I sometimes wish that people could see anorexia. They see you & they speak to you as though you’re doing ‘this’ to yourself, but they don’t get it. They don’t see ‘it’. Anorexia is invisible to everyone else, but to me she’s very real. My twin within. If you saw her & if you heard her, then maybe, just maybe you would appreciate the difficulty of trying to fight it.
If she was visible… 🤔
We’d be sitting together in a room…we’d be together all the time. She would follow me everywhere – even to the bathroom. Prodding at my skin whilst I shower. Pointing out the fat parts in the mirror.
I’d wake up in the morning & you’d see her. You’d see her watching me, waiting for me to open my eyes. She’d even be whispering in my ear whilst I was sleeping just so she could have influence over my dreams. She’d also know if I was pretending to be asleep. She wouldn’t let me just lay there.
You’d see her shouting at me ‘Get up now you fat, lazy cow! You need to be productive!’
You’d see her follow me around, telling me not to eat, telling me to not sit still. Screaming at me to walk more, to run faster, to not be so pathetically lazy. Yelling at me to not be such a failure!
If she let me attend a party (or something of the sort), you’d hear her telling me that I’m not allowed to drink because of the calories. If she allowed me to drink it would have to be on her terms & would only be because she stopped me from eating all day. If you saw her with me in the kitchen…you wouldn’t see me closing the cupboard doors…you’d see her slamming them closed & standing in the way. You’d see the pair of us at the supermarket & you’d see her whispering in my ear as I dare to pick up an item… ‘Read the label!’ ‘No! You can’t have that’, ‘I don’t care if you want it! You don’t need it!’, ‘Put it down!’, ‘That has too many calories, it’s going to make you fat!’
You’d witness her controlling my every move. Minimising my contact with others due to her own insecurities…she would see other people as a threat to her very existence.
You’d watch her push me onto the scale. You’d see her slap me around the face when the number went up. You’d hear her shouting at me that I’m ‘useless’ & ‘worthless’ & that I ‘don’t deserve anything or anyone’. She’d tell me that I was ‘greedy’ & that’s why I need to listen to her – listening to her would allow me to become ‘a much better person’.
You’d see her pull out the tape measure & wrap it around me. Each number measuring my worth. My waist, my hips, my thighs. You’d see her taking measurements you’d never think about – neck, forearm, calf, etc, etc…not just the standard. She’d know what measurement meant what. She’d know the exact conversions from metric to imperial. You’d see her doing the calculations quicker than a calculator.
You’d see her kicking me in the stomach with guilt & shame with any bite of food I had that went against her.
You wouldn’t always witness her being mean though … when I’d do what she wanted you’d see the opposite side of her…you’d see the side that made being with her easy. You’d catch a glimpse of the moments where she’d make me feel alive! The moments she’d make me feel good about myself. She’d be kind. You’d see her comfort me when I cried. You’d watch as she helped clean up my wounds & wipe away my tears. Reassuring me that things could be fixed…that she’d fix things, but I’d have to listen to her.
You’d hear the excitement in her voice when the numbers went down because that meant I’d taken her advice. You’d hear her telling me how proud she was of me every time I skipped a meal or ran further than she’d asked. You’d see me smile with delight when I felt as though I’d made her happy, because that meant that I wasn’t going to be verbally attacked & you would see the utter relief on my face.
But of course…you’d also have seen all of those bad things.
You’d be witness to her manipulative ways.
You’d see her lying to me.
You’d see how she was responsible for pushing me & pushing me.
You’d see a bully & an abuser!
You’d see how I was controlled by her!
You’d witness me being brainwashed like you often see in abusive relationships.
You’d see how I wasn’t trying to kill myself, but how I was actually trying to survive.
People with Anorexia don’t choose this life…Anorexia chooses us. We feel comforted & believe that our illness will help take the pain away. We don’t see what we become. We just listen to what the disorder says, because that’s the easy way. That’s the only way we don’t get shouted at.
And I could honestly keep going on & on about what you would see her do & hear her say. She’s constantly there. Constantly overpowering, constantly challenging anything you say that goes against her. It’s relentless! It’s exhausting!
We become a shell of ourselves.
You don’t see our reality because Anorexia is hidden within our head – she’s clever that way.
But if you saw the disorder as a person…maybe you’d see why we’re so scared to leave it behind. We’re constantly told by it that we’d be nothing without it. That we wouldn’t cope. That nobody else would care. And we believe it. We’re absolutely convinced!
Just like an abusive relationship.
If anorexia was a disorder in the flesh…you would see how we’re made to feel as though we don’t have a choice. We feel weak in comparison to ‘it’ & we believe that the only person willing to take care of us & willing to be with us, is in fact the ED. Anorexia chains herself to you, so it isn’t as simple as even being able to walk away.
You have to find the key to be free, but it’s difficult to find when the person stopping you from freeing yourself is also chained to you & she’s there trying her best to sabotage any chance of freedom.
It isn’t impossible to live a more freeing life, but that freedom is something that you constantly have to fight for each & every day & you have to start putting your trust in others & less trust in the one thing pulling you back to where ‘it’ wants you.