Friday, 4 September 2009

The Truth Hurts

I have been lying to myself and everyone else for some time now.

I know I have a problem and I know it is getting worse.

Today I weighed 6 stone 12. 85.68 pounds. It's not a terribly low weight given that I'm only about 5,3" but others have been making comments lately. I feel like a fox must feel when backed against a mud wall, faced with the moist, snarled mouth of a hound.

I just want to get smaller and smaller.

It would seem that I have an eating disorder. However hard that it to admit.
And it IS hard.
I can't say it aloud to anyone.

The problem is that for the past 17 years, my family and I have watched my middle sister, a severe anorexic, systematically attempt to starve herself to death.
It has been extreme even by most anorexic standards.

It's not about food. My thing.
It's about control and aging and being small and being loved and being unhappy.

I've just had a huge family ordeal. My youngest sister is in tears, telling me she can't do this again. I am selfish, she says.
There is truth in that.
How can I do this to them? How can I let this happen?
How can I stop it?

I am terrified that if I was to let go of this, I would collapse. Smash into shards like dropped cut glass.
I would have nothing to live for.

I want and need to be left alone.

I want to be smaller.
I need my pain to be outside instead of inside.

This is a "reactive" post. Not one where I have had time to rationalise my feelings and create a distance.
According to Wordsworth it's not good to write this raw. He said that "the best poetry comes from emotion recollected in tranquility". I always thought that applied to writing in general.

There aren't words to describe the desperation I feel right now.

Metaphorically speaking it feels as though I have had lemon juice poured onto a fresh wound tonight.
The more they say, the more I am pressed against the wall an the more I will shrink.

I'm too old to have developed an eating disorder. I cannot understand what is going on.

I'm lost.


  1. Hi there-

    Don't quit five minutes before the miracle happens!! :-)

    Love Gail

  2. your blog hits me hard because I nearly died from starving myself. And no one is too old to develope an eating disorder. Our weight, our bodies may be the only thing we feel we can control when so much seems out of our control.Praying for you. Sarah

  3. Hi sarah.
    Sorry it hit you. It is hard to read about things which have affected you in the extreme.
    You are right about control I think.
    Thank you for praying.
    I appreciate it.

  4. it's *very* hard but dude, your BMI is 15.2. most clinics would take you for treatment *now*.

    you will not fall apart if you look for peace. Ana is not your friend. she doesn't heal. she makes pain only to grant a little sweet relief. just enough you imagine she will be kind to you, eventually, if only you surrender all you desire.

    there is not such thing as small enough or good enough with her around. there never will be. you hope, though, i know. and some days it is enough until, one day, it isn't and you look around and realise that all you've managed to accomplish is to trap yourself in Pandora's box.

  5. p.s. you will always be more than just a number. you will always be walking with courage, no matter how small you do or do not get or whether you disappear. precisely because this is that hard. but it's also the place where you see what it means to Be so my prayer will be that you might live, not merely subsist. you don't have to be something for your family or anyone else but you will have to be something for *you*.

  6. CK- I know it sounds like crazy talk but I honestly don't LOOK that thin... I guess cos my frame is small.
    It's very hard to hear myself sounding like this. I never thought it was possible to feel like I do.
    You sound as though you speak from experience ad I know from reading some of your words that you too face some of this stuff.
    Thank you for your words here. You are right about the fact that some days it's enough and other days it is a million uphill miles from being enough. I do hope.
    Although I feel it is impossible to let go of the hand that I have been clutching with this, I also hear your words and find it a huge relief to hear someone who knows and has an understanding.
    Thank you for your prayer. I really am very, very moved by your words.

  7. i'm 5'3", too so nice try but still not buying it ;) technically it's that you don't perceive yourself as appearing that thin. it's body dysmorphia and it's a PITA but there are ways to cope with it: cognitive techniques that are incredibly valuable and will gradually quiet the sense of rising desperation.

    i know from both sides of the fence, too. one of my best mates has been severely anorectic with purging tendencies since before we met. over ten years now. and well, let's just say there are reasons she's my best mate. LOL so i get the terribly difficult, not to mention precarious, position you're in, as much as anyone can i suppose.

    perhaps your experiences with your family have more value than you'd think? you know the score. you know where this goes and where you don't want it to go. of course it's frightening but you are not your sister, after all.