28 January 2010


I am powerless against anorexia.

It is very scary to admit that I am powerless. It makes me vulnerable. It makes me cry. But it also is the first step toward true recovery.

Ana is a formidable foe. So many times she has taken over me, entering my heart and soul like a poltergeist from hell.

There was Christmas 2007. A dinner with friends turned into an exercise in self-flagellation. The four of us sat down, the side table filled with roast chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, salad and bread. The pumpkin pie was baking in the oven, the rich smell that achingly reminds me of fall drifting through our small home.

It still felt like home then.

I tried to relax. I paced around, nibbled a few cashews, smiled brightly and tried to get Ana to shut up. We sat at the table, the blessing was said (inviting God to our circle - oh, why didn't He protect me?) and the food was passed around. My hands shook slightly as I scooped out the potatoes, Ana insisting that one spoonful was enough, two spoonfuls STOP STOP STOP, YOU PIG! I carefully cut off a small slice of chicken, avoiding the skin (it was so crispy; it glistened in the soft light) and added a small serving of green beans to my plate.

Small. Ana has made my world small.

David was so proud of this dinner he cooked, and so happy to have people over. I was finally becoming well after several years of illness; the migraines had retreated and I could think again, be around people. I could read and laugh and be filled with the simple joy of having friends over.

But Ana had already moved in and it was too late.

My anxiety cranked up when it came time for pumpkin pie and I declined, saying I didn't really care for it. Since when didn't I care for pumpkin pie? Since Ana said I didn't, that's when. That's the first night I used laxatives to purge food out of my system, but it wouldn't be the last.

I am powerless against anorexia.

Ana has ruined so many moments. She pretty much destroyed 2008. No food could be enjoyed, it was all the enemy. But perhaps the worst thing she did was destroy my mission trip to Haiti.

I had always dreamed of going on a mission trip. I wanted to help others; I felt it in my heart. I was thrilled when I given the opportunity to go to Haiti on a medical mission, and was also able to send back articles.

But I was so weak on that trip, physically and mentally. It was so hard to see the poverty all around me, and yet hear how grateful the Haitians were to God for life and love and family. The darkness of Ana was deep in my soul, and I could only bear it by abusing tranquilizers and painkillers, numbing myself to the real life in all its variety, pain and joy that surrounded me.

I wanted to be free. I wanted to hold each child, play games with them and run with them. I watched the other missionaries scoop up the children, swing them around and nuzzle their necks, and I felt such an ache in me nothing, no drug or prayer, could dull it.

I tried. I loved the people, they were so warm and welcoming. I would sit with children, my lips touching the tops of their heads, and silently pray for their safety and well being. I went up to the nursery, to hold the babies in my arms and smell their little baby smells.

But I couldn't hold them for long periods because I was physically weak. I couldn't rock a baby to sleep nor play a game of tag with a group of toddlers. Maybe it was okay, because sometimes they came to me and stroked my arms, braided my hair and whispered in a mixture of Creole and English.

The team went up to the mountains for a one-day clinic at a home for people with developmental disabilities. I feel in love with this one girl; her bright eyes and bright smile, her personality shining through in spite of the fact she couldn't speak. I think she liked me, too, as I placed my arm around her and gave her shoulders a squeeze. I hope she remembers the love I felt and not the skeletal arm that was holding her.

I am powerless against anorexia.

My 43rd birthday was spent with my husband, my parents and Ana. My parents wanted to take me out to eat; already, they were beginning to suspect something, although I tried hard to hide it. We went to a nice restaurant, and my father encouraged me to order whatever I wanted. I order shrimp, stripped dry of any flavor and plain rice with no butter added. I'm sure the chef was insulted, and I am sorry for that.

Anorexia has ruined holidays and birthdays and everyday dinners. It has kept me from being a real wife to my husband and a real friend to those I love. I go to bed with Ana and I wake up with Ana, and sometimes she haunts my dreams.

I am powerless against anorexia for so many reasons. The seductive voice of Ana is so strong now, I can barely hear myself think. I wake up in fear and then must keep myself busy for hours and hours to try and outrun the thoughts. Ana has really stepped up her presence in the past month, perhaps jealous of this summer and fall when she was just so much radio static.

Ana has me trolling and joining and posting on pro-ana sites under a pseudonym — I take full responsibility for my actions; Ana is just my way of naming the enemy within.

