I remember when sculpting myself was all that mattered. Losing weight was the one and only thing I cared about. I wasn't so concerned with the inside of my body. I treated it horribly—poured into it too much diet soda, dissolved into it too many pills. And I kept out of it everything it needed. Sometimes I didn't even let myself have water.
The outside of my body was what mattered. It had to be a certain size, a certain shape, a certain number, a certain weight. My hair had to be perfect (hard to pull off when it all started falling out.) My makeup had to be perfect (hard to pull off when my skin looked as artificial as the makeup itself). No matter how thin I was, I tried desperately to appear even thinner. I wanted people to think I weighed at least 5 pounds less than what I actually weighed. And I did everything I could think of to keep losing more and more weight in order to become the size (the ever shrinking, never attainable size) that I thought I should be. I had, like Krim suggests, "fallen so much in love with the ongoing excitement of becoming." When I first got sick, I didn't want anyone to look at me or to notice me. By the time my anorexia ballooned out of control and took over my life completely, I wanted everyone to stop and stare. I wanted them to see how sick I was, to call attention to my sickness and to own up to the part they all played in it.
I have come a long way since those days. I never thought it would happen, but I am now embarrassed by the old me that I thought was holy.
I feel like I have survived something major and lived to tell about it. I look back on my illness as if it happened in another life. Though in reality it wasn't all that long ago, it feels separate from my current existence and out of reach. I can't tap into that same mindset the way that I used to. Thinking back to anorexia is like trying to describe to someone a very vivid dream you've had. It seems very real the moment you wake up, but the longer you find yourself awake, the more distant the dream becomes. And then you remember you've had a dream but you can't recall what it was about. You just know that something terribly important happened, but it is over now.