Anorexia Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Anorexia. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
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We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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There is, in fact, an incredible freedom in having nothing left to lose.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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You never come back, not all the way. Always there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier thin as the glass of a mirror, you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and no one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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The anoretic operates under the astounding illusion that she can escape the flesh, and, by association, the realm of emotions.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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I began to measure things in absence instead of presence.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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I want to go to sleep and not wake up, but I don't want to die. I want to eat like a normal person eats, but I need to see my bones or I will hate myself even more and I might cut my heart out or take every pill that was ever made.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
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And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart: Your seeds shall live in my body, And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart, And your fragrance shall be my breath, And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.
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Kahlil Gibran
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Never, never underestimate the power of desire. If you want to live badly enough, you can live. The great question, at least for me, was: How do I decide I want to live?
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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If by that you mean that I dislike celebrity magazines, prefer food to anorexia, refuse to watch TV shows about models, and hate the color pink, then yes. I am proud to be not really a girl.
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John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
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Recovery feels like shit. It didn't feel like I was doing something good; it felt like I was giving up. It feels like having to learn how to walk all over again.
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Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
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I am forever engaged in a silent battle in my head over whether or not to lift the fork to my mouth, and when I talk myself into doing so, I taste only shame. I have an eating disorder.
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Jena Morrow (Hollow: An Unpolished Tale)
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Hatred is so much closer to love than indifference.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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It is, at the most basic level, a bundle of contradictions: a desire for power that strips you of all power. A gesture of strength that divests you of all strength.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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That’s the nice thing about dreams, the way you wake up before you fall.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Another page turns on the calendar, April now, not March. ......... I am spinning the silk threads of my story, weaving the fabric of my world...I spun out of control. Eating was hard. Breathing was hard. Living was hardest. I wanted to swallow the bitter seeds of forgetfulness...Somehow, I dragged myself out of the dark and asked for help. I spin and weave and knit my words and visions until a life starts to take shape. There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore. I am thawing.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
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And so I went through the looking glass, stepped into the netherworld, where up is down and food is greed, where convex mirrors cover the walls, where death is honor and flesh is weak. It is ever so easy to go. Harder to find your way back.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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There is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. You want one and I want one, but there isn't one. It comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect. And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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I was used to sleeping with people because I endlessly found myself in identical situations where it was easier to just fuck them than to say no.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Some people who are obsessed with food become gourmet chefs. Others become eating disorders.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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I wanted to kill the me underneath. That fact haunted my days and nights. When you realize you hate yourself so much, when you realize that you cannot stand who you are, and this deep spite has been the motivation behind your behavior for many years, your brain can’t quite deal with it. It will try very hard to avoid that realization; it will try, in a last-ditch effort to keep your remaining parts alive, to remake the rest of you. This is, I believe, different from the suicidal wish of those who are in so much pain that death feels like relief, different from the suicide I would later attempt, trying to escape that pain. This is a wish to murder yourself; the connotation of kill is too mild. This is a belief that you deserve slow torture, violent death.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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There is, in the end, the letting go.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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The fear of an unknown never resolves, because the unknown expands infinitely outward, leaving you to cling pitifully to any small shelter of the known: a cracker has twelve calories; the skin, when cut, bleeds.
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Caroline Kettlewell (Skin Game)
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During a warm winter rain ... the basins of her collarbones collected water.
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Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides)
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He leaned down and whispered to me: No matter how thin you get, no matter how short you cut your hair, it's still going to be you underneath. And he let go of my arm and walked back down the hall.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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I do not remember very many things from the inside out. I do not remember what it felt like to touch things, or how bathwater traveled over my skin. I did not like to be touched, but it was a strange dislike. I did not like to be touched because I craved it too much. I wanted to be held very tight so I would not break. Even now, when people lean down to touch me, or hug me, or put a hand on my shoulder, I hold my breath. I turn my face. I want to cry.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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I didn't realize there was a ranking." I said. "Sadie frowned. "What do you mean?" "A ranking," I said. "You know, what's crazier than what." "Oh, sure there is," Sadie said. She sat back in her chair. "First you have your generic depressives. They're a dime a dozen and usually pretty boring. Then you've got the bulimics and the anorexics. They're slightly more interesting, although usually they're just girls with nothing better to do. Then you start getting into the good stuff: the arsonists, the schizophrenics, the manic-depressives. You can never quite tell what those will do. And then you've got the junkies. They're completely tragic, because chances are they're just going to go right back on the stuff when they're out of here." "So junkies are at the top of the crazy chain," I said. Sadie shook her head. "Uh-uh," she said. "Suicides are." I looked at her. "Why?" "Anyone can be crazy," she answered. "That's usually just because there's something screwed up in your wiring, you know? But suicide is a whole different thing. I mean, how much do you have to hate yourself to want to just wipe yourself out?
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Michael Thomas Ford
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The only number that would ever be enough is 0. Zero pounds, zero life, size zero, double-zero, zero point. Zero in tennis is love. I finally get it.
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Laurie Halse Anderson
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But in some ways, the most significant choices one makes in life are done for reasons that are not all that dramatic, not earth-shaking at all; often enough, the choices we make are, for better or for worse, made by default.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Anorexia isn't about being fat, it's about having fat.
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Caroline Kettlewell (Skin Game)
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...compulsive eating is basically a refusal to be fully alive. No matter what we weigh, those of us who are compulsive eaters have anorexia of the soul. We refuse to take in what sustains us. We live lives of deprivation. And when we can't stand it any longer, we binge. The way we are able to accomplish all of this is by the simple act of bolting -- of leaving ourselves -- hundreds of times a day.
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Geneen Roth (Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything)
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It is not a sudden leap from sick to well. It is a slow, strange meander from sick to mostly well. The misconception that eating disorders are a medical disease in the traditional sense is not helpful here. There is no 'cure'. A pill will not fix it, though it may help. Ditto therapy, ditto food, ditto endless support from family and friends. You fix it yourself. It is the hardest thing that I have ever done, and I found myself stronger for doing it. Much stronger.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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You begin to forget what it means to live. You forget things. You forget that you used to feel all right. You forget what it means to feel all right because you feel like shit all the time, and you can't remember what it was like before. People take the feeling of full for granted. They take for granted the feeling of steadiness, of hands that do not shake, heads that do not ache, throats not raw with bile and small rips of fingernails forced to haste to the gag spot. Stomachs that do not begin to wake up in the night, calves and thighs knotting in muscles that are beginning to eat away at themselves. they may or may not be awakened at night by their own inexplicable sobs.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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This is the very boring part of eating disorders, the aftermath. When you eat and hate that you eat. And yet of course you must eat. You don’t really entertain the notion of going back. You, with some startling new level of clarity, realize that going back would be far worse than simply being as you are. This is obvious to anyone without an eating disorder. This is not always obvious to you.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Anorexia is not an illness of the body; it is an illness of the mind.
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Lynn Crilly (Hope with Eating Disorders)
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And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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My god! people say. You have so much self-control! And later: My god. You're so, so sick. When people say this, they turn their heads, you've won your little game. You have proven your thesis that no-body-loves-me-every-body-hates-me, guess-I'll-just-eat-worms. You get to sink back into your hospital bed, shrieking with righteous indignation. See? you get to say. I knew you'd give up on me. I knew you'd leave.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Why? You want to know why? Step into a tanning booth and fry yourself for two or three days. After your skin bubbles and peels off, roll in coarse salt, then pull on long underwear woven from spun glass and razor wire. Over that goes your regular clothes, as long as they are tight. Smoke gunpowder and go to school to jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and roll over on command. Listen to the whispers that curl into your head at night, calling you ugly and fat and stupid and bitch and whore and worst of all, "a disappointment." Puke and starve and cut and drink because you don't want to feel any of this. Puke and starve and drink and cut because you need the anesthetic and it works. For a while. But then the anesthetic turns into poison and by then it's too late because you are mainlining it now, straight into your soul. It is rotting you and you can't stop. Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heartbeat scream that everysinglething is wrong with you. "Why?" is the wrong question. Ask "Why not?
