I was wondering if you’ve seen
I think this is really good, and the part about how all the pressures on women to be beautiful, thin, diet, not have fat in the “wrong” areas, etc can feel like a prison pinged me HARD, because when my ED was really bad it started to occur to me that I could NEVER stop it, and I felt completely and utterly trapped.
The scariest part was that I realized that there was no end point. I had to keep starving myself and exercising because I was defying the natural weight/size/shape my body wanted to be in, so I could never stop, I could never go back to eating normally. And that’s on top of how absolutely trapped I was in the mindset of my starving and exercising being a compulsion at that point too. But before I could tackle the compulsion, I had to let go of the idea of what my body had to look like to be “beautiful” and to be worthwhile.
And realizing that it was NEVER. GOING. TO. END. was horrifying.
When I started dieting, which ended up spiraling down, I never thought of the end point. I thought, eventually, I’d reach where I wanted to be, I’d be beautiful, and then I’d be happy… but once I got there, I started to realize, I’m trapped. There’s no way out. If I go back to where I was, so would my body. I had gone all in, and it would all be wasted, if I gave up now, so I could only go deeper.
Eventually, I started to cry at the realization that I couldn’t see anything other than starving, exercising, until the day I died. And I had already suffered so much to get to this point, if I went back, what would be the point? At least I had accomplished something. And the sad part is, being thin, controlling your food intake, being “beautiful”, is an “accomplishment” for women in our society. And it’s what my brain latched onto. After the trauma that happened to me half a year before, I felt like an utter and total failure as a person, and my brain latched onto a way society told me I could prove myself a success as a woman: “be size 0, be beautiful”.
Some days, I wished I would just die in the middle of exercising because then I’d have an end point. I reached the finish line, having achieved my goal, and now it was over. I just wanted it to be over.
Even now, when my body image issues are really bad, when my ED stuff flares up, it feels absolutely like a prison, that I’m trapped, that my options are limited with what I can do, what I can eat, how little I can exercise, everything. I don’t feel free at all, and I miss feeling free. I miss my life before the ED, I miss feeling free and amazing. I miss before my entire world became about calories, and exercise, and looking at myself in the mirror. I miss not compulsively planning my entire day around what I’m going to eat, how much I’m going to eat, trying to force myself to believe it’s okay to eat a little more, planning my entire day around exercise.
One day I hope I can reach the place she writes about, where I’ve stolen the key from the warden and leave my prison.
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