Monday, May 28, 2012

HfC day 28 Reality Check

I have lots of stories that fit into this category because anorexia does things to your body that are deeply unglamorous. For example, losing control of my bowels in the street because of muscle wastage. Diarrhoea in hospital at the start of refeeding - when on bed rest and not allowed to shower - then collapsing when I stood up and having to go to A&E aware that I probably stank of Veg Tikka (that day's lunch on the ward) and poo. Undignifiedly being wheeled into A&E by a health care assistant because of being on bed rest and therefore not allowed to walk. Her taking me into the loo with her because of being on obs ... so I had to watch her wee (and of course, when on obs, someone is always with you when you go to the loo, or wash or shower or sleep or dress or everything). Then seeing a gorgeous junior doctor and wishing I could impress him or at least feel equal to him but knowing that, to him, I was just a mental health patient in a tracksuit, smelling of tikka and diarrhoea with a painful hip that needed x ray to check it wasn't fractured. With hindsight, another factor that I didn't understand at the time was that I was emaciated. And emaciation is ugly. Hairy faces but hair loss on the head. Bed sores if not sleeping on an air mattress.

Other ED behaviours are similarly unglamorous: peeing oneself during self-induced vomiting; being sick in a dirty public lavatory because of the desperation to be clean inside; panic mounting in supermarkets while staring at the calorie counts and fat grams, knowing people are staring... I could go on.

But I won't. And none of this should ever be used by people with EDs as evidence that they need to work harder at being "ED" : these horrible situations (bedrest, collapsing, emaciation) are *not* success at being thin. They are truly distressing experiences and something that no one should have to live through.

Furthermore, I know that the severity of emotional distress in EDs can be as appalling for people of any BMI, whether it's 11 or 32; whether they have AN, EDNOS, BN, BED.

A positive picture to lighten the mood. The kind of fun that I couldn't have when all those awful things were happening :-)

1 comment:

Jenn said...

It's so frusterating when people "glamourize" eating disorders because it is anything but that! All of these things you listed are the reality of ed's and it slowly kills people from the inside out. I love that picture at the end ; )