I don’t engage in these behaviours much anymore but I wanted to touch on this delicate subject in a different way. To show people who may not understand the illness, how soul destroying it can be.
If you have an eating disorder or are recovering I would advise you not to read this post. I will put another trigger warning before the ending. Remember, your mental health comes first.
Eyes flutter open, you Stare at the ceiling, wondering what the day has in store. 10 minutes pass, the 20, then 30. You can’t bring yourself to get out of bed, because as soon as you do it means you’ve got to face the day.
Eventually you drag yourself from the safety of your duvet, stopping in front of the mirror with bleary eyes, pulling up your pyjama top to check the flatness of your stomach;
‘How prominent are those hip bones?’
You were definitely smaller yesterday.’
‘You shouldn’t have finished your dinner last night you pig.’
Pushing the voice away, you stumble to the bathroom, because even after a full nights rest, exhaustion still clings to every part of you.
Now for the weighing scales. Strip down and step on. You pray that the number has dropped since last night, because after all, it determines your mood for the rest of the day.
You feel the number like a punch in the stomach.
‘Fat, ugly, worthless, unloveable.’
Composing yourself, you step out of the bathroom. Painting a smile on that face of yours and getting on with the day, which will consist of:
Calorie counting. Everything. Don’t you dare go over that set number.
Thoughts; Food. Food. Food. Food. Food. What time? How much? ‘Good’ food or ‘bad’?
Standing in the supermarket at lunch, on the verge of a panic attack. There’s. Too. Much. Food. You can’t breathe, you’re light headed. After 15 minutes down the same aisle you grab the nearest thing, you can’t bear the ongoing chatter inside your mind that’s weighing up all the options, all the calories, all the carbs, all the fats.
Sitting down, eating, you can’t not eat, (much to your disappointment). You feel the calories sticking to your bones, you want to rip off your skin. Your clothes are tightening and you can’t think logically about why. Panic creeps up on you, you need to get rid of this food, you brain starts to calculate; what can I get away with? Will someone walk in on me? Will I get rid of it all? It’s never ending.
Tick, tick, tick. Finally time to go home, to your safe place. But there’s an ache within you that’s clawing up into your mind. It won’t shift. What is it?
Worthlessness? Self hate? Disgust? Loneliness? Ugly? Fat? Unwanted?
On autopilot you walk to the shop, you pick up: 2 pizzas, garlic bread, bagels, peanut butter, 2 packs of biscuits and a cake.
You get to the check out, shifting nervously from foot to foot, you tell yourself that they know what your planning, they think you’re disgusting too. No self control. You throw the money across, shoving the glutinous feast into your bag and scurry home.
Ignoring your parents, you run to your room, finding an appropriate hiding place for all of those forbidden foods until you are alone. A few hours pass and you’re agitated, snapping at your loved ones, resenting them for unknowingly stopping your binge. Eventually they leave, kissing you on the cheek with worry in their eyes as they go.
It doesn’t matter.
You prepare the food, your head is spacey, an excitement is brewing under the surface. Food is the only thing you feel in control of, you crave that control, you yern for it.
You get to your room, laying the food out on your bed and preparing yourself like an absurd ritual. You don’t feel hunger, just an urgency to start.
You chew, you gorge, you rip and stuff and devour. It’s a euphoric state, it’s an addiction. Completely wrapped up in your binge, all those voices are quite now.
Food finished and you start to panic. You rush to the bathroom. You purge.
It’s in your hair,
On your face,
It burns your throat,
You wish you didn’t have to do this,
But you can’t stop.
Make sure it’s all gone.
Collapsing in front of the toilet you sob.
Crawling back to bed, clearing up the evidence and sipping some water. But you think, what’s the point in self care now?
Your family returns, you fake a smile. Ready to start again tomorrow.
A day in the life of bulimia.
It’s not pretty, not delicate, not glamorous, not a joke.
Maybe I could have been less graphic but maybe people need a shock, an insight, instead of pretty pictures and Hollywood films.