Anorexia SUCKS. It absolutely sucks.
I’ve suffered with anorexia for around 10 years now. I first became ill in 2011, hospitalised in 2012, relapsed in 2014, again in 2017 and now again in 2021. By no means have I been deeply malnourished and struggling to eat this whole time, you could even say that for a while, I was ‘recovered’. However, I’ve always thought that no one can ever ‘fully’ recover from a mental illness like this. I think of anorexia as a sleeping demon inside your brain. A demon that can lay dormant for months or even years, but wake up with a vengeance at any given moment. There is always the possibility of relapse, however long you have been ‘recovered’ for.
This is obviously just my opinion and of course there are many out there who believe that you can 100% recover from anorexia, but I just don’t see it like that. The journey of recovery from mental health is never linear. You have peaks and troughs and there is no ‘end point’ as such. So when I get the question, “are you all better now?” I never really know what to say. Yeah? No? Ish? It’s such a tricky one; I guess if you tell someone you’ve suffered with anorexia for 10 years, many will have the vision of you screaming every time food is put in front of you. But in reality, it’s far from that. Yes there may have been days like that, but also days where you managed to eat an extra slice of cake, and then days where you ate to your hearts content without a second thought.
Mental health problems are so complex and I don’t think can be categorised into ‘ill’ and ‘recovered’. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and wanted to share my thoughts with you all. Though I may not know what to say when it comes to “are you all better now?”, I do know what to say when you ask yourself, “do I deserve to eat?” And the answer is always yes.