IT

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There is no cure, no acceptance, no understanding, and no answer. Textbooks can only tell you so much, and unless you have lived it, it is near impossible to judge from the outside. It is suffering; self-inflicted; self-hatred bundled up with an enormous amount of emotional energy. That small explanation is just the tip of the iceberg in trying to explain It.

It is tiring trying to show people from the outside you are suffering, almost as tiring as the disorder it self. At times the exhaustion is overwhelming, giving up on life is so much more attracting than giving up on the one thing you know; self-destruction. How can one explain that food is an enemy and a best friend? There is no rationality in the behavior and no rationality in the mind. There are too many questions and not enough answers.

It is a selfish disorder, one filled with lies and deception. It is not the ''cycle'' most read about; instead, it is a consistent downward spiral. It may seem like you go up sometimes, but really you're heading up towards a huge tree root to trip over. The one thing that is killing you is the one thing keeping you alive. It is the only thing you know how to do. You hear of others recovering and think "good for them." It is easier to push friends away then to try and ask for support or understanding. Who can be compassionate for a person that finds pleasure in jamming their fingers down their throat to find some sign of relief?

A binge/purge free week is nothing to someone suffering; it is a failure to what they know so well. If there is no happiness, no goal, no hope or promise for tomorrow; why not pursue the one thing reliable; food? It is a pathetic answer for questions that will never be answered. It is a temporary filling to empty emotions. To look from the outside in is pointless, to pretend one understands is only imaginary. There are not enough Ph.D.’s to qualify someone to say why It exists, or any other for that matter. Unless you have walked a mile in those shoes it is damn near pointless to pretend you have a clue.

For a me, there is no patting oneself on the back for accomplishment; instead the mind focuses on "how can I fuck up today". There is a constant digging to try and find what lies beneath the surface, but it is like picking at a scab that will only bleed for a seconds and form a scab again. There are few moments of wanting to heal the wound that was self-created. Often times, the only time one seeks help is for those around them, those that know the ''secret.'' Some days have a glimmer of promise, but it is only a glimmer and often times a mirage of a glimmer.

The whole day revolves around schedules, deceit, planning, and ''good'' and ''bad'' food. Instead of figuring out what class work is due, or whether or not you turned off the coffeepot; life revolves around cookies, bread and margarine, pasta, ice cream and anything else that will not scratch the hell out of your throat as it makes its returns to the surface. It is a game of sorts, tips and tricks that sound crazy looking from the outside in. Public restrooms that few will defecate in are a sanctuary of relief. As long as the evidence can be flushed away, hidden, and all traces of evidence dissipated; then the act itself does not matter.

Eye drops to get rid of the redness, soap to clean traces of vomit on the face and hands, something to hold back your hair from your sweaty face, and some lotion to mask the fumes from acidic bile are the simplest of accessories required. Laxatives and diuretics play as safety nets in the mind. Feeling full is a crime; it is shameful disgust that leaves one teetering over the edge. However feeling empty is like feeling nothing; we feed the emptiness and release the guilt. There is power in the purge, something so powerful not even the CEO of the largest corporation would understand. However, beyond this controlling power you realize you have no power and cannot even control the simplest of act; eating.

It is all about "me." Nothing or no one matters. Food replaces friends, as one cannot control who will be there tomorrow; we know food will always be there. The torture we put our body through is merely a reflection of the torture our mind is going through. This is not just a slice of who we are; it is who we have become. It is disgusting and shameful but the most comfortable thing we know. We do not see beauty in anything; we are our own worst enemy. Pain is a pleasure as it is a reminder we are alive despite the heavy emptiness we posses.

Explaining it is almost null and void, as it is just words, simply words trying to explain something that cannot be understood. We cannot speak therefore we use ourselves as an expression of the pain, anger, and never-ending frustration. To each we possess a different past, a different path, a different reason; but we all suffer endlessly. No sympathy is expected; we do this to ourselves. The one true thing we desire, understanding, cannot be gained without true insight to the demon we possess. Instead of living one day at a time, we jump from one binge to the next. We don’t ''live'' we hide within ourselves; within the pain we have created.

Stepping away from the safety net of It is far scarier than most would imagine. It is being in a relationship of abuse; self abuse. We don’t run from death; we wait for it. Cutting off an arm or a leg, jumping from a cliff, venturing into a darkened cave, falling in a pit of wolves; all seem like far safer alternatives to letting go. Too much focus on the selfishness, guilt and stupidity allows us to take focus off of the deeper lying emotions that we ourselves are not willing to explore. We do get a break every now and then, often times when we sleep, restrict, run, cause self-injury, abuse substances; all unhealthy alternatives to an unhealthy ''quality'' we posses. Then, worse, is the failure. If we fail to succeed in the venture in stepping away from It then we are left with nothing. Or, worse, we are left with humiliation and disbelief that throws you headfirst back into the downward spiral...remember that tree root?

We are left questioning whether the downward spiraling cycle will ever end, ever be broken. Even so, where do we go from there? Do we possess anything greater, do we deserve to? I do not possess the answers for all; myself, however, is sick of trying to search for answers. It may be slow suicide, ultimately wishing one could possess the power to control fate. Holding off the process slightly to fool others that it is merely a ''food issue,'' something to control weight. We can put on a healthy front and pretend we are okay; it seems far safer than admitting the opposite. It is feeling loss, a loss of hope, a loss of understanding, a loss of empathy, and a loss of oneself. Or, we can beg for mercy and help but be at a loss for what to do and It will never forgive us for asking. We are trapped in Its clutches.

It is a huge waste of time and energy, but even that does not stop the reality of it. Distorted images prance around the head screaming how ugly we are. How can we expect love if we cannot even love ourselves? It is a big game of pretend, charades that we have perfected. Some days we want to disappear and others we want to be held (but not actually touched, of course...we're too ugly and fat for that) like a child with reassurance that things will be ok. There is not a Band-Aid big enough to heal the wound that has been created, only hope that the wound will finish bleeding what life is left or that it will heal leaving a scar of remembrance.

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