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A commitment to perfect normality

I got an extension for a piece of coursework I was doing for law school and I had to get my doctor to sign the medical reasons on my ‘concessions form’.
You want to know what I think of the fucking health care in this country? Well this should say it all:
He wrote my first name wrong and mis-spelt my surname.
Under medical problems, he wrote ‘Anorexia and Depression’. I've been diagnosed with Bulimia for fucks sake.The rest of the questions he barely answered or ignored.
And I paid £19 for this proof of apathy.

My exams start at the beginning of June. If I do them, I will fail.
I have the option... to not turn up to exams and then give in a concession form like the one I did for my coursework. If they accept the bulimia as a reason for not doing exams then I will get the chance to retake them in August.
Do I do it?
My life is eating, throwing up, exercising, restricting, thinking about food, crying over my body, worrying... I can't do anything else, and I’m never going to be able to work until I get better. Or until I get thin...
So. I have the option now. To get out of this stupid NHS system, get off this ridiculous waiting list, and go into private treatment which would start within a month. By the time August comes, my treatment will be well under way. I can study, I can work, I can live, I can do well.
But if they don't accept my concession form...then I've fucked up a year of my life and wasted £9,000 in the process. That's a big price to pay for an eating disorder.

* * *

So, just like the last two weekends, I spent this weekend with Alex.
On Thursday I decided to make a picnic. I was up baking all night. I cooked sausage rolls. And cheese and tomato slices. When I got to his on Friday, we ate, like romantic children, crossed legged. Happy.
But only because I had fasted the day before and taken laxatives to clear my body out.

We talked. We kissed. We made love. We slept. And then we did it all again.
We were supposed to be going out to an event with some friends on the Saturday afternoon, but we couldn't tear ourselves apart. His little room was a haven; his bed was a sanctuary.

I was wrong about Alex.
I underestimated him.
I trust him.
He is the only man who has ever seen my whole body. No covers, no asking to switch off the light, no nothing; nothing hidden. I don't hide my naked body from him like I have done with every other guy.
Perhaps it's because I know he likes my body.
He is the only man who has ever woken up beside me and looked at my face without makeup. Because I wanted him to.
And he didn't run.

That's not to say I don't hate my body and I don't think I look horrific without makeup. I don't think those feelings will ever change. But I did it: I let someone see my flaws. I let the man I love see my flaws. No more Miss Perfection. No more lies, no more ticks and coverups. I am bulimic Alex. He knows. And he didn't run.

...He knows, but he doesn't like to think about it. He doesn't like me talking about it. And I want to talk about it...

But it's good that I'm with someone who isn't emotional and neurotic like me, because it means he won't sink under with me. He is sound and logical, strong and physically grounded. He is, quite literally, a rock of the earth for me to hold on to.

I was wrong. He is a cure to me. I do have the ability to feel happiness - for I felt it this weekend.
But is this happiness making me weaker? What happens when he leaves? Everyone always leaves.I don't want to rely on him for happiness. I don't want to be weak. Love makes you weak. Only someone you love can truly hurt you. I learnt this when I was 18. I gave myself for a guy, I lived for him, he was my world, he was everything I based my life and my happiness on. When he treated me badly, I still blindly and unconditionally held on tight to him. I've never changed.
And when Alex talks about other girls, even in a joking way, even when I know it's just him being a guy... a little part of me dies every time. For they are prettier than me. They have better legs. They are more perfect.
It's going to be a fight that never ends. I will always have to compete with these women until I die. I will never be able to accept that I am good enough for him until I consider myself to be perfection for him. So I will work and work on myself until I am perfect – or rather I will just work and work on myself to meet an unattainable goal.

When I look like this, I will be secure, I will believe that I can fulfill his needs, I will believe that I'm enough, I will believe that Alex won't leave me for another girl:


  1. Ophelia,

    What can I say? I feel it. I feel for you. This shit is so fucking hard.

