One year ago, I stopped writing Articulate Ana. I had noticed that, while I enjoyed writing, writing only about sad events also got me stuck in a negative mind-set. I had created and adopted an identity that consisted almost entirely of being a victim of sexual abuse; neither a very healthy nor a particularly uplifting identity. On a life-is-good scale ranging from one to ten, I was probably at a five point six: just about enough to keep myself going. I was hoping to up my score by focusing on the positive rather than the negative. Unfortunately, [spoiler alert], it didn’t work out.
The autumn of 2017 was marked by several major life changes, all positive ones. Most importantly, I moved back to my home country, to the town I love most. I bought and renovated an apartment. I started a new job, at a department that is a million times friendlier than the previous one. And I adopted a dog, a big, adorable, lazy and sweet ex-racer greyhound, and called him Brexit.
Strangely, in the midst of these positive events, I decided to stop eating. While on the one hand I was putting my grown-up life together for real, on the other I was frantically pulling the brakes. You may wonder why. So do I. The result, however, is pretty clear: my score on the life-is-good scale dropped dramatically. In fact, my score on the more general being-alive scale dropped dramatically, and I was admitted to hospital, which is where I am now.
I’m in good hands now. I’m an inpatient at the best eating disorder unit in the country. They offer highly specialised treatment programmes tailored to the individual patient (i.e., me). I am grateful to be given a second chance at recovery here, despite my own resistance and refusal to believe in a better future. Every day, I remind myself that, apparently, the treatment team still believes that my life could, technically, become worth fighting for, one day, somehow. And they know their shizzle, so I just need to trust them and eat. The more I eat, the more I feel the abuse that’s been engraved in my body. It’s everywhere. It’s burning underneath my skin, screaming for my attention, begging me to stop. Therefore, I decided it’s time to start writing again. Because whether I want it or not, the abuse is here now, and I need to deal with it.
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image source: Ladybird Books