Recovered is an unachievable status


I am Angel and I have a story to tell...

I am here to tell you that you cannot be recovered from anorexia. You can be in recovery but it will never get to a point where you are recovered. You will fight every day to manage it and navigating life while starving purging or over exercising is much better for you than knowing what I learnt on my attempt to recover.

I had been suffering over 30 yrs had always struggled with food and eating controlling it from a young age. It was only when I saw things I'm my own children and by reversing the effects starving has on distracting the brain from real underlying problems that I started to recall things that happened that made me anorexic.

I lived a long time with my behaviour normalised so for a long time didn't notice I ate strangely. When things got very bad and I was very underweight I was told I was crazy and made to feel I was bad for upsetting everyone but you know what. ..It was never my fault and anorexia was my survival sounds ironic I know as it can make you very ill but it saved me too.

I was born into a family where they'd all been abused and neglected...I was there someone they could abuse neglect and bully to make themselves feel in control like they were the boss of someone. I have learnt to forgive because they only did yo me what was done to them and the generation before them and you could go back forever.

I realised that when you are abused like that as a child you take control of something and for me that was food. If hurt no one but me really it protected me helped me dissociate from what was happening that I was too young to comprehend or change and also bear in mind a body is geared for pleasure as a child I only knew it felt nice in some way not that it was wrong.

I guess that's where anorexia really took hold. Starved minds are good at forgetting and blocking painful memories. The focus of weight loss the weighing food and counting calories and exercisin served as a huge distraction from the reality of what happened to me that I had no trust in anyone no one to talk to. I withdrew into myself couldn't see a future the anorexia took hold it was secret would stop me falling pregnant, protect me from unwanted attention...friends,family or potential partners.

When I was 25 I was fed up of the isolated life anorexia provided. I got sucked in by someone who knew anorexia meant I was vulnerable and the drew me into a relationship with them. I didn't know anorexia made me vulnerable I thought I was fat so couldn't comprehend that he could look at me and know I was a vulnerable anorexic. I thought I hid it well but I was niave.

Quite soon into the relationship he wanted a baby I said no. I couldn't have handled that. Eating? Looking after ski? Getting a big belly! !! I had blocked all memories of abuse but now looking back something that happened should have rung alarm bells...They didn't because it happened when I was a child thought it happened to a children but I was blocking it all from my concious mind with my secret preoccupation with eating and losing weight.

Now I'm not saying we all have the same experience to make us anorexic but I have to tell you what I learnt.

Born into abusive family...uncles, grandparents too I was watched constantly. ..who might I befriend. to. ..tell? I was on my own.

Anorexia helped me get by but once older I realised I had repeated my relationship patterns as a child with others. I see this now and realise as I child o must have seem no would I work be around people when I was terrified they might abusee would I have healthy relationships when my parental blueprint relationships were based on lies, abuse and neglect.

Now all these years later endless hour's of therapy and removing myself from the anorexic protection I am back where I started seeing starving as a way end because to navigate the real world is daunting enough but as an anorexic it is more so

Your life gets paused

..pick up later on and you are chronologically older but missed out on the day to day life experiences and mistakes and achievements which mould you and make you strong and confident in yourself.

Now I have sort of caught up but am exhausted. I find myself jobless and unable to trust enough to be anywhere long enough to work. Even college courses make me wary. All these realisations left me living in fear just as I did as a child and sometimes I think that the anorexia served as a cushion for life's harsh realities made too hard to manage by fear.

Now I am not afraid but know I am vulnerable through no fault of my own. So the walls close in once again as they did age 11.

Living as an anorexic is he'll ish but I read once that to start to eat would provoke fear but that living in fear was something that recovering anorexics would have to accept. At the time it made no sense and now it does I wonder why such a book promotes recovery at all because to live like this is not what we are alive for and to live some half life alongside anorexia is a much better outcome than to live without her because you will be lucky to meet someone to replace her and if you do like I did it'll hurt even more to think you might lose them whereas ana is in you and won't leave you on your own ...not ever so I know it's hard not to see it as a problem to fix but she is there potentially fixing unknown problems you've blocked out and once those cans of worms are open you'll have more to worry about that weight.

Please take care

If you have no children get help ASAP if older and in a relationship and there are childten stay anorexic as it is helping you cope deep down.

I learnt too much and it ruined everything.

Future. ..what future

Hope. ..its the size of a pinhead now

Good luck

13 Replies

oldest โ€ข newest
  • Angelseat ~ I wish with my whole heart that never happened to you and you didn't feel that way ๐Ÿ˜ข Recovery is achievable ~ but you have to want it...

    No Excuses ๐Ÿ’•


  • What excuse is there?

    I trust no one and nothing where the fuck do you go from there?

    That's why they die

  • Good morning Angelseat ๐Ÿ˜Œ Trust yourself. It's ok to.

    I'm going to tell you a story about 2 people experiencing the same trauma different outcomes ~ I grew up next to two old German people (they probably weren't that old, hey I was a kid, as far as I was concerned they were ancient) One day I asked Hans (the man) why he had such a strange scar with numbers tattooed into it, he explained he had been captured and spent a large part of his life in a POW (Prisoner of War) camp, the scar was a cattle brand that was tattooed over, he launched into a very long story (that made my eyes pop - I just couldn't believe people could treat each other like that) he closed the story with a plea that I never ask Ida (his wife) about her matching scar/tattoo.

