Like the Sirens of ancient Greece, anorexia has been seductively calling out to me — "Come, follow me back into the abyss. Once again you can be the thinnest woman around; you can be in control, instead of the Fates controlling you!"
I look at each meal — and I typically eat the same types of food every day — and think about cutting this or that out. For example, at breakfast: Do I really need that banana? Won't the cereal alone do? Or maybe I should return to my favorite anorexic breakfast — yogurt and no more. (And don't lick the spoon!)
Lunch — That Miracle Whip is just too much fat; why not just the turkey and cheese on bread? Then — OMG — cheese! How could I have forgotten? Cheese is the enemy, damn it! FAT FAT FAT! And bread — remember what Dr. Atkins said about bread? The carb count is horrendous. Maybe just a few slices of turkey would suffice.
Then there's dinner. I argued with my husband, David, the other day that too much margarine in the vegetable and rice was bad for my complexion. Could he please limit his use of margarine to a few swipes on bread? (I surprised he doesn't just tell me to get my own damn meal!)
I wander around store to store, holding up the dainty size one clothing and marvel that I, of all people, used to fit into such a size. And then I miss it. I want to be the one wearing the size one, I want to be the one tugging up the size one jeans like I used to not so long ago (around this time last year.)
I think back to last year. I was an inpatient at Beaumont Hospital for two weeks, connected to what is affectionately known as 'fat in a bag.' This line to my heart basically fed me sugars, potassium, and yes, fats and lipids, to my starved little body. I dragged the pole around for ten days; it was really almost a badge of honor — I was so sick, so low weight that I needed nutritional support, for crying out loud.
But I also remember the hope that I felt. I wanted to get better, and I prayed I would be well enough to just take a long walk with David in the summer sun. We have taken many walks this summer, talking over plans and dreaming about the future when I enter that almost-mythical land of "recovery."
For I have not reached recovery yet, one year later. My doctor says that's normal, and that the Siren call of anorexia also is normal. "Look how far you've come," he says. "You have dragged yourself out of the hole."
Yes, I have. I just wish I wasn't still staring into the hole, the pit of anorexia, wanting to jump in every time stress gets to me and I feel like life is out of control and swirling about me, ready to attack me and trip me up. I wish I didn't still view anorexia as an option for my future.