Community Magazine


By Rubytuesday
I saw Mary on Tuesday
Tuesday is weigh day
I would have happily eaten my own foot than go to that appointment
I had stopped weighing myself as home but after being sick curiosity got the better of me and I weighed on Sunday
Somehow even though I ate next to nothing for 4 days
Somehow even though I slept for most of that time
Somehow even though I neither binged or purged in that time
I gained weight
This is hard to take because no part of me willingly participated in this gain
I decided to go to the appointment but politely refuse to be weighed
Yes, good idea Ruby
When the time came and she invited me to step on to the scale, I said 'No thank you'
I explained that my delicate mental state could not handle big horrible numbers right now
We talked for a long time and somewhere along the way I heard myself agreeing to be weighed
To prevent myself having a total meltdown I didn't look
But of course I was dying to know
It's like putting your hand on a hot stove
You know you shouldn't but you touch it anyway
Mary asks me what is so terrible about weigh gain
It's hard to explain
It has nothing to do with how I look
In my eyes I look fat whatever weight I am so it's not that
I tell her that I don't want to regain to a healthy weight and still feel anorexic on the inside
I have been there before and very nearly went insane
A couple of years ago I gained weight and reached my all time high weight
Even though I was still a healthy weight I still felt anorexic inside
People saw I looked ok and presumed I was ok
But I felt worse than ever
It's like I want my appearance to match how I feel inside
To give a visual clue of what is going on in my head
We talked about mental illness and how it's invisible
In fact anorexia is probably the only mental illness that manifests itself physically
Having an invisible illness in incredibly frustrating
If you have a broken arm people can see it
They can see you are in pain
They can empathize
They can ask you about it
But with mental illness no would ever know unless you told them and lets face it who wants to admit that they are depressed or bipolar or bulimic
I told Mary how my doctor said to me that I look well
I can't tell you how much I hate hearing those words
'You look well'
'You look good'
It's like a knife in the gut
To someone with an ED telling them they look well translates to 'You look healthy'
Which translated to 'You've put weight on'
Which translates to 'You are fat'
I know the person saying this means well
They think they are giving you a compliment
I understand that
I've done it myself
But I don't comment on anyone's appearance anymore
You just don't know how they're going to interpret it
The session with Mary is an hour and a half long and I'm exhausted when I get out
I see my father later that day and can't help but ask him if I've gained weight
He says no
I tell about the gain
I tell him I can't understand it
Then I remember back to March when I was in hospital
I gained weight then too and then suddenly lost it all
What is the common factor between then and now?
I wasn't purging
After realising this I spent yesterday eating and purging
More to test the theory than anything else
And this morning I had lost most of the weight I had gained
This is a hard pill to swallow
Knowing this makes it even more difficult to get the purging under control
I just don't know where to go from here
I can't even fully explain why gaining weight terrifies me so much
I guess it's symbolic
Of getting well
Of growing up
Of letting the past go
Of taking responsibility for my life
Of taking control of my life
Of being ready to recover
Of being normal
Of being average
So many things that I don't know if I'm ready for
Words aren't coming easily these days so instead of writing about myself I want to throw the floor over to you
Have you regained weight?
What have you found the most difficult thing about it?
If you have regained to a healthy weight, what helped you come to terms with it?
If you are underweight what is stopping you from gaining weight?
Are your reasons the same as mine?
Please do let me know

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