For the first time since I left the sanatorium, I looked at pictures of myself taken over the last 4 or 5 years. And I am horrified. I spent hours looking at those pictures yesterday, not being able to fathom what I saw.
I cannot believe how distorted my self-perception was.
I look at pictures taken in Kribi, Cameroon, back in January, remembering distinctively how FAT I felt and all I see is a skeleton.
In fact, I encourage you to go ahead and read this blog post I wrote on the first day in Cameroon.
I mean, can you believe which tricks your mind can play?
The eerie thing is that I sat in Kribi on the porch of our hotel room looking at those pictures with my husband on the day that they were taken and I thought that I looked way too big. Now, I look at the exact same picture and I see reality. What I see, scares me. What did I do to myself?
Back in March, when I saw one of my doctors of the sanatorium for the first time after having a conversation with her on the phone, she told me that she was perplexed at how skinny I was. I had told her on the phone that I felt too big to join an “anorexics only” living group and that I would rather stay at a place where there were also other patients. The thing is that I really saw those other girls and I felt SO MUCH BIGGER than I saw them. Now, when I look at those pictures, I see what that doctor saw; I see my skinny legs, my ribs, my tiny face.
I KNEW that this kind of distorted perception was characteristic to anorexia. But I always thought that I still had a “clear mind”. I believed it with my entire heart.
This has opened a while new dimension of understanding this sickness.
I am perplexed, confused and a bit ashamed.