Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Edge of the Cliff

My body withstood Anie for years--I was weak but I could stay at it. ''I'm doing it--I'm doing it.'' But one day--my loyal body that hung with me through the rigors of Anie  just Announced,''That's it.'' Beware the day your body throws down the gauntlet. All addictions reach this point--ALL OF THEM. My long abused 78 pounds came roaring back at me with a host of ailments. EVERY DAY something else was wrong. Name a body part and it went out on me. I woke up with egg sized lumps in front of my ears. ''SIALADENITIS''. Decreased food intake lowers the demand for saliva so the salivary glands block. I was on the edge of the cliff now and my own body was pushing me over.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Always An Alien

I lived on Planet Anie and I was not of this world. I was a skinny little alien. Even before I was skinny--I was a skinny little alien. You know when you're not one of the gang. But living on Planet Anie intensified it. I couldn't go anywhere with anyone even if I had someone to go with. I had a minutely detailed exercise schedule to keep. I could NEVER eat with someone. Eating was a solitary ritual. Things that made me sad did not effect others. I could not give my heart out because they would shred it. So I stayed to myself. Isolated. Fuck off--I can do this in my sleep now. Always An Alien.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Being Safe Fell Away

The best part of my bone biopsies was the Valium in the IV. They made havoc out of my intricately planned schedule. Every second accounted for: Exercise, Draw, Safe Food. If I was off schedule it panicked me. Which made me feel out - of - control, then worthless, then sad. Round and Round. Bone biopsies were real sonsofbitches. But when that Valium hit...all that worry, sadness just floated away. It was safe inside the Valium. The pain couldn't reach through. But the second I came to my schedule was there like my Aunt tapping her foot. Being safe fell away.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

No Escape

Eventually, I could barely walk. I had neuritis in my feet due to vitamin B deficiency. No padding left on the bottom of my feet so when they hit the ground those inflamed nerves sent pain out into my toes and up my legs. I tried to keep going---I wore TWO pairs of arch supports under each foot, cramming in cotton balls down the sides of my tennis shoes--anything to get away from the pain and keep going. Such an incredible comparison to my Anorexic life. I went to the podiatrist and had my feet ''strapped''. This stretchy material wrapped around my arches was like magic for 2 days--then it would loosen. My feet--one of my strongest allies in my war--were abandoning me. ''Abandon''-- that word almost typed itself. It is at the top of the list for every Anorexic. Abandonment is always close by--like the way the sun follows you when you're in a car. ANYTHING to insulate from more loss and keep going--another pound--another hour of running. I could never, ever escape it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Breast Evaporation

My breasts evaporated. Like they were never there at all. I saw an old bra and it was like looking at another life, another person. I could never be the person who wore that--the one who ate, who was able to eat despite all the pain, who deserved to eat even though she couldn't stop the pain. The breast-less me worked at making herself worthy to eat--she had a few brief minutes of semi-worthiness before the guilt consumed her. Breasts only added weight.

Friday, February 24, 2012


My fingertips and toes cracked open.They would partially seal up and then open again--only a tiny bit of vaseline would seal them part way. Too much and they were more sore than ever. I went to a meeting with every finger covered with bandaids. This woman said to me,''You been into something!'' No, I've been on the outside looking in. Like always. Couldn't cover that with bandaids.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


That consuming thought that said, ''Burn it off, Burn it off.'' So I did--weather was nothing. Wind chills, Heat, Snow, Ice, Driving rain. Fever with infection that made me shake. My blood sugar dropped suddenly once while I was crossing the street--my vision went all psychedelic with blue and green flashes. I kept walking.''Burn it off, Burn it off.'' Enough power in that one thought to destroy my life. And it did.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Only the Shattered

Unevolved souls don't get this disease. And that's no joke and no comfort when you're dying it's just the damn truth.That bright, brilliant light of feeling is our killer. Things that mean NOTHING to other people take us to our emotional knees. And we rarely show it--we just implode. Years of implosions do their dirty work, don't they?  The high note that shatters a glass. Life is the note and we are the glass. Only the shattered starve themselves on purpose. We use that keen sensitivity like a knife on ourselves. We care until it kills us. Unevolved souls don't get this disease.

5 Seconds

Maybe if all of us who have had or do have Anorexia could just hold each others hands for 5 minutes--5 seconds and just say,''I love you and I'm not leaving.''

