Why I need my eating disorder
Yuck, I am disgusted at that. I literally want to go scrub my tongue or something. Ugh. The other day, I was asked if I want prayer for this struggle. I was honest and shook my head no. I was then asked if I want to get better. I responded with, "I don't wanna eat a whole bunch of food again." An easy cover up of the true reasons behind my "no". As has been discussed throughout this blog, weight is not the only culprit. In fact, I wish it were. I truly wish that I had just been consumed with only my weight and that everything else in my life had been perfect. I wish that I had only wanted to lose a few pounds so I decided that skipping a few meals or purging would be an easy fix. I wish that's all that it ever was. But it wasn't and wishes are for fairy tales.
Anorexia starves away emotions too difficult to deal with. Or perceived as too difficult too deal with. It keeps my head above water when the tides are ever rising. It makes me feel "okay" in a "you're alright" type of way because I constantly feel that something is wrong with me and I need to fix it. Exercising makes me feel accomplished when the self judgments of how I have yet to achieve anything are on full blast. My future may not be totally mapped out by me but at least I can work my way towards rockin abs. So that way, I know I wasn't lazy. I accomplished something. I was productive. When I can't move anything else along in my life (which seems to hint at a patience problem but I'll explore that later), I can "move my body along". When I'm feeling horribly inadequate in comparison (which I have to stop doing) to someone else, well, I'll just go on a bike ride, do vigorous ab workouts, anything to feel like I'm doing something and doing it well.
The results of my goals to be fit and in shape are immediately felt with every sweat drop, every grunt and sigh, every burn in my muscles. And it proves that I'm not lazy, that I can accomplish something, and that even though my life isn't sculpted nicely and perfectly chiseled the way I had hoped and worked for, well, that doesn't mean my body has to follow that same path. I may not be the beautiful one but I can be the fit one, the strong one. And I always have been "the strong one" and that's something I'm very proud of. See, when things around me become too emotionally filling and I am struggling to maintain my flimsy "strength", that's when purging (either through exercise or laxatives or vomiting) kicks in. Don't want to worry? Purge. Feeling overwhelmed and like I'm drowning? Purge. Anxious? I think you get the hang of it. Please don't ask me why this action translates as getting rid of emotions because I don't know why. I just know that it does. And yes, I know it's wrong, awfully, horridly wrong. And yes, I know I need to rely on God when I'm in "situations" and not use symptoms and it's something that I will have to work on. Even when I thought I was actually doing that-- relying on God for many things and to see me through something hard-- I have realized that it was another mask (how many masks can I possibly own?). That will get its own post soon enough.
These behaviors/symptoms are not just in response to outside occurrences but inner ones as well. So depending on how long you've been keeping up with my blog, you likely know about my whole mood disorder. What you may not know is that due to the ridiculous "highs" I often feel, it feels like I have a whole bunch of fun electricity bottled up inside of me desperate to be released and because of such, exercise is my go to to expel it. I have to find some way of managing this nervous energy. Sometimes, though, it's less "fun electricity" more "crawling through a tight, dark space claustrophobia" and I need an escape. I need to run away. So I do. And that brings me back to starvation, restriction.
When I am utterly trapped by life circumstances and I feel powerless, when all my efforts seem to amount to nothing, when I can't stand being where I am (physically or emotionally) for another minute, when the walls are closing in around me, I can always rely on-- ugh, there's that disgusted feeling again-- not eating. I don't have to eat something if I don't want it. And I "don't want things" a lot lately. Eating leads to feeling full and then I'd have to use one of those horrible behaviors up there. I'd much rather just feel empty, that way I will be more relaxed and calm and even happy. Or some strange and weird mirage of happy.
This was difficult to write but it needed to be done. I am very aware of a lot of reasons behind my behaviors and there are even more than what I listed. As a Christian, I struggle enough with the affects of this disorder in my life so I really don't need to be "preached at" about the wrongs of it. I am aware. I also hope that you are aware of it's obsessive and addictive nature and that the "simple fix" is not that simple. Many tough choices are involved in recovering from an eating disorder despite the fact that I did not choose to develop one and I know that if I ever want to get better, I must make those choices. If this is not a clear indication of my struggle to even make the first choice of wanting recovery, then I don't know what is.
Opening up and actually using my voice is hard for me but hopefully, if I am asked again whether or not I want to get better, and if I still have the same persuasion, I can just say no because... reasons.