The Voice Inside My Head Won't Let Me Eat

The Voice Inside My Head Won't Let Me Eat

A little glimpse into the world of struggling with Anorexia Nervosa.

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I have 300 left, and still 6 hours. A salad sits in front of me, not just sitting, more like staring me down, taunting me.

The taste of mint Extra gum fills my mouth instead. Not quite satisfying my body, but my thoughts stayed silent, anything for my mind to be silent.

5 more gone, 295. The bell rings, in a haze, I stand up, 989 steps, 200 more needed before the 6th block. I need 200 more. Up and down the hallways, until I had to go in. Only 50 were accomplished.

I can't stay still. Staying still, means failing, and failing means what? What am I failing? Why do I feel like I'm failing?

My legs are shaking uncontrollably, they have a mind of their own. They too want to keep moving.

The Spanish teacher is speaking, but my head is somewhere else. Instead of " Como te llamas?" and " Como estas hoy?" I'm thinking of numbers. All different types of numbers, my life revolves around numbers, it's easier that way.

Calories, Calories burned, the number on the scale and the number of steps I take, it's easier to sit out on life rather than be a part of it.

My thoughts get louder throughout the class, intruding my head, every crevice that had been safe was now overtaken. "You don't deserve to be sitting." " I bet you didn't even purge that smoothie all the way this morning, your failure."

" Why are you alive? You shouldn't be." The bell rings, the thought of track practice repels the abusive thoughts away, at least for the moment.

Slipping on each running shoe calms me, I am clean if I run. I'm not even sure if clean is the word to describe the feeling, it's hard to explain. Fogginess and shaking are okay, at least I am clean.

I have 295 calories left and it is now 6 pm. 6 pm is dinner time, and dinner is a family affair.

The antique, brown, round table, once full of great memories of fun and laughter, became a place filled with anxiety and lies. Now sitting down, the leg shaking commences, a nervous outlet to burn calories, as my mother lays out the dinner, she's so proud of what's on our plates.

With the hoodie I use to protect me from the voice in my head, I'm now ready to face dinner. 600 calories fill my plate, pork, spaghetti squash and spinach, all drenched with olive oil.

My family is all talking about their days, while I'm focused on stuffing pork into my hoodie pocket indiscreetly, terrified of what actually eating the pork might do to me.

Pushing around the spaghetti squash and the spinach, I announce I'm done, leaving to get rid of the offending pork in my pocket.

In my room, I'm finally alone. Alone to loathe me in peace. I look in the mirror, I'm not fat. I know I am not fat. But my mind isn't sane.

It seems all the little bits of skin hanging off my skeleton and declares that it needs to be gone. I look awful, I'm too thin says a small part inside of me, but it's quickly overtaken by the intrusive thoughts running through my head.

I want frosted animal crackers, that's all my mind can think about lying in bed. The sweet, artificially flavored, chalky taste of frosted animal crackers, is all I wanted in my mouth.

My natural instincts came in and took over everything in me screaming no. My feet walked to the kitchen, while my mind was trying to turn back the other way.

I ate the last 8 in the bag, 120 calories. All hell broke loose, I had to get rid of the 120 I just ate, I had too. I am a failure, I am a failure is all that was being screamed at me, all while not knowing what I was failing at.

The toilet felt like it was my only friend for months, any stress, guilt, anger, any uncomfortable emotion, just went into the bowl. This was my life every day.

Every day was a battle, I wanted so badly to eat normal and not feel guilty like most people, but I didn't want to give up what I felt was the only thing I had control over in my life.

I was mentally and physically exhausted, but I didn't know how to stop, I pretty soon figured out, I was a puppet connected to strings.

Trying to recover on my own was an impossible feat, I knew I would have to tell my family if I ever wanted out of this.

At first, they didn't understand, which is understandable as I didn't understand it myself. But through an eating disorder recovery team at Burrell, I started to have the will to really live again.

My family couldn't afford Burrell for very long, but it ignited a new fire in my heart to wholeheartedly fight for recovery.

Through my recovery process, I learned a whole new side of me, I didn't know I had. Persistence, I never realized how dedicated I could be once I set my mind to something.

Recovery was not a walk in the park. There were plenty of times when all I wanted to do was give up and relapse again, it's how I was used to dealing with my emotions.

I was vegan for a long time because I was too scared to allow myself to eat all food groups, through a year and a half I finally worked through that. Not to say I still don't struggle today but those thoughts that used to run rampant, are now a whisper in my head.

Adversities in life allow people to truly grow, I would've never known what I believe to be, one of the strengths I have and learned how to use the persistence I had to have during recovery, to apply it to other areas of my life. Life throws challenges at everyone, how we handle them becomes the true determiner.

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.
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We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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7 Things I Learned In An Inpatient Therapy Facility

Don't worry about what path others around you are on, make your own and be content with doing so.

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First, I would like to start off saying that there is such a stigma around "Psych Wards" and how they treat their patients. In the movies, everybody is stuck there against their will and they are all running into walls and delusional. This is not the case at all and in fact, most people check themselves into the facility for the help they truly think they need. Even though I did not check myself in, I was brought to the facility and endured a short (but long at the same time) journey.

I could not stop crying when I first got to the unit and honestly, I think it's best that I got all my emotions out my first day. As I was sitting in the lounge area in my paper scrubs I kept thinking that I didn't belong there and they were "holding me against my will." With my best interest in mind, they decided to keep me for 2-3 days and then I would be able to go home. I kept saying that I didn't want to be there and didn't embrace the group therapies for the first couple of hours I was there. It didn't hit me until later in the day that there was no way they were going to let me out if I didn't participate and learn something from this experience.

I started having an open mind and embraced the group therapy and all of the people around me. That is when I started to learn that it's okay to come to these types of facilities and get help for planning out the rest of your life.

1. Take Care Of Yourself First

Don't worry about what path others around you are on, make your own and be content with doing so.

2. Other People May Have Bigger Problems Than You, But This Does NOT Minimize Your Struggle

There are people here that have seen more than you may ever see, but this doesn't invalidate your feelings.

3. It Will Make You Really Appreciate Small Things That You May Not Have In The Facility 

You lose all privacy privileges, this is for safety of the patients and the staff, but don't take an unlocked door for granted.

4. Start Off Every Morning With A Goal 

After you've had breakfast, think about your mood on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the worst and 10 the best), think about a word to describe your mood, a short term goal that can be achieved by the end of the day, and a long term goal for the future.

5. Journal, Journal, Journal

It is important to get all of your feelings out and onto paper. Once you look back to what you've written, it is no longer a barrier in your life, put it to the side and keep fighting for what you want.

6. Get To Know Someone Before You Think You Know Their Whole Story 

7. Take Everything Day By Day, Minute By Minute

Everything can be very overwhelming, however, if you take a deep breath in and just take things as they come to you, then you will be much calmer in the end.

I am not ashamed that I went to an Inpatient Facility. At first, I did NOT want to talk about my experience outside of my immediate family, but then I realized, what is the big deal? I finally went, got help, and now I am on the right track in my life. I am grateful I had this opportunity and I will be using everything that I learned here for the rest of my life.

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