9 November 2014

Washing off the stains of anorexia

Frustration, anger, entrapment and guilt. The stains of imperfection remain and I wish they'd scrub off and I'd scrub up.

Unless you're also in recovery from anorexia, I'm sure those words don't automatically get linked to your body. They're probably not the feelings heightened during a Sunday morning shower after a lie in either, But for me, they are.

Every lump, bump and bulge was staring me in the face during my shower this morning. Every single imperfection screaming at me as I stood there, trying to wash off the thoughts and feelings. They've stained my skin, even as they fade. They are still there, and expanding. 

But I'm left feeling totally powerless to change my body, because over the past three years in treatment I know losing weight isn't a real solution. But what is? Is there one? 

I can reel off the textbook therapy answers, that fixing my body, addressing my faults, banishing the fat I see everywhere doesn't fix the mind. Won't ever wash the stain on my brain. 

But when the mind is still looking for a fix. It's hard to not feel frustrated, especially when my bare skin is staring back at me. I'm angry at being in this skin.

Frustrated that I can't fix me. Frustrated that I don't exercise. Frustrated that other people with and without anorexia are fitter, thinner and healthier than me. Frustrated that I feel like I am always going to be less than good enough.

That's where feeling trapped comes in. I feel that frustration which feeds the anger and guilt. But I'm also aware of the motivation, the reality, what other people would say to me. If I make myself feel better in the short term, by agreeing with anorexia, long term, these four emotions trap me more. They'd kill me. 

But then there is the guilt. The guilt for the gains, the guilt for the greed, the guilt for not dedicating more time and energy into channelling the 'willpower' that anorexia still tries to convince me made it all better. Recalling conversations, meals, calories and cakes. Yes, I can only blame myself. It's my fault I am feeling like this at all.

I know better than that. I know it's lies. I know it isn't a real, long lasting and peaceful solution. But in the shower, alone, naked, it's still so raw and real. I still hate being in this skin. I still want a solution. I still want to be better. I still wish I could control the flesh I now know I can't. 

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