An Eating Disorder is an answer to something. It is an answer to pain so deep, that words are simply insufficient. It is an answer to finding a way to suppress the emotions that for one reason or another we have deemed unacceptable. It is an answer for our perceived failures, indiscretions that were never ours to own and for what is wrong when really what is wrong is too unbearable to acknowledge. I often wonder why this was my answer. How did I come to the conclusion that repeatedly starving myself into some form of submission was the way to respond to what was hurting my soul? Was it society that taught me to equate my happiness with the lbs on a scale? Did my mother teach me that self-acceptance can only ever be claimed once the body has been made to conform into a shape that our culture tells us it should be? Did I make myself believe that if I erased as many layers of myself that I could, I would extract the hate that had been buried between them? Did I learn how to blame my body because I had to hold something to account? I think the truth of the matter is that I felt unbelievably powerless in my life and I needed to be able to master something. I needed to have something that I could exert my will over, a target for the fury and hate burning inside of me. It was not control alone, neither was it punishment entirely. I separated myself from my body, made it a victim and unleashed everything that I was too quiet and polite to ever say out-loud. It is not a tidy explanation or a whole one though because as much as I want one to point to and say ‘that’s the reason I have this disorder’, there isn’t one. At this stage, I’m not sure it even matters anymore. I can understand my disorder as much as I want and even if I knew the origin, it does not change my reality. It does not undo years of behaviours that I have learnt, that have twisted themselves into my very structure, leaving the absence of it unimaginable. The unimaginable is not that I am afraid of who I will be without the disorder, it is just that I the unimaginable is too painful to hope for, to allow myself to want. I have no loyalty left towards the eating disorder because I know now that it’s presence in my life was not a rescue mission like I once thought, but a mission of annihilation. By trying to regain some power, I lost it all.
As I said though, understanding this is not enough for me to recover. I am also learning that it is not enough to find factors that motivate me. I know what kind of life that I want to live and continuing on the way that I am is not conducive to that. I have hundreds of reasons to recover and maybe only one to stay the same. That one reason is that when I let go of this disorder, I am putting myself into the path of years of emotions, thoughts and experiences that I have refused to feel, acknowledge or react to. I’m not even sure how I begin to survive that or even if I will want to. Yet I also know that neither do I want to continue living the way that I am. I feel like I’m trapped right now and I do not like the feeling that I am backed into a corner, even if that person who has backed me into a corner is myself. In my head all of this is so simple, just modify my behaviour, gain weight that I do not believe or see that I need to gain and move on. However, none of this is that easy. I have years of long held beliefs that even though rationally I know are wrong or just illogical, they still get under my skin and trip me up. This will only change when I change and I think the problem at the moment is that I have lost the belief that I am capable of doing so.
My life has become so diminished. I barely leave my house. I stopped talking to all of my friends but one. My days are lost, staring into space, trying not to think and feeling blank. I have a treatment team that I am not sure that I trust and who I think don’t know how to help me anymore. I have a weight that is stable when I am supposed to be restoring it. I have unmet challenges and I don’t even attempt to come up with excuses as to why I have not done them anymore. My sadness has become so consuming that everything in a way has been erased. This post is probably the first time in months where I have strung this many words together. I am sat here, watching everything slip by me, wanting to care but not caring. Wanting to not be lonely but desperately wanting to be alone. How much longer do I carry on accepting this type of behaviour from myself? It’s not ok. All of this is not ok to me. The fact that I am cold inside to the people around me, is not ok. The passing of my life, void of adventures and love and allowing myself to experience anything, is not ok. Continuing to do this to myself and to the people in my life who are the ones that have to watch this without the filter that the disorder affords me, is not ok.
Recovery, if that’s what we’re currently pretending I’m in or doing, is kicking my ass. I need to figure out a way to care about that, a way to care about anything. It’s not enough just to accept that it’s not ok. That has to mean something, it has to reach into my soul and shake it up, Right now it doesn’t and these are just words.
I hope your day has been kind to you.