Photos, mirrors, and general confusion.

For my "normal" friends, seeing themselves in mirrors, photos and reflections on windows etc doesn't cause worry or confusion. Minor changes from one to the other don't matter. One doesn't have to be right vs the others. To me, it's a world of total misunderstanding.
The idea that there isn't one right answer (aka. One photo that depicts me perfectly and exactly as everyone would see me) doesn't compute in my brain.
Taking photos of various body parts in something I do to try and ascertain clarity of my body size. I can take photos and compare them over time, and see if I appear smaller or bigger. The problem is, hours can be spent analysing (especially with photos taken by other people, as happened today).
I decided I wanted to have a picture of myself at this amazing place I went to today with my friend. She has come to visit me in Majorca, and so we used my day off to go on a little adventure. Of course, I see the pictures and think to myself that nobody would see them and judge me as a. A thin person or b. Believe me if I said I had anorexia
Part of me is tempted to post a picture from today (or any recent one) just to see what happens. I think I'm too scared that my fears are true, though.
How is everyone?! Update me in the comments if you want to xxx

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3 thoughts on “Photos, mirrors, and general confusion.

  1. Photos are so difficult. I’ve posted a few but only post from the side angle which generally is okay. If a picture is from the front people will see how massively wide I am. I’m not sure how I can be not fat (there’s a difference between thin and not fat to me; I’m never thin no matter what but I can, at times, consider that maybe I’m “not fat”) from the side and massive from the front. It’s been explained that what I’m seeing is two dimensional and that, obviously, I am seeing with a different set of eyes. I took a bunch of pictures with one of the horses and was horrified by how I looked so deleted many of them. I hate how I look in the ones I did keep even though I lie the composition. I have a huge floppy shirt but feel that because it is so big, it means I am that big. How can anyone possibly see that it is a floppy shirt and that perhaps I might be smaller underneath? I’m going to post them anyone just because I love that horse.

    I’ve also learned that even if I ask what people think, they won’t respond. I personally won’t comment on size because I don’t want to feed into behavior; a fear of mine. For me, after doing some internal searching, I’m actually fishing for validation that maybe I’m not as big as I think I am. Then maybe I’ll be worthy of recovery. However, because no one responds with size comments, it confirms that I really am that big and people are being polite. I assume they think that because I’m not emancipated that I’m not anorexic. (I may actually be emaciated (hard to admit) but because I have so much extra skin that has been stretched out from body builder days, that never shrank back, I look normal size) Non-ED professionals assume I’m bulimic which I’m not. That’s why I like the place I am in right now. They do internal body composition tests which show me as malnutritioned, etc and definitely anorexic. Another girl came in when I did and she is half my size which, for me, confirms me as being so fat that people probably think I am on overeater… despite the obvious. Round and round it goes. I compare, judge, compare, judge… so photos are horrible for me. Mirrors too.

    I’m not sure how you feel about how your body looks to you or how you perceived it to look. Not all anorexics have body dysmorphia. I suggest you look inside yourself to see what is motivating you to post a picture. Will it be helpful to your recovery? Is it a way to say, “here I am, this is me, and that is enough!”? Or is it another way to harm yourself? Just some thoughts. No need to answer them. I always use unanswerable questions to help begin thinking about things.

    • Can I like this comment more than once?!? The start of your second paragraph really speaks to me. The endless comparing and going round and round in mental circles about what things “really” mean. It’s like we can interpret anything and everything to mean we are fat. So frustrating.
      It’s rare for me to feel good about how I look. I don’t recall the last time I felt confident or comfortable in my body. For me, the image I see in a reflection or photo can change so quickly that it’s like I’m looking in one of those haunted house mirrors. Even the biggest part of my body will change e.g. Shoulders one min,
      Legs the next. My thoughts about posting pictures are mixed- partly because it would be out my comfort zone, but also partly in the hope it could validate me to feel sick enough if somebody commented. Of course I’m not sure anybody would see differently to the fat person i see in them….

  2. It’s so difficult and unless a person experiences what we do, they can’t possibly understand. There’s only one person I met who didn’t have an ED who I believed completely understood. He is a female to male transgender and talked about the self loathing he experienced all his life and how, when he looked in the mirror, still in female form, he simply couldn’t recognize the person who looked back. I know it isn’t exactly what we go through but it expanded my view of body perceptions beyond the eating disordered world. It’s such a hard struggle.

    I had to sign a photo release where I volunteer. I figured as long as I never go onto their site or Facebook page I’d be good but then I obsessively go look to see! 🙄Fortunately the organization is about the kids so there’s been none so far. I’ll have to deal with it in the future though because I’ll be a horse handler for them. If they get a picture, I’ll be in them, ugh. Freaking pictures!! Who invented cameras anyway?! 😡

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