Relapses are scary, but this one was especially so. I knew i was hurting myself. But as i watched myself make the same devastating choices that i had made countless times before, it only made me hate myself more. I had chosen to hurt myself so many times that i came to believe that it was what i deserved. Everyone thought i was a freak anyways right? Why fight "their" ideas of me any longer? It is so much easier to just give in. And i did.
I had never truly dealt with the cause of my disorder, so this long progression of losing each pound (over the year of 2011) was like ridding myself of all the disingenuous "progress" i had made, stripping down all of the confusion and lies, and bringing me back to rock bottom.
The beautiful thing about hitting rock bottom is that you can only go up--as long as you don't kill yourself first. And i did not want to die. I wanted to live so badly. I knew i had so much more to do on this planet and in this life.
So i tried to understand this skin-crawling sensation. At first i was frightened that it was one more f*cked up thing about me, what defined anorexia as a true disease. This terrified me--that it could be some physiological malfunction making me absurdly tactily defensive against my own body. But this just couldn't be it. I voiced this concern to my mom, and, ultimately, this is what started me on my road to discovery and recovery--By making myself vulnerable, being honest with my mother about what was going on in my head, about my idea of myself, about my fears...i was just cracking open the flood gates of emotions i had kept damned up for so long. She appreciated my honesty, but as we cried together on our kitchen floor she asserted what i ultimately knew as true, and what i desperately hoped for: that this discomfort was not my fate; there had to be another explanation.
This moment of transparency allowed me to observe the mysterious sensation with more clarity, and motivated me to do so. The feelings most often came up in yoga, when i was most vulnerable, and when i was facing my body the most intimately. The feeling would surge through me and all i could do was lay in child's pose on my mat, shaking. All i wanted to do was get out of my body, run out of my skin. either that or collapse in on myself in the fetal position and protect myself from the violating sensation that would not relent. But as i sat in those feelings i began to realize that they weren't just physical, they were emotional feelings as well. Or, more specifically, physical manifestations of emotions. Two emotions were most prevalent: anger and desperation.
When i identified this feeling of anger, the physical sensations became more specific in their manifestations: when i began to feel uncomfortable in my body i wanted to punch, kick scream. I was pissed. This identification led me to be able to investigate the origin these emotions. I found that my anger was towards all who had ever led me to believe that wasn't good enough. The main perpetrator was, of course, me. But i had to figure out why i hated myself, where these ideas came from. Once i had declared that my hate for myself was unfounded, i was able to recognize that i had left my anger at others unexpressed long enough to come out as anger directed at myself, compounding the negative ideas they had given me about myself that i was angry at them in the first place.
The anger that had to physically manifest itself in order to be heard was that towards my parents--mostly-- and all the others who had in some way fed my negative core beliefs. Ever single instant that i had tried to forget--every snide remark, every time my mom looked at me with pained concern (making me feel guilty for the pain that my affliction had caused all those who loved me), every whispered remark of one teen girl to another, every look of disappointment on my dad's face when he heard my current weight--all reintroduced themselves in painfully perfect pixelation. I had tapped the source of it all. I wanted to cry, to cleanse, to let it all go. But sitting by myself in my car, i could only muster a few heaves, a couple sobs if i was lucky, before the emotion had receded again, back to some depths where it would hide before it's savage reemergence.