Friday, 2 December 2016

ANOREXIA STRIKES AGAIN..(how I handle it)




                                 ANOREXIA.


                     Of all the psychiatric disorders,
 this horrible condition has the highest mortality rate.        


Well, I, am FAR too busy to "kick my clogs" at the moment.
 So "Bollocks" to that useful bit of scientific information!


For the last 30 years "Old Loony Tunes" (orthopaedic surgeon of a brother) has been telling me, and the world at large, that his shocking sister will be dead before the next Christmas. 
30 + years later I am STILL hanging around, so I have suggested that he confines his medical talents to cutting people up.

Meanwhile, my sacrum and hip bones have broken through my skin, leaving bleeding and bloody painful sores and I am scratching around in my wardrobe for something that fits.

God only knows, I don't want to be like this...I simply can't bear  to look at myself in the mirror when I have one of these "episodes"
All the more aggravating when people imply that I am "dieting" out of some sort of vanity.

The fact of the matter is, that throughout my entire life, I have frequently simply forgotten to eat for several days....and then when I do try to eat, it's so, so, very difficult.......I have currently been carrying one yogurt around with me for two days trying to get the stuff down me.

Watching people eat at these times, is as revolting to me as the plate of food put infront of me...

I have developed "avoidance tactics"
...ie: I get on with serving others, clearing up, having to make an urgent call.....anything rather than sit down looking at the plate in front of me.
 Many of my friends on the Island call me "La Navette" because like a shuttle I keep moving around. Ironically enough, when I am there, I eat very well..the local food is irresistible.

A psychotherapist once asked me  what it felt like at the times I found it impossible to look at a plate of food, never mind eat it.

"It is as if I am looking at a plate of faeces (shit)"
It is so difficult to explain to others what it feels like as there are so many factors involved.

When I had my own GP practice, I used to treat many anorexics with a modicum of success...I felt that was because,
 "It takes one to understand one."

I understand the frustration and the pain it can cause other family members who are at a loss to know what to do.

 I have seen the condition actually cause entire families to break 
up as a result of the continuous rows over mealtimes.



Parents and loved ones, rowing with each other as to how to handle "the situation."
On and on and on it goes, ad nauseum.

The ripple effect can be monstrous and yet only serves to make the "non eater" feel even worse. 
Feelings of guilt, self loathing, frustration, anger, depression often leading to feelings of total isolation.

This is NOT meant to be a "lecture" on Anorexia,
 It is merely an account of how I feel about it
 and how I have learnt to live with it and manage it
 (to a degree!)

In my case I stopped eating when I was 3 years old.

I have no doubt that it was not a coincidence that it coincided with the start of what was to be 7 years of very regular sexual assault by 4 boys, all brothers, who would tie me naked to a chair, make me drink "special milk"and do the most unspeakable things to my little body. 

At the age of 5, I told my mum who said I was making it up...How could I have done?..In those days, there was no internet or any other way of me being able to describe what was  being done to me.

 But it was 1958...and the parents of the boys were my parents great friends....The fifties really were an age of innocence  where these matters were simply unheard of and certainly never discussed.

I was sent to boarding school at 10, we moved house and I put the whole thing behind me....It was only when I started investigating anorexia as a doctor that I realised there might have been a connection.


So, if any one is interested, I will tell you how I handle the situation.

I make a number of little delightful canapés, usually containing huge amounts of faux caviar (the real stuff is far too expensive for the amount I eat.)
Sometimes I will just eat a small jar of the stuff on its own...it is very high in nutrients and calories.

I have a constant supply of freshly squeezed oranges in which I include all the pulp...the "fresh" stuff you buy, is not as delicious or as high in antioxidant/vitamin content.

I ask people around me (if I know them well enough) not to remark on my eating habits as this is a sure way of putting me off anything.

Frequently,I feel slightly hungry in the middle of the night, so I always have a sandwich or even a bar of chocolate in my bedside drawer.....
I often find myself cooking a "fry up" at 3 am in the morning....is this because my blood sugar levels have dropped or merely because like Lord Byron,I prefer not to eat in front of others? who knows.?...who cares? as long as I eat.

As a last resort, if none of the above works...I smoke a joint.
NOT this skunk shit that's around but weed grown by an old lady of Caribbean decent who lives near by.
She makes herself a nightly cup of tea with it as she says it helps her aching joints.

The effect it has on me is quite ridiculous.  I giggle for about 10 minutes, till my abdominal muscles hurt. 
And then.....I eat anything and everything in sight before falling into a deep sleep often waking up with a mouth full of cake...oh dear ,
IMAGINE the SIGHT!

Of course, I am not recommending for one moment that any one else should follow my regime.
There are plenty of psychiatrists and psychotherapists out there specialising in all sorts of treatments, but from my more than ample experience of them, I have found them all to be quite "off their heads "
 A greater bevy of bonkersness I have yet to encounter.

But I guess what I am trying to say is, that this condition so often described as hopeless, is NOT.

It is simply a matter of finding a way of handling it...there IS a light at the end of the seemingly endless dark tunnel....it's just quite difficult to find the torch to lead you there.

Sorry if this little monologue hasn't been a barrel of laughs, but if it helps just one person it may just have been worth it.

Ta Ta for now,
as ever 
MORAG