Looking down at my arms, I feel the pain all over again, but this time
the pain hurts mentally. I can't believe that I could have done this to myself,
but I guess it had been a very trying time for me. After suffering with the
disease they call anorexia nervosa for so many months, months that turned
into years, I had finally begun to get back on track, or so they thought.
Physically, I looked like a million dollars. I had finally put on enough weight to
be healthy. My clothes fit perfectly and everything was looking up. But inside,
something was not right. It was hard for me to accept all of the pounds coming
back on and my emotions were in uproar. No one could know exactly what was
going on in my head or else they might try to send me back to the doctor that I
so dreaded seeing every week at the peak of my illness. So I kept it all inside,
pretending that everything was great. That is when marks ranging from little
scrapes to deep gashes began appearing on my arms and on my legs,
anywhere that I could reach with sharp scissors or a knife. And being right-
handed, all of those marks were, of course, on the left side of my body where I
could easily reach. And no one noticed!! I can't understand it now, but
somehow just seeing the blood and feeling the pain helped me to forget about
what was hurting me so much mentally. All the while that I was sick with
anorexia, I kept hearing the religious family members telling me how it was
against God's plan for me to be hurting myself in such a way. God would never
want me starving myself because my body ultimately belonged to him, not me.
Since I always felt close to the Lord, those comments helped me get back on
track, but when I started physically marring myself, it was not in God's favor
either but it seemed to be the easiest way to deal with what was going on
in my head. I never thought of hurting myself more than I did and I definitely did
not think of suicide but it does not make what I did any less unstable mentally.
Now I see the little scars, some of which may be there for life just because of
their deep beginnings. They are an unpleasant reminders of a time when I was very unhappy with myself. They are ugly reminders of how I
should count my blessings now, and be thankful that I was able to survive, both the anorexia and what issues that followed.
Lisa from Ohio, a former anorexic who will always have an eating disorder.