Aly’s Struggles: Spring 2013/Spring Semester

Here’s the continuation of my dear friend Aly’s rage, reactions and such regarding her struggles with anorexia nervosa. I was able to track down substantial information till late December of 2012. I hope these couple of posts are an eye-opening good read for you all.

Aly's drawing

Here’s a pen drawing of a black-capped chickadee by Aly. She wants to be an ornithologist.


[Wednesday, 2 January 2013 at 23:01]

No. I know I’ve already eaten today, but that’s not the point. I can have a slice of chocolate cake, and the world won’t end. Nobody’s going to hate me. Nobody’s going to be mad at me. It’s my 20th birthday. I’m growing up, and it’s a day I should be happy and celebrating and I should be having fun, not worrying about this.

TL;DR, Fuck you, anorexia. I’m not letting you take another birthday cake away from me.

[Saturday, 5 January 2013 at 20:45]

“Don’t you dare take a picture with that plate of food! You stupid girl, you’re not even a chef. You just want people to think you like food and everybody knows you don’t! You’re just trying to get the attention of guys who like food!”

“Haha, this dumb whore took a picture of herself under a tree! I bet she doesn’t even know the scientific name of it! You can’t fool me, you’re just pretending toenjoy nature! I hate fake outdoorsy girls.”

Does that make any sense? No? Then stop hating on girls who like nerdy stuff as “fake geek girls.” Y’know, it is possible for us of the double-X-chromosome persuasion to genuinely enjoy Skyrim or Pokemon or Batman or Call of Duty. That’s a thing we as human beings might do. /end rant/

[Friday, 11 January 2013 at 00:21]

Tomorrow is my first appointment to discuss my eating disorder with a psychiatrist… And I’ve never been more nervous about anything in my life. Not when I first got on a horse, not when I first took Newman into the show ring, not when I was just starting my Cell & Molecular Biology final. Never. I’m going back and forth between anger (at not being good enough to deal with this problem myself) and fear (of being committed to a hospital or of being laughed at or of something I don’t even know).

This break has been hell. My diet restriction has gotten much worse, I’m stressing about my body much more often, and I find myself doing ridiculous things like obsessing over a pound of weight gained or lost, needing to sit in a certain spot at the dinner table, or cutting my food into tiny pieces the size of my fingernails. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. I feel like seeing a psychiatrist is an admission of defeat.

I guess this has sort of turned into one of those attention-whore statuses, but I just really feel like I need some support, here.

[Tuesday, 22 January 2013 at 20:50]

Pro Tip: Don’t walk up behind people in the cafeteria and call them a “fat ass” for grabbing the last piece of chocolate cake, especially if you don’t know the person, and don’t know that you’re triggering a person with anorexia to be unable to eat or look at cake without crying.

[Sunday, 3 February 2013 at 20:35]

Tonight at dinner, I was having difficulty stomaching food. Then I was reminded by my great friends that I am awesome. And I punched that cake in the face and ate it.

[Saturday, 9 February 2013 at 17:23]

Warning: Scales can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. THAT’S IT. They cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love.

[Friday, 15 February 2013 at 17:52]

Who’s had ups and downs this last week with her eating disorder? This chick. Who still managed to put on a whole pound this last week, despite those downs? This chick. Who is SO kicking this ED in the face? This chick. I know, I know. Hold your applause.

[Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 16:24]

Me: Look! New medication! I hope this fixes the medical issue for which it was prescribed!

*commence 90% of all listed side effects*

[Monday, 25 March 2013 at 10:18]

You know you’re in college when your list of “savory” foods includes ramen and easy mac…

[Thursday, 28 March 2013 at 12:26]

Today marks a full week since the eating disorder voice last kept me from eating when I was hungry.

[Tuesday, 2 April 2013 at 23:37] – my personal favourite

Sometimes I wonder why I feel like my worth would go up if my weight would go down. Is it like some secret equation, where I divide the constant of life by my weight, and the result is my worth? So a smaller weight means I’m worth more? And then it makes sense. Because really, this eating disorder is depression and self loathing and self hate, and in the end you just want to disappear. If your weight reaches 0, then you disappear. You become a null set.

Except it won’t ever work, because dividing by zero doesn’t make you disappear. It just makes an ERROR. You can’t divide by zero. Just like you can’t ever appease that voice in your head that tells you that if only you were skinnier, everything would be ok. Instead, let’s consider the possibility that the equation (self-worth = [life]/[weight]) is an erroneously accepted hypothesis that doesn’t actually satisfy the conditions. Just like starving and stressing and crying isn’t going to satisfy anything.

