I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me
Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Right now, there's this vein popping out in my hand. I've never seen it before. Have I lost more weight? I just rushed into the bathroom, and I pulled my shirt up. I realize my ribs are nearly xylophones they're so prominent now.

My breasts are all but gone. Even at my lowest weight at 17, I know I was a cup size B. I don't know if I would fit into a training bra from Target from when I was 10 right now.

The pants I'm wearing are a size two. They keep slipping down my body. I pull them up. They slide back down. It hurts to sit now. My ass is only bones. I know the next thing I'm about to do is the worst for me. Yet, I still do it.

I turn sideways and see my stomach. It's not flat. I try to fight the voice, but it takes over.

Everything else is small now, why is my stomach not flat?

I fight back. It's organs. People with reproductive systems have organs. I'm on my period. Of course, I would be a little more bloated anyway. These organs are keeping me alive. This uterus is working. I want kids someday, right?

The voice kicks back in: It would ruin your body. Your stomach. And why is it not flat, anyhow?

Shut up. I didn't even eat today. My stomach is empty.


I pull my shirt down and leave the hell-scape that is my own bathroom mirror before the voice has more to say. Then, I settle back into bed. I know I shouldn't, I know I start comparing my body over the years, but I scroll through old photos anyway.

I stop at one from the beach in 2018, one I realize I don't look at often. It was a true off-guard moment from the beach. I was wearing a blue bikini, and I was smiling. Really smiling.

I was running my hand through my hair, my posture wasn't perfect, and my stomach was... not flat. I hated that set of pictures when I first saw them. My body didn't look good enough. My hair was too messy. My smile was so goofy looking, my crooked teeth on display. I have a different thought today...

Cal Uher

I look so happy. I look so beautiful.

I scroll to the next set: I'm wearing a tight olive dress, posing with my beautiful cousins in front of the water.

Cal Uher

I remember feeling the need to suck my stomach in that day. In the dress, my tummy poked through. I remember focusing on it after it was taken. Even at my smallest, I remember doing the same thing: zooming in on the smallest detail and wondering if it was too big. My "hip dips." My stomach. My thighs. Now, I can only think of how beautiful that dress looked on 18-year-old me.

I scroll through the years, remembering exactly which photos immediately triggered me to stop eating.

Cal Uher

Too fat.

Tiffany Noel Photography

Too fat.

Tiffany Noel Photography

Too fat.

I really gained a lot of weight in 2019. I had just gotten a birth control implant and put on a bunch of weight. I didn't think much of it until the comments rolled in — "you look more womanly now." But, the worst were the little comments from my ex. He'd show me pictures of us from years ago. "Look how skinny we were!"

Did I no longer have the moniker of skinny?

Tabitha Stevens Photography

I immediately decided that I was going to lose weight. It was easy. I was pretty broke, and I was working often. I drank only black coffee although my job as a janitor was physically demanding. I celebrated the days I made it through not eating at all, the days I was dizzy while carrying 30 pounds of weights across the gym. I was so tired all of the time. I tracked my calories to make sure they were close to zero.

I lost 20 pounds.

I couldn't stop sleeping through half of the day, waking up only to go to work. My friends were worried, showing up at my house with my favorite foods and nearly shoving them down my throat.

In January 2020, I came down with strep throat. I started to not be able to walk. My partner at the time would have to carry me to the bathroom and back to the bed. We were planning to go to the doctor the next day if it persisted, but by the end of the day, I could walk again. When I woke up, my partner had already gone to work.

This time, it got worse.

I couldn't walk without falling to the ground. I decided to take a warm bath, call my mom and then head to a doctor. I stood up, then fell down. I used the wall to make it to the bathroom and crawled up to sit on the toilet. I video called my best friend, telling him what was happening. Except he didn't really hear me, because my words were slurred.

I fell off and onto the floor and had the first seizure. Somehow, my friend and I disconnected, and I couldn't stop from hitting my head over and over on the tile. I couldn't control my limbs anymore. I reached for my phone, trying to call my partner knowing how expensive ambulances were. It was getting blurry. I could hardly see my phone anymore.

Every time I went to reach up, I would seize again. I had no control over my body. I called 911. She could hardly hear me. I don't really remember much of what else happened, but when I fully came to, I was in the hospital.

Cal Uher

I couldn't walk anymore. The tests came back: I had no neurological problems. I was too low on vitamins, and the perfect storm of my medications occurred, causing a sudden, onset seizure. I know if I hadn't called then, I would've lost consciousness. I would've kept slamming my head, and I probably would've died. I would've died because when I turned in the mirror... my stomach wasn't flat.

Looking at my thumb, now, I realize I'm headed back towards hospitals and heart problems. And even between it all.... those photos held so many happy moments.

They're snapshots of being alive.

Tabitha Stevens Photography

being lucky to have a family...

Cal Uher

...snapshots of a healthy body.

Cal Uher

I know I never want to risk my life like that again. I'm so happy my heart is still pumping. I have too many more pictures to take. Ones at my wedding. Ones with my cat. Ones on vacations I'll never forget.

I still haven't eaten, but now my partner and I are cleaning the room a little. It's been a mess. I'm pretty dizzy, and I have to sit on the floor, drinking water. He walks in.

"Are you hungry?"

I pause for a moment, then give a weak smile.


If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Report this Content
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments