Today #3

The last few weeks have been a little bit nightmare-ish. I have now lost almost complete control over my life. Tony is on orders to be in control of all meals. With instructions to phone in if I refuse to finish anything. I am so not okay with that. I’m even less okay with the whole absolutely no exercise thing. Tony even stops me fidgeting.

I’ve just had five whole days rigidly sticking to the meal plan. My longest stretch ever. And it still feels like such a pain in the neck. So much food. Coming at me all @#*#-ing day. I have to admit that I can’t wait to be able to eat what I want, when I want it. But right now that’s just nothing and never.

Tony says he can see more of me, Hannah, as I continue to eat. Gloria hates that, uses all her tricks to make me feel weak and useless and more in hate with myself. But Tony has stopped arguing with Gloria. He plainly tells her to go away, he wants to talk to Hannah. At least he can get away from her voice.

I want to be rid of Gloria, to be truly Hannah. But I’m so overwhelmed by the effort it takes, and will continue to take. I’m even doubtful the effort is worth it. I am so lacking in any motivation these days. My bedside is a morass of tangled wool with half-finished craft projects. I am yet to enroll in uni for the year. The house is chaos. I think we’ve all run out of undies. And this is the first post I’ve written in weeks, that I might actually finish and publish.

So here I go. Today #3. Choosing life, because:

Gloria is not me. (That was the first time I actually faltered while typing that, right now it’s just not true)

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Gloria in Excelsis

Christmas with Gloria has not been the most peaceful or joyous of times. I had thought I would handle it much better than I have. Not once have I been able to relax about food. Or even treat myself with something not on my nice list. Did you know you can have Christmas without those wafer stick things? Part of me feels cheated, but most of me feels triumphant. I am the BEST at self control.

On Christmas morning I was already fairly triggered and anxious about the coming day. I still haven’t come to terms with the weight gain. This is what sent me over the edge: I couldn’t find an ACCEPTABLY SMALL COMMUNION BISCUIT during the church service. But I also couldn’t bring myself to break the one I chose into an acceptably small size as I thought it was a bit petty. I can still feel that biscuit in my mouth. And I have not been able to eat with anything resembling normality and rationality since.

This is how fragile my grip on recovery is. Ridiculous things, tiny, insignificant moments are enough to send me hurtling back downhill. Like the sudden whiff from a hand cream can send you back in time to your Grandma’s garden – or the unwashed bus upholstery smell can send you back to high school – in an instant. Last time it was because my undies felt too tight. Another time it was because I thought I noticed someone noticing the tightness of my jeans.

I didn’t realise how far I’d relapsed until tonight when I walked to the shops in the pouring rain to buy yoghurt for muesli in the morning. A rational person would just be ‘oh, no yoghurt? I’ll have milk, or something else, no probs’. I’m all ‘No yoghurt? NO YOGHURT?! I can’t eat breakfast then. In fact I can’t eat anything. Ever again.’ I went to three shops to find the yoghurt. And couldn’t buy any as they were either shut or there’s a supply issue. And then because I couldn’t get yoghurt, I can’t give myself permission to eat. Not even fruit. I hate myself for the food I’ve already eaten today. Gloria is in my ear telling me that my body deserves everything I’ve put it through. And I believe her.

I am so glad Christmas is so much more than food and getting presents. Because this year I didn’t really get to have that side of the season. I have so enjoyed celebrating the love that sent Jesus for us. I have been able to sing my heart out and be thankful that He came for the broken and the sick. Especially ‘cause right now I am both those things. One day we’ll have a laugh together about that biscuit thing. One day, when:

Gloria is not me.

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Here Again?!

I’ve fallen down again.

I bought into the whispered lies. Gloria knows me well. So when the shouting stopped working the campaign shifted to a softer one. It seemed rational and definitely aligned with my own ideas and before I knew I was restricting and exercising again. I HAD to regain the control I’d lost. I’d gained too much and so quickly.

I’ve been back to my dietitian. Had to ‘fess up to dodging the meal plan as often as I could, especially these last five days. I hate this because of how much I’ve gained when I haven’t even followed the plan properly. Gloria tells my body is such a traitor. And I hate it. I hate being in here. Stuck with this voice.

This voice tells me Tony and the health team do not want what’s best for me. They just want me fat. They want me to lose control. And that is something I cannot do. I MUST not do.

I look back at last week and I was doing pretty great. Now I feel shame at trying to leave this place without having accomplished all I was led to believe would make me a better person.

I am trying to see that having such a strong support network is a good thing. Without it I would be totally lost. Gloria wants to run away so I only have her voice to listen to.

Hannah doesn’t have a voice at the moment. So thank God that people around me do. I will try to hear them over Gloria. Listen and trust them, not her. They know:

Gloria is not me.

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Stolen

Today I am trapped between my husband and Gloria. He is trying to get me to eat and to trust him, while Gloria screams in my head that if I do what he says I’ll be a fat nothing, a failure. I allowed him to serve my lunch today. And immediately hated him for the enormous portion he gave me. ALL of which he then sat and watched me eat.

Gloria tries to convince me that restriction is power, and weightloss is control. But despite excelling at these two things I am powerless and my life is out of my control.

I need to start really seeing what giving in has stolen from me.

Trust between my husband and myself is at an all-time low – I don’t trust him and he now knows he can’t trust me about food and exercise.

My dream. I was a distinction student in my education course. Til Gloria came along. In my last session I failed two units. I had to defer my professional experience halfway through because I was too weak to continue without failing.

My peace. ‘Nuff said.

My self-worth. Constantly hearing yourself be unkind to you wears you down and you really do believe it. I am a fat slutty no-good waste who really should be smaller. And have more self-discipline.

My energy. As much as Gloria tries to play it down and even bald-face deny it, I am so weak at times I’m like an old woman. But apparently it is strength to deny myself the energy I need.

My femininity. My body is a plank. I think I had bigger boobs when I was eleven. I haven’t had a period for months. Gloria says that’s a great thing as they were always such a hassle anyway. But what about the long term health implications?

My wedding ring. I can’t wear it anymore. It’s too big. I wear it on a chain around my left wrist. It doesn’t quite feel the same.

My running. Oh, how I miss running. I’m too weak now to run. Even walking is often too much.

My kids’ peace. Our son asks all too often if Mummy is going to die. Our daughter asked me to please not ‘wither away’ to a skeleton.

Meals with friends. I won’t eat what I haven’t prepared myself, and I find eating with others too stressful.

Looking at this list you’re probably asking ‘Why? Why can’t you see and just do what you need to do to get yourself better?’ But that’s rational. And most of the time I am not. Gloria really knows me. And all my weak spots. And how to fight dirty. It is constant. It hurts. And I just get so tired.

Writing this has shown me what I am fighting for, what I want to win back in my life. Hannah’s rights, privileges and responsibilities. I’m fighting for more than just an existence.

Gloria IS not me.

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