Sunday, 1 September 2013


In the past week or so I think I must have been mistaken (ahem 'mistaken') for a crazy lady by a fair few people. Long may it continue! It isn't exactly very common to see people walking along when suddenly they shake their head and spout 'Out of my head you nasty little bitch' (and other variations on that theme) in a spectrum of voices, ranging from sing song to gritted teeth and hissing.

Well that's exactly what I have found myself doing. I'll be a mad bag lady chasing pigeons next. But if I am a mad bag lady chasing pigeons whilst eating a big fat shortbread cookie (and enjoying it rather than it making me suicidal) then I don't give a fuck!

All of these years that I have been anorexic I have been a willing, compliant, 'all for the greater good' anorexic. The sacrifices I made for anorexia's Utopia, her zenith, her promised heaven seemed tiny. What she promised me was so unsurpassable that anything I suffered was barely even considered. I metaphorically wandered over white hot coals, barely feeling the pain because my glazed eyes were fixed on the light ahead.

I have always maintained that anorexia doesn't have complete control over me. examples of my arguments for this have been:
*But I kept my friends- I forced myself to. Katie would have died without her friends
*How can I be completely controlled when I can have an icecream from mcdonalds, drink a syrupy cocktail?

But something inside me has changed

I feel trapped. More importantly I am not trying to persuade myself of any other truth or reason for this feeling other than: I feel trapped because of anorexia

Why did I never feel this before? Well anorexia did seem to give me so much that I needed besides thinness. These are things she gave me that I couldn't seem to find any other way:
*holding onto my childhood
*Making people pity me and want to care and look after me
*I felt 'loved' and when I didn't it didn't hurt half as much because I had anorexia- she seemed so valuable.
*Finally, family stopped taking me for granted- they realised I was more than just a girl, among other things I was hurting and in revenge for the past I was going to fucking well hurt them and they could never stop me.
*Making me feel in control
*making me invincible to all other problems 
*giving me a reason to live- I constantly had Ana's goals to fulfil.
*she promised me a body I had always wanted-she was the only one who could give it to me, she gave me tasters every time I lost weight of how wonderful that day was going to be when we reached 'thin'.

Now what do I feel she gives me that is not source-able in any other way?
* a body I had always wanted-she was the only one who could give it to me, she gave me tasters every time I lost weight of how wonderful that day was going to be when we reached 'thin'.

Now I see that those afore mentioned arguments for why 'I am not completely controlled' are like tissue paper, like wisps of smoke. Here is the truth:

Yes, I am going out to meet my friends. But is it normal, is it 'ok' to have to rake yourself to do so? Is it normal to only really be able to do it so long as it is pre-planned? Is it normal to not even entertain a spontaneous meeting? Is it 'fine' to have to have an excuse at the ready for why you will have to zip off at such and such a time when in reality all you are doing is going home what? Is it normal to never eat anything other than salads with your friends when other people my age are loving the fact that 'Heavenly Desserts' just opened in town and they only sell delicious puddings and treats?

Yep, I do occasionally have an icecream. But only if it's whippy, only if I know the calories, only if it is an acceptable size or there is the means to scrape some off into a bin....that's fine right? WRONG. I'll have that icecream alright but only if I have fasted all day before it. How many girls will fast all day to share half of the lowest calorie sundae on the menu with their mate and still be thinking about it two days later? Not the happy girls.

Oh and alcohol. Yes, you recognise that as a 'normal' 20 yr old you should be going clubbing. If you want to get some action that is pretty much the only way to get it. So is it standard to arrange said night out two weeks in advance, to dread it more and more as it approaches because you will suffer starving yourself all day before, suffer the constant worrying about the calories you are going to end up consuming? Is it normal to be fearing the piercing cold you will have to endure before you get so hammered you can't feel the pain anymore? Is it normal that your worrying about calories, thinness and anorexia only abates when you are nearing the paralytic stage? When the only time anorexia's veil slips is with the help of copious amounts of intoxicating material? Sadly not.

I could go on, and on and on. But I'll just summarise the rest:
*anorexia means you'll only be warm in a heatwave. In the winter you will suffer a bone wrenching cold that no one should endure and only anorexics will understand. You will feel shit because to everyone else you are just constantly moaning about the cold but you ARE JUST SO FUCKING COLD. 
*Anorexia will sap so much energy from you that no matter if you lose 100 more lbs you will still feel like lead. You will still have to do your day to day tasks because you cannot survive otherwise but they will all become 100x harder and more and more of an effort each day.
*You cannot stand to be without your friends because YOU (not ana) loves them but you are severely endangering your social life and even the most valuable friendships by your limitations and the effort it takes to maintain them.
*You may eat things you enjoy but you will be made to feel horrendously guilty and suffer restriction afterwards.
*You want children and a family more than life itself but you are infertile. You know you can change this but ana doesn't really think it is worth it.
*You do not stand on high bridges or hold blades against your wrists but you stop caring about living. If you happened to be killed it would be a relief. If you were put in a situation where you had to fight for your life you probably wouldn't bother.
There are thousands more.

After writing all this I guess you think I am ready to recover, ready to fight the bitch off. I am ashamed to say there is one thing I cannot face giving up. Yet.

I cannot face getting bigger. I am still enjoying the sensation when I see the number go down. 

How can that one thing override everything? How can being thin be so powerful? 

There are two options for me now.

1.) Curl up and cry because I see in the cold light of day the evilness of anorexia but the one thing only she can give me (the thin body) keeps me tethered to her

2.) Or hold my head up and hope that since I have had such a massive revelation, since after all these years I have finally realised what an evil bitch she is and said 'no' to her in other ways, that it is only a matter of time before I decide I can live without her thin body.


  1. Katie, I can't tell you how much I can relate to this
    You know that person you see walking down the street muttering to themselves?
    I am that person
    I regularly tell myself (anorexia) to shut up
    When I am walking my dogs I have headphones in and I'm sure people presume that I am on the phone but no, I am actually talking to myself
    I am that 'crazy' person

    I can also relate to 'living' life on my (anorexia's terms)
    I do things but only of.....
    I go out with my family but only if I can bring my own car so I can leave when ever I want
    I meet friends but only if I am comfortable with where we are going, it's pre planned.........

    I think it's a control thing part of the time but my ED dictates every fucking thing
    I don't know if I am delusional but in my eyes my weight is fine
    I think I look normal
    My weight looks average to me
    So any more weight gain is out of the question
    No way, no how

    Great post Katie
    You are gifted at putting things in to words that most of us struggle with

    Much love x

  2. Katie, I hope and pray you choose the second one where you can live without the extremely thin body... I want you to have happiness and joy, find someone to love and have babies.

    I know that I don't have this issue you have, I have the opposite, I ate myself into obesity and food was my controller... I was sure I could not get by without eating whatever as it meant facing my fears. 11 weeks ago, I took control of my life and started exercising and paying attention to what I ate...

    Mostly I took control of my emotions and I allowed myself to feel, I didn't stuff those feelings down with food or other things. Has is been easy? No... but the alternative was no longer any good for me, if I didn't make the change I made in my life, I am sure I would have continued gaining and eventually not been able to do anything but sit in my home and have worse health issues...

    I hope you can find the courage to tell Ana to get lost and really start living Katie, you are beautiful, talented and you deserve joy...

  3. I think you should go with number two. Of course I would say that though since I'm trying the mental remodel route. (It's hard, although it sucks being anorexic too.) When I was a teenager and at my lowest weight I would go all day so I could eat ice cream. It was like an every day thing for me and I had a specific tiny bowl I would use. Now, if it's a cheat day for me I just go into the kitchen if there is some and I have a big bowl of it because that makes me happy when I'm watching Netflix. :) I totally understand the need and I would say the same things as you did. I mean, I had lots of friends, I was involved in many things on campus as well as leadership positions, I had five classes every semester, a boyfriend, two jobs, and still worked out every week. There was no way it was THAT bad. Well, it was. Turns out you can't be super human if you're actually human. Having emotions kind of ruins that and doing normal people things that you actually enjoy break that clear, glass surface and make you realize that you want to have feelings other than cold and sad. I had never wanted to die or thought it would be a relief because I have such a strong desire to live. That was until April. Then I was just hoping I would have a car wreck or heart attack for the relief to myself and to others I figured it would bring. I don't want to feel that again. I hope you get a piece of happiness, just a little one, enough that it slides down past the armor anorexia places over your mind and heart, and it begins to glow slowly. When you start to become happy and truly healthy, you don't want to go back. I pray that you'll reach that because you're too beautiful of a person not to.

    1. thank you for reading and making such a lovely, detailed reply because i value every single one!

      I dont think people who havent experienced addiction, mental illness or an ED (which is a combination of the other two)truly realise just how MUCH it can change you. The scary thing is you dont even realise it. Worse- you think you are BETTER for having it.

      So, so wrong.


    2. thank you for reading and making such a lovely, detailed reply because i value every single one!

      I dont think people who havent experienced addiction, mental illness or an ED (which is a combination of the other two)truly realise just how MUCH it can change you. The scary thing is you dont even realise it. Worse- you think you are BETTER for having it.

      So, so wrong.


    3. You are very welcome. :) I enjoy keeping up and seeing how you are. Yes. That's the awful bit, feeling better. Then people do things like have careers and marriage and their HAPPY. Then you reevaluate and don't feel so great anymore. <3

  4. Katie—You are a beautiful writer. Thank you! And I really related to a lot of this post. I knew that I needed recovery long before I was willing to accept it. Recovery didn't really begin to stick for me until I started to hate my eating disorder and realize how much it was taking from me. This sounds hokey, but I finally realized that there were things I wanted more than being thin. At first, I still desperately wanted to be thin (I still do!) but eventually, the other stuff starts to drown that desperation out. Part of being healthy is that the terrible body image and thin obsessions take a backseat to "real life"—and it is SO refreshing and freeing.

    Hope you are doing well. Take care!

  5. I understand your post pretty much.
    Katie I wish you could to be stronger than me and not give in to ED anymore. I constantlly am relapsing.
    I wish that I could get rid of my desire to be small. And I wish to find a way to cope with my problems without an ED.
    I hope that I will and I hope same for you.