I Am Not My Eating Disorder | Teen Ink

I Am Not My Eating Disorder

May 29, 2008
By Anonymous

My eyes slowly opened, my stare was fixed on the timber box that imprisoned me. I could feel the relentless hardness of the box. I hadn’t a complete notion as to where I might be. I looked down , I appeared to be wearing my favourite violet coloured silky dress that hide my protruding and aching bones of my skeletal body. My frail cold hands were holding a long stemmed red rose that matched my name. It was my favourite flower.’ Where am I’ I whispered hoarsely, my dry throat aching with every word. I was trapped. My eyes began to sting with fear and pain. Tears rolled down my pale terrified panicked face. It was like I was caught in a time warp longing for the happiness of the past, fearing the future yet refusing to accept the present. I tried to scream but no sound passed my dry chapped lips. The torture became intolerable. I felt hopeless and alone. I started screaming uncontrollably.’ I just can’t be dead’,’ can I’.

I woke up breathing heavily. I was lying on my hospital bed. I felt faint and weary. Sweat tricked down my face. I felt weak but slightly relieved. It was just a dream, the same clear haunting dream; I’ve had every single night since my illness. I cry endlessly every night knowing that the dream will come. It was humanly impossible to escape it. In the dream, I can actually feel the hardness and grooves of the coffin, and the silk texture of the dress. I can smell and feel the smooth soft petals of the red rose. I know deep down inside. It’s real. It’s like in waiting for death in a state of pain. It’s the future.

My name is Rose. I am seventeen. I have been in this specialist anorexic clinic for over a year. Every second here is hell. My illness started when my boyfriend Alex for three years, who I was deeply in love with, broke my heart. He cheated on me with my best friend Ella. She is so skinnier and prettier than me. I am a fat ugly pig compared to her. I don’t understand why he ever liked me, though I loved him. He made me feel like I was the only person in the world that mattered to him. The day I found that he cheated was the day I realised that I lost the two most important people in my life. My spirits were scattered in thousands of pieces. That’s when I began to hate life. As my seemingly perfect life flipped upside down, I watched in a cloud of darkness wondering how I let it happen and would I ever be the same again. Life passed in a pointless blur while I sat on its edge, as the observer, alive on the outside but dead in the inside, with no soul, no love and no joy. My smile had disappeared. I hated life. I hated myself, my worrying, my fears of failure, my perfectionism and the way I looked and acted. All I wanted to do was escape the pain and dull feelings I felt and to prove to myself that I was capable of maintaining a goal and having the power and determination to complete it, but I never expected what happened. I got so depressed over losing Alex and Ella. I thought if I lost weight Alex might come back and Ella would be my best friend again and everything would go back to the way it used to be. I decided to restrict my food and eat the bare minimum. It was the only way to turn my life around. My meals became smaller. I ate less and less. The restriction of life’s simple necessity went too far. The restriction became an addiction. I had no idea that I was slowly killing myself of maybe that was my exact intention all along. As I sunk further into my eating disorder, my initial feelings of worth and success turned into a deep hatred and disappointment in myself. Each day was more defeating than the day before as I would promise to eat that night but would never be able to the following day. I desperately wanted help bout I didn’t know where to find it. When my parents first mentioned that I would have to go to an eating disorder centre, I screamed at them, made threats and I cried endlessly but deep down I felt as though a great burden had been lifted off my chest. The timing could not have been more perfect. I entered the centre literally on my deathbed. I had thought everything would be easier there instead it just got harder. I now had two voices telling me what to do, a healthy voice and a diseased voice, and sometimes the two would blur together into one big puddle of confusion.

Suddenly I hear loud swift footsteps coming towards our ward. A small chubby wrinkly woman with a stern face and grey lifeless hair tied severely back in a bun entered the room, with her nose cocked in the air. She hurried towards me, her face screwed up in anger. ‘Shut up about that stupid dream’’ have some consideration for the patients’.’ stop screaming, ‘I am warning you’. She then dropped my daily breakfast on the bedside table. It was a tuna and sweet corn sandwich. I used to be my favourite. My stomach rumbled loudly. The smell wafted around my nostrils. Maybe today I could try and ingest the smallest morsel. I really wanted to get better, more than anything. I picked up the sandwich in my bony hands. I began to shake. I put tiny pieces into my mouth and spat them back out. I began to cry angry frustrated tears. I put the sandwich back. ‘Maybe tomorrow’ I murmured disappointedly. I crawled up in a ball underneath my duvet.

I spent day after daunting day wishing I could simply eat and be normal again. I will beat this illness. I will be a normal teenager again. I am not my eating disorder.

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This article has 7 comments.

rkl2907 said...
on Dec. 11 2011 at 7:11 pm
I hope that your dream never came true. I am in relapse prevention for my eating disorder. I hope to someday help others overcome my disease. It's nice to see that I'm not alone, as SpringRayyn pointed out. Keep up the good work, and remember that you're all beautiful, no matter what anybody says, including yourself.

on Dec. 3 2010 at 12:24 am
SpringRayyn PLATINUM, Lakeville, Minnesota
34 articles 2 photos 658 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing."
--Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief"

I just love how most these people who commented have eating disorders to. Makes you feel so alone, but here I see we're not.

Taylor(: said...
on Oct. 25 2010 at 9:52 pm
I know exactly how you feel, having had an eating disorder fo the last two years. I am trying to overcome it, but I know how hard it can be!

on Feb. 3 2010 at 8:46 pm
This is ispiring and beutifly writen. I have

Anorexia, and your story gave me insperaion to not let it pragres.

Nice job:-)

Roxyroo002 said...
on Nov. 20 2008 at 9:40 pm
This is really really good. I love where you describe the healthy and the diseased voice. It's so true. I have an ED too... so. This was really great and opening paragraph was so well written. Well done! We are NOT our eating disorders.

smelly jenni said...
on Oct. 14 2008 at 11:58 am
i really like this story. well done elaine

musicgirl757 said...
on Aug. 17 2008 at 3:41 pm
eating disorders suck. i know i have one. treatment was hard too. i wish you good luck! your right. you are not your eating disorder.