Never, never underestimate the power of desire. If you want to live badly enough, you can live. The great question, at least for me, was: How do I decide I want to live?
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APAMarya Hornbacher Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=never-never-underestimate-power-desire-if-you-want-to-live-badly-enough-you-can-live-the-great-question-at-least-for-me-was-how-do-i-decide-i-want-to-live-marya-hornbacher
ChicagoMarya Hornbacher Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=never-never-underestimate-power-desire-if-you-want-to-live-badly-enough-you-can-live-the-great-question-at-least-for-me-was-how-do-i-decide-i-want-to-live-marya-hornbacher, accessed .
MLA"Marya Hornbacher Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=never-never-underestimate-power-desire-if-you-want-to-live-badly-enough-you-can-live-the-great-question-at-least-for-me-was-how-do-i-decide-i-want-to-live-marya-hornbacher
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This is the very boring part of eating disorders, the aftermath. When you eat and hate that you eat. And yet of course you must eat. You don't really entertain the notion of going back. You, with some startling new level of clarity, realize that going back would be far worse than simply being as you are. This is obvious to anyone without an eating disorder. This is not always obvious to you.
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When I was growing up, I always felt there was an expectation that I would do one of two things: be great at something, or go crazy and become a total failure. There is no middle ground where I come from, and I am only now beginning to get a sense that there is a middle ground at all.
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I threw up again that night, half-afraid that my eyeballs would explode. But it was, by far, more important that I get rid of dinner. Of course, by then, throwing up was the only way I knew how to deal with fear. That paradox would begin to run my life: to know that what you are doing is hurting you, maybe killing you, and to be afraid of that fact--but to cling to the idea that this will save you, it will, in the end, make things okay.
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Hospitalizations in general are blurry. The days are the same, precisely the same. Nothing changes. Life melts down to a simple progression of meals. They become a way of life fairly quickly. You may welcome this transition. It may seem inevitable to you. You have been removed from the world. It is all right, in a way, because there is nothing so sure, so safe, as routine.
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Madness will push you anywhere it wants. It never tells you where you're going, or why. It tells you it doesn't matter. It persuades you. It dangles something sparkly before you, shimmering like that water patch on the road up ahead. You will drive until you find it, the treasure, the thing you most desire. You will never find it. Madness may mock you so long you will die of the search. Or it will tire of you, turn its back, oblivious as you go flying. The car is beside you, smoking, belly-up, still spinning its wheels.
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I don't think people realize, when they're just getting started on an eating disorder or even when they're in the grip of one, that it is not something that you just "get over." For the vast majority of eating-disordered people, it is something that will haunt you for the rest of your life. You may change your behavior, change your beliefs about yourself and your body, give up that particular way of coping in the world. You may learn, as I have, that you would rather be a human than a human's thin shell. You may get well. But you never forget.
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In that six months, so much happened that death seemed, primarily, inconvenient. The trial period was extended. I seem to keep extending it. There are many things to do. There are books to write and naps to take. There are movies to see and scrambled eggs to eat. Life is essentially trivial. You either decide you will take the trite business of life and give yourself the option of doing something really cool, or you decide you will opt for the Grand Epic of eating disorders and dedicate your life to being seriously trivial.
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"¢ Eating disorders are addictions. You become addicted to a number of their effects. The two most basic and important: the pure adrenaline that kicks in when you're starving""you're high as a kite, sleepless, full of a frenetic, unstable energy""and the heightened intensity of experience that eating disorders initially induce. At first, everything tastes and smells intense, tactile experience is intense, your own drive and energy themselves are intense and focused. Your sense of power is very, very intense. You are not aware, however, that you are quickly becoming addicted.
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There was a time when I was unable to get out of bed because my body, its muscles eating themselves away, refused to sit up. There was a time when the lies rolled off my tongue with ease, when it was far more important to me to self-destruct than to admit I had a problem, let alone allow anyone to help.
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The idea of my future simultaneously thrilled and terrified me, like standing at the lip of a very sheer cliff- I could fly, or fall. I didn't know how to fly, and I didn't want to fall. So I backed away from the cliff and went in search of something that had a clear, solid trajectory for me to follow, like hopscotch.
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At times it may seem worse - harder, at least - to live through the despair of this loss without the temporary comfort of our addictive behaviour. We cannot drown our sorrows. We must face the fact that we don't know, really, where we are, how we got here, how long the pain will last, or how to move past it. That uncertainty may be the most painful part of not knowing a God: no one is there to reassure us that a God will take the pain and confusion away. We simply don't know. And we have no way to numb ourselves or to forget the condition we're in.
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In her presence, I was reminded again of why I was an anoretic: fear. Of my needs, for food, for sleep, for touch, for simple conversation, for human contact, for love. I was an anoretic because I was afraid of being human. Implicit in human contact is the exposure of the self, the interaction of the selves. The self I'd had, once upon a time, was too much. Now there was no self at all. I was a blank.
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