Anorexia nervosa has stolen a lot. Anorexia has stolen my sense of identity, my sense of worth, my sense of importance, my happiness, my friends, my family, my education, my life…
I’ve lost a lot because of anorexia. I’ve lost my health, my hair (it use to be so much thicker *cry*), my happiness, my monthly period (YOU WILL RETURN *grrr*), my boobs (tbf whether they were going to be massive is debatable), my personality, my bone density (bones of an old woman at 21, oh soooo glamorous). I’ve almost lost my life…
AND, anorexia has stolen my memories. Because of anorexia, I have lost my memories.
Having suffered with anorexia for 11 years, I have lost out on a lot of things but one of the saddest realities of anorexia, for me, is my lack of memory.
I have rather substantial parts of my teenage years that are completely clouded because I was too unwell for my brain to focus on anything other than keeping me alive. Or, if I do have memories, they revolve around the food I ate at a particular place, or panicking in a particular place because of the ‘food situation’, crying at a particular place because I’d just eaten FOOD, ruining another family event because I was too busy listening to anorexia and (guess the next line…) getting out of eating food (shockerrrr).
Memories keep us going when we’re having a difficult day. Memories remind us that dark days don’t last forever. Memories are lived evidence and PROOF of good days. Yes, we all have bad memories, BUT it tends to be our best memories that we go back to when we need a reminder of love, laughter and life.
It was only in my most recent hospital admission that I began to realise how important memories are to me, and when I began to realise that I could utilise my memories to aid me through my recovery from anorexia. BUT, it was during this time when I also began to realise the enormity of what I had ‘blanked out’, had absolutely no memory of or, only food related memories of.
I almost died before I realised what was ACTUALLY important to me.
I began to realise the memories I had been sacrificing, the life I hadn’t actually been living…
I know it’s only the beginning of November but I absolutely ADORE Christmas and this blog is inspired by my undying love for the festive season. I have (already) been thinking about Christmas this year and it has made me realise that I have completely lost out on 2 Christmases in a row (2017 and 2018) because of anorexia. I have no memory of Christmas 2017, and last year, although I was doing a hellll of a lot better, I was still struggling significantly and was still an inpatient at hospital so my memory of Christmas 2018 very much revolves around FOOOOOOD (so bored of typing that word eurgh).
But, I am determined that Christmas 2019 is going to be one to remember, for all the right reasons, for all the love and laughter, for the weird family conversations, and games of hide & seek (yes, it is a thing in the Robinson household)… And, any memories of food are going to be because I ENJOYED it.
When I’m old and grey (if I’m lucky enough to make it) I want to have the privilege of looking back at THESE memories. I want to look back on memories of love, of laughter (luckily, with my family there tends to be a lot of laughter). I want to look back on drunken memories with my best friends. I want to remember being happy surrounded by the most incredible people.
I WANT ANOREXIA TO BE A DISTANT MEMORY… a ghost from the past.
So, I think what I’m trying to say is, always say YES to making memories. Spend your time with the people you love the most, who won’t be here forever, who have (hopefully) supported you through your worst and best days and make memories. Make memories that involve living life.
Put your family and friends first. Put yourself first. Put your life first.