Wake up; roll out of bed; slip into slippers; run to the bathroom; throw up. Repeat. This is my routine- my religion of sorts. God has abandoned me so I have had to make my own. His name is ED and he lives in my head. At least that is what my therapist tells me. No, I’m not crazy. I don’t have a demon whispering things into my ear like in some cult classic horror; ED stands for eating disorder. ED is sneaky, oh yes, very sneaky. He tells me what to eat, what not to eat, and when to eat. At first he seemed friendly, discreetly removing the burden of decision making from my shoulders. But ED had and agenda; he always has an agenda. It starts with the sick feeling deep in your gut, twisting and turning like that of a trapped snake. Next comes the waves of revulsion and depleting of self worth. “How could you have eaten that?” ED whispered in your ear. “It’s sitting in your stomach right now decomposing into fat!” his whispers turn malicious, “you need to get rid of it! Get it out of you!” Next you find yourself kneeling over the toilet with your finger down your throat. ED smiles with satisfaction. ED is sneaky, oh yes, very sneaky. The worst part is the seclusion. ED said that if I separate myself from everyone, if I don’t tell anyone what’s going on, that he will make me thin. Day in and day out I lie and hide and weave elaborate stories as to why the food keeps disappearing from the pantries.
ENOUGH! ED is not a friend. He is a pest, a nuisance, a bully…
“The dog ate it” “It spilled on the floor” “It went bad” Nothing but lies and lies and lies. I eat and eat until I most surely will burst then ED helps me release the pain. In my anger and my fury and my disgust I rampage the house, throwing out all in my path. I call it: The Magical Disappearing Food trick. “Why can’t I tell anyone?” I ask ED “Because they’ll make you stop and you most surely will get F-A-T.” “Why can’t I just tell one person?” “Because they’ll tell everyone,” “But what if I know they won’t?” “Then they’ll think that you’re disgusting.” ENOUGH! ED is not a friend. He is a pest, a nuisance, a bully. Dr. Sullivan looked at me, her warm brown eyes framed delicately by her jewel rimmed glasses. I tapped my foot, uncomfortable in the silence as she looked at me in anticipation. “What?” “Nothing it’s just- well- you’ve come out of it.” “Um, come out of what?” “You’ve come out of the illusion, away from ED.” “But I can still hear him. And I still listen sometimes…” “You’ve realized that ED is not a friend Abby. You just made your first step into recovery.”