Friday, 15 October 2010

community.livejournal post

I read something A. sent me that really troubled me and brought back some horrible and confusing memories. It's long, so I've edited it very freely, but the whole post can be read here.

You will be skinny. You will be sickly thin. But you'll see fat. Other people will see you shrink but you won't get to watch. You'll be sickly skinny...but you won't be pretty. You'll have huge dark circles. Your skin will be pasty pale & have a lovely gray tint to it. Everything you do will bruise your skin. Your hair will be straw dry & dull. It will not shine. Speaking of hair, do you like facial hair? I hope so. You'll have it. 

You'll never know if you're pregnant or not because you'll lose your period. And can still get pregnant.

You'll have leg cramps. Your muscles will be balled into excruciating knots. You'll try to massage the knots out and...what? There IS no rubbing the knots out because there are no knots. It just feels like it. There's nothing you can do. You just get to lie there & try not to scream.

But you might not be thinking about your might be distracted by the headaches.

Sometimes you'll double over as you feel something extremely painful in your bowels. (And you don't have to be on the toilet to do this. Nope. This could be in class, bed, in your computer chair.) What is it? Its shit, grinding like a rock of sandpaper against your intestines as it slowly moves. You make it to the bathroom, in terrible pain, and take your shit. You get scared when you wipe your ass, because you see blood. But you flush it away & pretend you aren't frightened. Eventually, your shit goes away. That's right, no more shitting for you. Instead you get to piss in two ways. Remember where the shit used to come from? Something else is coming out now. Water.  I'm not talking diarrhoea. I'm talking straight water. This will scare you too. But you still won't tell.

You'll probably get chest pains. Maybe heart flutters. This is scary too.

Do you have problems with depression? You do now. You're exhausted beyond belief but you still can't fall asleep... and when you do you can't stay asleep. In the day you can't concentrate. Your mind won't function. You also forget what you wanted to say a lot. Goodbye memory.

But one day this will be over. One day you will either die or recover. You have to fight this or die... and fighting it is the hardest thing you've ever done. You'll put food in your mouth, and panic and want to cry. Maybe you will cry. Maybe you'll freak and spit it back out. Triggers are everywhere and you hate yourself more with each bite you swallow.

Then she goes on to talk about recovery; the above, I knew about (she wrote about other things that I hadn't known about; I only posted here the things that were familiar from my own experience) but the following was the part that was interesting to me.

Maybe you recover. It takes a while. Even after you've eaten right for months and months your body still isn't the same. You start to wonder if it will ever be the same again. It might, but you won't. No. This will always be a part of you, it will never go away. Years later it will still be with you, you will still have those moments. Sometimes you'll pass a mirror and suddenly be 200 pounds larger. You'll panic and shake your head, trying to clear the image away. Something will happen in your life, maybe you'll lose your job. Something will happen to take away your control and you'll try to gain it back through starving. You will NEVER be the same.

One day you will wake up. One day you'll wake up & realize how much you wasted. You'll regret this more than anything and there's nothing you can do about it….There's nothing you can do to get back those wasted years. And do you know what? You probably won't even remember most of what occurred during those years. I don't.

This is the reality of anorexia. It is nothing like the powerful articles you read on how so & so overcame it. It is nothing like the beauty you see when you look at that thin model. It is nothing like that beautiful popular girl who naturally weighs 80lbs. It is nothing like anything you've ever lived before, and you will never be the same.

Is this true? Do we never get to go back to how we were? Will this haunt us for the rest of our lives? Will I spend the rest of my life always being "almost there"? Never succeeding? Never feeling satisfied?

After I recovered the first time, people approached me and said things like, "it's so great to see some colour back in your cheeks; you just looked so ashen before" and (this was horrible to hear, and impeded recovery, but I understand their intentions were good) "I'm so glad you've put some weight on; I was so scared for you". And I remember wondering when they said that what I'd actually looked like during that time. I can look at my old, little, clothes and have an idea, I know I completely lost my boobs and didn't have to wear a bra, but beyond that, I never actually *saw* myself.

Will I never now see myself? Know myself?

It's true what she says; I hardly remember anything from summer 2008 - spring 2009, which is when I was at my worst. I know what I did; I remember particular events and experiences, but I don't remember any of the feelings that accompanied those experiences.

Are we wasting our lives on this? Are we pouring ourselves, heart and soul, into something meaningless? Are we destroying it all; ourselves, the people we love?

What if we just let go? Of all the control and the counting and weighing and measuring and rituals. What would happen if we just *lived* for a moment? 

Is it too late? Will we really never be the same?

Am I crazy for even contemplating giving this up?

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