The time was drawing nearer to moving to the Blue Mountains and I was feeling very anxious. Suddenly I was no longer sure if it was the right decision. We had found out about mum’s breast cancer and it worried me so much. I considered my decision to move a selfish one because really I could not wait to get out of town, but mum’s illness disturbed me. I talked with her doctors for some advice as to moving or not. One doctor stated clearly to me that the cancer was stable and it would be in my best interest to continue my life as normal and not to let this stop me from moving. Mum and I fought endlessly about it and she became rather upset that I was leaving. Mim also talked at great lengths with me to try and delay my move. She suggested I stay for a few more months then decide again. The option was tempting but I had to make my break then otherwise I would probably change my mind.
Mum was becoming quite grumpy lately and to be honest it helped my decision with moving. She was very lethargic and wished never to go out and when she did all she did was complain. I thought most of it was an act to get me to stay because she needed someone to look after her.
The end of January was when I moved down to Lawson. To say goodbye to people was pretty hard, especially Mim. We both actually cried and I nearly changed my mind. What helped me the most was catching the bus with a friend to Sydney. I think I would have balled my eyes out if Pam wasn’t on the bus with me.
On my first day there I had already joined a string orchestra which played up in Katoomba. Lana so admired my braveness with involving myself so quickly in things. I was excited to meet new people and do something new.
Within the first few days of living there I already felt lost. It hit me one night how far away I was, and that I hardly had any friends and nothing much at this stage to do. I wondered if I made the right decision or not, but was determined not to go back. I actually felt free, despite my loneliness. I didn’t constantly have to get permission to go somewhere, or to go in my room even. I drove Lana up the wall by always informing her what I was doing “having a shower” or “practicing my violin”. She told me it wasn’t necessary to tell her. I couldn’t help it though.
I wasn’t doing real well with my eating. I lost all control and ate quite a bit, but threw it all up all the time. My biggest fear was putting on weight and return home at some
stage looking fat. For lunch one day I had four round breton biscuit and an apple muffin and I was absolutely disgusted with myself for having allowed that food in my stomach. Lana sometimes talked about my disorder and I experienced a great feeling of discomfort about this topic. At 45kgs I felt so fat and hated her referring to my “anorexia” because I was too fat to have such a disease. I knew I had an eating disorder, but to me that’s all it was now.
Before I left home, Pam gave me a list of phone numbers of girls she had met while on a Christian camp. I made my mind up to not be shy and to ring one of them, Katie. We met up for lunch one day and seemed to get on pretty well. She then invited me to join her and her friends for a video night the following week. I looked forward to this video night because I thought it was a great opportunity to meet some more people. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out so great. No one hardly made an effort to talk to me or even involve me into conversations. There was a girl there too who made an impacting impression on me and it took my attention for most of the night. This girl’s name was Tania, and I can swear she was anorexic. It made me sick to see how skinny she was, and also extremely jealous. When talking to her it was almost like looking into an emotional mirror and describing myself. I was surely not as skinny as she was, but I’m sure I possessed her attitude and that frightened me. She was there in the group but not involved in the group. She referred to herself as “just Tania”, and didn’t really say much through out the night. When the girls were discussing uni, Tania stated that she never says anything at uni because whatever she has to say is too insignificant. I was amazed at how well I could relate to that. I thought a lot about her after I got home, and although I desired to be as skinny as her, I really felt for her. She had the lowest self confidence, and looked as though she was hurting alot. I never contacted any of those girls again because I simply did not wish to enter a group who were going to treat newcomers like they did me. I was disappointed in some respects because I thought how great it would be to join a church where I already knew many people. So my search for friends and a church continued.
Lana mentioned that the Anglican Church had a pretty good reputation and suggested I get in touch with the minister there. So I did and I ended up going to their house for dinner one night. The minister was Rob, his wife Bonnie, and their children Michael, Hayley, Penny, and one on the way. They were a lovely family and I quite looked forward going to their church. I went to the church that Sunday and was so nervous not knowing anybody. Rob immediately introduced me to one girl Donna and left it at that. Donna was great in introducing me to her other friends and involving me in conversations. I went home with the best feeling thinking I may actually make I down here and develop friendships soon.
Over the week I had the strange urge to go up home. It wasn’t that I was overly homesick anymore, I just felt it was something I needed to do. I booked my train ticket to go up and didn’t tell mum or Mim. It was exciting going up knowing I was going to surprise them, and surprise them I did. Neither of them had any idea but they were very happy to see me. I only stayed for 5 days but it was such a nice five days. Mum and I got on surprisingly well and it was as though she had forgiven me for moving down.
Little did I know that this would be the last time Mum and I would get on so well. Admittedly this is one of the most difficult parts of the story to write for many reasons and I have delayed writing. This is a time at which the anorexia became worse and I went down hill. I have also delayed writing at this moment, as I have not been progressing as well as previously. Writing was in many ways a means of me to deal with the disorder by seeing how I have firstly regressed and fell into anorexia and then how I have progressed and come a long way in other areas, including overcoming this disease. I felt productive in my writing and talked openly about it with many people. A lot of friends have commented so positively on my great improvement amazed at how my frame of mind has changed. As encouraging as the comments are I have been doing a downward spiral over the last week and I am careless about most things. Various factors have contributed to this which will all be
written when I reach the actual year 2001.
I feel it’s important to add this part in though because obviously I am not over the disease. By writing and focussing on the past and the development of illness I have neglected the present and how I am coping right now. I tried convincing myself and many others that I am dealing with it so well and successfully on the road to recovery. Actually I had myself so well convinced that I thought I was over it. I am not over it and I am not dealing with it. I want to be skinny but I am actually scared to go back down the same track for fear I will not accomplish my goal of being skinny. I am living my life in a sort of lie, in which I pretend everything is rosy once again because it feels nicer that way. To laugh and have fun with my friends is so much more enjoyable than sitting and worrying how fat I have become. But in the mean time I have such inner turmoil going on in my head.
I have forgotten to seek the person I am yet to discover in myself without an eating disorder. I have concentrated on just trying to be normal - eating, going out, having fun - yet not adjusting to how I really feel inside about myself. Maybe I have found part of myself in the way that I am more confident and apparently more likeable. But now it’s like I have hit a wall and I hit it hard. I am scared of taking responsibility, I am scared of being free. I am hesitant to believe that I actually mean something to my friends, anxious that sooner or later they will not care about me. I want to escape back into the hole I was in before, but at the same time I have a half faith that I am more than an eating disorder. One thing that God has blessed me with is hope. Hope for the future and a desire to look ahead for better times. I am trusting that He has something better out there for me and one day I will find it. God did not put me here on earth to end my own life, only He knows when my time is up. To have
anorexia/bulimia as a death cause I see only as failure. It’s giving in and I refuse to give in too easily. Yet sadly enough I consider myself a failure already because I failed anorexia. It appears to be one viscous cycle, which I have become caught up in again.
I have recently read a few other autobiographies on recovered anorexics and I can’t even compare to them. They state they felt unworthy and undeserving to eat or to be loved or to have any other luxury or enjoyment. I am unsure even at this stage whether the positive image I portrayed about fighting the disease is real or if I was just trying to convince myself. I felt trapped in the need to get better because I simply didn’t think I could go back to how I was. I did not intentionally put on weight, it happened because many other things were happening in my life and I became so less focussed on my self and food. I have gained 10kgs over probably 2 years. To me that is disgusting and such a let down. To others it is such an achievement and a disgust that I actually was thinner than what I am now. They laugh at me when I get depressed over having a fat day, not realising that I am serious about it and almost in tears. I hate the fact that I am fatter and it is only because I let myself go. I hate the fear and dread I experience whenever I try on new clothes or clothes that have just been washed. I become so fearful that they may not fit me as well as they did the week before, which would then be a clear indicator of weight gain. Only a few weeks ago I put on a pair of jeans that I used to wear all the time. I loved them simply because they made me look so skinny in the way that they literally fell off my hips. When I put them on this time they fitted me. I had a figure and I couldn’t handle it. I wanted to curl up in a ball and just cry and cry but ironically I actually had to cook dinner for some friends who were coming for dinner. I couldn’t exactly deny them dinner and tell them we all had to starve because heaven forbid my jeans did not sag at my hips. Instead, I put on the biggest pair of clothes I had, and ate dinner as normal. As soon as they left though it wasn’t normal, I threw every little bit of food up that I had eaten, then took a handful of laxatives. The next day the scissors met my jeans and I cut them all up and threw them in the bin. I so desperately wanted to avoid the reminder of what a failure I am.
July 8thI know I am still not doing well and it doesn’t phase me too much. People have noticed I have changed my eating habits and also that I have lost weight and I am actually proud of that fact. Last week I went to friend’s house for dinner who I have been to a lot for dinner previously and even ate dessert easily. This time I consciously pushed the quiche around on the plate, only ate the vegetables and refused dessert. Although I was happy with the ability to be able to stop myself from hogging in I am know afraid for the pattern I have set, which brings me to excuses as to why I am not hungry. It is a trap though, once you say you aren’t hungry and don’t eat much, the next time when you are hungry and do eat people comment. That is extremely difficult because I feel like I am being judged.
I saw my counsellor and dietician last week and it did absolutely nothing for me. I wanted them to ask how I felt about losing weight, or why I feel I need to or even get mad at me, but there was no response at all. My dietician just told me the amount I was eating was nowhere near enough but at least I am eating three times a day. I often wonder why I go there because my close friends actually help me out more than the counsellor would in that we would get into discussions and I also know that my friends care. And as for the dietician, I don’t even follow her diet plan so why do I bother??!
I am praying that this is only a phase I am going through, and counting on the fact that there is bound to be a stage when I am to have a downfall. I went immediately from starvation to eating a lot and assumed I would be all right. I guess I am just at the stage where I have recognised what has happened and I am trying to get some structure back in my life.
I shall continue now from when I finished off.
I commenced my work experience at Featherdale Wildlife Park I had enjoyed working there the previous year so I went back for another week. This time around was a lot more tiring as I had already induced my food intake. Although I felt comfortable living with Charles and Lana I realised I couldn’t get too comfortable and eat too much and let myself go as I had before.