On some days, the days when I’m restricting pretty heavily, those are the days when I think to myself, “This is ridiculous. You can’t live the rest of your life doing this. When it all comes down to it, it’s a pretty big pain in the ass when you are starving all the time.” These are the days when my stomach growls, my limbs fill like there’s sand in them, my eyelids become heavy, and I salivate while watching food commercials. This prompts me to watch the food channel, just so I can live vicariously through these people who are cooking rich, delicious foods and are actually able to eat them without a second thought. These are the days I wish I could order a huge cheeseburger with bacon and not feel like a fatty afterwards.
These are the days when I look at pictures like the one in my avatar (at my ED diary) and think, “You are much too thin. How can you think you are fat?” These are the days when I’m able to rationally see my weight is unhealthy and that the more I do this, the better chances I have of doing something horrible to my body.
These are the days when I’m secretly buying binge food at the store and stuffing them into the back of my closet. Or bringing them with me on vacation and hiding them in between clothes in my suitcase. And the embarrassing moment when I realize the reason all my clothes small awful is because my binge foods have managed to emit a not so pleasant odor during the trip.
These are the days when I realize I don’t have to unbutton any of my pants or shorts in order to take them on or off, or the fact that none of my pants fit anymore, and none of my belts really do the job in holding them up.
These are the days when I realize the huge bruises on the back of my thighs are from the chair I sit in for a couple of hours a day on the computer. When I bruise from merely sitting on a chair, that’s probably a problem. Or when I start getting massive cramps in my toes again. Or when I have on and off again mild chest pain — regardless if it’s psychosomatic or not.
The Days When I Feel Like I Don’t Have a Problem
This is most days. I pass by the bathroom mirror, the living room mirror, the windows in stores, whatever reflective surface, and realize, “I’m not that skinny.” I think back to the women on the documentary “THIN,” and think, “You aren’t sick until you look like them.” My ribs don’t show unless I angle my body a certain way, and even though I can feel my sharp bones everywhere, they’re not sharp enough to protrude through my clothing.
These are the days when I can eat relatively normal without a problem. Or when I order a milkshake at a restaurant, or manage to eat an entire piece of mud pie probably consisting of 1000+ calories alone.
These are the days when my weight doesn’t go down, or I realize that it takes me forever to lose weight, or when my husband tells me he doesn’t feel like I’m too skinny. These are the days when I can see my thighs jiggle, or when I look at my lower back fat, or the fact that my arm wiggles back and forth when I shake it.
These are the days when I realize I still menstruate, have all my hair, get through the day without fainting, go to the doctor and get perfect health results, and am able to live quite normal despite being weak and miserable a lot of the time. These are the days when the thought of fasting for more than one day just seems completely impossible. These are the days when I feel weak in my eating disorder (if I even have one) and feel like I’m pretending.
The Battle in my Head
And the sad part of it all is when I have days when I feel like I’m sick, it’s a trophy. It’s glorification. It’s justification. It’s a pat on the back. It’s the devil on my shoulder saying, “You’re doing such a great job. This is proof you are better than others. This is proof you really do have a problem. This is proof you can lose weight.”
Yet, on the days where I don’t feel like I have a problem, those are the days I feel like I can keep going because I should. Because I need to. Because I need to prove a point. Because I need to be thinner.
And all the same — regardless if I’m sick or not, this is still affecting my life in a huge way. I may not be losing my job, or my relationship, or my home, or my family, or my health, but it sure does sound like I’m losing my sanity. And right now, that’s pretty much the only thing that keeps recovery in the back of my head.