰

Anyone else want to join me? No pressure, I’d be quite happy to be a terrible anorexic on my own πŸ˜› But maybe you would like to enter into the spirit of things by just doing one thing today that really says ‘fuck you’ to your eating disorder. Or maybe you could start even smaller by doing something which says ‘excuse me, I’m not entirely sure you’re right’ to the eating disorder, because not everyone is as foul mouthed as me!

As the clichΓ© goes, the only successful anorexic is a dead one. And I’m not even 25 yet. Since I finished my A levels five years ago I’ve dropped out of university four times (three different courses, one of them twice), twice due to depression and twice due to the eating disorder. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’ve dropped out of life itself, my world has shrunk so much. But the only thing I plan to abandon unfinished in the future is the anorexia itself.

Three good things about today:
1. I got my monthly astronomy magazine today and read three quarters of it straight away. It’s wonderful to be able to concentrate on things like that again.
2. In a repeat performance of yesterday’s tofutti and peanut butter revelations, I have discovered that I really like banana and peanut butter. This is bizarre, because I’ve never liked peanut butter or bananas (I have been training myself to like bananas, and I must admit that they are good microwaved or in porridge) on their own, but together they are rather wonderful. I think my mouth has been possessed or something, it’s all very out of character!
3. Session with Julie tomorrow. With all the various assessments and questionnaires she’s been giving me as homework, we have a very long list of things to discuss!

Disclaimer: I am quite aware that anorexia is an illness, not something it is genuinely possible to win or lose at πŸ˜› I’m just trying to turn the logic-free thought patterns around on themselves. I like to mess with the eating disordered thoughts. God knows it’s messed with my head for long enough.

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14 responses to “Failure

  1. dancelikenooneiswatching

    i want to join you on failing at anorexia! xxxxx

  2. let's fail!!! i love it.

  3. I'll join you! Here's to being terrible anorexics! On that note, I feel like a baked potato with some butter…

  4. whatawalnut

    Amen! What a fantastic post and sentiment. Let's be ED failures, each and every one of us.Also, PB and banana were made for each other — same with PB and apple. Heaven.

  5. blueeyedheart

    I would LOVE to join you at being a horrible anorexic!!I loved this post. xx<3 ❀

  6. Sign me up to join you on your quest to be the worst anorexic there is! You can be the worst and I would be love to be the second worst.

  7. insideiamdancing

    with you 100%…bring on failure (my god, I never thought I would be embracing 'failure'!)

  8. That makes me the worst bulimic in the world, woo!!! I think this is the only time failure rules.

  9. Some of the things you say you are going to do to ensure that you're a "failed anorexic" are things I really need to do too. Especially the not measuring, the eating even if you've already met your caloric requirements, and the telling your therapist about ED thoughts. I was just thinking today about how I think I might be ready to try to "let go" and give real living, real eating a chance. What's the worst that could happen?

  10. rediscoveringlauren

    love love LOVE this post hun πŸ™‚ im so with you on being the worst anorexic ever!!! today im so gonna go get a cookie from the Marks and spencers bakery..take that ed!!and that comment you left on my last post put a huge smile on my face πŸ™‚ thanks hun!!xxxx

  11. I love this :)definitely up for being a rubbish anorexic with you, there are a few of those which would be great things for me to do too. today I'm gonna go buy some food cause we have so little left and I woke up really late so I have a ton of calories to cram in lol…so instead of saying 'oh well' I will be a 'failure' and buy lots of nice food :Dps r.e. other posts (yes I save up comments!) I am still so astounded that the EDU nurse tried to dissuade you from full recovery…argh at that! Idunno, I think professionals should always look at totally saying 'fuck you' to the ED as our 'first' option cause otherwise we'll just go for the easy one no matter what! at least that's what my consultants have done and despite hating them for it it helps me πŸ˜› I would probably not entertain the idea of full recovery at all if they didn't keep pushing it. so eh, stupid nurse. and yeah it would be so nice if we knew more people on the 'other side' of recovery…maybe they are all just so sick and tired of this crap that they move totally away from the ED 'world'? so we never meet them? haha I would like to think so anyway ;)I hope you're feeling a bit better now and the feeling weird in your body is easing. on the bright side, maybe remind yourself that feeling that way is blatant evidence that regaining the weight is a heck of a lot 'harder' than staying sick! I know I'd 'rather' be emaciated and all the crap that goes along with it than deal with the weight gain, so further proof that recovery has nothing to do with weakness ;)xx

  12. determinedtoshine

    Yessss I am so glad I read this post this morning, its just what I needed to hear! I think I'm up to this challenge :PToday I'm kicking anorexia where it hurts by not counting all day. And I'm going to drink alcohol tonight too *gasp! empty calories!*

  13. mmm bananas and PB, i am so having that mixed into my yoghurt for snack!!I am having a weekend full of all those things on the list next weekend lol, and hopefully one day I will be following those rules every day. God dam it, one muffin won't make me put on ten stone! The moral of my comment: BIG UP THE 'RUBBISH' ANOREXICS lolhave a great evening hun xx

  14. I wish I could honestly say I can do this with you…but I can't and I know it. HOWEVER, what I ALSO know is that by reading your posts like this, it makes me also feel guilty within BEING anorexic and I think that is a good thing too. You inspire me to move towards where you're at and I'll take that and one day I will be where you are, seriously.Thankyou for being inspiring and for speaking truth. You're one spunky monkey miss Katie!!!Love Telly xoxo

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