A (Good) Day in the Life of My Anorexia



**Before I continue, I want to share my motives for posting this. I thought it would be interesting to share what it's like having an eating disorder on good days. So often eating disorders are viewed only in relation to the trouble in one's life but they exist even when things are going well. With that being said, they are still life threatening and excruciating which is why I have the above picture up. Whether I am having a good day or not, my eating disorder is still loud and abrasive because that is its very nature. Please also be aware that this post may be triggering if you have an eating disorder. Read with caution.

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A Fella Named Ed

Sometimes I just don't need to eat, according to my abuser, I mean friend. Even if I'm having a great day, even if nothing scary or bad or worrisome has happened. "You don't need anything right now, just wait until later." He says. And I don't feel bad with complying. As a matter of fact, I agree! I feel amazing and happy, so I'll eat later. The way non disordered people celebrate happy times with food, my Ed and I are just as happy celebrating without food. We prefer it, actually. Sometimes, I feel too great to eat. My day is going so well that to introduce food into the mix would just ruin it altogether. So he encourages me to keep going. "See how amazing you feel right now? If you eat anything, you'll start to feel sluggish and crappy. Trust me." He's right actually. Too many times before I have felt like utter crap after feeding myself. So I don't this time. I am on cloud nine. I'm full of energy and so happy, much better than how I feel with a full stomach. I love feeling empty! But then my body- whom I'll call B- reminds me that, unlike what Ed would have me believe, I need fuel to keep going.

But before I can even contemplate eating, Ed is there feeding me his words again until I'm full. "You're fine, you've gone longer than this before. Don't listen to B, she's just trying to make you bigger."
"But she's supposed to know how to even out what I eat, so everything goes to where it needs to go."
"Just like last time, right? Don't you remember how you used to look? What you used to weigh? Don't you remember how much you hated that? If you want to go back there, go ahead. Listen to her." I think his words over. I really did hate that size. He's right. B is a liar. "Listen, I know it's uncomfortable but I'm trying to help you. Not just with your weight but your emotions. Don't you want to feel better?"
"Of course."
"Then trust me." There is a hint of frustration in his voice but I love how much he cares about me. I do as he says. "I really don't need anything, anyway. What will waiting till later really hurt?"
"Exactly." I carry on like this until "later" comes and B starts nagging me again.
"You really should eat something."
"I'm not listening to you, you're a liar."
"You're going to pass out."
"Good, I want to."
"You need some food!"
"Just because you're telling me to eat doesn't mean I need to do it. I'm fine."
"You sound just like Ed."
I scoff at her and continue doing what I'm doing.
"He's not even here right now, just have something. Anything."  She pleads. I'm thinking.
"No, I can't. There will be consequences."
"Not all consequences are bad."
"But he'll find out and--"
"YOU. NEED. TO. EAT!"
"Ugh, fine!"

I run to the kitchen and grab the first thing I see. Ed wouldn't want me to eat this, but B is so loud right now. Besides, I feel like I'm dying. What if I am dying?! I scarf down the most carb laden thing I can find. And then the guilt comes. And that's when I hear him. "What are you doing?!"
"She was just so loud, I couldn't take it!"
"But you've "taken it" before. You were having such a good day, why did you go and ruin it like this?"
"But it's not even that much."
"It's something when it should've been nothing!"
"It's not enough!" B chimes in.
"It's too much! Stay out of it!"
"It is too much."
"I can't believe you did this."
"I'm sorry, I just felt so awful. I was scared I was dying." He laughs at me.
"You, dying? Ha! You're not dying, you're not even that skinny."
"I thought you said I was."
"I said you were smaller than before. But I never said you were skinny. You'll never be skinny."
I think about what just occurred. "Why did I eat this? I could've waited, I should have!"
"Yes, you should've." He sighs.
"I'm so sorry, I ruined everything." I hang my head as tears spill.
"B isn't disciplined, we have to discipline her. You have to get rid of the food. You must get rid of it." There is an urgency to his voice.
"You're right but I can't purge. You know that."
"It really is a shame you can't remove your food at will but there is more than one way of purging, my dear." I knew what he was implying.
"I have no energy, I'm too exhausted to exercise."
"Ugh, pathetic. You're pathetic. Well take some pills."
"But I'm trying not to use those anymore and I heard they can contribute to colon cancer."

My reasoning only aggravates Ed more and causes him to berate me. "Well you know what I heard, I heard that they would make you feel a lot better. Empty. Unlike how you feel now, which is disgusting and full. And worthless. This is why no one believes you. Because you're not really sick. Stop pretending, you're such a fake!"
"I'll start over tomorrow!"
"No you won't, you'll end up giving in. You don't really have an eating disorder."
"No, I won't. I'll do so much better than today."
"So much longer, too. It's the only way to make it up."
"Of course."
"But what if you're having another good day and B starts talking to you again?"
"I won't listen to her, she disgusts me. I hate her." A wicked smile curls across his lips. "Good."
"Tomorrow will be better, I'll do better tomorrow." I go to sleep with a new determination to be sicker than the day before as Ed whispers in my ear, "Trust me".

This was very hard to write (especially because I am having a good day today) and may have been as equally hard to read. Though many good days are like this for me, all of them are not the same nor end the same way. Some good days are great for Ed and horrible for B while others are great for B and horrible for Ed which then puts strain on my mind. Anyway, this was not meant to glorify eating disorders in ANY way and I hope it did the exact opposite. May this provide some deeper awareness and insight.

Comments

  1. Dark issue, beautifully written. Keep focus on your words because you have beautiful gift.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ashley, thank you so much for commenting and I am so honored to have touched you with my words! Please feel free to share this blog with those whom you think would be helped. Thank you for the encouragement and kind words!

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