Defying the Closet Dictator

1 Jul

Yesterday, I was pissed.

It was the first time I got really mad, truly angry, towards my eating disorder. For weeks, I’ve struggled with the familiar feeling of my clothes being too tiny. When sitting, I couldn’t concentrate on a conversation; instead all I heard was the familiar, sinister voice whispering, “Feel that waistband, see how tight is now… you’ve really let yourself go, Erin.”  And in yoga class, my “Ommms” turned into “Ummm…armsaretooflabby.”  I was constantly tugging and readjusting, yet failing to be comfortable. I didn’t feel like me- it felt like someone had kidnapped my body and overnight replaced it with someone 50 lbs. heavier. My already poor body image and fat attacks escalated into tearful breakdowns every few days.

Yet my eating disorder wouldn’t permit me to let go of the anorexic clothes, buy a new wardrobe, and wear sizes that are comfortable. I refused to stop eating and let the eating disorder pull me back into the hellish cycle of restricting, bingeing, and purging. But I also felt FAT, FAT, FAT. I was paralyzed by the dictatorship the ED had over my closet, yet still defiant enough to keep plugging away at my meal plan. I couldn’t move forward in recovery, but I recoiled at the idea of going back.

I felt the creepy, sickening, repulsive voice murmer and breathe down my neck every time I looked in the mirror, opened the closet door, or dressed for the day. It was torture.

And yesterday I finally realized how psychotic my eating disorder is. It was trying to make me fit my body to my clothes, instead of my clothes to my body. It didn’t matter to my ED whether or not in 20 years my bones would be so brittle I couldn’t walk, that I would never have had children because I never got my period again, that my heart would give out after so many years of abuse. It didn’t matter that losing weight to keep my anorexia attire would also mean bringing back the blackouts, the hair loss, the dry skin, the sunken eyes, the hunger pangs, the low pulse, and the hypothermia. My eating disorder is willing to sacrifice my health for the satisfaction of fitting in a size zero.

I won’t deny I still crave to be stick-thin. I look at magazines and envy the models’ slim physiques. Walking down the street, I still constantly compare myself to other girls and wish my legs were longer, my arms were smaller, and my stomach was flatter. But now I understand that my eating disorder skews my view. They probably look at me and think the same thing. I just can’t see it myself.

So I refuse to compromise my health for the insane ideal. My body simply cannot be healthy at a size zero. I can still be thin and a healthy weight, just not emaciated.

In a surge of courage, I silently declared:

I am not nothing. I am not a nobody. I am not a zero.

You will not make me a zero.

And before my eating disorder could recover from the defiant stance I dealt it, I was already gone. Left the ED at home, did not pass GO, did not collect $200, and took the direct route to Goodwill:


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