This is what I wrote (since deleted): "I love the feeling of my hips bones as I lay in bed at night.
I love the look of my collar bones gracing my chest.
I love feeling empty and watch other people eat, knowing I don't need to.
The empty feeling is just so seductive.
And when each pound drops ... I feel more in control."


The emptiness and sadness contained within those sites is almost unbearable. These women insist they want to be thin, that this is their choice and they have the right to make that choice. But then they expose the underbelly of their feelings. One wrote that she was "ana because it is a slow form of suicide." I can relate to that.

She went on to say how very worthless she was and that everyone would be better without her. This does not sound like a choice to me. It sounds like someone being hounded by Ana (or whatever eating disorder she suffers from.)

This is not a choice. It is evil.

My first act toward recovery will have to be destroying my Ana doppelganger. It will hurt like hell; she's all over the Internet now, Tweeting and making friends on Facebook and even starting a blog (still empty of posts.)

The pro-ana blog is what really made me realize how very powerless I am against Ana. Because I will never write another word before I write anything else that encourages anorexia or any other eating disorder as a lifestyle 'choice.'

The last thing I would have chosen to be in my life is this demon from hell.

I may be powerless against anorexia. But that doesn't mean I don't have weapons, too. It just will take all my strength to fight such an evil opponent.

"Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo . . ."


24 January 2010

How Ana moved in

Ana moved in like a search and destroy mission. She saw the vulnerable spots — my fear of regaining weight after I lost 20 pounds due to illness, my insecurities in my writing, my belief that I wasn't good enough for my husband — and slowly moved in for the kill.

Ana started by being helpful. It was during the holiday season of 2007. An unrelated illness left me at about 105 pounds — scared of being that thin, but secretly enjoying the lower weight and smaller clothes size. She pointed out that nuts, such as cashews and peanuts — favorites of mine — were loaded with fat.

But, I argued, aren't nuts good for you? Only if you want to be fat, she admonished me. So I believed her. I tossed the rest of the Christmas nuts in the trash, not even thinking my husband might want them. (Ana can make me very selfish.)

Ana next pointed out how many calories were in my favorite Christmas foods. Foods like warm mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. I felt very uneasy after a dinner with those foods, plus a nibble or two of nuts.

But Ana had a great suggestion. Get the foods out of your body. But how? (She knew I can't stand to throw up.) She had the answer — laxatives. So I grabbed a box, swallowed about six and by the next morning, Christmas dinner was no longer a problem.

I was under one hundred pounds by January 2008. Ana had control.

Every bit of food was suspect. Did I really need that yogurt? Couldn't I do without that piece of cheese? How could I even consider adding cream and sugar to my coffee? Didn't I know black was the only way I was allowed to drink it? Two slices of bread weren't necessary for a sandwich; in fact, forget the damn sandwich and just eat the meat. Okay, eat two slices if you're that much of a pig. But don't forget to tell David — NO BUTTER in the rice. How could he even think you would want it any way but PLAIN PLAIN PLAIN???

Then came the scale. I must weigh myself EVERY DAY. Get on the damn scale, and get on it with as few clothes on as possible. Ana didn't care if I felt like crap or was too cold to stand there and scrutinize the numbers as the little needle swung back and forth or I was running late for work.

How the day went depended upon the scale. It was a good day if the number was less than the day before. It was a bad day if the number was higher than the day before. And a bad day meant less food and more self-hatred.

I flew to Haiti in June 2008, part of a medical mission trip in spite of the fact my doctor said this wasn't such a hot idea. I deliberately lied and said I was a vegetarian. It wasn't out of any strong feelings about eating meat and the sanctity of animal life. It was so I could get less food at the guest house.

Ana went with me, of course. Since I joined the group late, I sat separate from the rest on the flights to and from Haiti. I secretly was glad of this, since I planned on ditching as much food as I could get away with.

On the flight out of Detroit to Miami, I was seated next to an Haitian gentleman who worked in the States and was on his way home for a visit. I think he thought he hit pay dirt sitting next to me, as I began to give him most of the contents of my inflight snack pack, including two round balls of chocolate filled with hazelnuts.

I was determined to show I was just as strong as anyone, to offset all the comments I had heard for months about my weight. I was going to carry my own luggage and help load the 50-pound bags of supplies. I couldn't lift one, and a kind doctor just glanced at me and, reaching out his hand, took the handle and lifted it.

