We’re back from our two-week trip to the Philippines which was a huge adventure in itself. We moved around a fair bit and stayed in 5 different towns altogether. It wasn’t the easiest of experiences in travelling for me but it did open my eyes to a lot of things with regards to relationships, myself, as well as the Philippines. I’ll keep our travelogue writeup for another day though.
Today, I just felt the need to share about our first full day home yesterday. It turned out that after 2 weeks of travelling, facing not-so-great food, and indulging quite a number of times as well in carb-heavy breakfasts, even in ice-cream more than a couple of times, I felt quite sure that I’d gained weight. The numbers on the scale yesterday morning apparently showed otherwise and Flo was quite adamant that I should be admitted into hospital because I have only been regressing further ever since the beginning of the year. He texted Mum and Dad to inform them that he felt that it needed to be done but being as stubborn as I am, I still refuse to seek medical help.
I’m not sure if it was from the whole morning itself – finding out once again that I had not gained and was facing a possible stay at hospital come next week (because this week one of my BFFs gets married and I cannot miss it for the world!), I became determined to show Flo and my parents even more that I can do this; I can recover without being an in-patient. So I decided to plump up my breakfast and subsequently, went on to two binge/purge sessions because my starved body essentially blanked out my mind and I started eating without tasting and when I finally did taste food I felt so sick both physically and with myself that I had to get it out. To be honest, it felt terrible having not engaged in such behaviour in years, and also to feel so weak and lost.
At one point after the second binge/purge, I called Mum and said that I need help but I don’t want to go to hospital just yet. I asked for her to keep me company today and possibly Wednesday while I stabilise my food intake with more wholesome meals that can also involve dessert but in moderation. I am not afraid now so much of weight gain, rather, I am more afraid of entering a binge/purge cycle that will make me feel worse and I don’t want to run the risk of developing another form of ED. While I know that the body needs food and is probably craving for lots of things I have previously deprived it of, I don’t believe that bingeing will solve anything. It won’t be the easiest thing to refrain from I don’t think, having been caught in this cycle before, but I am in a much better frame of mind today and I believe that with the support and love that I have around me, I will find a balance.
Binge/purge sessions tend to make my stomach feel topsy turvy after and oftentimes, it also means that I feel the need to ‘punish’ myself and restrict even more afterwards. But yesterday, I decided that I had to take that two steps forward. So, before Les’s wedding rehearsal (which I was in no mood for after such a messed up day), I had a small helping of granola with milk. I went on to have a good dinner without stuffing myself – just enough to not upset my traumatised stomach, before coming home into Flo’s arms and trudging on with my evening snack.
My tummy feels much better today although my ED brain is trying to convince me that since I feel much better psychologically today, I can and should carry on with my ‘usual’ meals once more. Only, I know that my ‘usuals’ will only continue to set me back and I have lunch plans with Mum and Dad, and I’ve planned the dinner Flo and I will be having this evening so as strong as ED feels and as much as I feel inclined to go with ED, it cannot and will not have its day today.
Rewinding back to Sunday, after Flo and I had breakfast at the resort, we had about an hour half before we had to check out. So we sat on the lounge chairs in front of the resort’s restobar basking in the sun and talking. Our last leg in Duli Beach made me share some hard truths with Flo – ones that he often found difficult listening to in the past but he did this time around and came to a better understanding of me. And because he did, he told me that what happened in my past was not my fault and I need to realise that and let go.
Forgiveness of oneself is the hardest thing to do and letting go is even harder. Flo said that I’ve punished myself more than enough already and it’s time to start allowing myself to accept all the good things that I deserve, even if I may not feel like I quite deserve them.
As Flo spoke, I started to reflect on his words and I have to admit that what he was saying held a lot of water. I think that I have placed a lot of guilt on myself even for situations I found myself in that was beyond my control. I constantly felt that it was only through my own fault that I got myself entangled in undesirable circumstances either through my own naivety or sheer stupidity. In turn, I have never felt deserving for all the goodness in my life. In turning away from embracing my blessings, I have inevitably caused misery and worry to my loved ones. The only way I can show them just how much I love them now, is to stop beating myself up, to start accepting God’s blessings upon me, and to treat myself the way I deserve to be treated. After all, my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit and even in my darkest of days, I somehow still believe that He is nearby, waiting on me to call upon Him for strength.
And I did. Yesterday evening at the church for Les’s wedding rehearsal, I found myself sitting on one of their pews while waiting for the rest of the bridesmaids to arrive, and in the silence of the sanctuary, sought comfort in God that He will help me through this time of recovery, along with the support of my parents and Flo. I believe He will. And today, as trying as it might be, I will face my demons and fight. I will enjoy my meals knowing that it will bring me towards a healthier place in life emotionally, physically and psychologically, and that I will be one step closer to the life that I truly deserve.