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Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher
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Wasted Quotes (showing 1-30 of 78)
“You never come back, not all the way. Always there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier thin as the glass of a mirror, you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and no one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“There is, in fact, an incredible freedom in having nothing left to lose.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“I wanted to kill the me underneath. That fact haunted my days and nights. When you realize you hate yourself so much, when you realize that you cannot stand who you are, and this deep spite has been the motivation behind your behavior for many years, your brain can’t quite deal with it. It will try very hard to avoid that realization; it will try, in a last-ditch effort to keep your remaining parts alive, to remake the rest of you. This is, I believe, different from the suicidal wish of those who are in so much pain that death feels like relief, different from the suicide I would later attempt, trying to escape that pain. This is a wish to murder yourself; the connotation of kill is too mild. This is a belief that you deserve slow torture, violent death.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“There is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. You want one and I want one, but there isn't one. It comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect. And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“You begin to forget what it means to live. You forget things. You forget that you used to feel all right. You forget what it means to feel all right because you feel like shit all the time, and you can't remember what it was like before. People take the feeling of full for granted. They take for granted the feeling of steadiness, of hands that do not shake, heads that do not ache, throats not raw with bile and small rips of fingernails forced to haste to the gag spot. Stomachs that do not begin to wake up in the night, calves and thighs knotting in muscles that are beginning to eat away at themselves. they may or may not be awakened at night by their own inexplicable sobs.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“I began to measure things in absence instead of presence.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“I do not remember very many things from the inside out. I do not remember what it felt like to touch things, or how bathwater traveled over my skin. I did not like to be touched, but it was a strange dislike. I did not like to be touched because I craved it too much. I wanted to be held very tight so I would not break. Even now, when people lean down to touch me, or hug me, or put a hand on my shoulder, I hold my breath. I turn my face. I want to cry.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“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?”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“That’s the nice thing about dreams, the way you wake up before you fall.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“It is not a sudden leap from sick to well. It is a slow, strange meander from sick to mostly well. The misconception that eating disorders are a medical disease in the traditional sense is not helpful here. There is no 'cure'. A pill will not fix it, though it may help. Ditto therapy, ditto food, ditto endless support from family and friends. You fix it yourself. It is the hardest thing that I have ever done, and I found myself stronger for doing it. Much stronger.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“And so I went through the looking glass, stepped into the netherworld, where up is down and food is greed, where convex mirrors cover the walls, where death is honor and flesh is weak. It is ever so easy to go. Harder to find your way back.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“Hatred is so much closer to love than indifference.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“This is the weird aftermath, when it is not exactly over, and yet you have given it up. You go back and forth in your head, often, about giving it up. It’s hard to understand, when you are sitting there in your chair, having breakfast or whatever, that giving it up is stronger than holding on, that “letting yourself go” could mean you have succeeded rather than failed. You eat your goddamn Cheerios and bicker with the bitch in your head that keeps telling you you’re fat and weak: Shut up, you say, I’m busy, leave me alone. When she leaves you alone, there’s a silence and a solitude that will take some getting used to. You will miss her sometimes...There is, in the end, the letting go.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“It is, at the most basic level, a bundle of contradictions: a desire for power that strips you of all power. A gesture of strength that divests you of all strength.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“I didn't particularly want to live much longer than that. Life seemed rather daunting. It seems so to me even now. Life seemed too long a time to have to stick around, a huge span of years through which one would be require to tap-dance and smile and be Great! and be Happy! and be Amazing! and be Precious! I was tired of my life by the time I was sixteen. I was tired of being too much, too intense, too manic. I was tired of people, and I was incredibly tired of myself. I wanted to do whatever Amazing Thing I was expected to do— it might be pointed out that these were my expectations, mine alone— and be done with it. Go to sleep.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“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.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“My god! people say. You have so much self-control! And later: My god. You're so, so sick. When people say this, they turn their heads, you've won your little game. You have proven your thesis that no-body-loves-me-every-body-hates-me, guess-I'll-just-eat-worms. You get to sink back into your hospital bed, shrieking with righteous indignation. See? you get to say. I knew you'd give up on me. I knew you'd leave.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“I was used to sleeping with people because I endlessly found myself in identical situations where it was easier to just fuck them than to say no.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“The anoretic operates under the astounding illusion that she can escape the flesh, and, by association, the realm of emotions.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“There is, in the end, the letting go.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“But in some ways, the most significant choices one makes in life are done for reasons that are not all that dramatic, not earth-shaking at all; often enough, the choices we make are, for better or for worse, made by default.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“And when, after fifteen years of bingeing, barfing, starving, needles and tubes and terror and rage, and medical crises and personal failure and loss after loss - when, after all this, you are in your early twenties and staring down a vastly abbreviated life expectancy, and the eating disorder still takes up half your body, half your brain, with its invisible eroding force, when you have spent the majority of your life sick, when you do not yet know what it means to be 'well,' or 'normal,' when you doubt that those words even have meaning anymore, there are still no answers. You will die young, and you have no way to make sense of that fact.
