The Struggle is Real, for Real

I’m not going to lie, I’m struggling. I thought, after the pregnancy, after my parents left, I was better. I swear, felt strong. Then again, it’s easy to feel strong when you’ve had company all the time, which includes help with the kids. All of a sudden, you are alone and you’re having that nice after effect, like freshly ingested alcohol. It’s the next day that the hungover comes.

And now I’m here and a lot of the milestones I had reached in my recovery seem to have sped past me and be almost out of sight. I remember clearly the time I felt with absolute certainty that fat is not who I am but just the shape I am. That I am much more than what I look like, many, many different things. Now that feeling is gone and all I have is the neuron connection that was formed when I had that epiphany but that now is only an intellectual knowledge rather than an all-encompassing, wrapping-yourself-in-a-warm-blanket, feeling. I am fat again.

Hi, my name is Fat McFatson.

It’s not, cross my heart and hope to die.

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I can pinpoint the turning point too, the moment it all went wrong. It was that day, at the first check-up of my latest (and last) pregnancy, when the doctor referred me to the dietitian after looking at me as if I was a green-eyed goblin speaking in tongues when I explained about my BED

The dietitian was lovely, though. I can’t complain about her. She knew what I was talking about and she knew that she was not really the appropriate specialist for me, but the gods bless her cotton socks, she did the best she could and was really supportive. Still, not the best for me. I should have said no, you see. I should have said I didn’t need her help because it’s never been a case of not knowing what to eat or how much to eat. I should have said the help I needed was in a whole different ward. But I didn’t, because I didn’t want to look like I was refusing help, because judgement.

Not that they would have judged me. I do know that. But still, on the spot, with a dietitian, a midwife and a nurse looking at me with benign and understanding eyes, I agreed to the follow up.

So that was that, the second of three big chinks in my armour.  The third one is the one I lovingly call ‘mum’. Now, I’d like to establish one thing first, because I am aware that, was I to publish a book about my BED journey, there would be a chapter about my mother and her – and therefore my – relationship with my weight, and she would not come out looking pretty. And I am aware that it wouldn’t be fair, because it is only an aspect of her person as a mother. She is my mother and I have, overall, I great relationship with her and she is incredibly supportive of pretty much anything I do.

As long as it doesn’t involve her making any effort to understand my eating disorder.

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And that’s the third chink. I can’t possibly remember how the conversation started, as we sat in my kitchen, waiting for the day the baby was due to be born, but it ended with my mother saying that this was my problem, I was the one doing this ‘diet’ (none of it had anything to do with dieting, but there) and she had no need or wish to understand any of it. More than a chink in my armour that was an axe to my neck, head roll down the steps, blood splashing and all the gore.

In my head of heads I know that this has a lot more to do with my mum’s own issues with body image (anxiety and mild hypochondria) than it has to do with mine, but I can’t help being hurt. Ultimately, my mum is the one person I talk to about pretty much anything, the person I call when I have a problem or I need to vent, because she’s my mother and I am her only child. So how is it possible that she is not even willing to try to understand? I would give my own organs for my kids, how is it that a bit of information and some empathy can’t find a place in her? For me?

And here I am, as close as falling completely off the wagon as I’ve been since I started therapy and quite not knowing what to do about it. Nobody around me really understands it and I feel like I am constantly educating people about what’s happening to me but it feels tiresome because, ultimately, they can’t help me.

I can’t see, right now, what positive conclusion I can give to this post. I don’t really see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, the light bulb moment.

At least I can write.  

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