I went for a walk with my dad last night and on the way back a possum ran in front of the car. It was badly injured. My dad and I were both shaken by the incident. I managed to get the possum in a blanket, put it in a box and we took it to a vet. But sadly the vet said it will most likely have to be euthanised.
Seeing the possum run into the car brought me back to the other week when I tried to jump in front of a train. Suddenly I saw the seriousness of what I nearly did. I saw my potential verdict in the possum, in its protruding red eye and other eye that wouldn’t open, in its blood, and in its pain. That could have been me. I am relieved I didn’t make the jump.
I had been wanting to be euthanised myself. As I sat in the waiting room of the vet I imagined myself in a medical centre waiting to be euthanised. I’m not sure if it’s truly what I want anymore.
I am realising I am a decent, caring, passionate person. I like my empathy, my big heart and my ability to feel deeply. I don’t deserve all the self-harm and punishment I have been directing towards myself. I want to stop. I want to love myself like I love animals. My self-harm has taken a new form lately in the form of an eating disorder. I have become obsessed with my weight. I go long periods without eating, I weigh myself multiple times a day, and I cannot eat without feeling like a failure. Often I get very hungry at night and give in. Then, at midnight, I traipse up and down the mountain trying to burn it all off again. The most frustrating thing is that I’m not even seeing my weight go down. I didn’t realise it is so hard to lose weight. It makes me feel like I can’t control anything in my life! Something I have learnt about eating disorders is that weight is deceptive. I used to weigh 40kg. My BMI was off the chart and all the doctors would fuss over me. Yet I was healthy. I didn’t have an eating disorder. I ate chips, chocolate and pizza and I didn’t care. My blood tests were normal. Now I weigh more but I have an issue. My weight is occupying a huge space in my mind, more so than it ever has. This is taking over my life. I know I am not getting the nutrients my body needs, and I’m afraid to take my new medication as I’m scared of putting on weight. I worry my eating disorder is going to take away everything: my health, my headspace, badminton. It’s tragic that people only start paying attention to you when your weight drops and you reach a certain BMI. Eating disorders are the most lethal mental health conditions, and people die, get seriously hurt and endure a lot of suffering at ANY WEIGHT.
Something else I’ve learnt about eating disorders it that they are armour, or coping mechanisms. A person is no where near recovered when they restore weight. Recovering weight doesn’t at all deal with the underlying issue, for instance the lack of purpose, control, or worth a person has, or their invisible sense of deprivation and pain which feed the eating disorder. One of the reasons I self-harm is that I like to see on the outside what I feel inside. I’m sick of people looking at me and telling me I look “well” when I am quietly wasting away inside. People with eating disorders tend to have a history of trauma. In fact, one study found that half of people with anorexia and bulimia have a history of sexual abuse. I am starting to realise that I have blocked a lot of things from my memory, and I was most likely sexually abused as a child. This realisation is both disturbing but also pivotal in my healing. It has been like piecing together a puzzle. Now I have the missing jigsaw piece.
Right now I have all these different voices in my head which are at war with each other. I really hope I can feel content with my current weight, which is really not that bad, and eat without feeling like a failure again.