26 January 2014

Thoughts on my Marriage and its end...

That moment just before you are fully awake, when the world is still dark and it could be any time, any time at all...

For the first time in ages, I woke up thinking about David and my failed marriage. I mean, really thinking about it. The weekend mornings of coffee in bed, the turn of his head just before he would lean over and kiss me, the sound of his voice when he would say, I love you...

And I try to fathom what went wrong. It would be too simple to blame anorexia, only anorexia; to say that my eating disorder ripped us apart and now that I'm at a "normal" weight, it is again safe to contemplate a new life and a new love.

I'm not saying anorexia did not play a huge role in the destruction of my marriage. I do not know what it feels like to watch someone you love slowly die; to watch the weight fall off of her and see her rejoice at the destruction of her body and soul. I don't know what it's like to drive for hours one-way to see, yet again, your wife in the hospital, perhaps with a feeding tube stuck down her nose, feeding her the nutrients needed to keep her alive, but knowing she doesn't really want to be kept alive. Instead, death is her choice, but a slow death you must witness.

No, I really don't know that side of anorexia, of eating disorders. I only know of its destructive powers within, how it takes control of your mind and soul, how it makes you do things that are completely illogical.

So I really thought about David and my marriage this morning, asking myself - Would we still be together if anorexia had not entered our lives.


As much as I insist it was anorexia that killed our marriage, anorexia was only a symptom of deeper problems. I developed anorexia because there were problems inherent, both in our marriage and within me.

What do I mean by that?

I think back to the pivotal year; the year 2007.  I was the military reporter for a small-town paper. It was a year of deaths, and I must have covered six or seven funerals that year. Each one a young man who had joined the military for a myriad of reasons - an innate sense of patriotism, a need to get away from small-town America (and the area was small-town America, complete with no opportunities), the urge to see the world, a need to earn money before moving onto something else...

Each funeral was closed-casket.

I can never forget that, for I could only imagine what was hidden inside those closed caskets; what it meant to lock the bodies away. I could only imagine...

I felt surrounded by death. I felt as if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would never end. I felt as if I had no words, either for the grieving families or for myself. Simply, I had no answers.

At the same time, I was sick. Very sick, and part of that sickness included dropping weight. At first, I hated it. I liked my figure (and how long has it been since I've been able to say that?) I couldn't figure out why I was dropping weight, why my migraines were so bad, why the depression had gotten worse?

At the same time, I sensed a distance within my marriage.

It was subtle, at first. A pulling-away, perhaps? A protective shell? The way a person reacts when there is a storm nearby...you search out safety, you look for a shelter for the crash you know is coming, you become wary...

Is that how it felt, David?

In the meantime, I was working ten, twelve hours a day; covering funerals and an attempted murder/suicide and a World War II veteran who hung himself the week after we talked...

2007 was a year of death, a year of ER visits and searches for answers and pain. So much pain.

This was all before anorexia took over my mind. I still remember September 2007. I looked in the mirror at my wasted body. My doctor had finally found the answer, hyperparathyroidism. I looked and turned to David and said, "I hope no one expects me to diet to maintain this ridiculous weight."

But of course, the seed was already planted...

So why do I now feel that anorexia was not the sole destroyer of my marriage? There must be something within me, something that struggles to deal with the realities of the world that causes me to turn to such self-destructive measures.

I am finally being completely honest, and I believe the honesty is what I need to embrace or I will never be ready for another relationship. I am not blaming myself; we all have flaws and internal struggles. But I can't ignore my role in the destruction of my marriage, I can't give anorexia that much power. I must face the truth.

07 January 2014

In which she breaks her silence...

I am healthy no longer anorexic.
I have family who loves me.
I have a job that I adore, and that makes me feel worthwhile.
I am finally rebuilding my life after things started to implode in 2010...

And I hate my body
I HATE my body

There's no getting around that fact.

And I'm angry about it.
It seems as if many ED recovery blogs show recovery as all lightness and fluff. You push past the fear, you post smiley "Operation Beautiful" affirmations on your bathroom mirror, you do a lot of yoga, and ... and you are recovered. Slim, beautiful, worthy of admiration because you came through the fire and look amazing for it.

What about the rest of us?

What about those of us who careened past recovery weight and are now tipping precariously into the overweight, or even God-forbid, obesity range?

We hear it all the time - love your body. YOUR body. And typically the person spouting that is still acceptably slim, slim enough for society to accept her, while not so slim to be considered anorexic anymore.

What about the rest of us?

Those of us who are fighting the Buddha belly and the thunder thighs; those of us who are not slim by society's standards, those of us who really are overweight and yet we are constantly bombarded with the message that we are to LOVE YOUR BODY.

I don't want to love this body. This body is overweight and tired and has high blood pressure. 

This body is too-round and too-curvy and too, dare I say it? Too large.

Does loving my body mean not taking care of it? Have I loved my body so much that I've put it in danger? Did I listen to those affirmations too much, forgetting that loving my body might mean keeping it a healthy weight? Not around 155-160 pounds for a small-framed woman of 5'3"?

My ED doctor says I'm not overweight. My GP tells me not to stress about my weight.

But how long should I love this body, before love kills me as anorexia tried to?

And why is it that it seems as if the strongest advocates for "loving your body" are those who are slim, those whose bodies don't offend society?