Dr. James Wilson to House: You don’t like yourself. But you do admire yourself. It’s all you’ve got so you cling to it. You’re so afraid if you change, you’ll lose what makes you special. Being miserable doesn’t make you better than anybody else, House. It just makes you miserable.
I have blogged about this quote previously, but I have been thinking about it again in a bit of a different way.
This quote really does a good job of summing up why I am scared to gain weight. However, in a true sign of how eating disorders change with time, I am not scared for the reasons I mentioned in the first blog post. In that post I talked about how, when I was younger, I thought being thin would make me special. As a kid I had always been told “you are so thin” or “you have such long, skinny legs,” and I did not like how I became more “average” when I hit puberty.
Now, however, I still don’t want to be of average weight, but it is not for that reason. In fact, I really hate when people feel the need to comment on how I look. The issue now has more to do with what I talked about in my last post – I have this intense fear that I am going to gain weight, but nothing else will change. This fear comes from the fact that I spent a good 7 years of my life in that very position. I was still counting calories, restricting, purging, depressed etc., but because I was at my ideal body weight, I felt like no one took my misery seriously. Now when I say “no one”, I am not talking about friends or family. I did not want my friends or family to worry, nor do I want them to worry now. I do not like to draw attention to the eating disorder or depression. Rather, when I say “no one”, I mean professionals. Because I was fine medically, I flew under the radar and did not seek out much professional help. But secretly, there were times when I wish someone had forced me to get treatment because I was just so miserable. As a result, I cling very much to not wanting to get my weight up too much.
It is not that I admire myself for staying at the low end of a healthy body weight, or that I think it makes me special. But in a twisted way, it makes me feel more deserving of help. I am NOT saying that people who are lower weight are more deserving of help. I would never, ever think that for anyone else. Rather, the eating disorder twists it around and tells me “YOU only deserve help if you are below a certain weight.” Again, just to be clear…I do not think that for others or EDs in general. It is just one of the many ways in which the ED takes things and twists them around.