During my time up home I actually read an excerpt in a magazine about a girl who had recovered from anorexia. I was fascinated by anything with the word anorexia in it, whether it be in magazines, books, newspaper articles or someone’s conversation. I just had to have this book now as it intrigued me, and I’m not sure whether I was more interested in how she lost weight or how she attempted getting better.
I ordered the book in and started reading it straight away. The book had become my friend, something I could relate to. I began underlining all the common features I shared with the girl in the book. I wasn’t half as bad as her but I really ached to be like her, to be so thin, nearly dead. Without realising it I slowly copied some things that the girl did. Crazy things including walking round and round the block so late at night. Sometimes it was 1am and I would walk around the block. It was freezing cold but I didn’t care. I knew I would warm up as I continued walking, so I did. Shadows frightened the life out of me, and I just prayed that I would remain safe.
The thing I vowed never to do as an eating disordered person was taking laxatives. I never ever wanted to get addicted to them. But it worked for the girl, so it had to work for me too!! I can never forget my first experience with them. I bought the chocolate ones, and had two squares. Nothing happened so I ended up having nearly the whole packet. Still nothing happened for the whole day and I began to wonder if anything is meant to happen at all. I caught the train home that day from work, and as I started to walk home from the station I felt an almighty pain in my stomach. It was the worst cramps I had in a long time, and I knew I needed a toilet very soon. Home seemed so far away at the time and I was afraid I wouldn’t make it. To run was too painful, yet to walk seemed like a lifetime of agony. Finally I made it home, and to that toilet. I thought it was over then, but was sadly mistaken. It went on for the whole night at all sorts of intervals. Out I crept from my warm comfortable bed, to walk out into the cold rooms and spend an eternity on the toilet. I felt absolutely wasted afterwards, sick in the gut.
Mim could see I was changing. She hated the change. I hated her noticing the change. I hated eating. I hated fat. She said I had become moody and snappy lately, like I used to be when my eating was bad. I denied it as much as I could, but knew I was lying to her and she knew it too. We ended the conversation on a very sour note. Rather than become upset by it, I blamed Mim for it. She was the one causing the trouble, the one being a bitch. I couldn’t admit to even myself that I was actually the cause of the fighting. I become defensive instead, and let the eating disorder take over and ruin things.
A few weeks later I finish my book. I was completely lost without it. It was as though I had lost a friend when I finished this book. A “great” friend who slowly helped me start to self destruct again. The question that struck me most at the end of the book was “what does it prove?“. A question I could never answer. Why is it so important to be skinny?? I was becoming more unlikeable I think. I didn’t care what people were thinking of me at times. And my sister was right in saying how snappy I had become.
During my next trip up home, Mim confiscated my book. She didn’t tell me at the time what she was doing, only that her friend Rachel wanted to borrow it. I believed her. It wasn’t until a few months after this, when I asked for the book back, that she told me I wasn’t to have it. I questioned her as to why I couldn’t, and she told me she noticed I was becoming like this girl and didn’t like it. She hated seeing me destroy myself, and if taking away the book could stop me then that’s what she did. I was furious. It’s hard to explain how much I wanted it. The more I fought her, the less she wanted to give it back to me, because she could only see the eating disorder in me getting angry. It was the eating disorder that needed this book to keep tabs on how to do it right, how to lose more weight, what tablets to take next. I yelled and screamed, and eventually she gave in. once I had it I was alright, I was safe again. A year or so down the track, I met a soul mate eating disordered friend, Crystal. I made the mistake of lending the book to her. I don’t know why, especially after knowing the effect it had on me. Luckily Crystal was stronger than to do what I did. Instead she recognised the how bad the book was and told me she wanted to burn it. So we did! We sat on a big rock near her house and tore the book up burning it page by page. It was a very gratifying experience for some reason. And I didn’t even regret it. I fought so hard with Mim to get this book back, and then end up burning it, but it didn’t bother me.
My weight was going down again and I was proud. Clothes would fall off me, and people were starting to comment. Food no longer phased me, I rarely even got hungry. I used to sit for hours with a little kilojoule and fat book, writing endless lists on what I could eat. I added up so many foods I would eat a day, making sure it didn’t go over 2000kj. If it did, I crossed it out and started out all over again. At work we gave the children supper, which was jatz biscuits with spread. Usually Suzi and I had a few with them, but I stopped that too. Not even one was allowed because I knew how many kilojoules it had. Suzi was starting to cotton on and I could tell just by her look that she wasn’t happy about it. That made me want to try even harder, because I knew she cared and if I kept losing weight, she would keep on caring. I trusted Suzi, and felt I could just talk to her if I needed to. The only problem being that she didn’t know about my long existing problem. I didn’t know if I should tell her or not, because it would mean going through the whole “does she believe me” “am I skinny enough to be believed” “I’ll need to lose more weight then she’ll believe me.” I decided to let whatever happen happen. I did tell her later on, and she gave me the biggest hug.
My best friend Donna was actually pregnant and was due for her baby in August. She had lost so much weight over the months that I was beginning to panic. Since she lived across the highway from us, we visited each other a fair bit. After each visit I kept asking Melinda whose legs were fatter. Quite often she just looked at me pathetically. My biggest fear was if Donna would lose even more weight after having her baby. I didn’t know if I could cope with the competition.
I was blessed with the opportunity to actually be at Donna’s birth. It was the most mind blowing, beautiful experience. Grace was born on 1st August. I was so excited to be a part of this experience with Donna. But soon after she came home, I tried my hardest to become distant and not spend time with her. Why?? Because I was worried that the next time I see her she would be skinnier than me. The less time I spent with her, the more I missed her. I realised that our friendship meant more to me than how much each other weighed. Luckily that was a friendship I didn’t lose