I have this friend, his name is Ed. This guy has been my friend for gosh, as long as I can remember. Man, we’ve just been through everything together. What a great guy. Anyways, even though Ed and I have been friends for a long time, he gets on my nerves a lot! Half the time, he finds some way to insult me. He’ll talk about my clothes, my makeup or say I didn’t make a good enough grade, or something ridiculous. Like he is perfect, right?! But everything that Ed says to me, hits me in the heart. Breaks my heart, honestly.
You know what? Actually, I’m telling you all a really good lie right now. While I have known Ed forever, he isn’t actually my friend. He’s my worst enemy and his name is actually short for Eating Disorder.
So before I start, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I’m not saying this for attention or pity. This is really my life. This is really something I struggle with. This is all too real and something I know all too well.
First I want to start with this verse:
“I praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that well.” –Psalms 139:14
Do you know what I think about almost every time I hear that verse? **Throws paper** I think bull corn. I don’t feel that way.
You know, honestly, I never thought this would happen to me. I never thought I’d be the girl with the eating disorder. But the fact of the matter this is my life and I’m about to share my journey with you. This is the first time I’ve ever admitted to this in public.
So, has anybody here ever been made fun of because of how they looks or ever felt bad about themselves because of a comment someone said? Have you ever felt like you weren’t smart enough? That nobody wanted you? That you weren’t pretty enough, or weren’t interested in the things that other guys were? Have you ever looked at somebody and tried to find something negative or bad about them. And finally, have you ever looked at someone and tried to find something beautiful about them?
I guarantee that every single one of you has felt that way once. Personally, I have felt every one of those ways. But you know what I do these days? I see a person and I try to find at least one thing that I like about that person. But to understand why I feel this way, you have to know the darkness inside my head.
Ever since I was a little girl, for as long as I can remember I’ve always had a terrible relationship with food and my body. It wasn’t until I got into high school however that things escalated. I found myself doing 100’s of crunches, thinking about what I ate and becoming more into workouts. By the time I was a senior, I remember getting on the scale every single night, measuring my waist and trying to figure out ways to make myself smaller. I found myself having my absolute best relationship with my bathroom floor because it saw basically all my tears. All of my pictures from graduation, I pretty much hate them because every time I look at them, all I can think about is how I look good in that heart dress because I didn’t eat all day.
When I started college, everything got worse instead of better. I insisted on working out every single day, no matter what, for at least an hour. I did countless numbers of ab workouts, barely ate anything and had an overwhelming desire to see my abs. I would come home on the weekends stand in the kitchen and cry to my parents saying that I wasn’t skinny anymore. No matter how much I worked out or how little I ate, it was never good enough. I had a lot of firsts last year in college, from my first year in a dorm, to the very first time I found myself starring at the toilet bowl. Scary moments. Finally, I stopped showing and talking altogether because nobody believed me. I felt stupid. Like people thought was doing it for attention. Nobody understood there’s a constant voice.
In August, I started at ASU and for the very first time, I admitted I needed help. I started to go to therapy and tried to start talking about my issues. It’s helped some, but not very much.
I still find Ed screaming at me constantly. Ed still makes me feel bad every single time I eat. Ed still makes me cry every day. Ed still makes me run 3 miles every day. Ed is still very present and a very loud voice. I judge myself every morning and depending on how skinny I am that day determines what kind of outfit I get to wear and what food I eat that day. The charm bracelet that I wear every day is also another way to measure myself. If it hangs on my wrist, it’s a good day.
Anorexia isn’t just a physical attribute. It’s a mental way of thinking. Restriction, constant measurement, and compulsively working out all factor in its OCD. Often times, I wonder how anyone could ever love me with this disorder.
There’s a lot of things I can’t do because of Ed. I can’t wear a swim suit. I can hardly wear a dress or high heels. I can’t just go to a restaurant and order anything on the menu. Before I go there, I have to look up the nutrition facts and order the food with the lowest number. I only eat about 6 or 7 different foods because Ed has designated those as “safe foods”. And worst of all, I can’t wake up every day and not have Ed be the first thing on my mind.
So, since I go to therapy every week, I came up with another idea to help me cope when I’m not there. I write in this blog at least once a week, if not more often. It’s kind of life my online journal. It allows me to post songs, lyrics and pictures that I relate to or say exactly what I feel. It lets me have more personalization and share my journey with people.
I wear this ring with anchors on it now, and for me, that symbolizes Ed and my eating disorder. I found this verse and I hold it very close to my heart now.
“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may greatly encouraged.”
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” –Hebrews 6:19
And I really hope that one day; I will be able to say this verse to myself.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
And one day, I hope that I finally get to live a life without an eating disorder.