Thursday, 20 January 2011

Boarding School

So I've been at school for nearly two weeks now.

I eat three meals a day.

Like a heroine addict gone cold turkey I sit there after dinner tense and twitching... food in my stomach, a full stomach,
totalling up the calories in my head over and over, add on an extra 100 just in case... overestimating everything, still too much... it would have been so easy not to eat those potatoes, so easy to have eaten less, shit, shit, shit...'s ok, it's ok, normal people eat this, IT'S OK, don't you dare throw up, I must not throw up, I have not over-eaten, I have not even had 2000 calories yet, people eat 2000 calories!, I need this food, I am allowed this food, don't you dare throw up...

And most times I manage it. And it's ok.
Last Wednesday I bought a packet of dried fruit and a packet of fruit and nuts for my room. And after dinner I came back, ate the lot and threw everything up. And I felt calm and in control again.

So now I'm not allowed any food in my room. The only food I have is in that canteen.
Like a fucking child. Because I fucked up so much I have to be treated like a child.

I went home on Sunday evening for my day off. And in that 24 hours I ate a loaf and a half of bread, a packet of peanuts, a box of chocolates, two chocolate bars, a packet of crisps, rice, noodles and threw up 5 times.
The second I walked into that kitchen.
I ate all the stuff and gave in to all the demons I had kept at bay since I got to school.


This is shit.

But it's wonderful as well. I started with all the negative stuff, sorry.
It really is a world away form my last job here. It was absolutely the right decision to come, to run away. My mood has improved beyond recognition and it's almost as if I was never depressed and suicidal. All the black clouds around my head have lifted away, all the misery and darkness – and it’s only now that they've gone that I can see how stressed and unhappy I was before in London. It's really difficult to describe, but it just feels so alien to feel so light and free – like this isn’t really my life, like I’m on holiday and I’ve got to go back to my real life soon…

And I suppose it’s because I do see this as a rehab break – I want and I have to go back to London and follow the path I always intended to follow. Rightly or wrongly I will feel like a failure if I do not.

The point of realisation came when we had staff training in the first week and had a session on children's mental health. Of course they covered all the usual stuff, but it was the part on self harm that was most pertinent:
I've been self harming for the best part of three years, and I always described the need to self harm as an addiction or a craving - craving the release that it brings, the calming effect. But I sat there, in that staff training session, finding it absolutely impossible to put myself back into that situation or that feeling. I couldn't remember what it felt like to crave the need to self harm, and yet until recently I was having to fight it so much. I used to break down in hysterics, I used to be so distraught and depressed that I wanted to smash everything up and make every piece of flesh on my body bleed.
I could not put myself back into that body and mind and understand it.
It was gone. I was free.
I'm free here.
It was remarkable, to sit there, free.
It was brought up in the meeting how all the girls were so academic and had so much pressure to succeed from their parents, peers and themselves.
I choked up.
It was that need for perfection that destroyed me; to the extent that now I have ended up being the exact opposite of everything I worked so hard to be. But how do you voice that – how do you explain that to someone? If a girl came to me going through all the hell I did, could I help her? I don't think so. I'm not sure it's possible; you can’t stop it. No one could have changed the path I was on. I must have been told a thousand times that I'm not fat and that no one is perfect, blah, blah, blah. But no one could have told me anything that would have made a difference, because this is who I am and who I will always be. 
And that makes me feel dreadful. Because there has to be a cure for this. Too many people suffer for there not to be a bottled cure, a pill, something, that makes this go away.
Because it ruins lives.
And I... I would simply give anything to stop a girl throwing away her life like I have.

I'm starting to crack. Sneaking food. Food that isn't mine to eat.
Throwing up. Eating.
Fuck this.
This is so fucking HARD.

Tomorrow morning I'll be sober and i'll sit and eat a big bowl of cereal.
Like everything's ok.
Because I'm supposed to have a bowl of cereal. Well done. Carbs and fibre from the cereal and protein in the milk. blah blah blah well done

But watch me walk up and down the options in the canteen.
Watch me fill up my plate full of vegetables.
Watch me leave the carbs till last.
Watch my hand shake.
Watch my eyes mist over and well up for no apparent reason.
Watch me sneak out of my room and into the kitchen at midnight.

Listen to me when I shut the door.
Look carefully and you just might see the scars.

I'm trying. I am.
I just didn't try enough today.


  1. reducing it is already progress. and you will loose weight i promise i swear i always loose when i stop purging and control my food the way you do. hold me responsible for this here in my sleepless night. your writing is amazing. we should compile an anthology (not that mine is amazing, far from, but) within this community there are more shining stars than in any other virtual world. i love you ophelia.

  2. Hey babes,
    Trying is all you can, and you have just changed your whole life (at least for this moment) to be there and to live your life that way.
    You've taken a very important step and of course not everything will be perfect right away.
    I am convinced you'll be okay though, you are so strong like 99% of the time and...
    You're an amazing person.

    We're here for the good and the bad times to support and loveyou okay? :)

    Love, xx

  3. I used to have a blog awhile ago but now I am on a journey to recovery, to better eating habits!! I would be great if we could support each other =

    “Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”

    ♥ Bree

  4. I loved hearing that you were happy with your new life, ifonly you didn't feel compelled to return to the old one/the path you had envisioned for yourself.

    Even thought your still struggling at school it is a step in the right direction that you are able to resist so much and not cave/give in.

    I wish you the best and look forward to your next post

    ~ Harlow

  5. I think you getting out of your comfort zone and making a change and feeling that it is for the best is an amazing success and that you should be proud of that. I know what you mean about the self-harm and I'm glad you have changed for the better. Hurting ourselves like that is so terrible. Try and be positive about the eating thing. They probably have the same stuff everyday, or at least a meal rotation for the week. So you can plan out in advance what you're going to eat when you get there. Maybe you'll feel more control if you do that. Stay strong. It'll all be okay.


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