21 March 2009

The truth about anorexia

Nobody tells the truth about anorexia. I mean, about recovering from it. They don't tell you that you have to stuff yourself each day, the equivalent of three small extra meals, to gain one freaking pound. They don't describe how painful it is to shovel that food in, how your stomach feels distended and how after dinner is your favorite time of the day because you won't have to eat again until morning. They write about rich girls with anorexia, ones who go off to treatment centers and then come out all better, wearing new clothes to fit their new bodies and seemingly having no issue with the extra 10, 20 or whatever pounds that they now carry.

They don't show how lonely it is to sit in your house, eat that breakfast, drink that Ensure, eat that lunch - it feels like you never, ever stop eating. Then you try to find something to wear, feeling uncomfortable in your alien body. Your anorexic jeans are way too tight, so you dig around trying to find something that fits - they don't tell you leggings are a great idea, and you're going to want to wear them ALL THE TIME. But sometimes, real clothes are a must. Then you must dig for some jeans that you saved that can fit your alien body, and a decent shirt that doesn't smother you.

They never tell you will begin to hate the sight of food, every bite of it, because you are so sick of eating it. They never tell you recovery will feel like forever, like the rest of your life.

All they show in the movies, magazines (oh, Mary Kate Olson, how you must have suffered!) and books is the triumphant end, the final light at the end of the tunnel, the young woman enjoying an ice cream cone or some other treat; easily, instantly cured. They don't show you the deep scars of recovery, either inside your soul or on your drained face, that won't ever leave you.

They don't tell you that the light might just be a train waiting to ram right into you, derailing you off that recovery track.

But really, what they don't know is that you will flatten yourself against the train tunnel, because you are NEVER going back again. Because you've already learned that one recovery is enough, thank you very much.

No comments: