I’m reading Hunger: A Poetic Journey through Anorexia Nervosa by Katie Lawrence.
Truth be told, I’ve never been one for poetry. It’s too abstract for my very concrete mind. But I like this book. Katie struggled her way through anorexia with poetry therapy and the book is sectioned into Before, In the Midst, Hurting, Moving Beyond, and Blessed.
Something that has been really challenging is that I don’t know what success looks like. I don’t know anyone (at least to my knowledge) that has been through anorexia and succeeded in overcoming. So, with no vision of success, it’s hard to see or believe in an end goal.
My goals are what…to gain weight? To weigh 135 pounds? To become an intuitive eater? To have a healthy relationship with food? To be body positive? To love myself for who I am as a person, not a body?
Those goals sound good. But first of all, how do I reach any of them? And what does the journey to reach them look like?
All I can do right now is miserably exist. Seriously. That sounds dramatic but that is my current experience.
I like this book because Katie gets it. She says, “Each moment of each day is controlled by my eating disorder. From the moment I wake up to the moment I shut my eyes, my life is consumed by thoughts of what I will eat, or not eat, what I will restrict, how I will make it through another day surrounded by food. It is exhausting and I am so tired.”
The fourth sentence of her book makes the prison analogy that I made in my last blog post before I even started this book. “I live my life in a prison of my eating disorder.” Or as I put it, anorexia is the new orange (prison suit).
Her second poem reaction (the Before section is reactions to poems before she began writing her own) is more hopeful and talks about taking the first step. Even though I have taken some pretty big steps to get help at this point, I question them constantly. Every single time I tell someone new, I wish I hadn’t. I wish I could go back and just be alone with my ED voice.
I have an intake appointment scheduled for April 4 at a center in my city. I have arranged for needed childcare. I am starting to look to the possibility of going somewhere inpatient for at least a couple of weeks to get help.
But I’m thinking of undoing all of it. Stop all of it. Stop responding to my best friend who, bless her heart, is trying her best to contact me as much as she can but it’s still just not enough to change this at all. Stop posting on the app my counselor uses. Stop letting my husband know what’s going on. Start lying about what I’m eating (or not eating). Quit the counselor and doctor, and just be on my own. It’s too much, trying to eat more. It’s just too much.
The doctor started me on an anti-depressant. It’s chicken & egg…my counselor and I are both not sure whether the depression is causing the anorexia or vice-versa. My first dose was today, but it will take a few weeks to notice any difference. Maybe I will feel more hopeful if this takes effect. Because right now, I just want to give up.