Sunday, 5 September 2010

On Loneliness and an ED Analogy

I think i will talk about loneliness after i speak about what the ED means to me.

Sometimes i refer to the ED as a leech. Sucking every good thing out of my life. But then i am not sure that does justice to the ED. Like a leech has also been used for medicinal purposes and maybe i can see the ED as something which leads me to eventual healing. So with that in mind, let's think about the ED like this:

It's a pretty hot day in some foreign, strange land somewhere. Crater like potholes litter the roads and then it comes, like manna from heaven. Rainfall. Rain falls from the sky and fills up those potholes. Yes. Huge monsterlike drops of rain fall and covers those potholes. To the unobservant motorist, those potholes no longer exist because the water serves to obscure the truth which lies beneath those wheels. So the motorist travels happily along that road at crazy speeds until those potholes begin to attack his wheels. It is then that the motorist realises that there are in fact potholes scattered all over the road and he must in fact take note of where he is driving.

In so many ways, the ED is for me like the water. At times refreshing, at times beating down on me but most of all, the ED fills all the potholes i have in my life. It fills my loneliness/emptiness, assuages my anger, covers my guilt. It does this and so much more for me. If i was to spend a lot of time thinking about it, i could see that the ED does so much for me. And yet it is a treacherous road which i am driving on. Because water is fluid. It simply complies with whatever container you pour it into. It fits the mould so to speak. But it is not solid. You are on very shaky ground if you decide to build your house on water. Stilts or not. And there it is. I have been on very shaky ground for over half my life. Now this water is eating into the concrete which lies underneath my feet. All those potholes are slowly merging into one fat crater and i feel myself sinking further into the ground. The deeper i sink, the harder it becomes to see what lies above. I can still see the clouds. Everyday i am able to make out their shapes and form and texture and colour. I feel very prvileged in this respect. That i still have hope. But the truth still remains the same: i am sinking.

And it is with that, that i move on to my second topic: On Loneliness.

I have recently begun to believe that loneliness is in fact the biggest of all the potholes i have in my life. It became so much clearer over the weekend as i cosied up with ED. It was all there was. It is currently my only confidante. I cannot do without it and a part of me hates living with it. But it feels like all there is and all i know. And yet with ED, there is room for none other. I rarely talk about the ED as a personality. I don't dare give it a name lest i somehow begin to imbue it with more qualities than i ought. For me, ED is in fact called Bullshit. It became so easy for me to call it this when people begun asking me what was wrong as i started losing more and more weight and the depression wrapped its filthy fingers around my throat.

"What's wrong? Are you okay?"
"Yeah, it's just Bullshit", i would say.

They may have thought i was talking about bullshit in general terms but for me, Bullshit was the name i gave the ED and Depression. Best friends those two.

Back to loneliness. I think for me, the ED was like family. I can hear the chorus "We are family, i got all my Bullshit with me". It was my best friend at times, my only friend at other times, a parent/caretaker, a comforter, a soothing balm. Yadda, yadda, yadda. It was so much to me. But the more i allowed it a foothold in my life, the less space there was for others. You can only truly be intimate with one person at a time. Surely??? So now that i find myself in the midst of total, abject loneliness, i can see how the eating disorder actually creates the situation it seems designed to resolve. It was the answer to the loneliness i had in my mind and in turn it created real physical loneliness. Hmm. I could say so much more on this but i fear i may bore myself completely.

Anyway, back to today, i spent some time with others in response to the realisation about loneliness. The result was that i missed out on the exercise i was hoping to do and i had to eat with others. Darn. The benefits were that i got to reconnect with people whose company i enjoy, i got to have a good conversation with a family member and i got to spend more than half the day without ED behaviours.

Downside is that as soon as i got home, i wanted to make up for the fact that i had eaten and not exercised and so i fully embraced the ED. Still, i have learnt a lot from today.

On a sad note, the conversation i had with a family member led me to realise that at this weight, the ED really affects my relationship with others more than it did when i was a normal weight. At this weight, the focal point becomes my weight. Not necessarily my emotions or the things that drive the ED, but my weight. And this annoys me. It makes me think that i should get up to normal weight as soon as possible so that everyone forgets that i ever had an eating disorder. So that people don't worry, so that people don't act 'carefully' around me and so that people return to the thought that i am normal and someone they could live with and be around. I am not saying all i want to in this regard but i was almost driven to tears by the honesty of said family member. I sucked it up and pretended that i was not as affected by their words as i might have been. Truth is, it made me realise that no-one wants the burden of living with someone at such a visibly low weight. At least that is what i think. Who wants to spend their spare time wondering whether someone is eating or purging or restricting or overexercising?? I sure as heck don't want to. And yet i am that someone....

Hmm. I am both sad and happy this evening. I am still going to attack the streets tomorrow in order to make up for the fact that i ate this afternoon. I was not in control of the circumstances which led to me having to eat and as soon as i returned home, i took control. Not enough. More is needed tomorrow ahead of my first day in 'treatment'. Hate that word. Don't want to do it. Bullshit has spoken a lot in this final paragraph.

I bid you and me, farewell.


  1. Hello!
    I am so glad to have come across your blog.
    It is kind of frightening, yet interesting, and perhaps comforting, to read your words, and realise with a jolt, that the majority of what you have shared, may have also come from my heart and mind!
    We are similar in age, and Oh, how alike are our struggles and life with the Ed!!
    I thank you deeply for your candid honesty, and I truly look forward to sharing in your triumphs, failures, ups, downs, ed and ed-less days ahead.
    You are in my thhoughts and my heart, as of now..
    Love and Care,
    Jennifer xxoo

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  3. Thanks Jennifer for your words. Yay. That's so exciting. Sorry. As you can tell, it's the little things in life which excite me. lol

    Thank you for all your words. It means a lot. How are you doing at present with the ED? Have you found freedom yet?

    And yes, the more i read, the more i know that there is nothing new under the sun and my story is probably that of many others. This thought certainly humbles me.

    Take care.