The first rule of eating disorders is…

The first rule of eating disorders is: you do not talk about eating disorders. The second rule of eating disorders is: you do not talk about eating disorders. The third rule of eatin—you get the idea. I got the title for this post from one of my favorite movies, Fight Club. In the movie, there’s this thing, this secret, that I can’t talk about because that’s the first rule. And that reminded me of the first rule of eating disorders. A rule I am breaking, and am going to continue to break. Every. Single. Day. Why? Because I have to keep the channels open. The thoughts and feelings must continue to flow, because if they don’t, then I start to regress. I become this person that has so many secrets, she almost isn’t a genuine person anymore. People begin to hate me, and stop wanting to hang out with me. Okay, maybe not so much anymore (I don’t hang out with anyone, haha!) but when I was younger…I didn’t talk to anyone except therapists and my parents about my eating disorder, anxiety, or depression. My problems were this huge secret to me…ones that everyone knew about, but that I was so ashamed of, so scared of revealing, that I would just push people away.

It wasn’t worth it to me to look like a freak to people around me, so I just gave up. They didn’t really give up on me though. I had friends that would ask me to hang out with them, I’d usually blow them off. My sisters would ask me, a bit timidly, if I wanted to do such and such an activity with them. I usually said no, simply because I was pretty sure that they hated me and wouldn’t want me around anyway. The funny thing is, I was only making things worse. The more I pushed people away, the more they started to realize something was wrong, that I wasn’t my usual self. And then they started to worry, and talk about me behind my back with my mom (don’t get me wrong, this was a good thing mostly. If not for certain people in my life at that time, I probably would not be where I am today) and things started to get messy. All of the little rituals and rules I had established started to seem like something way beyond what they were to me. They became an illness, something that was afflicting me and killing me. And I didn’t want to talk about it. Because the first rule of eating disorders is: (say it with me now) you do not talk about eating disorders.

There is something about anorexia that is so foreign and scary. Something that when I was 11 years old, and read a book that mentioned a girl intentionally starving herself, I thought “how could a person even do that?”. It’s not normal, people. It’s like if a person would suddenly decide that they don’t want to use their hands anymore, simply because they’re afraid of what their hands might do to them (maybe not the best way to explain is, but you get my gist.). Even I think it’s a weird disease, and I kinda gave it to myself/chose it for myself. Not really, because I have to be in some sort of denial, right? But I didn’t stop it before it got so bad I couldn’t go back. I didn’t ask my mom what the hell was wrong with me, why was I so sad, so tired, so mad at myself? Why didn’t I like to be around people anymore, why was this sandwich so scary, why did pizza make me want to bash my head against the wall? I didn’t ever ask for help. Even when I knew that I needed it. Thankfully, my mom was there to step in and try to take the reigns…I say try, because I wouldn’t let her help me. I saw her coming, and I jumped off of that wagon seat and snapped those reigns right off. I ran and ran until I was so tired and defeated, that I cried and cried and held out those tattered pieces of leather to my mother. I showed her where they were cracked and worn, and she said she would help me repair those reigns so they weren’t so tight and restricting. But I didn’t trust her. Again, it comes back to me. Me, me, me. And sometimes I would talk about my eating disorder, when I felt like the listener was in my ultra secret “club.” But it cringed when I broke those rules. The first, second, third, fourth…591abdcd5156fadf86039cffd30cb391

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