It’s hard for me to pinpoint the exact start of my eating disorder: the day I slid into the pathology. There are flashes, memories: changing seats on the school bus so that I never sat next to a girl whose thighs were thinner than mine, using food for comfort when I was upset, the painful sense that I wasn’t as fit as other girls. While I can’t recall the exact moment my thoughts, my mind, my heart slid fully into the disorder, I can identify the turning point, the second I shifted into an eating disordered free-fall.
I was fifteen and on another diet. I had decided to REALLY commit to this one: no matter what I would lose weight. I was invigorated and excited but I gave in and ate a quarter of a granola bar at lunch time. My mood dropped. I became hungrier and hungrier. Somehow it felt like those two bites of sweetness awakened a monster inside me.
Later at the bowling alley, I watched my friends snack on popcorn and candy. I tried to contain my desire to partake: I was not going to be weak. Then suddenly I found a snickers bar in my hand. I took three bites. Three sticky, sweet, chewy bites. I panicked. What had I done? Ruined. Everything was ruined. How many calories did I just consume? Crap. Crap. Crap. CRAP.
I was in the bathroom stall just trying to breathe. Trying to calm the storm inside me. I looked down at the porcelain toilet bowl and genius struck. Without a second thought, without a look back I stuck my fingers down my throat. I was flooded with relief. Everything was wiped clean. I felt as though my sins were gone. I washed my face and strutted back to my peers. I nonchalantly grabbed a few kernels of popcorn and tossed them into my mouth. I was relaxed for the first time all day. I had found the secret and my whole life was about to change.
Little did I know, however, I had taken a head first dive into what would be my own personal hell. An imprisonment that would threaten my well-being, my relationships, and even my life.