This is the story of Octavia. A twenty-six year old girl, who suffered from anorexia nervosa from 2010 to 2016. A testimony of life, strength, resilience but also of scars, indelible signs of experience, fears and eyes swollen from crying. Pages, blank pages that Octavia has now decided to fill. At first she didn’t have the strength to do it, she didn’t have a free head but now she has found the courage. She was 11 Octavia when it all started. And since then, for six long years her life was made up of suffering, tears, quarrels, fears, obsessions, sweat and fatigue. It all happened so suddenly. A fixation? A craze? An inner loneliness? She couldn’t tell.
Octavia slowly began to wear out, unaware at first but then more and more stubborn.
So good at hiding her suffering from others, at not talking about it to anyone, at saying that she knew what she was doing and that she had everything under control. She had grown jealous of her pain, her illness. It was just the two of them, in perfect balance, in perfect harmony. Her illness told her what to do with her and she never left her alone: what more could you want from a friend like her? Over time, however, she realized that she wasn’t quite like that and by the time she realized it she was too late. She could no longer hide what she felt, what she thought but above all what she had become: because the disease changes you, it weakens you, it devours you inside and out.
Octavia stopped eating for months, sometimes she broke up the day with an apple and a spoonful of stracchino, but nothing more. She had come to weigh 32 kilos with a body mass index (BMI) of 12.4, which translated meant very severe malnutrition; her heart was beating slowly, 40 beats per second, which sometimes woke her up in the middle of the night when she felt a murmur between her ribs and breastbone. But if you asked Octavia how she was doing, the answer was always and only: good. Then, when her legs no longer held up to that fatigue, not even behind that “good” she Octavia she could no longer hide; the emergency hospitalization in the emergency room and the nasogastric tube to feed her by force forced her to deliver herself into the hands of others, to those they call doctors but whom she saw as her enemies.
They were his adversaries, people to be feared, because they wanted to take control of him. That same control that she thought she had in hand and that instead poured against her and threw her to the ground. From that moment on, the ordeal of hospitalization in specialized structures began for Octavia. How many times before having to face the first treatments, she Octavia she screamed to get up, to do it alone. But the louder she yelled, the weaker she got. She had so little strength that she couldn’t even scream at her. She was small, she was helpless, she was terribly afraid and unlikely alone. It seems absurd since she was full of people next to her and yet she, at that moment, she no longer felt anything, she did not feel anyone’s presence. Her affections and cuddles slipped on her and she no longer felt any emotion. She could barely feel her heart beating, Octavia.
So many were the tears he saw in the eyes of his parents, and in those of his brothers. She especially remembers her brother’s face during the last days at home, before leaving for her first hospitalization. He, who has always been her point of reference, had tears in his eyes. It was the first time Octavia had seen him cry. But not even her brother’s cry could move her. She wanted to continue on her way, she had to go in the same direction as her head, her thoughts. She had to keep control of everything, she had no choice. From an early age, Octavia has always had a stubborn nature, “a hothead” as her mother often told her, and this has also proved to be a problem for doctors. In fact, one hospitalization was not enough for her, neither two nor three but four and the last one lasted almost a year and a half.
In the first hospitalizations she felt fear, pain, shed tears, screamed, rebelled, hated life and herself strongly. Her to the point of thinking about giving up, giving up everything and not caring anymore. But let’s make one thing clear: it’s never over until you decide it yourself. So, she held out, she decided that she couldn’t go on like this, to be stolen from other years of life but she had to react. She wondered what she really wanted and even though she didn’t have the answer at the time she was sure that being in that state was the least of her goals and therefore she took another cure.
She was aware that this would involve further suffering, having to stay away from home in a structure with unfamiliar people and where there were strict and difficult to accept rules but it had to be done, for herself and for no one else. And so she left, this time with a stronger inner pull than she had ever felt before. In her last hospitalization, Octavia was 16 years old and, after almost eighteen months of toil and effort, of scolding, of reproaches from the doctors, a sign appeared on her face that she no longer remembered her. At first he was just a hint but then he became one of the most beautiful smiles. A strong, sincere, pure, lively smile, a smile that is now perpetually on her face, of which she is indescribably proud.
Since then Octavia has begun to see everything from a new perspective, to look at life in a different way and above all she sees herself with other eyes: she accepts defects, sometimes she does not deny criticizing herself, but immediately afterwards she returns to love herself for the person she is. become. A world has opened up to her, a world made up of friendships, acquaintances, encounters, relationships, outings in companies and even new loves. An eating disorder is really one of the worst things that can happen in adolescence but when Octavia stops to look at what she has become after this she has lived she cannot but be proud of herself. Every experience she experiences twice as she lived it before her, she appreciates the details, she also loves the little simple outings, the cheerful and healthy laughs even if it is nonsense.
#Octavia #terrible #hunger #life