I am NOT a loser

To my coworkers:

For the past seven years, I have been a loser.

Seriously. I have been suffering from anorexia nervosa. My whole life was about losing. Weight, mostly, but I ended up losing far more. My hair, for instance. Significant amounts of bone density. All four years of college, the two years of grad school. I have lost out on relationships with both men and women. I am 26 years old and have never had a boyfriend. Not one. I have only one friend nearby to speak of, but I see my therapist more often. I have also lost approximately half a million dollars in treatment costs, both inpatient and outpatient. I nearly lost my life, several times: three times from cardiac arrest, and one from an overdose.

I have been a loser for far too long. Now, I am a gainer. Weight, yes, but I am also gaining my life back. I can go out to eat at a restaurant. I can hold down a job. I can drive a car. I can live on my own.

If all of you at work want to play the "Big Fat Loser" game, do it knowing I can whip your asses in a heartbeat. When I walk in the doors to the office, I am filled with dread. I feel like an alcoholic forced to watch Bud Light ads on her computer non-stop, and then go into the break room for cocktail hour. And not drink. You know how they talk about "hostile work environments" in those sexual harassment sensitivity trainings? You might not have nudie pictures up in your cubes, but you do have signs saying "Nothing tastes like looking good feels." I've seen that phrase before. I've also seen group weight loss competitions. Wanna know where? On pro-anorexia websites. Yep. They got it from all of you.

This battle is simply a lose-lose situation. I am forced to become a loser; I have no other options. If I keep my mouth shut, I lose any sense of value and self-respect that I have fought so hard to earn these past few years. If I speak out, I will be blackballed. Ya'll know it's me who is objecting. I have made no secret of that. You can make nice, but I know. I've been the reject many times before. This time, I don't want to have to lose in order to win.

I never thought of any of you as losers. Until now. You have no idea what an eating disorder is like. The shivering, the praying "Please God, let me die, but make me skinny first." The blacking out on the treadmill. The endless hospitalizations and treatment. The loss of all sense of what it means to be normal.

So please respect MY right to eat how I want and keep the fucking chocolates on my desk. You are not weak if you eat a chocolate on your diet. You are weak because you cannot respect me.


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mary said...

Hi Carrie,
Sorry that your life work situation is so frustrating. Keep your chocolates on your desk and let them be their challenge.
I've been in places where I annoyed others and even got booted off a google group by grown women who didn't like me for being my honest self! These were mom's I met in an ED support group of all places. I never was good at conforming to please the audience.
What I found was that I am tougher than I knew, just as you are! Love yourself first, just as it teaches in the What The Bleep movie. Remember, the messages you tell yourself are the ones that you become. Love yourself and love the world exactly as it is and you will perceive it's beauty. Hate it and you will see what's wrong.
My daughter did recover from her ED and she did it one day at a a time, reclaiming her birthright to eat, to have a voice, to have her own opinions. I'm a friend of your mom's and I hope you don't mind my intrusion here but I just wanted to let you know I admire your spunk. You CAN do this. Stand tall and smile at those dieters, it's not your battle anymore. Love em anyway but love yourself more. I'll send you some reiki. I like Dove chocolates! ~ Mary

samsi77 said...

AMEN Carrie. Please keep telling yourself out loud if needed that you are not a loser, you do not want nor need to be a loser and that you are a winner and will continue to be! Recovery is about living, learning, sharing and growing on levels outside of physical aspects. It is about depth!

CARRIE said...

Holy crap Mary! I've got groupies!! First Laura, then Marcella, now you. Jeez. :)

Thank you for your sweet words. I loved what the bleep, and am on the prowl for the "Down the Rabbit Hole" version. I bought the companion book, too. OK, my mom did as I'm dirt poor right now.

Thanks for your continued encouragement. It means the world to me.

mary said...

Please say something if it bothers you to have me peeking at your blog! In fact I know that none of us would look if it gave you the creeps, ok?
Your 'holy crap' had me laughing this morning. thanks!
My son has a huge 5 gallon jug which he fills each week at our house.[we have excellent water] On the outside he has written words such as hope, love, joy, strength, and any others he wants the water to become. His life has transformed in the last year. He's struggled with his own issues for way too long, he's 29yrs, but has worked hard to fight his demons. For my 4 yr.old niece she was thrilled to get a gallon bottle and drink up 'joy water' in her house where her mom and dad had been fighting too much. It helped. My mom found the one of the books I had been telling her about,'Hidden Messages in Water', one night when she spent the night here. She loved it. It really is powerful. Fill yourself a glass and write your own word/words. Thankyou and Love were said to form the most powerful beautiful crystals.
My daughter, in order to beat her ED, HAD to fight the messages with a new focus. No more feeding the ED or entertaining the inner dialogue with debates. She stayed very busy ignoring the ED, starving IT. She worked alone but she accepted all the ideas and tools she was handed that appealed to her. She had great and funny affirmations that carried her. She used the same stubbornness I know you have too.
Who ARE you Carrie? You are so much more than your ED. I know you are brave just for sharing your story. You have creative areas which you've yet to tap into. Use art. Learn to scribble outside the lines. If you'll see the ED as a dissolving and no longer needed aspect of your life, YOU will let go the grip you are holing on it. You have the power to let it go. When it wants your attention, even if it's about a dieting debate, distract yourself. Let it go. Just as these ladies, the losers, have a goal, your goal needs to be on the rewards you will have when your body and mind has been fully renourished.
Nourishment is the key for all of you, so you have something in common with these ladies after all. They aren't your enemies as much as they've hit a sore spot. You don't need to save the world, you need to save Carrie. Then it will be "watch out world!" You will find that you've always been there, hiding the most beautiful aspect of yourself, acceptance. Imagine the possibilities if your goals were for yourself. You'd have loads of groupies but it's only 1 that matters, YOU.
thankyou and love~ mary

CARRIE said...


I'm honored that you would read my blog. I meant my comments quite tongue in cheek.

I'm going to preserve my spirit by leaving this environment and entering one (yet to be determined) that honors who I really am.

I love LOVE the idea of labeling bottles of water with different affirmative words (joy, love, hope, etc) and then drinking out of them. Absolutely beautiful.

Thank you for supporting me and mom through this arduous journey.

mary said...

Good for you for choosing you. My daughter left her job not knowing what next as it drained her to work a bookstore when she needed to be illustrating, painting, and creating. She'll be richer for the temporary poverty and we'll help anyway we can.
You'll be fine too. Life is always giving us signs as to which way to go. You are listening well. The best sign of all that you'll be fine, perhaps sooner than you think.
This is one of those blessings in disguise! Follow your heart Carrie!

Hope said...

What a powerful post. You really are a WINNER in so many ways. I'm so proud of your strength and character that you have shown. Keep standing up for yourself and listen to the wise voices around you and within you.
Love and Hugs to you!

You have been such a wonderful cheerleader for me over these past couple of years. I'm so happy that you can do the same for Carrie now. Your words mean so much to both of us.
Sending you love, "Hope"

What can I say...Your voice and support has made a huge difference in Carrie's life. I'm forever grateful for all that you do.
Hugs, and much respect, "Hope"

mary said...

thank you Hope and Carrie! What a warm welcome. Here's to getting stronger each day!

Harriet Brown said...

What a powerful and moving evocation of what it's like to have an eating disorder from the inside.

I'm cheering for you.

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About Me

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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