“Rebel against your own state of mind…”
The background noise penetrates my concentrated, musical rhythm of ‘knit one, knit one below, knit one, knit one below’…
A glance at the TV brings an advert into sharp focus; a sleek grey car wheeling across a dramatic rural landscape. It seems obvious that it was a car ad but really, it might just as well be the Scottish tourist board (or another bloody Party Political broadcast – Please no more!)
It’s not important. What matters is the fact that I’m having to count my stitches again because one sentence has lodged itself in my mind. It’s vying for my attention, playing on a continuous loop which forces me to stop counting and think properly about how this one sentence resonates deep within me, and how relevant it is in the context of my recovery and, perhaps, recovery in general.
My state of mind is founded on a determination to recover.
But it’s complicated.
‘Complicated’ because I swing between an absolute conviction that I WILL beat Anorexia and that I CAN and AM; and the absolute desperation that highlights the impossibility of it all, the futility of trying and the agony of succeeding at weight gain. (Yes, the presence of absolutes is noted).
The twisted paradoxes that lie like fatal, open jaws, are manifold and make the journey towards recovery all the more perilous for those who crawl along the path.
I want to eat, but I don’t want to gain weight.
I want to gain weight, but I can’t let myself eat.
I pick up my food, but I can’t put it in my mouth.
I drool over supper that I scrape off my plate
I eat all my meals, but I can’t keep them in
I cut off my nose…
Irony after irony. Stacked up, an impossible pylon to climb up or climb down.
I’m losing my thread (which won’t come as as surprise). The point is, in order to recover, I have to rebel against my state of mind.
Anorexia has become a default setting, a default state of mind. It is no longer possible for me to remember when I didn’t much care what I ate, when life wasn’t just about food, or no food. Even when I am absolutely convinced that I am going to crack it, determined that I can do it, the resolve can evaporate before I can pull the top off the yoghurt.
Rebel against your state of mind.
This six word commands a practise that might help in the battle towards restoring some of the balance that the eating disorder has stolen. Rebelling against your state of mind means a battle, a defiance, a disobedience.
Making peace with my state of mind will be about as successful as Chamberlain’s approach to Hitler. Appeasement is not an option.
I realise this post is a slightly bizarre conglomerate of thoughts and metaphor. Out of the habit of writing, I am at once struck by how much Iies unexpressed, and how tangled and tangential, my thoughts.
A peacemaker would beg forgiveness but in a spirit of rebellion, I post this anyway and pretend I don’t care.