I haven’t thought much about eating disorders. For a while, I have understood that my eating could be categorised as ‘disordered’, but I haven’t framed it as a condition.
I know that I deliberately under eat, that I restrict my food intake. I’m aware of how much weight I have lost, and how different my body feels lately. I notice my bones when I sit against a hard surface. I can feel how much harder and sharper my body has become.
Despite seeing this change and feeling the excess space in my clothes, I am not satisfied with my weight. I don’t see myself as fat. I just imagine that if I lost a little more and a little more, I might like myself better. Each time I lose weight, I feel like I’ve achieved something, some small victory. And I have become afraid of gaining any weight at all.
In recent weeks, J has been focusing on this in my therapy sessions. She has been uncharacteristically assertive about it and I’ve found it hard to manage. I don’t want to discuss it and I don’t feel I want to change it right now. Until she started making an issue of it, I didn’t see it as a big deal.
Today, she went into it again. Starting the usual way, she asked what I’d eaten today. I don’t lie to her and I don’t want to start. But it would’ve been so much easier to dodge the discussion by making it up. Anyway, I said I’d just had an apple and I knew where the conversation would go next.
I got grumpy and defensive because I feel like a child being reprimanded when J pushes me into talking about this. And it seems to invariably bring up really difficult feelings for me; painful, powerful ones. J has made it clear that she wants something from me – she wants me to eat more, and I don’t want to commit to that. So we are at a kind of standoff, and I feel stubborn about it, while also feeling like I’m failing her.
What really upset me today then, was J bringing up anorexia. I didn’t expect it, and I didn’t think it was relevant. She asked me what I know about it and I told her I hadn’t looked into it. She suggested that I did some reading on it and I wanted to tell her to f*** off. It isn’t relevant.
Except it is. Because I have read a few things about it tonight, and it seems a lot more relevant than I would like it to be. Not because I can’t cope with naming a symptom or behaviour, but because I don’t want another diagnosis. I don’t want to add one more issue to the growing list. This already includes; major depression, anxiety, CPTSD, EUPD, substance abuse and self-harm.
Not wanting to recognise it however, doesn’t make it less real. And after reading various definitions and diagnostic criteria, I am hard pushed to argue that I am not anorexic. I don’t know how I feel about this. I guess I am shocked.
Right now, I am massively preoccupied with what horror I will wake up to following the general election here today. I don’t anticipate that the result will lift my mood.