Eating is difficult these days. It got to a point where I had a banana and a slice of toast in the morning to satisfy my mother and that was pretty much all I would eat that entire day. Friday was terrible. I came back and ate quite a bit for dinner, I hadn’t eaten that much in days and I hadn’t really eaten anything the rest of that day so I don’t know my stomach must not’ve been able to cope with the sudden influx of food and I just threw everything up and… it was an odd feeling because I used to starve myself when I was really sick, mentally, and it would be so difficult it took a lot to get to the point of where I wasn’t eating anything for meals. But this time there wasn’t even any lead up just one day I stopped eating lunch and every day after that I stopped eating lunch and there wasn’t anything wrong mentally, I was fine, but I just stopped eating. I must have been doing it on purpose but there wasn’t ever any conscious intention of losing weight, and I noticed I started lying to people about what I was doing because I knew something was wrong, obviously, but I kept doing it anyway and I think it got to a point where I knew there was something wrong but I’d gotten so good at ignoring parts of myself that I don’t like that I let it happen right under my nose.
Ignoring myself got me very far when I was trying to get better, that putrid feeling of worthlessness and persistent stream of self deprecation, self consciousness, evaluation, judgement, comparison… things only started to get better when I learnt how to tune out of that and just be in the present and do something else. Because the more I humoured those thoughts with my conscious attention the stronger they got. Only when I was able to ignore them could I focus on other aspects of my life. I’d gotten so good at ignoring myself that when the bad habits started to come back I turned around and kept doing my work.
After I threw up I needed to tell someone. I’m still not quite sure whether it was for attention or not but I guess not because I was thinking of all the people I was close to now and none of them had the first clue to anything to do with eating disorders and that was odd to me because there was a period where everyone around me knew what was going on, I didn’t have to tell or explain to anyone what was in my head and what was causing it. I just said I feel shit and they’d give me something to eat and I’d hate it but I’d know it was for my own good. But I’m now thinking of the people I love now and not even my closest friend really knows anything beyond the sensationalised surface. And it just made me sad that I couldn’t talk to any of these people about any of this without giving a long drawn explanation. So I didn’t. I called up this girl I was in hospital with, the first person I met there, and the only one I knew who’d gotten even close to my position in terms of recovery. And the first thing she said was “Stop. No. You don’t have the fucking time for this. You have a life. You can’t afford to deal with this shit again. Just eat.” And it was the kick I needed. I’d gotten so good at ignoring it and now it was real and now I had to deal with it.
But like how it came, it left pretty quickly. That was friday and it’s sunday now. I eat quite a lot. Quite. A. Lot. and it’s disappearing. I’m eating three square meals a day with mountains of snacks in between. And it feels normal. There’s a little voice in the back of my head that’s compensating though. It’s saying we can be normal now but when uni starts you’ve got to starve again to make up for this. Compensating is such a dangerous habit. It’s the one habit I haven’t completely managed to get rid of. I’ll let myself eat this if my next meal is tiny. It’s so ugh. It seems completely harmless, but next minute your compensating everything, creating a stash of IOU coupons in your head for everything you’re going to eat until there is no more space for them and they start flitting out the cracks of your skull. and the thing is it can go both ways. I can eat a lot now and not eat later, or I can not eat now and make up for it later. Both are stupid. Both are dangerous. And both never get redeemed.
I’ve written quite a bit. This was strangely therapeutic though, and quite invigorating. My homework for myself is to stop compensating. Easier said than done.