The Chase

How do you describe the mind of someone with an eating disorder?  Jennifer eloquently described the battle within in her online journal.  She wrote this as she slowly sank into despair.  It was written one month prior to her attempt at recovery in a partial hospitalization program and sixteen months prior to successful recovery after residential treatment.

Wednesday February 4, 2004 2:48am 

“The problem with eating disorders, is you are perpetually chasing after SOMETHING. and you can't quite grasp what that something is but you know that once you have it in your hand, everything will be ok. Of course, you will never catch it. You will only wind up making excuse after excuse to avoid life, to avoid happiness...and you have the perfect excuse. If you just tried a little harder, just pushed a little farther, you'd have it all right there.

The chase itself is grand. It keeps your mind away from all those cumbersome thoughts and relationships. You never have to stop and think, because you have a purpose. When things bother you, you just focus some more on that chase...because you know you'll never be let down. That elusive something will always be dangling just around the corner, waiting to be caught. Of course, there is a certain safety in not being able to catch it. If you caught it, then you'd have to be happy. Because dammit if you finally catch it and you still aren't happy than you can't ever be happy and you're better off dead. Deep down you are terrified of holding it in your hands. SO you just keep chasing and chasing and never getting anywhere. And the notion of leaving the chase, of pursuing something else (like life? friendships?) is not possible. Because you have dedicated your entire life to this one purpose, and if you give up now you are a quitter. Never mind that you are leaving behind everything you ever cared about to chase after something you can never have...”

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