Heart of Stone

I think Anorexia ( and I think I went to war long enough with Anie to take the liberty of speaking
 on behalf of Anorexics) is about so many deep, intense feelings of abandonment and loss. Loss to us is like a lifestyle. We are never without it. Not being able to hold back any of the bad even the tide of inevitable things--because we want to hold it back for ourselves and those we love. So we are pulled under to the bottom of the sea. And I have to say that I sometimes wished that I did not love--could feel NOTHING. Because love  meant pain. That song, ''Heart of Stone''. That's what I wanted--to be safe from it all. Because Anie--for me--was always about not being safe from pain. It ALWAYS found me. My coping mechanisms did not exist--only on the scale could I find the power. And honestly--I did survive the physical torture of this disease but the emotional torture is much deeper, complicated. That pain doesn't leave--it just has to be endured. Some days I simply cannot endure it. It has seared me to the bone. All of the death and indifference and hurt.  I wish that my heart was a heart of stone.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Could Not Stop and Neither Could She

On February 4th, 1983 I heard a news teaser. ''Pop star dies--details at six.'' I knew it was her. I had seen a Christmas special with her and I knew she had it. I was lying in bed watching all those sharp bone angles. I looked at her waist--I hoped mine was that small--I hoped my face was that gaunt. When I heard she was dead-it scared me. I did not consciously want to die...but I couldn't stop. That deep, powerful voice that could fill your soul--gone now. Maybe soon to be me too. Because I could not stop. They went on and on about it until I did not want to hear anymore about how or why Karen Carpenter had died. Because she had what I had-I had what she had and I could not stop.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Mantra

''Don't-Leave-Me,Don't-Leave-Me,Don't-Leave-Me''---my Anorexic mantra.

The Rest of the World.

I was separated from the rest of the world. Looking through this thick glass window. Sometimes I would get my courage up and wave. They never waved back. Not then--Not now.

The 4am Follies

I remember seeing this greeting card that said, ''The Best Friends Are the Ones You Can Call At 4am.'' I could always call Anie at 4am. She never told me to fuck off. I was always up in the dead of night. Exercising, Worrying, Being so desperately sad. Usually all of them at the same time. I had neuritis in my face and foot nerves -caused by vitamin B deficiency- it was that excruciating throb of nerve pain and if I tried to sleep it would always wake me up. I worried about that cartoon contest that I hadn't won, I worried that my dog, Sprite, might get off the leash at the park and be killed ( I had a recurring nightmare of calling Sprite's name at the park and seeing blood on the snow), I worried that I was failing at everything and there wasn't a damn thing that I could do about Anie. She would never, ever not pick up. She would tell me in that silent voice, ''Go exercise---the windchill is below zero--go walk -- you'll have control, security, peace.  Keep your mind on your calories--that's where you have the power. No one can take that from you--you can take yourself away from them.'' So I did. Anie was my Best friend in the whole world--I could ALWAYS call her at 4am.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Approval Pie

I hungered for approval. Physical starving could NEVER grip me as strongly as emotional famine. I longed for a word, a smile, a touch that said,''You're worthy enough to eat, you're deserving to be here.'' So I baked pies and cakes (never tasting a crumb) and took them to the newsroom of the paper I cartooned for. I wanted them to love me. They never said they didn't-they treated me with kindness but that still could not fill the emptiness inside of me. Once in the middle of an intervention-- my editor said that I was , ''The darling of the newsroom.'' But Anie craved such a deeper assurance. She wanted to hear,'' You're the darling of the newsroom ...AND...'' AND  please don't die---AND  no matter what-- I love you---AND  I won't leave.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The All Consuming Emptiness

Anorexics know the all consuming emptiness of loss and that is why, in fact, our bodies end up consuming themselves.

The Definition of Pain

Shin Splints. I started off on one of my many walks with shin splints. They were excruciating. I'd take a step and stop -on and on like that until I made three miles. I could barely limp into the house. No pain was worse than the self - loathing I felt if I didn't exercise. Anorexia is a disease of such INTENSE pain--physical, emotional--it is truly the definition of pain.