You have this: You are thin.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“By November, you wish you were dead. You want nothing more. Every day, every fucking day, you run up the steps of the house, breathing hard, swing open the cupboards, thinking: You pitiful little bitch. Fucking cow. Greedy pig. All day, your stomach pinches and spits up its bile. You sway when you walk. You begin to get cold again.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“Some people who are obsessed with food become gourmet chefs. Others become eating disorders.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“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. ”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
tags: life
“• 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.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“Death is a fascinating thing. The human mind continually returns and returns to death, to mortality, immortality, damnation, salvation. Some fear death, some seek it, but it is in our human nature to wonder at the limits of human life, at least. When you are sick like this you begin to wonder too much. Death is at your shoulder, death is your shadow, your scent, your waking and dreaming companion. You cannot help, when sleep begins to touch your eyes, but to wonder: What if? What if? And in that question, there is a longing, too much like the longing of a young girl in love. The sickness occupies your every thought, breathe like a lover at your ear; the sickness stands at your shoulder in the mirror, absorbed with your body, each inch of skin and flesh, and you let it work you over, touch you with rough hands that thrill.
Nothing will ever be so close to you again. You will never find a lover so careful, so attentive, so unconditionally present and concerned only with you.
Some of us use the body to convey the things for which we cannot find words. Some of us decide to take a shortcut, decide the world is too much or too little, death is so easy, so smiling, so simple; and death is dramatic, a final fuck-you to the world.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“The bragging was the worst. I hear this in schools all over the country, in cafés and restaurants, in bars, on the Internet, for Pete's sake, on buses, on sidewalks: Women yammering about how little they eat. Oh, I'm Starving, I haven't eaten all day, I think I'll have a great big piece of lettuce, I'm not hungry, I don't like to eat in the morning (in the afternoon, in the evening, on Tuesdays, when my nails aren't painted, when my shin hurts, when it's raining, when it's sunny, on national holidays, after or before 2 A.M.). I heard it in the hospital, that terrible ironic whine from the chapped lips of women starving to death, But I'm not hun-greeee. To hear women tell it, we're never hungry. We live on little Ms. Pac-Man power pellets. Food makes us queasy, food makes us itchy, food is too messy, all I really like to eat is celery. To hear women tell it we're ethereal beings who eat with the greatest distaste, scraping scraps of food between our teeth with our upper lips curled.

For your edification, it's bullshit.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
“Madness is not what it seems. Time stops. All my life I've been obsessed with time, its motion and velocity, the way it works you over, the way it rushes you onward, a pebble turning in a brook. I've always been obsessed with where I'd go, and what I'd do, and how I would live. I've always harbored a desperate hope that I would make something of myself. Not then. Time stopped seeming so much like the thing that would transform me into something worthwhile and began to be inseparable from death. I spent my time merely waiting.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

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