Emily, 19-years-old, is an inspiration. She shares with us the reality of having anorexia: it isn’t glamorous or enjoyable. Emily lets us in on a glimpse of life with anorexia, the dark side of it, and all that it has to offer (which really isn’t anything to offer at all). Emily, who has been in recovery and progressing continuously every single day, is a motivation with her self-awareness and her determination to rid her life of anorexia once and for all. Thank you for your honesty, Emily; I am sure this post was difficult to write and an emotionally draining reminder of your experience with anorexia. Like you said at the end of your post: recovery is worth it. Proud of you, and thank you for being honey hearted’s first guest writer!
So, you want an eating disorder?
I am sick and tired of all the pro-anas and fitspos that encourage unhealthy behaviors through social media. They are everywhere nowadays and you can’t completely avoid them.
So you want an eating disorder you say? They are pure HELL if you ask me. But, since you so desperately want it, let me give you a preview of all the “glorious” things you will experience on this journey of destruction.
Take a look at your beautiful locks right now. All of the hard work it took to grow out your hair, the shine, the silky smoothness, all of it is taken away. It becomes dull and if you are lucky you will have a grayish tint to it. You know why? Because your body doesn’t have any nutrients to give you Rapunzel’s hair. Clumps fall into the drain and even more on your brush. Since we are on the topic of hair, you’ll grow it for sure, but it won’t be on your head. Nope, you will resemble a peach in no time! I mean, if you like fuzz by all means but you might have to invest in a nice razor and a long one too to reach your lower back. Talk about sexy!
You will feel like a warrior won’t you? You WILL lose the weight. But when you starve yourself, you also lower your metabolism. You’ll get to the point where you stop losing because your body gets used to the low intake and holds on to every single calorie it can find. You won’t be able to stop. It will never be good enough. It becomes a game of numbers. I hope you’re good at math.
You’ll work out more and more and eat less and less until you don’t even have the energy to climb the stairs any more. Then you’ll probably feel like a failure and hide away in your room. You can’t stand the idea of leaving it. Leaving your room means being around people. Being social involves food. Food is going to hurt your progress right? Also, what if they judge you? Or notice the mess you have become?
Getting ready every morning becomes hard work. How can you cover up the blue skin and dark circles around your eyes? You could go look for some new skin but I don’t think there are many stores that have that. It takes true strength to be a smurf right? Even if you turn up the heat, you internally feel like ice.
Do you like to sit? You won’t be able to anymore. Your legs will fall asleep all the way up to your hips. This isn’t like what you’re used to, that tingly feeling. This hurts. Almost as much as the bruise that never goes away on your tailbone. I guess you won’t have to worry about this too much, your compulsive exercise will keep you from sitting. Ever.
Remember when…. nope. Your memory fades. Adios memory! Even the simplest of questions will have your brain searching for an answer. Maybe your school grades will drop. All you have time for is counting calories and thinking about food. All. Day. Long. Doing bad in school is your worst nightmare. Is it possible to have a nightmare if you are already living in one? I guess so.
Insomnia is a bitch. You have it now. That means more time to overwhelm yourself and worry. At least depression stays up with you to keep you company. You missed company. Friends become people you used to know. Family keeps their distance; afraid of saying the wrong thing. It’s just you and ED now.
It’s worth it right? Anything’s worth it, even your hair, nails, bones, muscles, possible children, your family, your heart. Sacrifice it all, throw it all away. You’re thin now, that’s what counts, even though you don’t know it. You never see the damage you have done until it’s too late.
This won’t last forever. You either choose recovery or death chooses you. Recovery is definitely the harder choice but it’s up to you. You must admit you need help. ED will sure hate you. But what’s worse? ED hating you or you hating you?
Recovery won’t happen overnight. You may have to go to counseling, see doctors, and eat some things that you had restrictions on for a long time. Sounds scary, right? It can’t be near as scary as the life you would have “lived” in your eating disorder.
There will be tears, frustration, and bad days, but there are only so many of those before it truly gets better.
You start feeling better. You can think again. Eating a family meal isn’t like being punished. Your smile comes back. Hair comes in fuller. Grades start improving. Friendship are mended (also a process). Sitting again without the pain physically and mentally. Eating a cookie with enjoyment. Notice weight gain but also notice that your skin color is coming back. Recovery is hard. BUT SO DAMN WORTH IT.