by Rio LeFevre
Calling anorexia a disorder has always seemed a little weird to me. Disorder is messy. It is the disruption of a sequence, of a method. It is the breaking up of foundations and tearing down of walls.
Anorexia is not messy.
The days that wrestled with what was later diagnosed as my “disorder” were probably the cleanest of my life. They were structured and planned out in more tiny bullet points than a squad of Storm Troopers could ever dream of.
There were never any messes. Life was a noxiously clean, sterilized blur. I was trading lunch time with vacuuming and using Clorox wipes to burn calories. I thought the only way to cleanse my life was never needing to clean a plate.
Perhaps anorexia is not so much a disorder as a sort of “hyper order”. It is a check list on steroids where every “do this” is replaced with a “don’t eat that”. It is a pristine paper of calculations, measurements and grams. It is a maddening ticking, so monotone and predictable that it slowly winds your brain further into the deadly sequence. It is an order more terrifying than Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. Slowly, your being, your inner Jedi, is wasted away.
Recovery was the shattering of that sickeningly steady clock. Recovery is a mess, but I’ve come to realize that I have a right to be messy. I love being messy. I love finger-painting and getting muddy, not as a planned distraction from food, but as an expression of happiness. I love out running the sequence I so religiously followed, while barefoot on the beach. I love scrambling the system along with my little sister’s eggs (even if she insists on putting ketchup on them). I love getting cookie dough everywhere and smirking at my dad’s jokes as we wash dishes. I love ice cream dripping down my no longer blue lips as I smile. I love the unpredictability of a best friend ordering pizza.
I am proud to embrace being messy, and while the order still scrubs at the back of my mind some days, I have learned to sneak a little paint onto the scrub brush.
I have learned that you don’t need an eating disorder or hyper-order in order to function. I am not a droid. I don’t need a code of calories. I am me. I am unique and no systematic formula is going to program me.
I learned to ignore the shipshape body shape I worshipped.
I have learned to worry less about the shrinking of my stomach and worry more about the growth of my heart.
“luminous beings are we… not this crude matter”-Master Yoda