    Ida had been in the same camp, she never let go of that experience, what happened to her there and what she had lost. She became very bitter and untrusting (understandably). She used to lie on the couch all day and groan. Sometimes she would even get angry at Hans for being grateful for his second chance at life ~ she used to wish/say "if only I was just dead".

    Hans was always outside, happy and generous to all ~ after going through such betrayal ~ why I asked?? "Well they weren't my friends (the captors) but they kept me alive..."

    Ida made it clear to all and sundry because of "what happened to her".


    Some people recover, some people get stuck. "Frozen in time".

    Credit where credits due Angelseat you've come this far ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ Please just have a rest and start "recovery" again later...๐Ÿ’ž

  • Wow, very heart touching!

  • Angelseat, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I read each and every word as difficult and heart breaking that it was. I have suspected for a while that being in control is what the anorexic is looking for, so it does make sense to me. As harmful as it is, it's a way of coping. Because of it being a mental illness like anxiety and it's partners, there is no fast and easy answer. Being able to slip back down again is always a possibility because that protection of keeping us safe from the world is always within us.

    Having a 27y.o. daughter who is on her 7th year of anorexia has been devastating to both of us. She was a foster child who came from neglect and who knows what else. At age 2, when I first got her, she rocked incessantly. I didn't realize at the time it was her soothing method of choice. (she continues to this day whenever alone). As she grew, the rocking turned into stomachaches, then into migraines and finally into anorexia. She was diagnosed early on with detachment disorder and possibility of an ED as she grew near teen years. How did the doctor know? I guess the signs were obvious in that she was broken, she was hurt physically and emotionally.

    Relationships have been one bad experience after another. She is so vulnerable, looking for that perfect man who will sweep her off her feet. But, she can't trust anyone. I am very moved by your story and would be open to learning as much as I can about this painful and serious condition. I've been through crisis after crisis with her but she refuses all help. She actually ran out of the hospital on one of her emergency admissions. They found her in the parking garage cowering behind my parked car.

    My heart breaks for anyone going down this road. I don't see anything changing. Her life is carrying a bucket around, feeling weak and helpless and most of all, not carrying.

    I may not be able to support you like I would like but I will always have an open ear to listen because I truly care as well as it hitting so close to home. Angelseat, you are in my thoughts. xx

  • Angelseat - Ive read and can empathise with every single thing you have said - being in what I imagine, were very similar situations, traumas and confusing abuse - and by extension abandonment of you. by Adults who were supposed to look after you, support you, believe you and nurture you with love and unconditional protection.

    As i said my experience seems quite similar and as Im trying to recover (and I DO emphasise "trying" as it is never black and white) I have realised although painful, anorexia yes can "be a friend" to comfort where there is no comfort, to "protect" where there is no protection.

    The thing that sticks with me when told about recovery by my healthcare pro is that , Yes, it will begin to hurt, and as I recover and recover memories through this process it will continue to hurt, And then it will hurt some more. Then and only then, will the hurt abait,a little, then and only then will the memories begin to travel to where they belong - the past, in a safe space where they can never hurt you.

    And as we continue to recover our "Child", our precious Child, my precious Child in my case, will begin to trust, maybe for the first time ever - an adult. And that adult is me. My Child, the one so hurt abused and unable to express his experiences is slowly starting to reveal himself to me. He does not Trust me yet. But he is just beginning to peer around the corner he hides behind. He's looking at me, wondering what Im doing, thinking Im CRAZY upsetting the status quo, - BUT he IS looking.

    So Im doing my recovery for Him. Im told he will in time learn to Trust me, Me the adult. And I will support him, nurture him, love him and walk to him when he is ready. And then I will walk "with" Him.

    I hear every thing you say. Truly. I wish for You and Your Child that you may become familiar with each other. And maybe, MAYBE She will "take a peek" and see You. And I wish for you and Your Child that you may become reunited and begin a journey of Healing. Thats all she wants.

    May Wellness be in your future and May you take something from my experience.


  • Thanks for all the replies.

    I don't see myself as a bitter victim. I spend much time outside appreciating everything around me. I look at the nature around me in awe and wonder why everyone around me seems to scuttle around not even noticing it as they are hurrying off to work or deep in gossip about what so and so did. I thank God everyday that I survived but I survived through anorexia. I don't believe it starts as a mental illness it is a maladaptive coping mechanism. It is a solution to other underlying problems that is then seen as and indeed can become a problem in itself. What sometimes makes me mad is that at one point for most of my life even, I lived and breathed it all I thought of everyday was fat fat fat get thin...walk, go running - run faster, farther, don't eat this or that oh what have you done that'll make you fat...don't sit here with children no wonder you are fat! Run up and down the stairs. If I eat that can I vomit or run later. Starve all day ready for that party tomorrow etc etc. There was no capacity for other things thoughts or feelings and now there is and at one time I was managing the food weight thoughts the memories of abuse and trying to get through day to day has left me exhausted and although I have forgiven and put the past behind me it is still there.

    I thought about using my experience to help others but would I recommend this process???!!! At a point I was starving all the hurt away so much so I didn't know it had happened and all I had to worry about was had I lost or gained weight. Now I have to trust when I don't want to...interacting. ..landlords...bills to pay. job and no idea how I will find the capacity to with my head as it is now. Intimate relationships were weird before I didn't know why but it was with hindsight touching my unconscious triggering the abuse memories somehow without my awareness. So how on earth do I imagine having normal healthy relationships like that now given I I now do remember what happened to me. It is all too exhausting. I'm fed up of being on my own all the time. I don't have a problem being alone doing stuff alone and enjoy it but all the time is getting boring.

    One of the 5 ways to wellbeing the mental health team highlight is connect and since my recovery I have lost more and more people as they've shown their true colours so it's felt like my whole life was a sham.

    These aren't excuses and I am not poor me but it is fact. I went to a vourse once I spent every minute looking at the door or windows wondering who might lure me into a fake friendship next or what sexual favours didthey want. What would I have to do. If was bizarre as I certainly don't think everyone is but I guess it put me in touch with that memory as a child that's how I saw the world couldn't imagine navigaton it growing up i suppose and so I shut down. That isn't mental illness as a child that was the sanest thing to do. It's hard not to see recovery as the most insane on that basis.

    If I could live a simple life. Have a little house somewhere quiet and pretty near some water and paint and make things all day, spend time with the children I could be ok. But I feel forced to contemplate working for income so when divorce money is gone what will we do.

    I thought about studying online maybe but then I am stuck in isolated all the time but if I go somewhere I get panicked that the next nice person I meet and get talking to or friends with later on turns out to be a narcissistic person too.

    I am dammed if I do or don't and I am just tired of it all.

    I thought eating was terrifying enough but day to day life is horrendous bar the sitting on a park bench all say watching the ducks :)

    I doubt my inner child will trust me. Not that I don't trust myself it's just that I can't provide stability financially other otherwise over the long term. I don't have solutions to that and can only imagine that's why anorexics die...subconsciously they know they are up shit Creek without a paddle and that's no way to live.

    They say ignorance is bliss and well anorexia keeps you in a state of denial/bliss and right now I wish to god I had blumming stayed there. As we are virtually homeless as of tonight so happy days :) NOT

  • ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ฎ Homeless. Go to a Womens Shelter. You'll have to "trust" their help. They will ask why you need their help ~ take

    It, tell them "why" you are homeless. They will offer "counselling/therapy" ~ take it. You need counselling for the abuse and subsequent consequences, seperate counselling/therapy for the Anorexia ~ then you can, with their help and support, look for a job. Angelseat this current crisis is NOT forever. YOU CAN DO THIS ~ you have to do this.

    It is said that we must re-experience an emotion to let it go. We've all done it fall in love, and in hindsight regret it ๐Ÿ˜ฎ it's part of being human ~ the right person might come along and might not. Either way you must look after you.

    Regret for the past is actually good ~ it means you are starting to heal ~ be kind to yourself right now you've been to hell and back.

    No matter how justified you are, please deal with getting somewhere to go first. ๐Ÿ’ž

  • I'm sorry to hear of your struggles but I respectfully disagree. I've been an inpatient where 3 of my co-sufferers have recovered completely. A lot of this is to do with early intervention, but they have had lots of individual and family therapy too. One of the things that has been helpful for me is converting the same determination that I put into anorexia into my recovery.

  • Hi

    I agree early intervention is key.

    Plus a family that are prepared to enter on to therapy change too. Build a new support network within the family.

    The help I got knew the family was a no go and led me down thispath anyway and they give no indication of a long term support system or network to prevent me using my old ways to cope.

    New healthy creative distraction techniques are still just distraction techniques they are not a long term solution to employment or having no support emotional or otherwise.

    I was duped!

  • I won't go to women's aid/shelter as I didn't go 4 yrs ago as I didn't want to frighten my children with the situation. When I left my marriage and moved in on my own with kids strange things happened I got freaked and turned to women's aid they wouldn't help me they said the panic I had was due to leaving him and having to cope alone and not about the abuse as I wasn't living there any more. I was shocked and dismayed by their attitude. We have a holiday place to go for a week at the weekend and by the end of that hopefully a new home. My landlord failed my reference for some reason hence why we've been left homeless . Everything in storage and new place tenant agreement in process.


    Had enough

  • The Good News My Dearest t Angel Is That Today Is A New Day!!! You reached out to others who do really care!!! Don't dwell upon the past......please seize the day and find your happy!! It is never too late!!! Anorexic tendencies are only a mask that lead you down a path of personal negativity and self-destruction. I know firsthand it is never too late to find a place of solitude and comfort. When you truly care about yourself, others will follow!!!

    You are never alone,

  • Yeah I get it...A mask covered up my fear oh being used and abused again so stopped me working had an impact on my choices it us that not the anorexia ( the mask ) that stops me moving forward to financial independence. I can't trust anyone

You may also like...