The following is a peek into my brain and excerpts from a journal I kept at a time when I felt isolated from the world, depressed, and stuck in anorexia indefinitely. I tried not to include any triggering comments and insights, but if you can relate or feel that you know someone going through this, please get them help. Please approach them with a heart filled offer for support. I am proud to say that I lo longer live this nightmare, and cannot even recollect this period in my life…
I couldn’t sleep last night; nothing unusual, just wide awake lying in my bed wishing I could sleep. I can’t get my brain to stop going in circles. I think I have added up my food intake 20 times. I wrote it down in all 3 classes today before I even ate. I stretched it by about 250 calories so I can convince myself to run an extra couple miles in my break between class. I bit into an apple in one of my classes, and someone looked at me. I freaked out and threw it out. My teeth hurt. The apples hurt my teeth really bad but I won’t eat anything else. I try to stay away from my house as long and often as possible. I am on campus an hour before my class, and I walk around campus and keep myself occupied after class at the mall, or the movie store. I dread going home. I will have to eat if I go home. I will have to tally, add up and figure out how I’m throwing out food and how I will get away with stuffing lettuce in a la tortilla wrap. I hate being starred at when I am at my house. I feel like my every move is watched. I’m paranoid- about myself, about walking, my food…everything. My stomach does not even growl anymore. I am not hungry- I cannot figure it out. I think my stomach has just given up on me ever since I stopped exercising. Chris(my brother) said abs on girls is not attractive- I got to get them to go away, no more crunches. Better for me so I won’t have to eat at all then. When I laid down for bed last night I did the usual body checks. I can still wrap my hand around all parts of my arm with room, my hip bone still protrude from my body. I felt fat as hell when I dressed for class this morning. I am not eating until the jeans I put on hang from my hips. I can’t stand my jeans. I am freezing in them and need to be able to wear leggings under them. I was freezing all day besides when I was out in the sun in 3 layers of clothes. I must have starred aimlessly in the mirror for 20 minutes this morning figuring out why one pair of jeans fell off and one was so small. They didn’t use to fall off and I look the same. The scale said different this morning- 92.1. fat ass that’s all I see. I can grab the blobs, it is sickening. I am freaking huge. There’s something about the number- when I see it I am calm. As long at it does not go above 94 I am ok. 94 and below are safe numbers. Anything over that is just not okay, I will lose control then, I will overeat and I will not be able to tally up and stress about all my food. I weighed 4 times- I must weigh 4 times. Scales lie, so I probably weigh much more than what it says. It sure looks like I am a good 140.
I sure seem to have plenty to write about in here- I am mute all day. When I get home from class I have my lettuce wrap, while using a paper towel to wrap it so I can smush up some of the tortilla in it and be able to dispose of it. No need to eat it but to make my parents happy- it does nothing for me. After dinner I put on my usually 2 pairs of leggings with fleece pants over, a tank top, an under armor shirt, long sleeve shirt and fleece hoodie. 3 pairs of socks, my heated blanket and heating pad on my stomach and set up on the couch to lie around thinking while I stare at the TV screen.
My mom got on me today about the hair I leave on the side of the shower. I can’t help it keeps falling out and I don’t want to clog the drain. I think everything I did say to my parents today was a lie. I told them I ate the lunch I packed; I told them class went well, my grades were good. None is true. I keep thinking about making cookies for my parents and my brother. Ill juice them up nicely, chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter cups, white chocolate- they will enjoy them. I can add up their calories too. I don’t even eat crackers but I can tell you the calories in every brand at the store. I walk through the grocery store to pick out a piece of fruit and am floored by the amount to junk people buy and eat. Why can’t they control that- it is not good. I am scared of them- almost like they are a contagious disease…I hope it is not airborne.
I’m still shaving my stomach and upper arms too because the white fuzz keeps appearing. I answered a question right in class today and got a piece of chocolate thrown at me. I have never liked chocolate. This piece was especially hateful. Chocolate makes you fat. No one should touch that stuff- fat people eat chocolate and they just get fatter.
