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I found out that 15 years before he died from cirrhosis of the liver, my dad was prescribed Antabuse - in other words, he was being treated for alcoholism.
So he knew he was an alcoholic long before it killed him. I had always thought it was a secret.

I questioned her about it.
"If he knew, then why didn't he stop? Why didn't he get help?"
She defended him, "It was an addiction. He tried, I know he did try, he really did try... but he couldn't stop." So she knew too.
"But he knew! He should have got help!" I stopped myself from telling her she should have made him get help as well.
"No, Ophelia, you don't understand. It's an addiction... like a drug addict... they know what they are doing is harmful, but they can't stop. I know he did try."

So when I opened cupboard doors and found secret stashes of vodka, inconspicuous coke bottles filled with white liquid, cups of 'washing up water'...that was him trying was it? I was 10 years old. He had given up, he had accepted that alcohol ruled him; that he was an alcoholic. I think he accepted that it was going to kill him.

It's an addiction.
A terrible addiction that no logical thinking can overcome.
And suddenly I realised the sad truth.
I am just like my Dad.

I know my eating disorder has destroyed so many years, so many opportunities and so much happiness in my life, but I can't stop.
I may be killing myself, but I don't know how else to live.
But what am I addicted to?
Throwing up?
Losing weight?
Harming myself?
... I'm not sure it's any of those things.

Sometimes, I get inspired, I have a moment of enlightenment and the world suddenly looks so beautiful, and I'm not going to have an eating disorder anymore, I'm going to be healthy and happy and this is it, I'm free I'm going to be a success!
And then I wake up the next morning and do the routine lift-up-the-t-shirt-to-examine-my-belly-in-the-mirror... and I know I have to have an eating disorder, because I don't know how else to cope with the horrible vision I see. I can't give it up, I need it, I'm addicted.

But here is the aching truth right now:
I want a training contract at a magic circle law firm.
I know, I'm a disillusioned perfectionist - but still a perfectionist - I want to be thin, painfully, perfectly thin, I want to be beautiful, without make-up, I want to work for the biggest and the best law firm in London. I want everything, a perfect everything and I simply do not know how to settle for less.

I cannot settle for less.

There are a number of things preventing me from getting what I want:

1. My grades at uni. Not good enough. Telling them you frequently spent weeks at a time locked away in your dark room throwing-up is not appreciated. I'm competing against the best students in the country.
Solution: Get a Distinction in my GDL (law conversion course) this year and do endless work experience and charity work.

2. Lack of confidence. It's not like I'm painfully shy, but I have BDD and an ED... erm I haven't held my head up high in 10 years. How am I going to pass an interview when I think everyone else is better than me and I can't stand people seeing how fat I am?
Solution: Stand up tall and stand out. Get a perfect body and get cheekbones and a defined jaw. Then I will love people looking at me and ooze confidence.

I want my collarbones, cheekbones and hip bones to be as sharp as my mind.

I want to be in complete control. People will look at me and know that I have the determination to do anything.

Winners do what losers don't want to do.
Let's get addicted to winning for a change :)

x x x


  1. That was an amazing post!! You should write a book or something, it was inspiring and gave me chills and I could relate. :)

    Or just keep blogging, because I love your blog! Thank you for being such a lovely person!

  2. Ophelia, you are not the same as your father. Yes, your eating disorder and BDD and SI is so so self destructive, but you are not making anyone else suffer. You have wonderful high goals for yourself that I know you can achieve, because you strive for perfection and you want the best.

    And we all know deep down inside that we can't silently, secretly carry along our EDs and still maintain a facade of happiness and success and perfection forever. We have to recover someday. Our ED is just what we have now. It's comfortable. It's safe. Maybe it's even an addiction. But we don't want it forever, we're ana, we want *better* and more than that.

    I love you with all my heart!

  3. I know EXACTLY how you feel when you say you question things until you look at your belly.
    I am the same exact way.

  4. thanks ophelia!
    well, i can't presume to give anyone any advice, but my heart goes out to you. j's dad is an alcoholic. and as you can tell from my blog, my life is hanging on the ins and outs of his denial.
    my dad just left us. plain and simple.
    but, we are stronger than they are.

  5. That's exactly it: we're all addicted to perfection!

  6. good luck with getting in with the firm you want to.

    this was an excellent post.

  7. You're right. Addicted to perfection. People that know about my ed try to tell me, just eat. Its not that simple. And I can't live without my addiction. Its like cutting. People can't understand how one could get addicted, but its a release. All addictions are releases.

    Good luck

  8. Gorgeous post. I mean that. It makes me think. I have complex sentiments towards alcoholism and drunkenness. My beau insists being drunk is fun, but I hate the smell of alcohol and drunkenness is the least attractive thing in the world. My half brothers are both alcoholics. Disgusting beer guts. I think I've seen them both stumble and vomit and the thought of drunkenness makes me sick. My beau doesn't understand the degree to which it upsets me, in fact he got drunk tonight. Not super drunk. He thinks he's funny.. I really gotta stop myself from ranting.

  9. My brother is an alcoholic. I get so frustrated at him for not stopping....and he always says he's trying to get help, but no one understands him ect. I'm so sorry about your dad. But I do not think you are the same. You seem to try so hard to better yourself, even if not in the healthiest ways. I highly doubt your dad was an alcoholic to become better and achieve his goals. You will reach your goals. You are so determined, and you won't settle for less. That's how I know you have to reach them.
    Good luck and stay strong <3

  10. Thank you for your comment - and I am so lucky! His family is always telling me he is lucky to have me and I think it is the complete opposite. But, w/e.

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Addiction is rough to deal with. If he had the antabuse, he was trying at some point. Maybe he just could'nt hang and gave up. Usually people like that suffer from great inner dislike, in my opinion. It was that he didn't love his family, it was that he didn't love himself.

    The question is, do you love yourself? I think you do :)

  11. I'm really sorry about your Dad. It must have been so difficult for you to grow up with. But being a perfectionist is not the same as being an alcoholic.

    I really liked your solutions. You deserve to hold your head high.

    Hope you feel better soon

  12. Thank you so much. For more things than I will mention :) xx

  13. hey, i just wanted to say i'm really sorry about your dad.
    your post really made me think..i'm always giving my mum a hard time because she smokes but sticking my head down the toilet isn't really a great way to live is it?

    i hope you get the job of your dreams,
    goodluck hunni. xxx


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