Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dear Annie

Dear Miss Annie-rexia,

Remember all the good times we had?
Me neither.

You crept into my life at a time when everything else was spiralling out of control.
You told me I could control my weight.
And I did.
You told me it would make everything better.
And it didn't.

Remember when I bought that red, strapless dress for New Years Eve?
It was a size 6 and I had to have it taken in.
You told me that was freaking awesome.
The photos of that night (that I destroyed in a fit) and my intelligence told me that it was just plain freaking.
I cried for days when I saw those 'skeletor pics'.
Because I knew you had me in your grasp.
I didn't want to be there but I didn't know how to shake you. 

My own Dad couldn't stand the sight of us together and begged me to cut you loose. He tried to force me - but my loyalty to you was stronger at that point. I just got better at sneaking around with you - or so I thought.
Covering my 'fat gut' in photos.
You made this social butterfly want to spin a cocoon every time I was invited to dinner / nibbles/ drinks.
But, with hearts racing at the thought of having to eat, we learnt to lie.
We pretended we'd already eaten, we nibbled and slyly shoved food onto other plates, we faked illnesses, we moved around the table or became very 'helpful' when food appeared, we spent a lot of time in the toilets.
Jumper around my waist to
coverthat  'big butt'.
Man - you really ruined a good night out after a couple of cocktails. 
I would pass out  at the worst locations/moments because you had encouraged me to starve myself to 'earn' those drinks.
If I didn't pass out - the alcohol would numb you.
I loved this - and hated it.
I would eat an entire fridge full of food at 3am - and you would punish me for it for weeks.

You wouldn't even leave me alone on my travels.

You followed me around Europe, making sure I didn't literally 'taste' the culture.
Turkey nearly wrecked our heads with all it's beautiful food and in Ireland, my family saw straight through us.
 Finding boney us on the kitchen floor eating whatever we could get our hands on in the middle of the night was probably quite the clue.
I can't say you were a particularly helpful travel companian.
Lonely Planet, you were not.
A 'fat' day. Even though you could
drive a truck through my legs.
I still can't face the treadmill after those years of (ab)using it to keep you 'happy'.
Cornflakes (with a little bit of skim milk-our staple meal once a day) make me shudder and the memories of angrily pinching at non existent fat rolls make me shake my head in disbelief. The scales and I are still working it out, unfortunately on a daily basis.

I'm so grateful that I finally realised that you are a liar.
A clever, manipulative liar who capitalised on my perfectionsim in a time of weakness.
We shall never be acquainted, let alone friends, again.

Not that you would recognise me now anyway.
The times, they have changed.
I wear a good twelve kilos more now than when we hung out.
I run for pleasure, not punishment.
My digestive system has rejoined the workforce around here.
I couldn't tell you the calorie content of any foods anymore.
I make - and eat - honey joys with Cornflakes these days.
I'm woken in the night by my Hubby's snoring, not my rumbling tummy.
And these days I actually run marathons instead of just looking like I have.

Yours in disgust,
Shar :-)

I'm pretty sure I saw you befriending stalking a young woman at the gym this week.
Leave her the hell alone.
She has better things to do with these precious years than weigh every single person she sees with her mind's eye.


Karla {Ironmum Karla} said...

Good on you Shar! I think (actually now I look back I know!) I went through this phase. Being young with not much consuming your thoughts but your own can be a dangerous thing. The strive for perfection becomes very abnormal! Isn't it funny how the mind plays tricks....Have a good day!

Teresa said...

Wow Shar, I have goosebumps. That letter is so powerful. You are one brave and strong woman! Thank you for being so open and sharing this. I hope others, who need to read this the most, do so before Annie takes over their lives. xo

Toni said...

WOW! goosebumps here, too -- what a powerful and beautifully written post. And WOO to the HOO for having the guts to be yourself. XX

Lil Fizzle said...

Soooooo proud of you!!!! What a brave woman you are!!! Your an inspiration to so many!! I'm in tears here-so moving!! xoxoxo

Peggy said...

What a beautifully honest letter. I bet that was therapeutic for you. Good for you Shar, Good riddance Annie!

permanently amanda said...

thank you for sharing this amazing post. I've never suffered myself, but it is a fear that's always there that maybe, one day, my daughter ....

