When I was anorexic, I hated getting undressed for any reason because I had so little body fat I shivered when it was below eighty degrees. If she does go at you like the whore of Babylon, it’s probably to burn calories. In order to do so, you have to have a tight set of rules.
Someone who ate six hundred calories all day before going out gets wasted on one cocktail. I understood all those things intellectually the way a drug addict understands intellectually that drugs are bad for you. So yeah, I sometimes found myself wanting to punch my boyfriend for insisting I taste-test his homemade spaghetti sauce with a piece of bread five times over the course of the afternoon, thereby wasting all my dinner calories before dinner ever started. And — she’s fucking cold, you moron, she doesn’t have any body fat. It’s kind of hard to override your body’s survival instincts.
From my experience, something good comes from all destructive things. Recovery involves battling with your own mind every single day — facing your most terrifying nightmare on a regular basis.
I have met some of the most beautiful people in my recovery from anorexia. I don’t think there is anything braver than embarking on a journey you cannot rest from, even when you are so scared and so exhausted.
Patience with yourself as you try to comprehend why your thoughts are telling you to starve, that you are worthless and that no one could possible tolerate you, let alone love you.
Patience when you take a few steps backward even though you want to go forward. People recovering from an eating disorder or other mental illness know what it feels like to be hurting on the inside, but hiding behind a smile on the outside.
Patience in accepting where you are, and patience to get to where you want to be. They know what it feels like when the whole world is crashing down on you, and to feel broken at rock-bottom. People in recovery know what it is to be terrifyingly lonely, even if you are surrounded by friendly faces — it’s part of being unwell. But those who are recovering from an eating disorder do. They consume your feelings about yourself, your value, your worth. They then consume your friends and family, leading you to believe you deserve this isolation. Eating disorders destroy a person’s whole existence. Each day isn’t something you just have to get through, but something you decided you want, and fought so hard to have.
Patience with your friends and family when they unintentionally say things that hurt you as they try to help you. Sometimes we can be too wrapped up in life to notice that other people are suffering. Eating disorders, like other mental illnesses, tell you that everyone hates you. So recovery involves breaking down these false beliefs and recognizing that you are worth so much to your friends and family. Going into life with this mindset, you cannot fail to appreciate how pretty a pink and orange sky looks, or how fun it is to mess around with your friends, or how good a cup of tea is, or how fuzzy a hug from someone you love feels, or how refreshing raindrops feel on your face, or how electric it feels when you make someone else smile. In the words of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, beautiful people do not just happen. Yes, I was an extremely cheap date — for dinner in high school, of course, but also for drinks in college. I also understood intellectually how rude it was to not eat much when the cook had spent the entire day in the kitchen hand-rolling won tons. Two things: your ED sweetheart thinks she’s ugly and fat, therefore she doesn’t want you to see her body. In order to starve yourself, you are not actually vulnerable and weak, you’re actually pretty fucking structured and strong-willed. There’s some stuff I want to tell people who are dating girls with eating disorders that might be really hard to read. I understood intellectually how nice it was they wanted to include me in their family meals. She may be wildcat in the sack, but she may also hate you for making her get naked while she’s doing it.Or what it feels like to be trapped in your own head and tortured by your own thoughts.Or what it is like to have a mind so cloudy that you are unable to construct a sentence or concentrate long enough to hold a conversation.Or what it feels like to have a feeding tube inserted through your nose and down your throat. Or what it is like to have someone else decide when you can see your own family.