I have an eating disorder and it follows me everywhere. I am in my eating disorder and my eating disorder is in me.
Sorry. I know I just wrote this very uplifting thing about the race I’m going to run, and how I’m actually going to eat so I can be strong enough to run. However, it is true, I have this ED and it follows me everywhere and it will follow me around Cambridge when I run the race, right through the finish line.
I cannot separate any part of my life from it. Puzzle turned four a couple of days ago. I have told you this. Well, I can’t just have Puzzle’s birthday. I have Puzzle’s birthday and anorexia. I can’t just have Thanksgiving. I have The Thanksgiving Anorexia Nightmare. Every little thing is an issue. Still.
Even riding the bus. I get looks. A lot. Especially when I sit down on the seat and don’t take up much space. Trust me, it’s an issue.
I can’t be me without my eating disorder. Just can’t. Without my ED, I am a fake me. Because it is a part of me. Because it was such a big part of my life, my past, my present, and yes, my future. It follows me everywhere, and I expect it always will.
So when I go out into the world, and try to be with people, and pretend that I do not have anorexia, that maybe I’ve “recovered,” or that I am just “skinny,” I fall flat on my face. I feel fake. Synthetic.
If I pretend that I do not have this ED, and try to fake it, relationships eventually crumble because they are built on falsehood. They are built on the lie that this ED does not exist. It follows me and I cannot pretend that it does not. It is like trying to hide your nose. There is only so much you can do. You can walk around with a mask on, but people won’t see you that way.
Of course I do not walk up to strangers and say, “Hi, I am anorexic!” Of course not. But I am tired of being half a person around some of the people in my life, including my brothers and some of my friends. Because if you do not know me with my ED, you do not know me.
Do YOU know me?