I really don’t. I know what it‘s called. I know the chain of events that led to it being a featured player in my life. I’m told that if I just do everything I’m supposed to, it‘ll get easier over time. I started this blog, in part, to help explain it to the “normies”. But I just don’t understand this disease.
How does the brain decide to go against nature, telling you that everything will seem better if you just don’t eat? That you’ll feel better about yourself if you just throw up? That the only way you’ll be a worthwhile person is if you exercise until you pass out, then stand up and start all over again?
How can I wear a pair of pants that fit comfortably in the morning, then hold them up later in front of a mirror and decide that there’s no way my ass will fit inside them? I KNOW my ass fits. I JUST took the pants off. Yet standing in front of the mirror, my body looks a full two sizes bigger than the pants.
When you don’t understand what you’re trying to fight, every day is SO frustrating. It’s like that SNL sketch where Chris Farley finds himself a contestant on a Japanese game show. You can watch it here. In the event that SNL takes down this video, I’ll give you the basic rundown: Chris Farley’s character doesn’t speak Japanese, and it’s soon apparent that any wrong answer by a contestant will result in said contestant being forced to cut off a body part. It’s funnier than it sounds. Farley lucks into the right answer several times simply by repeating the last thing the host says, but eventually not understanding what’s being asked of him leads to his being electrocuted.
I don’t speak Japanese. Well, I know some basics, how to swear a little, count to four, and, oddly enough, I know the Japanese word for “squirrel”. But that’s beside the point. If I were trying to solve a problem in Japanese, I would likely not be successful. I don’t understand what’s being asked of me. The same goes here. I know there is a problem to be solved, but I don’t understand it. More often than not, the effort involved in trying leaves me crumpled in a heap, crying.
Usually at this point in a post, I have some clever twist or profound thought that sums everything up in a tidy little package (I suspect I mixed too many metaphors in that sentence . . . ) In this case, I’ve got nothing. All I can offer today is the knowledge that, whether you’re trying to understand your own eating disorder or that of a loved one, if you feel confused, frustrated, and at times, hopeless, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Sometimes, that’s all any of us has to depend on.