Mom tried to get me to eat dinner she made too. Hamburgers and sweet potato fries… is she crazy. She knows what I eat, the same thing for dinner every night. If I run out of wraps, I have a salad. I am still replacing the Walden farms dressing in the Italian dressing bottle. She would flip is she knew it was zero calorie. It makes me incredibly thirsty. She makes me mad- wish they would stop starring at me when I eat.
Another thing, when I was lying in bed I kept getting these electric feeling jolts in my brain, almost like a shock. I don’t know why it happens. I had a nervous energy high all day, I could not contain myself- bouncing off walls- thoughts kept going round and round. 230 calories in your apple, full of sugar, must walk around campus during class, sitting in class makes you fat, go walk NOW… did your fat ass need an entire ½ an apple? It hurts to sit in class anyways. My legs fall asleep, I’m freezing, and my tail bone hurts. I cant concentrate all I do is add up and read up food totals, think about ways to cut more, which lies I will pick to tell. What I will say I “ate for lunch today” no sleeping- I’m to busy really. I must decide what I will eat tomorrow, and how much I can cut it down. Must keep the scale below 94. The ice cream my mom had has 150 calories in a ½ cup. I can’t have that many. I only used the blender 3 times tonight. Parents gave me dirty looks every time. I don’t see the problem if I enjoy 32 ounce frozen crystal light drinks. It’s my choice. The only thing is 3 of them a night makes me have to pee all night. Its ok, stomach feels full. What the fuck why do I need a full stomach, ew, so annoying. I’m sick of fighting with myself over every little minute detail of my life. Do you really think a leaf of lettuce has 10 calories? If I only put lettuce in my salad bowl with Walden farms I will save some calories. Carrots, cucumber, celery- all unneeded.
I need a 4.0… if I fail then it’s done, I’ve just failed at life and I mine as well give up. I need to learn this stuff- I need to go to class, no more walking. But I need to if I eat, maybe ill do no more apple and go to class, get the 4.0 and then decide. Nothing will be better if I eat; it’s a waste of time. I eat anything my mind goes nutty yelling at the top of its lungs. ANYTHING I touch is not good enough- must put the fork down, start hiding the food in paper towels. You’re not exercising now, so no more nibbling on veggies. I can’t control it though. Nothing can stop it. It only calms when I listen, I obey and I do everything perfect. No food besides my planned allotment. Add; re-add, re tally, no mental uplift occurs. I must keep counting, must keep analyzing. SPIN AND SPIN AND SPIN AND SPIN- THAT’S ALL my thoughts do. I must promise to myself not to change, I must keep it going so I don’t go out of control. If I could accept myself I would get over it. I just don’t understand. How does someone go and put fast food in their mouths, cookies in their mouths- DON’T THEY KNOW. Am I the only person who sees this? Food makes you fat. I must not eat. My mind- I wish it would stop…hello can I have a timeout please. I just may want something here and there- a conversation, a date, a drink, a social connection. Anything- I want break from my head, my thoughts, my everything. Ill lose control and snap if I quit though so I must continue.
