Fromance

I went to our local dairy this morning to buy a loaf of bread, as it was already 9am and my stomach was begging for breakfast. I am reasonably casual when it comes to eating breakfast and having a slice of toast with my peppermint green tea is as good as it is going to get today…that is until my nose smelled the sweet lingering aroma of freshly baked something. My eyes followed the scent to a shelf filled with baked pastries, but it is the deliciously golden croissants that matched the mystery aroma. Instinctively I asked for 2 (1 for myself and 1 for my son) and immediately my thoughts were filled with Nigella inspired ideas for this little buttery gem.

I admit that I have a food romance, or as I call it a fromance. I never thought that it is ever possible for someone who has suffered from eating disorders to feel a connection with food, other than pure loathing. I can’t say that I am always comfortable around food, especially when my insecurities convince me that I can do without, but I honestly and truthfully LOVE it!

So arriving home with my little parcel of scrumptiousness, I lathered the croissants with butter, blueberry jam and grated cheese and placed it under the grill. My tea was brewing and the combined smell made my tummy turn inside out from excitement! The minutes following was pure bliss. I sat down at my desk making sure that my son was occupied because I do not want to be disturbed as I take crunchy mouthfuls of sweet, salty, buttery goodness. I was immediately transported to our local French market La Cigale: sitting in the warmth of the sun as a cool breeze swirls the flavours of baked breads, French cheeses, smoked fish, fruit chutneys and the all familiar croissant. Birds rejoicing in the overhanging branches of nearby trees and people enjoying each other’s company.

Food is meant to be made with love, shared amongst loved ones and given as a gift of thoughtfulness. It can arouse the senses, awaken a playfulness between partners and fulfil desires. Food is romantic!

I hope that today you too will be sitting at a market place, or in a park at a picnic or walking along a vineyard during your fromance.

 

 

Chapter 1 – Part 3

A new year dawned, new years resolutions were made but nothing seemed to have improved.

I had been binge eating/starving myself for approximately 6 months. Our final exams were long over, and my friend had since stopped fasting. Before I knew it I was caught in a vicious binge eating cycle, and was trapped in a down spiralling, out of control eating disorder. I was in denial that anything was wrong at the time, because I only knew of 3 types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia and obesity (and I had none of these, so therefor I am okay). My friend often asked me whether I was still fasting, to which I lied and said no…honestly lying had become far too easy of a thing to do. I felt bad for not telling her the truth, but by then my ED had convinced me that if anyone finds out, they will try to stop me.

By the end of our first semester I felt extremely alone, even though I was surrounded by school friends every day. I felt sad even though this was meant to be the best year of my school career as we had our school ball to look forward to and the ever rebellious 40 days. I became more socially distant and easily distracted during lessons. My thoughts were often interrupted by images of death, my death. Self-loathing soon filled empty gaps. Why are you allowing this to happen? Why are you eating uncontrollably? You are fat! You are ugly!

I developed a fear for food, yet I couldn’t stop myself consuming every last little morsel whenever I ate. That fear grew into a panic, a panic so severe that I felt as if someone is trying their utmost to stop my heart from beating, forcing its last beat upon my breath. I was in a dark pit of loneliness and entrapment, and the only way out was to not be anymore.

*my blog entry Blank Space is a follow up event to the above, but I will use an edited version to highlight what took place. Please read with caution and an open mind as the wording depicts the impact depression and the onset of an eating disorder can have on ones behaviour*

The school semester has come to an end and it was not mandatory for the senior students to attend the last day. Mom left for work but reminded me that she will stop by early afternoon. I pretended to eat a small and healthy breakfast but I binned it as soon as she left. I made myself comfortable on the couch and did a bit of channel surfing. Not long after I remembered dad’s whisky collection in the kitchen cupboard and thought now is the perfect time to try it as there are no adults around, and I am not out in the public eye. I have had sneaky sips before but didn’t know anything about single or double shots and myself a generous helping. I drank with ease and on an empty stomach I felt lightheaded with a hint of courage. I used this new found enlightenment to make myself a sandwich filled with the goodness of peanut butter and crisps. I also helped myself to all the leftovers from the night before.

I had another drink, a stronger mix, a second sandwich and a plate of chicken. By lunch time I had consumed a fair share of alcohol and had eaten more than I could stomach. I had a sense of utter disappointment, and that all familiar voice repeated telling me you are worthless. You can’t control what you eat. You need me. You can’t life without me. Just look at you, you are ugly, fate and don’t deserve to eat. In that moment I had what I can only describe as a blank, a feeling of nothingness and I didn’t want to feel anymore. I didn’t want to wake up the following morning knowing that I can’t change how I feel and what I think. I wanted out.

