My siblings and I have been struggling to deal with a family mental illness this summer, and it has made me think. It has been so frustrating to watch someone I love entering a state of psychosis and not being able to do a thing about it. It breaks my heart to hear the words that come from her mouth, to see the strange activity and behaviours, and to see ‘the look’ of psychosis in her eyes. But most of all, it hurts to not know how to fix it, not know the right words to use.
It made me wonder: is this how it was for my family dealing with my eating disorder? While I was never actively psychotic, I’m sure it must have seemed that way to my family at times, when they didn’t quite know what was going on. My irrational fears and behaviours must have been so frustrating, I’m sure there were times they wanted to just lock me in my room or shake the bizarreness right out of me. I must have both scared and hurt them, over and over again.
It hurts, to know that I may have hurt my family like that. I wish, more than anything, that I could take it back. But then again, if I’m truly honest with myself, that is scary. Because that would mean that I can’t do it anymore. I have no intention of continuing to cause pain, but by apologising, by taking it back, I’m saying that I’m done. And that is scary.
So here I go, once again, starting out talking about something else, and winding up talking about my reluctance to give up my eating disorder. Try as I might, I cannot keep everything in my life from revolving around the big recovery decision. I seem to have boiled my recovery down to this; all I have left to do is actually give it up. All the other, peripheral work is done. I’ve worked really damn hard to get to this point, to be able to say that I am choosing to live, yet I have yet to make the final move. So what makes me hang on to it?