I wish I knew what the fuck I was doing.
Food is stressing me out. I wish that I could word that in a more fancy and profound way but I’m having a full panic attack over just the concept of food. It makes me feel like I am such a failure because today, food bullied me. It singled me out in front of everyone, asserted it’s dominance and completely humiliated me. It’s a true fucking story, food personified itself with the sole purpose to belittle me.
I tried to fight back, i really really did. I counted chews, I played with my food, I cut my food up in tiny pieces, I ate the lunch my eating disorder wanted me to, and still, it humiliated me. I had meals with people and there were conversations but all i heard was “You’re fat. Stop eating. You’re pathetic. Everyone is disgusted by you” screaming at me and I couldn’t make out any other conversation. At one point I tried to stick up for myself and I drank chocolate low calorie almond milk and food never yelled at me like it did when I finished that glass. It was like I drank a anxiety attack elixir. Food forced me to leave my friends house because it told me that, unlike anybody else who drinks chocolate milk, a girl as fat and pathetic as me should be so ashamed and deserves to be friendless so she should go back to her room where there is no crumb to consume. I can’t have food here. I need a place to feel safe.
Fuck you, food. You’re a cunt. Please leave me alone.
Tonight I go to bed hoping that I can wake up free from that pain that eating three meals has given me today. I want to open my eyes and not be terrified of what my reflection looks like. I want to be able to go in the shower with the lights. I want to wake up with the stress of school and not the stress of breakfast, lunch or dinner. I want to be able to have a day where I truly believe that the world benefits from my presence and I want to fall asleep with the certainty that my eating disorder isn’t going to take this home away from me again. I want to be normal.
And fuck you, if you say nobody is normal. I realize that everyone has their own battles that I cannot see and I acknowledge that but shit, I didn’t even know I was drafted into this before I got shot. There is such thing as normal. I see it any time I see a person eat without knowing where the nearest bathroom is. I see it when people laugh at the concept of just having a fat day. I see it when people who work out allow themselves to eat dessert.
Normal people can order a meal without tears. Normal people go on diets where the end result is to be in a smaller coffin. Normal people don’t look at food towards worth. That salad with cheese or the extra sugar packet in your coffee may make your food sweeter but my aftertaste is bitter because I don’t deserve sweet, or nice or good. I don’t deserve any extra anything. A normal person doesn’t think twice about phrase you are what you eat. Normal people don’t use their hands to check their thighs, arms, wrists all day every day to see if that extra bite made a difference. A normal person would have trouble recounting the stories of their trauma but wouldn’t tear up at the concept of thanksgiving.
Normalcy is a far fetched dream for me. With my eating disorder, I have a lens that distorts the world. I won’t be able to look at food with indifference, I wont be able to look in the mirror, I wont be able to go clothes shopping without feeling trapped and I wont be able to stand on a scale without questioning my value. I want to be normal
I am really struggling with body image. I can’t shake the number I saw last week and I feel like everyone is disgusted with how I look. It’s weird because I see people who are overweight and I don’t judge them, I don’t hate them and I never ever stared them down with hate. When I leave my room and lock my door I can feel the stares of the strangers around me. Even when I am by myself, I feel the stares.
I realize that food will not make me gain pounds with every bite but in my distortions it feels that way. Although I am trying to have a better relationship with food it is hard for me to not think of it as my enemy. It’s what gave me my weight, without it I would be thinner. That is a fact. I am supposed to at least be indifferent with it for recovery but I feel like it is sabotages me. It’s what causes the stares, the tears and the number on the scale.
One thing that is annoying about eating disorder recovery compared to drugs or alcohol is you can’t abstain from the poison that ruined your life. If I was addicted to heroine or whiskey my recovery would be to stay sober, never take a sip or a hit but with food, it is not about abstaining but instead sustaining. In fact, if I was sober from food I’d relapse. Funny how it works that way.
I’m rambling. I feel like I have so much to say but the only voice I can use is the letters on my keyboard. I want to talk to someone. I want to open my mouth and scream about all of the things that are annoying but I just can’t. I don’t know how and it is driving me crazy. My thoughts are stuck in this body just like the fat that has made it’s home on my thighs. Everything I am, everything I feel, and everything I am terrified of is stuck inside my body and I want it out. I want to be shed with every pound I starve off but I can’t do that and it is driving me crazy. I have to eat, I have to just be ok with the changes in my body, I have to learn to not hate food. I have to do these things for my recovery but I am struggling with believing that recovery will bring me more happiness than my eating disorder.
