Over the past few weeks I’ve watched my depression spiral from mild to deep, and during that time old bad habits resurface. It started off (as in the past) by just skipping the odd meal. This progressed, with deepening depression to eating only a little until last week, when I hardly ate anything. I went through full-blown anorexia when I was young, culminating with an eighteen month stay in hospital. During that period I learnt all the whys and wherefores of eating disorders and went through the ‘programme’ several times, and it was only the threat of having to go through it yet again that I forced myself to eat. I learnt that eating disorders are often a method to occlude painful feelings. As happens with ‘normal’ people, when they are sad their appetite diminishes. With me, when this happens it turns into a means to an end. The less I eat, the more I’m able to quash feelings. At the same time, I do know that not eating leads to a low mood in itself. This catch twenty two can go on and on for so long that ‘not eating’ becomes the norm, and then I’m in real trouble. Yesterday, I was able to break the ‘run’ of not eating by eating a few small things here and there. I could not eat a square meal at all, but felt that eating anything would be better than nothing at all. (This flies full pelt in the face of nutritionists’ advice to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks mid morning and afternoon.). I didn’t feel too bad afterwards. I was prepared for a full ‘explosion’ of feelings to overwhelm me, but they didn’t come, which in a way worries me. In the past, when I’ve broken a ‘fast’ I’ve ended up in a seriously bad situation. So where are my feelings hiding? God knows. Today, I have the prospect of having to have (English) Sunday Lunch, which is something my family have every week – almost religiously. Last weekend I was in such a delicate state following a close shave with ‘the deed’ that I couldn’t eat it. Quashing feelings again. It is the upcoming week that I’m looking at now. I seriously must not revert to restricted eating. I have to deal with feelings rather than cover them up with ‘old habits’. I’ll be on my own 9 to 5 as my children are at school and my wife at work. Unfortunately, this is not good. It allows me to restrict because there’s nobody to notice. In the past, I’ve noticed that with restricted eating, I will not eat all day long, only allowing myself something in the evening. Therein lies the devil. It’s crucial to eat as early as possible in the day in order to ‘permit’ eating for the rest of the day. So, I’ve drawn my line in the sand with this post. I’ll come back and say how it has gone.