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Eat to live (defying the illogical voice of anorexia

Posted Aug 09 2010 11:00am
Eyes wide open
But is it enough?
The mirror would not lie to me this morning. I was dressed for this hot and humid Michigan weather, wearing a skimpy blue sundress with lace trim that I always felt cute in.

Not today.
My arms looked wraith-like; thick, ropy blue veins stood out as if ready to burst. My clavicle and my collarbones were predominant as I gazed in the mirror. I looked stripped to the bone, and it was not a bit pretty or beautiful.

I jumped back in horror. I didn't stop to think at first that I was recoiling at my own reflection. Then it hit me and I started to panic. I thought, "I'm going to die. I'm going to die of this disease." It felt like the end.

I've been told I don't take this illness seriously enough. One friend - who has been there herself - tried to break through my self-imposed apathy aided by extra medications and/or alcohol. She said any plans I have for graduate school, the possibility of changing programs and perhaps doing something I feel is worthwhile; all of this means nothing if I'm dead.
I thought she was being melodramatic. I feel okay. I'm not at my lowest weight. I am  eating a little each day.

(Spiraling downward; fear and joy mixed as the numbers continue to decrease.)
But something broke through.

She's right. Nothing will matter if I am dead.
And yet ... I need a reason to live. I need meaning and happiness and joy, unapologetic joy in which my soul feels to its depth.

I'm glad this morning frightened me. I went back upstairs, changed into a T-shirt to cover the parts I could not stand to look at anymore, and continued to think.

Anorexia is a vicious circle. The less you eat, the less you feel. Then the less you feel, the less anything matters.
I know food is the answer. I keep repeating it -  in order to live, to be able to fulfill my dreams, I must eat.

Then my mind whispers,  wait one more day. Surely one more day can't hurt.  I know this is not logical. Each day I restrict my food intake does hurt. Each pound I lose will make it harder to recover once I ... once I break free.

The voice of anorexia is illogical in its essence -  don't eat. Starve yourself. You need to lose more weight. You really aren't that thin; everyone is exaggerating. You can never be too thin. Never too thin ...

This flies in the face of all human logic. And the more weight I lose, the more I become intwined with anorexia's twisted logic until my own voice is drowned out.

I have to find a way out. I am starting to feel trapped again. I wonder if it will ever stop ... or will anorexia's voice echo in my mind forever?
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