Posting twice today!
In the beginning anorexia felt like a friend. Anorexia just wanted to help improve me and make my life better…right? So I thought. I listened because anorexia told me that losing weight would make me more loved, less alone, and ultimately was the key to being beautiful. I became close to anorexia, opening myself up to the one “person”I thought would listen to me. The ED egged me on, “encouraging” me and I thought nothing of it. My ED was not being mean. It just wanted to help me become better. I loved the way anorexia told me I could become better if I just listened and followed what ED said. I constantly was thinking to myself, “how easy is this?”
Slowly, however, somewhere along the way anorexia became so mean. All of the sudden, whatever I did was never enough. I was never enough no matter how little I ate or what the number on the scale read. I broke down and felt so worthless so often because I always seemed to fail this voice in my head. I still believed that this voice was my friend so I still, somehow, continued to listen. It whispered lies to me that it was only being mean to help encourage me to become better. It just wanted me to be beautiful.
Anorexia became really mean. Anorexia began to feel like a drill sergeant who was putting me through training every single day. Instead of having to increase pushups I had to increase the number of times I stepped on the scale. Instead of being strong and able bodied, I had to be strong in counting calories and bullying myself. I was constantly berated. Anorexia screamed at me that I was ugly, fat, disgusting, worthless, horrible, and on and on…
But, after being a drill sergeant anorexia would turn around and lie again by pretending to become my friend. It told me that it loved me. It promised to stop making me miserable and to just make me feel better. I was in this tumultuous relationship filled with ups and downs and highs and lows. And, I felt stuck. I felt so stuck and I got in way over my head. Suddenly I had no way of backing out on my own. I tried to walk away but I never got more than a few steps.
When I first entered treatment, it felt like the dietitians, doctors, and nurses were now the team of drill sergeants. The ED told me that they were liars and enemies. I was so entrapped within ED’s hands that I listened. I fought them back, lied to them, was mean, screamed and yelled. Apparently I had a classic death stare I would give my treatment team.
I have been recovering from anorexia for over a year and a half now. I have learned that my therapist, dietitian, doctors, etc. are my real friends. They are people who would and will go to bat for me every single day. They will not leave me to drown or be trapped again. I am gaining freedom and walking away. Some days, anorexia still creeps into my head and tells me the old lies. ED tries to convince me that we are still old friends. However, these days I have real support and real friends who help me combat the lies anorexia tells me.
I am learning to be my own friend.