Eat Free – Life in a Cage

anorexia-cage

Thanks to Beyond-Illusion for the picture

When you see food as the enemy and avoid it at all costs, it is hard to really be free. Eating isn’t an optional activity, it is a basic need which everyone must do simply to stay alive. Being forced into something each and every day is like being in a prison of your own devising.

When I was suffering my worst days, every moment being awake was tough. Constantly having to think about something, knowing that the time is growing nearer and nearer to the thing that you are dreading makes life awful. I wanted so badly not to eat anything, but at the same time I knew I had to and I knew in the small part of my rational mind that I needed to eat something. Then after eating, no matter how much, the feeling of shame for having to eat was there, not replacing that fear but just adding to it. It took a toll on my mind which I didn’t fully understand until I got some help and opened up about what was going on.

I can look back at my cage and wonder how I ever managed to live inside such a small, limiting and scary world, but when I was inside I didn’t understand what I had given up. It is as if I had shrunk my cell a little bit each day, not noticing the change but becoming more and more constricted and unwell.

Today I try to question everything I do and every choice I make and I have to make sure I am not tricking myself into doing things that I know aren’t good for me. They say that freedom isn’t free and that is true for Ana too, the problems are still there waiting to come back into your life and it takes real work and truth to fight them off.

My relationships play a big part in making things better. I talk with my mom all the time now. She is such a positive influence on my life; she encourages me, inspires me and helps me up when I’m down and without her support I don’t think my journey would be this successful. When I was suffering with Ana it was my only friend, and it was a jealous and spiteful relationship which I couldn’t see from the inside. I didn’t get close to other people or talk about things because I was scared of what they would think, scared of what they would say and scared that they would try to change me or take away my coping methods. Ana had me convinced that I needed it to be OK and that without it I wouldn’t be able to survive.

Talking with others, sharing stories and experiences and learning about what other people are going through or have gone through really helps too. Staying closed off is the worst thing for recovery and you need support to make it out. Talk to someone, anyone, it can be a stranger or someone close to you and find that support.

Will you talk to someone if you’re having problems? Why/Why not? What would you do instead?

If you want to share with me I’d be happy to listen, just write a comment and I’ll do my best to help.

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