||[Aug. 6th, 2003|09:43 pm]
I wanted to give the details of my anorexia. First of all, I don't remember how it all started. I think that it was mainly a control issue, but my parents' divorce and my knowledge of the state of the world probably triggered this. For after all, if my family was breaking up and the world was slowly dying, what would be left in my control other than my own weight?
It crept up on me so gradually that I didn't know what was happening until it was too late and I weighed 89 pounds. I kept thinking that a few less pounds wouldn't hurt, that you can never be too thin, etc., and before I knew it I had lost fifty and my heart, according to the doctors at Stanford, was ready to give out. My organs were eating themselves, my hair was falling out, and no matter how many layers of clothing I piled onto my body, I was still cold. It was extremely painful to sit down. I was weighing myself three times a day, doing 500 jumping jacks and strenuous running every day, and on top of it all, there was my conscience constantly telling me that I was fat. I did complicated math problems to calculate how much cereal (including milk) I could eat for breakfast to add up to 90 calories. To sum it all up, my life was hell.
At first, I experienced the "fasting high", in which the body gives itself extra energy so the person is more likely to find food. Instead, I used this high to burn more calories. I learned to shut out the pain that excessive exercise brings, and convinced myself that if I could just finish running this last mile, I would be stronger (and therefore better) than everyone else. Pretty ego-centric, huh? Well, I'm not like that anymore.
And slowly, I began to lose fuel. It was weird. I could hear people talking but no matter how I concentrated, I could only grasp a few words. Reading was impossible, and therefore learning was impossible. I used to stand by the table for hours trying to do my math homework, blocking out my family's anxious voices pleading me to sit down.
And that's when I realized that if I didn't do something soon, I was going to die. I had always told myself that other people died from this disease, but that didn't apply to me. I would survive no matter what. But one day, after realizing that I had to do something, I looked down at my arms and realized for the first time that they looked like twigs. I looked at my face and saw the face of a dying person. My eyes were sunken in, my face was yellowish, and I could see the bones in my forehead. And that night, I looked at my meagre dinner and saw it as life. I said "food is life" and began eating. I put down my salad (with no dressing) and ate three cooked carrots. And then I felt better. I knew that if I could win the struggle to eat that much food, I could overcome this.
It took me a year to gain back the fifty pounds I had lost. Now, every day is a constant battle to keep on eating, but I have won each battle for two years now. I think I will keep on winning.