Before the Lock down

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For the next 45 minutes, I was lost in the frenzy of an eating disorder. My anxiety vanished, I was calm and soon the reality dawned on me. I panicked again. We were running low on groceries, or maybe we were not, I had no idea. I try not to eat with my family and I always try whenever possible to cook my food separately (when I’m at university, It’s a success, but it’s a struggle at home).

I should have stocked up last week when I returned home from university, but the supermarket at that point was empty anyway. What little I managed to purchase earlier that week from various places left me mentally exhausted. I still had five days before the lock down. My family said assured me we were okay, but I knew we were not okay.

Last week we had a huge argument as my mother told me that she couldn’t find anything from my list at the supermarket. I refused to believe her so I went shopping myself and reality hit me.

 

Dear Readers,

 

Please find below an account of a struggle in current times by one of our readers. Please read this with open mind. We only share this for information and awareness purpose only. Thank you so much Miriam for this brave post.

 

Before the Lock down

 

“Those who suffer from depression would know that all the things that might seem nonsensical are eventually real.”

 

Author: Miriam

Edited by : Faryal A

 

I looked in shock at the empty supermarket shelves. Completely empty. Never, in my entire life, have I ever witnessed such emptiness. Not just in the supermarkets, but everywhere! Even during the Christmas and Boxing Day sales, the shelves are never that sparse.
People were encouraging me to stock up, to stay safe, but as someone who struggles with an multiple kinds of eating disorders, supermarkets are a challenging place for me anyway so I delayed going to the supermarket until the last few days before the lock down began. And then I went into panic mode.

I wanted to get my special, my favorite food but what was left on the shelves was the food I did not eat.
My heartbeat increased and I felt hot but cold, I walked out to see the fast food joint beckoning me to come in. I walked in to purchase three meals, though it looked like I was purchasing for a full family, it was actually all for me. 

For the next 45 minutes, I was lost in the frenzy of an eating disorder. My anxiety vanished, I was calm and soon the reality dawned on me. I panicked again. We were running low on groceries, or maybe we were not, I had no idea. I try not to eat with my family and I always try whenever possible to cook my food separately (when I’m at university, It’s a success, but it’s a struggle at home).

I should have stocked up last week when I returned home from university, but the supermarket at that point was empty anyway. What little I managed to purchase earlier that week from various places left me mentally exhausted. I still had five days before the lock down. My family said assured me we were okay, but I knew we were not okay.

Last week we had a huge argument as my mother told me that she couldn’t find anything from my list at the supermarket. I refused to believe her so I went shopping myself and reality hit me.
I didn’t wanted to go back to supermarket, but the lady at the supermarket assured me that they were expecting a delivery at 5pm.  I devised a plan and looked at my list again. “I’ll go at 5pm and buy things for at least a month.” I still had 4 hours to go before the clock struck 5.

My stomach looked full but oddly enough I was feeling famished. I was in recovery and was in the phase of maintaining my weight. Now that the aftermath of my binge was settling in, these fast food calories were going to do serious damage to me. In panic I did what I always did post-binge: I went running.

After two hours of running I made my way back home, the panic was still there, I went into kitchen and the fear that I will run out of my special food soon, prevented me from eating. Instead I used uber food deliveries and ordered a large pizza for myself with drink and sides. Another hour was spent eating and calming myself down. It was a bliss that nobody was home.

I went back to supermarket and like hundred others, waited for the shelves to be restocked. They were stocking the shelves with things I don’t eat. I asked the lady at the customer service about the delivery and my gluten-free choices. She had no answer. I left supermarket in tears and in panic. My next hour was spent going through the drive through and consuming three more meals.

I was horribly sick the next morning. My stomach was swollen, my face was also swollen and I had a terrible stomach pain.

Another argument followed with my mother – I accused her of deliberately not stocking up on my food.

After the purge I felt better. The next few days were spent going back and forth to supermarket with little luck. I was now binging uncontrollably up to 5 times a day. Nothing was off limit. I could feel the numbness in my toes, palpitating heart beat and dizziness. Yet, I couldn’t stop.

Two days before the lock down, I had a terrible break down. I simply couldn’t take it anymore.  I was feeling mentally and physically sick. The sight of our local supermarket would make me go cold and into a state of panic.

Finally, my father stepped – head of our family, he laid out the rules. Only one person to go shopping and that will be him, whatever he brings, we accept – no tantrums, no complaints and no arguments. These are tough times and we need to get through these times with patience and wisdom.

Three weeks into lock down. Where has the time gone? And somehow the truth is out, I am not gluten intolerant, nor dairy intolerant and nor lactose intolerant. I have not been to the supermarket once and neither have I used the useless online shopping service.

The head of the family aka my father’s words still ring in my head, ‘Please do everyone a favour, if you want to contribute then look after yourself. Eat what is put in front of you and stop making things difficult for us all.’

I spent a week feeling anger and constantly thought of refusing to eat anything but the fear of ending up in hospital took precedence over everything. Some days are horrible and my depression kicks in but the anxiety I feel at supermarket and by going out is greater, so I try and somehow succeed in eating what everyone eats. Since the lockdown has started I haven’t had a single binge, how can you, when the house is full of hyper siblings and adults and everyone is looking over your shoulder? And right on time  8am, 1pm, 7pm, there’s my mother’s piercing loud voice, come and eat, and so we all eat, because my father is home and he hates it when we all eat at irregular times. “The family that eats together, stays together” is his motto of life.

I am still undecided as to whether this structure is working in my favour, or against. But at the moment I will be grateful for my safety.

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Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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