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Russian Roulette

on August 14, 2012
So I made it to California where it’s a blistering 100 degrees. I have got through day one, and now as I write, nearly day two. I may need to find one of the many plastic surgeons here – my face is a red, blotchy mess from the amount of tears shed so far. I was under no illusion recovery was going to be a breeze, but nothing worth fighting for is a walk in the park, right? The girls here are so lovely and have been really welcoming. The therapists are amazing and in the short time I have been here, I know that this type of treatment is unique. When your therapist is a recovered picture of health, both in the mind and body, then that is the best medicine someone trying to get well, can have. Anyone who may be suffering, and thinking they can never be well. You most definitely can be.
The terrorist is not loving the six meals a day it’s faced with – it’s now well and truly on the front line. After reducing my diet so drastically, my stomach is wondering what on earth is going on with all this regular intake of food. My mind is running parallel, blown away by the frustration and anger that I have let myself get like this. Facing the terrorist six times a day, is tiring and I feel completely exhausted, but I have had the love and reassuring words of others going through the same thing to help me. That is the difference I’ve never had before. You can only know what it is like to be taken hostage, if you indeed have been held captive yourself.
During the last 48 hours, it’s dawned on me that I have been playing a continuous game of russian roulette with my life since my anorexia raised it’s ugly head. As I sat on the plane and said a polite “no thank you” to each meal that the flight attendant offered me, despite my mouth watering at the smell of my neighbour’s sausage roll, I said another prayer… “Please God get me to the clinic safely, don’t let me die before I get there”. I know this may sound slightly dramatic, but feeling weak and having heart palpitations when you are thousands of miles in the air, can be quite a scary prospect.
I looked up the term ‘Russian Roulette’…..
Russian roulette is a potentially lethal game of chance in which a player places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against his or her head, and pulls the trigger. “Russian” refers to the supposed country of origin, and roulette to the element of risk-taking and the spinning of the revolver’s cylinder being reminiscent of spinning a roulette wheel.
I think this is a pretty good description of what someone with an eating disorder dabbles in – trapped in a vicious cycle of risk-taking. The amount of times I have promised myself that tomorrow will be different, tomorrow I will stick to my food plan, only to fail with a bit of trimming here or compensating there. That is why I decided to ask for help and come into treatment. There is only so much dabbling someone can do with an eating disorder before either the body or the mind shuts down. Life is precious and I no longer want to take my life for granted.
I am at the end of day two and am feeling drained. I’ve had a lot of group therapies today and talking about my family dynamics which has been painful. I wondered why previous therapies had not worked. My therapist explained that here I am tackling the food alongside the emotions 24/7 – something I’ve never done before. It was easy enough at times to cope with the raw feelings I was exposed to after a session, because I could leave, go home and indulge in my anorexic behaviours. I can’t do that here, I have to eat and feel the pain, and that is what I know I have to go through in order to get well.
I had a couple of highlights today – I had to go to the hospital to get some blood tests, and was charged two hundred pounds. I couldn’t believe it. The NHS is such a wonderful system in England and I think it is very easy to forget what a privilege it is to have a such a healthcare that delivers free at the point of need. The other highlight was post dinner, when we had a ‘creativity class’ – yep back to school. Glitter, paint and glue = a big smile. It felt good to concentrate my mind on something other than feeling like a beached whale.
The following was written on the board in our session today – I liked it, so wanted to share it.
“Promise me that you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves, that you forget, truly forget that you have always loved to swim”. Tyler Knott Gregson
That’s all for now folks, Amen.

5 responses to “Russian Roulette

  1. Muriel says:

    I have been looking forward to keeping up with your journey… To have an insight to your pain is humbling. Such honesty and courage I know you can conquer this. My love and prayers are still with you. Muriel x

  2. Sandra White says:

    Sending you love, courage, support, comfort, positivity energy, and a huge hug! You are doing brilliantly, and will conquer your demons – you have them on the run already!

  3. Amy says:

    I know how easy it is to convince yourself you are fine and to live half a life with this illness; it is when faced with these challenges such as you are now that it becomes clear how much of a hold it really has. Ignore the terrorist invading your thoughts and remember the pain will all be worth it in the end, you can do this for sure! Thinking of you every day and wishing you well, you are never alone x x x

  4. Lisa says:

    Sounds like a really positive start to a wonderful new beginning for you, here’s hoping there are many more big smiles along the way and even more glitter 😉

  5. Claire Daly says:

    Good to hear from you Laura. So hoping you find the support there you need to fight the terrorists! Claire

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