Yes, I have anorexia… apparently.
You see, there’s still a part of me that believes I am fine, there is nothing wrong with me, my feelings are ordinary, I do not have an eating disorder. I do not need help.
In my head, the word ‘anorexia’ is still associated with the shocking images shown to me during health lessons in school and I can’t help but feel overly sorry for those who experience such a thing. But then I remember that two months have passed since my ‘diagnosis’ and everything becomes so confusing. Although I feel as though two months should have been enough time for me to come to terms with the fact that I have this, I still cannot even bring myself to write ‘my diagnosis’ without the inverted commas because indeed, I do not feel the diagnosis can be true- or at least part of me feels this way.
I have no idea if this is a common thought that people in my position have. I just know that having it can make you so irritated and angry but also confused and alone- since no one seems to believe or listen to you. Because I am sick and tired of feeling this way I have been trying to make sense of what is happening in my head hoping that would make things clearer for me and calm me down. I really hope my reasoning can apply to anyone else feeling the same way and offer some help and comfort for them.
So, to try and explain to myself why I have these strong doubts about my illness, I have come up with a solution of thinking that I have two people inside my head. Of course I don’t genuinely believe this is the case, but being able to categorise my thoughts as if they came from two different people helps me understand why I have feelings and thoughts such as this.
In short; I now have me (Clara) on one side and my illness on the other, who I try to keep as separate as possible as I try to recover.
Therefore, this feeling I have which is against the idea of me having anorexia, I see as coming from the anorexia itself.
After all, thinking I don’t have anorexia only results in me not wanting to eat as much food as I need since I become convinced that I really don’t need to gain weight; I am like any other healthy person. So, it does make sense for the anorexia to convince me that I don’t have a problem. The goal of the anorexia is to stop me eating, after all.
Another reason why the anorexia tells me I don’t have anorexia is because of how I look. Now, with this bit I am still trying to figure out how it works. This is because, technically I (Clara) should be able to see things different from the anorexia, since in theory we are different ‘people’. I.e.: I should see myself as underweight or at least I should believe I am underweight. But, I do not.
Since recovery started and all the eating I’ve been doing every single day, it only seems logical to me to hold the belief that I have gained loads of weight, especially since the volume of food and amount of calories I consume now is an enormous amount compared to before the recovery.
The only reason I can come up with to explain why I don’t believe that I am underweight, is that maybe the anorexia is too powerful in some aspects and completely takes over – as if pushing me completely out of my own brain so that I am left to see what the anorexia wants me to see.
If this is the case, at least I understand what I need to do to get better: make Me stronger than the anorexia. I need to be the one squishing the illness out and I should be the one in control of what to see and what I think.
This is my body and my mind, after all. NO ONE should be able to take that away from me.