Some things I just can’t change. My bones may be thinner than they use to be, but they are going to stay there. This vanishing I am attempting is going to be a failure, because my bones will always be there. My figure isn’t going to change. My skin won’t disappear. I want to vanish. I saw this show on TV where the girl was able to turn herself into water and move around different rooms. That is what I want. I’m a burden to everyone around me and I need to just go away. I read a suicide headline today and wondered why this person would kill themselves, and it sickly comforted me… it is official. If I am uneasy in a situation I will immediately become hyperactive. Nervous energy. Running around circling a million thoughts a minute. Came up with hilarious things to say and make people laugh. Did some stupid things. Elbow hurts… I have all my gaps tonight. All the spaces I am use to. Between legs-check. Hands wrap around waist- check, right hand wrap around left upper arm- check. Hands wrap around upper thigh- check. Ew that means my thigh and waits are the same size. Gross. Thunder thighs. I need to get outta here and figure out why the hell this is going on. I feel like the Michelin man. Marshmallow legs and a rolly-poly belly…. I hate this. All I wanted was isolation. Leave me alone. Now I got it. no friends. No life. Hell who would want to be friends with me. There is WAY too much of me to go around. I mean I take up way more space than necessary. I think I am way too much for everyone. I’m too depressed. I’m too happy. I am too anxious. I have too much energy. I eat too much. I weigh too much. I’m inclined to act incredibly erratic… stupid skinny asses. Skinny woman. Pale skin. Thin frizzy hair. Dry skin. Boney feet. Outlined arms. Collar bones for days. Skeletal cheeks. How did she do that? I must suck at this I’m not pale at all. Jesus Mallory you can’t even be good at anorexia?? You want perfect, and you can’t even accomplish the perfection in the one thing you control! Whoa… hold up… what IS the perfect anorexic? What the hell are you trying to accomplish. If you are the perfect anorexia you will be dead. So when you break twenty bones, lose all electrolytes, use up all body fat and suffer cardiac arrest and die will you be happy. Is that a perfect anorexic? Well if I suck at anorexia and I can’t seem to lose all body hair, shut down all organs, and simply get out of here, disappear. I’m even a firkin loser here to! This is ridiculous. I won’t be happy until I finish this, until I am thin enough. Well at least I won’t have to worry about disappointing anyone or causing a burden. I would never get that far anyway. I just want out of this all.… window shopped in town today down a stretch of outlet stores(thinking the whole time about the calories I was burning walking)… I did the mushroom thing again. Went to the market. Got a veggie bag. Filled it with huge white thick stemmed button mushrooms. Paid for it on the weighing scale but didn’t put the full weight on there. I don’t want to know how much mushrooms I am buying. It is cheaper this way. Take them home. Open up 5 packs of stevia and pour them out on a napkin. Dip mushroom after mushroom in stevia and eat. I. FEEL. DISGUSTING. Stomach hurts. Head is spinning. Stomach is big as a barn. Passing gas like a cow…Passed a reflection window. Holy shit. For a split second I saw this diseased sickly twig in the window. I tripped and fell off the sidewalk. Lady comes out of reflection window store. Red dress suit and flat black shoes on. Short blonde full body hair. She was only like 4’11ish. Asked if I was okay and saw something I wanted. I glimpsed back in the window. I saw fat hanging off my thighs, round cheeks, and blubber all over my stomach. I finally picked up my jaw and said no… I will never just be one of those girls. Those girls have it so easy. They are gorgeous. Make up or no make up. They have everything they want. Friends, money. Nice cars. Boyfriends. They eat. They drink. They are funny. Everything works for those girls. Why am I so damned different. I am ridiculously authentic. It is not good. I can’t get past the idea that thin=success. They have it so easy. Why does everything have to be a hassle and a damned nervous breakdown for me? … ew, sitting here bored and bloated. Flipped through cookbooks all evening. I think I drooled more than my dog over a bone. Nervous, anxious, anticipating… what? I’m so fascinated by cookbooks. Cookbooks with pictures. Luscious pictures of greasy food. Greasy cheesy bready sweet food. I opened a family size bag of baby carrots while my hands shake flipping pages. I subconsciously eat half the bag of carrots. I got so intense with the cookbooks. I took a sip of water and immediately whaled out to oblivion. Ew, stupid fat girl take control of yourself already. 