Living with anorexia

I cannot win

Each time I eat, I face a choice.  Do I please anorexia? Or do I please recovery?

I look at my food and I wonder what to do.  Eat it?  Or not?

Every day I battle against anorexia.  

I long to be able to eat the food I love.  I admire it, I smell it, I make it, but I cannot bring myself to eat it.

I wish I could eat, without the all-consuming guilt.

I wish I could eat, and enjoy it.  I want to treat myself, I want to have a little extra, I want to have some energy.  But anorexia tightens it’s icy grip around my throat.

I must fight against my mental jailor, just to be able to eat enough to stay alive.

It’s a war that leaves my mind shattered, my body beaten.

Every day I battle against recovery.  

My recovery is a web of lies.  The complicated lies I construct to convince those around me that I have eaten are draining me.

It would be easier to just eat.

And yet, instead, I muster up what little energy I have left and channel it into lies, into manipulation, into fighting the people who are trying to help me.

It is a battle to eat, and a battle not to eat.

I cannot win.



18 thoughts on “I cannot win

  1. a wise woman who has supported me for years and years now (I always thank her for not giving up on me) once told me that in recovery there is no winning and no losing, there is only drawing a line under what happens and starting again at the next meal or snack or day xx Em

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You can win love. You’re fighting and you will win. It won’t feel like you win because the anorexia is strong and mean, but you do. Trust me. You will win.
    You don’t have to treat yourself or enjoy your food or love yourself for eating. You’re eating, and that’s what winning looks like for you today. Sending my love, Ana

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do think you’re quite strong, as is, but in a bittersweet way, I kind of wish you’d originally stayed with the eating disorder unit just a bit longer, as it might have helped you solidify a slightly more sound infrastructure for recovery.

    I know it’s contrary to any given day for you, which features this battle of mental illness and survival, but I wish you could displace some of the frustration you feel with yourself to society-at-large. They say that eating disorders never existed where there’s never been a TV, and while I don’t know if that’s true, exactly, societies that hinge on TV and shallow media seem somewhat fundamental to mental illness taking the form of eating disorders.

    The society that makes you feel like less than because you can’t obtain some ridiculous ideal stinks. Be a little counter-cultural, CR. Plant the seeds for your brain to be invested in a world that’s deeper than unobtainable, crap standards of beauty, and just keep going. Along with that struggle against mental illness as you’re eating, let in the idea that every extra bite is a ‘screw off’ to a screwed up society.

    Since you cannot win alone (and the only way that the three words ‘I cannot win’ are plausible are without an additional one), I’m quite glad that you have people trying to help you. Don’t be frustrated with yourself that you’re fighting them — you’re mentally ill. Be frustrated with society, and again, along with that struggle against mental illness as you’re eating, let in the idea that every extra bite is a ‘screw off’ to a screwed up society.


    1. so you want Chicken risotto to stay under demon Ana’s control and to blame her wasting away, slowly starving to death condition on society instead of Ana ?

      you are on demon Ana’s side – if you were trying to hide this you have failed miserably


      1. Okay, wow. Just, wow. I am not on a demon’s side. You can’t seem to wrap your head around a secular approach to treatment.

        It’s quite hard to give constructive feedback on the struggles with a mental illness, and I’m just trying to. Would it have been okay with you — would I not have been on a demon’s side — if I just wrote, “Keep going” (which is certainly great if that’s all one can think of to encourage someone) instead of trying my hardest to sort out a bit more in the way of encouragement?

        Most people wouldn’t blame something like racism — not a mental illness, but applicable here as an example — on demons. Maybe you would. I have no idea, and I’m trying to give just a bit of sensitivity — though you have given me none. Anyway, if you’ve ever been made to feel like crap because someone thinks you’re inferior in a world where society seems to encourage the idea of some people being inferior because of the way they look, then knowing that racism is just a load of societal crap — that can help someone take the weight of their supposed ‘inferiority’ off themselves. Maybe I’m grasping a bit, but, yeah, I don’t even know what else to say. I at least acknowledge that perhaps your approach is one worth trying because, as agnostic as I am, I know that I don’t have all the answers. I go with science most of the time because it’s generally more logical and even equitable than religions and their “you’re on a demon’s side, and I’m not” approach to the universe. And since CR doesn’t seem to be religious, that was my approach here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. fightingthedemonanorexia – Otherfennel was offering me helpful advice and support, and I think for you to suggest otherwise is wrong and frankly quite offensive. I have already made clear to you that I believe that anorexia is a mental illness, not a demonic entity, and as such my treatment/recovery is based around psychological therapy, and has nothing to do with my religious beliefs.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh I wish I’d stay there longer too! In hindsight, it was a big mistake to leave as early as I did, but because of my circumstances at the time, it wasn’t the right time to be committing to recovery. I’m at the point now where I could commit to it, and am considering going into an inpatient unit. I was hoping it wouldn’t come to that, but I think I might have done as much as I can on my own now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t figure out how I would be able to recover because I’m not interested in food whatsoever. I absolutely hate how it smells and makes me feel. I have a severe anxiety disorder surrounding food and chewing it and I can’t force myself to eat so my parents force me instead and make my life a living hell.


  5. I did a “pros and cons” list on behavior, then did one on recovery… something I won’t do again till I’m a bit further down the road. I drew a picture of what anorexia looks like, trying to separate the behavior from who I am at my core. I was surprised I was actually able to get something. The Anorexic Self is like a small gollum like child clinging to my chest, hands around my shoulder, legs around my waste. I’ll probably write a post on it at some point.

    Anorexia saved myself, a concept I had a hard, hard time accepting… so I’m no longer trying to get rid of that aspect of me but instead trying to have compassion for that part of me. I try to accept it as a part of me, with compassion and ask if it would quiet down, curl up in my lap so to speak, so I can eat that meal, not exercise for the next hour, etc. When it’s is active, the visual is its hands around my throat. The interesting thing is that whenever I feel anxious and stressed, my throat feels constricted and I feel a weight on my chest. I felt that long before I got that visual. Art Therapy has made such an impact on my life.

    Perhaps one day my Anorexic Self will quite down for good but it’s not today. Today I still am enmeshed with the disorder. I understand every one of your posts because it’s me speaking as well.


    1. Art therapy sounds like an interesting idea. I’ve never really thought about it, but have you found it has helped you anorexia as a seperate entity? That is something I struggle with too, I also feel very enmeshed with the disorder. I’m glad my posts make sense to you, I understand your replies too. It sounds like we struggle in similar ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This hurts to read. I am so sorry you are struggling.

    I’ve had anorexia for…wow, I guess it has been almost a decade now. I hadn’t realized it has been that long. For most of this time though, I have been recovery.

    The biggest thing that helped me turn the tide was my husband. At the time, he was my best friend (he was also a dietitian). He gave me the calculations to check my BMI without a calculator and told me he wanted to see me on the healthy side of the chart.

    He used to convince me to eat one raisin at a time as we sat on the steps of the church we attended. He did this twice a week for months on end to keep me alive. Eventually I began eating more foods and dropped my aversion to touching food (my mind told me it would make me absorb the calories – Ana is a bitch).

    After some months, he told me I needed to pick something to look forward to that required eating and being healthy. Despite being told I was infertile, I said I wanted a baby someday.

    Here we are, seven years later, and that man is sitting in the bedtime listening to our two-year old yell, “Daddy, daddy!” while I type this.

    I hope things start looking up for you. ❤ (hugs) If you need anything, I am here, as someone who has been there.

    Liked by 1 person

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