|Liz's Story||Anorexia Nervosa||Massachussettes|
I'm "better." I'm not anorexic anymore. I've read a lot about getting sick and being sick. What no one told me was how I would feel now. My weight's OK, I eat plenty, I supposedly don't have any more issues that need to be worked out in therapy. So why do I still feel awful? Why do I still feel so guilty that I'm better, and jealous of the people that aren't? Why does so much of me want to be sick and miserable, and to go back to where I've been, to where I almost died?
No one told me that once the anorexia came into my life it would be so hard to let it go. I meet other people who have been able to let it go, and I don't understand. in my heart, a lot of my identity is still tied up with the eating disorder. And since that's not really there or visible, I must be invisible. I figured once I got over feeling guilty for eating, that would be it. No one told me that I would then feel so guilty for not feeling guilty. No one told me that I would binge and eat like crazy to make up for all the times I starved myself. No one told me how little support there is for people who are "recovered". I can't decide if I believe that I will ever be able to say that word in the context of my life without putting it in quotes. I think maybe I could, but that scares me more than anything.
I'm not advocating being sick, that was much worse. But I think that's why people don't talk about this point where I am right now. If we're going to ask people to go through this, we need to be honest about it, and give people a chance to talk about it. I feel guilty for talking to anyone about this, my friends, my family, my therapist. I'm not "really sick" so I don't deserve their time or attention. of course, that's the anorexia talking again.
Will I ever get rid of the calorie counter and restrictive rules in my head? Do I want to? What would I do without them? It's almost harder now because they're not as strict, sometimes I don't care, and then I eat and eat, and then I gain weight, and then I get angry at myself, but am no longer able to starve myself. I feel as though I've become weak and spineless because the rational part of my mind is now stronger than the eating disorder.
And when will I be able to look at things like your web site without ending practically in tears, and without being relieved every time I read someone's story and find out that I weighed less than they did at their worst? When will I stop needing that validation that I was really sick and that I really "deserve" to say that I was anorexic? And when will that cease to be a label I want so badly?
I don't have an end to my story. All I have is a point where I run out of words and time, temporarily.
*Anyway, I enjoyed your presentation tonight, thank you for coming and sharing your work with us. Good luck! *Liz