At the tail end of Monday’s session, I found the courage to bring up my eating disorder. This is not something we generally talk about in session because I avoid it at all costs.
But I told her it had been getting worse and I’m becoming increasingly afraid of the potential repercussions, physiologically and otherwise.
I graduate next month.
Right now I have almost nothing to do with my infinite free time except descend further into my illness.
I don’t want to do that.
Yet I do.
I suppose I see this as an opportunity to drop my intake as low as possible and drop as much weight as possible. I want to push the limits of the disorder and see where it will take me. I no longer have professors, clinical instructors, or patients to answer to, so what is to stop me from starving??
Well, I also want to prepare to exit school and enter a profession I have worked so hard to join. I want to continue to run and do yoga and Pilates and leisure read my list of books by feminist writers and continue aprendiendo Español and reading the latest research in my field. I want to see my friends and family and reach out to my network. I want to lounge on my amazing sofa and watch endless amounts of Hulu, Netflix, and HBO.
But I can’t.
Well, I can, but not in any meaningful way. I still exercise, but it is solely to drive up my total calories burned. I turn the television on or pull out library books or open my language learning apps, but my brain is so preoccupied by the horror of “being fat” that I cannot concentrate.
It’s awful and I don’t know what to do.
I have been through a lot. I’ve faced many battles and slayed plenty of demons. But there is something about anorexia that just paralyzes me.
It is the strongest, smartest, and most formidable opponent I have ever come up against.
It demands all of my time. It lies to me. It tells me I am worthless and lazy and stupid. It convinces me that I cannot make decisions for myself. It makes me feel unsafe and whispers in my ear that everyone else is a liar and dangerous. It makes me afraid of myself and food and my body and the world. It devours everything good in my life. It thrives on my self-loathing and rewards me for hurting myself. It manipulates me and everyone around me, dragging us all into its lies and deception. It’s destroying me. It’s destroying everything.
Yet I cannot speak to it or of it or against it in session. I tried today. I tried to remind my therapist that she said we should return to this topic.
But I couldn’t be straightforward and she didn’t want to “save” me, so we didn’t talk about it. Not until I started breaking down.
I got up and left to get some air. I came back and sat down and just started crying and yelling. I told her I hated her and that she didn’t care about me. I said she wasn’t interested in helping me and she couldn’t help me anyway if she wasn’t willing to talk to me.
I was wriggling and squirming all over the place. I was intermittently crying and yelling and silent and hyperventilating.
I was a fucking mess.
The session was a disaster. About halfway through I just knew I had fucked this up and I wouldn’t be able to have a conversation that would feel good or satisfying to me. Which, of course, just triggered me more.
So I sat there, trembling and mumbling incoherently in some desperate attempt to communicate something that feels unspeakable.
I don’t have words. I cannot find them. The disorder takes them from my mouth and hides them away from me.
So there I am, falling apart with no words to explain what is happening and yet an insatiable and absolutely desperate need to speak and be heard.
How can I beat this? How can I make enough noise to be louder than this fucking disorder??