Friday, February 17, 2012

You Will Never Pierce My Heart Again

Subconsciously, I believe I wanted to just disappear. I never consciously said, " I want to die " but the more weight I lost - the safer it felt. Safe- because the world that had fucked me over so many times was not going to scrape the last bit of control from my hands and make me fat - was not going to reject me by telling me I had no purpose on this earth - because now I had a purpose and that purpose was not to ever be fat- they could not take that away from me and I worked it with a zeal and a determination known only to the kinship. Because, world, when I'm skinny - you can't hurt me ANYMORE. You cannot tell me what a disappointment I am to you - because now I'm calling the shots and you cannot take anymore from me. I will lose more and more until I disappear - and you will never pierce my heart again.

The Hands of The Clock

I remember standing at my uncle Hubie's grave. It was October and the sky was that intense blue. I thought, ''How can the sky be this blue when I feel so horrible?'' I remember the spring morning that my dog, Flame, was hit by a car. His beautiful little body with red fur lying limp in my arms while we drove to the vet. I remember calling that boy in high school and when I said, ''Hi, it's Linda'' he hung up. Tick Tock, Tick Tock. I was walking toward Anie. I didn't know it at the time--but she was waiting for me. She knows when your heart shatters in a certain way that it is only a matter of time until you are hers. All that pain--it was moving the hands of the clock. Tick Tock.

She Stayed

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bone Edges

I used to check for bone edges.If my bones were sticking out in certain places I still had the power. Collar bone- that sunken in area in the front and back of it, rib bone, pelvic bone. wrists, ankles- if they were sharp I was in charge. In charge of searching for a love and security outside of myself that never came. In charge of searching or die trying.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In The Lap of Death

Several years after I had recovered I was talking with someone and all of a sudden we KNEW each other. Not a word about weight had been said but something connected, something kind of in her eyes and mine. We stood in absolute silence and knew. Just staring. A deep, lonely something--all those good byes that make up so much of Anorexia saw each other. Ah, the kinship. Like Apache smoke signals. The silent code. We had laid our heads in the lap of Death--the sisterhood. We always know one of our own.

Maze of Loss

The constant repetition of loss and rejection became like a maze of spider webs in my life. They stuck to me--I could try to bat them away but they kept coming and sticking and coming and sticking. In that darkness--Anorexia held out her hand. ''I'll give you something that will stay with you, sweet girl--starvation.'' And I was such a sweet girl--there is something so keenly sensitive in the soul of all Anorexics. Life hits you differently. We are truly from another planet. The pain of this world overwhelms us. Yet we struggle so to try to make it work until the only arms that reach for us belong to Anie. Sometimes that old feeling of LOSS comes creeping back--falling into that deep, black, sad pit of remembering what is gone. My old spider webs--after all this time--they are still spun with steel.

The Spider Webs


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Not About The Cookies, Shithead

On one of my last outside visits ( the longer into Anie--the less social I became)  someone offered me some of her chocolate chip cookies. I told her I didn't want them--but she insisted, ''Now you take a bite--I want to see you take a bite!'' I took a tiny bite knowing that it would demand that I keep a rigorous amped schedule of calorie burning that would go far into the night. ''There! One cookie doesn't hurt, does it?!'' She smiled that smile of the deeply stupid. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE COOKIES, SHITHEAD. Anie is actually not about food at all--other than the fact of not feeling worthy enough to eat. It's about all those times of loss and rejection and not being able to stop or change them or even say, ''wait.'' It's about those deep feelings in that taped envelope inside that nailed shut drawer behind that double-bolted door of your heart.

The Strange, Sad Peace

The strange, sad Peace. That's what I had as an Anorexic. I had a peace that I was controlling my weight well enough that I wasn't fat--that made me feel that I was also controlling my world--so that whatever was taken from me, whatever was not given to me --I still had my 78 pounds--and they were NOT going up. Anie gave me a tiny little arrogance--I could look at other people and say, ''You're fat--I'm not. You could never do what i do to stay this small. I have surpassed you in control.'' Yet -even at my strongest moment with Anie--I always felt a wistful sadness following me around. Everywhere I walked (I did so much walking) that sadness was always behind me. Anie would tell me, ''Sadness is part of this whole deal--I can give you control of your body but the sadness comes with it.'' It was like being on a planet far, far away from everyone else. Like looking through a window and watching the world ---a world that I had never been or could ever be--part of. I hated myself for wishing to be part of that world--I hated myself for wanting acceptance. I had Anie and she accepted me. So Anie was very tolerant of these longings I had. She would say, ''Now, you just go walk another 9 miles--those feelings will pass.'' And they would for a while. I was too exhausted to think about them. I was here with my strange, sad little peace--I would wrap my arms around myself, count my calories  and that was my whole world.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Solid Gold Approval

