*Trigger warning: eating disorder, calorie counting *
The numbers in my head. 100 calories. 200. 500. Ok, you are done eating for the day.
The voice that haunts me daily. “You are a fat freak. You don’t deserve that piece of a muffin.” It’s silent to everyone I love, but it’s my all when I don’t want to feel.
My first memory of feeling like this was when I was a freshman in high school. I had a bad day and hurt one of my best friends. I did not want to feel anything. I decided to skip my lunch. It made me feel better, but only for a moment.
But that feeling of not feeling, became what I craved. I can pass as being normal. I can pass by saying, “Oh, I already ate!” or “Oh, I’m good,” or a simple “No, thanks”.
But sometimes I give in. I give in to my loved ones. They say, “Oh, have a pizza, oh have dessert!” And I enjoy it. But later, the voice returns, as gruesome as ever.
There’s not a day that goes by that I do not hear from this voice. The voice makes me regret eating a chocolate almond. A piece of a chip. A piece of homemade cake I spent hours making.
The voice lessens when I stick to what I know. My safety net. My comfort zone. Veggies, lettuce, applesauce, popcorn, running, repeat. That’s the routine it gives me, if ever.
It’s a daily struggle. Sometimes I look at myself and think I’m not sick enough. I’m not thin enough. I ate a normal meal today, I ate too many candies, so how can I say I’m sick? Not even when I went to the hospital for weeks. Not even when the doctors were so concerned. Not even when I felt like my heart was going to slowly fade.
So if this disorder makes me feel not good enough and life doesn’t make me feel okay about myself, what will?
Well, I’m here to find out. And I think I’m going to be here for a while. I deserve that. And you do too.