Sunday, March 6, 2011

Upside Down And Backwards


If I give in, I'm a failure with my greedy wants and needs. I stand in the kitchen, open cupboards, examine the calorie contents of foods that I may allow myself, only to be riddled with guilt for even the thought of eating. Even the oatmeal and banana, which is what I have been subsisting on each day for weeks has become a source of anxiety. Do I really need it? I eat the banana because without the potassium, my hands, feet, and legs cramp up. The symptoms of the eating disorder are reminders that my body needs fuel, and yet I still deny myself. Right now I'm reading a book called "Gaining" The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders, by Aimee Liu, hoping to find some secret to recovery. I read about the turning points of other women with anorexia, but all that most of them say is that they had to reach a point where they were just so tired of the tyrannical voices in their heads. I get tired too, but when will I get too tired? I rarely challenge that voice, instead I agree, I collude, I believe...

"You never come back, not all the way. Always, there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. You never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backwards and sad. And so I went through the looking glass, stepped into the nether world, where up is down and food is greed, where convex mirrors cover the walls where death is honour and flesh is weak. It is ever so easy to go.
Harder to find your way back."
~ Marya Hornbacher

These words were written by someone recovered, and I think to myself, "Why...What is the point?" Recovery is elusive, and then once you get there, the voice still whispers, cajoles, and taunts. For reasons unknown, it is important to be thin, to take up as little space as possible, to fly under the radar so that people expect as little from you as possible, because then there is no chance that you will disappoint anyone. Needing food is failure, so I starve, and of course I have convinced myself that I don't matter anyway. I'm fragmented, broken, and unable to be repaired...undeserving of the care that I receive, and yet I ache with the desire to be loved. I get comments here that ask me how I can do this to the people that I love, once again proving that I'm selfish. I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to hurt. In the past few weeks the nightmares and flashbacks have subsided with a sweet relief. The eating disorder numbs everything, and I forget how to feel because all that I can focus on is my driven need to control my body. If there wasn't a pay off, I wouldn't be where I am right now. I'm caged inside of a self imposed prison where only I hold the key.


Ann said...

Do you need it? YES you do. Do you matter? YES you do.

Wanda's Wings said...

It takes so much courage to fight ED! You are worth it. Don't let the ED take away your banana and oatmeal. Low potassium is very dangerous to your heart as well as causing cramps to your legs. Take care of yourself because you are worth it.

Sia Jane said...

It might sound obvious, but the more you let yourself think those things, the more you will.
Sometimes we need to try to trust another voice; those of our loved ones, friends etc
Before we can ever actually trust our own.
Ultimately, this isn't about "voices"
I didn't recover because I was tired of the voice of the anorexia.
I recovered because I was tired of seeing my loved ones break each time I said no to something, or lost another pound, or disappeared to the toilet after eating...
I got better because even if I didn't think I deserved it, I thought that I could at least try for the sake of others.
It is interesting how two people can read the same part of a book and take it in two different ways, depending on where you are at ED wise.
You can fight.
You can do this.
What I will say Angela is that you are deteriorating rapidly.
And perhaps you will hate me for saying this, but maybe you need to think about what this is doing to those that love you.
Because you are loved.
As hard as that is to hear and accept, you ARE loved and you DO deserve more.
Get more help, do something, because this is only going one way.
And it ain't going to be pretty for ANYONE.


Anonymous said...

Again, I agree with Sia Jane. This is a no-win destructive cycle you are on. You need to break out of "me, me, me, me" and start thinking of those around you. The best way to break out of a depression, is to help others less fortunate than yourself. So perhaps the best way for you to break out of this negative spiraling is to finally think of others. ED is such a selfish and self-absorbed disease and you will never get better until you start giving of yourself to other people. At the end of your life, God isn't going to ask you what you did for yourself, he is going to ask you what you did for others. How much time have you spent worrying about yourself and what this is doing to you and holding onto your past. Start worrying about other people and give of yourself to those who need you...your CHILDREN,your CHILDREN, your CHILDREN!

Mizé said...

From what I´ve read from matter! and to a lot of people.
Your "inner voices" will always remain...this inner dialogue is the key to it all.
As you said, and very well, only you hold the key. But once these negative thoughts are only driving you away from finding the key...why not question them?
No one holds all the reason...not even your inner ED voices. Keep up the dialogue but stand on your side..the good one.
Take care. Mizé.

Francis Hunt said...

"You never come back, not all the way ..."

Of course you don't, Angela, you go on.

I was thinking recently, in another context, that a major aspect of many mental disorders is the fear, or inability to move on. As a result we remain where we are, revolving around ourselves in ever-decreasing circles. You can't go back anyway, for what has happened has happened and is past. But when we take a step forwards we re-engage with the world, with others, with all the possibilities the future offers us, every moment.

As they say, "Wake up and smell the coffee!" Because the coffee is there, and it's fresh, and smells wonderful. You don't even have to drink it ... just becoming aware of the smell is the first step! And it doesn't threaten us; it's just there - an offer.

And spring is right around the corner too ... :-)