I wish Ana would have stayed behind in the States, because she made the trip almost unbearable. My anxiety about food drove me not only to give away most of my food (I never threw food away while I was in Haiti. I told Ana that was an evil thing to do in a land of the starving) but caused me to step up my intake of Xanax and painkillers.

Lucky for me, conservation of food was a big part of the mission. Our daily sandwiches contained only a scrapping of peanut butter and my translator was more than happy to take half of mine. I was mostly able to avoid the two cookies that went with lunch, and avoided extra calories by only drinking half of my Coke at lunch. Dinner was without guilt — whatever I left on my plate was just saved for the next meal.

I returned from Haiti, with vague remembrances of little girls stroking my arms and saying in soft Creole voices, "Too thin, too thin."

As the months and days went by, I started keeping track of every bite of food and its calorie count. I once went into hysterics because I accidently put flavored cream instead of plain in my coffee and I couldn't find the calorie count anywhere.

(No matter what Ana said, I could rarely drink my coffee black. So I just cut back on coffee. Ana also said no real pop, but diet pop gives me migraines. I occasionally broke and had a real pop. I paid for those indulgences.)

From August 13, 2008: Breakfast — Coffee, banana, yogurt. Snack — 100-calorie Coke. Lunch — Kashi cereal bar, one slice of pita bread. Dinner — rice.

I met with my therapist for the first time on August 14, 2008. Dr. Sackeyfio took one look at me and said, "You're dying." Of course, Ana whispered, "No." I told her to shut up, that I believed him. But I really believe I was just so tired of it all.

Perhaps Ana knew she met her match; the restricting and self-hatred stepped up.

From August 15, 2008: "I am denying hunger. I don't want this to be forever. It has to stop, I want to be normal again. ...I feel so ugly right now, but more sadly, I feel lost and scared."

I entered Beaumont Hospital on August 22, 2008 for a planned, two-week inpatient stay. I was (temporarily) freed from the tyranny of the scale.

From August 22, 2008: Weight — Not allowed to know.

The battle against Ana had begun.

23 January 2010

Fighting the monster within

I woke up this morning realizing I don't want to feel this way anymore.

I don't want to feel achy and tired and hopeless.

I don't want to hurt inside and out.

I don't want to feel my guts wrenching, contracting, begging for nourishment.

I want to feel whole again.

I want to eat.

And I want anorexia to go away. Forever.

This monster came to stay years ago, taking resident in my heart and soul. She has been the third partner in my marriage, the one who says no to food and fun and life.

This monster tells me don't eat, you don't deserve to eat.

She has overcrowded my brain this past week or so, not just moving in, but taking over.

I want her GONE.

I don't want to look in the mirror and see the glazed eyes of a half-dead person, one without hope or strength.

But how do I kill something so strong, so powerful?

I realize I can't do this alone, and every kind word someone writes is another weapon against this monster. Thank you.

(Postscript - I ate several bites of Special K with strawberries this morning. As I bit into it, the milky mixture of strawberries reminded me of summer and sunshine and hope. I cried as I ate it.)

22 January 2010

I am barely breathing . . .

I am barely breathing . . .

I stare at the Christmas tree lights, the purples and blues and greens and reds all blending together through my watery tears. I asked David to leave the decorations up, in hopes of remembering happier times, when I was less afraid and more optimistic. When the future seemed more certain.

I am still afraid of food. No, scratch that. I am terrified of food.

I am alone and cold and enclosed in the box of ana, trapped by my uselessness and fears and past.

I lay back in my husband's arm's and feel as if I'm stone.

Food does not interest me. I eat a grain or two or rice and wish I could give it to someone more deserving. I  taste the yogurt on my tongue, and it is bittersweet.

I am sinking fast.

Dr. Sackeyfio expressed much concern today and I felt maybe, maybe help has arrived. I told him I don't deserve to eat. He told me that as a child of God that I do and deserve to live. But anorexia doesn't agree. And she is louder right now.

He suggested the hospital, but first wants David to take over my eating. He said an infection has again invaded our house, and asked David to help nurse me back to health. He said I am not thinking clearly, that my brain is starving.

He said I am worse than I was two years ago. I found that strange, because I still weigh more than I did then. I am less than 10 pounds from two years ago. 110 has become 108 has become 106 has become 104 . . .

It's because of Ana. The creation of Ana and joining pro-ana websites, looking for tips and inspiration, looking for confirmation of my belief — that I don't deserve to eat. I despise myself for being part of something I think is evil.

