That's what a friend of mine, J(female) said to me last night while we were shopping.
We weren't discussing eating disorders, but rather getting old.
Of course we both said "getting fat" was our number one fear.
It saddens me that the fear of getting fat comes before things like fear of getting wrinkles, lower sex drive, menopause, and deeply saddens me that it comes way WAY before fear of developing health issues, losing a parent, and plenty of other things that are actually a much bigger deal than putting on some weight. Or at least are supposed to be.
She said, "I would honestly rather be bulimic than get fat."
And shit, I agreed.
Normally I'd see J's comment as being rather ignorant of what girls with eating disorders actually go through, but in this case I just have a feeling she knows what she's choosing between. B, who has known her far longer than I have, says she used to be pretty chubby. J is a very small girl now, short, small frame. She looks very tiny although she probably has a normal amount of body fat on her.
It is certainly insane to assume that everyone who has ever lost a significant amount of weight had an eating disorder, however I've always felt like I had a sort of radar for detecting these things, an EDdar I guess.
I think if you know the behaviors, the signs, the excuses we make, you can pretty easily spot one of us.
But it's possible that when you know what you're looking for you see it in everybody.
B used to ask:
"Jenny, what are you doing to your food?"
"Why do you eat so slow?"
"Why do you order it with everything on it if you just pick almost everything off?"
He used to joke around with me because when we went to Subway I'd order a BLT and take off almost all the bacon, avoid three quarters of the bread and just eat the tomatoes and lettuce. Basically a salad.
When I explained to him that these were eating disordered behaviours I hadn't been able to shake yet [I had told him of the existence of my ED one of the first times we ever spoke, which is very very not normal, it was very bad back then and I was very ashamed. I don't know what possessed me, why I trusted him so quickly,] he said something like, "Oh, I guess that makes sense. I just thought you were a weirdo."
He would have NEVER recognized an eating disordered behaviour before then, unless I stuck my fingers down my throat right in front of him.
And that's why I told him the signs.
Every trick I know.
Like an addict, sick of themselves and disgusted with the cycle they've fallen into, handing over their drug to a loved one and saying "Here, don't give this back. No matter what. Not if I ask, not if I beg, not if I cry, not if I swear that I will die without it. Hide it, because I will try to steal it. I will try to steal from you and I will lie to you because I am an addict and in the throes of withdrawal I will do anything for a fix."
Because I'd hoped he would love me enough to try to save me from myself.
Edit: It is Friday [payday] and I have only mentioned drug addiction in a simile? I was so sick yesterday. Stomach cramps and chills all day, restless legs at night, tossing and turning, sobbing on and off, wide awake. God dammit, why does my body insist I need drugs, even during the rare times when my mind wants nothing to do with them?
B was okay. He is just so much bigger, so much stronger.
I told him how I'd been feeling when he woke up this morning. Says I should have told him last night. We could have got suboxone. A part of me thought he knew. A part of me is too ashamed to say it anyway.
I don't know what happens tonight. Rent is due the 1st, most of his paycheck has to go there. Plus I have a closing shift (fuck me.) I'd be proud of us if we just bought some suboxone. I don't know what I expect we will do. Not that, for some reason.