Psyche logo

On Anorexia

My Journey That is Still Going

By Emma KitschPublished 7 years ago 6 min read
Top Story - October 2017

According to psychology today, the definition of an eating disorder is,

“The persistent disturbance of eating patterns that lead to poor physical or psychological health”.

It’s an easy enough definition to follow, not a hard concept to comprehend. It’s actually almost too simple. A sentence, a mere fourteen words to describe entire upheavals of people’s lives. Of course, psychology today isn’t looking at the people themselves in this definition, this is simply the way that eating disorders are categorized. It’s how we can successfully put people into their respective problem boxes and pretend that we have everything under control, when in fact we don’t.

Looking at me, you would never be able to tell that I had ever severely suffered from an eating disorder. I have always been large hipped and big chested, the pictures from my childhood all prove my point. Though I never would have been considered fat, my body was proportioned in a way that I’d be considered curvy, maybe a little chubby. Nothing wrong with it at all. And my body weight has always fluctuated slightly, not drastically but enough to make a mad difference, though. But nobody but my over judgmental family would ever call me fat.

You’d never be able to tell behind the smiles that I was suffering; those closest to me didn’t even know. Of course they didn’t.

My suffering didn’t simply start with a wish to be skinny, though I cannot say that wish did not have an impact on the events that transpired. I had and still have always been jealous of those girls who can consume their weight in whatever food products they desire, walk for half an hour a week, and still stay thin and petite. If I could spin my weight in gold, I’d trade it for a figure that could make me happy, but that isn’t the only reason I decided to do what I did.

Control was a big factor, maybe even the biggest factor, or the lack of control that I felt over my own existence. So I took it into my own hands, my body became the one thing people did not control all the time. It was my hidden inner plane that nobody knew about, the one thing in my life that, at the time, I could take control of. And so, in the theme of my own inner demons, I damaged my body with this control.

Anorexics are generally viewed as someone who just doesn’t eat. Mass media has warped the way we view eating disorders, romanticised them to the point that even those who suffer may not know that they are suffering. But nothing about it is romantic... nothing. Anorexia is not simply the act of not eating, ever. It is the refusal to eat an adequate amount of food to sustain your body weight. Yes sometimes this means not eating at all, but not always.

As someone who has been hypoglycemic — my body naturally creates more insulin than it should, thus consuming my blood sugar levels faster than they should — for my whole life, simply not eating was never an option for me. Which made my suffering all the more well hidden. Calorie counting became my game, everything that entered my mouth had a price tag attached to it, and I read them all. Obsessively so. I used to be able to name the amount of calories in almost anything handed to me, and I do believe that I could still do it now too, though I try my best not to look at those price tags anymore; not think about them anymore.

As a hypoglycemic, limiting my calories was an interesting task in and of itself. I coexisted with my shaky nauseous feelings, whenever my blood sugar level was low, for so long that they simply became my companion on the journey. When the feelings of low blood sugar weren’t there it felt as if I had been abandoned, and it was a lonely time until the feelings returned. When the world started to spin I grabbed for a small granola bar or some fruit and then continued on with my secret companion, dangerously toeing the line between insulin shock and existing. My invisible friend. The only one who knew of my suffering.

Breakfast became something that never happened. I would bring something with me with the excuse of eating it later and then would tend to give it to one of my friends, claiming breakfast made me nauseous, never mentioning that in fact I coexisted with these nauseous feelings whether or not breakfast was in the equation.

Lunch was a trade off. I started to make my own lunches without supervision hoping to control my bargaining chips. I always had something to hand off to friends, distract them with sweets so they wouldn’t notice that only a few small things entered my mouth during the lunch break. And every once in awhile, when someone noticed I would lie and say that I had eaten earlier in class as I had been hungry. No one questioned. Not once.

Things really took a turn when my periods began to run me into the ground. Immense pain that brought about bouts of vomiting into the first night, and popping pain meds like candy. I went onto the pill, in hopes of quelling the body trauma that was not created by myself. This in turn, as many girls do find, made me gain weight. Almost twenty pounds. The scales numbers rising killed me in ways that I did not know existed. My invisible companion whispering into my ear that it was alright, that they were still there.

Of course, losing and regulating hormone gained weight is basically next to impossible. It took many nights in the bathroom wishing things would just change, that the mirror would warp my appearance and it would imprint it onto my body. It took many nights of sitting awake listening to my friend whisper sweet words of not-eating consolations. It took many nights of wondering why I couldn’t just be normal, just be average. And Sometimes I still have those nights.

My body weight still fluctuates like mad. I still can’t face myself in the mirror most days, seeing simply the things about myself that I don’t like, seeing the extra few pounds of fat here and there. Every workout that is done I spend just as long trying to see a difference. Every healthy meal I make I pray that this time it will start working.

It took me a long time to end my obsessive calorie counting. My obsessive calorie stopping. Though it still haunts me like an invisibility cloak reading the price tag of the food I am consuming. And though the feelings of my invisible friend no longer follow me around, that doesn’t mean that the friend is not there still, still waiting for me to slip up and hop back to the feelings of starving. That when they do make a comeback when I accidentally forget to grab a snack before four hours of class, I honestly almost feel good again, closer to whole again.

One day I am hoping that the feeling of starving won’t be so comforting. That not eating won’t make me feel better. That relapsing doesn’t happen as often. One day I am hoping that if I continue to eat healthy, that if I continue to exercise that maybe, just maybe, I can accept myself the way I am. Finally be free from the invisible friends that stalk me in my weakest moments. Finally send them off into their own form of oblivion.

You would never be able to tell that I suffered from anorexia, and sometimes I still do. My invisible friend is still sitting there waiting for me, and they aren’t leaving anytime soon.


About the Creator

Emma Kitsch

Im a wannabe writer, and my dream job is to one day be able to help people like myself who struggle with their mental health. As long as I can make it through med school...

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For Free

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

    Emma KitschWritten by Emma Kitsch

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.