So I run through the Internet, and the rope of recovery is beginning to feel like the Holy Grail. The lights are still shining, but I can't see the colors clearly. Everything is a blur. Am I looking for a rope of recovery or one for a different purpose?

I'm starting to feel the effects. Yesterday everything went black three, four times. I hoped it was the end. Jesus, please release me from Ana. But I woke up and the horror was still there.

I think of food constantly.

I dreamt that I was a prostitute. A prostitute for food. I could only eat after ... I couldn't, so no food.

I wanted to fast for Haiti, but realized it was an useless sacrifice if I am already starving.

I feel surrounded by ice, encased in the horrors of the past and the fears of the future. I can't reach the rope to climb out when I need an ax to cut myself out.

Dr. Sackeyfio said food has become the enemy again. And I need to eat to think clearly. I know this is true. But each tiny morsel of food is crowded out by the guilt.

I am no longer Angela.

But I still have this miniscule hope that I will win. I will again become a person who eats normal meals and can think of something besides this incredible emptiness inside me.

But I am barely breathing . . .

18 January 2010

Slipping out of grasp

I am afraid of food.

I am inside a dark hole, the rope of recovery hanging just out of reach. My fingers stretch to grab hold, but cold winds swirl around and twisting, turning, it moves out of reach.

Once I could almost see the top.

I see myself hazily, a small figure desperately reaching out to grab hold. Everything else fades, the world is filled with ghosts moving around me, not touching me. I long to disappear altogether, to a place where nothing can touch me.

I look at food and I don't care. I look at graduate school and I see it as a dying dream. I look at my marriage, my love, and I see it dying.

Food seems so alien now. I was at my most pure two years ago. Light, airy, almost not of this world. At least I had Ana. Or she had me.

It started New Year's Day and meeting three young girls, interviewing them about their futures, filled with hope and without fear and anxiety. My optimism of the night before faded, as I thought about all my failures.

Like being drunk for two years at Michigan State University.

Like sleeping with every guy who came along.

Like throwing away a full scholarship to Stanford University.

Like being the campus slut.

Like having an affair with a married man.

Like . . .

But hope still held the first of January. Then Haiti was struck with an earthquake and I realized how very useless I am. I could do nothing.

Cut here. Cut there. It is so easy to eliminate food when you still eat so little of it. Guilt has become my food and I'm choking on it.

Then the triggers came. This person was thinner than I. That person was purging more then me. Everyone was suffering and I couldn't do anything about it.

Guilt became three meals a day.

I don't deserve to eat. Food is for those who matter. And everybody matters but me.

I have became afraid of food. The mere thought of it touching my lips terrifies me. I look at my yogurt in the morning, and I want to throw it across the room. I cut my sandwich in half at lunch and toss part of it in the trash. The dead chicken breast on my plate at dinner mocks me.

I waste food in a world that is starving.

Then I thought — I could fast for the Haitian people. I could offer up myself and my heart as a sacrifice.

But I am unworthy.

And I'm still afraid of food.

Now I wonder how I can grasp the elusive rope of recovery. I have been climbing for years, my arms are tired and my hands are bruised. I was almost to the top when it slid out of my grasp.

I realized this morning, I can't grab that rope by myself. I need someone to hold it steady for me. Then, maybe then, I can slowly climb my way back.

I haven't given up. (Or this wouldn't have been written.) But I'm asking anyone out there — will you grab that rope for me? Just hold it, friend, hold it steady. Then I can start climbing again.

13 January 2010


My heart is broken. I went to Haiti when I was my sickest - about 92 pounds. Now everything I knew there is destroyed, and I don't know if the children I held are dead or alive.

I wasn't suppose to go to Haiti. My doctor told me I was too sick. My mother cried and begged me not to go. But I felt Haiti calling me ...

And in the end, Haiti saved me. The children there were honest, and told me I was too thin. The pictures of me shocked me, and helped open my eyes to what anorexia was doing to me.

Here are a few pictures. I am very proud of them, because it shows that I went outside my eating disorder and was still Angela underneath the bones and the unrelenting obsession with food and calories and weight. I was still me, and anorexia had not stolen my love for people and helping them. I just wish I could have given Haiti more.

09 January 2010

From my recovery journal - Part III

Dark days, and then some light ...