I've recently read Beautiful Monster by Kate McCaffrey. It's scary stuff. Thank you, again.

Loz said...

oh my goodness. What a story. Wow. I'm in awe of your strength. Loz x

Romina Garcia said...

Oh this gave me goosebumps and left me teary. What a strong and inspirational woman you are to face up to your demons and give them a good kick up the butt. I'd love to know how your former friend Ana dealt with your body image straight after bub was born? I think your former mate is stalking one of my friends too, and she is about to have a baby. xx

Ms Kate said...

What an amazing lady you are. Thank you for your touching, honest and goose-bump making post!

Deb @ home life simplified said...

I have never been anorexic but did struggle with binge eating and food "issues". This post/letter was awesome to read - filled with power and strength and a changed woman - inspirational!

Cherie @ 'a baby called Max' said...

Can I please just tell you how amazing you are?

I can?

Thankyou so much.

You've fought the biggest fight, & won, & (we all) admire your strength!

So much love xx

Tamsyn said...

Thank you for sharing Shar. You are so strong and amazing xx

Mama of 2 boys said...

My lord Shar, this had me captivated, while at the same time, rocked to the core. What beautiful raw honesty in your words. I am so sorry you had to live through that darling girl. But you sound like one hell of a survivor and that is a very powerful attribute to hold. It is such a fine line between being 'ok' and 'not' being so ok. I honestly see that. You're a gorgeous soul xo

Jane said...

Goosebumps in Hobart as well, Shar. You are a phenomenal woman. Full plaudits to you for re-taking control of your life when up against a difficult foe. I am so proud of you, my friend! J x

Sonia @ Life Love and Hiccups said...

Ohh Shar - I seriously am at a loss for words. How incredible are you for beating it AND sharing your story.
You are one gorgeous woman hun and incredibly inspiring to boot!
Much love xx

Kymmie said...

Shar, I haven't visited for ages, and reading this, I can see you are victorious over something so evil.

Good on you! Shake that awful enemy out the door where it belongs. It has no room in our life!


Vicky said...

Amazing brilliant honest heart felt post.

Thank you for sharing it. x

danneromero said...

Hi shar... I like how you wrote Annie a letter... Very clever. She was a friend. A friend that needed to leave. Thanks for sharing such a personal time in your life.

Kid Id said...

I am so sorry you went through this and so glad you were able to kick Annie to the curb. Anorexia is such a lonely, isolating, addiction that is often hidden from others for years. The fact that you were able to take a step back and recognize how much it was actually hurting you and then eventually quit the hold it had on you is truly amazing! It's probably the same characteristic that allows you to run those marathons - kicking anorexia might have been your first marathon. You are an amazing woman.

Lee said...

Wow Shar, thanks so much for sharing this. So pleased that you came out the other side stronger and more beautiful than ever. xx

Thea said...

Oh God Shar, I haven't 'known' you for very long, but this hits to the core!

I didn't go down that path, but I wanted to...if that makes sense?!?

Body image is sooooo difficult for women, particularly very young women....girls even.

This post is awesome.
Thank you so much for your raw honesty.
People learn from people like you!

Posie Patchwork said...

Wow Shar, i know you're a teacher & wonder if you talk to older girls, even as young as 10, about this can creep up, how to avoid or prevent it happening. I'd be so interested to hear about how you battled & recovered. If anything, this very real account, has given so many us warning signs to look out for. Do you know Keep Cate Busy blog?? She's still strugglnig with it, 3 children in & is a PE teacher. You're both such amazing honest people, it's a pleasure & honour to meet you.
If i was you, i'd say something to the girl you saw at the gym who suspect might be struggling with this demon, might be just the thing she needs to hear from a stranger!! I always figure, if it was something other than weight, you'd say something, so what is the difference?? Love Posie

Lou said...

My dear friend, I am so proud of you.


Cate said...

Really great post Shar. Brilliant in fact :-)

Naomi said...

What a great post. Sorry I'm late to it.

I watch/watched my sister battle bulimia. I hope it's done with her as much as Annie has with you.


Anonymous said...

Love you Shar, Louise