Anorexia: Wanting to be Invisible But Seen

by Anne-Sophie

in Reflection

When I started to restrict, I wanted to be seen by the world.

I wanted others to tell me how proud they were of my willpower.

I wanted them to comment on the fabulousness of sitting in a restaurant during Christmas time and watching everybody else enjoy the Christmas Dinner while I was staring at an empty plate wanting nothing more than getting a bite of that delicious looking pizza.

I wanted others to see that, yes, I was weak when my brother was beating me up, but I was strong in other areas.

Over time, this longing for “fame” was overshadowed by the wish to simply disappear, not having to live anymore, being gone and never having to open my eyes again.

I didn’t simply want to be invisible, I wanted to be dead.

Yet, when people told me how sick I looked, how skinny I was, how much they worried about my health, I felt exhilarated, affirmed, BETTER than everybody else.

This paradox is real for many of those who struggle with anorexia. On one hand, we don’t want to be, on the other hand, we want the world to acknowledge us and our struggle.

It doesn’t make sense and it’s hard to put into words, but then again, what about having anorexia makes sense, right?

I still struggle with these thoughts of not being superior anymore because now I have a healthy figure and curves. I am not a stick anymore and people don’t tell me that I look sick, emaciated, hardly alive.

Instead, they tell me how proud they are, how relieved they are and how happy they are to see me looking so healthy, well and sparkling.

Wanting to be invisible brought me only negative things: hunger, pain, weakness, bad health, dizziness, yearning and so much more. Stepping out of my comfort zone, raising my voice, realizing my inner brilliance and worth brought me only good things: a platform to help others, confidence, success, bliss, energy, delicious food, a new perspective and a sheer unknown excitement about life.

In the end it is up to you to either run after the illusive goal of invisibility (with all the “positive” messages associated with this state) or fight for your life and be proud of the body you have and the curves that belong to it.

I cannot fight this fight for you, as much as I would like.

I am fighting my own fight, every single day. I am accepting new things about my body every single hour, like the fact that my butt will forever be a bit bigger than I’d like it to be.

Why? Because that is how my great-grandmother’s, my grandmother’s, my mother’s, my aunt’s and my sister’s butts look like (I really hope they’ll forgive me for writing this…).

I am accepting that my upper arms will never be as lean as the ones of a supermodel. Why? Because I am built completely differently: compact, short and perfect just the way I am.

It’s a process to stop wanting to be invisible and start wanting to be seen for the right reasons, not for the fact that you are oh so well in restricting and starving yourself.

It’s a distance you yourself have to go, nobody can do it for you. But it’s not a way that is impossible.

You can do it. You can choose to. You can walk that way one step at a time. Just like me. Just like millions of others all over the world.

I am here for you. I am taking you by the hand (even if it is virtually), but you have to do the hard part. You alone.

Here is a thought though: Being invisible will never ever solve your problems. It will only strengthen them.

So, pull your shoulders back. Hold your head up high. Show the world that you being visible is the biggest gift humans could ever receive.

Why? Because that is exactly the way it is!

What about you? What does the word invisible mean to you? Could you relate to anything I’ve said?

Please share your brilliant thoughts with us! We count on you!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lea June 3, 2012 at 1:13 am

I’m continually amazed at how much our struggles are the same even though we are at opposite ends of the weight spectrum!

I think so much of my being overweight hinges on the fact that I want to be that invisible wallflower. No one pays attention to the “fat girl” in the corner. I wanted to melt into the background. I still struggle. If I’m invisible, no one will expect anything of me & so I can’t disappoint them.

This is the thinking that I struggle to overcome. Our mind is truly our biggest obstacle!

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Anne-Sophie June 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Lea, you’re right, our mind is our biggest obstacle. It’s so sad to hear it is keeping your brilliance to shine through with all those vicious and unnecessary thoughts. However, I totally understand. I really hope you’ll be able to fight those thoughts step by step knowing that you’re amazing and you could never disappoint us anyway. love you

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Be Inspired! June 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Such powerful words! I totally relate to all of it, as you already know. It is a fight that has ups and downs. It is about accepting our genetics. It is about finding the courage to genuinely love ourselves the way we naturally are. I’m getting there… too;)

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