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Where Are The Good Anorexics?

Posted Sep 12 2008 7:58am

…looking past myself
into the lines on my face
I see all the years I’ve
spent wondering what
true freedom to “experience” life
would feel like
If only…
I would have….
could have….
let myself go for once.
felt the freedom of life on my tongue.
felt true
fullness in my belly
instead of guilt
and remorse
and this overwhelming hate of

LIES that my mirror tells me.

Meet me, Cat. I am a “Recovering” Anorexic. (on top of being Bipolar I, rapid cycling). I am 45 years old, married, and the mother of two.

It’s hard to keep yourself from punishing yourself when you don’t do the things you feel you SHOULD be doing… you know… losing weight/keeping weight on… keeping the house clean… getting the projects done… (writing the poetry… creating the art)… I feel like I should be creating, achieving, and instead I just keep slipping further and further into domesticity, like a cat… you know? just getting lazier and lazier, having nothing to show for my miserable life… I go to sleep, I get up, I feed the kids, I feed the birds, I try not to feed myself (or shall I?)… I clean what’s in front of me…

I constantly am on the move to move something and someone out of my way, and then the day is over and I go to bed and I f***ing start over the next day… and in between, if I’m lucky, I might have created something that will last after I’m dead and gone… and if I didn’t… well, then I’ve deemed THAT day a total failure and therefore, I am a total failure… and I have to punish myself… Whether it’s by negative self-talk, which can be just as destructive as cutting… or it’s starving… or it’s cutting… or it’s just leaving the house a mess and sitting here feeling sorry for myself (and getting nothing accomplished the next day either)… the “I’ll show you” syndrome that does nothing of the kind!

It’s a vicious cycle!

Sucks, doesn’t it?
According to me… (Not according to the charts, or anyone else, for that matter) but, according to me… I’m miserable and, I’m a lousy Anorexic.

I know that seems petty to most of you… and I’m sorry. But I feel like a failure… I feel like I’ve failed, yet again… I feel like… well, I feel scared, to tell you the truth. i feel like I’m going to get fat. There. I said it. I feel like, (though I’m not now)… I’m going to just keep growing and growing and growing and no amount of anyone telling me otherwise can make me feel differently than I do right now. I’ve spent the entire hour with my T crying my eyes out like a f***ing baby because I’m afraid.


You’d think that I’d be past that. I just feel so alone. I feel like no one understands. And, indeed, why should they? It’s irrational. Why SHOULD they understand irrational thought processes? My body is working against me… It has gained weight, though I really haven’t eaten that much more… and yes, I KNOW (academically) that it’s because of a slower metabolic rate… I’m SCARED to do the things necessary to speed it up.
I don’t trust anyone anymore. I don’t trust my nutritionist, and now, I don’t even trust my T… I’m not thinking rationally, and I hate myself for it. I can’t forgive myself for getting up to a “low-normal” weight. I’ve failed and no one in my world understands.

No one.

THAT was me in December, 2005. I’ve been in “Recovery” for more than four years now… I ebb and flow, ebb and flow… Right now, I’d say that I’m doing pretty well… considering. *wink* I did my “stay” in an eating disorders hospital for an eight week stint back in 2003… at that point, I was considered, (puts hand in holy water, then onto forehead…) HEALED! I gained my necessary (nearly) 30 pounds, or whatever, and high-tailed it out of there quickly… never to return… Believe me when I say that… NEVER!

But before and after that, I’ve had to have my “teammates” rally round me from time to time, giving me strength when I had none… But in the end, it was ME who had to make the choices for myself… Me, who had to take the steps to gain the weight… and while I did it sometimes for THEM, and for my kids, my family… not always for myself… I did it for them, and for the life I so badly NEEDED to have for myself… In the end, it was ME who made the choices… but just to KNOW you guys were there for me… It was important… and along the way… these were some of the things I heard….

Posted by: UM on Dec 15 2005, 08:04 AM….

Cat, I can’t tell you how to make it better. I have been borderline anorexic and my daughter is TOTALLY anorexic!!!

Why are you?

Why is she?

I’m pretty sure that hers is related to low self-esteem. She projects abundant confidence, but it’s fake. She’s a beautiful girl… Smart (straight A’s in all college classes), great personality… Wonderful, handsome husband… other words, what some gals would dream of. BUT, I know her. I know the way she is constantly trying to assure herself that she is wanted and loved.

