I have a friend called Anonymous. What is more romantic than the unknown?
She has given me goals, satisfaction.
She has taught me the value of earning: because I don’t deserve food.
She has taught me to put food in my mouth, and taste only guilt and shame.
She has taught me to relish the pain: our favourite date is self punishment.
She has given me an identity.
She is so good at surprises too! Just last week, I found she had given me Osteoporosis in my spine; Osteopenia in my hips; a BMI of 12.8; a weight of 38.9kg; and a weak heart.
“Near fatal”, the doctor said. “Severe”.
Oh, she loved that. “Well done,” she said. “Go on, keep going. Push yourself harder, get stronger”,
They want to put me in hospital. She says I don’t need anyone else, I have her. We will be together forever, she says. She is very supportive you see.
Anorexia Nervosa: my friend called Anonymous. Because what is more terrifying than the unknown?
She talks, she argues all the time.
She makes Ellie do things she doesn’t want to do.
She forces Ellie to get up at 5:30am to go on a 2 hour bike ride in the Manchester wind, because Anonymous knows the gym shuts on a bank holiday.
She forces Ellie to set herself goals: tomorrow, I will only eat 500 calories. But only if you run 5k in less than 25mins.
She forces Ellie to hide from her friends – there was one incident when Ellie locked herself in her room because her friends were calling her from the front gates “you don’t need them” she said “you have me”.
She won’t let Ellie sit through her 2 hour lectures: “sitting for so long is lazy. You haven’t earned the time to just sit.”
She gives Ellie hunger highs: Ellie finds herself walking around a park and has no recollection of how she got herself there; Ellie blacks out in Sainsbury’s next to the banana stand; Ellie’s head throbs with the effort of simply moving.
Keep moving. You’re so lazy.
Sometimes, Ellie, me; I try and answer back.
Ellie misses Ellie. Ellie misses sandwiches; lie ins; films; books; rest days; a splash of milk in her tea; homework; sleep. Ellie really misses feeling.
Ellie is scared. And I don’t know who she is anymore, I don’t know where she has gone.
But she is there, and I want her back. My family miss her too.
I am choosing recovery.
I have come home to Singapore, to my family, and now have a wonderful Eating Disorder team. I have a loving family and supportive friends. I am intelligent. I have reasons to get better, to prove that I am worth the battle, worth the struggle.
Despite advice, I am choosing to fight this battle as an outpatient. Ellie really doesn’t want to take that bed waiting in hospital.
My week is structured around regular appointments: doctors; dieticians; counselling.
One day at a time, I will win this battle.
I am looking for Ellie without Anonymous.
I am so grateful for all the support people have shown me, and I promise to find Ellie.
This is my journey xx
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