This series is about my forever ongoing battle with my eating disorders.
Eating disorders do not discriminate.
They are neither obvious nor visible in presentation. They are stigmatized or romanticized or silenced altogether. It
feels impossible to perfectly articulate the deadly illness that is an eating disorder, as the exhausting journey of my own survival is forever ongoing.
To answer the question about my relationship with food, the answer will always be long and inconclusive.
You need to eat. You need food in order to survive. I had to want to survive before I could start recovering.
I realized early on in this project that I can’t approach this story like it’s the past because this is an illness I still have. This is an illness I will always have. I will always be considered in recovery. Recovery isn’t easily defined. Similar to any illness, trauma, or addiction, recovery embodies a different look to and for everyone.
No doctor or psychologist would explicitly tell me to stop exercising so much; they were conditioned to believe in the ample mental health benefits of it, even at my extreme end.
My life was a series of mirrors: store fronts, polished cars, bathroom mirror, window reflections, beer cans. I struggled to realize that this was it, this is it. I was so uncomfortable with my own existence that I wanted to shrink myself into disappearance.
I was always empty in every sense of the word. It was draining to wake up, it was draining to eat, it was draining to leave bed.
It hurts when you start eating again. Your stomach shrinks and your stomach lining starts to eat itself, then your muscle. It felt like eating ceramic plates. It’s hard to explain why it hurt so badly. Physically and emotionally. To me, eating the right way was admitting to losing a battle I fought for so long.
I want to focus on how now I am full.
I am full of healthy relationships with people and with food, I am full of a healthy relationship with myself.
Text “NEDA” to 741741
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
Text “hello” to 741741