Anorexia – als eten een kwelling is

 

anorexia

 

Artikel over anorexia, verschenen in het Leidsch Dagblad, 11 mei 2018
Aantal woorden: 900
Leestijd: 6 minuten

Auteur: Sybylle Kroon

 

NOORDWIJK – Al sinds haar jeugd kampt Cindy Salman uit Noordwijk met anorexia. De eetstoornis heeft haar leven bepaald. Drie jaar geleden belandde de Noordwijkse op het dieptepunt van de ziekte: ze werd getroffen door een hartinfarct. Het betekende de ommekeer in Salmans leven. Ze werd opgenomen in een kliniek waar ze weer leerde eten. Vandaag verschijnt haar boek ‘In de bloei van mijn leven, gekweld door anorexia’. Een boek dat duidelijk maakt dat anorexia een ziekte is waar je ogenschijnlijk lichamelijk van kunt genezen, maar geestelijk altijd zal blijven kwellen.

Anorexia – gevangen in je eigen lichaam

“Het is belangrijk dat mensen begrijpen wat anorexia inhoudt en hoe het voelt om in je eigen lichaam gevangen te zitten”, vertelt Cindy Salman (37) uit Noordwijk. Als twaalfjarige kreeg ze gelijktijdig met haar tweelingzus Wendy anorexia. “We versterkten elkaar daar enorm in, het was bijna een wedstrijd wie de dunste van ons was. Tweeling zijn is niet altijd gemakkelijk, juist omdat je tot in het extreme met elkaar vergeleken wordt. Iedereen fixeert zich op verschillen en overeenkomsten. Je wordt niet als individu behandeld, maar als tweeling. Dat heeft zeker invloed op mij gehad.”

Meerdere stoornissen

Met Wendy ging het na verloop van tijd beter. “Mijn zus is heel sterk, ik ben trots op haar, zij is mijn grote voorbeeld”. Cindy bleef echter kampen met de eetstoornis en daar kwam ook nog een dwangstoornis en persoonlijkheidsstoornis bij. “Ik ben heel erg onzeker, altijd bang afgewezen te worden en compenseer dat door overdreven mijn best te doen. Hoge cijfers halen, goed willen presteren, altijd blijven lachen”, vertelt de Noordwijkse.

Dwangmatig

Om maar niet te hoeven eten of juist eten te verbranden, is ze continue in actiemodus. “Ik moet van mezelf iets doen, in beweging blijven. Ik teken en schilder veel. Ik wandel niet, maar loop snel. Ik fiets niet, maar race. Ik kan niks normaal doen, alles moet in het extreme, alles is dwangmatig. Als ik een appel heb gegeten, moet ik weer gaan fietsen om die eraf te krijgen. Zo ben ik altijd met mijn ziekte bezig, het is een fulltimebaan. Toch is die dwang bij me gaan horen, daarom sta ik op en doe ik dingen, anders zou ik maar apathisch in bed liggen. Mijn dwang heeft me gered”.

Alarmerend signaal

Door de anorexia heeft Salman nooit kunnen studeren of een baan kunnen behouden. “Na de havo was mijn ziekte zo extreem, dat ik niks meer kon. Ik ben heel creatief, schilder en teken veel en had graag de kunstacademie gedaan, maar het ging gewoon niet. Ik heb wel wat baantjes gehad, maar viel elke keer weer terug”. Drie jaar geleden bereikte ze haar dieptepunt. “Ik was extreem mager en mijn lichaam gaf een alarmerend signaal af: ik kreeg een hartstilstand. Mijn ouders hebben ervoor gezorgd dat ik werd opgenomen in het eetstoornissencentrum Ursula in Leiden. Het had ook niet langer moeten duren, anders was ik er niet meer geweest”.

Rots in de branding

Een half jaar verbleef Salman bij Ursula en kreeg er intensieve therapie voor haar eetstoornis. “Ik leerde daar weer eten en een dagritme op te bouwen. Met hulp van mijn ouders heb ik daarna een nieuwe start gemaakt. Ik heb nu een huisje voor mezelf, samen met mijn kat Max, mijn dierbaarste bezit, maar eten kan ik alleen bij mijn ouders. Lichamelijk zie je nu niet meer aan me dat ik anorexia heb, maar in mijn hoofd zit het nog steeds. Ik weet dat het belangrijk is om te eten, maar ik kan het gewoon niet zelf. Mijn ouders helpen me daarbij, zij zijn mijn rots in de branding. Zonder hen zou ik niet eten en zou ik het niet redden. Ik voel me enorm gesteund maar hoop toch ook ooit eens helemaal zelfstandig te kunnen leven. Ik heb nu mijn eigen huisje maar voel me vaak eenzaam, dat is moeilijk. Maar ik kan nu nog niet tegen mezelf zeggen: ga eten. Dat moet iemand anders voor me doen. Ik ben ook nog steeds in therapie bij Ursula, ik ga er een paar keer per week heen”.

‘Anorexia zit in je hoofd’

Salman droomde ervan een boek te schrijven over anorexia. Die droom komt nu uit. De titel ‘In de bloei van mijn leven’ verwijst naar het heden: “Als je anorexia hebt, stopt alles in je lichaam. Ik ben nu pas aan het groeien, ontwikkelen en volwassen aan het worden, dus in de bloei van mijn leven”, verklaart de Noordwijkse. “Maar het is wel moeilijk hoor. Ik ben lichamelijk dan wel aangesterkt, de diepe, onderliggende angst is altijd aanwezig. Ik eet nu wel, maar vind het nog steeds niet leuk. Ben nog steeds bang dat mensen iets van me vinden, ben ik wel aardig, ben ik niet te dik. Anorexia is een kwelling, ik ben er continue mee bezig. Eigenlijk zit de anorexia nog dieper dan voorheen, gevoelens overspoelen me in alle hevigheid, ik ben vaak in de war en heb last van paniekaanvallen. Anorexia is meer dan alleen maar dun willen zijn, het zit in je hoofd”.

Dromen van een normaal leven

De Noordwijkse heeft meer dromen: “Een tweede boek zou geweldig zijn. Maar ik droom vooral van een normaal leven. Ik ben nu bezig mijn lijf te accepteren maar moet daar nog heel wat stappen in maken. Wat zou ik graag later lekker willen eten en fijn oud willen worden. Maar ik ben bang dat anorexia altijd een kwelling zal blijven”.

 

 

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