If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you may have noticed a common theme of me doubting my illness, and general confusion about how I feel about it. Thinking over all this tonight I’m curious about why things felt clearer in my mind when I had different behaviours.
For a short period of time I struggled with bulimia. As I was bingeing every night and then compensating in whatever way I saw fit in the moment, I was well aware that I was not ok. I had no shadow of a doubt that I was totally out of control (and out of my mind). I was also extremely unhappy during this time. For me, the ups and downs of bulimia make me emotionally much more volatile than restricting does (or at least that’s how it feels). I didn’t want bulimia. I didn’t feel attached to it, I didn’t like it, I didn’t want anyone to know. Because I hated it so much, everyday was a reminder that I was doing something that was bad for me.
On the other hand, restricting feels safe. It’s consistent and predictable (mostly). Restricting is how my eating disorder started and maybe that’s why I feel kind of “at home” when anorexic thoughts are in my mind. Perhaps though, it’s so familiar and consistent that it’s easy to think it isn’t a big deal. Anorexia is quiet, it lets me do the rest of my life while I simultaneously listen to all its thoughts in my mind as well. I want it around to make sure I don’t endlessly gain weight, and I need it to help me when my feelings are just too much. So many people cut down what they eat from time to time, and so it’s easy to think it isn’t a problem. The constant question of whether I’m suffering from this illness, or just being “on a diet” like others do, bothers me all the time. I never wanted to let go of anorexia the first time, and I’m afraid that if I do, I can’t go back.