This is not about food.

Chapter 1


it's time for a reality check,
because i am not "vain,"
and i am not obsessed with my image.
this is not about food.
this is not about wanting to look like a supermodel,
this is not about wanting attention,
this is not about wanting the body mass index of paris hilton's chihuahua,
this is not about pissing off my family when i refuse to attend family functions,
this is not about annoying my friends by obsessively weighing out foods,
this is not about "losing the holiday weight" or taking part in the newest diet fads,
and most of all,
this is not about food.

this is about having a sense of self-worth that dips far below a healthy level.
this is about offing yourself in the quietest way you know how.
this is about the anxiety that used to keep you in being replaced by the fact that you can't go out with friends and refuse to eat.
this is about weighing and measuring and calculating every step of the way so that you don't gain any weight,
and this is about panicking if you do manage to gain anything.
this is about relentlessly carving holes in your insides,
this is about researching how many calories toothpaste would have if, god forbid, any should make it into your stomach.
this is about secrets and lies and shame,
this is about hiding in your room with six boxes of painkillers because the hunger pains wake you up at five every morning and you can never get back to sleep,
this is about not wanting to admit that you need to eat because you don't want to "need" anything.

this is about being scared,
terrified of anything that could help you,
scared of nurses and doctors who hook you up to machines that save your life,
scared of family who comment on how pale you look and mothers who sigh with exasperation when you refuse dinner and wear jeans three sizes too big,
scared of friends who pass food around and ask questions when you say you're not hungry for the fourth time that day.
absolutely terrified of touch, because "wow, you're really bony!" is not a compliment,
and the sound of someone saying "holy shít, i can feel your ribs," is not something that you want to hear at any point,
because then come the questions and oh f♥ck the questions are the scariest of anything,
and if anyone can tell me how to come up with fifty different believable lies for every individual person, then i would be very grateful,
because i don't know how to communicate that i am not okay.

this is about control.
this is about your entire life being a speeding train driving at a brick wall that you can't find the brakes for,
could never find the brakes for.
this is about wanting to disappear so that no one can take advantage of you again,
this is about hating not being able to control your life, and taking control of the only part of it you can,
this is about knowing that you can not eat for four days and you can exercise for four hours straight and you are completely in control of that.
this is about losing control when your disorders take over,
and being unable to grasp the fact that you are no longer in charge.

this is about not wanting to need anything,
but needing so badly that you can hardly walk,
needing so much that you can't stand it.
this is about not wanting to be touched but not wanting to let go.
this is about having emotions that bubble up and spill out and scare people away.
this is about not trusting anyone anymore and this is about wanting more than anything to be safe.

this is about a really crappy way of coping with your life.
this is about living in a way you were taught when you were eleven.
this is about chaotic relationships and throwing everyone who loves you as far away as possible because affection is toxic.
this is about not believing that you're sick enough for treatment,
not believing that you're really sick at all,
this is about skipping hospital appointments and hiding weights in your pockets every time you're dragged to the doctor's.
this is about collapsing every time you walk too far.
this is about making choices that could quite possibly kill you.
this is about fighting wars, with yourself and with the world.
this is about exhaustion and tears and needing support.
this is about trying to survive the massive gravestone that you have built for yourself.

this is not about food.


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