The Best Anorexic
So you weren't the best anorexic...
Yeah. You weren't tubed or sectioned or sent to a psychiatric hospital. You didn't throw plates or scream abuse at your family or lose weight overnight. So, you didn't get as low as the girl they wrote about in the Daily Mail, or bedbound and seconds from death, and you ate your meals when your mum said to. So you wanted to get better and challenged yourself to eat more. Perhaps you didn't lose any weight, you just felt different and sad and disconnected and wanted to change that. Maybe your friends encouraged you to get help early and prevent it gripping you too hard. Maybe, shock horror, you complied with treatment and utilised your support network.
So you weren't the best anorexic.
But what is the best? Shouldn't we be striving to achieve good grades rather than low weights? Shouldn't we take pride in the fact that, instead of being the best at slow suicide, we managed to get ourselves out of the hell that is an eating disorder? Shouldn't we define ourselves by the number of parties we attend rather than the number of admissions we have had to a hospital? Or the number of smiles we have, not the number of calories we consumed? Do falling figures on a scale make you feel more whole than the hours worked in your dream job?
The family meals skipped, invitations turned down, crying parents and numb soul may sound fun at first. Maybe striving to be starving makes you feel superior at first; year one it's a game and a romanticised affair, like some film where you're the starring role and so you think, "I'll live forever".
But three years down the line you're a prisoner in your own body and life, stuck when others are moving on and up and away; it's pitiful and laughable and you have nothing to show for your eating disordered achievements because, shockingly, no one really cares about your weight or the time you didn't eat for x amount of days and weeks and years surviving on thin air and the amount of time you spent locked away in a psychiatric ward. Because there is no such thing as the best anorexic. There is no such thing as happiness and an eating disorder co-existing together. There is no such thing as satisfied when it comes to an eating disorder. And the only person you can ever harm by striving to be good at something as unfulfilling and unsatisfactory as anorexia is yourself.