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.