. (hope_is_swift) wrote in ed_ucate,

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I know this isn't 'educational', but something prompted me to post it anyway. Under the cut is an entry I just made in my journal. I'd love to know that I'm not the only one living in this strange place: not morbidly ill anymore, but struggling to truly thrive. I'd love to hear from anyone who has been in this place, but got out of it. What is it like? What is it like to live unencumbered by an eating disorder than makes you perpetually worthless? I know there's hope - I'm light years from where I used to be - but sometimes it's just so hard to see an end to this. Does anyone have any strategies that help you get through these times?

The aftermath of Easter has left me profoundly uncomfortable with my body. It could be argued that I would feel like this regardless of whether there was an event laden with chocolate or not, but it's easier if I have something to blame. Without starving myself, I want to lose weight. What a novel idea: healthy weight-loss. It confounds me though, because it's so slow. I put my hands on my hips & pout like a toddler because I know how to make it happen fast! It's my dirty little secret. But it frightens me, because everytime I entertain that thought for longer than a few minutes, my mind starts falling into all those old patterns. I don't want my life to be reduced to that anymore - I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin. & I think it's a cop-out for people to say that someone who has had anorexia will never be satisfied with their body, so they should just accept that & move on; I believe I can be happy with my body, but it's just going to take time. It's going to take time, & a lot of fine tuning.

& that's what gets me: time. The idea of delayed gratification has never been my strong point. I've been brought up by a mother with excessive amounts of liquid assets, & whose language of love is rooted in buying: buying me whatever I want, immediately, because that says 'I love you.' Forget actual spending time together - only when there is an exchange of material goods can it be assured her message has been communicated. In efforts to let time take it's course, I rarely buy something I like when I see it. You can wait, I say. & so it comes to weight loss, & I try that old mantra of 'you can wait'. It doesn't sit so comfortably anymore.

"Now that you've got an appetite" (thank you Olanzapine), Alison says, "wouldn't it be the perfect time to start a healthy eating plan?" I ponder this, seriously floored by what it would entail. "We could make an appointment with the dietician..." she continues excitedly, "...but it wouldn't matter what she says because everything is different for me," I finish. Though it's irrational, my body must work differently to everyone elses. Healthy eating is a non-event, because my body simply can't handle that amount of food. It's not even about calories: it's the sheer volume & variety. Poor Alison has a lot to contend with, which explains why we rarely dwell on my eating disorder. It suits me just fine. Making a big deal out of it only makes me feel defeated, & it's hard to live when the backbone of your self-belief is so negative. I could go on & on like this forever.

I'd love for someone to give me permission. No, scrap that, I'd love to be able to give myself permission. Permission to not be a size 8, permission to have curves, permission to eat what makes my senses feel alive. I'd love to allow myself the freedom to truly live. As I watched Deep Impact the other night, I pondered what I would do if I had only ten hours to live; "I'd eat!" I said, "I'd eat pasta with cheese & chicken with herbs & ceasar salad..." Why can't I do that now? Why does it take the reminder of certain death to shake me into life? This balancing act is hard, & I'm getting tired. I know everyone else could live with an imperfect version of myself, so why can't I?

If you're waiting around for the resolution, I wouldn't hold your breath. I think it's going to be a long time coming. In the meanwhile, I guess I just keep going. Maybe the answer is time. Maybe the answer is love; I don't know. Deep down I think the real answer is forgiveness, absolution. But it's very, very deep down. For now I'll keep on with this ad hoc style of living, in the hope that sooner rather than later I'll find the courage to accept myself for what I am: imperfect, fragile, human.

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