I'm Not Ashamed That I'm Struggling With Anorexia, I'm Only Ashamed Of How Much A Number Hurts
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I'm Not Ashamed That I'm Struggling With Anorexia, I'm Only Ashamed Of How Much A Number Hurts

My heart beat rushed in my ears as I hyperventilated, hands trembling.

197
I'm Not Ashamed That I'm Struggling With Anorexia, I'm Only Ashamed Of How Much A Number Hurts
Paola Kizette Cimenti

I thought I was ready. The scale sat below me, at least two feet wide. It reminded me of the scene in "Stranger Things" when the shadow monster from the Upside Down was looming over Will, and suddenly, all the darkness went into him. Will was me at that moment, the scale was the shadow monster, and the darkness was my fear.

I took a deep breath and decided to let the nurse weigh me. It had been three months; Surely, I could be weighed and be fine. I stepped onto the scale, and when I saw the weight, I couldn’t breathe. I had gained twenty pounds. I grabbed my phone and checked my BMI. It was the highest weight I could be without being overweight.

My heart beat rushed in my ears as I hyperventilated, hands trembling.

The nurse led me to the doctor’s office and shut the door. I began to write a poem about it, hoping it would help. I messaged a friend who struggled too, and she helped me calm down. I couldn’t stop being afraid that I was overweight. I began to look at my body differently, as though it were a foreign body which had taken control of me.

I was not kind to myself initially. Potential food plans ran through my mind in split-second snapshots, everything from liquid diet to going back to eating half a bowl of cereal every day. My mind was frantic, desperate for some relief. I was so scared of being inadequate that at that moment, I rejected myself.

Despite how much I believe that physical beauty doesn’t matter, I still feel uncomfortable when I no longer fit the mold of what is considered beautiful.

Growing up, my stepmother would tell me that I was lucky I was so pretty because I’m stupid and will never go anywhere in life. She didn’t want me to apply to college because she considered it to be a waste of money because I wouldn’t get accepted anywhere anyways. When I got a letter saying I was inducted into National Honor Society, she yelled at me for an hour.

When I was accepted into Emory, she dismissed it as luck and said it was just a rich person school despite it being one of the top universities in the US.

Although I know that I’m intelligent, I grew up with my stepmother continually reinforcing the opposite. I was told that my value lies in my physical beauty and that was my sole redeeming trait. My other female family members didn’t see it as being my only positive attribute, but it was how I was defined. Even as a nineteen-year-old, this misperception of me throughout my childhood continues to haunt me.

In some ways, I am still that thirteen-year-old girl, scared that no one will love her if she doesn’t look beautiful. But now, I know better. Later that week, I found out that the scale at student health was faulty and I had actually gained ten pounds, not twenty. I felt like I could breathe again, relief soothing me. I realized at that moment that I wasn't done with anorexia.

No matter how much I hoped it would be gone, it didn’t work like that. I needed extra help. I needed my friends.

I don’t feel confident in my ability to navigate the seemingly infinite maze of anorexia, let alone to voice it. As I write this article, I hear the group of friends behind me speaking like valley girls, every sentence beginning with “like oh my gosh.” I’m not sure if there is a common vernacular that can hold the severity of my struggle within a regular conversation. I can’t image widening my eyes, valley girl tone on full blast, saying, “Like oh my gosh, I have been having such a hard time with anorexia like it feels unreal.”

The oral dialect I’m immersed in feels suffocating when it comes to things like this. I’m not sure how to share my emotions without feeling as though every “like” is shrinking the validity of my feelings and regurgitating them into the streamlined river of voices where every struggle is ended with a “but I’m doing great.”

There is no room for the voice of the survivor without having completed the act of surviving. The issue with this is that surviving is not a one-step action. It can take months, years, sometimes even your whole life.

How can I fit my fear of my body into a vernacular that stifles every struggle with the promise that I am, in fact, okay when I am not? How do I voice my struggles when to do so is to break the stream of “likes” and “ohmygosh” and “I guess” that insulate the emotional impact of every thought? I can’t do it, so I don’t talk about it. I should, but I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how to penetrate this vernacular and get to a level where I can tell you that I’m struggling, so I write about it. I write, and I write, and I write, and I’m not sure what it means.

Perhaps in emptying my thoughts into the white of the page, I may fill my mind with understanding. Sometimes, I’m afraid to understand. Sometimes, I’m scared no one will understand me. I know I have friends, people who care, yet I find myself distancing from them out of fear of rejection. I get scared that if they knew my struggle, they would not like me.

Although I know in my mind that if they are truly my friends, they will accept and love me as I am, I’m only human, and that means I have fallible fears. It means trusting in people, even when you can get hurt, even when you feel more vulnerable than person. It means opening yourself up. It means I will always wear my heart on my sleeve, and that I’m not ashamed that I’m struggling with anorexia. I’m only ashamed that I thought a number could define me.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

150 Words For Anyone Who Loves Football Games

Why I love high school football games, even though I don't like football.

207
Dallas News

When most think of high school they think of friend drama, parties, getting your drivers license, and best of all foot ball games.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

10 Greatest Speeches In Modern American History

The United States is a relatively infantile nation, but its legacy of spoken rhetoric is one of the richest in the world.

2179
flickr

Rhetoric, in all its forms, arrives under the scrutiny of historians both for its historical impact and literary value. Dozens of speeches have either rallied the nation together or driven it drastically apart –– the impact of speeches in politics, social movements, and wars is undeniable.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

What If The U.N. Actually United The Nations?

This is me taking a break from being cynical and imagining how the world could be one day.

3469
Unsplash

By now, people are probably sick of hearing me talk about myself, so I’m changing it up this week. In keeping with the subject of my J-Term class, I’m asking myself a political what-if question. What if we could create a sovereign global government firmly grounded in justice that could actually adjudicate Earth’s many disparate nation-states into one unified world government?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Study

Procrastination Nation, unite.

4061
Panda Whale
Here are 100 things I'd rather to than study. I know the semester just started, but

    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them
    Featured

    The Basics Of The United Nations

    As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101

    2965
    WikiMedia

    For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members. So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations.

    Keep Reading... Show less

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Facebook Comments