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January 30, 2015

A Beautiful Kind of High.

anorexia art

Warning: naughty language ahead.

The urges came again last night.

Thick and dark, yet sweet and oh-so-fucking sexy, they drowned me in their temptation and consumed me with their promise of unspeakable beauty.

Once I found myself in their hole, I didn’t even want to come out. The pleasure from the imaginings alone—just the mental constructs—was enough to make me high. The possibilities flooded my mind, and I started to dream that familiar dream:

If I only had a body like that…

The idea alone was like a warm hug, and the visions started popping up in my head: my perky little ass, toned, smooth thighs, tiny waist, willowy arms and perfect, resplendent skin stretched tight, flawlessly, head to toe.

Yes, I was on Instagram.

It started innocently enough, and I suppose it always does. I was in bed checking my account, and got sidetracked, as I always do. A girl who follows me is a bikini competitor, always declaring her shiny narcissism via cheesy bikinis and fake tans. Her friends, of course, are also #fitfam.

When I find myself engulfed in this world, I really don’t know what happens to me. I’m a practical girl; I laugh with my friends at the audacious vanity, and roll my eyes at the tacky poses and crudgy makeup; the try-hard hotness and contrived facial expressions that often read as concealed constipation.

Yet when I click through to her account, I end up in another account, and then another, and before I know it I am planning my workout at the gym the next day, and scouring the bios for diet plans.

The images of my beautiful dream body are not the only thoughts I find swirling around in my head in these increasingly rare situations. All the associated feelings and benefits—sure to flood my life if I could just…tone up dat ass—falsely captivate my consciousness. My sex life would surely become exhilarating. Clients would break down the door to work with me. I’d be published more, revered more and the clothes…oh, the clothes I would buy with all the money I would likely be making as a result of my elevated hotness.

The illusions and false promises are like a drug, and my ego is a full-on addict.

Knowing I’m making a Thai green curry for dinner tonight, I found myself considering a trip to the grocery store to replace my full-fat coconut milk with a low-fat variety. Thankfully, the thought of low-fat food was enough to snap me out of my trance-like state.

Whoa, Jenny.

I emerged from the hole, backing out slowly and retracing my steps with raw fascination to see how I could have possibly wound up scouring a page that contained the hashtag #mustgetskinny. I marveled at what people are willing to post for likes, grounded in my breath, and slowly…put the phone down.

As I lay there, I congratulated myself. Instead of falling asleep dreaming of the diet I was going to start the next day, and the body that would surely follow, I fell asleep thinking of how silly the whole cycle was, and how proud of myself I was for actually finding a way out.

This grounded self-congratulating was its own beautiful kind of high.

 

Relephant:

How to Overcome an Eating Disorder in 6 Steps.

 

Author: Jenny Boyle

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Marina Perevezentseva/Flickr

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