14 servings in the bag! You ate 7 fucking servings of carrots? Jesus you pig. You’re never going to get anywhere until you can at least control yourself… spent most of the day in my bed. Moved to the couch. Felt like it took everything I had to get up and walk to the living room. Didn’t shower. Too much energy for that. Slept. Let me re-phrase. Tried to sleep. Weird things keep happening to my brain. Found my under armor spandex suit. Locks in body heat. Put a hoodie and sweat pants over that. Put a fleece over my hoodie and fleece pants over my sweats. Turned on my electric blanket. I’m freezing…. Why cant people just leave me the hell alone? They cry to me. They tell me I’m to thin. I look bad. My eyes are sunken and I seem like I should break in half. No idea what they are talking about. I see plenty of fat on this body. I can grab it, it is there so trust me. Seems they want me to get some help go see a couple people and talk to them about my dieting. Wishing I didn’t cause so many problems. Why can’t I just be normal?… HA 3 meals and 3 snacks. These people are insane. Out of their mind. I don’t cover that much food in 2 weeks. Each day? I’m so overwhelmed. My nutritionist is fat. Seriously, I’m supposed to take advice from you? She asked if I wanted a candy out of her bowl. Yeah, no thanks ill pass I see you eat enough of them so ill leave them for you. She has a fupa. She wears too much makeup. She has her nails done all whacky. She has got to be in pain in those heels. Heels with cotton pants? Guess they don’t sell her size in pants. Ew- that scares me. I don’t understand how people cannot control that. How come their heads let them eat. Food isn’t failure and death to them? …Don’t have an appetite. No desire to eat. This recovery thing, I wish it didn’t involve food. Why don’t we fix why I have 2 people in my head? Why don’t we discuss how I will never get anywhere in my life. Why don’t we discuss my non-existent opinions, my bizarre thoughts, and my unknown desires. Food? I don’t wanna talk about food. I don’t want to eat food. I just want to be normal. What the hell is WRONG with me?… everything must be counted for. It is either 25, 50, 75 or 100. all food falls into one of those. What ease that brings me. I taken my 80 calorie yogurt, dump half out(40) and all a couple flakes of cereal(10). Nice. Easy. 50. calm…my parents forced me to eat what they served when I got home from work tonight. I flipped out. Everything bad happened. Thought my life was ending. Heart was racing. Hands were shaking. Swung in and out between flushed cheeks and pale death. Feet bounced and tapped the entire time. I think I switched positions in my chair 50 times. Looked at the food. Biggest hamburger I have ever laid eyes on. Holy shit they must have used the entire cow for this thing. I’m gonna be huge if I eat that. Can feel my thighs and stomach expanding just smelling it. Sweet potato oven fries. Can we add any more crap on this plate? I start bawling and pushed away potato-burger-zilla and scream and yell. I’m so confused. So scared. I couldn’t move until I finished. The hours passed as I cried, so lost, so out there. My mind was traveling faster than thoughts. I can’t even recall. I know I must have pit stains from the sweating. I went from numbness to absolutely and total hate. I hated my life, my parents, my world, my mind, my disease. I wanted it all to end. Wait, disease? I don’t know if I would consider it all that. That’s a little much. I just have really good control over what I eat. You think I’m skinny as a rail, I think you are full of shit. Your eyes are brown. Case and point. Please…get rid of me already. I am wasted space and now I am going to be fat wasted space. Make room, because lardo will be around if she ever finishes this damned meal…. What is this guilt/shame/lying/deception? GRR I am so frustrated. But I showed them. Skipped class all day and used my time wisely at the gym. Ran 9 miles, walked 3 miles, stair stepped 2 workouts and did abs. spent the rest of the day on a brick wall sleeping in the sun. Haven’t eaten all day. No desire to. Not hungry. Hope I never get hungry again. But if I could have anything I wanted. Ice cream. Vanilla bean home churned. Honey roasted peanuts. Toast with butter. Reese’s pieces. Quaker rice snacks in honey graham and cheese flavored. Broccoli and cheese casserole. Sweet potato over baked in the oven. Mashed potatoes with heavy gravy. Why can’t I get my mind off food. I feel so lost, lonely and rejected