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
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My bones are brittle, my heart weak and erratic, my esophagus and stomach riddled with ulcers, my reproductive system shot, my immune system useless... I'm not going to have a happy ending.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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People with mental illnesses aren't wrapped up in themselves because they are intrinsically any more selfish than other people. Of course not. They are just feeling things that can't be ignored. Things that point the arrows inward.
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Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
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The idea of my future simultaneously thrilled and terrified me, like standing at the lip of a very sheer cliff- I could fly, or fall. I didn't know how to fly, and I didn't want to fall. So I backed away from the cliff and went in search of something that had a clear, solid trajectory for me to follow, like hopscotch.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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The term β€œstarvation diet” refers to 900 calories a day. I was on one-third of a starvation diet. What do you call that? One word that comes to my mind: β€œsuicide.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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When it’s quiet in my head like this, that’s when the voice doesn’t need to tell me how pathetic I am. I know it in the deepest part of me. When it’s quiet like this, that’s when I truly hate myself.
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Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
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I didn't particularly want to live much longer than that. Life seemed rather daunting. It seems so to me even now. Life seemed too long a time to have to stick around, a huge span of years through which one would be require to tap-dance and smile and be Great! and be Happy! and be Amazing! and be Precious! I was tired of my life by the time I was sixteen. I was tired of being too much, too intense, too manic. I was tired of people, and I was incredibly tired of myself. I wanted to do whatever Amazing Thing I was expected to doβ€” it might be pointed out that these were my expectations, mine aloneβ€” and be done with it. Go to sleep.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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How silly people were to eat. They thought they needed food for energy, but they didn't. Energy came from will, from self-control.
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Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
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By November, you wish you were dead. You want nothing more. Every day, every fucking day, you run up the steps of the house, breathing hard, swing open the cupboards, thinking: You pitiful little bitch. Fucking cow. Greedy pig. All day, your stomach pinches and spits up its bile. You sway when you walk. You begin to get cold again.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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In her presence, I was reminded again of why I was an anoretic: fear. Of my needs, for food, for sleep, for touch, for simple conversation, for human contact, for love. I was an anoretic because I was afraid of being human. Implicit in human contact is the exposure of the self, the interaction of the selves. The self I'd had, once upon a time, was too much. Now there was no self at all. I was a blank.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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I began to feel like I was wearing a sign on my forehead that said FUCKED UP in big neon letters.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Anorexia cannot be cured by treating the physical symptoms alone; it is the mind which must be treated.
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Lynn Crilly (Hope with Eating Disorders)
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Violence is spiritual junk food, and boredom is spiritual anorexia.
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Peter Kreeft (Jesus-Shock)
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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 β€œletting 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.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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You begin to forget what it means to live. You forget things. You forget that you used to feel all right. You forget what it means to feel all right because you feel like shit all of the time, and you canΒ΄t remember what it was like before.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Between 10 and 20 percent of people with anorexia die from heart attacks, other complications and suicide; the disease has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Or Kitty could have lost her life in a different way, lost it to the roller coaster of relapse and recovery, inpatient and outpatient, that eats up, on average, five to seven years. Or a lifetime: only half of all anorexics recovery in the end. The other half endure lives of dysfunction and despair. Friends and families give up on them. Doctors dread treating them. They’re left to stand in the bakery with the voice ringing in their ears, alone in every way that matters.
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Harriet Brown
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No matter how thin you get, no matter how short you cut your hair, it's still going to be you underneath.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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[Eating disorders] are a wonderful tool for helping you reject others before they can reject you. Example: You're at a party. The popular girls are there. You know you can never be as cool as they are, but when one of the pops a potato chip into her mouth or chooses real Coke over Diet, for that moment you are better
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Stacy Pershall
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Depression is about anger, it is about anxiety, it is about character and heredity. But it is also about something that is in its way quite unique. It is the illness of identity, it is the illness of those who do not know where they fit, who lose faith in the myths they have so painstakenly created for themselves. [...] It is a plague - especially if you add in its various forms of expression, like alcoholism, anorexia, bulimia, drug addiction, compulsive behaviour of one kind or another. They're all the same things: attempts to avoid disappearance, or nothingness, or chaos.
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Tim Lott (Scent of Dried Roses)
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Artistic anorexia & sexual avoidance have the same root fears – fear of intimacy, fear of exposure, fear of failure”.
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Julia Cameron (The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart)
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If you put the wrong foods in your body, you are contaminated and dirty and your stomach swells. Then the voice says, Why did you do that? Don't you know better? Ugly and wicked, you are disgusting to me.
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Bethany Pierce (Feeling for Bones)
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Even with friends, I had difficulty giving or receiving physical affection, although I secretly craved it.
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Kate M. Taylor (Going Hungry: Writers on Desire, Self-Denial, and Overcoming Anorexia)
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I’ve never had anorexia, but I know it well. I see it on the street, in the gaunt and sunken face, the boney chest, the spindly arms of an emaciated woman. I’ve come to recognize the flat look of despair, the hopelessness that follows, inevitably, from years of starvation. I think: That could have been [me]. It wasn’t. It’s not.
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Harriet Brown (Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle with Anorexia)
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When you have a persistent sense of heartbreak and gutwrench, the physical sensations become intolerable and we will do anything to make those feelings disappear. And that is really the origin of what happens in human pathology. People take drugs to make it disappear, and they cut themselves to make it disappear, and they starve themselves to make it disappear, and they have sex with anyone who comes along to make it disappear and once you have these horrible sensations in your body, you’ll do anything to make it go away.
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Bessel van der Kolk
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Soon I'll be thinner than all of you, she swore to herself. And then I'll be the winner. The thinner is the winner.
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Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
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I have never been normal about my body. It has always seemed to me a strange and foreign entity. I don't know that there was ever a time when I was not conscious of it. As far back as I can think, I was aware of my own corporeality, my physical imposition on space.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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And when, after fifteen years of bingeing, barfing, starving, needles and tubes and terror and rage, and medical crises and personal failure and loss after loss - when, after all this, you are in your early twenties and staring down a vastly abbreviated life expectancy, and the eating disorder still takes up half your body, half your brain, with its invisible eroding force, when you have spent the majority of your life sick, when you do not yet know what it means to be 'well,' or 'normal,' when you doubt that those words even have meaning anymore, there are still no answers. You will die young, and you have no way to make sense of that fact. You have this: You are thin.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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β€’ Eating disorders are addictions. You become addicted to a number of their effects. The two most basic and important: the pure adrenaline that kicks in when you're starvingβ€”you're high as a kite, sleepless, full of a frenetic, unstable energyβ€”and the heightened intensity of experience that eating disorders initially induce. At first, everything tastes and smells intense, tactile experience is intense, your own drive and energy themselves are intense and focused. Your sense of power is very, very intense. You are not aware, however, that you are quickly becoming addicted.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Willow sees her before any of the others. A walking skeleton, the victim of some terrible wasting disease, like something out of the history books, a death camp survivor. It takes Willow a moment to realize that the girl is none of those things. She's just a girl, a girl like Willow, who's chosen to inflict terrible pain on herself. Only this girl's weapon isn't a razor, it's starvation.
