Mum, moody, messy, manic. Retired musician and aspiring writer.
From dark, sordid, private journaling, this website became my greatest recovery asset for major depression and anxiety, and the eating disorder and self harm behaviours I used to mask them.
I imploded like a smashed egg, and from within I've found a fledgling bird, ready to spread its wings and fly.
I hope within these pages, you find a moment of connection, truth, revelation and understanding. This is my story. Perhaps it's yours too.
People with eating disorders often talk about the eating disorder voice that natters away, telling us what to do. Or not. Undermining recovery. Making us doubt ourselves. But I wonder what that means to someone without an eating disorder voice? Or even what it means to other eating disordered people - I doubt we're all the same.
There are moments - hours, days - when I feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Not nervousness. Not stress. Not worry. Not even depression. Just anxiety, with all its accompanying physical misery. Five years ago I didn't have anxiety at all - so I believed. I certainly didn't seem to experience the effects of anxiety. In fact I didn't really experience emotions at all. Which is why, I realise, that girl is never coming back.
For me, "triggered" means feeling a compulsion to succumb to the disorder. As a bulimic, that means compensatory eating behaviours. Binging, purging, or both. Finding any means possible to compensate for having eaten. Finding any means possible to reduce the size of my body so clothes hang loosely and my bones become visible. Feeling triggered means a huge risk of relapsing.
My house flooded. It's a bit of a bummer really. And caused a lot of angst and stress. We're fortunate in many (most) ways - floors are ruined but no structural damage, and we have good insurance to cover most of the repairs. But getting flooded is a pain in the arse. Aside from extra expenses insurance doesn't cover, it's a week of packing up the house to store in the shed, and several weeks of living without floor coverings while listening to the gentle roar of three industrial fans. It's also forced us into unplanned, premature, costly renovations. I know in six months time this will all be history and I'll have lovely new floors and plaster work, but right now, the stress has got to me and my recovery journey is not solid enough to avert relapse. So relapse I have.
I challenge anyone not to collapse to some degree under all the stress I experienced. The grief and trauma of losing my mother and sister, as well as my grandfather, both my in-laws and a handful of aunts and cousins - eight deaths in six years. Dealing with my teenage son running off the rails and looking dangerously ill, and taking in my adult nephew with all his issues after losing his mother. Our marriage in utter turmoil. My grandmother's decreasing health and cognition requiring constant care and demands from me. Ending over three decades of performing and teaching music. Losing my identity as my children left home, my career was gone, and my youth was a distant past. It was a lot to deal with.