Choose Your Own Adventure

I am doing this. I mean, I am really doing this. I am making some good choices, finally.

Feels bizarre. I can suddenly think more clearly. Who knew the brain really does need energy. Gloria sure didn’t get that bit right.

I am sleeping a lot. Like nine or ten hours at night and a nap in the afternoon. I’m starting to see how badly I’ve been treating my poor little body. It needs to repair.

I am feeling brighter. I can see beyond this painful now. Before, that’s all there was. I can appreciate what’s around me. See what’s around me. Love the people around me. I’ve been blinkered and numb for so long.

I still have to fight. Still have the urge to restrict and purge. Tim is having a really difficult time with all this rain and the storms. My first thought is to stop eating and start running so I’ll be able to fix it. Not sure of the logic of it, but oooh, it’s strong. I have fought it today. I am eating my afternoon snack, which includes milk, one of my big no-nos. Gold star!

I am fighting the voice that hates this weight gain. Gloria re-heally hates it. She is great at convincing me I am too big already, I feel too big, I see that I’m too big. But you know what? If I don’t look in the mirror, it’s easier to be rational, to rely on the evidence that can be verified. Like my weight is at the low end of healthy, and my clothes still fit. Can’t be too big if those things are true.

I was so close to giving up this week. But I managed to keep going, trusting that it will get better. I’m so glad I did. I’m choosing my own adventure, and I avoided the poison spring this time. I’ve started reading the first few sentences of the possible choices so I can make the right one. Gloria isn’t aware that such a life-hack exists.

I will beat this.

Gloria is not me.

magicoftheunicorn

This was my favourite Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book when I was growing up. Did you have one?

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I Can Do This

There’s an African proverb that says ‘it’s only by climbing hills that we gain strength’. This past week has been the steepest part of my hill. I am so glad I had support to help me step by step and meal by meal. I know I wouldn’t be further up if I were alone. I am stronger. I know there’s still more hill to come, there might even be yet steeper places. But now it’s time to look how far I’ve come. Celebrate every hard won little victory. Remind myself of what I have faced.

I have come from days of eating nothing or as close as I could get to it, pushing myself so hard to be smaller there were times I thought I seriously and literally wouldn’t make it up the hill, to here – where I am able to nourish my body six times a day. And last night, I enjoyed dinner so much that I HAD SECONDS. GASP!

For the first time I, Hannah, feel that recovery is possible, achievable and, wait for it, desirable. DOUBLE GASP!

So thankful that God does keep His promises. So thankful for the people He has around me. Especially Tony, of course, and Phoebe and Tim. With their help, along with our health team Jeremy, Sara, Russell and Lisa, my sister Laura and all my church family particularly Andrew, Kylie, Michelle, Gary, Robyn and Elisabeth, I am here. And thank you to everyone who has sent me encouraging messages to support me. Looking up to the day when:

Gloria is not me.

50

50!  That’s FIFTY!

I done-did it!

I can’t wait to cash these in.

Denial P.S.

So. My body showed you, hey Gloria. Could you just give me a break, please?

Here I am today, even more tired than yesterday. On Tony’s orders to stay in bed except for trips to the toilet. And still that voice warns of consequences of eating. Prompts me to restrict.  Tells me to exercise. Hates my body for being a traitor to her ideals.

I am so weak. I had to sit down in the shower. And fell asleep as soon as I was dry and dressed. Everything takes so much more effort, and exhausts me so quickly. And I have done it to myself by believing I’m not causing any harm.

I thought I was doing ok. I had increased my food intake. I didn’t slow down though. My busy day on Wednesday was too much after a busy day on Tuesday.

I don’t really want to write about what happened. But I promised the good and the bad.

I knew I was getting really tired and that I needed to eat (huge step forward for me) so I popped into the supermarket after picking the kids up from school. I had a craving for chips (!) and thought I’d stick it to Gloria and get some. But I got to that aisle in Woolworths and just ran out of steam. I couldn’t walk any more. I was holding on to the shelves falling asleep, when a lady stopped and asked if I was alright. To which I shook my head. She offered to get me a chair and I nodded. I sat down and then my body just shut down, except for my head. I couldn’t move. (This has happened twice before. And each time I said it wouldn’t happen again.) I had left the kids in the car (yes, yes, I know, but they’re nine and seven and I don’t breed idiots) so this lovely lady went and got them for me. But I had left my phone at home and do you think I could remember Tony’s number? Good thing my sister has had the same number for 10 years and I could remember that. And she just happened to be two streets away and arrived very soon. I had refused the staff’s offer of calling an ambulance. Tony’s done that once before. And I knew I just needed rehydration and rest. My sister carried me out to her car, kids following, and drove me home. Where Tony had to carry me in to bed. Where I slowly woke up. One side and limb at a time.

I want to thank Martina for her help. I want to thank my sister, Laura, and apologise for it happening again. And thank you Tony. I’m so sorry. I can see what this does to you. You are so good. I do want to fight this. I love you. And Phoebe and Tim, you seriously are the best kids a mum could ask for. You guys show me that somewhere I must have got something right, and I have to keep fighting so I can be the wife and mother you deserve. So that I can be Hannah. Fulfilled and free. As God made me.

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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