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Julia Hoban (Willow)
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I have a remarkable ability to delete all better judgement from my brain when I get my head set on something. I have no sense of moderation, no sense of caution. I have no sense pretty much.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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I know how this feels: the tightening of the chest, the panic, the what-have-I-done-wait-I-was-kidding. Eating disorders linger so long undetected, eroding the body in silence, and then they strike. The secret is out. You're dying.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Having a normal person around me made it poingnantly clear to me that I was out of control.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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People with eating disorders tend to be very diametrical thinkers – everything is the end of the world, everything rides on this one thing, and everyone tells you you're very dramatic, very intense, and they see it as an affectation, but itΒ΄s actually just how you think. It really seems to you that the sky will fall if you are not personally holding it up. On the one hand, this is sheer arrogance; on the other hand, this is a very real fear. And it isn't that you ignore the potential repercussions of your actions. You don't think there are any. Because you are not even there.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Anorexics are the best liars in the world. You do anything to keep control. You place people into separate categories, those you trust, those you don’t, those you can confide in and those whom you lie to. But of course the reality is that underneath it all, you are lying to yourself all the time.
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Peter Barham (The Invisible Girl)
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We can always find each other, we girls with secrets.
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Crystal Renn (Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition, and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves)
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I want to eat like a normal person eats, but I need to see my bones or I will hate myself even more and I might cut out my heart or take every pill that was ever made.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
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I have not lost my fascination with death. I have not become a noticeably less intense person. I have not, nor will I ever, completely lose the longing for that something, that thing that I believe will fill an emptiness inside me. I do believe that the emptiness was made greater by the things that I did to myself.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Madness is not what it seems. Time stops. All my life I've been obsessed with time, its motion and velocity, the way it works you over, the way it rushes you onward, a pebble turning in a brook. I've always been obsessed with where I'd go, and what I'd do, and how I would live. I've always harbored a desperate hope that I would make something of myself. Not then. Time stopped seeming so much like the thing that would transform me into something worthwhile and began to be inseparable from death. I spent my time merely waiting.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience." -Naomi Wolf
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Stacey M. Rosenfeld
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When you believe that you are not worthwhile in and of yourself, in the back of your mind you also begin to believe that life is not worthwhile in and of itself. It is only worthwhile insofar as it relates to your crusade. It is a kamikaze mission.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
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Loveβ€”the desire to love and be loved, to hold and be held, to give love even if your experience as a recipient has been compromised or incompleteβ€”is the constant on the continuum of hunger, it's what links the anorexic to the garden-variety dieter, it's the persistent pulse of need and yearning behind the reach for food, for sex, for something.
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Caroline Knapp (Appetites: Why Women Want)
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Religious fasting is the best way to cure an anorexic's spirit: in heaven her condition will be normal.
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Bauvard (Some Inspiration for the Overenthusiastic)
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Every time a girl refuses to eat, she one-ups Eve.
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Jennifer Traig (Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood)
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We are all a collection of lost causes, stashed here so no one has to see just how wounded we are.
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Meg Haston (Paperweight)
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Every lineament of the girl's wasted body is a testament to her inner turmoil. Willow can only imagine what kind of pain she must be in to destroy herself that way. She knows there's something ironic in her compassion for the other girl, but she can't help feeling that this utter mortification of the flesh is far worse than anything that she herself has done.
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Julia Hoban (Willow)
β€œ
Something had been confirmed: I was worth giving a shit about; I was getting to be a successful sick person. Sick is when they say something. Of course, I had been sick for five years. But now, now maybe I was really sick. Maybe I wasgetting good at this, good enough to scare people. Maybe I would almost die, and balance just there, at the edge of the cliff, wavering while they gasped and clutched one another's arms, and win acclaim for my death-defying stunts.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
For a long time I believed the opposite of passion was death. I was wrong. Passion and death are implicit, one in the other. Past the border of a fiery life lies the netherworld. I can trace this road, which took me through places so hot the very air burned the lungs. I did not turn back. I pressed on, and eventually passed over the border, beyond which lies a place that is wordless and cold, so cold that it, like mercury, burns a freezing blue flame.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
She ran her hands over her body as if to bid it good-bye. The hipbones rising from a shrunken stomach were razor-sharp. Would they be lost in a sea of fat? She counted her ribs bone by bone. Where would they go?
”
”
Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
...painfully curious...about how it feels to fall.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Me and my needs were driving my mother away. Me and my needs retreated to my closet, disappeared into fairy tales. I started making up a world where my needs wouldnΒ΄t exist at all.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
She began to be reassured by these pains, tangible symbols of her success in becoming thinner than anyone else. Her only identity was being "the skinniest." She had to feel it.
”
”
Steven Levenkron (Kessa)
β€œ
...she was afraid of losing her shape, spreading out, not being able to contain herself any longer, beginning (that would be worst of all) to talk a lot, to tell everybody, to cry.
”
”
Margaret Atwood (The Edible Woman)
β€œ
My reflection followed me mercilessly in mirrors, car doors, shop windows. I lived in a world of circus mirrors, the grotesque distortion of my body looking back at me everywhere.
”
”
Bethany Pierce (Feeling for Bones)
β€œ
I am too big and too small and too much and not enough and too frightened to change and too sad to stay the same.
”
”
Nancy Tucker (The Time in Between: A Memoir of Hunger and Hope)
β€œ
The return of the voices would end in a migraine that made my whole body throb. I could do nothing except lie in a blacked-out room waiting for the voices to get infected by the pains in my head and clear off. Knowing I was different with my OCD, anorexia and the voices that no one else seemed to hear made me feel isolated, disconnected. I took everything too seriously. I analysed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity. When people looked at me closely could they see the little girl in my head, being abused in those pornographic clips projected behind my eyes? That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the faΓ§ade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing. (describing dissociative identity disorder/mpd symptoms)
”
”
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
β€œ
I don't think people realize, when they're just getting started on an eating disorder or even when they're in the grip of one, that it is not something that you just "get over." For the vast majority of eating-disordered people, it is something that will haunt you for the rest of your life. You may change your behavior, change your beliefs about yourself and your body, give up that particular way of coping in the world. You may learn, as I have, that you would rather be a human than a human's thin shell. You may get well. But you never forget.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Starlets were always turning up dead in people's pools. They fished them out like goldfish. Nobody seemed to find it unusual that so many young, beautiful women wanted to die.
”
”
Jonathan Rosen (Eve's Apple)
β€œ
I wish I could find words to explain what this kind of cold is like – the cold that has somehow gotten in underneath your skin and is getting colder and colder inside you. It isnΒ΄t an outside sort of cold; itΒ΄s a cold that gets into your bones and into your blood and it feels like your heart itself is beating out the cold in hard bursts through your entire body, and you suddenly remember that you have a body because you canΒ΄t ignore it anymore. You feel like an ice cube. You feel like youΒ΄re naked and have fallen through thin ice on a lake and are drowning in the ice water underneath. You canΒ΄t breathe.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
That’s how we stay young nowadays: Chasing down bottles of pills, jumping off bridges, slicing up our bodies and an idealized vision of being skinny enough.
”
”
Juansen Dizon (I Am The Architect of My Own Destruction)
β€œ
We take a certain sick pride in the fact that we know the caloric and fat content of every possible food on the planet, and have an understandable disdain for nutritionists who attempt to tell us the caloric content of anything, when we are the gods of caloric content and have delusions of nutritional omniscience, when said nutritionist will attempt to explain that the average woman needs a daily diet of 2,000 or more calories when we ourselves have been doing JUST FUCKING FINE on 500.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
The bragging was the worst. I hear this in schools all over the country, in cafΓ©s and restaurants, in bars, on the Internet, for Pete's sake, on buses, on sidewalks: Women yammering about how little they eat. Oh, I'm Starving, I haven't eaten all day, I think I'll have a great big piece of lettuce, I'm not hungry, I don't like to eat in the morning (in the afternoon, in the evening, on Tuesdays, when my nails aren't painted, when my shin hurts, when it's raining, when it's sunny, on national holidays, after or before 2 A.M.). I heard it in the hospital, that terrible ironic whine from the chapped lips of women starving to death, But I'm not hun-greeee. To hear women tell it, we're never hungry. We live on little Ms. Pac-Man power pellets. Food makes us queasy, food makes us itchy, food is too messy, all I really like to eat is celery. To hear women tell it we're ethereal beings who eat with the greatest distaste, scraping scraps of food between our teeth with our upper lips curled. For your edification, it's bullshit.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
After a lifetime of silence, it is difficult then to speak.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
There was a time when I was unable to get out of bed because my body, its muscles eating themselves away, refused to sit up. There was a time when the lies rolled off my tongue with ease, when it was far more important to me to self-destruct than to admit I had a problem, let alone allow anyone to help.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
How did I get like this?
