07 October 2012

In which she chooses life

I know I haven't written in a while. It's just...some days I'm full on-board with recovery, and some days it gets tiresome.

So many things still stand in the way of full recovery. A picture in a magazine, a spoken word misinterpreted, a half-remembered longing triggered...

What is it about this illness, anorexia, that makes it so hard to let go? Why have so many people, including me, start strongly on recovery, only to succumb to its siren call yet again? What does it even mean?

What did — does? — anorexia mean to me? As time passes and memory fades, it is easier to see the positive aspects of self-starvation. And yes, there were positives, or its allure would have faded long ago.

It becomes easier to remember only the positives, and frankly, harder to remember the pain of it all. So I have to dredge up the pain in order to save myself, and dampen any incipient enthusiasm for that which could still kill me if I am not careful.

What is it about this illness — one that destroys all life and love and ambition, boiling down existence to mere fear and self-hatred — that makes one cling to it, screaming inside that it is the only thing that could possibly understand, the only thing that can save one from nothingness?

Now I have life and friendships and a bright future. Why would I even consider giving those up for the abyss? Why would I let days of loneliness and anxiety take me down that path? Why would I even invite it at all?

It would have been so easy. Sick, unable to eat. The perfect excuse. The perfect reason to go back.

But no. I still choose life, even if it is hard and frightening. Because I would rather be frightened than dead.