I’ve been a mess lately as far as my eating disorder goes.
Half of me wants to get better, wants patience in my pursuit of a healthy body image, and can celebrate with cake on her birthday. She can shrug off the days when monthly bloat causes her skinny jeans to be a bit snug. She doesn’t get hung up on wanting to look like other girls. And she would never, ever try throwing up or skipping a meal. For her, eating is a pleasure of life and shouldn’t be wasted. She doesn’t falter in finding something she loves about herself. She doesn’t get caught up in how the media wants her to look. She’s her own beautiful. She can look at the past with everything that’s hurt her, forgive others and herself for mistakes and move on with life. She finds peace in letting go of perfection. She doesn’t believe in counting every calorie, every gram of sugar and fat, and the weight of what she’s eating. She resolves to make the relationship with her father a better one. She can find peace in having her ex-husband date again and be happy once again. She can let things go. The only thing she’s obsessed with is living a very full and rich life, no matter her jean size.
The other side has started taking laxatives a few days a week, even if I’m only a day irregular. My mind races at the thought of how much I’d “really” weigh if I was able to go before I weighed in. This side frets about that extra .2 on the scale, to the point of nervous sweats, even if I ate “perfectly” the day prior. She makes me feel guilt of eating any carbs at all and would prefer me to swear them off forever. She makes intense restriction and intense exercise on the same day a perfectly normal thing. Her Goal Weight is the most important achievement to-be in her life; it’s the only thing that fuels her to get out of bed in the morning. She is militant, persuasive, cunning, manipulative, self-consumed, and punishing. She doesn’t want me to find happiness with who I am, to find recovery, to pull myself out of this viscous cycle. Recovery is a joke to her. She’s all or nothing. She can’t have Just One. She berates herself endlessly. She wants that Goal Weight above all, and the thought of organ damage/losing relationships/a pitiful life doesn’t scare her.
The women’s group I’m attending it helping, but at the same time it is hurting. I’m more surrounded by the lure of restricting (with the cautionary tale of dangers), purging, and binging. I love having another outlet for sharing my struggles, I do. I love having new friends and acquaintances that I’d be too scared to make on my own, anyway. What it all comes back to is an immense and silent competition in the group. We put on these facades of wanting to help each other, but I get the feeling, more often than not, that we’re all emotionally still in high school, wanting to be the Thinnest of them All. As if being a goal weight will solve our Daddy Issues, will solve our relationship problems, will entice that guy to call you, will make our parents get back together. We sure love to believe these lies. The purpose of the group is for support, but I can’t help feeling if we like to see who’s really having it “worse.” We want to be deserving of our eating disorders, in all their many faces and traits. We want to prove that we need treatment.