”
”
Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
β€œ
At a certain point, an eating disorder ceases to be "about" any one thing. It stops being about your family, or your culture. Very simply, it becomes an addiction not only emotionally but also chemically. And it becomes a crusade. If you are honest with yourself, you stop believing that anyone could "make" you do such a thingβ€” who, your parents? They want you to starve to death? Not likely. Your environment? It couldn't careless. You are also doing it for yourself. It is a shortcut to something many women without an eating disorder have gotten: respect and power. It is a visual temper tantrum. You are making an ineffective statement about this and that, a grotesque, self-defeating mockery of cultural standards of beauty, societal misogyny. It is a blow to your parents, at whom you are pissed. And it is so very seductive. It is so reassuring, so all-consuming, so entertaining. At first.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
I was a very lonely child and it's funny but the first word that comes to my head is "starved". I felt starved of affection, starved of love and I felt that it wasn't OK to ask for it. Maybe there was a sense that if I deserved it, it would be there. There must be something I'd done which meant I didn't deserve it.
”
”
Carol Lee (To Die For)
β€œ
β€’ This seems impossible to me. It seems biologically impossible to stay the same size, although I must. It seems one must always be either bigger or smaller than they were at some arbitrary point in time to which all things are compared. The panties that are possibly tighter than they were. When? You can't say when. But you are absolutely positive no question that it's true.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Nothing in the world scares me as much as bulimia. It was true then and it is true now. But at some point, the body will essentially eat of its own accord in order to save itself. Mine began to do that. The passivity with which I speak here is intentional. It feels very much as if you are possessed, as if you have no will of your own but are in constant battle with your body, and you are losing. It wants to live. You want to die. You cannot both have your way. And so bulimia creeps into the rift between you and your body and you go out of your mind with fear. Starvation is incredibly frightening when it finally sets in with a vengeance. And when it does,you are surprised. You hadn't meant this. You say: Wait, not this. And then it sucks you under and you drown.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
I think anorexia is a metaphor. It is a young woman's statement that she will become what the culture asks of its women, which is that they be thin and nonthreatening. Anorexia signifies that a young woman is so delicate that, like the women of China with their tiny broken feet, she needs a man to shelter and protect her from a world she cannot handle. Anorexic women signal with their bodies "I will take up only a small amount of space. I won't get in the way." They signal "I won't be intimidating or threatening." (Who is afraid of a seventy-pound adult?)
”
”
Mary Pipher
β€œ
Magnesium deficiency can produce symptoms of anxiety or depression, including muscle weakness, fatigue, eye twitches, insomnia, anorexia, apathy, apprehension, poor memory, confusion, anger, nervousness, and rapid pulse.
”
”
Carolyn Dean (The Magnesium Miracle (Revised and Updated))
β€œ
Forgetting who you are and where you are and if you're there. Getting lost in the thought that you might be imagining everything, you might be dreaming your life. You look at your hand in front of your face, surrounded by light, and your heart thrums as you think: I'm dreaming, I'm not even here, I don't exist. It is too fascinating, the thought that you aren't. The thought that if you watch the lake long enough you might disappear into the white flames of light on the blue, which seem to be just inches from your face. It sucks you in, and you stare, only a little afraid. And then you scream, startled, when your mother comes through the door. You crash back to earth. It's dark. It's evening. You're here and your mother is looking at you asking, What?
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Remember, anoretics do eat. We have systems of eating that develop almost unconsciously. By the time we realize weΒ΄ve been running our lives with an iron system of numbers and rules, the system has begun to rule us. They are systems of Safe Foods, foods not imbued, or less imbued, with monsters and devils and dangers. These are usually β€œpure” foods, less likely to taint the soul with such sins as fat, or sugar, or an excess of calories. Consider the advertisements for food, the religious lexicon of eating: β€œsinfully rich,” intones the silky voice announcer, β€œindulge yourself,” she says, β€œguilt-free.” Not complex foods that would send the mind spinning in a tornado of possible pitfalls contained in a given food – a possible miscalculation of calories, a loss of certainty about your control over chaos, your control over self. The horrible possibility that you are taking more than you deserve.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Death is a fascinating thing. The human mind continually returns and returns to death, to mortality, immortality, damnation, salvation. Some fear death, some seek it, but it is in our human nature to wonder at the limits of human life, at least. When you are sick like this you begin to wonder too much. Death is at your shoulder, death is your shadow, your scent, your waking and dreaming companion. You cannot help, when sleep begins to touch your eyes, but to wonder: What if? What if? And in that question, there is a longing, too much like the longing of a young girl in love. The sickness occupies your every thought, breath like a lover at your ear; the sickness stands at your shoulder in the mirror, absorbed with your body, each inch of skin and flesh, and you let it work you over, touch you with rough hands that thrill. Nothing will ever be so close to you again. You will never find a lover so careful, so attentive, so unconditionally present and concerned only with you. Some of us use the body to convey the things for which we cannot find words. Some of us decide to take a shortcut, decide the world is too much or too little, death is so easy, so smiling, so simple; and death is dramatic, a final fuck-you to the world.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Somewhere I read that anorexia recovery is more painful for the sufferer than actively engaging in the eating disordered behaviours
”
”
Nancy Tucker (The Time in Between: A Memoir of Hunger and Hope)
β€œ
I finally understood that by being on a perpetual diet, I had practiced a "disordered" form of eating my whole life. I restricted when I was hungry and in need of nutrition and binged when I was so grotesquely full I couldn't be comfortable in any position by lying down. Diets that tell people what to eat or when to eat are the practices inbetween. And dieting, I discovered, was another form of disordered eating, just as anorexia and bulimia similarly disrupt the natural order of eating.
”
”
Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
β€œ
When I returned, everything was different. Everything was calm, and I felt very clean. Everything was in order. Everything was as it should be. I had a secret. It was a guilty secret, certainly. But it was MY secret. I had something to hold on to. It was company. It kept me calm. It filled me up and emptied me out.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
I developed a deep, abiding fear of jeans, which I still have. I hold my breath and shut my eyes when I pull on a pair in the dressing room, afraid they will now, as then, get stuck at my hips and there I will stand, absurd, staring at the excess of hips that should, if I were a good person, be β€žslimβ€œ.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Kessa ran her fingers over her stomach. Flat. But was it flat enough? Not quite. She still had some way to go. Just to be safe, she told herself. Still, it was nice the way her pelvic bones rose like sharp hills on either side of her stomach. I love bones. Bones are beautiful.
”
”
Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
I had a love affair with books, with characters and their words. Books kept me company. When the voices of the book faded, as with the last long chord of a record, the back cover crinkling closed, I could swear I heard a door click shut.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Crazy isnΒ΄t always what they say it is. ItΒ΄s not always the old woman wearing sneakers and a skirt and a scarf, wandering around with a shopping cart, hollering at no one, nothing, tumbling through years in her head. No. Sometimes it is a girl wearing boots and jeans and a sweater, arms crossed in front of her, shivering, wandering through the streets at night, all night, murmuring to no one, nothing, tumbling through the strange unreal dimensions in her head.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
She'd lost two more pounds. A picture of the models she'd cut out of the magazine flashed through Kessa's mind. And the winner is... seventy-three!
