It doesn’t just ‘go’

A mental health issue doesn’t just disappear. An eating disorder doesn’t just go away. You don’t just get better, and suddenly eat like a normal person. And I know that. I’ve said it a million times and I know it deep down, but every time she tells me she’s okay, I believe her. I want to trust her. She’s my best friend, after all, and she should have no reason to lie to me.

But of course she lies. She doesn’t want anyone to worry, because it could stop the eating disorder in it’s tracks. She trusts and loves her eating and her mind control more than me. But I’m her best friend, and thought that we spent the last five years building equal trust. No, I’m fooled again. I fell for the lies and promises, again. And now I’ve realised, again. And I’m crying, again. Because she told me she was okay and I didn’t think she’d lie to me.

But she did, and it’s broken me.

She’s not okay and she’s never going to be okay, because food will always rule her life. But nobody knows that except me, and boy can she hide it from the rest of the world. From 500 miles away, she knows there’s nothing I can do.
‘I don’t skip meals’
‘I don’t count calories’
‘I don’t weigh myself’
‘I value my degree too much’
BUT THAT’S NOT TRUE AND IT’S BULLSHIT.

Every time she lies, and I realise, she hurts me. She stabs me, and it is her fault. Surely she knows by now that FRIENDSHIP isn’t about LIES. I’m going to worry anyway, I’ve cried myself to sleep the last few nights anyway, just thinking. And soon enough, I found out, anyway. Talk to me. You don’t have to listen to me, listening is hard, but please to god be honest with me.

Yes, I am angry. Yes, I’m very angry. Because I tried to hard to make it easy for you, to help you, and most of all, to be here for you. Don’t you remember where this started? Don’t you remember how this makes me feel? Don’t you remember how much I hate it when you LIE TO ME!? Don’t you remember how bad it got, and how bad you were, and how you just didn’t eat at all? That could be happening now. I wouldn’t know though, you’re too far away. You could be taking laxatives, or weighing yourself ten times a day again. I wouldn’t know unless you trust and tell me. But you won’t, will you? I have 21 assignments to do, but I’m curled up on my bed, crying. Crying because I love you. Crying because you lied. Crying because I’m worried. Crying because it’s not healthy. Crying because I need you. Crying because you deserve better than this. Crying because I care.

I don’t have to read back through my posts from a year ago to know how it feels to see you suffer. But maybe you should try it. I don’t have to read them to see how helpless I was and how much I cared, and how much I needed you to trust me. But I think that perhaps you do.

Lying to me helps nobody, and if you’re going to continue, I’m going to start doubting if this friendship is worth it anymore.

I know it’s hard. Trust me, I know. But friends don’t work unless we’re honest. Friends don’t work unless we care. Friends don’t work unless we respect each other.

I’m not asking you to change. I’m not asking you to get help. I know it isn’t easy and I know it won’t go away. What I’m asking is that you treat me like the friend that you claim I am. Answer my questions honestly, and don’t try to make me feel better because you think I need it.

That only makes things about three billion times worse when I found out, as you’d realise if you could see me now.

I’m broken, I’m hurt, and I’m more afraid than ever before.

Advertisements

Second Marriage

Yesterday, my best friend’s mum got married to the man that I have always called my best friend’s step dad. I think for a long time, I didn’t realise that they weren’t married. It seems to make sense to me.

I wasn’t at the wedding. Heck, I’d never expect to be, are you crazy!? But while I’m very happy for them, and I hope they enjoyed their day so much, it’s left me a bit lost, and my emotions are up in the air. Seeing her snapchats throughout the day, I don’t quite know what to make of it all. No, I’m not jealous. No, I’m not angry. I already told you that I was happy for them. You forget that I’m not five, and my emotions just aren’t as simple as that!

You see, I think I’m the child of a second marriage. I don’t know that for sure, because my parents have never told me so. But I am. If I really think about it, I know I am. But I’m pretty good at hiding from it, because I don’t like to think that my parents lie to me. It’s not something that I think about.

But seeing and hearing of a second marriage has been enough to trigger those thoughts. To trigger the memory of the day I found the evidence, and to trigger that uneasy feeling that my parents haven’t told me the truth for my whole life.

And that’s a little tricky to think about, because it’s a concept that my brain cannot comprehend, and rejects. It’s a bizarre concept, and I don’t know how I feel about it. I want my parents words to be the truth, but I’ve seen with my own eyes that they are not. I’ve tried to think of every possible explanation for what I found, but there simply isn’t another, and that’s a bit weird.

And the more I think about it, the sillier I think I am. So what if I’m the child of a second marriage? I still know who my mum and dad are, and that’s more than many people in this world.

