I’m Relapsing But I Won’t Let This Illness Beat Me!


Good Morning Lovelies, 

Right now, I’m in the early stages of relapsing. There, I said it. Since the death of my dad, I haven’t been able to fully get back the motivation I had before. A part of me felt lost and when questioned I would say I was fine or come up with excuses. All while my ED was killing my mind. 

Every thought was telling me not to eat. It was telling me to workout and exercise again. It was stopping me from being happy. Whilst people have said I look better, they haven’t seen the frustrations and things going on behind closed doors. 

On Sunday 7th May 2023, I could see my mum wasn’t happy. A factor that adds to my worries and anxiety disorder. She is the rock that holds the family together. Seeing her unhappy affects me in so many ways. She cracked right there on the sofa. She told me how she hates how the house and garden looks. She hates things about her work. She hates my condition and the way it isn’t allowing me to progress forward anymore. 

Hearing this, led to our biggest heart to heart ever. Lying together in bed crying it all out. My mum begging me not to die. And me telling her that I get so frustrated but don’t know what to do. I’m still trying so hard. But it is so hard. 

After major life changes last June, I couldn’t handle what had happened. So, I let ED the dickhead allow me to start pacing around the house. And now I am finding it really hard to stop. But I will do! With the help of my mum and the changes I made instantly after our chat. 

Right away, I reached out to the charity BEAT, the eating disorder charity who spoke to me at 11pm at night and automatically placed me with a support group and therapist at Mind in Hertford to talk to about it all. 

Speaking to them I told them what was happening. My fears of doctors and hospitals. My worries that I couldn’t do what I needed to but didn’t want to go back. My worries and woes for my family. That there are days where I feel so unloved and like I have to keep up appearances though. They listened and answered with no judgements. They told me I should be proud that I spoke out. 

When I stated I felt ashamed, they told me I shouldn’t. Stating I was in the early stages of a relapse into exercise addiction, which was where this all started, they asked me what had I been through recently. I told them it all. A pandemic. My dad’s death. Facing life without him. Money worries. Worries for my mum. Our house changing. Breaking my jaw and being unable to eat proper foods, which made me scared of them again. Hospitals and doctors. Being separated from my family. Body changes. Food. Life. I worry about it all. 

The therapist stated that by being open and honest I had been brave. I asked them if they thought I needed to go back to an inpatient ward and they stated no. They told me that whilst the relapse was occurring, it wasn’t as strong as before. They stated that by seeing what I was doing was a huge step and proved that I’m not as gripped as I was the first time. This fact allow was a huge thing to be proud of they told me. 

Now, with the help of a group, they have stated that slowly, each week, we will work on a new goal. It will be a slow process. One that could take years to achieve. But will get me to where I want to be. They told me to be kind to myself. To allow a slower process. To not think I am failing because I haven’t stopped doing something yet. By taking more time, it will happen. 

The team told me that I had been told so many times that I should already be somewhere or at some point. By other therapists and doctors. Something I actually can recall a lot. This has left to PTSD in many strong forms. An element that makes recovery harder, yet still achievable. 

Did I ever think I would be back this way? No! But do I feel lighter, happier and refreshed in some ways, by letting my true emotions out? Yes! Yes I do! 

I know that it is no quick fix and I am not going to be rushing for it now. I am going to take the time. I am going to grow like a tree instead of a flower. I’m going to make my mum proud and make her happy again! 

The morning after our chat I did something I haven’t done in years after speaking to her. I poured milk from the bottle on to my cereal. Did I cry and worry about it afterwards? Yes! But it was me listening to her. It is the goal I have decided to work on this week with the team. Each goal leading to more self-love and care. We also spoke to others about what was happening and even had a family hug with my brother Bob. Little bits of every day life that will help me rebuild. Regrow. Return. 

It’s not going to be easy, but I’ve always been honest regarding my recovery, because I don’t think it should be hidden. In fact, it could be a help to others. That’s why I talk about it all. I’m sorry if it is affecting to you or boring to hear, but if someone could get help from it all then I will always raise my voice. Because no matter how long the process is, we all deserve to be happy. 

Joey X

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