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A Letter About My Eating Disorder
written by: Meghan Shultz
During one of my hospital stays in 2015, one of the Behavioural Health Techs had us all sit down with a piece of paper and write about our illness/ what was going on in our lives/ what we wanted for the future or basically just whatever we wanted. This particular hospital visit I was in for an eating disorder and a horrific crash from mania into bipolar depression. I wrote about my eating disorder.
Today I ate too much at lunch. It made me feel depressed and like a failure. My stomach was really bloated and it made me feel disgusted in myself so when I got back to my room I tried to purge but I got caught out when someone came around to do checks. I couldn’t do it anyway, I’m a failure even at that. I can stay hunched over a toilet for hours on end, and I do, and still not be able to make myself throw up. It’s rare that I’m able to purge. But when I do it feels amazing, I instantly feel lighter and for a few brief moments I feel okay. But then the cycle starts again. I know that eating will make me fat but sometimes I do it anyway because I lose all self-control. I binge. I binge and then try to purge. My whole life right now centres around restricting, purging, bingeing, weighing myself, exercising, and abusing diet pills and laxatives.
I’m a failure and it feels like shit. I’m fat and disgusting. I don’t want to eat anymore but I’m tired of dieting, it’s all consuming. I run so much that my body constantly aches. I run further and further and further. I’m manic and I just can’t stop, I’m constantly moving. Running, exercising, walking. The mania is partly what triggered my eating disorder. But it was really just biding it’s time, I’ve always had disordered eating habits. I’m tired of it but I can’t make it stop. Even weighing myself is exhausting, I weigh myself literally hundreds of times a day, on off, on off, on off. I constantly have to know how much I weigh. Sometimes when I’m at work I get so stressed out that I’m not near a scale that I cry. I need to know how much I weigh, every second of the day. I fucking hate it.
My favourite days of the week are Sundays and Mondays. Because those are my days off of work. So those are the days that I take laxatives. And I take a lot. If I could I would take them every day. I’m addicted. But that’s not all, I also abuse diet pills and diuretics. I go through bottles and bottles and bottles every week. The bottle says to take 2 a day, I take 20 a day. But they don’t do anything. I’m still fucking fat. My goal weight is 45 kilos. I’ll get there if it kills me. This is what I tell myself every day. Weight loss comes first, my health comes…..I dunno, 3rd or 4th? Who gives a shit. Health isn’t important. Losing weight is. Being thin is.
But you know…..
I don’t want to diet anymore.
I don’t want to purge anymore, I don’t want to spend hours hunched over toilets.
I’m tired of going days barely eating.
I’m tired of binging.
I’m tired of exercising, I’m so exhausted, the mania is gone.
I’m angry with myself for becoming addicted to diet pills and laxatives.
I’m tired of lying to my husband, telling him that I’m eating, not telling him the extent of my addiction to weight loss pills.
I’m done weighing myself hundreds of times a day.
I’m tired of hating myself because of how much I weigh.
I feel disgusting and dirty. I feel fat. I’m tired of the voice in my head telling me that I’m fat and disgusting, telling me to do better. Eating makes me feel sick. I hate the fact that this is happening. The trigger was mania and a number on a scale that I never wanted to see. That number made me want to die.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
Eating Disorders are brutal. They are never a joke. They are always to be taken seriously. Even today, a year after that hospitalisation, I still struggle with eating and my weight. My doctor keeps a close eye on me though. And I’m getting there. There’s no more diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics. There’s no more purging. I’m still restricting what I eat but it’s baby steps, right? Eating disorders aren’t something that just go away. But with time, things can get better.