I am not Mindfump, I go by the name Chicken Risotto and, like Mindfump, I also have trouble in the brain department. For instance a few years ago my mind had a good sit down and a long think about what it could do to make my life just a little a bit more stressful.
“Aha” it said, “Let’s start spending all of our waking hours worrying about food. That’ll be fun.”
And so, a few months later, I found myself sitting in front of a doctor being told I have Anorexia Nervosa. And this post is a one off tour to introduce you to that wonderful world.
Let me take you on that little journey…
*cue spooky music*
Welcome to ‘My Anorexic Mind’.
As you will notice if you look around, it is a rather strange place.
Here, you can see a list of strict rules and rituals that must be followed at all times.
And over there, you can see details of all the punishments that will be issued, should a rule be broken or a ritual not be adhered to. For example, lets take a look at what will happen if you break rule 1.
Rule #1: Eating more than the allotted amount of calories for a particular meal will result in several hours of severe anxiety.
Isn’t that just lovely.
Now, today is an interesting day to be visiting My Anorexic Mind, because It is breakfast time. Generally, I avoid eating with other people. Subjecting anyone to the bizarre spectacle of me struggling to eat seems unfair. But, in the spirit of recovery, today I have agreed to have breakfast with my mum. She is lucky enough not to live in an Anorexic mind herself, but she is remarkably tolerant of mine.
The pre-meal rituals demanded by my anorexic mind begin long before I actually get anywhere near any food. But, for the purposes of keeping this tour short, I will skip the bulk of the detail and take you straight to the point where I have almost finished preparing breakfast.
So by now, I have carefully weighed out my cereal and measured out the milk to the nearest millimetre. Great, I can tick those off the list. Now I am waiting for the kettle to boil. But my Anorexic mind is incredibly time efficient, which is just wonderful. Because now it is using the precious kettle-boiling seconds to double check that thus far the list has been completed to the required high standard. This is done while simultaneously agonising over the number of calories I am about to consume. And (talk about multi-tasking) checking on a variety of seemingly non-sensical things that, to my anorexic mind, are vital to ensuring the perfection of the forthcoming meal.
You will notice how calm I look, pouring the boiling water into the mug. But if you squint your eyes and tilt your head, you can see the next list of questions pinging furiously around my mind.
Is it too early to eat breakfast? Have I washed my hands? Should I have put the cereal in a different bowl? Did I definitely weigh out the correct amount? Is there too much milk in that jug? Where is the special spoon that I must use? Will I be ok eating in front of my mum? What if I want to hide some of the food? Should I take some out of the bowl now? Is it too much? Will she notice? Do I even need breakfast? What should I do?
And what is the result of all this questioning, rule following and ritual performing? If you look this way, you can see my breakfast. Fat-free milk languishing lifelessly in the measuring jug, tasteless brown cereal flakes sulking in the bottom of the bowl that still sits forlornly on the scales.
But look around you! See how the anorexic mind glows with happiness! It takes great comfort from the precision and perfection. Nothing else matters to the anorexic mind. The rules have been followed. The rituals performed. Life is good.
You see this box here? Let me brush off the dust. It’s locked. Inside this box is joy, happiness, fun and spontaneity! It’s friendship and love and laughter. It’s pancakes for breakfast and cake after dinner! It’s sugar and spice and all things nice! It is ice-cream on a hot day. It’s a pizza shared with friends, it’s a secret midnight snack! It is treacle and toffee and…
The anorexic mind takes these things, and locks them away. They do not abide by the rules. They ruin the perfection. They must cease. And that is the reality of living in an anorexic mind.
And there we must conclude our tour. Thank you so much for joining me.
For more strange happenings in the bizarre place that is my Anorexic mind, please wonder over to Chicken Risotto Blog.