I am so happy that I have the ED support group on campus. It’s the only time where I don’t feel crazy or alone. Today I allowed myself to be vulnerable and say what I actually felt. The anger and frustration that I have with Anorexia, with food, and with recovery in itself was finally let out, tears and all. And hearing the words “I totally understand how you feel” reminds me that the thoughts and feelings that I have are not a fault in who I am as a person but just symptoms of a disease that I did not chose to have. There is a sense of safety that is in that group and I am beyond grateful for that.
Getting adjusted to school after treatment has been so emotionally testing that there have been moments where I have not only questioned my recovery but have tested the temptation of suicide. The cycle of crying alone and acting happy around others was becoming all too frequent and I wanted it all to stop. I spent a whole day in my head, taking walks and thinking of the final words that I would say to the ones I love and making a plan to make everything just go away. I just get so tired of fighting this and having to trust what I don’t see. I can go into detail of all the things around me with accuracy but I can’t see what I truly look like. I can’t just follow the gut feeling like most people can because my gut feeling is a disease. Even though the idea of death seemed like the only option there was some part in me that trusted that this was only an urge, this was only temporary and everything would be ok. Convincing myself didnt help me feel better in the moment but the consequences of not acting on my urges gives me a sense of strength that has gotten me through today.
That’s all recovery is for me honestly, sitting through the urges and waiting for good things to come.
I can do this.
Sorry this was a short post with bad writing. I’m exhausted.
I was walking up with my laundry somewhat amazed on how far I can push my body. I have a virus, a fever, body aches and chills and yet I haven’t slowed down since this all started Friday. In fact, the best thing that has come from this whole illness is being able to just say “I’m sick” has allowed me to completely isolate myself without people asking questions. And at first glance, I was proud of it. I glamorized this ability into something that set me apart from other people. I am used to feeling shitty and pushing my body beyond what it can handle because that’s all you do when you have an eating disorder. I can’t tell you how many times last year my body was so exhausted that I am still shocked that I survived as long as I did. It’s like I was the energizer bunny with a really weird diet.
Then I thought more about it. All I ever do is push myself with the hopes that eventually all the ‘hard work’ will pay off. I pushed myself through starving and purging hoping that one day I’ll be thin enough and it’d be worth it. I pushed myself through horrible relationships hoping that if I worked hard enough, things would work out. I pushed myself through trauma after trauma because I was so terrified that if I stopped any of it than everything that I knew was true would actually feel real. I made myself truly believe that I could crawl myself out of any tunnel to see the light at the other end but I’m not crawling in a way to get out, I just keep crawling deeper and deeper into this damn tunnel. I’ve kept going and going to the point where I don’t even know where I was wanted to go to and what exactly I was pushing away from. I have not napped once since my fever started Friday, I haven’t made an extra effort to sleep more, gotten out of one class because of my illness so I could write two extra credit papers and recovery wise, these past two days have been nothing but eating and purging. I drink gatorade to make up for everything, as if it is some magical elixir. My body is so weak and exhausted but I don’t know how to stop to be still and heal. And I look to the days ahead of me and I keep piling more and more on my plate. Another weekend duty, programs, errands, groups, helping a friend with their work, talking to a resident, reading ahead, taking notes, writing papers that aren’t due for weeks and trying to come up with things to blog about.
I still want recovery, I still don’t want to fail, and I still want to get better. Those are things that I still want. It’s just foggy to me on how I am supposed to get it. I can still do this.
***Quick little update from when I first wrote this, I’ve decided to sleep in tomorrow and take one thing off my plate. I use my blog as a vent sometimes and write what I am too afraid to say. Luckily for me, a solid amount of my followers know me and text spam the fuck out of me when I say I’m slipping so I can get back on track. So ta daa I’m allowing myself to rest and I know what I’m going to eat tomorrow for breakfast.****
Sometimes I really miss believing that if I ate nothing I would become nothing
Abby, I love you and I love this.