*Huge, massive, trigger warning for ED's & Depression* *mention of self harm and schizophrenia*
Ever since I had the first thought about weight, about calories, it’s been like a shadow over me. ‘There’s too much of me, I could be smaller’. These thoughts were instantly re-affirmed by the people I cared most about, my friends, my parents, and my siblings. After a while the thoughts were no longer ‘I’m too big’ but then became ‘You’re too big’; I split into two different personalities.
My thoughts became a separate voice, something that was inside my head, but was separate from me. I could tell it was different, but I was fooled into liking it. I was fooled into liking control, and I was fooled into liking starvation. The feeling of hunger was no longer a bad thing, it was a reward.
I felt rewarded for not eating until 18:00, and then purging what I was made to eat at the dinner table. I was in high school at the time of the first peak; I was in a very close nit friendship group that was fuelled by the hate and lies that we told each other. It was one big competition, and I was at the bottom of the food chain. It started off as a bacon roll at break, and a proper lunch, then crisps and chocolate, then dinner. Phase one. Phase two was no bacon roll and just a cake for lunch, then binge when I got home, then dinner. Phase three, was the most drastic, one cake at lunch, and dinner. The fourth, and final phase, was nothing. No food. No drinking.
Granted, phase four didn’t include anything else apart from not eating, because I became so weak I would sit in my bed and read obsessively, or get drunk or high. Being on E made exercising a hell of a lot easier, and I sweat half my body weight whilst doing it. Then there was the first intervention. This was around the time that the other voice took complete control of me.
All I remember was sitting on my bed crying about a text that read ‘Burn in hell you fat bitch’, from a girl who’s name I won’t mention, but who was undoubtedly a trigger for this situation I had got into. My mum came storming upstairs and said ‘dinner’s ready’, once again, I declined, claiming I felt ill and rolled over in my covers to turn away from her.
“WHY WONT YOU EAT?!” quickly followed by my well-rehearsed “I AM EATING, I JUST SAID THAT I FELT ILL. BUT NO, YOU JUST WANT TO FORCE FOOD ON ME SO I END UP A SAD OBESE MESS…” wait for it “…JUST LIKE YOU”. This was a regular occurrence for me and my mum, partly because she is emotionally inept, and socially incapable of living an ordinary life. She is chronic attention seeker, and that isn’t my disorder talking. Every illness, or pain you can think of, she has. Every situation where someone else may be getting a little bit of sympathy or empathy, she instantly interrupts and claims that the other person is attention seeking. Or that they need to ‘get real’. In fact, the first illness I ever told my mum I had was depression. I had been ill from changing prescriptions and she wanted to know why, so I told her. She replied “you’re just like you aunty, a complete wet weekend”. My aunty, may I add, has beat cancer, pneumonia and is currently (And has been for 30 years) suffering with paranoid schizophrenia with violent tendencies.
Anyway, in my opinion, the worst I have suffered throughout this illness was about 18 months ago. I was in a bad, mentally abusive relationship, suffering with mild schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and anorexia nervosa. I was spending 80% of my week at school, or at my boyfriend’s house. I was obsessively weighing myself at his house because they had the most accurate scales I could get my hands on, due to my mother hiding mine. And also, I would lie to my mother and say I was having dinner at his house, and tell his mother I was having dinner at home.
My boyfriend, at the time, was immature and incredibly insensitive. In the beginning he tried to be supportive but didn’t know how to, so he would just cry and blame me. I was self-harming quite a lot, purging and starving and he felt some sort of competition towards me. He felt the need to lose weight if I did and manipulated me into eating with the sentence no anorexic/self -harmer/purger ever wants to hear – “If you do it, I’ll do it”.
His mother was understanding and loving towards me when we went out together and he ended up getting too drunk to stand and spouting all of my secrets to a bunch of strangers. One particularly memorable night was at his brothers birthday party, a friend of mine showed up so I sat talking for a good few hours, socialising and when he returned he was stinking drunk and attacked me with food.
Throwing pizza at me, and shoving sandwiches down my top; in the end my friend and his brother’s girlfriend intervened and at the end of the night I was sat in the kitchen with his mother, crying into a cup of tea whilst he violently threw up. And that wasn’t the worst night we shared, although I’m not going to talk about that. Now it’s different though, I’m in college and I will soon be driving. I won’t have a ‘dinner time’. Then I’ll be going to University, and no one will ever make me eat again. I guess the point of all this is to summarise for myself what has impacted my disorder, but to also help people understand it.
Because although if I went back to the doctors now I would almost definitely be re-diagnosed with EDNOS, because I’m not skinny enough for anorexia anymore, the disorder is not gone. I still calorie count, I still purge every once in a while, and I still love it. I am hooked on the feeling of death and the wish of dying.
I’m just playing a waiting game. Waiting for it to come and get me, this time, for good.