But it IS about the food...

It's freezing cold here: 25F out, which is cold both on a relative and absolute scale. I'm tired and crotchety and cranky. I don't have my psycho co-workers to rant and rave about, so scratch that. I overate at breakfast and have been a wreck all day.

Okay, okay, I feel that I overate. I know that, in the grand scheme of things, what I ate was no big deal. However, my brain doesn't operate in the grand scheme of things, it operates on the "You fat pig" scheme of things. I struggled with food all day until dinner, when my mom put her foot down and served me two slices of homemade pizza. I feel much more steady now. Not good, not wonderful, but okay. My ass is still contained within the confines of my sweatpants. No ripped seams or anything. I'm alive. It was pizza. It's over. It's done. Move on.

This is one of those times when I am aware of how good of a medicine food really is. And how much I still hate taking it sometimes. It's like the cough syrup I use when I get bronchitis really bad in the winter- I always seem to ring in the New Year with a rip-roaring respiratory infection. The only thing that helps with the coughing is this nasty prescription Robitussin. I didn't think anything could taste worse than the OTC stuff. I thought wrong. That stuff is disgusting!

It works, though. I wish it didn't, because then I would have an excuse NOT to take it. Yeah, I would still cough my brains out, but I could avoid the nasty fake-cherry taste of the syrup.

Same with food. It works though, and it keeps the symptoms of anorexia at bay. I do believe that one day it will banish them forever. That's why I keep eating.

I got a letter in the mail today from my college saying "Can you believe it's time for our five-year reunion already? Haven't they years just flown by?" I wanted to take her chipper little comments and hit her over the head with them. Speak for yourself. The last five-plus years of my life have been agonizing. So were the four before that. Please do not remind me of the mess I've made of my life. I hate reunions as a whole, but going to a place and sharing "all the great stuff I've done" is not appealing. Basically because most of the stuff isn't something I want to share, or even, for that matter, remember.

This, too, is why I eat. I don't ever intend to go to a high school or college reunion, but if I did go, I'd rather not say "I spent the last X years of my life being anorexic and all I have to show is a nasty case of osteoporosis and $300,000 in medical bills."

I try, in a way, to think of this phase has having a cold. A really nasty long long long cold. And you begin to get some symptom relief but you still feel like ass. Everything is discouraging because people tell you "Oh you sound so much better!" and you want to say "Yeah, but I feel like I was just run over by a semi" but you don't and just smile and nod and want to strangle the poor person. The only solution is to blow your nose, wash your hands, and toss back another couple teaspoons of Robitussin. Like a barfly.

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marcella said...

Of course it is about the food - the clue to me is in the name "Eating Disorder". Of course it's about eating, what else would it be about, tortoises and the weather?

æ said...

Hi Carrie,
It sounds like you've been dealt another tough round lately--and as frustrating and upsetting and hopeless as all that can feel, you just refuse to let it keep you down! That's really very amazing.

Sometimes, for me, it's helpful just to know how confident I've been in the past that recovery is right and good and working--just knowing I was SURE of that at some point can pull me through the what-if's. I've heard you be really sure in the past; it's all in your archives.

I know you'll weather this as well.

take care,

mary said...

It's okay to keep going at a steady pace without trying to set new records! No more deprivation though or wallowing in any of the "you fat pigs" clearly something that the ED is telling you. Anything at all from that part of you is so unworthy of your head space that it's time to evict! It's not paying you rent, it's a squatter! Boot it out.... do it while eating a much deserved serving of whatever you darn well please.
Hope you are feeling better soon. Guess Marcella gave you my cold.

Harriet Brown said...


YOU haven't made a mess of the last X years of your life. Anorexia has.

You are not anorexia.



Marcella and ae,

Please. Spare the weather analogies. The weatherman and I are in a big fight right now because there's about 2 in of snow (5cm for you, Marcella) on the ground, and more coming. No, really, I do appreciate your kind words. Even if I am suffering from a Weather Disorder Not Otherwise Specified at the moment.

Today was...good. Cold, but good. Nothing a warm cup of lemon ginger tea won't fix. And some new beads and baubles.

It's always good to remember that it was the AN at work and not me. If I had cancer, I wouldn't say *I* would have made a mess of my life. It would have been my illness. Thank you for the reminder- yet another instance of the "ED is a choice" at work.

Olivia said...

Hi Carrie.
It's Olivia, the girl at the convention with no speech and babbled like an idiot about nothing in front of everyone. Yea, remember? =)
Anyways, I've been reading your book and I want you to know that I can relate to mostly everything you wrote about. I think your book is amazing and it, so far, has given me hope that one day I'll be over this.

Olivia =)

Rachel said...

I look back on my recovery from an eating disorder with mixed emotions. Like you, I see days, months and years of my life wasted on counting calories and exercising till the point of exhaustion when I could have been reading, traveling or meeting new people.

But yet, suffering from and then recovering from my ED has taught me extraordinary things about myself and who I am. It's led me to examine who I was, am and who I want to be.



Of course I remember you! I thought your talk was quite representative of so many of the people suffering from EDs. How a seemingly innocent decision can turn into something deadly. May you find more hope every day.


Love your website. Recovery is teaching me a lot, though most of the lessons are quite hard won. I am feeling a little better, for the moment anyways.

Jeanne said...

A few years ago, I became acutely aware of how food was my medicine as well. At that time, it was a nasty tasting dose - just like Robitussin was/is for you. But you're right, one does feel better after a few slugs of the nasty tasting meds.

You're also correct when you write about how people just don't understand how the disease lingers even after the symptoms visibly abate. (For me, the symptoms were never visible to most people.)

I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better.

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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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