Thursday, September 30, 2010

Harbinger

I've been thinking about it. About what it is that turned me around to something that started out as a positive change in my life. A swooping down and tearing me away from my dysfunctional eating habits. For awhile I could put something in my mouth without thinking. I even forgot to count calories.

Now if I don't count the calories it's because I loathe everything I ate and know I won't like the number. But I know the number in the back of my head anyway.

I remember there was a day back at my lowest weight. For just a few fleeting seconds I saw how awful I looked. Sometimes, I come across a picture (I think something like five exist from that time because I was too fat to photograph at 105 pounds) and I can see it again.

The good thing about the whole experience and my fucked up body is that everyone always thinks I'm a smaller size or weight than I really am. Girls working in retail are absolutely useless because they always hand me a size that I know literally won't fit but they are convinced that it'll fit me perfect. I even had an argument with a friend who weighed more than me but we wore the same size trousers 8 UK, at the time. If I was actually 105, what must people have thought I weighed? How horrible would I have looked if I let myself get smaller.

I guess it's the reason why people get so annoyed with me about my weight whining now. I don't look fat. I'm not fat, I guess. They think I weigh far less than I do and can wear clothes that haven't fit in some time. Blessing and a curse?

But anyway, as usual that's not what this is about at all.

---

So I know that glimpse in the mirror got me started in a different direction. I promised TR that I would try and get healthy, and I mostly meant that. But I think the biggest factor in my short-lived-recovery was a friendship I made.

I think I've mentioned her before. We all got incredibly drunk when I first moved to England and she walked me home because she was British and could hold her liqueur while I was a belligerent American who had over indulged in cider and possibly that's all for the day. Most of the night is a blur except I clearly remember one question she asked me on our walk home. She asked if I had an eating disorder. Now that I think about it, I believe we were walking by the ED clinic that was about 5 minutes from my flat (how things seem to come together after the fact). Everything's fuzzy but I know she confided in me that she was a recovered anorexic.

Her friendship prevented me from truly allowing myself to fall back into my compulsive behaviors and neurotic thought processes that encouraged my previous self-destruction. It was for the sole reason that while I trusted her word that she felt recovered and sure of herself, I would not be the guide that led someone back into that life. I tried to recover to make sure she continued to remain healthy.

She's still very much part of my life but countless time zones and countries away. I can compulse without fear of triggering her former life. My impact on her disease has become minimal. What I chose to do to myself has become almost entirely my own again (I can't say I'm completely free as I always have TR and Paula Deen carefully monitoring my every whim).

All in all, it was wonderful to have someone to be fairly healthily disordered with. I loved telling her that I really felt guilty for eating whatever we were indulging in but because she was doing it too, it felt ok. Anyone else would cock their eyebrow at me and mutter something about co-dependency. But she and I could openly talk in pubs or on park benches about something that had previously been relegated to clandestine internet blogging, forum posts, or pen-pal letters.

I don't know what I'll do without her. From what I know, her disease progressed far worse than mine ever got, and I feel she's so much wiser and healthier than I. But maybe its because even as I recovered and forgot how to be disordered, I never really wanted to.

What is to come?

4 comments:

Lola-Rose said...

it is refreshing to be able to actually talk about the things that go through our minds, isn't it. i felt that when i saw you and anise.

i dont know what lies ahead hunni, but you can try and have a say in what does. it doesn't have to be disaster, it can sparkle, whatever sparkling means to you xxx

Skeleton Strong said...

If you didn't WANT to be recovered, then you weren't truly recovered. In order to WANT to be recovered, you need to talk to a professional, I believe. Someone who can hold you very accountable, but also dig into your mind and help you understand why you do this. That's tricky, of course, because many professionals who deal with eating disorders are absolute idiots.

But I think you need to figure out what you want. If you know you should be healthy (which we probably all know about ourselves, but ignore it), and have some desire to be that way, then you have to ask yourself some questions:

-Why does losing weight satisfy you?
-Could something else bring you this same satisfaction?
-Why did your friendship with the English girl help you? Is there anyone else in your life who could do the same? (Maybe you should find someone like her who is closer by; I bet they exist.)
-Are you a spiritual person? If so, how could this play a part?
-If you had a nutritionist who gave you a daily diet plan, would you find the whole food thing less stressful (or moreso)?
-Family life?

And so on. You have to dig into your mind, doing the things a therapist would do, in order to figure it all out.

Regardless, I hope you have a wonderful Thursday. :)

Lulu said...

i wrote a lond message then the captcha thing didnt work.

it went - PEN PAL PEN PAL why dont we do that,

i like having an understanding disordered real life friend blah blah

im glad you have a bit more perspective on where you look at 105,

i remember you not believeing the size 8 topshop jeans would fit

and i have the exact same problem with people handing me their size 8 clothing SURE it will fit but i know im wearing tens and they wont. FUCKERS.

not.quite.ana said...

hey i'm a new reader but i totally wish i had a friend like that... i would never want to let her go. it's hard keeping all my real thoughts about food and weight to myself because whenever i start to mention it, my best friends just make jokes that i'm "anorexic" or saying that i'm "weird". however i wish you luck in recovery and to try to stay in touch with her :)

 
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