Or maybe, instead, the solution to (self-worth = [life]/[weight]) is undefined, because the constant of life is not within the domain for which (x/weight) is defined. Because weight has no meaning when it comes time to judging your life or your self-worth.

[Sunday, 7 April 2013 at 14:27]

“This is the weird aftermath, when it is not exactly over, and yet you have given it up. You go back and forth in your head, often, about giving it up. It’s hard to understand, when you are sitting there in your chair, having breakfast or whatever, that giving it up is stronger than holding on, that “letting yourself go” could mean you have succeeded rather than failed. You eat your goddamn Cheerios and bicker with the bitch in your head that keeps telling you you’re fat and weak: Shut up, you say, I’m busy, leave me alone. When she leaves you alone, there’s a silence and a solitude that will take some getting used to. You will miss her sometimes…There is, in the end, the letting go.”

[Monday, 8 April 2013 at 10:10]

“It would be really great to switch my overeating with your undereating for a while…”

This is not a diet. This is not a lifestyle. This is a psychological disorder. This is self-torture. This is a little voice in my head that won’t shut up and calls me all sorts of terrible things and makes me question whether or not I deserve the most basic of human things.

/end rant.

[Tuesday, 23 April 2013 at 15:55]

There’s something on the topic of eating disorders that I’ve wanted to discuss for a long time, so bear with me as I try to sort this all out.

I’m sick of eating disorders being constantly portrayed as the result of beauty standards and societal pressures. Certainly those can be factors. But this isn’t always the case, and constantly blaming the media for eating disorders diminishes other very real reasons behind EDs. Oftentimes, weight loss is seen as the true image of an ED, and obsession with food and bodies is a strong symptom, but it can often be just that– a symptom, rather than the actual problem. If people keep painting EDs as only being about looking like models, then we’re doing a disservice to sufferers, and we’re endangering people who legitimately have EDs but deny it or say they don’t deserve treatment because they *don’t* feel like the media is a problem for them, like their disease isn’t a “proper, true” ED. Different people have different causes and different symptoms. EDs are as diverse as the people who have them.

The issue I personally struggle with is a feeling of being not “good” enough, where “good” can mean any amorphous thing it has to, so long as it makes me feel like shit. Sometimes, this means I don’t feel pretty enough. But plenty of times, I don’t feel smart enough, or funny enough, or tons of other things that have nothing to do with attractiveness. And when I don’t feel “good” enough, I starve myself. How would starving myself make me more intelligent? Good question, but my ED doesn’t care. I become stressed about the thought of eating when I don’t “deserve” to. I restrict my food intake when I feel like everything’s out of control.

An additional thing to remember is that there is no way for ridiculous beauty standards to cause the other various things people with EDs might do, like overeat, observe OCD-like behaviors relating to food/exercise but with no focus on calories (such as not letting food touch, having to sit in a certain spot, etc.), and LITERALLY STARVING TO DEATH.

Plenty of ED awareness campaigns mention that you don’t have to be underweight to have an ED (which is true), but they rarely (if ever) mention that you don’t have to be aiming for that, either.

[Sunday, 28 April 2013 at 23:11]

Reason #46 to recover from an eating disorder:
Today was beautiful and sunny and pretty and the warmest day so far this year, and everyone was out in shorts and tank tops. But me? I’m curled up in a jacket wishing for more blankets and about 20 degrees more heat.

[Saturday, 4 May 2013 at 16:17]

That awesome moment when you realize you didn’t restrict your calorie intake at all yesterday.

[Thursday, 9 May 2013 at 19:49]


[Friday, 19 May 2013 at 22:00]

A full day of home cooked food now. So far, I’ve had 3 corn dogs, a dozen chicken nuggets, 5 glasses of Mtn Dew, Hu Hot, a giant hamburger, some mac n cheese, and a bunch of chocolate chip cookies.

Take that, [college food service provider]. No more of your salad and turkey burger bullshit.

[Monday, 6 May 2013 at 23:57]

Eating disorder problem #763: I’m getting much better about eating (THREE DAYS IN A ROW BY THE WAY NO BIG DEAL OR ANYTHING OK I LIED IT’S KIND OF A BIG DEAL) but I seem to have developed hypothyroidism… I’m eating more, but my body feels fatigued, tired, dizzy, and bloated. It’s like my metabolism is screwed up and my body can’t correctly process the food I’m eating. TL,DR: I’VE FORGOTTEN HOW TO KREB’S CYCLE.

[Sunday, 30 December 2012 at 23:47]

I fixed my mirror.

Aly's mirror

“I fixed my mirror.” ~ Aly


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