The Voice Of ED
What I hope to portray in the following ‘dialogue’, is just how powerful and irrational the messages are that cycle through a person’s mind who has an eating disorder. There is no way that I can adequately represent every individual’s personal ‘voice’, but I will write from my own personal experience, and what I have learned from those I have known along my journey….
“Another day to face. I’m so lazy. I must get up and start MOVING!! I can’t eat today if I don’t get things done and make everyone happy. What does my scale tell me? Can I eat today? I should eat less because I am so disgusting. I make everyone’s life miserable and I can’t do anything right so I must be strong and not eat. I’m so hungry, but I don’t deserve the food. I don’t even like food anymore anyway. I need too much. I’m not strong enough. I frustrate people so I should just disappear. My husband/boyfriend/parents are not happy because of me. It’s always my fault, but I don’t know what I do wrong. I’ve always been the one who causes trouble. I have to try to make life easier for everyone else around me. Being thin will make me ‘good’. People will admire me, and they won’t judge me anymore. I shouldn’t be so sensitive. But I know it’s me who is the problem…I always have been. That’s why my family was never ‘normal’. I was always different, but if I’m thin, then I will be ‘normal’. If I eat, I must exercise, or DO enough to make up for the food. I must earn the right to eat. I ‘feel’ so fat. I can feel my body spreading out right now. My clothes against my body makes my skin crawl. I want to disappear. I have no purpose. I can never be good enough. I’m so tired, but I must not rest. Everything that goes wrong is my fault. I hope I don’t see anyone I know today. They might find out that I am bad. I must convince people that I am ‘OK’, or they will see how bad I really am. I mustn’t let anyone know how bad I really am. The only real power I have is to lose weight, exercise, and even then I’m a failure. I will never be pretty ‘enough’. Look at all the stars and models, they are perfect, why can’t I be perfect? I’m just nothing. I can only eat ‘my’ foods, the foods that are acceptable, the foods that I know won’t make me fat. I am strong because I can resist those foods and other people can’t. I don’t need food. I don’t need people. I don’t need to have fun…what a waste of time anyway!
As I was writing, I realized that, because my disorder was anorexia, I don’t have a fair amount of knowledge of the different or additional messages that a person with bulimia might struggle against. I welcome input from any of you who might wish to contribute.
What I have written above may seem a mish-mash, but I believe that the main themes show through. The feelings of insignificance, powerlessness, inadequacy, and constant self-beratment are truly this prominent. It IS possible to change these “tapes” that play over and over in a person’s head, but it takes first of all, awareness, then the willingness to walk ‘through the fire’ to find the freedom of recovery and their own unique place in the world.