But I guess that I just don’t like the lies. What if I have a sister or a brother that I will never get to meet? That’s a very sad thought, because families are supposed to be happy, no matter how disjointed they can seem at times.

But I guess that I’ll have to accept that I will never know. Because I’m never going to look again where I looked before. But I want to know. I think I do, anyway. But I’m not sure, really. It’s something that I’d never thought about before. I’d just blocked it out, until the subject of marriage came up again.

And now it’s all over, I hope that I can go back to my world of pretend once more.

Security Blanket

Sometimes it’s best to pull people into a false sense of security, to assure them that you’re okay, and that it’s okay, and that there’s no need to worry. Sometimes it’s safer, and it’s easier, and saves hassle and questions.

But if that person really knows you, they’ll never truly believe it. Perhaps for a while, in a wasted attempt to be free, they’ll try to trust you, and allow you to cover them with the security blanket, too. They will allow themselves to believe that you are okay, because they don’t want to fear for your life every day.

But when that person has the revelation once more that it’s not true, it’s a shock. If that person knows and loves you, it won’t be long before they realise the lies. Actually, you’re not okay. And I should have been worrying about you.

It’s then, when that person realises that they’ve been missing the truth, that they are crushed.

It’s when they notice that things aren’t right.

It’s when they hate themselves for believing the lies, and allowing the security blanket to envelop them.

It’s only then that the person feels guilt. When the blanket is ripped away, they scream from the pain.

It’s when they feel like a hot dagger has torn through them. They stopped helping. They thought it was okay.

It’s then that they become emotionless, fearful, and afraid.

It’s then that they realise that they should have predicted it all along.

It’s only now that I realise how stupid I’ve been. I let her pull the blanket over my eyes, and now the reality has hit me with one big THWACK.

Once more, my fear for her is deep in my chest, and even if it may be one thing too much right now, nothing can make the ache go away. I love her, I can’t be blind anymore. Even if she wants to be blind, I won’t. Because I fear for her life.

Confession

I have a little confession that I need to make. Okay, I have quite a big confession, really. A few nights ago, I told my best friend that she would get sick, end up lying in a hospital bed, and die, and that there was nothing more that I could do to help her than watch her kill herself. When I now read that quote back to myself my heart flips and I’m overcome by a wave of sickness, because a few nights ago, I told a lie.

Of course, I didn’t just lie on a whim, and I didn’t lie to make her feel bad about herself, I lied for a few very particular reasons. I lied in her best interests, and now I’ve said it, I wouldn’t ever take it back.

I must tell you that I was angry and frustrated. After a good hour or so of reasoning with my friend, I felt like a nuisance, and I was helpless. Sometimes, it feels like I’m a rat, scurrying around. Getting in the way, causing problems, and generally being a pest. Nobody wants a rat around, because they’re dirty, unhygienic, and unwanted. I didn’t want to be that problem anymore, causing her extra stress and aggravation. Not only that, but I was getting angry at her for not listening, and at myself for not being good enough to make it better, and to make her listen. So, I was blunt. Blunt, and to the point, exhausted of any sensible suggestions.

Secondly, there is an element of truth to that quote. If she carries on like she is with her eating habits, they will only get worse. With nobody around to please, nobody to control her, and nobody to justify food at uni, she just won’t eat. Ever. I have no doubt at all about that, and it will result in her being in a hospital bed, forcefully tube fed and slowly dying, as the people around her wish that they’d done more while they could. The second part however, where I say there is nothing I could do except sit and watch her die, is harsh at best, and a lie at worst. I feel helpless, and I thought I’d done what was best, and it didn’t work. I’m out of ideas and ways to make things better for her, and so I have to sit here and watch it happen whilst the adults in the situation come to their senses. That doesn’t however, mean that I’m not there for her! I’m always here, it’s just that there is nothing more productive right now that I can think of to do to stop her dying. And that’s scary, very scary.

IMG_2142.JPG
Finally, I’ve watched it happen. Not only have I friends who have watched their own loved ones go through this, but I have been through it myself. A friend of mine has been battling with an eating disorder and other related mental health issues for a few years now, and last week was admitted to hospital on a more long term basis. I don’t know this friend anywhere near as well, but that doesn’t change it, or make it any better. Yes, it means that I am able to distance myself a little more when I’m not with her, but it doesn’t make it go away. It’s simple, I don’t want to see this happen to my best friend. Nobody deserves it. Nobody deserves to get to a place where they are so ill that a stint hospital is the only way to help them, because the people around them should have been supporting them long before that. I made the comment that I made because I don’t want to see my best friend like that, and I know that it may seem selfish, but it’s not. I don’t want to see that because she doesn’t deserve that. She deserves to go to uni, have the time of her life, and to become a doctor.

