The simple answer to that is yes.
Whether through perseverance, disability benefits or inpatient care, you can "live" with an eating disorder.
However, I don't base my happiness on financial gain. I base it on having time and space. With an eating disorder, all your time is spent calorie counting and fixated on the food you can't eat. You have no personal space, as wherever you are living there are people who are trying to make you eat. And, also, you share all your space with your eating disorder [which takes up a lot of room, while you continually shrink].
You can't enjoy social events, as they tend to involve food, drink, energy... or all three.
You start lying to the people you love, and to yourself.
Today I was honest.
Yes, I'm using diuretics and laxatives.
No, I haven't eaten more than 1000 calories in total over the the past 10 days.
Yes, I'm telling you this because I'm having chest pains, I feel faint, I do faint, I can't get out of bed, let alone go to work. I tried to walk to work yesterday, and I collapsed. Fun, eh?
Dr. Bill Oddie's reply was "for fuck's sake, you stupid fucking girl". He apologised for this explosion but to be honest I think I needed it. The chest pains are because I'm hyperventilating, and my blood sugar levels and blood pressure are very low. My heart sounds ok - for now. The diuretics are making me severely dehydrated, the laxatives aren't very helpful if you aren't eating, and my body is in starvation mode, hence how I put on two pounds by eating half a sandwich. This is because my liver was replacing the starch I forced it to use.
So, I now feel FAT. Very fat. My stomach is not flat. I have consumed food, and it will probably go straight onto me as fat. I went to work though. I completed the whole day, and told them I had a stomach upset. That's why my clothes are hanging off me. I feel skeletal, which is repulsive and gorgeous in the same instant. They offer me food, I have some so nobody suspects the vomiting was self-induced, and I think about what Bill Oddie said today.
I asked what my calorie threshold to keep me above starvation mode would be, and he reckoned around 1100.
That's a big fucking jump.
So, the plan for eating now is to remember, my body needs fuel to work. I'll be on my feet for at least 10 hours a day, walking the wards, and travelling to work.
No collapsing in a ditch in Brentwood.
I'm thinking, I'll have a sensible breakfast, like cereal and low fat natural yogurt, some fruit, a green tea or fruit juice. I'll allow myself 350 calories for breakfast.
My "main" meal will be pasta/rice/jacket potato with some fish/lean meat and vegetables or salad. Either midday, or evening if before 6pm. Allow 400 calories for this meal.
Then I'll have a meal, either lunch or if I'm eating after 6pm, like a sandwich with low-cal bread and filling, or a salad. Allow 250 calories for this meal.
That's 1000. Plus a coffee or two at work, say another 100 calories, and at least 4 pints of water.
There. Lets see how it goes. If I draw up a proper meal chart, I'll let you know how it goes.
I'll post about my placement at the end of the week. Too tired now.
Healthy eating - I'm emphasising both those words, because you can't be healthy without eating.
Although to be brutally honest - I want to get better. I just don't want it to involve food.