Thursday, January 24, 2008

i make you believe.

having an eating disorder comes with some incredible talents. part of being sick is being proud of these talents that are really nothing to brag about. it's an amazing thing to watch your blood pressure drop, to have a successful 48 hour water fast, and (of course) to get away with it all.
the lies are what keep the disorder alive. if we're caught, it's over...at least until we get back on track. there's practically a handbook of answers for any question that gets thrown our way, and we're required to memorize them if we want to hang on. we lie to our parents about having plans to eat out with friends; we lie to our friends about already having eaten at home. we avoid eye-contact while we convince our doctors we've eaten 100% of our meal plans and stayed consistent with meds. we've mastered water-loading so the number they see on the scale is higher than our true nose-diving weight. and each time you're fooled, we come a little closer to winning.

it's a sick and twisted routine that we can't help. the eating disorder has a voice screaming at us 24/7 and we have no choice but to obey. it's loud and it owns us. you don't hear ED patients often talk about this voice because people don't understand. we don't want to be confused with schizophrenics. it's different, but it's hard to have "outsiders" understand what it sounds like, and it's hard for us to know we shouldn't acknowledge it because the voice sounds immensely like our own.
then, one day in treatment, after days of fighting and crying during meals, there's another voice. "shut the hell up. i have to eat this meal." and you do. and that ED voice hisses louder, but every time you tell it to fuck off, it's forced to loosen it's grip a tiny bit more. over time, that healthy voice becomes the dominant voice and eventually, there's that light at the end of the tunnel. the voice from hell is dying and that, my disordered friends, is the real win.
now, for those of you that have been blessed with "normal" eating habits, this is an extremely brief and rapid version of this process. the biggest part i have left out of the process was learning that that voice isn't ours and that it's lying to us. just because cream in our 10am coffee adds another 55 calories does not mean we'll suddenly put on another 10 lbs and we probably shouldn't eat again until our morning coffee tomorrow. that not only takes a long time to learn, but it takes a long time to want to learn. we control this. that's what it's all about.

the tie in here is that i no longer hear that voice. that voice officially died about a month and a half ago - maybe a little further back. but it was in my head and it made me lie for my life to everyone that meant anything to me. so how do people know it's gone, especially when they didn't know it was there to begin with? how do people know they can trust me again? how does a pathological liar prove that they're done lying? especially when my body's giving me such a hassle with weight-gain.
the intelligent doctors know that maintenance weight doesn't mean the eating disorder's gone, but it's also said that "body image is the last to go." clearly, it's not the same for everyone, just like eating disorders effect everyone in different ways. i have no body image problems, i am doing just fine dealing with my mentality without restriction, but my body's so used to being emaciated that it wants to get down there. and i keep fighting and stuffing...and my doctors keep wondering what's wrong. i feel like they're not completely understanding how detached from AN i really am, despite the fact that i am, by dictionary definition, still anorectic. i just need to push past that 85% mark.

all i can tell them (and everyone) is that i'm done lying. it creates toxicity that i've padded my life with for far too long. it's not saving me from anything. it's not worth losing trust over and i'm tired of being babysat because my staff can't trust anyone with an eating disorder.

1 comment:

Labyrinith said...

So true, so true my friend and so inspiring. I will continue to read and re-read this post when I want to tell Ed to shut the fuck up or lie to myself or others about any and all you have written. My body is too playing tricks on me right now. Just got back from the doctors and she truly doesn't believe me that I did my mp this week-or as much as I said because K's body is doing what Em's is...so, time to put on the boxing gloves and kick this shit in the ass. There is so much more to life. At such a young age you are so fucking wise! I love that I have met you and I am so sorry if I ever doubted you (which I didn't, it was Ed I was worried about). xoxooxxooxxoxo