“Now You See Me …”

Anonymous doesn’t have a face.
She told me she doesn’t like being recognised, and that having eyes; bones; muscle and a body would make her a physicality. A thing, and object.
“Like you,” she said. “Weak and worthless. Trapped in failure, and trapped in an object only good for consumption.”
She overcame the illusion of being nothing and became everything.
She was a growing infection that I am numb to.

Anorexics can’t see Anonymous.
We can’t look into the eyes of the devil when we are listening to the voice of our angel. Especially when Anonymous is everywhere and everything.
She morphs into every calorie and every step. She is every breath and heartbeat, thought, word and deed. She can be whatever and wherever she pleases – because she is an illusion. She doesn’t have a face.
Ellie didn’t recognise her because she was hiding in me.
Feasting.

Of my first disobedience, I was hurled headlong into hell.
Burning in scorching shame with Ellie, or dancing with the faceless devil way up in the clouds.
Anonymous became my friend, lover, idol and saviour.
Then she became my thoughts, and then my feelings. My emotions. Only then did she become my body, and she took my face.

Anorexia recovery is a spectrum of extremity.
I am in heaven.
I am in hell.
Highs and lows.
Up and down and up and down; and up then down but up; and down.
Anonymous finds neutrality boring and predictable. When waging war, it is better to keep the enemy guessing. Be erratic; be invisible; be extreme.
The faceless illusion of power.

In the beginning, it was paradise.
From hell, Ellie decided to play the recovery game.
Every minute of stillness is washed down with food and fear.
And anger: I feel really, really angry.
“I feel angry today.” – try explaining that one to your therapist. It is a faceless emotion.

I have to test my way out of this illness.
Ellie picks her battles carefully in order to avoid sending me into an emotional meltdown, and risk ruining the slight weight gain she is so proud of.
To recover, I have to eat.
Anonymous says I have to watch food, and never approach it off guard: it might bite back.
Therefore I eat food in peace. I can monitor the food as I chew, swallow and digest.

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It took me 4 weeks: but I eventually ate some of my homemade nut butter!

I have to eat a spoon of nut butter.
Anonymous says I don’t deserve anything processed: it’ll surely make me fat.
So I made my own nut butter.
It doesn’t taste of anything: not shame, not pride, not bitterness. It tastes neutral, and a little salty.

Ellie tells me to take extra precautions through the day to reduce the chance of a high or low; just in case I twist it into panic.
I sometimes wear glasses in the street so my friends won’t recognise me when I feel vulnerable. I feel what Anonymous is: vulnerable.
I avoid the sight and smell of food, just in case I relish the glory of my willpower; or weep at my depravity.

I need to learn my way out of this illness.
Ellie uses me to safety check a route out of hell.
Fear is faceless: an illusion. It exists only until it is overcome, and given a name and an identity. After that, it doesn’t seem so bad. Even if it comes back for a few days, it isn’t quite so solid.

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Feel like these cappuccinos are going to become a regular thing!

I am trying to do something scary everyday: I am trying to test and learn what I can and can’t handle.
Neglecting to count my pumpkin seeds sends me into a state of emergency. A danger zone: so many unmonitored calories.
It turns out cappuccinos are safe! Better still: enjoyed in the company of someone else.

I need to shrink away from the fear and grow out of this illness.
When she gets her face back, Ellie wants it to be stronger not harder.

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