this is going to get real and is hard for me to talk about, as it is something that I have not fully accepted or worked through myself – it isn’t going to be well thought out or planned, rather just a string of thoughts, but as this has become a large part of my reality as of recent I feel like talking about it might help me come to terms with it. With that being said, this may be triggering for anyone who has experienced eating disorders.
I’m afraid of eating, but not in the normal sense… I don’t have an aversion to specific types of foods (except for maybe stroganoff *shudders*) and I’m not afraid of choking… in all honesty, I love food and I love eating… maybe a more accurate statement would be I’m afraid of digesting?
I guess I will start this off with a faint memory of being a child, I was in the back of a family friend’s (?) pick up truck, I was put back there because I had been sick, I can’t remember how or why, but I remember it was a hot summer day, the sun was beating down on me in this open metal box and I was vomiting everywhere… A stranger offered me a mint, which was later taken away from me for obvious reasons.
I think this is where my fear of vomiting started… even saying vomiting makes my teeth clench.
Fast forward to highschool, this was a weird time for me in many ways – maybe I will talk about how my treatment in highschool effected me as an adult another day – but, I digress, around grade 10-11 I was accused of having an eating disorder, primarily bulimia, which still to this day blows my mind… I mean I can one hundred percent make myself not puke, even if I have to, even if it’s what my body needs, I can, and will, push it down… so imagining forcing myself to throw up is unfathomable. This is when my body image got the best of me and I wrestled between being too skinny and not skinny enough for many years – I would spend weeks binge eating as much as I could and then I would spend weeks eating nothing. I would weigh myself obsessively, multiple times a day, constantly reaching for that perfect middle ground of not too skinny and not skinny enough.
Needless to say, this isn’t a healthy thing to put your body through and I do not recommend it for anyone.
Now lets bring it up to the last few years, although I have had many peaks in my anxiety / depression, I would say the last three or four years have been the worst. Along with these issues, I have developed digestion issues, which are probably a conglomerate of my anxiety, how I treated my body throughout my teens and other miscellaneous factors ie. birth control (and the many kinds I had to try to cope with my endometriosis) and antibiotics (and the many kinds I had to take because doctors were misdiagnosing my endometriosis as kidney infections… yes I am a super bug waiting to happen).
Okay, so here we are today. I am now at a point where almost anything I eat causes me to feel sick, not initially, but as it works its way through my guts there comes a point where my body wants to get rid of it as quickly as possible.
If there is one thing I fear more than being sick, it is being sick in public. Being sick somewhere where I cannot deal with it on my own, privately – this alone has driven me in to intense panic attacks. Whether I am at work, out with friends or my significant other, getting sick is constantly on my mind, therefore, eating is constantly on my mind. Should I eat? If I do, what should I eat? Is there any risk to eating right now and if there is how large is the risk? But if I don’t eat, people will think there’s something wrong. I don’t want people to think there is something wrong. I have to eat. What can I eat? And the cycle continues.
So, why am I talking about this? Mostly because, the mental part of this whole situation, is difficult for me to talk about. I have gone my whole life trying to prove I do not have an eating disorder, only to create one of my own brand.
It’s embarrassing, but in order for me to take control, I need to stop pretending it doesn’t exist or that it’s some punch line in my day to day life.
Unfortunately, it exists and it is not funny.