about everything in life. I will be thrown in the hospital if I don’t snap out of this. Supposedly I could die on the spot at any given moment. My organs don’t work well. My heart sucks and beats slow. My hair is all falling out. Sudden cardiac arrest could happen while I’m obsessing in cookbooks. Are you fucking happy now? Is this the end line? Maybe there is something a little bit more rewarding than being told your victory in control encompasses death. I should give this recovery thing a go. There isn’t a lower point I can feel than this… now officially scared of food. I lost control. I went to the kitchen in an attempt to meet some sort of meal plan goal. I didn’t know what I wanted. I had no plan. I had no laid out, pre calculated, written down and analyzed plan. What the fuck? I looked in the fridge. Put some yogurt in a bowl. Added some cranberries. Ate it. nope, that wasn’t what I wanted. Looked at the cereal. Something called granola oat clusters. Ate half the box. Dry. Gross. Ew. You fat lazy ass slob can you even control yourself? You only needed a snack you didn’t need to eat the whole fucking kitchen! This fucking ‘better thing’ – I don’t get it. not eating until dinner tomorrow. What am I supposed to feel? Recovery… sounds like I should feel BETTER. I feel like shit. Worthless extra fat hanging around society. This is so tedious. So frustrating. So annoying. So time consuming. And I thought will power and starving was hard. This shit is impossible. I am hopeless… I caught myself today. You wouldn’t believe it. I laughed at a joke my parents told. I listened to the joke. It was funny. I laughed without thinking about laughing. Both parents looked at me like a confused dog. Felt embarrassed for laughing. I even ate dinner with them. At the table. All three of us. Very silent at first. Center cut pork chops, green beans, baked potato. I starred at it for a good 15 mins. Overcome with nervous energy. I started calculating, portioning and thinking of how to exercise it off. Butter is in the greens beans with ham hock. Gotta be a good 2 tablespoons of butter in my portion. Pork chop on the grill. Cut off the fat. Baked potato. Shit. What do I do. Scoop out all the insides and complain it is dry. Eat the crispy skin with ketchup. Easy enough. I hate baked potatoes. Plain. Dry. Tasteless. Started talking 500 miles per hour about anything and everything after my mind ceased twirling. Tried to start eating. Hate being starred at. Had to cut up pork chop in 938465 pieces. green beans must be eaten one half at a time. French style. Baked potato last so hopefully people will be done eating and I can purge it to the dog. Food was cold… parents yelled at me tonight. Dad is pissed. His temper and anxiety is the same as mine. He scared me. He scared me back to step one. GOD I FUCKING HATE THIS. I was trying to make dinner. I don’t even remember what it was now. They had eaten. I went to sit on the couch and watch TV while I ate. He flips. Mad about my rituals. Mad about my food. Mad about my lack of weight gain. I become hysterical. Food went in the trash. Grabbed my keys and left. Drove to the gas station. Cried in my car. I hate my life. I hate all this. Got a diet coke. Thought about lighting a match near the gas pump. Curious if I would blow up. Was going to go rent a hotel room. I hate home. Dad calls. Apologizes. What else is new. He apologizes every time he looses his mind and gets angry. I’m still pissed. Convinced me to come home. Don’t know if I am mad at him or myself. I’m so new to this feelings thing. I enjoyed the numb and mute life with no decisions. It was easy. I was good…. Can’t sleep. Bad insomnia. There are always soldiers marching in my head at night. My temples march. I count the beats. One two three four five six seven eight. One two three four five six seven eight. Everything is an eight count. All my walking, all my thinking. Everything must be done in an eight count. Very calming… I had a funny feeling when I saw a guy today. Butterflies. Sucked in my stomach so he couldn’t see how fat I was and walked in the bank. Could feel my shirt go up under my ribs. He looked. Actually starred. Hope I didn’t look to fat. Maybe I will see him again. Feelings for guys again? Wow. That’s new. Hope it continues. Hell, who would want to get to know me. I’m weird. I’m different. I’m nervous and shy. I’m happy then I’m sad. I’m funny then I’m mute. I’m so many different things I think I am too much for any guy to ever like. He would think I’m a lunatic. I can’t think straight to save my life… I gained weight this week because I chugged a bottle of water prior to my weigh-in. immediately had to take a shit afterwards… I can’t decide if I want this or not. The past was so easy. It was so dark and lonely though. Recovery is pulling me between then and now. I can’t decide what the hell I want out of this. Eat? Don’t eat? I can’t run anymore. I think I’m on watch like a crawling baby around the house. There’s got to be a better way to do this. I’m way too stressed. 