Move along...

Obviously, I know there's no definition for "normal." I also know that even if there was one, I would fight it tooth and nail. But I do want to find MY normal. My usual way of being in this world.

Normal for me has been a preoccupation with food; counting calories; rituals that even I couldn't rationalize; feeling like shit. That was me.

And yet, I have to remind myself: I am doing well in recovery. Maintaining my weight, no purging, no cutting. This is something I have never yet done for any lengthy period of time (i.e., more than a month at a time) in the past seven years. Mentally, however, Ed is fighting back tooth and nail.

Ed: You can certainly afford to lose some weight.
Carrie: (looking in mirror) Absolutely.
Ed: So why are you eating your snack?
Carrie: Because I want to recover.
Ed: But you can still recover at a lower weight, can't you? I mean, you made it this far.
Carrie: Yeah, but sometimes on sheer luck. You almost killed me, you little bastard.
Ed: (very contrite) I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. But listen to me: you're fat now. You don't have to be that way.
Carrie: You're right. I don't. I want to be thin, bony, tiny...but I also want to be normal.
Ed: Well everyone's dieting.
Carrie: Well not everyone has dated a creep like you.
Ed: That doesn't change the fact that you're fat.
Carrie: (craning neck around to get better view of her ass). Nope. It doesn't.
Ed: So why don't you let me help you. People liked you better when you were thin.
Carrie: You did, that's for sure.
Ed: And aren't I always right?
Carrie: Um, no. You said being thin would make me happy. You said being thin would calm my frayed nerves. You were so so wrong, buddy. I was miserable and depressed and an anxious mess.
Ed: You are SO fat and worthless.
Carrie: Who asked you?
Ed: As far as I can recall, you did.
Carrie: Not now I didn't.
Carrie: We have our next date in court* this Tuesday. Considering all of the medical costs I've accrued because of you, I might be able to write an article about the Most Expensive Divorce of All Time.
Ed: No you won't. Because you'll never go through with it. Why would you want to? You would just be FAT. Fat fat fat fat fat.
Carrie: You know, you just might be right.

I want to end this with a "Screw you, Ed!" kind of manifesto, but not if I want it to be realistic. It's like: there will be a price to pay for recovery. It means having to go out and face the world, having to realize that shit happens and I'll deal with it as it comes up. It means learning how to cope with depression and anxiety. I don't think my eating disorder was a "coping mechanism." But it did take the edge off of the anxiety at first. I could channel it, focus on it, do something about it. If fat and food and weight were making me anxious, then I could just eat the right things in the right order at the right time and do the right exercises for the right duration. Bingo. And if I was sad? I thought that losing weight would make me happy.

Now I know that it doesn't. I want so desperately for it to work, this anorexia thing. But it doesn't, and now that my brain is fully nourished, I can see that. I don't really like it all that much, but I see it.

I want it to go away, to thump myself three time on the head with a magic wand and wind up back in Kansas with Toto.


And the solution sucks: keep eating, maintain the weight your body has naturally settled at, and push on.

This reminds me of the lyrics from one of my favorite songs by the utterly awesome band Great Big Sea:

Hey You, you lost your only friend
You can't believe your broken heart will ever mend
But every mountain has its faces that'd make you want to stop
On this so unwelcome journey from the bottom to the top.

Move along, I believe there's Something Beautiful to see
Move along, I believe there's Something Beautiful
Just waiting for you and me.

I know you'll never count the tears you've cried
Though you've asked a million questions
No one could tell you why
A single soul is chosen to be the one put to the test
But there will be some consolation for a heart that never rests...

*Divorce court, of course, means therapy and dietitian appointments. I rest my case.

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mary said...

I can't wait till the judge orders NO CONTACT.
There's really not a chance that Ed is going to ever be a good friend. Sure, there will be promises but only to lure you back onto that path where true loneliness prevails.Then it would the same old crap again where he didn't give a damn about you and his whole version of being thin is secretly emaciation.
I am glad you see through Ed and the devious plans he has. He's cost you plenty of your genuine creativity, using you as his pawn.
Ed's days are surely numbered.
The song is great for you./*

hungry for hunger said...

I've seen them in concert. That's right.

totally a rover seldom sober,

Willow said...

I have had pretty much the same conversation with my Ed; maybe they're brothers like Daryl & Daryl.

Ed lies.

Carrie Arnold said...


I have a restraining order...I just need help enforcing the damn thing. It's like- I know he's lying, but there's a part of me that wishes it were true. A part that is growing smaller every day, however.


Okay dude- you have gone and made me *totally* jealous. I have never seen my Newfoundland friends live before. They were in my area once (in the town where I was living!!) but I didn't realize they were playing until the day after. ::shrugs::


Ed lies. Totally succinct, and totally correct.

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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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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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