Tuesday, January 31, 2012

To Her

August of '89--I was sitting in a waiting room at the University of Kentucky Eating Disorder clinic with a fellow Anorex-ite. We were talking in low voices-afraid that the nurses would overhear us. She said, ''My mother yelled at me--' How can you do this to your dad and me?! ' '' Anorexics are already guilt magnets--feeling responsibility for Everything that goes wrong with Everybody. Somewhere in your upbringing someone dropped the ball. How could she do that to them? How could THEY do that to HER?


Those with shit-for-brains will tell you, ''You don't survive Anorexia--you survive Cancer, you survive a Heart attack.''  Gee. Lemme think.  When you re-gain bone after being told if your leg bumps a table it will snap--I THINK YOU'RE A SURVIVOR. When you can walk again after dissolving all the padding on the bottom of your feet and setting your foot nerves on fire with neuritis--I THINK YOU'RE A SURVIVOR.   When you can hold a pen again after your fingertips split open--I THINK YOU'RE A SURVIVOR. When you can sit down without feeling your tailbone punch through your skin--I THINK YOU'RE A SURVIVOR. When you can dismiss your own voice and the voices of others who told you that there are conditions that must be met before you can be loved--I THINK YOU'RE A SURVIVOR. I've just never heard of surviving shit-for-brains. Sorry 'bout your luck!

Brace For Impact

This blog is about being in the pit of anorexia and coming up out of the pit. Some of those who have never suffered from this disease will not begin to understand the mindset that I have described--although we are all in the grip of some form of addiction--even those of us who can NEVER admit it. But we don't care about them -- do we? The strange, graphic conditions that I write about are written for those who ARE suffering from this disease or HAVE suffered from it. Those in the pit now may not be ready to consciously admit that their life is slipping away---but in their deepest heart--they know it.  I did.  They simply know no other way to live. It is the last vestige of control. I understand. I am here to tell you-that you CAN live another way--that your life is NOT a crashing plane where you hear the words, ''Brace for Impact.''  You can battle this disease and win--It is not easy--getting well does not make everything magical---but you can get well and NOT BE FAT--which all of us in the anorexia kinship knows is code for, ''I can control parts of my life--and the parts I can't control do not mean I'm not valuable as a human being.'' For the people who love anorexics-maybe this blog will help you to help them--and for those of you who find this disease just too bizarre--look in the mirror.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Leper Look

Remember all those P.I.G.S in high school who wouldn't talk to you ?  ( popular-inept-girls) Several years after graduation I saw some of them--and they were FAT.  Just can't keep that food out of your mouth -can you, popular girl? But I could. Anorexia gave me power over those hateful bitches--you have failed ,popular girl--and I have not. All those years of giving me the ''leper'' look in high school has not kept your ass small. And once again--starvation convinced me that he could be the substitute for SO many things. Acceptance, kindness, approval, love -- even life.

Dessert First

State-Journal.com - A hunger for meaning

State-Journal.com - A hunger for meaning

Feature in Sunday's paper.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Starvation the Consummate Lover

When my period stopped in 1977 it thrilled and terrified me.  Thrilled because it meant I had reached the status of not having enough body fat to sustain a menstrual cycle and terrified because a tiny, low voice said, ''It's hurting you.'' And it was.
My bones began the happy process of leeching calcium out of themselves--preparing to snap. Yet I was only aware that I was freed from the longing to search for my Prince Charming and his penis.
Always afraid that I could never attract the self-validating presence of the mighty dick--Amenorrhea set me free.
Low hormones, no hormones, whatever. I no longer worried that mr cock might never want me - no longer worried that he wouldn't love me enough to stand up and salute--making me a ''fulfilled woman''.
Instead of worrying about men--I stayed awake planning how many sit-ups would burn off the calories in half a cup of fat-free chocolate pudding.
The yearning for a man no longer existed for me--an alphabetized list of calorie contents--now that was SEXY.
I could look at a man like a piece of cold shit--my desire was less than zero. Oh, men were my friends--but below the belt--they bored me.
Starvation was my lover now. And although cruel--he gave me the gifts of an odd arrogance, a strange peace.
Starvation was always there for me--always accepting, never rejecting. He never said ,''You're just not pretty enough.'' He never promised to call and did not, he never rolled his eyes, he never ignored me.
Yes, he was definitely a dictator--making me serve time for every bite of food that entered my body. He could wake me at three am and force me to run in place for two hours. He could make me shake uncontrollably at the slightest breeze because I had no body fat left to insulate me BUT he always rewarded me with the feeling of control.
And this feeling was a million, zillion times better than any orgasm Prince Charming's penis could ever even hope to bring.
Starvation LOVED me and he ravaged me like the consummate lover that he was.

