child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

does familiarity really breed contempt?

I read this story a few days ago.  I cried for the girl who wanted out and couldn't get out.  I got angry once again at the recent movement that claims anorexia to be a choice and a lifestyle rather than a disease.  I got angry at the people in my own life who have viewed this as a choice of sin rather than a physical battle.  Yes, some of this is a mental health issue but so is schizophrenia, ADHD, depression, anxiety, insomnia and many other things that plague people and yet they still need and get medical treatment.  Anorexia really isn't that different.  Some of it is indeed retraining my brain and some of it is retraining my body.

  I remember after having babies thinking (see, I'm finally going to give a number) that 135 was my goal weight and I'd be happy there.  Guess what?  I wasn't.  I won't tell you what the numbers said when I was at my recent worst but I will tell you my doctor was concerned.  I was the only person in the mental hospital who was never once weighed the entire time I was there.  Others daily compared that they had gained weight because they were eating more than at home or lost weight because they were eating healthier.  I had no comparison, they wouldn't let me on the scale.  I also won't tell you my current numbers but they sometimes terrify me.  My doctor and husband are both finally happy with my numbers.  I am not.  Me, the same girl who tells others that weight and age are just numbers and not defining characteristics, I hate my own numbers.  It is just a scale, how on earth can it have that much power over me?  I don't actually own a scale for that reason.  I have however been to the doctors more times in the past 6 months than in the last 3 years combined.  I think the last time I saw a doctor this regularly, I was about to deliver my 3rd baby!

If I considered yesterday a success, I must consider today to be much less than successful.  I won't call it a complete failure because I did eat an actual meal today but it was definitely not successful either.  Baby steps.  Two steps forward and one step backward is still a step further than my starting place, right?  I've been promised that you don't hit rock bottom twice.  I disagreed because this isn't my first go round with this.  She told me that the last time things got bad but not rock bottom.  I certainly hope she is right because sometimes I miss it.  Sometimes it feels like an old friend not the enemy trying to ravage my body and steal me from those I love.  Sometimes, just like an alcoholic avoiding the hangover by staying drunk, it is just easier to keep up with the anorexia.  In the long haul, just as I know that sobering up is the better choice (albeit significantly more difficult) I also know that eating is the better choice, even though sometimes it is the much more difficult road.

Starving is familiar.  Feeling full is uncomfortable.  I just have to remind myself that being out of my comfort zone is healthier. God grant me the courage to try again tomorrow.

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