Perhaps it's partly habit- in terms of eating, exercise, food choices, etc. I have been stuck in patterns for so long that breaking out of the pattern feels strange and almost unnecessary (ie, why would I eat more when I am comfortable with my current intake/why would I gain weight when I am *just* accepting of the size I am now?)
But I am pretty sure there is more.
Something about facing up to life, to myself, to the world, without hiding behind my behaviours or appearance is terrifying. Life confuses me. The unpredictability, the constant changes and need to adapt, the whirlwind of emotions in everyday life, never mind the extra turmoil that major events cause. Seemingly small stresses overwhelm me- a part-time job, going out for lunch, paying bills. I feel like I am still the same 12 year old I was when this all started. As if the hands of time stopped in my internal world, leaving my completely unable to "just deal".
Of course, restricting, overexercising, bouncing in and out of hospital, etc hasn't helped the situation. The less I eat, the more overwhelmed I get, the narrower my vision gets, the less capable I am of coping with day to day life.
I know this. And yet I continue to retreat into what is familiar and predictable as soon as life gets "too much" (by "too much", I mean I stop hiding and face up to the responsibilities of adulthood and realise, I don't know what the hell I am doing- I think a lot of people probably feel the same and make it up as they go along...at least, that's what I tell myself!)
There is also the very real fear of being just as screwed up emotionally/mentally at a healthier weight, but due to looking "normal", not getting any support/help with it. The times I HAVE been at a healthier weight have been when my mood swings have been out of control, my urges to self-harm have been through the roof, and barring the suicide attempt I made last year, all the others have been when, to the outside world, I looked "healthy".
Remaining in my anorexic body is, in a way, how I can communicate and say, "I'm not doing so well". But on the other hand, I cope with things so much better when I have the starvation-induced numbness. Because I don't feel so deeply. I don't have to think about what I want to do with my life, worry about the world/my place in it/how it all comes together because all I care about is food/eating/weight.
I want a bigger life? I need to buy some bigger jeans.
So do I *want* a bigger life? Yes. Without a doubt. I want the freedom back that I wrote about yesterday, I want to sparkle and shine and have a true purpose and meaning to my days beyond that false satisfaction and security that anorexia gives me.
It's just so complicated. I don't know HOW to actually change things. How to literally scrap the life I have created for myself where there are a zillion rules and regulations, habits and compulsions, rituals and obsessions. How to create a life worth living, how to deal with life the way people my age do. How to eat properly regardless of what size jeans I am wearing, how to exercise in an appropriate way, how to fill my time, how to be ME, in a world where I have experienced all but a few months of adulthood as a patient/anorexic/crazy person.
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."