National surveys from the National Eating Disorder Association, estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
I have personally struggled with multiple eating disorders in the past and some of them still prove to be relevant in my daily life. Eating disorders are definitely a national crisis that has not yet gotten the attention they deserve.
The following will be some of the thoughts that a person has if they struggled with eating disorders.
Just because I may not be rail thin, does not mean I'm not struggling.
This is something for everyone to know. Eating disorders are like shapeshifters, they take on many different forms and can be shown in various ways. Yes, the usual image associated with eating disorders is a person who has withered away to just skin and bone. This is an extreme outcome and many of those who struggle often look healthy from the outside. Eating disorders are a very mental battle that is not always visible to the rest of the world.
The topic of food makes me uncomfortable.
Personally, the very idea of food throws me into a mini panic attack. I have to remind myself that food is fuel and that in order to do what I want to do, I need fuel.
When asked what your favorite food is, it can cause a bit of an internal struggle. Food has been viewed as the enemy, not something for you to enjoy. So please excuse me if I become standoffish or quiet when asked where I want to eat. In all honesty, I do not allow myself to indulge in such wants. I convince myself that I do not want food because I am not hungry.
It can provide a sense of control in life.
When life is becoming an uncontrollable mess around you, sometimes all you want is a sense of complete control on a singular aspect. I can focus directly on my calorie intake and outtake. Everything in this realm can be handled directly by me. Even if the world around me is falling to pieces, this aspect is mine. This is something that I have complete control of and can monitor as I see fit.
Calling me out in public is not appreciated and will likely make it worse.
Someone called me out for it one day. That did not go over well for a stubborn person like myself. First of all, this is not a big act for the world to see. It is my struggle that is slowly becoming more visible to others. Secondly, even though I am ashamed of what I'm doing, the fact that you can notice it means it is clearly working. Obviously, you noticed that I have changed and in my mind, that means that I should continue "making progress".
Even though I am "doing better", I can still be dealing with the aftermath.
Yes, I am doing better than I was. I might even be in a healthy condition. That does not mean that I no longer wake up everyday feeling like I still have to prove myself.
Eating may still be a struggle for me to comprehend. I may need to be very specific about what I'm eating and when I eat it. This is me recovering and getting myself together in the only way I know how.
I am trying my best.
Your attempt in talking me out of it is not working.
Talk to me all you want. Go off and yell at me. Tell me what you think is best and what I should do to fix my problem.
I do not hear you the way you think I do.
My mindset is not where yours is. My thought process is not the same. I do not see myself the way you see me. Please do not get upset with me when I disagree and tell you I have it under control.
I will deny your accusations.
Basically, even if you sit me down and there is obviously something wrong, I will deny it. This is not something I am proud of and it is certainly not something I want other people to know about. This is my struggle. My sense of control. My issue. Getting help or admitting defeat could mean losing and not reaching my "goal". I cannot allow myself to fail in my pursuit of falsified happiness.
I think of this as a goal process. I want to reach my goal.
Everyone has goals in life. That is not some new idea that I have made up. Goals are what drive people to be better and do better. Well, here I am with my goal. Yes, it is very different than yours, but it's still a goal. I was raised to be driven and chase my dreams and well my current dream is to look different. I want to look nothing like I do now. So I am going to do what I can to make it happen.
Deep down, I know this is hurting me.
Trust me, I am well aware of the fact that what I am doing is not healthy. My parents and teachers have always told me that I need the correct nutrients to live life. It is common knowledge in my mind. However, at this point, I do not care because (as mentioned before) I see this as a goal process. No pain, no gain.
I don't want to feel the way I do.
This isn't what I want from life. I do not like waking up in the morning and hating my body. The constant feeling of exhaustion and physical pain is not my ideal situation. This all started as a way for me to calm down and find happiness in myself again. It just got way out of control. Trust me, I am tired of making excuses for why I can't eat with you. Tired of being winded after walking up the stairs. Tired of bruising so easily. I don't know what happened to my confidence. What I do know is that my way of handling this is wrong, but I can't stop it on my own anymore. It is controlling me and I don't want it to.