On one of my last days in Greece I had the urge to write a diary entry.
I thought I would keep a journal whilst I was away but that didn’t really happen.
Writing has always been a way for me to rationalise my thoughts and process my feelings. Whenever I am experiencing distress or panic, I reach for a pen and paper. To get it down. To say it without feeling shame or embarrassment. And that helps.
On this day in particular, I was struggling. My recovery isn’t perfect but a work in progress. Some days I am more vulnerable than others. I needed to write down what was going on inside me, to allow the toxic emotions to flow out of me and not consume me.
So on this day, I grabbed a pen and paper and I wrote.
He’s really angry right now. I don’t know why I say ‘he’. Why I give him a gender. But it feels right to say ‘he’.
The worst part is some days I can’t determine where he ends and where I begin. We become completely entwined. He becomes part of my being.
Sometimes I wonder whether he is me. I wish someone could give me an answer but I don’t trust doctors anymore. I feel like they’ve betrayed me. They couldn’t fix me or tell me the truth. Because I was a child I wouldn’t understand.
I’m mad. I’m mad that he still gets in the way of my happiness. Why? Noone can seem to tell me why. But maybe that’s because I’ve stopped asking. It all became too hard- somewhere along the track.
He took so much away from me. Everything. So why do I forget and want to go back? When I know what he does. How he makes me feel. When I know that even when I’m thin I see the same body and the same imperfections? When I know that thiness never made me happy and never will make me happy?
I don’t want to be dominated anymore. I miss the freedom. Before any of this happened. I can remember that self so clearly. That freedom. Completely unencombered. No cares about food or weight. Nothing. Just freedom.
I don’t know what I weigh. Maybe that’s a good thing.
The compulsions are weaker, that is true. I am stronger than ever. I’m working hard. But I’m tired. I’m so tired of meals and food arousing emotions and memories.
Why can’t it just go away? I wish there was a pill I could take. Like an asprin. Knock it back with some water and you’re right as rain. The illness just goes away, just like that.
I just want him to go away for good.
But you don’t just wake up one day and see that he’s gone. I’ve never been in an abusive relationship but maybe it’s similar in the sense that you stay out of fear. Better the devil you know. That hurt and dysfunction becomes so normal to you that you shrug it off when people ask questions.
I find myself being embarrassed and feeling pathetic. That this is so trivial. So first world. Other people have it so much worse. It seems like what I go through is so minor. But I know that’s internalised discrimination. I know that’s wrong. My injury is in my brain and you can’t see it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real or frightening.
That’s him. Making me feel ashamed and embarrassed. But sometimes I forget where he ends and I begin.
I read this entry back today and was surprised by the intensity of my anger and my shame. But although he may affect me every now and then, although I can feel his poisonous presence sometimes, he cannot touch me ever again.
Because I know how much better and more fulfilling my life is the more I fight and challenge him. His voice gets weaker every day. I’m getting stronger and more capable. I am more able to distinguish him from me, what is real and what is false.
Sometimes, yes, I do forget where he ends and where I begin. Recovery isn’t easy and it isn’t perfect. Healing isn’t easy. You don’t wake up one day with your memories and dysfunctions completely erased.
But it’s worth it. It always will be. Because the more I fight, the more I am free.
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