26 hairs fell out in the shower this morning. I’m sweating then I’m freezing. My hearts racing. I can’t catch my breath. Way too much thinking… came up to a stoplight today driving. Looked over at the lady who pulled up beside me. I watch people. I watch people all the time. I watch the world work. I watch the animals, the flowers, the sun set and the moon rise. I watch everything. I think constantly. Lady was a big ol black woman. Huge head and chins for days. Shoved a handful of fries in her mouth and inhaled what looked like half her burger before she started chewing. How the hell is she breathing during all this. She had on way to much make up. Must have eaten half her lipstick with that mouth stuffing. Took a sip of her drink. Guarantee it is diet coke. Weirdoes. Can’t seem to turn my mind to off. Wish there was a switch… made my own dinner. Rewrite. I attempted to make my own dinner. Chicken cooked in butter and brown rice, broccoli and cheese mixed up. Scary meal. Not the chicken I don’t care about it. I love rice broccoli and cheese. I don’t eat it because I like it. Rice starts to boil. I look at it. I look at the cheese. I look at the hot steamed green trees. Mom is there helping. I break down. Start bawling my eyes out. Fall in my moms arms telling her how hard this is. No one understands me. I don’t even understand myself. Have no idea what she is thinking. This makes no sense to her but so much to me. Took a while to gather myself. Sat on the toilet and continued to cry. Came back and ate dinner. All of it. Scared shitless I enjoyed the cheese mess… this is ridiculous. All of it. Life it to fucking short for me to be so fucking caught up in this shit. I am what I am. I am who I am. Deal with it. Need to figure out stuff I like. Decorating. Planting. Landscaping would be cool. I like puzzles. Brain teasers. Scrabble. Sudoku…. That is it. I’m starving. I’m starving emotions. Why do I do that? It’s so calming. Need to learn to deal with it. No more controlling it. If I am unhappy I am unhappy. Being sad is better than being nothing. No more starving emotions. So scared because they are out of control. Need to eat something… great news. I can go back to a low carbohydrate diet. Mom and dad are doing it. Ahh, a sigh of relief. I think I’m excited. Crap..
And that’s it. That’s the life in the mind of an anorexic I no longer remember, and one I never want to see again. That was me. I was suffering. I was depressed. I was sick. I was forced into help by my parents but I found recovery on my own. It is never really over. The ride goes smooth, gets bumpy windy and curvy, but it is all worth it.
I’m not perfect and I have accepted I will never be but there are things I want out of life and self identity I have been able to find. My eating disorder kept me from being successful for a very long time. The time and thought I put toward my eating disorder could have been used in so many different ways, and part of my eating disorder was a struggle in me finding myself and my true desires in life. I think I changed my major 5 times since starting college. Finding success in me and accepting me are big parts of getting past anorexia.
I prime a lot of my value and life around what it means personally for ME to be successful. Personally, I could care less about a job, finances and things besides what I need to get by. I take my education seriously and strive very hard to keep a 4.0- but still, it’s not as important to me as other things
I find my family and my environment with others to be the biggest part of me having a “successful” life. I want people to want to be around me, I don’t want to ever “try” to be happy. I want it to all come natural. I want to love myself- that is success to me
I want a family, husband, and lots of kids. I would love to be a stay at home mom and possibly help those with eating disorders- nonprofit type thing. This is where it gets hard for me right now getting past my ED. My “success” in life is centered on a family and kids. I have no period. Anorexia took my fertility from me. That equals no kids. It would slip me in a huge depression mode if I were to find out I cannot have kids. Adoption is one thing I know- but I want to birth my own kids.
Deal the hand your dealt- I’ve heard it and I’m learning to live it.