Eyes wide open
But is it enough?
The mirror would not lie to me this morning. I was dressed for this hot and humid Michigan weather, wearing a skimpy blue sundress with lace trim that I always felt cute in.
My arms looked wraith-like; thick, ropy blue veins stood out as if ready to burst. My clavicle and my collarbones were predominant as I gazed in the mirror. I looked stripped to the bone, and it was not a bit pretty or beautiful.
I jumped back in horror. I didn't stop to think at first that I was recoiling at my own reflection. Then it hit me and I started to panic. I thought, "I'm going to die. I'm going to die of this disease." It felt like the end.
I've been told I don't take this illness seriously enough. One friend - who has been there herself - tried to break through my self-imposed apathy aided by extra medications and/or alcohol. She said any plans I have for graduate school, the possibility of changing programs and perhaps doing something I feel is worthwhile; all of this means nothing if I'm dead.
I thought she was being melodramatic. I feel okay. I'm not at my lowest weight. I am eating a little each day.
(Spiraling downward; fear and joy mixed as the numbers continue to decrease.)
But something broke through.
She's right. Nothing will matter if I am dead.
And yet ... I need a reason to live. I need meaning and happiness and joy, unapologetic joy in which my soul feels to its depth.
I'm glad this morning frightened me. I went back upstairs, changed into a T-shirt to cover the parts I could not stand to look at anymore, and continued to think.
Anorexia is a vicious circle. The less you eat, the less you feel. Then the less you feel, the less anything matters.
I know food is the answer. I keep repeating it - in order to live, to be able to fulfill my dreams, I must eat.
Then my mind whispers, wait one more day. Surely one more day can't hurt. I know this is not logical. Each day I restrict my food intake does hurt. Each pound I lose will make it harder to recover once I ... once I break free.
The voice of anorexia is illogical in its essence - don't eat. Starve yourself. You need to lose more weight. You really aren't that thin; everyone is exaggerating. You can never be too thin. Never too thin ...
This flies in the face of all human logic. And the more weight I lose, the more I become intwined with anorexia's twisted logic until my own voice is drowned out.
I have to find a way out. I am starting to feel trapped again. I wonder if it will ever stop ... or will anorexia's voice echo in my mind forever?