My Aunt Elizabeth was a fabulous math teacher. She loved Trigonometry, Algebra Two, the infiniteness of numbers and controlling me. Now, don't get me wrong-her powerful personality saved my childhood. She gave me a cocoon of material security--she made me feel safe. When I was five I told my mother that I could no longer live with her , instructed her to call Aunt E. while I put all of my toys in the front yard and waited for her to come and get me. She literally SAVED my life from erratic circumstances--so I guess one life saving is enough. Oh, I loved her SO MUCH--I worshipped her--one word from her could bless me or doom me. But my Anorexia could not be tamed by her and what she couldn't tame she ignored. Leaving my bone doctor's clinic one day we were walking to the car ( she drove because I was too weak to) I finally said, ''WELL--don't you want to know what he said?!!'' She replied, ''Well, what did he say?'' In a bored, flat tone that only confirmed what Anie had always told me, ''You think you're worthy of care--get out.'' I longed for her Golden approval which was given to everyone except the one who was  holding her hand the day she died--me. I begged her to try to live --asked the doctors to try to take a kidney from me--asked her to promise me that she would fight to stay alive ---she frowned. Now I wonder who will hold my hand when I'm dying, ask me to stay, tell me they love me all that shit. All that shit that Anorexia is made up of-those intricate, complex, delicate emotional bonds--like so many spider webs. So I suppose I will have to hold my own hand while dying and over in the corner Anie will be giving me that sly smile--cause she was the one who never left me. And I will just say, ''I'm outta here , you lousy bastards-and I'm fucking glad of it--and ya know what--you don't get my approval.''

Pedal Power

I would sit on my stationary bike -hold the sketch pad with one hand -the pen with another and draw. It would be between 4 and 5 am--finishing up the last exercise schedule before I went back to bed for an hour and got back up at 6. I would ride that bike for half an hour--I finished so many cartoons doing that. Reagan, The IRA, The Sandinistas, The first Bush, Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Margaret Thatcher so many Kentucky governors and political deals --they all hung out with me on that sketch pad while I burned off calories that I'd already burned off about 3 times over. I was so exhausted when I climbed off the bike --my feet hitting the floor seemed to always make a big thump. And I always felt really tiny--like everything around me --furniture--everything had tripled in size. If those cartoons could talk they'd say ,''She's really doing such a Hell of a job--she's controlling all she has to control--maybe somebody should tell her she's worth more than her control.'' But they never did.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Picking me up after school

When I was a kid I always had the fear that I might not get picked up after school-- I always did but it never calmed my fears. So Anie was like that great relief when I saw that my ride had come-- she was there for me. She did not let me down- she could kill me but she never left me alone.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Floor Thing

I started sleeping on the floor because i thought it was easier to already be on the floor to start my 9pm exercise shift. Then I saw the ABC 20/20 piece on Peggy Claude Pierre . She said that many of her anorexic patients slept on the floor because they didn't feel worthy of the bed and it just resonated with me. Yeah, that's why I do that. I wasn't making a lot of money, wasn't in a relationship-- I wasn't a lot of things. The floor was so accepting-- so I stayed there.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Favorite Prison

My very own Titanic

I had to hide myself under layer upon layer of clothes so the world that had made me Anorexic wouldn't try to make me stop. Isn't that just a sack of shit? They weren't trying to make me stop to save me--they just wanted to intrude--take away more control from me --like they always had. I remember meeting this girl that I had gone to school with and she said,''Soon - there won't be anything left of you.'' Oh, fuck off. Like you care--could never speak to me in school.  But now that you have the chance to stare and point--yeah, right. Go eat. If anyone had really cared maybe they could have shown it before I got to this place. But they didn't. I was indeed a skinny spectacle--but it had caused me to emerge from the crowd--and bastards don't like that. So what if I died? What was it to them? NOTHING. Just more fodder. So I covered up and I kept starving. I was the captain of my very own Titanic. The rest of those assholes could jump off.