”
”
Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
The dizzy rapture of starving. The power of needing nothing. By force of will I make myself the impossible sprite who lives on air, on water, on purity.
”
”
Kathryn Harrison (The Kiss)
β€œ
It's so easy to focus on the anguish and the misery; it's harder, somehow, to acknowledge the positive, maybe for fear of jinxing it, bringing the nightmare back down on our heads.
”
”
Harriet Brown (Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle with Anorexia)
β€œ
No food will ever hurt you as much as an unhealthy mind.
”
”
Brittany Burgunder
β€œ
We know we need, and so we acquire and eat and eat, past the point of bodily fullness, trying to sate a greater need. Ashamed of this, we turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how to not-need.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Deception' is the word I most associate with anorexia and the treachery which comes from falsehood. The illness appears inviting. It would seem to offer something to those unwary or unlucky enough to suffer from it - friendship, a get-out, or a haven - when, in fact, it is a trap.
”
”
Carol Lee (To Die For)
β€œ
The idea began to sink in, more than it ever had, that I might be crazy, in the traditional sense of the word. That I might be, forever and ever amen, a Crazy Person. That's what we'd suspected all along, what I'd been working so hard to disprove, what might be true. I preferred, by far, being dead.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
The leap of faith is this: You have to believe, or at least pretend you believe until you really believe it, that you are strong enough to take life face on. Eating disorders, on any level, are a crutch. They are also an addiction and illness, but there is no question at all that they are quite simply a way of avoiding the banal, daily, itchy pain of life. Eating disorders provide a little drama, they feed into the desire for constant excitement, everything becomes life-or-death, everything is terribly grand and crashing, very Sturm and Drang. And they are distracting. You don't have to think about any of the nasty minutiae of the real world, you don't get caught up in that awful boring thing called regular life, with its bills and its breakups and its dishes and laundry and groceries and arguments over whose turn it is to change the litter box and bedtimes and bad sex and all that, because you are having a real drama, not a sitcom but a GRAND EPIC, all by yourself, and why would you bother with those foolish mortals when you could spend hours and hours with the mirror, when you are having the most interesting sado-machistic affair with your own image?
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
I threw up again that night, half-afraid that my eyeballs would explode. But it was, by far, more important that I get rid of dinner. Of course, by then, throwing up was the only way I knew how to deal with fear. That paradox would begin to run my life: to know that what you are doing is hurting you, maybe killing you, and to be afraid of that fact--but to cling to the idea that this will save you, it will, in the end, make things okay.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
I know what you're thinking. β€˜How the hell does this broke ass piece of trailer trash know words like caveat,’ right? Well guess what? I've read every single book on the New York Times list of 'Top 100 Literary Classics,' not to mention every Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath or Bronte sisters’ book ever written. And fuck you very much for judging me, by the way.
”
”
Isobel Irons (Promiscuous (Issues, #1))
β€œ
Being constantly hungry is no life at all.
”
”
Emma Woolf (The Ministry of Thin)
β€œ
I guess I will never come back all the way, a fog will always stand between the person I am and the person I should have been.
”
”
Sophie Glynn
β€œ
Su voz no intentaba embellecerme, intentaba matarme.
”
”
Beatriz Esteban (SerΓ© frΓ‘gil)
β€œ
Kessa began to cut her meat into tiny pieces. As a whole it was unmanageable, frightening; but divided and arranged, the meat could be controlled. She cut four pieces. She'd count to four between each bite.
”
”
Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
Bear in mind you have a life to live. There is an incredible loss. There is a profound grief. And there is, in the end, after a long time and more work than you ever thought possible, a time when it gets easier.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
For girls who've been pressured into sex they didn't want, growing into a woman's body can be terrifying. Anorexia and bulimia can be an attempt to say no, to assert control over their changing bodies. Compulsive overeating is another way.
”
”
Ellen Bass (The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse)
β€œ
[. . .] and in addition to the feeling of being full there was another more terrifying one, as if a hundred appetites were raging out of control within her. She couldn't explain it, but she felt as if everything was in chaos and something awful was going to happen. She had eaten and now something terrible would occur.
”
”
Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
Your ability to withstand pain is your claim to fame. It is ascetic, holy. It is self-control. It is masochism, and masochism pleasurable to many, but we don’t like to think about that. We don’t like to think that a person could have a twisted autoerotic life going on, be both a top and a bottom, and experience both at once: the pleasure of beating the hell out of a body shackled at the wrists, and the pleasure of being the body and knowing we deserve each blow.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
And dieting, I discovered, was another form of disordered eating, just as anorexia and bulimia similarly disrupt the natural order of eating. "Ordered" eating is the practice of eating when you are hungry and ceasing to eat when your brain sends the signal that your stomach is full. ... All people who live their lives on a diet are suffering. If you can accept your natural body weight and not force it to beneath your body's natural, healthy weight, then you can live your life free of dieting, of restriction, of feeling guilty every time you eat a slice of your kid's birthday cake.
”
”
Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
β€œ
I don't think you can get really out of anorexia (or any addiction, for that matter) until you simply have no other choice, until the sense that your back's against the wall grows too strong and too irrefutable, until you are simply in too much pain - too desperate and deeply bored and unhappy - to go on.
”
”
Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story)
β€œ
Men are embarrassingly easy to seduce.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Let go of toxic control, in order to regain healthy control.
”
”
Kayla Rose Kotecki
β€œ
...remaining adolescent means rejecting all compensatory lies about one's life...
”
”
Chris Kraus (Aliens & Anorexia)
β€œ
Anorexia is, without doubt, a serious eating disorder, but there is a hell of a lot of mainstream disordered eating going on out there.
”
”
Emma Woolf (The Ministry of Thin)
β€œ
What was wrong with me? Why could I not just flip the switch and see all the brightness ahead if only I chose the correct path? Or rather, why could I see the correct path but not choose to tread upon it?
”
”
Hanne Arts (Just Perfect)
β€œ
Before I was even out of the crib I was self-harming with my nappy pin. By the age of four, I was suffering from both anorexia and chronic overeating. When these two conditions occur simultaneously it can be difficult to spot, because the victim ends up eating a regular amount of food on a consistent basis.
”
”
Titania McGrath (Woke: A Guide to Social Justice)
β€œ
I must fight my demons, they are illogical and irrational, yet they seem to beat me each time they strike.
”
”
Sophie Glynn
β€œ
Somewhere in the back of my brain there exists this certainty: The body is no more than a costume, and can be changed at will. That the changing of bodies, like costumes, would make me into a different character, a character who might, finally, be all right.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Fooling the body into thinking it's full on only a thousand calories can be difficult. The trick is to chew the food until it's pretty much liquid. This way, vomiting after burns less
”
”
J. Matthew Nespoli
β€œ
It's never over. Not really. Not when you stay down there as long as I did, not when you've lived in the netherworld longer than you've lived in this material one, where things are very bright and large and make such strange noises. You never come back, not all the way. Always, there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. You never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad. It is the distance of marred memory, of a twisted and shape-shifting past. When people talk about their childhood, their adolescence, their college days, I laugh along and try not to think: that was when I was throwing up in my elementary school bathroom, that was when I was sleeping with strangers to show off the sharp tips of my bones, that was when I lost sight of my soul and died. And it is the distance of the present, as well - the distance that lies between people in general because of the different lives we have lived. I don't know who I would be, now, if I had not lived the life I have, and so I cannot alter my need for distance - nor can I lessen the low and omnipresent pain that that distance creates. The entirety of my life is overshadowed by one singular and near-fatal obsession.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
In that six months, so much happened that death seemed, primarily, inconvenient. The trial period was extended. I seem to keep extending it. There are many things to do. There are books to write and naps to take. There are movies to see and scrambled eggs to eat. Life is essentially trivial. You either decide you will take the trite business of life and give yourself the option of doing something really cool, or you decide you will opt for the Grand Epic of eating disorders and dedicate your life to being seriously trivial.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher
β€œ
The notion that life could be any different - that it could be better - becomes inconceivable. You forget how good it was to be normal. Worst of all, you come to believe that you prefer it this way.