Every time we go out somewhere, she wants me to buy her something. I was finding it very annoying and thought she was just looking at me as a “money bag”. But, one day I realized that it was one of her ways of making sure that I love her and that she is still my baby. She is eating now but over-excercises. Exercising is good for you, but not when it becomes your motivating factor everyday. I wish I had some way to assure her (and you) that she (and you) is just perfect to those of us who love her (and you). You really are. But, I know that the demon has to be battled by you and her.
I think that you look so lovely and sexy in your new pic. You look full of life, eyes dancing, smiling so warmly. And, your hair has a new shine to it. I noticed all of that the first time that I saw the pic. I wish you could see yourself as I (and others) see you instead of the distorted image that you see in the mirror. In my eyes, you don’t need to change a thing.

Now, on to the practical advice:

What if you did gain weight? YOU know that you can always get it back off. It’s not like pounds are going to just jump on you and grow roots that can’t be removed. You are smart, Cat. Listen to the reasonable part of your brain now.
You are such an inspiration to me. I should tell you that more often.

((((Ethel)))) aka, UM

back to the living
back to myself
putting my hurts
up on a shelf
never mind past hurts
never mind pain
start all over
once again
not going to cut
not going to cry
wouldn’t do any good
to cover the lies
so I swallow the secrets
I swallow the ghosts
I turn my back
and ignore the hosts
of problems that plague me
that swallow me whole
that eat up my energy
while taking their toll
and I promise this time
it won’t get me down
I promise to show you
tears of a clown
and though I may smile
and fake my way through
I’m just a mirror
of what is in you


by: UM on Jan 21 2006, 11:30 AM

‡What is in me
Is no “living” here
I’m unable to “be”
Because of my fear

We put on our faces
Project a big smile
Unsure of our places
Unhappy, meanwhile

by: UM on Mar 17 2006, 08:07 AM

I tried to put myself in (your friend’s) shoes and in your shoes. I tried to see things from (your friend’s) side. But, to be honest, I had a much easier time seeing things from your side. Ever since, my daughter became anorexic, I have done my honest best to not even mention the word diet around her.

Even though, I’ve gained about xx pounds and it is really bothering me. I can’t risk triggering her. I love her more than being thin.

Did you hear that, Cat.

I love her more than being thin. And that’s d*** hard for me. I’ve fought the good fight with the battle of the bulge for years and years. Always, getting that extra weight back off. But now, I don’t ever talk about it. If I need to lose weight, I just do it quietly. Because, I “get it”.

Maybe, I get it because part of me feels responsible for (my daughter’s) downward spiral. I’ve asked myself a million questions and examined mega moments of her life to see what part I played. The guilt keeps me on my toes. Maybe, that’s the difference between (your friend) and myself.

She probably knows that she is not responsible for your choices. But, I don’t believe that she realizes that although she is not responsible, she influences you.

by: an unquiet mind on Mar 18 2006, 09:08 AM

There’s nothing in this world more heartbreaking than watching someone you care about destroy themselves.

And then I said:

i didn’t do anything except try to help… guess “the caretaker” isn’t needed… I don’t know why I do that anyway… what makes me think I can save the world, anyway?
I care too much. that’s my problem

by: alleycat on Apr 6 2006, 09:36 AM
No, Cat. You dont care too much. You have a heart of gold.

I’ll repeat my mantra i’ve used again and again the last few years….
Rescuing a drowning person is like wrestling an alligator. If you dont protect yourself first, they will pull you under with them.
How many lifeguarding and water rescue classes teach you it’s easier to “save” the swimmer AFTER they pass out because they cant fight you anymore.

And why do you think the flight attendants tell you to put your OWN oxygen mask on first BEFORE you help those sitting with you?

If you don’t care for yourself first, you will be useless to others.

… You cant “help” someone who doesn’t want to help themselves. There is a BIG difference between caring about someone and caring FOR someone. Maybe it’s time to detach yourself emotionally from this situation. You don’t have to stop caring about a human being who’s hurting, but save yourself first, kiddo. You are so worth it.

and then UM said:
by UM on Apr 8 2006, 09:33 PM

Don’t beat yourself up, Cat. You can only give the amount of help a person is willing to accept. And then, it’s up to them.

And I said:
i read that… I know what you mean… but it just makes me so sad… you mean this is just one more thing i don’t have control over?

