I am on edge. Each time the phone rings I jump. Is this it? Is this the phone call I’ve been waiting for? The call will come. It could be today, tomorrow, next week… longer? Who knows. I don’t know when it will be. And I don’t know where I will be going. It will be a long way from home, but exactly where, no-one can say.
I am still struggling. Each day I feel weaker. My mum helped me wash my hair yesterday. I just don’t have the energy. I struggle out of bed and get dressed. I am exhausted. Climbing stairs hurts. I walk slowly. I can’t go far. I feel frail. Elderly. “I’ll be good at being old, I’ll have had plenty of practice,” I joke. But it’s not funny. My support worker suggested I buy a ripple cushion to prevent pressure damage to my sore back and bum.
“We just need to keep you well enough to avoid being admitted to a medical ward before an eating disorder bed comes up,” my mum tells me. “We need to keep you well enough to avoid going into hospital so you can go into hospital.” We laugh at the absurdity of the situation. If we didn’t laugh, we’d cry. We cry anyway. How has it come to this?
I had an ECG yesterday. I lay topless whilst the nurse attached the leads. I chatted with her about nursing – told her I didn’t know if I wanted to go back to it. But I do know. I don’t want to be a nurse anymore. The stress, the responsibility, the bitchiness. I can’t be dealing with it. Then she asked me how I felt about going to an inpatient unit. I told her I felt nervous, not knowing where I would be sent. She didn’t seem to know anything about the system at all. Then she began to tell me about her cousin who had been admitted a few years ago. “She only weighed 4 1/2 or 5 stone.” I want to scream when people tell me someone’s weight. I don’t care. I don’t want to know. It doesn’t help.
I am struggling to eat. I am managing the bare minimum. The lies are spiralling. Eating breakfast and lunch feels too much. So I eat breakfast and hide lunch, or vice versa. I pour away the high-calorie supplement milkshakes and lie, lie, lie. Yesterday I ate an apple. I feel terrible about it.
Each day has a disconcerting ‘last day’ feel about it. Will today be my last day at home? I will be suddenly whisked away, and not return for months. Maybe today will be the last day I lie on the sofa, safe in the comfort of home. Or maybe I will be here another month. It’s a strange feeling. There is so much uncertainty. I haven’t even begun to think about the daunting reality of an eating disorder unit. I cannot even begin to comprehend what it will be like. I know the sheer scale of the challenges I face will hit me at some point. I wonder what it will be like. How will I respond?
My anxiety is worsening. I feel nervous leaving the house. I can’t go anywhere without my mum. I want to pull on a hat and a hood and hide from the world. Everywhere there are people. Conversations. Noise. Food. I can’t cope. I want to curl up underneath my thick blanket and stay there, warm, safe, cocooned, comforted by anorexia. But the days, the hours are ticking away. I will be ripped from my cocoon and thrust into my worst nightmare.
My brain is barely functioning. I cannot read anymore. Writing is difficult. I am so tired. I just want to sleep. What energy I do have I am using to fight myself. To exercise as much as I can, to concoct lies and argue about what I am eating, anything to keep losing weight. The desire is so strong. This is my last chance. I am at my lowest ever weight. But I still want it to fall. Another half kilo, another kilo, it never ends. I know it will never be low enough. It won’t be long until I am forced to gain weight. I am spending my last few precious days with anorexia. Russell Brand wrote about the night before going to rehab:
“Then I went to my flat and spent my last few hours with heroin, just the two of us like lovers. I took everything I could from heroin and it took everything it could from me; then we fell asleep together.”
That is how I feel about losing anorexia.