March 23, 2009

Today is the first day of my medical leave. It feels like a very dark day. I can barely keep from crying. It is so hard not to just grab a bottle of pills and swallow them. Why don't I just give up, already? What really is the point of going on? What does my future really hold, but more pain? I took my life and destroyed it. At least I feel like I did.

March 27, 2009, 9 a.m.

All I can think is someday things have to get better; I have to get stronger; I will be better. I must hold onto hope. I must!

March 30, 2009, 10:15 a.m.

I sit here, hopeful yet afraid that I won't get better, that all this will be fore nothing. Why is this so hard?

It was odd seeing snow on the rooftops; we got a dusting yesterday. In a way, the colder weather makes me feel less guilty about being home and not working.

If only I could get better, work and have some sort of normal life again! I pray for this every day. I must be patient and wait for my body to heal. It will take time. I just hope there is a job there when I'm better and can work. I try not to worry, and I think the anxiety is getting better. I must keep my faith.

April 22, 2009, 11 a.m.

How do you fight fear so strong it threatens to consume you? How do you tell yourself you can be better, stronger and live a normal life when you haven't for so long?

Las week, Dr. Sackeyfio and I talked about me going back to work (note - I was working as a journalist at the time.) The anemia is gone, my heart is fine, there is no physical reason I can't work. Everyone believes I can make it. Everyone but me. I go from being worried to okay with it to feeling terrified. And the doctors want me to go back part-time to start; something I haven't mentioned to Ralph yet.

I am so afraid. Afraid I won't make it. But do I want to stay in this house forever, moving from bedroom to bathroom to living room, not really having a life, only going out once in a while. NO! I want to live a full life, go places, have fun, live!

So how do I battle the anxiety, the fear of failure?

And the practical things — a lot of clothes don't fit me since I've gained weight, I still need to drink Ensure twice a day, and I haven't even gone through my clothes yet!

But the biggest fear — can I perform at work after being gone for 2 1/2 months??? Everyone seems to think I'll be okay. Except me.


I returned to my job as a full-time journalist, fighting the anxiety and struggling with writing even the simplest story.

I didn't write in my journal for a long time. Then ...

June 28, 2009

It's been a long time. I've been back to work for two months. It has been so weird; sometimes I barely feel like myself.

And now they've offered a buyout and I have a chance to go to graduate school. Do I take the chance, knowing financially it will be very hard? But newspapers are dying and I need to carve out a new career. It's such an uncertain time. It's not a good time to be recovering from anorexia (if there is a good time.) The uncertainty feeds my anxiety and makes it harder to eat. I've been holding onto 110 pound for a while now.

But at least I'm holding on.

05 January 2010

From my recovery journal - Part II

Remembering . . .

From my recovery journal part II

March 12, 2009 10:06 a.m.
What is more important than getting better? Nothing. I must focus on health and know I can have it. I just have to be patient and work hard at getting better.
But it's still very lonely at times.
In the morning, I look at all the food I have to eat, and I think, 'No way!' I choke it down; I still do not enjoy food very much. But I know I must eat to get better, to live, to have a full live with David. I must focus on that, not the negative, not being sick.
But sitting here each day by myself can drive me crazy. I can't wait to get the energy to do something - maybe put all this drivel together into a book? Are there others out there in this world going through something similar, praying to get better, often alone, but dreaming of a better time? I can't be the only one.
My energy. Sometimes my energy is so low all I can do is crash on the couch, try to read. Sometimes I just think about how I got into this mess. Sometimes I daydream of the day I return to work (it will happen!)
I know I will never be the same; I'm changed forever. I will never have that security of knowing everything is okay. I will always have to make sure I eat, and ignore that siren call of anorexia nervosa that says thin is better. I'm here to say it is definitely not better.

March 17, 2009
St. Patrick's Day
I feel so discourged I want to cry! The food, the iron pills, trying to find things to do while recovering - I'm so tired of it all. I must continue to hope, though, what else is there?
I still want to believe after all this, I will get better and I will return to work. I want to believe that so much. But I feel so lonely here, and I'm still so tired. When will the iron kick in? When will the tide turn? When will I be better?
I pray to God, but I'm not sure he hears me.
I also feel I've let David down by getting so sick. I'm the one who's suppose to be working, and he's the one who's suppose to be enjoying retirement. But it's turned out the opposite - he's working hard doing odd jobs for people, and I'm home trying to get fat (kidding! trying to gain weight.)
Later - Sometimes I think this is going to kill me.

