Community Magazine

The Scale Tells the Tale

By Rubytuesday
I got my period a few days ago
Or to quote Cher from Clueless 'I'm surfing the crimson wave'
Only my second in over 10 years
It hit me really hard
I had crippling cramps in my stomach and everytime I stood up I felt so dizzy
I was feeling so bad that I rang Mary to cancel
I just wanted to curl up in bed and feel sorry for myself
She talked me in to going though and I'm glad that I did
It's quite traumatic when your period comes back
I was so used to not having it that I just didn't miss it
It was normal
I suppose now that it's back it's a sign that my body is trying to get back to normal
I should be grateful really
That everything is working as it should
But I can't help but feel a bit sad
It's a clear signal that my body is starting to recover
Letting go of my eating disorder is tough
Yes I want to get well
Actually that's a lie
I want to want to get well if that makes sense
There is still a big part of me that is too afraid to take that leap of faith
So I'm mourning anorexia
They say there are 5 stages of grief
I think I am stuck at disbelief

Then Mary said she would weigh me
I really didn't want to do it as I figured  if I had my period then I would be bloated
I prepared myself to see a significant gain
I carefully stepped on to the scale but couldn't bring myself to look at the number
Never has the saying 'Ignorance is bliss' been more apt
The scale tells the tale
I sat back down and Mary said it was important to discuss it
So she told me the number and I was down 2 pounds
I was genuinely shocked
And I can't tell you how relieved I was
It just goes to show that I can't trust the way I feel
Or even my own eyes
The only way to get a true reflection of my weight is to weigh
The scale tells the tale
My father mentioned yesterday that I didn't look well and  asked if I had lost weight
All of this is fuel for my eating disorder
It feeds off comments like this
I often think trying to fight my eating disorder is like taming a wild animal
You can train it and manage  it but there is always the possibility that it will bite you
I've noticed that I'm probably one of the oldest in this community
Most people think that eating disorders only affect teenagers
Anorexia is often stereotyped as a 'rich white girls disease'
Yes it's true that most sufferers are under 20 but there are plenty of us in our twenties and thirties who have carried this illness with us in to adulthood
Relatively speaking I guess my own eating disorder developed quite late
I was 18 when I first became aware of it and wasn't diagnosed until I was 23
For those first 6 years my weight hovered around 6 stone although I had no idea how this I was
Thinking back to my childhood I can see that my eating was always quite disordered
Maybe if it had been caught when I was 18 I might not have gone so far
But it went unchecked for so long that when I finally did seek help my behaviours were so entrenched that recovery seemed elusive
It's difficult to be my age and still be so disordered
People think  that I should just grow out of it
That's it's something that adults should just get over
But if course it's not that simple
Eating disorders don't discriminate
They can affect anyone
Any age
Any sex
Any race
It is an equal opportunity illness
It's so important that it's caught early for the best possible chance at recovery
But unfortunately all too often if a doctor is presented with an eating disorder patient in the early stages of their illness, they don't take it seriously
By the time the doctor sees fit to intervene it's almost too late
I do feel a sense of shame and guilt about my illness
Guilty that I keep putting my family through this
That they worry so much
I think when one person becomes ill, the whole family gets ill
It affects everyone within a certain radius
And I feel shame about the fact that I can't seem to be able to get my life together
I should know better than this
People presume that eating disorders are a vanity thing
For me it's never been about vanity
It's a coping mechanism
An escape
An addiction
And anyway what is vain about having papery gray skin
Lanugo all over your body
Limp and lank hair
I think not
I feel so out of my depth at the moment
Like I'm drowning
I'm kicking and trying to swim but the harder I try the deeper I seem to sink
I really don't know how to get out of this place
And even if I did I'm not entirely sure I want to get out
I can't decide which is worse
Living with anorexia/bulimia forever
Or living without them
The scale tells the tale
How long have you had your eating disorder?

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