The next hour in this state of nothingness seemed unreal. I went to my parents’ bathroom were I found my dad’s blood pressure and mom’s kidney medication. I also found a box of pain killers. I leaned in a crouching position against the cold wall tiles and consumed as many of the pills as I could. The motion was automated, no thinking was involved. A daze of uncertainty dawned on me and I felt sudden panic. I crawled to my dad’s bedside table and found a pen. I felt a sharp pain on my wrist and realised that I was trying to scratch the words HELP and GOD into my lower arm. My pain was silent yet visible. Shivering and feeling cold and numb, I lost consciousness.

Darkness, emptiness and a sense of freedom engulfed me.

to be continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear ghost

I invited you into my virtual and selfish life several years ago, which was the biggest mistake of my life! I regret getting to know you, thinking that it could remain platonic and secretive. Your disappearance was unplanned but best for those involved. I regained some sense of normality and focussed on healing the open wounds caused by your online presence.

You re-entered my life unannounced and unwelcomed. You threatened me, called me names, blackmailed, harassed and caused me sleepless nights. You over stepped the boundary when you involved the person I love the most above all and the innocence of a child. I knew you were world’s away, yet I couldn’t help but feel like I was constantly being watched. Your shadow lurking over my shoulder, invading every aspect of my life.

They say “forgive and forget”, but I will NEVER forgive you! I have not hated anyone more than what I hate you. I do not believe for one second that you are a good person, and do not think that you will reform. I know that you might think what you have done serves as  some form of justice (if justice was unruly and twisted), but all you caused was fear and deep seeded animosity.

You now have a name, an identity, you are no longer an unknown being. But to me you will remain a ghost, an entity that is dead to me and haunts my everyday thoughts.

 

Ghost

 

 

 

 

We matter!

You Matter

I recently came across this image and it resonated with me. The idea that I matter is often not instilled in me and I have to convince myself that merely being me is okay. Yes my children matter to me, my husband and my family, friends I love (and miss dearly) matter to me, but do I matter?

My counsellor who helped me through my battle with both anorexia and bulimia, had once made a list of the things I am. We were discussing skills that I have acquired throughout my counselling sessions (coping skills as he would call it), skills that I can use as part of  my weaponry during ED’s attacks. He started the list by adding the first thing he believes I am, helpful, and asked me if I can think of others. When I got stuck he reminded me of all the things we have discussed, the things I have achieved. And with his guidance the list grew:

I am …

Gentle and mild spirited

Caring

Determined

Adventurous

Different

Curious

Sensitive

Creative

Respectful

My own individual

I soon discovered that I am many things separate from my eating disorder. I do not need to be defined by anorexia’s voice. In all honesty it was very hard remembering this list in times when anorexia convinced me that I am nothing without her, but having the list as part of my coping skills made a huge impact on how long her voice lingered in my head.

Today this list looks very different. I am a mother, which makes me a nurturer. I am a wife, which should make me loving and understanding. I am an employee which makes me loyal and hard working. I am a blogger and therefor I am imaginative and speak my mind.

I would like to believe that I matter because of that who I am today. And because I matter, my words matter, my presence matter, my knowledge and guidance matter, what I have to say matters.

And I would like to encourage you that you matter, no matter what!

My fit with FitBit

I have many friends who has a FitBit, talks about their FitBit, compare steps with other FitBit friends, and update social media on their progress. Honestly, those I least expect it from, owns one.

I don’t want to step on any toes, but here are the reasons I will never brace this fashion on my wrist:

  • I am not a gimmick kind of person. Yes I have a smart phone, but only because my life is organised on this device. I lose it, I lose myself! And yes my kitchen is filled with electronics that makes my baking cravings more manageable.
  • I am lazy. Regardless of whether it is something on my wrist encouraging me to exercise or a boot camp instructor shouting spurts of motivation at me, I prefer to come home, run around after my kids, prepare dinner, tidy/clean the house (depending on the severity), and end my day curled up in front of the TV.
  • I enjoy tramping, filling my lungs with fresh air and admiring the God given scenery. But I want to do that in my own time. I do not need something constantly reminding me of the above point, filling me with feelings of guilt and resentment.
  • I DO NOT NEED ANOTHER ADDICTION!

How easy is it to use such  a “fitness craze” as an excuse to fall back to old habits? Too easy if you ask me.

Fit over 🙂