March 18, 2009
I am determined not to fail. Let's hope my body cooperates with my mind.

March 20, 2009
Today was the straw that about broke my back. I have get a test for the hole in my heart and - possible surgery? I don't know how much more I can take.

March 21, 2009
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.

04 January 2010

From my recovery journal - Part I

Remembering the past and why I need to move forward:

From my recovery journal, Part I

March 9, 2009
I am getting better every day.

March 10, 2009
I will get better and be able to live a full life - work, play and lots of time with my honey, David!

People first started telling me I needed to gain weight - "about 15 pound, at least" - around March 2008. I didn't believe them. I thought I looked svelte, slim, sexy. I didn't see where my obsession was heading and now - I am home sick, my body sucked dry by that bitch anorexia nervosa; exhausted beyond belief.
When I first realized I was going to need some real time off to heal, I was devastated. I cried, I bawled; I basically was hysterical. I am calmer now, because I have been given an answer - depleted iron stores is what is leaving me so drained. Iron! Maybe I could have solved this months ago. I try not to be bitter.

My days go like this - around 7:30 a.m., David and I eat breakfast and then at 8 it's pill-taking time. Ativan and Seroquel to keep me calm (prescribed before we realized a lot of the anxiety was caused by my extreme lack of iron); Prilosec for that old problem, acid reflux (I'm turning old at 43) and a multivitamin to help jump-start my health. Ooops, don't forget the suppository for the ever-problematic hemorrhoid.
That's just the start of it. At 10:30 a.m., it's time for iron and vitamin C to help the absorption of it; 1 p.m. is Ativan time; 3 p.m. another Seroquel, iron and C and 5 p.m. Ativan yet again. I get to quit popping pills until about 10 p.m. - Ativan, Seroquel, and Colace to help things move through the system due the great constipating effects of iron.
And that, my friends, is what anorexia can do to you. I don't recommend trying it.
But I will get better.

March 11, 2009
The day is gray, with a few flickers of snow. It is gray inside, and I feel lonely. I'm trying to get better - drink the Ensure, take the iron tablets.
I miss being with people, and yet I still feel too tired and cold right now to move outside this house. The living room, this study and the bathroom are basically my world. Will I ever be able to get better like this?
I must get more energy and then motivate myself to do more. But what? Being sick takes so much energy.
Sometimes I think I should force myself back to work right now. Just push myself. But I know I'm not ready. I need to heal; I need to recover. But it is so lonely and I don't know how to combat the loneliness. Maybe when the weather gets warmer ...
But I will get better. I will get better and stronger, I will return to work and this country also will get better and stronger. We all will survive, and we will look back at these hard times and wonder how we survived them.
I'm trying to force myself to read the news articles, the ones that trigger anxiety. Job losses, foreclosures, and companies folding. I try to remember I am very lucky; I have lots of financial support from my father, and lots of loving support from my sister, Samon, and mother. Plus, I have the love of my life, David.
But still, I question - Will I get better?

(Part II to follow)


Hope is a fragile thing, and can easily die.







ED devours happiness and hope, taking away dreams and ambitions, leaving nothing in his wake but fear hammering at my brain. ED says, "How dare you hope?" "Forget your dreams - you'll never amount to anything!" "That will make you FAT!"

Started trolling pro-ana websites the other day, the hopeful words of New Year's Eve only a whisper. Images of oh-so-slim bodies float in my mind. Flat bellies, beautiful skin, thin, long legs. Beautiful. And in control. Like I once was.Anorexia whispers, "You were beautiful then," and I listen. I contemplate. I can become thin again.


I was not beautiful then. Stripped-down, dry skin, the smile of a skull, the eyes of the dead. Concave belly and depleted breasts. So tired that the bed and the couch were my homes.

Oh, leave me alone!

Summer days of ana, flitting around in a mini-skirt and short sleeve shirt. My eyes were closed shut, I did not see my bones. I did not - do not - see what other saw. I only saw the control I had over food and hunger, and the joy it brought me. Control unto death.

The past few days, it's been back and forth. Eat. Don't eat. Eat. Eat but just a little. Don't eat. Eat but don't eat . Eat only safe foods; make a list: yogurt, chicken, dry rice and bread (but one slice, thank you, ma'am!)

Fight with my husband. Fight with ED. I'm unable to think, to recapture the dreams and hopes of the other day. Tears flow and I look at my body, wondering what has happened.


(I am so ashamed.)