Journal Pages During Gary Grahl's Hospitalization

The following are actual journal entries from one of Gary Grahl's hospitalizations. He recently reviewed his journal using a red pen as a hypothetical teacher "grading" his own entries as if they were essay assignments in a language arts class. Having recovered from an E.D., and now being a licensed professional counselor, he offers constructive theraputic insights and criticisms to himself. You could also view this teacher as the "YOU" character from Skinny Boy.

Gary stated:

"As I looked back at these pages, I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if one of the wise staff on Unit 13--like Greta or Ariel--would have actually critiqued my entries. Would my distorted perception of my eating disorder have changed? Would it have been too much for me? Or would the unique variation in perspective have kindled a change in motivation? Now that I think of it, I probably would have remained my same stubborn self; however, I'm positive that behind closed doors, I would have read and reread the critiques until I had them almost memorized."
"I was extremely reluctant to bow to anyone's authority over my eating disorder habit. Even if I sensed that one of my therapists was correct in their assessment of my unhealthy exercise or eating routines, I wasn't going to give them the benefit of the doubt and admit it. My eating disorder was my comforter, and no one was going to snatch my little teddy bear and "blanky" from my grip. I was proud of what I had accomplished. Getting my weight down as low as it was required many weeks of sweat and toil. I wasn't about to let it go without a fight. My eating disorder was my last ditch effort to maintain some control over my otherwise chaotic life."
"But even if my stubbornness and pride kept me fixed in denial, my YOU "voice" would have rehearsed these critiques repeatedly in my head. A person with an eating disorder might give you a cold shoulder, yell "leave me alone!" or appear to simply humor your best attempts at providing wisdom and encouragement, but the exhausted, lost, vulnerable part of their unique self, is imprisoned deep down inside and eagerly listening and drinking in every last thirst-quenching word." 

(Double click on a journal page to enlarge)

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