You don't deserve to eat. You are a gluttonous pig and should be ashamed of yourself. Look at how you have let yourself go...
Every pore of my being is filled with anxiety. I am frightened to get out of bed and start the day. Each class assignment taunts me, reminding me that I am stupid and unable to grasp the concepts of English rhetorical theories, literary elements and critical analysis. I can barely decide what to put on my fat body each day!
Each day feels like a treacherous journey through a threatening landscape. I feel as if I could literally crawl out of my skin, the raw bones and veins exposed and scrapped against the sharpness of life. I want to hide, become invisible, burrow under the covers and never come out; anything to be safe.
Anorexia kept telling me there is a way out. Just eat less. Anorexia promises that the thinner I become, the less I will feel. I will be free again. Free of this anxiety which has become my constant companion, and that tempts me with a permanent way out of all this...
I am fighting these lies, conjured up in my brain by anorexia and most likely fueled by a lack of full nutrition. Even the thought of doing things to combat the anxiety, such as yoga, brings me to the edge of panic.
Then yesterday I drank two Ensure Plus. Dr. Sackeyfio has been trying to get me to increase my calories for some time now, assuring me that full nutrition and reaching my healthy goal weight will lessen the anxiety and make things easier for me. Easier to get up in the morning. Easier to do things. Easier to study. Easier to just be.
Of course, in spite of my earlier vow to do whatever he said to get better, I first ignored his advice and instead did things my way. I mixed different tranquilizers, and sometimes added a glass of wine or two to that. Sometimes I would throw in one of my migraine painkillers. It got to the point I wasn't sure what kind of cocktail I was ingesting; anything, anything at all to stave off the anxiety.
I liked these options because of course, none of them involve weight gain (I just factored in the calories from the alcohol.) But a tiny part of my brain told me I was behaving stupidly, and I was quickly going down the yellow brick road of addiction to tranquilizers, pain killers and alcohol, or else putting myself at risk of doing something stupid that would 'accidently' kill me.
Then I did something terrible while filled with anxiety and despair, and it could have cost me my life. I felt as if I were being eaten alive by anxiety, and part of me wanted to die. Then I stopped and thought of David and our love for each other through all of this. I thought about my hopes for the future; to write and learn and reach out to others. I thought about my upcoming presentation at an English conference and how proud I was to have been chosen as one of the participants. I was really looking forward to reading my paper about anorexia, and perhaps opening the eyes of some people.
And I thought of Dr. S and how hard he has worked with me, how patient he has been and how much he has believed I will recover, even when I didn't believe it myself. I thought of the words he often says: You are more than your body size, and you have so much to offer the world. I would reward him and his hard work by dying? Talk about being ungrateful.
So after another day of feeling anxiety crawling all over me, I knew what I had to do. I don't need a different medication or more tranquilizers (not that he is likely to increase my dosage, anyway.)
I need full nutrition. I need what anorexia keeps telling me is bad for me — food and calories. Even though I have been eating, my body has been so depleted by anorexia, my brain is still starved and not totally thinking clearly. This creates the cycle of anxiety and eating less, and eventually my weight would have continued to drop (I already had lost two pounds.)
I kept hearing Dr. S's voice, telling me to eat more and that will heal me. I finally decided to believe him. And after two days, I do feel calmer. Anorexia is still screaming at me, but it is starting to melt like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.
How many times can I deny anorexia? As many times as it comes back — until it is gone for good.