Of course, I can no longer go back and justify my statement. I cannot make it mean any less than what I said, because it is what I said. And whilst I know that it hit a nerve in my friend, and I hope that it will make her act in a sensible way, I hope that she can understand that I didn’t say it to be malicious. I said it because I care about her. It breaks my heart three times over to even think that one day, she could end up in that hospital bed. But I’m her best friend, and I will be by her side, no matter what.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Guilt.

Guilt is an emotion that feels like a dagger through your heart.

Because you know what, I said something. I told people that she was struggling, I told people. I told the person who I knew she’d be happiest it’s me telling, and I asked her permission first. It hasn’t appeared to have worked out too badly thus far, but she was drunk. She was drunk and I shouldn’t have listened when she said it was okay to tell.

And now my best friend can’t look me in the eye when she tells me that it’s okay, and that she forgives me. Because she doesn’t know that yet! She doesn’t know exactly what’s going to happen, and how this will end. She’s not sure how she should feel about what I said, but when she sits next to me and can’t quite meet my eye, I know how I feel. Guilty. That dagger is back, and it stabs me again. I feel a little weaker.

But I needed to say it, the other half of my brain argues. It needed to be said, and that was the right person. She trusts that person, and that person is going to care for her. She listened to the advice that person gave, and that means that eventually, it will get better. But she never listened to mine, did she? And she’s still not happy that person was told, is she? She still doesn’t know what the repercussions will be, she doesn’t know how this will affect her life. And it’s my fault. The dagger strikes once more, this time twisting. The cut is deeper, more jagged.

She’s currently in limbo, undecided. I can see it. I know from the way she talks to me, the way she looks at me. Right now, she’s pretending that it’s okay, but that’s because she doesn’t want to hurt me. Deep down, she’s angry. She won’t tell me that, of course not, but she’s angry. She said that now it’s out, people can know the truth. But clearly, I don’t come into that category. She’s still lying to me when she tells me that this hasn’t and won’t affect our friendship. She’s deeper into that web than I think she even realises, and so the lies continue. ‘I’m okay, it’s okay, we’re okay.’ The dagger plunges deeper as I will every part of my body to focus on keeping the smile on my face.

I wasn’t here for the past few days, and I don’t know exactly what happened. She doesn’t want to relive it, she’s never going to tell me all of it, and I don’t expect her to. I just wish we could be honest about our emotions towards it, because in all honesty, a sugar coated friendship isn’t really a friendship at all. It’s just another dagger. This time, it’s sitting by the edge of my brain, and this time, it will only take one small slip to pass through, and that’ll kill me.

The anger will hurt me, but the lies will cause the death. Unfortunately, I don’t think I get a choice, but if I did, I’d always choose the first option. After all, pain is only temporary.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

The Lies That Keep Me Safe

I’ve realised recently that a lot of my life is lies. In fact, often, I’m so twisted and tangled in my ball of lies that I’ve forgotten the truth.

Each day I get home and I sit at my desk. Glaring back at me in the middle of my notice board is a little blue card. It shows the Guide laws.

A guide is honest, reliable and can be trusted.
A guide is helpful and uses her time and abilities wisely.
A guide faces challenge and learns from her experiences.
A guide is a good friend and a sister to all guides.
A guide is polite and considerate.
A guide respects all living things and takes care of the world around her.

As a member of Girlguiding, I’ve also made a promise that I will do my best.

More recently, I can’t help but sink into a pool of guilt. Girlguiding is a charity that I have a lot of time and respect for, but am I really a good guide? Of course, I’ve only said that I’ll do my best, and nobody is perfect, but I’m not sure that my safety blanket of twisted truth is healthy anymore.

I’m not an outright and intentional lier. I lie only for protection. Mostly, I lie to myself. And the biggest lie that I tell?

‘I’m fine.’

I think it’s time that I start to let those in who care, and those who want to help me. I’ve always struggled with trust. That too has a story; just like the dark, and the way that I deal with stress, fear, and pain. They’re nowhere near the horrific stories of some of those who I am surrounded by, but they’re stories all the same. But perhaps it’s time to tell those stories.

My first job however, is to find someone else who I trust. I need someone that I can talk to about my best friend. Because I am worried, I’m not fine and it is taking my time. I’m not learning from how I feel and what I see. Sure, I’m still using my time wisely to revise, but it’s not effective revision, because I don’t have the brain space for effective revision. It’s taken up by worry and pain. I don’t have to mention her name, I just need to find the courage to ask the opinion of someone else. And that has to be the opinion of someone who actually cares. It feels a little bit like finding that person could take a lifetime. But I need to place that trust in someone because I need to tell someone that I’m not fine and hiding isn’t helping. Perhaps then, the rational side of my brain will allow the irrational side to make that realisation too.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw