It’s taken me three weeks to write this post. There has been 4 different versions and none of them have felt right. Having something so demanding to write whilst going through the motions and problems I was discussing in this post was a challenge to say the least. It’s not that it was difficult to write, more I just couldn’t write it. So, there’s no intro to this. I’m just diving head first as I think a few people need to hear this.
The start of the year got off quite well.
As a blogger things were really looking up, I had started to try to post twice a week and was enjoying every second. Yet it always felt as if something was a miss, like a unmoving presence in the corner of my eye. In the face of things I was finally back on the road to what I deemed to be success but I wasn’t well prepared for it.
Since my healing of anorexia in August last year I started to try and shut down the part of my mind that told me when something was wrong. I was so scared of the illness coming back that my new approach was to try and ignore anything that was bad. If I was anxious, I’d power through, if I was in a depressive episode I’d still force myself to carry on (most of you will understand how exhausting and close to impossible that is from experience). I even made the decision to pause my counseling sessions a few weeks back, a place where I’d gone to for help for over 2 years.
This fear of not being ok wasn’t an issue at first.
To start with I became more productive, I got more done, I was able to be a daughter, a sister a girlfriend again. It was working out for me quite well for a good few months, but then like always the cracks started to show.
The only time I’d ever experienced burn out was through watching a family member go through it and it was horrible.
I thought I was doing fine untill I had a big health scare just before christmas. I tried to be blase about it to those closest to me, play it cool like it was no big deal and I think I pulled it off. But I really wasn’t well.
Tests were done and I was expecting a life changing diagnosis.
What I didn’t expect was the doctor to tell me that I was living in one big anxiety attack and it had been that what was causing all these symptoms. I was too anxious and the constant adrenalin was seeing me off.
I haven’t burned out, but I am burning out.
At this stage I’m discribing it as I’ve fizzled out emotionally.
I’m functioning but I’m on auto pilot. For every good day (like today where I can blog and do what I enjoy) there’s a week worth of bad days, days where I’m not coping. It may seem like an odd thing to be talking about to hundreds of people on the internet, but bear with me on this one.
I’ve entered this limbo that I’ve never heard spoken of before. I read about people’s recovery and how it happened, how they cope with sever mental health issues or their life 2 or 3 years after anorexia. But I’d never heard about this limbo before.
Limbo is where I’m good enough to not need intense support, but I’m not ok enough to be a functioning member of society yet.
Let me explain that better.
I’m good enough to not need intense support… This is pretty self explanatory, I’ve recovered from anorexia and I’m out of danger. I no longer see my counselor on a weekly basis and I’ve even got to the point where if I go to the doctor, the first thing they ask of me is no longer to step on the scales so they can monitor my weight. All in all, things are looking positive.
I’m not ok enough to be a functioning member of society yet… I wasn’t too sure how to word this one. Yes I have a job, I’m going to university, I’m learning how to drive and contributing to things as much as I can. However, I’m not an independent and constant contributor. I have bad weeks at work, most mornings I will find myself crying in the toilets as I can’t cope with my job. The people I work with are kind, so that helps me in my working environment, but I’m in a very static place. I’m not progressing with anything because I can’t handle it right now. I’m in a place of needing some level of support, but I don’t present myself as if I do.
I don’t need intense support, but I do need a level of it however, I’m not bad enough to be deemed in need of the support I require.
Confusing isn’t it?
On the front of things I look like I’m all good now. I now consider myself weight restored and I’m looking healthy. I don’t have explosive panic attacks like I used to. All of the big noticable warning signs that something is wrong have gone and that’s a really positive thing. What causes this limbo is that few people notice the cracks and less obvious warning signs, therefore in other people’s eyes I am ok and not in need of help. In reality I’m doing better but I’m not 100%. Going through this emotional fizzle has highlighted to me that I’m still very vulnerable and I have a long way to go.
I’ve been told that I look like I’m happier and doing a lot better and yeah, I am. Everyday I am thankful that God healed me of anorexia, I’m thankful for every bite of food I take as it’s a bite more than I would have had when I was ill. I am thankful for the progress I’ve made, I’m thankful for the truths God has woven into my heart that give me something to hold on to on my bad days. Even though I’m in limbo I don’t want to forget that I am doing better. It’s just I don’t know where to go from here. I’m unsure who to ask for help, what help I should be asking for and I’m scared that support I’m in need to will be denied because I look better.
I am unsure of how many people experience this. Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive and it’s just a me problem, I don’t know.
But the reason I’m sharing this with you all is to help others who might be feeling similar, that they’re in limbo. So if you know of someone in your life who’s been struggling, how about you pop them a message? If you know someone who’s been in a dark place but they seem to be doing better now, how about you ask them how they are? Deep conversations can’t be forced but please check up on them to make sure they’re not in limbo too.