Rib Cage Count

I counted my ribs every morning. The more ribs I could see--the more emotionally strong I felt. Physically, I had to stop and rest before making it up the stairs--but Anie told me, ''Exhaustion is nothing compared to control.'' I would run my fingers over my ribs and feel...only bone. No tissue and God forbid no fat. When I inhaled I could see that perfect gaunt silhouette lifting out. I could stare myself into a trance--just gazing at my ribs. Every rib was another step up the ladder of control. The world that tried to take every ounce of what I loved from me had met its match.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sin of the Spoon

On Thursday mornings I decided I would allow myself a teaspoonful of peanut butter for breakfast. I had not missed a day of exercise in ten years-weather, fever nothing had stopped me. The smell of that peanut butter was intoxicating--so I thought,'' maybe I can figure out a way to have just a little.'' Ravenous hunger is such a bitch. So, I gave in. I made that spoonful last twenty excruciating minutes. The real taste was never as good as the thought because then I had to deal with the real guilt. I had to walk, run and bike farther to burn off that spoon of peanut butter which always turned into a spoon of self-loathing.

The Peanut Butter Principle

Anie's Words: ''Worthy of peanut butter? Who told you that?!" NO ONE. And therein lies the problem.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Weight of Your World

People would say to me, "But you were never overweight!" Yes. I know. Anorexia is NOT about the weight of your body--it's about the weight of your world.

The Seed Was Planted

October 29, 1970. Five am.  Norton's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky called-- My Uncle Hubie was dead. The person who loved me just because I was alive. Never a single condition had to be met to get his love. His sisters ( my Aunt and Mother ) started screaming. I remember sitting up in bed and hearing them cry but it was as if I was far away from them. My Uncle Hubie wrote his will on the back of my 1st grade picture. It was in his wallet when we brought his things from the hospital. He told me, ''Don't Be Afraid!'' But Anie had reached for me--she said, ''You cannot control ANYTHING--except your body.'' Even though it would be six years before the bomb went off--she had me in her grasp. I was without my Hubie now--and the seed was planted.

She Always Held My Hand

When all those other people let go---Anie always held my hand.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Say Those Words to Yourself, Babe

I went to the grocery store twice a week and bought my staples: bran cereal, bread and butter pickle slices,   fruit cocktail. I bought 3 boxes of bran cereal every time I went--6 boxes a week--24 boxes a month. Four big jars of pickles and fruit a week--16 of each a month. Should there be nuclear war or natural disaster--I would have my safe food--my control. The cereal was harder to find a place for than the pickles and fruit-- I ran out of storage space so I hid them on the side of my bed against the wall. My Aunt's husband saw them once and I overheard him tell her that my bedroom was ,''The General Mills warehouse.'' That hurt me. It shredded the microscopic amount of dignity that I felt only on occasion. The grocery store clerk asked me what I was doing with, ''All those pickles?'' ''I am making something with them!'' I would never return to her checkout line.  Those sarcastic remarks and smart - ass questions are the only things the heartless and the brainless can come up with. It took me such a long time to find someone to say those important words, ''I Love You--don't do this to yourself.''  And in the end the person who finally said those words to me --was me.

By Their Eyes

Monday, February 6, 2012

DIE - it

When you tell people you were Anorexic there are always those who giggle and say, ''I wish I could get just a little of that!'' Aren't they CUTE?!!!!! Do you want just a little bit of Cancer? You know not what you speak of, shithead. The ones who say that are the ones who could not begin to touch the determination it takes to suffer with this disease. It is out of their league. It would amaze me how after I began to recover a friend of mine ( BIG question mark) ) would obsess about her weight. ''Oh, I can't have any Mexican food today--I can't even go out to eat with you at all--I'm dieting!'' An amateur dieter--they just make me tired. You really wanna lose weight? Well, I can tell you how but you won't be able to do it. Anorexics always know if you are in the kinship and if you are not. Amateur dieters (they go by many names and are disguised as many people) just want to play--at losing weight, at friendship, at life. If  Anorexia almost took your life--your real friends won't mention THEIR weight. The ones who say they are dieting when you have clawed your way up from the pit of Hell--are amateur human beings. ''Can't meet you for dinner--I'm dieting.'' You ask an Anorexic, amateur. We'll talk to ya about how to DIE - it.