”
”
Emma Woolf (An Apple a Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia)
β€œ
I had always liked my anorexic reflection. It meant seeing the parts instead of the whole. Each connection, each articulation of muscle, skin, and bone made explicit. Gert said that we all had distorted images of ourselves. Either fatter or skinnier than we really were. She said we hated our bodies, hated ourselves. I had never thought so.
”
”
Stephanie Grant
β€œ
The panic of altruism: sadness rests inside the body, always, nascent like the inflammation of a chronic disease. Therefore, empathy is not a reaching outward. It is a loop. Because there isn't any separation any more between what you are and what you see.
”
”
Chris Kraus (Aliens & Anorexia)
β€œ
From the newsstands a dozen models smiled up at her from a dozen magazine covers, smiled in thin-faced, high-cheekboned agreement to Kessa's new discovery. They knew the secret too. They knew thin was good, thin was strong; thin was safe.
”
”
Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
Starving is the feminine thing to do these days, the way swooning was in Victorian times.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Eating disorder recovery becomes possible when you keep making the next right decision over and over. With time, these decisions become automatic.
”
”
Brittany Burgunder
β€œ
No two eating disorders are the same. No two individuals are the same. No two paths to recovery are the same. But everyone's strength to reach recovery IS the same.
”
”
Brittany Burgunder
β€œ
Around eighth grade Margot started getting really sensitive about her weight, even though she wasn’t remotely fatβ€”just a little round-faced. So Margot did what any normal fourteen-year-old girl would do. She started puking on purpose, every day after fifth period. Of course now, she does more than puke. But we don’t talk about that. Because real friends don’t judge each other for what they do to survive in hell.
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Isobel Irons (Promiscuous (Issues, #1))
β€œ
They said I had to get fatter. I told them my goal was 080.00 and if they wanted my respect, they'd better stop lying to me. When my brain started working again, I checked their math. Someone had made a mistake because they didn't figure in the snakes in my head and the thick shadows hiding inside the cage of my ribs.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
β€œ
I wonder if she felt like me … like there’s someone inside that is so terrified, so alone … so confused and fucked up … death … it’s welcoming … it’s familiar. Living … that’s the hard part. Sometimes just taking a breath hurts.
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Natasha Jennings (Beautiful Me)
β€œ
Many obese people spend a significant amount of their energy on suppressing the urge to tell some of the people who are staring at them that they do not eat as much and as frequently as they seem to.
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Mokokoma Mokhonoana
β€œ
If I had been a different sort of person, maybe less impressionable, less intense, less fearful, less utterly dependent upon the perceptions of others - maybe then I would not have bought the cultural party line that thinness is the be-all and end-all of goals. Maybe if my family had not been in utter chaos most of the time, maybe if my parents were a little better at dealing with their own lives maybe if I'd gotten help sooner, or if I'd gotten different help, maybe if I didn't so fiercely cherish my secret, or if I were not such a good liar, or were not quite so empty inside... maybe.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Then I took a shower, unlocked the door, and set out on destroying myself.
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Emma Woolf (An Apple a Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia)
β€œ
Forgive me for being chipper, but despair is desperately dull.
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Marya Hornbacher
β€œ
her eyes are unfathomable to me, hostile, even, as if she had removed herself to a place where I cannot reach her - somewhere I cannot know.
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Carol Lee (To Die For)
β€œ
Find YOUR Balance.
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Kayla Rose Kotecki (DAMN THE DIETS: How To Recover From Restrictive Diets, Neurotic Exercising, Eating Disorders and Body Degrading)
β€œ
Looking down, she became aware of the water, which was covered with a film of calcinous hard-water particles of dirt and soap, and of the body that was sitting in it, somehow no longer quite her own. All at once she was afraid that she was dissolving, coming apart layer by layer like a piece of cardboard in a gutter puddle.
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Margaret Atwood (The Edible Woman)
β€œ
I've come to realize that hunger feels more like home than any tangible structure ever has, or probably ever will. I know now that creating absence is my way of coping with absence.
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Kris Kidd
β€œ
Eating disorders are prevalent among women who were sexually abused as children. They seem to have components of other symptoms such as obsessions, compulsions, avoidance of food, and anxiety, and they primarily include a distorted body image and feelings of body shame. For some women, eating disorders are related to the loss of control over their bodies during the sexual abuse and serve as a means of feeling in control of their bodies now. Eating disorders can also be indicative of the developmental stage and age at which the sexual abuse began. Women with anorexia and bulimia report that they were sexually abused either at the age of puberty or during puberty, when their bodies were beginning to develop and they felt a great deal of body shame from the abuse. By contrast, women with compulsive eating report that the sexual abuse occurred before the age of puberty; they used food for comfort.
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Karen A. Duncan (Healing from the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Journey for Women)
β€œ
How easily such a thing can become a mania, how the most normal and sensible of women once this passion to be thin is upon them, can lose completely their sense of balance and proportion and spend years dealing with this madness.
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Kathryn Hurn (HELL HEAVEN & IN-BETWEEN: One Woman's Journey to Finding Love)
β€œ
Besides, I'd heard too many Karen Carpenter tales at Gladstone PTA meetings, and they often took the form of boasts. The prestigious diagnosis of anorexia seemed much coveted not only by the students but by their mothers, who would compete over whose daughter ate less. No wonder the poor girls were a mess.
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Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
β€œ
You cannot explain, with the limitations of language and inexperience, why your body can cause such a sudden, fumbling response in someone else, nor can you put into exact words what you feel about your body, explain the thrum it feels in proximity to another warm-skinned form. What you feel is a tangle of contradictions: power, pleasure, fear, shame, exultation, some strange wish to make noise. You cannot say how those things knit themselves together somewhere in the lower abdomen and pulse.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Sick equaled thin and thin got me noticed. Being noticed made me feel loved.
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Jennifer Pastiloff (On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard)
β€œ
When in a state of hunger, one ought not to undertake labor.
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Hippocrates (The Aphorisms of Hippocrates)
β€œ
Why?’ She nods. β€˜She had everything: a family who loved her, friends, activities. Her mother wants to know why she threw it all away?’ Why you want to know why? Step into a tanning booth and fry yourself for two or three days. After your skin bubbles and falls off, roll in coarse salt, then put on long underwear woven from spun glass and razor wire. Over that goes your regular clothes, as long as they are tight. Smoke gunpowder and go to school to jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and roll over on command. Listen to the whispers that curl into your head at night, calling you ugly and fat and stupid and bitch and whore and worst of all β€˜A disappointment.’ Puke and starve and cut and drink because you need an anesthetic and it works. For a while. But then the anesthetic turns into poison and by then it’s too late because you are mainlining it now, straight into your soul. It is rotting you and you can’t stop. Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heartbeat scream that everythingsinglething is wrong with you. β€˜Why?’ is the wrong question. Ask β€˜Why not?
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
β€œ
The night I shaved it off altogether, a Staff named Mark, whose take-no-prisoners approach I respected and feared, pulled me aside, looked me hard in the face, and said, Marya, your hair. I said, Yeah, so? crossing my arms in front of me. He said, It’s harsh. I said, Yeah, well. He leaned down and whispered to me: No matter how thin you get, no matter how short you cut your hair, it’s still going to be you underneath. And he let go of my arm and walked down the hall. I didn’t want it to be me underneath. I wanted to kill the me underneath. The fact haunted my days and nights. When you realize you hate yourself so much, when you realize that you cannot stand who you are, and this deep spite has been the motivation behind your behaviour for many years, your brain can’t quite deal with it.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
But I know that if I don't at least try, I'll stay the way I am till it kills me. Till I kill me, I mean. I never really accept that that's what I'm doing - I say it, but I don't believe it.
