I’ve found myself fixated on trying to understand. Trying to understand bulimia, trying to understand depression and ultimately trying to understand my mindset – along with the repressed and underlying feelings that factor into my behaviours.
Trying to understand bulimia.
According to the dictionary, bulimia is, “An emotional eating disorder categorised by a distorted body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating art followed by fasting or self-induced vomiting or purging”.
Whilst reading the description I mindlessly tick all the boxes. I hate myself for being this way and I can’t help but wonder, if I were to identify the root of the problem, would it help me get better? Typically I know that self disgust is the at the centre but there are so many other feelings and beliefs that factor in.. my weight, appearance, self view, self confidence, hatred and so forth.
It’s a difficult thing to explain, my mindset behind bulimia I mean. When I binge, force myself to vomit or starve.. I feel in control and in a season where I can’t seem to control anything, the ability to control something is powerful. This may sound awful but in a way, I like the empty feeling in my stomach because I suppose it reflects my soul. A bottomless pit. I know I’m ‘playing a dangerous game’ but I don’t think I want out either. I’ve lost 5.4kg in the last 2 weeks so I must be doing something right? Or am I just sick? Either way, not eating for days, binging, purging and exhausting my body through exercise has somewhat paid off.
Bulimia played over on my mind today. I felt hypocritical telling my five year old students that they need to have something to eat, or that they need to eat a little more because they need energy. I haven’t eaten in days. I stood up from a chair at work today upon finishing an activity with the kids, faint headed I fell down and couldn’t make sense of what was happening. Everything went dark and blurry. B noticed and I just tried to cover it up by saying “I’m feeling a little light headed, I must just be tired”. She asked me when the last time I ate was and after an awkward silence, before I could answer she questioned if it’d been days. I didn’t know what to say so I simply told her I had nothing to say to that. Embarrassed, I turned away wondering what could have given her the impression? And just like everyone else, she told me I need to eat because starving isn’t good for me. I don’t know whether to be annoyed at the fact she’d assumed or worried that she was right? She messaged me tonight, saying that she worries about me and that she’s always there for me if I need to talk to her. I’m grateful but how can I explain something that I myself don’t understand? Besides that, I’m just not ready to open up to others.
Trying to understand depression.
It’s been quoted that, depression is, “drowning whilst everyone around you is breathing”, “the constant feeling of being numb to both emotions and life”, “so insidious and it compounds daily, making it impossible to ever see the light at the end of the tunnel”.
Depression presents itself in many forms. Some days it’s me crying all day and other days it’s my inability to feel. At times it’s the chronic heaviness that weighs me down whilst I feel like I’m drowning. It’s the voice in my head that whispers those sweet little lies. It’s the embodiment of self hatred and self disgust. It’s the manifestation of everything that goes against who God says I am.
Depression is the inconsistency between wanting to live and the utter desperation to die. It’s the contradiction between wanting to be numb but cutting myself to simply feel again. I query my desire to hurt myself, I cringe at the thought of it yet I do it with such ease. I suppose it comes from the mindset that I deserve it, I deserve the pain. Perhaps it too stems from the desire to feel a physical pain, one that outweighs the emotional pain that’s manifesting itself inside of me. Yet another thing I can control.
Depression is the one thing that destroys me the most and I can’t help but feel as if I’ll never come to understand it.
Trying to understand my mindset.
I’ve recently endeavoured to be more intentional toward recognising my thought cycle and how exactly I lose control. I figured that the recognition may aid me in understanding my mindset. At times, it’s easy to identify one main thought that foreshadows the following thoughts. However, other times, the rate at which my thoughts accumulate leaves me clueless. My thoughts are vastly scattered, jumping from ‘you’re worthless’ to ‘you’re disgusting, how could anyone ever love you? maybe that’s why your families stopped’. Other thoughts include ‘you’re too fat’, ‘you’re hopeless’, ‘you’re a mess’, ‘you’re a failure, you keep letting people around you down’, ‘how could God even stand the sight of you?’, ‘everyone’s going to give up on you eventually’, ‘you’re alone’, ‘you’ll never measure up and you’ll never be good enough’, ‘no one will ever accept you’, ‘no one will ever love you as you are’, ‘I hate everything about you’ – it goes on.
Out of every single thought that runs through my mind on a daily basis, the one that haunts me and frightens me the most, is ‘you deserve to die’. It genuinely breaks me heart to know that this is a thought that crosses my mind each day, sometimes more than once. How many times do I need to her those words before I act on them? How long before it’s too late?
To cease to exist.
J told me that sometimes the greatest sacrifice is in living. Suicide is the easy way out, it only benefits me and ends my suffering. However, with it I leave behind a ripple effect of sorrow. Part of me believes this, yet part of me can’t comprehend that anyone would miss me if I were gone. I understand the concept of how living through the pain is a greater sacrifice, because in a sense I’m offering up my selfish desires for the sake of those around me. I’d like to believe I’m strong enough to resist ending my life, but the truth is, sometimes I’m just not so sure.
In conclusion of all discussed above, I am still uncertain. I believe I’ve gained a slight insight into my battles with bulimia, depression and my mindset. However I still don’t have all the answers, I am yet to fully understand. I can’t pinpoint where it all began, perhaps I never dealt with my past hurts and perhaps there are repressed feelings that are trying to seep through the cracks.
Either way, I can’t help but feel so guilty and ashamed of my battles, but I no longer doubt the reality of them, they’re a real struggle and I know that now.
I’m grateful for the love and support around me. In these past few weeks I’ve come to realise that sometimes it’s the people we least expect who make all the difference in the world and it’s not just our families who hold the ability to show love and support. The truth is, and it breaks my heart, but I feel as if my family has given up on me. I can’t remember the last time either of my parents told me they love me, or have hugged me or even simply acknowledged me. It’s been 2 weeks since my dad has really spoken to me and it’s not like my mums talking to me either. The only time I hear from them is when they remind me of the disappointment I’ve become or when they’re expressing their emotions toward the person I am and the decisions I’ve made. In saying that, people like J, S, AM, and B have come alongside me and shown me love in every way, shape and form.
Though this season is difficult, God is still good.
– c x