I weighed three times a day every day. But the 3:30am weigh-in was always the most powerful. It could destroy me with guilt and self-loathing if it was even slightly over the mark. If it was over 78 I would get-off-the-scale-get-back-on over and over until I couldn't stand myself anymore. That meant that I could eat breakfast and nothing else. No piece of fat-free cheese for lunch, no fruit cocktail and bran cereal for dinner. My exercise routine would remain the same-nine miles a day of walking, then running in place, then bike riding -- all that calorie burning exhaustion with only breakfast to keep me going. I would have to suffer through because I had failed. Reinforcing all the voices that told me I was ''a disappointment''-I was even more of a disappointment to myself. But if I weighed in at 78 at 3:30?--that was different. Remember the song, ''I Wanna Take You Higher''? There's a line that goes, ''Boom-Shaka-Laka-Laka!'' If it stayed on 78--I still had the power. I was controlling all I had to control and doing a HELL of a job. Yeah. BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA-LAKA!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Anorexia told me that MY approval was nothing--In order to be worthy enough to eat--I had to seek the blessing of others. I fought so long and so hard against the one I needed to love first--Me.

''Aren't You HUNGRY?!!!!''

Anorexics will always run into the MORONS of the universe who will just blurt out, ''Aren't you Hungry?!'' Well, now. You fucker. Let me tell you about hungry. At my worst I cut out pictures of food and salivated over them--waiting for a self worth that allowed me to eat. Yeah, I'm HUNGRY. I was so ravenous for acceptance and security and control that I starved my bones of calcium so that at age 30 they were like that of a 70 year old. Yeah, I'm HUNGRY.  I longed so for unconditional love that I slept on the floor until I could be deserving of a bed. Yeah, I'm HUNGRY. I'm HUNGRY for so much more than you morons can ever understand.

A Future

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Threaten Me With Death? You'll Have to do Better Than That

Lying on the floor one night before the next calorie burning shift at 9pm--I realized that my heart was slowing down. I could feel it beat -- vibrating through my chest cavity and bonking against the floor -- and then it paused. SLOW. SLOWER. Well, shit--if you have to stop -- GO AHEAD. Taunting me with the threat of death will not weaken my resolve. If I go down I will go down with the only control I have. I may become a corpse but in my scrawny, dead hand I will hold my calorie list for the day. BRADYCARDIA is the medical term for only one of the many afflictions that come with acute eating disorders. Take my life--but it will be under MY CONDITIONS.

Swallowing at 5:08

Starting at 5pm SHARP every night --I ate dinner. Not one second before, not one after. On the launching pad at five I waited with a rock solid self control. I took the first bite at promptly 5:08pm--the next at 5:10. Eating only on the even minutes and ALWAYS finishing by 5:28. It made my fruit cocktail-mixed-with-bran-cereal dinner last as long as I possibly could make it last. But in order to be worthy enough to have food--I could not gobble it down--Anie told me, ''You wanna eat? These are the rules.'' My wretched self was so hungry that I had to watch tv while eating --to distract myself and follow Anie's commands. I watched reruns of ''The Andy Griffith Show''.  ''Barney Fife'' never broke a date with me--he was always there. Good ol' Barn. On the even minutes I could eat and he even made me laugh. No matter how funny the episode though -- I always had a bit of wistfulness--a bit of sadness when I ate--a kind of longing for an unreachable security. I remember sometimes those old sitcom episodes even made me cry. In particular an episode where Andy says to Barney, ''Do the tears on your pillow bespeak the pain that's in your heart?'' Barney nods his head and Andy says,''Yeah, me too.'' I hear ya, Andy. But I have to haul ass and burn off these calories.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Power Gap

Thigh Wars

I am a Purple Heart veteran of The Thigh Wars--honk your horn if you are too.  As hell raising as any combat that ever took place in the Asau Valley--Vietnam.  The calorie assault was swift and terrible. Stack up the casualties--here we go: My red blood cells, My bones, My face and foot nerves, My heart, My soul. Who won? Not me. Yet at the time the gap between my thighs was as ferocious and victorious as General Patton. You don't mess with my thigh gap--now that's a fighting force every bit as formidable as the 101st infantry division.

