22 May 2010

Bones and flesh

Do I really want recovery? I have had anorexia for three years now, and I have become used to the sharpness of my bones. The protruding collarbone, the feel of my clavicle, the jutting of the hipbones have become familiar. The leanness of my face, the prominent vein on the left side, the absence of flesh are all embedded into my soul.

What will I feel when my breasts become round and firm again? How will I handle the curvature of my hips, the roundness of my buttocks? My stomach already feels as if it is becoming rounder and more feminine, and it frightens me.

But my bones do not always feel friendly to me. It still hurts to sit. My hips hurt when I lie down, no soft layer of flesh to cushion against. I walk out of the shower each morning, and often am shocked by my reflection, not recognizing the emaciated frame as my own. I look at my arms, stripped of flesh and looking anorexic. My collarbones appear too prominent. A girl with anorexia on a proana site once said I “beautiful collarbones.”

What happens when my body once again changes? Being in treatment full-time so far has raised more questions than given answers.

I waver between recovery and wanting to let anorexia nervosa run its course. The first offers life, which is both exhilarating and frightening. What do I do with life once I have it? How do I continue without being anorexic, which has been my identity for years? Who will I be then? The choices are endless, but I have forgotten how to chose anything but restricting calories and love and living.

I could go home and let anorexia run its course. There is a part of me that wants to do that so badly. Just live with this identity, continue on until I reach the lowest weight possible. Then release. Sweet release from all the pain and hurt of this world. I would have no worries, no fears. I wouldn’t have to make any choices. I would be surrounded by beauty and love; the perfect love of God and my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I would walk in the sunlight and never feel left out. I wouldn’t feel sad or angry or disappointed in my many failures. Joy would suffuse my being, and it would be forever.

Flesh. I am scared of flesh. I am scared of gaining too much weight, of having too much flesh. Don’t people realize that the smaller I get, the safer I am? Now I have given that up by coming here to the River Centre. I will again have some flesh; the safety of being smaller and smaller is being destroyed by all this food and drink.

I still want to be small, as small as possible until I am floating into nothingness. I see nothing beyond that.

How could I have given up on my goal to become so small that nothing would ever hurt again? How could I have committed myself to this? I am so frightened by this week, every fiber of my being says to run as far and fast as I can.

But I am not being held here against my will. I could leave right this minute. I could dump my breakfast in the toilet and never say a word. I could refuse to eat.

I could leave right this minute. So why don’t I?


Anonymous said...

Because deep down inside of you, at the very core of you, is a spark of life, and that spark wants to live. You just want the pain to stop. I had to learn to differentiate between that when I was suicidal. It wasn't that I wanted to die, I just didn't want to live with all of the pain I was having mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. So, you want to live too, and that is a good thing!!

I don't know anything about anorexia so I try to not to address that, because I could so easily say the wrong thing. But I know about and understand the other feelings.

Because I know that there are only two things in this world, fear and love, I always ask myself, if it isn't love, it is fear, and ask myself, at the very most basic part of myself, what am I afraid of? And, I usually can find that answer, but once I name my fear, it then becomes easier to deal with it.

I am still praying for you as are many people. You are doing so good and I am so proud of you for hanging in there!

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. I have been through treatment, and when you come out on the other side it's AMAZING! I can't even describe what a great feeling it is when you get your life back. The hard fight is so worth it. The awful feeling WILL eventually go away, and then you can do absolutely anything. I can't wait, I'm so excited for the blog you'll write when you've won this battle.

Keep fighting!

K8B said...

It is a flat choice between life and death. I have had a lot of difficulty with suicidal and anorexic thinking. What I realised during 5 and half years of intensive psychotherapy was that I didn't really want to die. I wanted things to change and to not suffer anymore. And things are changing for me, and the suffering is lessened as a result of therapy and of hard work on my part. I'm sitting in bed with the dog lying next to me, listening to the birds singing in our garden. Its a beautiful sunny morning and later we'll go for a walk and then read the sunday papers in a coffee shop. Life can be good if you let it.
With love and kindness

K8B said...

I've thought long and hard about posting this, but I think you need to hear it at the point when you are making choices that will determine your future. I expect that you have come across this information before, and I would hope that someone has told you. Death may be a 'sweet release', but death from anorexia is far from sweet. Incontinence, blindness, losing your teeth, losing your hair, being unable to sit up, stand or walk, being completely dependent on someone else to deal with your incontinence and hygiene needs are all very common in the end stages of anorexia. Not everyone is 'fortunate' enough to die from cardiac arrest or multiple organ failure in their sleep. Imagine being the person that finds you dead or the person who has to change the pads and bedding and care for you while you are alive. That person would more than likely be your husband - do you want to choose to do that to him? Because you want 'beautiful collar bones' and 'jutting hips'? Honey, you need to some real thinking. I know recovery is hard. I've gone through it myself - but it is the best thing I've ever done. with love and kindness and a hug..

Pen said...

I so agree with you. I go back and forth- Do I want recovery or not? Do I really want to give up seeing my bones. I have before. A number of times in treatment. I don't like the way I look after. Why can't I realize it doesn't matter what I look like. It's not like I want people staring at me. It's more about how I see myself I guess. I am starting a new program this Fri. We'll see if it helps. Hang in there. I was once told it could take up to 7 years to recover. (I'm 49 by the way!)