Finding Purpose part II: In The Midst Of The Nightmare, by Robyn 17

November 13, 2014

Teens having the floor

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It was my mother who feared my death the most. She would cry in hysterics of a night after having woken up from the same nightmare she had been having for weeks: my dad carrying my body, which can only be described as lifeless, pale and brittle, down the stairs in our home, with sheer anguish in his eyes telling my mother I had died.

Now, I don’t know whether it’s me trying to block out the horrific period of when I was in the depths of my eating disorder, or whether it’s because my body was so completely starved and deprived of nutrition, that I was physically incapable of remembering, but the majority of that 4 to 5 month period is a complete and utter blur. For this, I have had to ask my parents for their recollections.

It all started off pretty great. I had just finished year 9 and it was the summer holidays. I had made the decision to join the gym, and I developed a daily routine of going 2 hours either in the morning or the evening and I had changed my diet and began to eat well-balanced meals. I was committed. I wanted to go back to school the coming September and show everyone that I was capable of losing weight and that I was pretty damn good at it.

September passed, the number on the scale was getting smaller at a steady, annoyingly slow, pace and people were beginning to compliment me. My therapist, along with my parents, was thrilled because I appeared to be gaining a bit of confidence. Little did they know, by this time I was already under the thumb of possessive thoughts. I soon began a blog where I would document my progress, tracking every calorie I consumed and every gram I had lost. What were once “fitness” motivational posts soon became ones that were endorsing several unhealthy behaviors: skipping meals and eating as little as 300 calories a day for rapid weight loss, encouraging self-punishment if I did anything that could prevent me from losing weight, and tips on the best ways to make myself go sick.

I soon developed the mental ability to by-pass hunger and continue to work out for 4 hours straight. I would push my body to its limits, to the point where my vision became blurred and my body would shake. The feeling was desirable and soon became an addiction. I was an addict for smaller numbers, an empty stomach and the sensation of physical weakness. My body would ache, heart palpitations became a daily normality and my skin was discolored, almost lifeless.

I resented anyone and anything that could be a potential threat to me becoming thin, so I isolated myself from the real world and began to live inside my head as this is the place I thought would help me succeed my goal. I was very much alone with only the voices in my head to accompany me; I considered them my best friends with the best advise. I would carve ‘fat’ and slay multiple cuts on my thigh when told to do so, I would hurl over the toilet to empty my body from anything I may have eaten that day, and I would grab and pull at my skin in disgust.

There came a point where my own mother was scared of me and my sister couldn’t stand to be in a room with me. I was “aggressive,” “evil,” and “very dark.” They described me to be completely withdrawn from the outside world. My presence was so unpleasant that it would drain every ounce of positivity in the room. I was relieved, because the more people that didn’t like me and couldn’t stand to be around me, meant less people would actually care or even notice if I died. I knew what I was doing was potentially life threatening but that didn’t make me flinch, I knew what I was doing was right. I recall saying to my dad, “I don’t care if I die, as long as I’ve reached my goal weight.’’ My goal weight being one that would continue to go to a lower number every time I reached the previous goal – I could not and would not stop until my mind was content.

I saw little or no purpose in life. Unless you consider starving yourself, attending numerous hospital appointments warning you that if you carried on your entire body would soon shut down (and being reassured by this), and being completely stuck in a state of solitude, as a purpose? I most definitely don’t. I now see the person I was and what my intentions were. I was committing suicide internally.

Robyn on Twitter: @robynmyp

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