I will try my best to answer this one out of my own experience because I’ve been there.
I kinda doubt one person would make a difference. Falling in love with one person, at that time, wouldn’t have helped or changed things. Not for me. It was too late. People fall through, for one thing. They’re human. Also, no one person should bear the burden of taking care of another so entirely. I couldn’t have expected that from a partner. We’re adults. It’s not like me, a human, was a little doggie like Puzzle that asks only to be fed, walked, petted, trained a bit, and taken to the vet now and then. I’m human and far too complex. A relationship such as marriage is mutual. Give and take. If I am falling or you are falling, we need more than a partner to fall onto. We’re gonna fall hard if we aren’t eating. I was weak and hardly able to think straight or relate to another person.
To say to me, “I promise this if you recover,” well, this meant nothing to me. Just empty. Meaningless. To tell me, “You are thin,” fueled the fire, of course. I’ve mentioned this in the past, how my doctors often made remarks such as, “You look like you come from a concentration camp,” and I enjoyed hearing such things, as if this reinforced what I was already doing. These remarks gave me strength and made me feel rebellious. Catch me if you can!
The “fuck you” nature of everything I was doing only got stronger the more I got criticized. I think LOVE was more helpful. The simple type, just someone reaching out. I often feared it. I was scared it would break me. As if I’d give in perhaps and stop my silly starvation game. Of course, that would have ended the spiral. If someone had reached out just a tiny bit more.
I had great ways of keeping people away. Fantastic ways. I’d devise them. I promised myself I’d pull back. I’d never, ever allow myself to cave into that hand that reached for me. I’d never allow myself to be rescued. And yet….
There it was. I’d tell myself to grab on. Then I’d tell myself not to. The endless debate. Then, retreat. Slowly, the chances to save myself faded.
After a while, there were no more words. Almost. I remember the scribbles because my hand wouldn’t form script. My mind couldn’t make letters so I wrote nonsense scribble one night. It wasn’t psychosis. Hardly. I was that starved, yet I still retained the need to write. I could still hold a pencil.
I was still alive.
And I am alive today. I don’t particularly know why these things occur, why some happen to be lucky and others are not.
I do know that I would have liked to have been told the following. It’s something that I heard once at a protest when I was a young college kid:
THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.
Yep, watching me. Julie, you will do something great. No, you’re not doing it because God is guiding you, or because some therapist is holding your hand, or because of some dictates in some holy book or mandate or religious principle or group hug. There is no predestiny to worry about. Just keep going. You are are doing this because you have done the amazing and will continue to do fantastic things. You are still alive. The whole world is watching and you are incredible and beautiful and unique. Just that.
And that’s why I keep going. You should, too. Keep following and we will all be fantastic together.