Community Magazine

The Other Anorexic...

By Rubytuesday
You may remember over the yearsMy mentioning another girl in my area who is also anorexicI used to meet her when I was walking my dogsShe would be pounding the pavementLike a speed walkerAnd she seemed to walk all dayAs any time I went walkingI met herShe was incredibly thinWith stick like arms and legs I don't know how she had the energy to walk so fast and so farI guess she was like meRunning off of the fumes of the little food we allowed ourselvesAnd when we passed each otherWe would whisper a timid hiI recognised her straight away as a fellow anorectic the first time I saw herYou know the way you just know when you meet someone just like youIt was then that I realised that I wasn't the only anorectic in the village
As with a lot of eating disordered people It's hard to gage this woman's ageAs her body was so childlikeYet her face was that of someone in their mid to late fortiesI have photos of me looking the same wayHaving the body of a male child But the face of a mature woman It's a strange combinationAnd maybe one of the reasons that we recognised each other
I asked around about this girl I found out her name And that her sister died from anorexia a while backShe doesn't seem to work But drives a nice carAnd always presents herself very wellI get the impression that she is an A typical anorexicShy Introverted A perfectionist She had all the ingredients to make up a recipe for disaster ED wise
I've met this girl quite a bit over the yearsBut have never said more than hello to herBut stillI felt we had a strange connectionThey neither of us had to say anything Because we both felt each other's painAnd of courseI used to compare myself to this girlWondering if I was as thin as herI'm sure she was thinking the same looking at me
I also often used to meet her in the supermarketWhich was mortifying As she would be buying things like bananas and lettuceAnd I would have a basket full of binge food I wondered if she binged If she ever lost control completely Like I did almost every daySometimes I had a huge urge to speak to this girlTo run up to herAnd give her a huge hugAnd tell her that I understood her painThat she could talk to me if she wantedThat I could be a friend to herBut of course I never didI wish I had though
Over the last yearI have noticed that this girl hasn't been around muchI haven't met her walking in agesAnd I was wondering what happened to herI was hoping that she had got wellAnd found recovery But I really feared for her and her safety In the last couple of monthsI have met this girl a couple of times shopping And I am delighted to report that she looks so much betterShe has gained weight Not a lotBut enough so that she has life in her eyes again And a spring in her step I was so happy to see her in a better place It warms my heart And gives me hope
I was in the doctors this morningI had just finished And was a walking out the surgery doorWhen I came face to face with this girlShe saw meAnd I registered surprise in her faceShe held the door for meI said helloAnd thanked her But for that split second Looking in to each other's eyesI felt like we almost had a conversationWe saw each other lookingAnd feeling so much betterI even felt proud of this girlFor taking her life backAnd for standing up to this cruel illness
Now that I am on the mend And tentatively venture in to recovery I feel a huge urge and obligation to let others know that recovery is possible I feel it's my duty to spread the word that you can and will get betterMary asked me last week If I could go back and tell my ill self somethingWhat would it beI didn't have to think long about thisI would tell myself to go for recoveryThat I had nothing to loseAnd everything to gain Not to waste another year, month, week, day on this illness To take that leap of faithI wouldn't regret it
Now I feel like I should let others know the huge benefits of embarking on recovery In the midst of an EDIt's so hard to see a way out To see beyond the EDWhich is why weight restoration is vital in recovery You literally can't think straight until your brain and body is fedI can't even explain to youHow much better I feel now that I am weight restored I can think straight I have more strength and capability The difference is night and day 
But of course As the saying goes You can take a horse to water But you can't make it drinkIt's the same with recovery From any addiction or illnessYou can't change until you are ready Denial is a powerful thingAnd people can go their whole lives without acknowledging that there is a problemNo one can do it for youAs I have often said If love and support could have got me wellThen I would have recovered a long time agoBut you can't force itIt happens only when we are ready
I am just so happy that this girl seems to be getting well And I would still love to talk to her But maybe that would be inappropriate I'm not quite sureI think recovery often happens when people reach their thirtiesAt this ageA lot of people have been suffering for over a decade Usually people are worn downAnd sick and tired of feeling sick and tiredI know I had more energy in my twenties I had the resilience to bounce back and keep going But nowI just don't have the energy or the inclination to maintain an ED or an addictionI'm just too old for that s**t
The point of this postIs to let you know that recovery is possible No matter how low you goOr how hard you fall Recovery is there for each and every one of us We just have to reach out and grab itMy friend the walkerI'm sure her quality of life has dramatically improved  And I wish her every health and happiness God knows she deserves it

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