Monday, 27 September 2010

Real Tears Draw Us Closer to the Truth

The Truth or the Root. Whatever it may be for you.

This evening, i cried in the middle of a binge.

It didn't take me long to work out what the tears were about.

I was tired. Tired of giving in to the ED. Tired of having to see professionals. Tired of letting myself suffer. Tired of the ED. Tired of living in this way.

It wasn't a full-on gut busting, back-hurting kind of binge. But it was a binge and it really upset me. I have never cried like that before. I wasn't sobbing uncontrollably or wailing like a banshee. But i was crying. Tears dropped steadily onto my lap, my view was impaired momentarily by the transparent liquid which accumulated on the lower rim of my eye. And then i paused and continued eating. Because i had to. Because i needed this binge to be over so the purging could start and then end. And so that i could put an end, albeit momentarily, to the chaos of this eating disorder.

It's been a long time since i cried about the eating disorder. I have not often been driven to tears by the ED. My first vivid memory of tears driven by the ED was over a year ago. I remember it as if it was only a blink ago. I had just returned from the doctor and told her that i had an eating disorder and that i needed help. She was so kind. She was old and seemingly stern in appearance but soft in her reception. "I will make sure i help you," i remember her saying. And she did. She referred me onto the appropriate services. And that day, i returned to an empty house (which is rare) and i cried uncontrollably for 45 minutes or so. These were real tears. Not the kind of tears you use to manipulate people or situations, or the kind of tears which are triggered by empathy. These were tears of relief. That finally, i had told a professional about the ED after living with it for almost half my life and getting on with life with the ED unapologetically by my side. I cried because it had taken every inch of strength for me not to run from that waiting room. It took every breath i had to utter the words: "i have an eating disorder" instead of "i have just come for a check-up".

A few months later when i was fighting the ED alone after being told that i would have to wait over a year to be referred to a therapist, i sobbed uncontrollably on the way to work. I walked and cried. Sat on the tube and cried. Walked across the bridge which led to my place of work and cried. And this time, i cried because i was mourning the time i had given to the ED. I was mourning the life i had lost to the ED, the way in which it had isolated me from relationships, from true bonding with friends and family, from the carefree-ness which comes with eating without worry. I mourned and i sobbed and i didn't care who saw me. I didn't care that i was in the midst of young and old alike, on a tube, with tears rolling down my eyes and boggers up my nose. I just cared that the ED had robbed me and i had allowed it to.

And so i am drawn to the conclusion of all that i am sharing. Real tears are empowering because they draw us towards the heart of the matter which if we are honest, is sometimes the truth we are seeking to avoid. I wanted to avoid dealing with the regret i had about allowing the ED to take a hold of me so cunningly. I wanted to avoid having others know that i had an ED, including professionals. I was scared of people knowing.

And so tonight, when i cried, it drew me closer to the truth which i am trying to avoid confronting: that this ED is robbing me of life and i am not fighting. I am allowing it to. Don't get me wrong. I have not waved the white flag and i am still trying but if i am honest, i don't feel like i am fighting with all my strength. I say this simply because i have seen my determination on previous occasion and i know what that picture looks like but this canvas which lies in front of me, portrays a different me to the one i am used to. And that disappoints me.

I want to live without regret. I want to know that i have given this my all. That i really tried to overcome. And even if i don't, i want to know that i tried. I don't want to be 35 with an ED, or 40 with an ED. I don't want to be like the people that say: i just didn't fight and i don't know why. I want to know that i gave it my all. I don't want to settle for managing the ED, or living with it or whatever else equates to a life with an ED. I want to be free of it. I want to know that i fought to be free of it.

That is the truth which i am drawn to this evening.

I bid you all a Good Night and hope that you are all drawn closer to the truth. Your truth. No matter how painful it may be to confront that truth.



  1. I also cried tears of relief when I finally admitted that I needed help to recover from my eating disorder.

    I've experienced days like this in my own recovery. At times, recovery can be exhausting and it's definitely an everyday battle. But you really do deserve to live a life free from your eating disorder, so I hope you will continue to fight. I truly believe that all of this hard work will be worth it. Don't give up on yourself and remember that you are not alone. I hope you will keep trying, I am wishing you the best of luck :)


  2. Thank you Nicole. How are you doing with your own recovery at the moment?

    I find it hard not to feel alone with the ED even though i am seeking help. I thought the hardest part would be reaching out the first time when the truth is: reaching out is never easy. It takes an admission on our part that things are not fine and we need every help we can get.

    Much for me to think about as i take on a new week.


  3. You are right, reaching out is never easy and I have found that in recovery, reaching out is something I often have to do.

    At the moment, I think my recovery is going fairly well. Though some days are harder than others. All I know is that I want to stay on the path of recovery, no matter how difficult it can be at times. I feel like I have been on ED's path long enough to know that it leads nowhere, only to pain and suffering and isolation. So, I will continue on the recovery path and keep trying and trying :)

    I hope you have a good week :)