Tuesday, July 31, 2012

rituals and regret

when i said i was bad at keeping projects going, i wasn’t kidding.  the problem, i think, stems from the fact that i just don’t know what to say.  everything that i’ve experienced, i’ve experienced.  that is to say, it’s old hat and unlikely to be of any interest.

when i began my initial recovery back in june 2009, i had just started a new job working nights at petsmart.  i was also moving into a new apartment that, to be honest, was only a mile and a half closer to work; it was a 14-mile drive one-way, though, so the move really didn’t make any difference.  i just wanted a change of pace.  over the next year, i would come to hate that apartment and view it as a cage.  maybe i was projecting my own unhappiness into my living space, i don’t know.

anyway, on moving day my family came to help me, so that i wouldn’t have to rent a truck or anything.  and one thing that a few of them noticed was that i had a lot of food in my apartment.
to give some back story, i’d been laid off 3 months earlier from borders, and had taken to buying food in bulk as much as i could.  i also bought a lot of vegetables, especially carrots, and to this day i still feel a little weird about eating raw carrots…..  cereal was one of the only treats i allowed myself (eaten with about a tablespoon of powdered milk to roughly ¾ gallon of water and some sweet’n’low every morning).  so when cereal went on sale (10 for $10!), i stocked up!  but my grampa was amazed.

“who are you feeding?”  because obviously, it wasn’t me.

there’s a sort of…..primitive eating style i adopted when in the midst of starvation.  you’d think i’d never been taught basic table manners at all.  i ate with my fingers, i slurped my “soup” (hot water with salt and spices).  most embarrassingly, i think, is that i ate food scraps.  like, stems and peels—the kind of thing you throw away.  i don’t know why—sure, i’d been laid off and needed to watch my money, but really….. 
i was mortified to eat around people, and would become angry to the point of hostility if my food rituals were compromised or observed in any way.

i still feel ashamed about all that.  i feel ashamed about the way i behaved.  i just didn’t want anyone to know—chalk it up to the anorexic mentality, which is a mental health issue as much as it is a physical one.

i guess that’s all i’ve got for now.

more coming sooner rather than later, i hope.

Friday, July 20, 2012

deflecting attention

those of you who know me, at all, know that i am, if nothing else, one thing: opinionated.  unfortunately, i lack the ability to control that rush of adrenaline when confronted with a verbal altercation, and so my debating skills are severely stunted.

to put it another way, i get so worked up that i forget pretty much everything i could and should say.

i would love to be more assertive in my opinions.  i would love to put people in their place when i see fit.

i've realized that one of the main reasons i don't assert myself more often is a deep desire not to draw attention to myself, because i am very afraid that the other party will comment on my weight.  i have a deep fear of people noticing and insulting me about it.

on a more positive note, today was a much better day.  in fact, i'd go so far as to say i think i look pretty good.

my cheek hurts, though.

OK, go.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

one of the bad days

there's a certain self-hatred that comes with anorexia (and probably all addictions, really) that just doesn't go away.  it may abate more and more as time passes, but then it sneaks up and hurts you, out of nowhere, at the strangest times.

there ought to be a term for this.  auto-guerilla warfare, something like that.  i'll play with it.

i put on a pair of pants that at one time would have fallen straight off.  and they were tight.  and they hit me in just the wrong place on my now rather fatty belly (i can thank myself for this, for a metabolism that refuses to settle down and operate normally).  i had to suck in so my shameful fat didn't blob through my shirt, and my pants were squeezing me.....

so i punched myself, twice, between my temple and cheekbone.  right side.  all thoughts dissolved to pain and anger and loathing and shame and disgust.

there will be a bruise.
there have been bruises before.
i hate myself for letting this happen, for getting fat.

i fucking hate myself.

this was one of the bad days.

later, and later still,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the elusive "recovery"

people talk about "recovery" as though it's an obtainable thing.  it's not.

when you're trying to recover from anorexia (that is, when you stop starving yourself and exercising compulsively), you want to know what to expect.  so far, none of the literature i've found on the topic has been helpful at all.  lots of feel-good stories, and those mostly from bulimics who recounted the massive amounts of food they ate and subsequently threw up, and how this behavior was sparked by their parents' divorce, or their own feeling of needing to control something.  there is precious little out there from anorexics, and i think it's because we are the quieter sufferers.  if someone eats a whole pizza and an entire package of cookies in one sitting, others are bound to notice.  if she's living with someone, they'll definitely notice the sudden appearance and disappearance of food in the house, and probably also the sound of vomiting shortly after mealtime.  an anorexic, however, can fly under the radar, ordering her salads and water and nobody ever thinks anything--she's just watching her figure, eating sensibly, etc.

god, i hate salads so much now.  try eating them for EVERY MEAL for a couple of years and you'll understand.

so i think it's harder not only to find anorexics, but harder also to get them to talk about (or even admit) their problem at all.  thus we have a lot of literature but no real help.

the quick and dirty facts are that you will gain weight and there is no recovery, there's only learning to live one day at a time.  even loving your body is hard--it's been three years since my initial attempts at normalcy, and i still find myself hating and judging my body.  it just goes with the territory, i'm afraid.  and in this country finding the appropriate mental health help is pretty much impossible, unless you're really rich.

mostly what you'll find is that you just get tired, and you long for the days when you'd lost some weight and felt amazing and still ate normal foods in normal amounts.  you'll ask yourself what happened, how did you let it go this far?  the same foods every single day start to wear on you, and sooner or later you'll just say fuck it, que sera sera and all that.  you'll never be rail-thin again, and eventually that starts to be OK with you.  eventually the good days will outnumber the bad.

peace now and more later,

Friday, July 13, 2012

an introduction

i've been dragging my feet on this project for months now.  mostly, i think it was because i didn't want people thinking i was clamoring for attention or worse, for sympathy.  i didn't want to be unfairly judged.  that's largely what this was always about--unfair judgement.  other peoples' perception of me.

i want my story out there.  i want people to know.  a part of me wants to prove that i WAS skinny, once.  i want to prove, to the people who don't know or who might have forgotten, that i wasn't always as i am now.  i am capable of losing weight.

the other reason i've wanted to get this started was an alarming lack of real post-anorexia experiences.  i've checked out dozens of books, scoured the internet for facts and testimonials, but what i've found so far has left me.....disappointed.  nothing has given me quite what i wanted, and that is, i think, reassurance.  i want reassurance that what i'm going through is normal.  i don't want to hear that i starved myself so that i could control something in my life.  i'm sure that's the reason some people do, but it wasn't my reason.  i don't want to hear about bulimia, either, because bingeing is not something i would have even let myself think about.  it would have been wonderful to eat recklessly, instead of the shredded-carrot-and-water diet i stuck to every single day.

i will do my best to avoid triggers, but everyone has different triggers and it would be impossible to circumvent them all, so i apologize in advance.  i will never be pro-ana, nor will i engage in thinspiration, but i will post pictures of myself to show unattractive and sick i looked at 97lbs, and how i've progressed since then.  i may lament the days before i abused and ruined my body, when i was thin and fit and healthy and happy.  it's a hard thing to know that you worked hard to get a fantastic body, but because you couldn't stop, because you had to keep pushing yourself further and further down the scale, because you couldn't see in the mirror how beautiful you really were, you lost it.

i have more to say, but i'll use it for other posts.  i'll try to keep this blog updated regularly, but i procrastinate and i'm terrible at sticking to projects.  

much love and later days,

WARNING!  possible trigger below. 
 this is what i looked like in march 2009, at 98lbs.