I was IM-ing a friend the other day. Her sister is anorexic and has been for a long time. My friend asked me if I had any advice that she could share with her sister.
Here’s what I said:
Ummm…I might not be the best person to give advice. I am not listening to any that I am getting. I will tell you that an eating disorder is almost like an addiction, only more insidious in some ways. But basically, you know you are hurting yourself but can’t stop. I can cut calories and cut calories (I am at 400 calories a day now) and suffer physically/cognitively but I cannot make myself eat more. Like, even the prospect of having to go to a tx [treatment] facility and uprooting myself and disrupting my life and family is not enough to make my brain allow me to eat. I have enough awareness to know that I am fucking myself over, but no ability to stop it.
And there it is in a nutshell, folks…That is an eating disorder.
And you know what? I can have that much insight and yet, I am still fucking myself over. I am sooo stressed/anxious right now it’s not even funny. I laid in bed for a long time this morning, drawing in my head (yup…kind of Art Therapy but without the AT, paper or media.) I was using crayons and watercolor for crayon resist and some black and red temperas. The picture I was drawing was….Intense. And then my thoughts switched to cutting to stop the emotions and then my thoughts switched to how I could shave off even more calories. And I came up with an “easy” way to restrict further. (All I would have to do is cut out my afternoon snack…If I eat lunch late enough, then I won’t need a snack…not that I need one anyway.) This does kind of fly in the face of me telling the AT yesterday that I didn’t think I could cut anymore calories (because I don’t know if my body can take it) but maybe I can.
And then I got out of bed and peed and weighed myself. Since last Thursday, I have lost six pounds. Yup, six. So, cutting calories is clearly working.
Can you hear the eating disorder screaming at me today? It’s going to be a tough day…maybe a tough couple of days, I can tell already. Sometimes, it just seems like it would be easier to let the eating disorder win.