I'm not sure how or when it happened, but slowly I began to un-numb enough to be part of the life going on around me. I don't remember when I started eating but I do remember when I started feeling guilty about eating. I think I may have passed out and that was what made me realize I couldn't always starve myself. The problem was that by this point, every single time that I ate ANYTHING I felt unexpressably guilty. How do you cope with food guilt and the, mild though it was, desire to eat again?????? I answered my guilt in an equally unhealthy way. I started taking diet pills to speed up my metabolism anytime I had to eat. I thought I had found the perfect answer. I could eat on occasion and still not feel guilty about the food I had eaten.
The problem with this was, I was wondering if the pills were really working or just a placebo so I stepped on the scale. It was actually the first time since I had been so sick at the very beginning that I ever got on a scale. We never had a scale in my parents house so I didn't bother with a number so much but rather a size. Suddenly I had access to a scale 4 times a week and became obsessed with the numbers on that scale. Suddenly it was a specific number that had become my goal.
* I once heard Tracy Gold do an interview about her eating disorder and she said that she never talked about numbers because it is a challenge to those still struggling to be even thinner than that person's numbers. I am grateful for her wisdom and insight because she is absolutely right. I know, I was in the midst of my own severe battle when I heard her say that. To pay forward the same respect to others who still struggle, I will never talk about my personal numbers in either my weight or my own perceived perfect number.*
The guilt I felt was increasing rapidly. Originally the pills shut up the guilt, but like anything that you use to cover up an emotion, it eventually takes more and more and more to do the job that you need. That is how drinkers become alcoholics, drug users become addicts and little anorexic girls find new ways to starve their bodies.