That’s what the choice to recover came down to.
Over the years I have found myself lost in conflict, doubt and never-ending questions about whether I was doing the right thing. I have fought harder with myself than I have with everybody else combined. Yet the truth is the only question I really should have been trying to answer is this:
What did I want more, the Eating Disorder and its unyielding suffering but it’s safety as it was all I could remember or my life, which would be messy, chaotic and filled with uncertainty, laughter and heartbreak?
It should have been an easy question to answer, but my goodness, it wasn’t.
I made that question so much more complicated than it needed to be. I dove into all the ifs and buts, became lost in believing that I was incapable of expecting anything from myself. I gave up. I let go of hope. I prayed to some type of God to make it all stop and when he didn’t, I stopped believing in a higher power too. The reality was that I didn’t want the answer which was staring me blatantly in the face. The answer of course was to recover, to go after a life and commit myself to that but Anorexia was much more convincing and insidious. It is only in the last several months, when I feel things unravelling that I am able to go back to that question, ask it again andk now the answer immediately. When I look back at that time, when I was in knee-deep in counting and moving and stepping on and off the scale, it makes me so sad that for a moment it makes me stumble at little. Did I really give up so much of my life to that life?
I make it sound like I had the insight to make a rational choice at the time. That I went searching for that kind of destruction but that’s not right. I was so starved of everything – and I’m not just talking physically here – that it was like there was someone hovering above me, pulling the strings, making me it’s puppet and convincing me that’s what I’d wanted in the first place. I was dragged back to the place where I wasn’t even capable of answering that question. Yet the first, second and all the minor relapses in between left me with an unbreakable loyalty to the Eating Disorder that I didn’t even consider it. The constant whispering of its voice in my brain was always there so that even when I reached a healthy weight, it made me long for this thing which I didn’t know how to function without.
This time was different because I just couldn’t do it anymore. There was no light-bulb moment. There was no hope for something better. There was no belief that better even existed. What there was, was pure exhaustion. There was me who was broken and who didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other anymore. What other option was there when it got to that point? I knew I didn’t want to die but I knew I didn’t want to live with Anorexia anymore so that’s when I started asking myself that one question. It’s a question I still ask myself everyday and everyday I am terrified I’m going to answer it wrong. That life won’t be the one I choose. Of course I get caught up in the battles, listen to the convincing arguments that the Eating Disorder continues to throw at me and catch sight of my reflection in the mirror and want to burst in to tears. That’s ok though, partly because it has to be and partly because all that I have now, is a hell of a lot better than feeling the full epicness of the hate and hurt that Anorexia made grow inside of me.
I hope your day is good to you.