And another friend writes…
How can you help someone if they just keep on chanting the mantra you know? Sometimes nothing is more frustrating than watching someone destroy themselves (in a manner of speaking).

“I can’t” never could. And “I can” is an attitude that has to come from inside, not outside. They have to decide to stand up.

You can stand Bernie up but you can’t make him alive.

Anyway, there is another thing to consider. Consider this: what you have done to help that person may not bloom until spring. Right now, he is in the heart of winter. But I believe that your help will not be without fruit. It is just a matter of when it will bloom.

Just to be devil’s advocate again though. His attitude could poison your blooms when they do come in.

In ANY case. You have done what you can my friend, rest easy.

by: UM on Apr 12 2006, 07:11 AM

I agree with (the previous poster)…there is only so much one can do for another person. If that person does not try to help themselves at all, then you are just spitting in the wind. Pat yourself on the back for what you have done.
And just be there if and when they decide to take action on their own. You can offer help but you can’t live their life for them. Believe me, I DO know.

Now, I ask you, ((((UM))))… DO you know? Because you ask this:

I’m dealing with a crisis with my daughter. She finally admitted to me that was has been purging. We’ve spent the last two evenings together. I don’t cry often. But, I cried both evenings. Watching them grow and then letting them do is so damn hard. Especially, when we want to protect them.

June 27th, 2007

And D, ever the wise one… says:

UM, sometimes, protecting them from themselves, is “sorta like letting them go”

Think of it like as if your kid had a drinking problem and came over and drank at your table in front of you; and told you all about their drinking problem each night.

Sometimes love’s gotta be tough;(even when they are little, like spanking or saying no) and when they are older, it sucks even worse…but the fall could be even harder if we do not intervene; and that part sucks (at the time)…but that’s the part that saves them.
*sigh* See? Parenting never really ends, does it?

June 28th, 2007

And UM said….
Yeah, D. My daughter said that you felt that she had shut me out of her life for the last year or so. I told her that was impossible because no matter where she was, she was in my heart. And, unless I have some kind of special surgery to remove her from my heart, she can NEVER completely shut me out. I am just relieved that she finally admitted to something that I have suspected for awhile. When she was anorexic, she wouldn’t admit it until she had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. So, at least, she time, she is ready to admit and face it before she is on death’s door again. I am so thankful for that. I’m gonna write a post on some of this as soon as I have the time. I know her secret and now she knows some of mine due to heart to heart talks.

June 28th, 2007

Well… ((((UM)))) Consider it started here. She can’t be helped unless she WANTS to be helped… So. Does she? Or doesn’t she?

If she talked to you about it… I’d say, yes. She’s ready this time. And I say that with tears in my eyes.

Remind her where the GOOD Anorexics are….


I must be a bad anorexic
No pity. No looks. No stares.
My presence, of one who belongs here
Not one who’s caught unawares

I once was the perfect restrictor
My E.D.* my closest friend…
Now some days I try to remember…
And some days I even pretend…

That I’m the best anorexic
I MUST be, they’ve labeled me…
For lack of feeling something inside,
The OUTSIDE is what you’ll see!

But still my damned anorexia
Is killing my hopes, my dreams…
How far can you possibly go, my friends
When you’re coming apart at the seams?

I closed my eyes in the darkness
And raised my arms toward the sky…
And felt as one with the stars that night
As I began to cry…

I must be a bad anorexic, I thought
As I lifted my low hanging head…
then out of the darkness….
They’re DEAD.
*ED=Eating Disorder

©Cat Ginn ‘05

Well, I managed to find one that is “cured”

Looky girls….I found someone who “beat” anorexia….LMAO….Please don’t let this be a trigger. It’s just too damn funny and ridiculous… beat-anorexia.jpg …..

Filed under: BP Legal Issues, Bulimia, FDA, Hoarding, Rapid cycling, Recovery, River Oaks Hospital, abuse, anorexia, bipolar disorder, blogging, childhood memory, creativity, depression, discrimination, dreams, failure, freak magnet, friends, guilt, health care, humor, inherited bipolar, injustice, insomnia, isolation, lies, life, life problems, love and laughter, media, memories, mental health rights, mother, news, nightmares, personal, pharmaceuticals, poetry, pop culture, psychiatric medications, psychology, secrets, self-esteem, sexual abuse, stigma | Tagged: Anorexia Nervosa, bipolar in children, Eating Disorders, manic depression, mood swings

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