She introduces herself to you with a smile and a glimmer of hope. She whispers promises in your ear to make you beautiful, confident, happy and strong. She offers you her hand and tugs you gently towards her. Dazzled by her sweet words, you take a clumsy step and find yourself entering her world.
Mia shields you from your reality with her fantasy. She twists you into her dreamland and makes you feel safe. She tells you that she can offer you the protection the real world simply can’t. You dance hand in hand through the grey days and the dark nights. She soothes you with words of encouragement, with reassurances that you can be a better you. she talks to you about showing your friends and family just how powerful you really are, she paints you a future which you become so enveloped in that you can no longer see your past.
Slowly, slowly, she demands more of your time, she starts to show a possessive streak which makes you uneasy. She doesn’t like it when you eat with friends, she doesn’t appreciate it when you enjoy your body, she cries when you don’t do the things she wants, she gets angry when you disobey her. You begin to realise that you’re a little bit scared of Mia.
Oh, but she can be an angel when it suits her. She tells you she cares more about you than anyone else ever will, she screams that THEY don’t understand you like she does, can’t you see? SHE loves you and wants you to be the best that you can be. Your friends, she whispers in your ear late at night, only want to hold you back.
Soon you find yourself retreating further into Mia’s world - a place where you don’t need friends or family or hobbies. All you need is Mia, and all she needs is you. You cling to each other, the inseparable best friends with the secret language that no one else can understand. Hurt, confused and afraid, the people in your life start to disappear and all along Mia holds you tight and tells you she was right - they don’t WANT you, they don’t LIKE you, you’re not good enough for them.
You start to dislike Mia. There’s an idea somewhere at the back of your mind that she hasn’t helped you at all. You catch glimpses in the mirror of an ill little girl, and you wonder briefly where she came from before Mia quickly draws down the blinds and the reflection is replaced with a grotesque image of your body - distorted and twisted to resemble a monster which makes you cry yourself to sleep and vow to never eat again. You feel achingly lonely and isolated. You miss human contact, but fear it at the same time. You’re tired, sick, falling apart at the seams. Mia purrs gently in your ear that she’s still there for you, reminds you that everyone else abandoned you - she is all you have left now. She reminds you that you’re a failure, nothing without her.
It slowly dawns on you that Mia is no friend - she is nothing more than an abusive and controlling bully who has stripped you of your self esteem and dragged you kicking and screaming far away from your nearest and dearest so you are unable to seek the help you so desperately need. You realise that you’ve lost your voice. Mia speaks for you now, silences you with her sharp tongue every time you begin to beg for help.
You’re stronger than you know though. One day in absolute desperation, you ignore Mia’s angry voice and you find yourself pouring out the words that have held you hostage for so long.
That’s only the beginning of your escape though. Mia has pulled you so far into her world that it’s hard to find your way back to reality. She has warped your mind so much that you find it nearly impossible to stop believing her lies. She chases you, grabs you by the arm and tries desperately to pull you back with her. She starts to beg you to go with her. Clinging to you, she cries that you were doing so well, you were nearly there, why give up now?
Angrily, you keep walking back to your life, dragging an increasingly panic stricken Mia behind you. She starts to throw insults at you, tells you that you’ll fail without her, you need her, you’re useless, pathetic and FAT. You stall, fall down and Mia hastily throws herself over your tired form. She wraps you up again and starts to lead you back into her fantasy land.
Time and again you plan your escape, time and again you let her win you back. You see how she’s killing you, but you’re past caring because she has been telling you for so long now that you have nothing left worth living for and you’re so used to listening to her voice that you don’t know how to ignore it.
She introduces herself to you with a smile and a glimmer of hope. She whispers promises in your ear to make you beautiful, confident, happy and strong. These are thinly veiled lies used to groom the vulnerable. Mia is a bully, an abuser, the devil in disguise. She doesn’t care about you, she only cares about you allowing her to continue her own pathetic existence. You don’t need her, she needs you. By the time you come to realise this though it’s often too late.
Treatment for Bulimia initially works for 70% of sufferers with a relapse rate of around 50% within the first 6 months of recovery.
so: If half of 70% relapse (35%) and 30% NEVER recover, that makes the chance of long term full recovery… 35%.
I have little more than a 1 in 3 chance of full recovery. At first this made me angry, and I wondered why I should even bother trying.
But then I thought…
What an achievement to be in that 35%
That thought stopped me in my tracks. Just think what it must be like to overcome something that 65% of people won’t. How strong and determined you would have to be. Recovery takes much more strength than maintaining an eating disorder. Recovery is something which is a true achievement - one which I’m going to strive for from now on.
To be in that minority. To look back in two years time and say “I am part of that 35%.”