Starving for attention

Content note: eating disorder, bmi, scars

I’m in recovery from anorexia. I’ve gained weight, warmth and am gradually getting my personality back. I’m slowly connecting with people in new ways. Choosing starvation gives me nothing, while choosing life leaves all kinds of possibilities open. The chance of something good is better than certain death.

I’m struggling with having my feelings back. I’ve got my depression and anxiety back. I’ve got my fear of abandonment or rejection back. I’ve got my self hatred.

I’m 8 stone and my bmi is 18. I’ve been struggling with bingeing and I’ve had serious health problems as a consequence of refeeding following more than three months of starvation.

I’ve been given 6-8 sessions with a dietician on the NHS on top of the therapy I’m having at the CMHRS. I saw her on Monday and we talked about how I can tackle trying to stick to my meal plan. It’s not easy but this week I am doing much better with it.

Today in individual therapy we talked about the possible reasons why I did something so extreme as starving myself to the point I did – my bmi went down to 16 at my lowest weight and my periods have yet to return.

I used food as an analogy for how I am in relationships. I talked about how eating cakes is a shortcut to a feeling the way self harming is a shortcut to getting care from someone. But a more nutritious diet and a different kind of genuine, ongoing connection with people will do me better in the long run.

Starving myself sent a message to the world that described how much emotional pain I am in. It made the outside match the inside the same way my scars do.

I need to learn to live without the intense hit of a binge or a dramatic show of pain if I want the more nutritious and sustaining things I can get from life. Or I guess: stop living from binge to binge or dramatic pain to dramatic pain – still have a cake or an honest outpouring of emotion, but don’t make them my main source of sustenance because that’s not healthy!

I’m working towards being more spontaneous and real with people because then I get more genuine responses back that I can trust. I need to trust myself that my real self is OK and not the horrible monster I fear is inside. This will be my route to better relationships with others.

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2 thoughts on “Starving for attention

  1. ” I’ve gained weight, warmth and am gradually getting my personality back.” This was quite powerful to read, thank you

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