I didn’t write this, but I like it.
“My Big Fat Eating Disorder.”
I have an eating disorder. Not Bulimia or Anorexia but EDNOS. This means that i alternate between puking and starving. I also have rules. Bread has to be eaten in even numbers. Cake is evil. Carbohydrates are secretly plotting against me. Diet Coke is the elixir of youth and beauty.
My EDNOS is 19 years old. It started out as Anorexia when i was 15. Then i progressed to Bulimia, otherwise known to some as a failed anorexic. My weight fluctuates between slightly overweight, slightly underweight and somewhere inbetween. Which proves that my methods of losing weight aren’t that efficent, but this is not about logic. This is not about doing the right things like eating less and exercising more. This is not about being sensible or healthy or a shining example of mental health. This is not about Jamie Oliver and his organic pig testicles. This is not about looking good on the beach and wanting to be a supermodel. This is not about wanting the cute guy in the coffee shop to beg for your telephone number. This is not about sliding a pair of skinny jeans over your hip-bones and laughing all the way to the check-out till.
This is not about wanting attention until complete strangers force feed you Black Forest Gateaux and siphon double cream into your skinny latte.It is not about deliberately pissing off the nurses by hiding your peas under your fork and stashing butter in the bed pans. It is not about starving for all the children in Africa. It is not about reading the magazines and pining for the Body Mass Index of Paris Hilton’s pet Chihuahua. This is not a conspiracy created by the Patriarchal system to oppress women.
This is about having the self-esteem of a gnat’s arse. This is the polite way of committing suicide. This is about having no life because it’s impossible to order a bowl of dry cereal in a restaurant and ask them to hold the raisins. This is about weighing pasta, cereal, raisins and anything that passes your lips, including toothpaste. This is about secrets and lies and shame. This is about not wanting to admit that you need to eat. That you deserve to live.
This is about being scared. This is about being terrified. Of everything.
This is about control. This is about sex. This is about putting relationships on hold until your thighs don’t meet in the middle and by then you have no libido anyway. This is about hiding under layers of clothing that are mostly black. This is about “Please don’t look at me and cover all the mirrors with black crepe.” This is about avoiding the camera, even at your sister’s wedding. This is about intense self hatred.
This is about needing so much that you can’t stand it. This is about having emotions that bubble up and spill out all over the carpet and stink up the whole house. This is about having too many choices and too much pressure and isn’t it easier just to keep it simple and obsess about the amount of calories in a small cantaloupe? Instead of making big scary choices that might crush you to a pulp?
This is about wanting to be safe. This is about wanting to curl up in a nutshell like Thumbelina and ignore the big bad world that’s too noisy and dangerous and can’t be trusted. This is about not trusting anyone and relying on food (or lack of) to give you an all enveloping comfort blanket when the medication bloats you up like a corpse in a river.
This is about really crappy coping methods. This is about making a choice that will quite possibly kill you. This is about failed relationships, waiting lists, devastated families, waiting lists, becoming vegetarian, becoming vegan, becoming lactose intolerant, developing a wheat allergy and more waiting lists. This is about infertility, rotten teeth, and hollow bones. This is about cardiac arrest in a shopping centre. This is about being sick. This is about not being sick enough. This is about finally being sick enough for a bed in a unit until you drop down dead and you get a mention in the local paper for being such a model student.
This is not about food.