To my friend,
An old letter
I don’t even know where to begin. End of August I wanted to Skype you. I was getting my nails done and had an urge to talk to you, to tell you how right you were about many things, to inform you that I realized, at last, that things had to change and that it was only heading for the better. I wanted to share all this with you. I wanted to reveal some of what I was going through, but mainly the excitement I felt taking back control over my life.
Three months went by and again, I don’t even know where to begin. I am going through what feels like a terrible nightmare and I wish it were only physical. The liver inflammation, osteoporosis, inability to open a door, gastric paralysis, or infirm body are the easier things I get to ignore and let time play its role. But the mental aspect of my illness is unbearable. I lost my life, I lost my drive, I lost my friends, my joy, my ability to think, to relax, to do anything, really.
There is no excuse I haven't wished you a happy birthday and I don’t know why I’m doing what I'm doing. What I do know is that I face the ultimate lack of energy to speak, no desire to be in touch, let alone provide updates about my misery, especially when I hardly understand what the hell is going on and why I feel this way. Why I wake up and cry for hours. Why I make plans to see someone but have a panic attack on the follow. Why I suddenly feel so much compassion towards those who have known suffering. Why I gradually find interest in all forms of spirituality. Why I prefer to surround myself with people I don’t know. Why I no longer appreciate the things I used to. As I come to understand the whys, I realize I’m recovering from anorexia and it’s no easy job.
I have been so freaking clueless about everything but I finally found the right support, someone who hears me and I know will help me.
I hit rock bottom but I'm working hard to get my life back. I took an indefinite leave from work until I get better. This time off has opened my eyes to how unhappy I have been all along. I was blindly stuck in believing to be so lucky, that I ignored how miserable I felt. I taught myself to live with the feeling. I taught myself to ignore it. I actually taught myself to enjoy it. The naive conviction of thriving in my job, in the responsibilities that came together, and at my age, bore a price, one that I am paying today.
I have what feels like great days, usually as I realize it’s a good thing that happened. I get excited by some prospective freedom only to get struck by the reality that whatever it is I want to do right now, I can’t.
The past month has been a huge rollercoaster. As I said, I am finally realizing what I'm going through and it all seems so crazy, especially that I've been so ignorant about how severe my problem is. The most upsetting of all may be the doctors who failed to make the diagnosis and that things had to get this bad before I could understand it. I also thought that as soon as I just dedicate my day to eating, everything would resume to normal. Sadly, it's not that simple.
I am very unwell and recovery is so much harder than I envisioned. Not to mention the emotional impact of grasping the fact that I've literally lost my life. I spend my days at home, really not able to do much. I have the good days where I feel like the nightmare is about to be over, just to wake up the next morning thinking I will never get better. I know people are here for me but I don't want to worry friends and family so I dig myself deeper, ultimately feeling quite alone in the process.
I’m back home now. It has taken me some time to get in touch because I didn't really understand what was going on and how to deal with everything. I wish I could just wake up tomorrow and resume a normal life. It's going to take some time but I'm so determined to fight and I know I will get there. I’m slightly freaked by the emotional stuff I’m experiencing, as well as this drain of energy, or the inability to keep up with things, to focus, as I embark what is called the “re-feeding” stage. I stay confident that this too shall pass. I eat, I sleep and I believe. It’s really all I can do.
Re-reading the above, I am so reluctant to pressing send. It’s going to erase the “image” of the thriving AK, the capable to handle everything AK, the rational AK, the no help from anyone needed AK, but I'm going to do it because this is the honest AK. I’m so sick of masking the truth, pretending I have everything under control just to reassure people who care about me that I'm ok and handling it all. It truly got tiring and I am done. I am done projecting something that is so clearly false and duping those I love so much.
It’s been since your birthday that everyday I wake up, determined to open up, tell you what and how I feel, but then I get anxious and I postpone it. Of course, battling the illness all the way, until I get better and resume my life in secrecy, as if nothing ever happened, leaving you in the unknown sounds so much more appealing, but enough with the bullshit. I love you so much, you are among the closest people I have in my life, so I’m cutting the scare, the bullshit. I am pressing send.