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Deborah Hautzig (Second Star to the Right)
β€œ
The fear, too, is a fear of yourself: a completely dualistic and contradictory fear. On the one hand, it is the fear that you do not have what it takes to make it, and on the other hand, a possibly greater fear that you do have what it takes, and that by definition you therefore also have a responsibility to do something really big.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Weird? Absurd? That’s how it seemed to me. I had these forces, these compunctions, these alternative personalities inside me, driving me. It was like being a jack-in-the-box and I was unsure which personality was going to jump out next: Billy, who thought of himself as a cowboy or a terrorist; Kato the cutter; anorexic Shirley, whose only self-indulgence was binge drinking and the occasional salad sandwich. I didn’t dislike Shirley. I was afraid of her. Shirley knew things I didn’t.
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Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
β€œ
To be logical you have to dig up and face your own hidden motives and emotions, and of course they're hidden principally because you don't want to face them. So...um...it's easier to let your basement feelings run the upper storeys, so to speak, and the result is quarrels, love, opinions, anorexia, philanthropy... almost anything you can think of. I just like to know what's going on down there, to pick out why I truly want to do things, that's all. Then I can do them, or not. Whichever.
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Dick Francis (The Danger)
β€œ
Well, Kessa, I am glad to see that you're taking your body seriously. I shudder when I see the girls leaving class and heading for the nearest hamburger, coke, and French fry station.The thought of them pouring all those dead calories into themselves makes me want to cry. You'd think after a rigorous dance class they'd have more respect for their bodies.
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Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
β€’ At 1 A.M. I'd pull on my coat, my boots. Walk down the stairway, out the door, down the long driveway to the road. Sometimes, I'd go to the stoned boy's house. We'd sit and watch TV. We'd have sex, sometimes. I remember only that the bedroom had two windows through which blue light spilled, and it smelled sticky sweet. His guitar leaned against the wall. Sometimes, I'd just walk. Down roads and up roads, through hills, through the neighborhoods, cold. Counting the small squares of lamplight in the houses where someone was still awake. I wondered who they were, and what kept them up. I went down to the little strip mall, the all-night 7-Elevena single glow beside the dark bluegrass bar, the dark deli, the dark beauty salon, Acrylic's Only $19. I bought a thirty-two-ounce cup of coffee, black. I sat outside on the bench, smoking, holding the cup in both hands.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Turning something over to the Holy Spirit is a leap of faith that lets go of attempting to control outcomes. The core of alcoholism, anorexia, bulimia, smoking and a host of things the world calls addictions is control. The little willingness the Holy Spirit asks is the key to letting go of the attempt to manage the body and the world, which is the insane attempt to maintain a self-concept image that God did not create. An idea to contemplate from the Course is this: "Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world." The requirement is to change your thinking, not to focus on behavior and form. Behavior flows from thought, and transformation of the mind is synonymous with changing thought patterns from ego-based to Spirit-based.
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David Hoffmeister (Unwind Your Mind Back to God: Experiencing A Course in Miracles)
β€œ
At the lip of a cliff, I look out over Lake Superior, through the bare branches of birches and the snow-covered branches of aspens and pines. A hard wind blows snow up out of a cavern and over my face. I know this place, I know its seasons - I have hiked these mountains in the summer and walked these winding pathways in the explosion of colour that is a northern fall. And now, the temperature drops well below zero and the deadly cold lake rages below, I feel the stirrings of faith that here, in this place, in my heart, spring will come again. But first the winter must be waited out. And that waiting has worth.
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Marya Hornbacher (Waiting: A Nonbeliever's Higher Power)
β€œ
Starvation was the first indication of my self-discipline. I was devoted to anorexia. I went the distance of memorizing the calorie content within every bite of food while calculating the exact amount of exercise I needed to burn double my consumption. I was luckily young enough to mask my excessive exercise with juvenile hyperactivity. Nobody thought twice about the fact that I was constantly rollerblading, biking, and running for hours in stifling summer humidity. I learned to cut my food into tiny bites and move it around my plate. I read that standing burned more calories than sitting, so I refused to watch television without doing crunches, leg lifts, or at least walking in place. When socially forced to soldier through a movie, I tapped my foot in desperation to knock out about seventy-five extra calories. From age eleven to twelve, I dropped forty pounds and halted the one period I’d had.
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Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
β€œ
We feign disinterest and laugh, and creep into the kitchen some nights, a triangle of light spilled on the floor form the fridge, shoveling cold casseroles, ice cream, jelly, cheese, into our mouths, swallowing without chewing as we listen to the steady, echoing tisk-tisk-tisk of the clock. I have done this. Millions of people have done this. There is an empty space in many of us that gnaws at our ribs and cannot be filled by any amount of food. There is a hunger for something, and we never know quite what it is, only that it is a hunger, so we eat.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
She lay on her back and walked her fingers down her ribs, skipped them over her abdomen, and landed on her pelvic bones. She tapped them with her Knuckles. [. . .] I can hear my bones, she thought. Her fingers moved up from her pelvic bones to her waist. The elastic of her underpants barely touched the center of her abdomen. The bridge is almost finished, she thought. The elastic hung loosely around each thigh. More progress. She put her knees together and raised them in the air. No matter how tightly she pressed them together, her thighs did not touch.
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Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
My generation was weaned on subliminal advertising, stupid television, slasher movies, insipid grocery-store literature, MTV, VCRs, fast food, infomercials, glossy ads, diet aids, plastic surgery, a pop culture wherein the hyper-cool, blank-eyed supermodel was a hero. This is the intellectual and emotional equivalent of eating nothing but candy bars – you get malnourished and tired. We grew up in a world in which the surface of the thing is infinitely more important than its substance – and where the surface of the thing had to be β€œperfect,” urbane, sophisticated, blasΓ©, adult. I would suggest that if you grow up trying constantly to be an adult, a successful adult, you will be sick of being grown up by the time you’re old enough to drink.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Why did I allow the abuse to continue? Even as a teenager? I didn’t. Something that had been plaguing me for years now made sense. It was like the answer to a terrible secret. The thing is, it wasn’t me in my bed, it was Shirley who lay the wondering if that man was going to come to her room, pull back the cover and push his penis into her waiting mouth it was Shirley. I remembered watching her, a skinny little thing with no breasts and a dark resentful expression. She was angry. She didn’t want this man in her room doing the things he did, but she didn’t know how to stop it. He didn’t beat her, he didn’t threaten her. He just looked at her with black hypnotic eyes and she lay back with her legs apart thinking about nothing at all. And where was I? I stood to one side, or hovered overhead just below the ceiling, or rode on a magic carpet. I held my breath and watched my father pushing up and down inside Shirley’s skinny body.
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Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
β€œ
Not knowing how to regulate their own painful, aversive feelings, such as shame and anger, makes people with BPD walking powder kegs. Because of their deficits, they tend to regulate emotional pain with actions that bring quick, short-term relief, such as cutting themselves (parasuicidal acts) using drugs or alcohol, shopping or overspending, binge eating, anorexia, gambling, or engaging in unsafe sex. The consequence of these behaviors is usually more emotional pain. Alternatively, they may cope by avoiding or dissociating from the trigger or the actual emotion they are feeling. Some people with BPD may have developed too much control of their emotional responses. They may be described as emotionally over-controlled or emotionally constipated.
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Valerie Porr (Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change)
β€œ
Do I worry about overly retouched photos giving women unrealistic expectations and body image issues? I do. I think that we will soon see a rise in anorexia in women over seventy. Because only people over seventy are fooled by Photoshop. Only your great-aunt forwards you an image of Sarah Palin holding a rifle and wearing an American-flag bikini and thinks it’s real. Only your uncle Vic sends a photo of Barack Obama wearing a hammer and sickle T-shirt and has to have it explained to him that somebody faked that with the computer.