My Little Family

I could always remember the international debt ceiling or who said what at the summit of eight or who was filibustering in congress. While dying on a daily 200 calories --while i was out walking in below zero temps or dangerously high heat indexes-- cartoon ideas flooded to me--my brain could not figure how to live without anorexia but it could knock the shit out of political cartooning ---and it always did.
My ability to think and draw and starve were my little family--those three things never left me--never died on me, never criticized, never said,  ''That's it.'' The rest of my life could be whirling like a tornado--but my little family never abandoned me.  ''Hey, baby, you can ALWAYS THINK AND DRAW AND STARVE---we are your rocks.''  Like Jesus said--those three told me that they, ''would never leave you or forsake you.'' Yet starving would always say that without her the other two wouldn't be worthy enough by themselves--but that was okay--all of us in the little family knew that, completely understood and accepted it. Starving was the Queen--she brought worth--she had the power. She was in charge of the little family and we loved her---could barely live WITH her---but most certainly could not live WITHOUT her.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Inside my knee sock

Desperate to convince my doctor that I had gained weight--I hid a 2 pound weight in the pocket of my jacket. Before I got on the scale though the nurse blindsided me with, ''Take off your jacket!'' I was determined to make this idea work so the next visit I hid the weight inside my knee sock--i was so weak that it took a real effort to walk with that weight pulling on my leg--and in the end all it took was one look at me to know that i had not gained an ounce.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The White House

IN 1989 I attended a White House political cartoonist luncheon. I did not worry that i couldn't keep a conversation going with the President--I worried that i might be forced to swallow bread. Sitting next to the first President Bush I skillfully pretend-ate. I moved my food around on my plate, took tiny bites, hid food underneath food and said to myself, '' You are getting so good at this you can even do it at the White House.''

Thin could do it all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Second Life-Final Shit

I find it so ironic that it took me 18 years to scrape through Anorexia---the length of a SECOND childhood, a SECOND teenhood--Because the first left me with that huge Grand Canyon of unworthiness and fear. All Anorexics know that part of the whole thing is feeling that you are not worthy enough to eat, not worthy enough to sleep in a real bed
--not worthy enough to be loved.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Starving Baby

‎''Starving Baby'' Let's begin.

The day after i graduated from high school i became a top-notch, hard -core ANOREXIC. And i worked it with every ounce of my being for 18 years. Walking, jogging, bike riding just plain damn starving i took my original 110 pounds down to a brittle, anemic, jaundiced 78. No diet pills, no appetite blocks just an iron will that said,''if you want a gram of worthiness--don't eat.'' Exhausted from having to burn off every calorie i took in of the 200 i took in daily i resorted to feasting on frozen diet coke---it crunched like food but no calorie worries. I slept on the floor--classic anorexic behavior---not worthy of the bed. When visiting friends--i would get into bed and after they were asleep--back down to the floor--the only place that accepted me.
My tail bone began to wear through my skin---no padding left . So i taped a big wad of gauze on my butt and kept going. My finger tips and toes split open--oh,well--what the hell--i was controlling it,babe-- Scraping my nails across the uncertainties of life while careening into the abyss below..
Anorexia has the HIGHEST fatality rate of any mental illness --it is possible to survive it--i did just barely---although not without many battle scars--but it is quite often swept under the rug---people cannot bring themselves to try to understand the intensity of its origin.
So , that being said--i am beginning a series of illustrations and cartoons about this disease--being in the pit of it --and climbing up from it--called ''Starving Baby''--which i was and still am kinda. Somewhere out there in cyber world i want a gal to read this and say, ''yeah--that's me--she gets it'' Because , baby, do i ever.