My dearest Kiki, who has precious little time left at 12 years old and battling lymphoma - though she doesn't seem to notice most of the time. *grins*
I was reminded on the 3rd, the day this was written, just how easy it is to slip back into an eating disorder without really realizing it, how seductive it is - and how insidious, no matter how on-guard you are from it.
Today, I felt strong, invincible, like I didn't need anything. All of you recovering and suffering anorectics will recognize this feeling, the feeling of being invulnerable because you do not need what "normal" people need.
I felt that today, and I almost gave into it. I almost didn't eat that apple I had gone downstairs for. Why? Because my family was having pizza. And something about the smell of that just triggered this feeling of "superwomanning" for some reason - I'm not quite sure why. I think it must be because my family ate pizza and cheese a lot when I was actively eating disordered and I just felt... like I wasn't like them. I didn't feel superior. It's not like that. But I did feel amazing, like...
Like you don't need anything.
That's a false feeling, right there. No one's invulnerable and there isn't anybody who needs nothing at all. (Geez, how many negatives is that in a sentence? I feel like I need to apologize to Mrs. Bauer, my second grade teacher, now.) No one is really like that; it's an illusion. I used to dream a lot - about how one day I'd be perfect and to me, perfect meant that I didn't need anything or anyone. Not food. Not appreciation. Not love.
All of you that are reading this in a clear state of mind can see immediately how fucked up that is.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. What had triggered my eating disorder, the cycle of full-blown fasting/severe restriction of calories, was a bad breakup. Not as bad as some; I'm still alive, after all. But it was... bad. Don't let anyone ever tell you that lesbians have an easier time of it, especially when one of them still buys into Patriarchal religion and the Patriarchal belief systems. So not needing love? That sounded right up my alley at the time, spending most of my time crying hysterically and all.
Honestly, I'm amazed I got out of that without attempting suicide for a third time. (Who knew that two bottles of Excedrin PM would attract attention before it killed me?) Anyways.
Yeah, so I felt that. I felt that taste of what it's like to starve yourself so badly that you lose grip of reality; I guess I hadn't eaten that much today, mostly because of nausea from what I assume to be either withdrawal (I was on a binge/purge cycle for the past two days, more on that later) or menstrual cramps.
I hesitated, just for a moment, with my hand on the refrigerator door.
And very slowly, I opened it and took that apple. I almost put it back, so tempted was I by the idea that I could have that feeling again. Those of you who have never been that close to the face of Anorexia will never understand just how powerful you feel when you're starving yourself. You feel like Superwoman.
I took a bite of the apple, and it went away without residual guilt or shame - a sign that I'm on the right track. If I can resist that feeling and eat without feeling unworthy, then it's a sure thing that whatever I'm doing, it's working.
But I just want you all to remember, all of you that are struggling out there. You can resist. You can, with help, make yourself better, even if you feel so very lost now. Because I know; the longer you do it, the more you hate yourself, and the more you feel like getting "better" just means getting thinner. It doesn't. It means, very much instead, happiness.