Two words you hear a lot when referring to an ED. Of all mental illnesses, Anorexia claims the highest fatality rate, and the majority of those are through suicide. Something Fishy has a memorial page that makes for some very tearful reading. Even more terrifying for me is the thought that my Annie could join that list.
I will never forget the time I drove back with her from the hospital after her overdose. She was lying on the back seat of the taxi, her face pale, her eyes closed and her breathing shallow. As I stroked the hair from alongside her face, I let a finger stray close to her nose so I could feel her exhale. Every time I felt the warm air across my skin, relief flooded through me. Another breath. And another. Keep breathing Annie. Turns out that the amount of Iuprofen she took wasn't that lethal, but it put the absolute fear of God into me.
I can't bring myself to talk about the next time. It was after another argument, and I came home from work to find a length of rope on the floor, and an internet page open displaying knots.
Those feelings that course through you when you discover things like this are so powerful. I can only think that it must be the love I have for her that makes these attempts hurt so much. It's ironic really. The pair of us will punish ourselves for our own perceived shortcomings, and in punishing ourselves, we cause pain to the other. Annie looks at the sadness in my eyes, and feels responsibility for it. This in turn causes her to punish herself, which makes me even sadder, thus beginning another cycle of self-harm (in whatever form). My frustration at this awful hold the ED seems to have builds like a pressure cooker in my head until often, the only solution is to either go mad, or have a jolly good cry.
I feel as though we're both damned if we do, and damned if we don't. Annie has often told me that I would be better off leaving. "It's not fair that you have to suffer this," she says. I tell her that to be without her would make life utterly pointless. How can you leave the woman that has given you the ability to see the world in colour after so many years of grey?
And tonight in the bath, I asked her why she wasn't looking forward to her dinner. Thoughtfully she replied: "I think it's because deep down, I just want to fade away."
Now I know that Annie will reprimand me for taking her out of context here. She has said many a time that she enjoys her time with both me and the girls. But deep inside me, I knew she meant it in an utterly lonely way. She wanted to be alone. She wanted respite from the thoughts hammering away at her. And I just felt like a failure. I felt like she didn't love me enough to want to stay. But that's not true. It has nothing to do with me. Annie's 'rexia has the upper hand.
I have told Annie many a time, I would give my life for her (and the girls). If there was a way I could take away all that pain, I would. But reality bites hard on this one, and there is nothing I can do to take away that pain. All I can do, is once again, the best I can, which is to listen, encourage, and love the only woman that has ever had my heart.
But by God it's hard. It's like trying to mould dry sand. It just seems to slip through your fingers. Every so often, you feel like you're getting somewhere, and then, Wham! Along comes the ex, the mother, or someone else, and stamps on all your work. Sometimes I'll drop it myself. Poor me? Nope. Try again. How about poor Annie who has climbed a mountain and slipped, suddenly finding herself hanging on by a fingertip over a deep crevasse. Bah. I'm metaphorising (new word btw) too much here.
Tonight has been rough for me. Annie thinks that it might have something to do with this blog, but it doesn't. I'm mortally afraid of this blog becoming an epitaph. I don't know what I'd do if I lost her.
My last word here is one of my favourite pictures. I took it on a tripod with a timer then washed the colours out in Photoshop. It's called "Comfort".
|From Family Pics|
I love you Annie.