I can feel that Prince of Demons whispering in my ear again. Threatening to drag me down into the oblivion of Wonderland again… Scattering my thoughts and sending the chill of numbness and fear through my soul.
This time it’s one of my never-ending weaknesses… Food.
For long enough – twenty years now – the horror and fear that food has brought me has been never-ending. Anorexia and Bulimia stalked me throughout my childhood, teen years and young adulthood. In later years I have tried to overcome the mentality it has left, but still it is a difficult and painful task to eat. You wouldn’t think of it to look at me, but that is the truth. Food terrifies me beyond all reason and it’s pure torture to have to voluntarily put it into my mouth and leave it sitting in my stomach.
Imagine, if you will (and this is graphic, but bare with me – and note your immediate reaction to imagining the following), that you are forced to eat, let’s say, human blood, tissue and feces because you’re told your life depends on it – you have to put it in your mouth, chew it up, swallow it, and you cannot throw it up afterwards…
Well… Yes. Exactly… I can imagine how that sounds and feels to even think about. In fact, it’s quite easy for me to do so. That’s the reaction I have to eating normal food – and it’s not pleasant in the least. It’s a reaction I’ve lived with for the most part of my life – and whilst I have spent the last 5 or 6 years managing to override it and talk myself into believing that food is actually good for you, especially if it’s healthy – this awful reaction to food really haunts me still. There is something within my mind that will not allow me to really grasp that this substance is what I am supposed to be putting into my body to feed it and keep it alive. Whatever this is, it makes life in general a living hell whenever it’s time to eat.
I’ve found various ways of coping – the main one being the one thing most people tell you not to do – distraction in the form of watching something on TV (a sitcom, film etc). At work I read the news online, or do work. For the most part, it works to a certain extent. There are still some times where this feeling of repulsion and horror overwhelms me, though.
This happened yesterday and took me completely by surprise – in fact, I was shocked and horrified at feeling it. I’ve struggled and worked hard at it, and I’ve managed for long enough to overcome those feelings, to a point… To have them manifest themselves so vividly was overwhelming and landed me in a heap of emotion to the point where I have withdrawn and become numb. I simply no longer know what to do with these feelings, or know how to cope with them. Once upon a time they were there every second of every minute – more recently they have kept some distance and they are no longer as familiar as they once were. Now as they swept back into my body and my mind, I felt violated – not just by having the food in me (which is what usually happens – I am overwhelmingly repulsed by even the thought of consuming food, generally), but also by the fact this had reared its ugly head again when I thought it was tamed.
It’s brought about other old feelings with it. I’ve immediately become shut-down and numb, and it’s been followed with feelings of being overwhelmed by everything, and mild panic attacks. In a nutshell, I feel quite depressed (and not in that pathetic “I’ve got the blues” way – it’s the “I want to hide in the oven and never come out – and put it on while you’re at it” kind of way). It’s as if it’s triggered that in me as a chain-reaction – a deeply-ingrained reaction of self-hatred from the past. I am rendered exhausted, the chattering in my brain is now incessant again, sleep is nothing but a pipe-dream when it actually comes down to dropping off, and I feel like absolutely nothing is OK in any way or sense of the word.
The thing was… I was really starting to feel quite good for a moment there – I’d had a range of really enlightening moments that made my burden feel much lighter. Now it feels like not only has it been given back to me, but some extra rocks have been added in for good measure. Sometimes when it comes to that adage “One Step Forwards, Two Steps Back”, I feel my experience is “One Step Forward, Fall Down A Cliff… Then have to climb all the way back to where you started before you can even think about going another step forward again”. Funnily enough I’m then too exhausted to go any further for a long time…
To be honest, I don’t even know where to start to get back on an even keel right now. I’m not so bad as I will actually hide under the duvet for weeks on end without looking at anyone. But I do feel scared, intimidated, and incredibly withdrawn into myself now – from that very second of those feeling appearing. These incredible emotions are my own incessant, abusive bully that I can’t seem to be rid of, and it’s now taunting me again. I have managed to defy it by cooking and eating the food I felt terrified of yesterday, and by eating my meals today – even cooking a really good dinner tonight (and rather enjoying it, thankfully). However, I do not know how to make these feelings of fear and intimidation go away. I can barely even focus on playing my favourite game (usually always good for feeling better about almost anything).
The lure of the Demon has brought me back towards its whispers, and I am finding it rather hard not to listen. It’s the best manipulator I have ever met.