From a “Former” Anorexic

I know that this is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to societal problems in today’s world, but it’s just something that I felt like writing about. And it’s been a while since I’ve written so please cut me some slack. I just stepped out of the most beautiful shower at the house that I’m sitting for this weekend (for Christine of course). It has three shower heads – one of them detachable. I used sugar scrub shampoo and body wash, tea tree conditioner, and when I got out I used tea tree/stress relief lotion across every inch of my body, as well as some detangling leave-in conditioner. I decided that I deserved to feel soft for once, even if it was just on the outside. After all this I thought to myself “Oh, I have to tell Christine how amazing her shower was and how great I felt afterwards.” And then I saw a scale.

Every single voice in my head shouted “no!” “don’t do it!” “you’ve made so much progress!” “you know you’re 103 you weighed yourself at home last week!” “DON’T DO IT!!” But I did it. Now what I wanted to tell Christine was “Your bathroom is perfect, except that damn scale! It must be broken because I refuse to believe I weigh that much! Haha!” 

For those of you who have never met me, I know you’re thinking “oh my god how could she think this?” “This girl must be insane” or the few of you whom I’ve never spoken to but we have oddly strange emotional connections via twitter/tumblr/whatever (you know who you are) may be thinking “I know she’s half serious but I can tell she’s also kidding so it’s also funny in a dark way but it can’t be THAT serious if she’s joking about it.” (Shoutout to you guys for mostly getting it).

For those of you that have met me in person, I know that you’re reading this thinking “How dare she worry about her weight?” “How dare she say she weighs too much when I weigh more than her?” “If she thinks she’s fat then what the hell does that make me?”

Those of you that know me pretty well would be reading this thinking “Oh God, here we go again.” “We better comment and argue and tell her she looks skinny.” (please don’t) “She needs to get with reality and realize she looks fine and we’re all so sick of this.” “Might as well not say anything because we know nothing we say would make a difference.” (Shoutout to you guys too, because you’re right. It wouldn’t).

Anyway I guess I have multiple points in writing this absolute train-wreck of a ….whatever this is, rant? Post? Nonsense? Whatever. My first point is that when someone has an eating disorder, even if it hasn’t flared up in YEARS, it is still there. Forever. There is not and never will be a point in which you will be able to say “oh I thought you’d gotten over this by now.” Eating Disorders are like alcoholism. They are addictions and recovery comes with steps and relapses and pain. They are things that you will deal with for the rest of your life. I don’t mean for this to be morbid, of course you get better, and of course it gets easier, but it’s still something that stays with you in the back of your mind forever. Three years ago you couldn’t even get me to eat half a slice of pizza and now I can down a whole medium pizza from Dom’s by myself without a second thought, but that’s not always the case.

There are days that it hits me. Hard. There are weeks that I go without eating after one mistaken step on the scale to see a horrifying number like 109. As I said at the beginning, those of you who do not know me or do not understand eating disorders are NOT going to see the problem with this. I’m aware that 109 is very low. I’m aware that the average healthy weight for my height (5’2″) is 120. I’m aware that most people my age/height weigh more than that, which is NORMAL because it is UNHEALTHY to weigh that little. What you’re NOT aware of is that I have never allowed myself to weigh more than 110. What you’re not aware of is the absolute terror that rips through my body seeing a number like that. What you’re not aware of is that I used to wake up with notes around my house telling me that “under 100 wasn’t an option, dear. You look terrible,” and I believed them. What you’re not aware of is that 109 pounds was enough to absolutely shatter me. What you’re not aware of is that 109 had me collapsed on the floor in a hyperventilating mess. All of this, after being in recovery for three years, over just 109 pounds. But hey – 109 pounds is a full twenty more pounds than what I was at four years ago when I would practically fly away with every light breeze, and even then I thought it was too much. Even 89 was too much.

And those of you sitting there reading this thinking “ugh I’m so jealous she weighs that little,” and “how dare she sit there and bitch about that when I have it way worse because I weigh more!” I’d like to personally shout out a massive FUCK YOU. Eating disorders are impossible to understand until you live through one. The triggers and the unnatural, warped perspective of ourselves and our weight are entirely out of our control. I suppose that’s a good segue into my final point. You CANNOT sit there and tell me that you are jealous of my 109 when that’s closest to my highest weight I’ve ever reached. You CANNOT sit here and tell me that I’m being dramatic or that I look fine and you look “so much worse.” That does not help me, it infuriates me. What helps me and others like me is simple support. Don’t try to argue with us or force us to eat. Just support us and help us through it the best that you can. If you don’t understand how to speak to someone with an eating disorder, check the many links I’ve shared over the years. Message me and I would be glad to share some more with you, or explain it to you myself and answer any questions, at any time.

And you know what else? That doesn’t help YOU to think like that. You’re jealous of a girl who cannot breathe when she breaks three digits? You’re jealous of a girl whose hair has been falling out since she was fifteen and whose heart can hardly handle a flight of stairs without feeling like it’s going to explode and who can most likely never have children just because you want a tiny body like her? And in case you weren’t aware, there’s a lovely little thing called Body Dysmorphia, which means that I don’t see the same body that you see. My (and people like me)’s brains do not work on the same level as yours. We see things differently and there’s no talking us out of it. The notion of “well if you’re fat then what am I” is absolute nonsense, because we see ourselves as something we are not, and we see you as our beautiful friend who we would do anything to be able to function like.

I guess all I’m really asking is please stop attacking me when I say I don’t feel like I look okay. Please stop commenting on my pictures telling me you’re jealous of my body. When I come to you about the panic attack I had over gaining three pounds, please don’t just brush it off with “well I’ve gained ten….” Please just be thoughtful of other people, especially those with disorders that you cannot and will not ever understand. When someone asks for help, they want help, someone to listen, not just to be told “well listen my life is worse than yours so…” Especially when it comes to situations like these. Gaining three pounds could be a minor setback for some people or it could be enough to end someone’s life. Please take eating disorders seriously and please take me seriously.

Again – I’d like to point out that I am always here for any questions/ help anyone may need with not only eating problems, but any form of mental illnesses. Even if we’ve never spoken before in our lives, please don’t hesitate to message me and I will tell you everything I know.

If you read all of this then thank you and I appreciate you more than you know.

Author: Erica Taylor

I generally write under a pseudonym (contact me for more info on that) but my website is currently down for maintenance. So I created this blog to share my tamer, more publicly acceptable pieces (AKA the things that are acceptable for Facebook). *My twitter account that I use for my writing is still up, but is also under a pseudonym. Contact me for more information on that, as well.

2 thoughts on “From a “Former” Anorexic”

  1. Wow this was incredible to read and i really appreciate you taking the time to say you did. Speaking out for those who cant find the words or who have given up trying to explain themselves to those who dont try to understand.
    I myself have struggled with anorexia for 14 years. I know personally that this sickness never does go away. It may get to a point where its not as hard as it was, but its always there in the back of your mind.
    Anyways, i just wanted to thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

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