One thing that I never understood about eating disorders -that many people don’t- is just how complex they are. At face value, I suppose it is easy to assume that we obsess over food/weight so drastically because we only want to be “skinny”. I am the first to admit that my mind is constantly consumed by thoughts of weight-loss and food, to say otherwise would be in distaste. But how I long for the simplicity of just wanting to losing weight or just restricting my intake.
Something I have only realised after numerous attempts at recovering is that by having every waking moment of my recent past (as well as many of my dreams) engulfed in an eating disorder, I was pushing away a multitude of other problems I felt unable to handle. As if the constant bombardment and harassment experienced within my mind isn’t enough to detach me from reality, the gradual starvation of my brain seems to have finished the job.
At a certain point my body seems to switch off anything that isn’t “disorder related” and (probably as an attempt of survival) revolve what is left of my life solely around food. It is dehumanising and extremely anxiety provoking. My days become revolved around when I’m “allowed” to eat and what. I have to chose who I can be around and when I can’t be left alone with food. I become calculated, methodical and conniving in attempts to get what I want. But mostly I just become tired. I am left in a body that aches and bones that crack. My eyes are sore and my skin is dry. I find hair everywhere from my pillow to in my clothes and I even end up with it growing over my face. Somehow my days manage to simultaneously be completely about food, but also about nothing at all.
This disorder that imagined to be nothing more than losing weight has become about almost everything but. It has made me so accustomed to the numb fog of a malfunctioning brain that I will do almost anything to seperate myself from reality once more. Every recovery I am bombarded with years of unfelt emotions and unlived moments. Not only am I faced with the very things my disorder fears (loss of control, weight gain, food etc.) but the “traumas” that I feel helpless to work through. Some days I talk myself into believing that this is all just about losing weight, that I don’t even have a disorder, because honestly this is all just too much.