I Was In Control, Sister

I always ate a can of fruit cocktail for dinner--and I prepared it with a zeal known only to the Anie kinship. I dumped the fruit and all that HIGH CALORIE , gluppy syrup into a strainer--went outside and sprayed her down with the hose. There's that song, ''Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta my Hair''. Well, shit--I washed that rejection and lack of control right off of my fruit.  Standing there with that spray of water--it was really just so peaceful. I was in charge, I was in control, sister. You hear me, don't you? Those sugarey covered pieces of pineapple became those bastards who flushed my heart down the toilet--became that world that repeatedly slapped me around--so I took that hose and did the same to them. How many calories in a teaspoon of that syrup? How much apathy is directed at me ? Fuck off-- you still won't make me fat.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love Your Fucking Self, Baby.

Yeah, there's the kicker--people would say to me, ''oh, but you need to love yourself!!'' Right.
Talk to my disease--we'll pencil you in between sit-up 909 and 1,011. Maybe then we can begin to even entertain the idea of a self that deserves to be loved. This condition is not for wussies--if you have the Iron will to starve yourself--you must realize that you have a strength and a power to overcome that few ever BEGIN to imagine. This is not about convincing you to get fat --it's about making you aware that you can run the show ( the show being your life) --because this disease will tell you that you cannot. You can go without food for HOW MANY days? You can run HOW MANY miles in subzero weather? This is the force that will save you--and you ARE worth saving and you ARE worth loving.  I know, I know--can't someone --besides yourself-- love you?  First--you must feel your own power. Anorexia tells you that you have no power over anything but your body -- you can take the power that makes you count how many raisins you eat and make it count how much shit you have overcome.  Remember, ''The Force is with You''?  You ARE the Force.

The Viet Cong

EVERYBODY gave up on me. This disease was the ONLY POWER I had--and I considered any attempt to stop me as deadly a threat as if it were the Viet Cong. I would not submit--and even those who said they loved me got real fucking tired of me.''She's gonna die--I've done all I can do.'' Yeah, I was a handful--all 78 pounds of me. If they watched me eat--I needed only half a second of their inattention to hide food in my clothes--If they got on me about exercising--I exercised in the dead of night--with the fan turned on to cover any noises. I had an intervention--but the positive effects of it took years to appear. So my saviors gave up. ''I am willing to help save her life but if it's not within the next-- like two seconds-- I'm ready to take credit for trying and give a great eulogy at her funeral.'' IF YOU LOVE AN ANOREXIC--DON'T GIVE UP. Their resistance is not a personal slap at you--it is all about the only security they know.

Cracker Crumb Bones

In 1990 I had the first of two bone biopsies. My incredible doctor, Hartmut Malluche, told me if he removed the tip of my pelvic bone and looked at it under a microscope it would prove if I was absorbing the powerful bone loss medications that I had been on for a year. I was on Rocaltrol--one every night for three months and Didronel-- two a day for three weeks.  Drugs designed to stop my cracker crumb bones from any further crunching. I was haunted daily with the thought that my bones could snap, crackle, pop-- so I begrudgingly submitted to the biopsy--but what really bothered me was the huge disruption it caused in my intricate Anorexic schedule. My God, I had to be up at 3am to start the first shift of calorie-burning exercises--fitting in a bone biopsy would really fuck things up. My entire meticulously designed starvation would be shot for an entire day -- maybe longer. Now this was something to stress over! So I decided --it just WOULD NOT stop my set-in-stone lifestyle. Never underestimate an Anorexic who is forced out of their routine.  I taped the ice pack they gave me at the hospital to my chopped off bone and started on my walk. Ya know, it is kinda excruciating when you get a piece of bone removed. I made it about a fourth of a mile walking very slowly--then I had to decrease to limping carefully then finally hobbling and halting. I met a friend of a friend on my route -- but his meddling questions and odd little smile certainly did not stop me. Be gone you Eater! I have my world to control--if I don't pass out before the next exercise shift.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


The Space Between my Thighs

I used to take out a ruler and measure the space between my thighs. The wider it got--the more I could flip the bird at the world.   Reject me again--I STILL won't be fat.  The wider it got--the more layers of amor I had between myself and the pain life inflicted on me.  Take away what I love--a size two will STILL be too big for me. The universe could bomb me--I always had the space between my thighs.