Initially, It Promises To Be Your Best Friend

Let me just say that while I give pretty fucking good advice, I’m extremely bad at following it.

I’ve hit another low point again. You know how they say there is the honeymoon phase to diets, to eating disorders, to recovery? They don’t last long enough. That endorphin rush lasts for a week at best. I guess this post isn’t so much of a advice post than it is a self-pity one.

Eating disorders are awful. They’re awful in a sense that you either feel nothing or everything all at once, and you’re convinced that this is really for the best, because you just need to lose weight, but truth is, they just numb you from the inside out till you’ve forgotten what it feels like to have a life outside of the eating-disordered one.

However, I will not attempt to deny the fact that there is a honeymoon phase to the start of the eating disorder. The first few days/weeks you live within your eating disordered life, your eating disorder promises to be your best friend. Because you constantly live off a high of starvation, of empty promises and a concave heart. Because while you can, you hold a competition (and you’re the only participant, mind) to see how long you can go without eating.

Then comes the part where your body is retaliating, because it needs calcium and carbs and protein and fats, and your mind takes over, and you eat, and you feel like a monster, and I feel like one, when I rush in and out of rooms, kitchens, restaurants, stuffing my face.

I never expected to be the girl whose life revolved around food. Worse still, I think to myself at times, I’m not even a good anorexic/bulimic. I’m at a completely normal weight, not as skinny as I used to, because binge eating got the better of me, because I’m a failure, because I’m a pig.

It’s difficult because my problems are so invisible. I can’t write anything but depressing poetry because all my senses seem to have been suppressed. While all my friends go out for lunch, I have to concoct excuses for missing meals, then shamefully go home and uncontrollably stuff my face with food. And laxatives. They are so invisible. I bought laxatives. And I took them. While all my friends are sleeping peacefully, I dream about bread and butter, fried chicken (and I’m a vegetarian, for fuck’s sake), faceless strangers taunting me about chocolate, and wake up at 3am or so to shit my guts out and collapse back into head, shaking and sweaty and gross. So unglamorous. Not having the guts to go to school because you’re so frightened you’re going to shit uncontrollably in school. And it happens always. It’s a never ending cycle. And I can’t get out of it, the starve-binge-purge cycle. The triggers, the shame, the fact that I can’t shut my mind off.

Eating disorders are so horrible and awful and it makes you forget everything that was as it was before your life with an eating disorder. It’s so destructive, you become so vicious, so tired, it’s not glamorous at all, it hurts you so much. It really hurts you, when you curl into bed at 8pm, homework not done, stomach bloated. You can’t stop wrapping my fingers around your wrists or your thighs or your stomach. The worst part is keeping it to yourself. You have to hold this pain within yourself, because you can’t be selfish, you can’t trigger others, you can’t tell adults who’ll disown you for taking laxatives and for generally being a fuckup.

I think it’s very hard to understand the gravity of an eating disorder if you don’t have firsthand experience. So many times eating disorders have been romanticised, or marginalised, or put off as a ‘vain’ illness. Yet it’s so deadly, not just in the sense that it’s life threatening, physically (which is it, by the way), but it kills your brain and your life, and mostly, kills the happy, carefree person you were.

I’m sending love and prayers to all those struggling with eating disorders. We have to get help and realise there’s a life worth living. Again, if anyone would like to chat/rant/ask anything, don’t hesitate to email me at sarahlwei14[at]gmail dot com.

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