Today I would like to ask you WAMY, what anorexia made YOU, yet WYAN, what you are not. Can you identify with the subjects I have mentioned thusfar? Anything you would add to the list? I think, as I’ve been pondering the subject for a while now through writing this ‘series’, there will be a few more to add to the list at some later point. But I would like to hear your experiences/views/comments.
The things that anorexia made me, part IV; A liar and a cheater
As I briefly mentioned in my last post, my anorexia made me steal from friends too. This, to me, was worse than stealing a loaf of bread from the local bakery or supermarket, because stores have plenty. It’s not like they will go bankrupt from that one missing loaf. But stealing from friends was so painful to me. They trusted me. I trusted them! And there I was, spooning out a jar of peanut butter straight into my purse when they went to the bathroom. I don’t think they ever suspected anything, and if they did, they probably never suspected it to have been me, but even today thinking about it still makes me cringe.
You have to know I was always an honest girl. I was known for being brutally blunt honest. When I went shopping with friends, I would never sugarcoat how I thought they looked in something. If they fancied a guy in the bar, I wouldn’t tell them to ‘go for it’ if I thought the guy next to him was way cuter and they could easily score him instead. But I would also go up to random strangers on the street if I thought they looked amazing or tell my friends how much they meant to me.
Whereas at first my anorexia made me a sneaky girl instead of the open, talkative one I used to be, it later turned me into a liar too. I always told my mother I would do my absolute best to never ‘let my anorexia make me lie’, and I managed to keep that promise for quite a long time.
Now, I realize this sounds like a very strange promise, but I didn’t actively lie (as opposed to hiding or dodging telling the truth) until late in recovery. I did, however, know that eating disorder patients were known for lying a lot. My bestie’s father (who is a GP) even told her she had to stop seeing me because ED-patients are ‘no good’ and ‘unhealthy to have in your life’ because of it (as I briefly mentioned here ). That hurt me so bad, because actively lying was so not me and something I never had done even when I was sickest. The most painful was, however, that she had coped with boulimia a few years before and had never told her father. The fact she stuck around anyway meant the world to me (and was the reason I wanted to give her the ring I talked about before).
Luckily I managed to turn around my newly developed actively-lying habit fairly soon. The habit of lying was what made me angry at anorexia the most, I think. It felt so unnatural and (unlike many other ED-related behavior) so wrong instantly. The second I told a lie I felt a pang in my heart, which igniting a hatred against ED so strong that almost immediately I would blurt out that what I had just said wasn’t true at all.
Though still, I bump into little white lies I spread during that time. Some I was aware of being false (like; oh what a shame but I just had lunch already!) and some I only found out of later (during and after recovery) being untrue (like; I do not like mayonnaise. I really thought I didn’t. I might not love it and I might prefer other things, but apparently I do not consider mayonnaise to be nasty at all!). Funny how anorexia makes you absolutely convinced of certain things without you realizing you’re believing your own lies. I guess there’s different levels of lying. There’s not telling the truth, there’s dodging the truth, there’s being ignorant of the truth and there’s believing another truth. And then there’s actively lying, which I suppose can even be to try and save something, or simply to save your own ass. None of them I like, all of them came with my eating disorder. And none of them I hope will ever be part of me again.