7 September 2014

Here's looking at you

Seeing a very ill woman in the supermarket this morning stirred something inside me, not in an envious, triggered way, at all. Not pity, just somewhere in between.

I must add that this is off the back of a bad body image day, and after bumping into a few people who are more petite, slimmer, fitter and smaller than me. 

But back to the supermarket. She was around my age, in the clothing area, looking at comfy PJs, jumpers and fluffy socks. I knew straight away, she was trying to find a way of warming her bones - without needing to eat.


A few years ago, she would have looked at me doing the same thing, and I know with the benefit of hindsight, that she would have known I was riddled with anorexia too. 

This time was different. She looked up and saw me looking at her, I wanted to smile and tell her things get better, but also still had that pang of wanted to guess her weight, wish I had her 'control' and again, I felt chunky, huge and just rather invisible. All, of course, are false pangs of nostalgia. 

I also saw a man and his wife notice her, her fragility and coldness wrapped in baggy sweatpants and a hoodie, she looked Ill, so ill. And they knew it, but I'd be kidding myself if I didn't wish they could see that I once struggled as much as her. 

I don't want to be her, look like her and I definitely wouldn't want to have the anxiety, pressure and consuming thoughts I know she'll be having.

There's just something about seeing her that struck me, I'm too recovered to be like her and yet, not recovered enough to not notice her, or feel those feelings. 

Or maybe it's just on a day where I'd already woken up regretting weight gain, worrying so out my body and feeling guilty for not trying to fix it.

This is where I put 3 years of recovery and therapy in action and remind myself that life is much better in the food aisles, not wasting money of layers of clothing that mask the real problems. 


  1. I've had this experience a few times, and it really is difficult. However, as you say, the pull back to anorexia and what it seems to offer is a false promise. You are truly more 'you', more visible, and living more of a full, multifaceted life, the more you can stay on the path you are on. I always think of weight gain as the price I pay for those things, in the short term. Until (hopefully) I can get to that place where noticing someone unwell in that way does nothing to me apart from a sense of compassion.

  2. I have this same feeling often. It's like I feel bad for the person yet I want to be that again. But thankfully I'm healthy enough now to know that it's not truly what I want.