I wish I were a lot happier about picking up my three-month chip. I mean, the novelty has kinda worn off because this will be my third or fourth green chip, but I guess it’s still kind of something to celebrate? I dunno…
I just kinda feel like I’m watching my mental health crumble around me, and I’m powerless to do anything about it. I know that’s not true. It’s like Professor Hensler used to say: I gotta be the “champion of my own destiny,” or whatever. But let me just say, anorexia fucking sucks. And people don’t seem to get that it doesn’t just go away. It’s not like having strep throat, or breaking your leg; it doesn’t get better all at once and never bother you again. Eating disorders are lifelong illnesses, and recovery is something you have to practice every day, or you WILL relapse.
I guess I just haven’t been practicing recovery hard enough. I’m a very all-or-nothing thinker. Basically I decided that the opposite of anorexia, with all its rules, restrictions, and bargaining, was to eat whatever I wanted. When I was underweight and needed to gain a good 20-30 lbs, that was fine. As long as I got some weight on, it didn’t matter if it was kale or unicorn frappuccinos fattening me up. But now, eight years into this anorexic adventure, and two years out of my last round of eating disorder inpatient treatment, I clock in at a whopping 170+ lbs (I’m only 5’6″!), I’m out of shape, and–let’s face it–I’m fat.
A lot of the weight is from Zyprexa, the fateful antipsychotic that in addition to being about as useful in treating my psychosis as water, caused me to put on 40 lbs in three months. I couldn’t stop thinking about food. Nothing filled me up, and all I wanted was carbs and sugar. I was going through a quart of ice cream every two days. My dumbass psychiatrist doesn’t know the first thing about eating disorders, so she prescribed an atypical AP for me, which, my therapist informed me, is given to starving anorexics to stimulate hunger and cause rapid weight gain. Just what I’ve always wanted :~)
Still, the Zyprexa weight was at least a year ago (possibly two years, I really can’t remember), so if I’d half a mind to lose it, I could’ve had it all off by now. But no, I sat on my ass, kept eating, drank more alcohol than was reasonable, and spent all my money on cigarettes and 500-calorie coffees.
I absolutely despise my body. That old anorexic anger has come back, and all of a sudden I’m screaming at my own reflection, calling myself a fat, ugly, failed anorexic, and a whore. As much as I hate exercise, I’ve been making some half-assed attempts at exercising. I tried to do 200 jumping jacks in one day, and sprained my ankle, rendering my leg useless for about a week. Nice! I went swimming yesterday, and only lasted about ten minutes in the water before I was dizzy and trembling and my lazy ass decided to get out, go inside, and look at thinspo on Pinterest. Awesome! I feel guilty for sitting still too long. But I HATE exercising.
Anorexia sucks all the joy out of life. I don’t get how it does that–I mean, it’s just food–but it’s also not. It’s this constant obsession with hating myself, anxiety about food… I dread every meal before I even know what it is. I log every single calorie that passes my lips, which I know isn’t healthy for pretty much anyone, but especially someone in recovery from anorexia. In just a few days, I’ve had a massive paradigm shift; I’ve gone from being optimistic and kinda-sort-accecpting myself to self-centered, faithless, negative, and just kind of unpleasant to be around. (I’m constantly going back and forth with myself in my journal about whether I’m actually unlikeable, or if the fact that I have no friends is unrelated to how likeable I am.) I haven’t lost any weight, haven’t had a screaming meltdown at the dinner table, haven’t actually purged, so I guess I can’t say I’m in relapse.
(Actually, I think I have lost a little weight because I’ve noticed I can’t feel the fat rolls on my sides when I walk anymore. Then again, I may have just gotten used to them.)
I shouldn’t want to be in relapse. And I don’t want all the miserable parts of anorexia. I just want to live out the fantasy of being thin. I want that bikini body that I’ll somehow magically love (despite having consistently loathed myself and my body regardless of my weight). I want men and women to want me, but I want to be sexless, free of the heavy desires that plague curvy women like me.