It is a very strange sentiment to realize that you may live after all. I spent six years in the netherworld, succumbing to the Furies, very certain I would die if I didn't make the decision to take my own life first. When you have resolved and submitted to death, life is an acquired taste. I expected to die. I wanted, to a certain degree, to die. So, when given the chance to live, one could probably comprehend my suprise and resistance.
I was headstrong and certain that my life would end and that my eating disorder would be the cause. I felt safe in that conviction and even safer within the fact that I would no longer be forced to do this, to live this sad excuse for a life. I couldn't remember what living felt lie or looked like. Perhaps if I had, it wouldn't have taken so long to return to it. But, because life seemes far too terrifying and too difficult to plow through, I chose death.
I realize now that death was the harder choice. At the time, nothing seemed more simple, or more manageable. All I could see were my protruding bones, my raw, red throat, my blank eyes staring lifelessly back at me in the mirror. And, and I didn't want those things anymore. I don't think I ever did. And, when I realized I had been overtaken, that all I had left were these petty, physical things, I also realized I had had enough. I could no longer maintain the lifestyle or deal with the ramifications. But, I was far too tired to alter much of anything or ask for help. The mind of illness is a lonely one. I did not want to be touched only because I craved it too much. And, I dared not speak at the risk of saying it all. This was where I found myself - exhausted of my own self-destruction, but far too apathetic to give a damn or make a change. I knew I could never do it myself. I wanted to, but was too angry. Too tired.
So I found myself in treatment, the third time in three years.
Yet, I still believed I would die. It never occurred to me that I didn't have to die that very second. It also never occurred to me that I'd be dying for no good reason at all. That came later. My first week in treatment, all I could muster was indifference. I wanted to die in my sleep. I wanted my body to reject the food, violently, so I could justify my actions. So, I could say, "It's okay now. Now, I can die. I tried, it just didn't work." I had been in treatment before. It hadn't stuck. What was different now? If anything, the only thing I was more hellbent on than puking away my life's nourishment, was death.
I'm not sure where along the lines my resolve to die morphed into my resolve to live. I have no objections, but it is a curious switch. My first week in treatment, I was furious. My eating disorder was being taken from me, dropped at the door. My dearest fried. But, that changed, too. I was stripped. Naked in front of a crowd of therapists, nutritionists, counselors, techs, psychiatrists, nurses, and fellow patients. I could breathe. I stopped hiding out in bathrooms and under sweaters large enough to fit an entire army and began looking at myself, free of my tethers.
I recognized that I wanted to die because my eating disorder wanted me to die. Because it convinced me I was too fat, too dumb, and essentially too much to live. Now isn't that silly. If I had died, what then? I'd have died for a voice in my head and because I didn't fit its ridiculous criteria. I eventually realized that if I died, so would my disorder. If this disorder was my enemy, my greatest foe, wouldn't it want to kill me and then remain living, triumphant? But, that's the tricky part about eating disorders. An eating disorder is a parasite and can only exist if living off of someone else, feeding off of their self worth, their mental and physical health. And, if something, anything can agree to sign on to something that will kill them AND their prey, doesn't that speak to their lack of concern for themselves? (I'm personifying my eating disorder here. I am fully aware it is not a human). This disorder, that voice in my head, is nothing more than a reflection and an inverse of my own voice. It would die with me because it was and is a part of me. This disorder consents to die with its enemy because it hates itself just as much, if not more, than the person they're trying to maim.
This disorder holdso nly the power I give it. If I refuse to entertain it, it will do little else save maintain space in my skill until it eventually rots on account of boredom. My disorder is my self-hatred. If I contined to say, "fuck you," it will continue to decrease in size and authority, thus creating room for self-love.
I no longer believe that this will claim me. It won't. I am above it and always have beem. My disorder is the equivalent of that piece of shit, douchebag individual I shouldn't have given a chance, but did because I was lonely and guilty. But, now, I've dumped his sorry ass and am quite content, trekking on through this life single and unharmed.