    This weekend Lewis came back with one of his guy friends from uni. I say ‘friends’ but I’ve been up there and I’ve never seen this ‘friend’ before. I think they’re more like acquaintances. This friend (without knowing who I was at the time) brought up Lewis and girls and went on to talk about “Thursday morning girl”. I was just like what ? One of his friends from around here then said “ooh what does she look like?” And Lewis went on to say “fit. She’s really hot. She looks like Jessica Alba.”

    It just shattered everything. It left me in pieces.

    Nothing’s going on. It’s just some girl he sees every Thursday morning at uni and I guess they flirt. From what’s been said, I get the idea that she doesn’t want to go out with him. But it’s like, if she did... would he drop me and go out with her instead? Am I just such a fucking sure thing that he’s with me for the moment but he’s still out there looking for something better? Someone more beautiful ?

    FUCKING shit. I hate him. I hate him because I love him so much. I’m so scared of what he could do to me. Because he could do it alright. He could completely trample on me, on what I’ve got. He’s my life. He’s it. I’ve got nothing else. Without him... what is there to live for? I don’t think I could cope if he chose someone else over me. I don't think I could carry on.

    That’s the pathetic, oh so dependent on him, little weakling I’ve become.

    Ophelia, there will always be some girl out there who’s prettier, more beautiful, more perfect. And yes, we will spend the rest of our lives trying to out shine them, trying to prove that we’re somehow worth more than them.

    What else can I say? What else is there ?

    That's what my blog was about. That's what I was meant to write about before I decided to get all cheerful and feign happiness. I was going to call it Venus Envy - after some random book I read about the competition between beautiful girls. I went with Venus Perfection. Still stupidly believing that perfection exists, still stupidly believing that I could be as perfect as those girls...

    The thing is... Perfection does exist. But the truth is... for us, it does not. Perfection is unattainable. We will never achieve it. And yet we will not stop because we believe in bettering ourselves, we believe in attaining perfect beauty. We hate our ugliness and will do anything to change it. But... it’s so hard to change. It’s a vicious cycle. Bulimia. Anorexia. Self hate. Depression. All of it. We are it. And no matter how much I tell myself that I’m OK now... I’m fine. All these little slip ups that keep happening... that one binge and that one vomit. That one day I had to fast because I was seeing him...

    That’s not normal, healthy behaviour... is it?

    We are both ill. We are both sick. And this sickness defines us, it defines our lives. We cannot escape it. We will have to deal with it until the very end. That is the sad, basic, honest truth here.

    We will not value ourselves until we are perfect.
    We will not let those around us truly love us until we are perfect.
    We are undeserving of happiness until we are... perfect.

    But we will never be perfect.

    It’s a tragedy. Ophelia is our tragedy.

    With recovery comes readily available ‘normal’ food. With that comes fat and imperfections. Ophelia that food will make us ugly. That food will kill our dream...

    What’s the answer to all this? There’s got to be an answer.

    I love you. Please find strength. Because right now... I have none.

    x x x

  2. God, Christina is beautiful, but she doesn't look good with her hair back :)

    Everything turns out ok in the end.

  3. Still on the sunbows account :)
    Our lives seem to be so strangely connected...
    We should definitely talk.
    x x x

  4. I've only just stumbled upon your blog, but I hope you hold in there. :) I know what you're going through, I know how much it can hurt sometimes.


  6. I just found your blog, it made me re-realise something I'm going through too, that insecurity that the one you love will compare you to the other girls or he'll leave you.. I know exactly how that feels. I'm sure everyone feels it at some point but its horrible, isn't it? I hope it gets better for you :) x

  7. I think you should try to take your exams at a later date. It's impossible to concentrate in the grips of bingeing,purging,restricting, etc, it's a nightmare. I just got my results and I majorly fucked up, I got a C and I never get C's..I know it's cos I was too busy wondering how many calories I'd had each day rather than how much studying I did (almost none) - if you can take them later, try to do this! good luck xx


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