Last week I had an emergency appointment with my Epilepsy Nurse because the medication I was using just wasn’t controlling my condition any more. Because we were discussing medication options we had to run down the list of drugs that we had already tried.
This meant that I had to be reminded of the horrible weight gain and water retention I suffered with a previous drug; he just had to use the term “a lot” and stress it, didn’t he?
Nice man, but a little lacking in tact. It was like a punch in the gut. On the other hand it also served as a reminder that I lost all that weight and that it didn’t appear through anything I’d done.
Whilst waiting in the atrium for my prescription to be made up, I always like to people watch. Everybody does it but pretends not to – it’s human nature.
I was sat there waiting for my name to come up on the screen, when in walked a painfully skinny young woman. Her arms and legs were like sticks and I could see her shoulder blades even through her dress.
Usually, seeing a girl like this would cause me to feel fat and bloated and ugly straight away – to say nothing of envious.
This time, however, all I felt was pity and concern for this young woman who – judging by her calm composure – still doesn’t realise that she’s very ill. I remember being as thin as her and believing that I looked really good too. I silently wished her well and I hope that she will realise and ask for help soon, before she begins to feel the physical pain that so many of us with eating disorders experience.
I still have my bad days (I was naughty yesterday and didn’t eat at all) but I do try. This particular not-quite meeting of two polar opposites tells me by my lack of reaction and paranoia that I am getting better.
I still have some misconceptions about my shape and size and it’s a struggle for me not to end up going in the same direction as this young woman – I can’t do that again – but I’m currently holding my own.
I just wanted those who live with eating disorders to know that it does get better. It takes time and effort, but if you genuinely want to be well again, it will happen.