Return to Normalcy?

I'm starting to feel...I don't know...almost normal.

Not that I have ever been, or ever aspire to be normal, but there's a distinct lessening of ed-nosity (thanks Lulu for the term) in my life. My eating is still a little chaotic, and I still need support and guidance from my parents, but it's really lessening.

I'm meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow. Just me and him. (a him friend! ::twitter twitter::) I haven't done that in over a year. I had a challenge lunch with my therapist, I went out with my mom a number of times with no advance notice to help decrease my anxiety and rigidity around food choices. But not with a friend. For that matter, I haven't had friends nearby with whom to even have lunch.

And it feels...nice. Like something any almost-27-year-old should do. Can do. Would do.

I'm not used to that. Having a normal life not eclipsed by anorexia or depression or OCD. It's like when you have a buzzing in your ears and all of a sudden, the volume drops. I'm all "Huh? What was that?"

are we the fools for being surprised
that a silence should end with no sound?
--dar williams

Don't get me wrong here. I still think I look like a beluga whale more often than not, and almost instinctively order the low fat option when available. But it's not inhibiting me from living my life anymore.

I had a chat with the dietitian today, and we both came to the conclusion that I am at my setpoint weight. This is where my body functions optimally. It's nice for me to engage in activities that are fun and enjoyable (walking, swimming, biking when I can get a nice used one) rather than that damn StairMaster. Wrecked my knees on that damn thing. No more. No more. Tentatively, I am realizing that the benefits of being at a healthy weight FOR ME far outweighs any benefit I might get from having an anorexic body.

It's hard for me to accept that I'm not naturally willowy and graceful. I know self-defence. I can kick your ass if I need to- and I look it. I come from hardy Eastern European stock- my genes don't have "tall" anywhere in them. I am working on that lovely grey area between "thin" and "fat" into which most people fall...myself among them. Health is the key. Not the weight.

I need help taking my own freaking advice, true.

I also have difficulties breaking the status quo. I have a hard time NOT behaving as an anorexic because that was just how things were. I didn't make effort to contact friends because I was friendless. Just how things were. I couldn't get beyond that. It's still a monumental effort.

I'm trying. That's the best I can do, and the best anyone can do.

And that's normal.

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Kirsten said...

Congratulations Carrie, on getting this far.

It's a pleasure to read your articulate posts about a struggle that often takes the words away from those who experience it.

wading through recovery said...

wise words, my friend.

mary said...

Oooooooooh, Carrie has a date! :)

You can do this!

You can let go of anorexic behaviors too. Practice normal. Pretend until you are no longer pretending.

So, you aren't a dainty little knick knack. You weren't meant to be. None of us were that have blood flowing through our veins. You are alive so act the part! Your feet touch the floor, don't they? Besides, we aren't going to compare!

Thinking of you today and ....details my dear, I want details. /*

Sarah said...

Fantastic! I loved reading this post, it made me really happy for you as well as hopeful.

Have fun at lunch!!


Thomas said...

Congrats! Its really neat that you are going out and doing, despite having reservations. Heres hoping you have a great time :D

I know from the responses I see here that you certainly aren't friendless right now. I suspect that you haven't ever lacked for people who care about you, but Ed doesn't like you to have a support network.

Hardy European, not tall, not willowy, and kicks ass? Sounds like the yum to me, so cast aside those beluga whale feelings.

Keep trying, keep acknowledging that you are working on it, and celebrate the progress you make while not worrying too much about how much progress it is.

Stay in contact with your friends. Ed wants to be your sole adviser and confidant, and he is is a poisonous liar.

Look me up sometime when you are in Baltimore, I would be delighted to meet you. Then you can continue to have friends nearby who can go with you for lunch (or more likely dinner, with schedule considerations)!

Faith said...

I hear you sister. I love the analogy about the buzzing in your ears...It goes with Ms.Em's analogy of the EDPhones...

Have a nice lunch date(?)!


Jeanne said...

oh, carrie! I'm so excited for you!! I date with a him friend! 8-)

I was terrified when I first started to realize that I was "normal." At times, it horrified me. In fact, I still sometimes look in the mirror and think, "Shouldn't I be hating my reflection?" Like today, I looked in the mirror, noticed how big my arms looked, and thought, "Damn, I am strong!"

It's okay to order the low-fat option. It's okay to think about our choices. The important thing is not to dwell on them. Moving on with life - and it sounds like you are doing that marvelously!!!


Keep living life!

lauren said...

god girl, Im so inspired I can barely write this!!!!!
Have a great lunch with your winkFRIENDwink!!!!!
xo Lauren

Laura Collins said...

You may feel "normal" but no one who knows what you've been through and accomplished is going to see you as anything but "extraordinary."

bron said...

That's fabulous Carrie. I hope it all goes well. I'm sure it will!

I'm also glad you can enjoy having a healthy, strong body. I have found that it makes such a difference: you are strong in body as well as mind, and the world is your oyster!

You've done extraordinarily well.

disordered girl said...

Here's to normalcy...strange how unsettling it can sometimes feel, huh? I think trying every day is probably everyone's normal, it is just never really spoken about in the open enough.

carrie said...

Holy crap! Eleven comments before I check in?

Thanks to everyone.

The "date" went well- it really was a just a friend who only had one X chromosome, but still it was nice.


Ryanryan said...

him friend! *twitters more* =p

ms. em said...


if we lived closer i'd invite you to lunch or coffee or go to the beach or a concert...

i'm happy that you went out with a friend and had some fuel for your brain.


swimfan93 said...

That sounds great! Congratulations on your recovery thus far.

Yesterday, my pool had a 'sleepover' to raise money by swimming for the JDRF. After many, many, many, many weeks of worrying, I finally decided I would go. And I had fun, too. I just felt so...normal. I haven't done something fun for years, and I'm only 13. Everything was always centered around food, calories and exercise. Thank you so much for you so eloquently written blog--you are an inspiration.

carrie said...


Okay, you're a him friend, too.


You're on.


Hope you had fun at your party. I love swimming- it's very calming for me. And good job being normal and extraordinary.

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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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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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