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Tina Fey (Bossypants)
β€œ
You never come back, not all the way. Always, there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. You never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
She used to look forward to changing in the locker room when other girls stole shocked glances at her emaciated body last spring. Now they would look at her and think she was fat--just as fat as all the other girls, maybe even fatter. Nothing separated her from the parade of thunder thighs trooping up the stairs from the locker room to the gym.
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Steven Levenkron (Kessa)
β€œ
I learned very early to choose my lines carefully. I still have a terrible habit, when people pause too long between words, of feeding them their line. I know my lines in advance. I dress for occasions, for personae. There are women in my closet, hanging on my hangers, a different woman for each suit, each dress, each pair of shoes. I hoard clothes. My makeup spills from the bathroom drawers, and there are different women for different lipsticks.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
By the nineteenth century, society had given up burning witches. Yet the sexual exploitation of children continued. In late-nineteenth-century Britain, for example, men who raped young girls were excused because they did it to cure venereal disease. There was a widely held belief that children would take "poisons" out of the body. In fact, leprosy, venereal disease, depression, and impotence were part of a wide range of maladies believed cured by having sex with the young. An English medical text of the time reads, "Breaking a maiden's seal is one of the best antidotes for one's ills. Cudgeling her unceasingly, until she swoons away, is a mighty remedy for man's depression. It cures all impotence.
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Patrick J. Carnes (Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred)
β€œ
If I was set an essay on Friday, I’d spend three hours on Saturday morning in the library. Was that normal? I didn’t know. What I did know was that I felt less prone to depression and more normal walking through Venice or staring out over the lake in Zurich. At home I wrestled continually with my moods. The black thing inside me gnawed like a rat at my self-esteem and self-confidence. I felt there was a happy person inside me too, who wanted to enjoy life, to be normal, but my feelings of self-loathing and the deep distrust I had towards my father wouldn’t allow that sunny person to come out. When the black thing had an iron grip on me, I couldn’t even look at my father: Did you do bad things to me when I was little? Like a line from a song stuck in your brain, the words ran through my head and never once came out of my mouth. Not that I needed to say what was in my mind. I was sure Father could read my thoughts in my moods, in the blank, dead stare of my eyes. It was hardly surprising that there was always an atmosphere of strain and awkwardness in the house, and the blame was always mine: Alice and her moods, Alice and her anorexia; Alice and her low self-esteem; Alice and her inescapable feelings of loss and emptiness.
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Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
β€œ
One weekend it rained for 48 hours without stopping. The rain beat like bony fingers against the window panes. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Fungus was growing on the walls. I polished off a bottle of gin sitting huddled over the two-bar electric fire and wrote a poem, one of the few that has lasted through the moves and the years. It is called 'Where Can I Go?' If this is not the place where tears are understood where do I go to cry? If this is not the place where my spirits can take wing where do I go to fly? If this is not the place where my feelings can be heard where do I go to speak? If this is not the place where you’ll accept me as I am where can I go to be me? If this is not the place where I can try and learn and grow where can I go to laugh and cry?
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Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
β€œ
As winter went on, longer than long, we both freaked out. My mania grew to insane proportions. I sat in the study room at night, wildly typing out Dali-esque short stories. I sat at my desk in our room, drinking tea, flying on speed. She'd bang into the room in a fury. Or, she'd bang into the room, laughing like a maniac. Or, she'd bang into the room and sit under the desk eating Nutter-Butters. She was a sugar freak. She'd pour packets of sugar down her throat, or long Pixie-Stix. She was in constant motion. At first I wondered if she too had some food issues, subsisting mostly on sugar and peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches on Wonder Bread, but my concern (as she pointed out) was β€œtotal transference, seriously, Max. Maybe you're just hungry.” Some Saturdays, we'd go to town together, buy bags and bags of candies, Tootsie Rolls (we both liked vanilla best; she always smelled delicious and wore straight vanilla extract as perfume, which made me hungry), and gummy worms and face- twisting sour things and butterscotch. We'd lie on our backs on the beds, listening to The Who and Queen, bellowing, β€œI AM THE CHAMPION, YES I AM THE CHAMPION” through mouths full of sticky stuff, or we'd swing from the pipes over the bed and fall shrieking to the floor.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Fat bitch," Kessa murmured as the door scraped closed behind Mrs. Stone. "She meant well, Francesca. And you see, everyone thinks you're too thin." "Since when is Mrs. Stone an authority on appearance. I've heard you say a thousand times that she looks like an old hooker." "I never said anything of the sort. What I said was that she wears too much makeup and her clothes are indiscreet." "Which means she looks like an old hooker. Well, if that's the way a woman is supposed to look, I'd rather be too skinny." Kessa felt a flash of pleasure at the argument. Just let her mother try to push food into her now.
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Steven Levenkron (The Best Little Girl in the World)
β€œ
I look back on my life the way one watches a badly scripted action flick, sitting at the edge of the seat, bursting out, "No, no, don't open that door! The bad guy is in there and he'll grab you and put his hand over your mouth and tie you up and then you'll miss the train and everything will fall apart!" Except there is no bad guy in this tale. The person who jumped through the door and grabbed me and tied me up was, unfortunately, me. My double image, the evil skinny chick who hisses, Don't eat. I'm not going to let you eat. I'll let you go as soon as you're thin, I swear I will. Everything will be okay when you're thin.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
Back in Minneapolis, I said I would go to American. I have a remarkable ability to delete all better judgment from my brain when I get my head set on something. Everything is done at all costs. I have no sense of moderation, no sense of caution. I have no sense, pretty much. People with eating disorders tend to be very diametrical thinkers-everything is the end of the world, everything rides on this one thing, and everyone tells you you're very dramatic, very intense, and they see it as an affectation, but it's actually just how you think. It really seems to you that the sky will fall if you are not personally holding it up. On the one hand, this is sheer arrogance; on the other hand, this is a very real fear. And it isn't that you ignore the potential repercussions of your actions. You don't think there are any.
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Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
In 1944-1945, Dr Ancel Keys, a specialist in nutrition and the inventor of the K-ration, led a carefully controlled yearlong study of starvation at the University of Minnesota Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene. It was hoped that the results would help relief workers in rehabilitating war refugees and concentration camp victims. The study participants were thirty-two conscientious objectors eager to contribute humanely to the war effort. By the experiment's end, much of their enthusiasm had vanished. Over a six-month semi-starvation period, they were required to lose an average of twenty-five percent of their body weight." [...] p193 p193-194 "...the men exhibited physical symptoms...their movements slowed, they felt weak and cold, their skin was dry, their hair fell out, they had edema. And the psychological changes were dramatic. "[...] p194 "The men became apathetic and depressed, and frustrated with their inability to concentrate or perform tasks in their usual manner. Six of the thirty-two were eventually diagnosed with severe "character neurosis," two of them bordering on psychosis. Socially, they ceased to care much about others; they grew intensely selfish and self-absorbed. Personal grooming and hygiene deteriorated, and the men were moody and irritable with one another. The lively and cooperative group spirit that had developed in the three-month control phase of the experiment evaporated. Most participants lost interest in group activities or decisions, saying it was too much trouble to deal with the others; some men became scapegoats or targets of aggression for the rest of the group. Food - one's own food - became the only thing that mattered. When the men did talk to one another, it was almost always about eating, hunger, weight loss, foods they dreamt of eating. They grew more obsessed with the subject of food, collecting recipes, studying cookbooks, drawing up menus. As time went on, they stretched their meals out longer and longer, sometimes taking two hours to eat small dinners. Keys's research has often been cited often in recent years for this reason: The behavioral changes in the men mirror the actions of present-day dieters, especially of anorexics.
”
”
Michelle Stacey (The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery)