Writing this is difficult, I am finding myself sitting here unable to type and desperately trying to think how I am. I am so used to answering that I am fine when people ask how I am but I'm also so used to trying to think positively and distract myself that I don't really know how I am. I distract myself before I've even had the chance to clock what emotion I am feeling or what the problem is and whilst distracting yourself can be a positive step, particularly when battling a mental illness, I don't think the extent to which I distract myself is healthy.
Several cans of diet fizzy heaven later and I'm ready to answer the question! How am I? Honestly! I'm overwhelmed by sorrow, crushed by the sadness that spirals around my mind and tells me what I'm missing out on, the memories and opportunities that are being buried or cremated instead of lived because of this mental illness.
When I was a child and was away from my mother, I used to cry because I loved her so much and I was scared of the time away from her, that I was losing that time. I now feel like that with life. Opportunities that I am incredibly lucky to get slip through my fingers, plans are cancelled and weeks disappear into a very unwell place and the constant physical and mental stress and strain steals my memory. So much of my young life slips into forgotten darkness.
I'm ashamed, I know that I shouldn't feel ashamed of this illness and I know it so much that I speak out publicly about it but the keloid scars on my stomach make me despise my reflection even more. I'm hiding parts of my body like I'm hiding most of the stuff happening in my mind. I am sick of keeping secrets. Anorexia is not my friend, friends do not put so many dark and heavy secrets on one person and stamp their exhausted body into the ground whilst they laugh.
I'm lonely, I might have thousands of followers on social media sites. I might have a lot of people supporting the work I do but the messages sent to the people I care about that don't even get read make me feel alone. I love each and every one of my followers and supporters but who can I tell about how close I am to hospital admission? No one. Who can I tell about my appointment this morning? No one. There are some things too personal for social media and often the most personal things are the most important, I have no one to tell and so I place them in my mental trash can and pretend they don't exist. That's lonely. Does anyone realise how silent this house is? How I long for it to be filled with conversation, laughter, even crying. Anything but this deadly, sick silence.
I'm tied up in knots by my eating disorder. I've lost hunger cues so every single time I take a bite of food it feels like a binge. I am caught up in this confusion, am I eating too much or too little? I am trying to live my life with some kind of normality but I don't know what my body looks like, or what my face looks like and I scrutinise myself in every reflection that I see. I rely on other people's opinions of my body but they all say different things and it ends up confusing the reflection even more. What I see looks like a mismatched puzzle, like parts of my body don't fit together properly.
I am exhausted and worn down, I have lost myself but my answer is not black and white, I'm not just not okay. I am excited for parts of my future, I'm excited for the future writing and media opportunities and my diary is full of positive and exciting stuff until June. My mind and my body are crumbling and failing but my life is soaring and I am gripping onto that and flying along behind it gripping my mind in one hand and my life in the other and aiming the highest that I can.