I am a disgrace. I am a disgrace to my eating disorder and to my religion. How do they co-exist?
I have been in one of my (many) phases of recovery. They just sort of happen sometimes. I eat well (maybe slightly orthorexic) for a few weeks. I still purge from time to time but, it is all relative. Last week for instance, I purged four times. In relation, I used to purge as many times if not more per day at the height of my bulimia. I still consider that week to have been in recovery.
After a few weeks of being in recovery, the same pattern occurs. I start feeling heavy. I hate the sight of my fuller reflection. I feel out of control. I am hungry, starving all the time and I am eating constantly. Yesterday I ate a banana, a protein shake, oatmeal, an apple and a quinoa salad. I was still ravenous on the way home after yoga so I ate three veggie patties and another banana. I was disgusted with myself, but I didn’t purge. I sat there trying to tell myself that it was alright, that I was getting better and stronger and fitter. What I was really getting was fatter.
My thighs are a disgrace. Today I took a long look in the mirror before work. It distressed me. I ended up teaching ballet in studio 5 which is notorious for it’s fat mirrors. I was distraught at the sight of myself. How is it that just a few weeks in recovery mode can make me balloon like this? I teach ballet everyday; I go to hot yoga everyday; I even started training to run 5k everyday and I just get bigger and bigger.
This moment always comes when I am in recovery: the realization that I cannot do this. I cannot bear to be this size. I cannot stand to see flesh where there were bones before.
As if to reiterate how fat I got, I went out with a girlfriend for brunch on Sunday.
“You can borrow a few of my dresses if you like,” she offered. “After all we are the same size. I finally gave up and went up to a size 8.”
I sit there speechless, stunned. I wear a size 4. I have for years. Sometimes if I starve long and hard enough, I can squeeze like a sausage roll into a size 2. I have not worn a size 8 since I lost 40lbs after I was given thyroid medication for my hypothyroidism about 5 years ago.
My friend sees me as the same size as her. Not only is she a size 8 but she just gave birth 3 months ago and is still carrying a lot of baby weight. I love her. I think she is gorgeous. I never for one moment thought we were the same size. Perhaps if she sees me that way, then it is the truth. Perhaps I am the one who cannot see properly. ED sufferers are always told that they see themselves as bigger than they actually are. I feel like I actually have a pretty good idea of how big I really am. Now apparently, my friend sees me as bigger than I am. She wasn’t being insulting. She genuinely meant it. Maybe I got that big and didn’t notice because my pants still fit.
Anyway, her comment has haunted me all week. I made it three days after that without giving up and today was the last straw. The heaviness consumed me. I left work early and went to a coffee shop. I got a latte and a cheese panini. I went to the grocery store, bought a box of a laxatives, greek yogurt and granola. I sat in the car and in my hurry to open the granola the bag ripped and it went flying all over the car and all over me. I sat there like a lunatic, covered in granola and cursing. I thought perhaps God was trying to say something too me. I stuffed half a box of laxatives and all the food down my throat. I followed it with the rest of the box of laxatives. I went to hot yoga and nearly vomited from exertion and the excess of food in my stomach. I disgust myself. I never want to eat again. I never want to be recovered again. I know better. God tells me better. I can’t believe it.
I am a disgrace.