Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741.
I wrote this in my diary a few months ago. It was on the day I finally admitted to myself I had a problem and I needed help. I was going through my check-ins a few days ago and I found it and, funnily enough, my perception of my binge eating disorder (BED) hasn’t changed a tad since then. This is how I feel about it and I hope by sharing it here I will help people understand this disorder better. Here’s what I had written in my diary:
I made a new friend. He’s been around for a long time, but I only truly acknowledged his presence this week. He was like that kid in school you’d pass by every day, and you’d know they’re there, but you’d never look at their face. You’d never really be able to describe them, to give them a name and features. But he’d still be present there. Every day. For weeks, months, years.
My new friend is called BED. I’m scared out of my mind because I’ve always had a hard time getting to know people. I’ve always been closed off, avoiding new acquaintances and hardly ever making friends. However, I have a new friend now and I must get to know him unless I want to offend him. He can hurt me.
BED is my Blurryface… was my Blurryface. (A/N: Blurryface is a character created by the band twenty one pilots. It represents the lead singer’s alter ego, his fears — his, so to say, “dark side.” He wanted to give his dark side a name and a face so he can address it easier and eventually fight it.) This makes me somewhat happy. He introduced himself properly to me only a few days ago, but I know he’s been around for many, many months. He probably had fun watching me hit the bottom again and again, especially when he was the one who would push me over the edge…
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.
For the past two days, we had quite a lot of conversations. He spoke, I listened. He told me why I was depressed, anxious, guilty and hopeless. He told me why I felt like I had no control over my life. And then he apologized, for he was the solid reason for all of this. But it’s not his fault. Mom told me not to talk to strangers and I didn’t listen. In my opinion, it is my fault.
BED helped me build up my own, personal Blurryface. Now that it has a name and a face I can fight it. BED will make me stronger, tougher. He’ll teach me how to fight, how to fend for myself and my life. He’ll help me set a goal, and his presence will always remind me to follow that goal. BED will be my personal coach. Maybe one day I’ll be able to outrun, to overpower him. And if that day comes, I’ll know I’m ready for life.
BED chose me; I didn’t choose him. I never wanted to be his friend; I never asked to see his real face. He came to me to slap me back into reality, to show me what was going on in my own life and to remind me I should not judge people because I don’t know their stories. He told me I was not perfect. He told me I had a problem. He told me to “man up” or else he’ll hit me over and over again until I grow some balls to defend myself and hit him back.
When BED entered my brain it was like a tornado. It messed up my thoughts, memories, expectations and goals for the future. Everything was floating around in no particular order and I couldn’t stand it. So I rearranged it. But it was not the way it used to be. BED had successfully tainted every cell in my brain, making sure to make his presence in there permanent.
He told me we will be together forever. He said he’s not going anywhere without me. I told him I don’t want him, but he just laughed at my face, “Do you really think you have a choice? You don’t.”
I still haven’t gotten to know BED that well. My instincts scream at me to back away. They say he’s a demon in disguise. They say he’ll try to control me, trick me into believing he’s the good guy. They say he’ll make me fall for his charm and this way I’ll be forever trapped in his cold embrace.
The horrible truth, though, is my instincts can’t seem to understand there’s no going back now. I can’t unfriend him. I can’t pretend he’s not there because he is. I can’t pretend he’s not bothering me because he is. I can’t live on like he doesn’t exist because he does. I can’t act like he has no impact on my ways of thinking and living because he does. I can’t lie and say he didn’t turn my world upside down because he did.
But I can promise one thing to myself — I won’t be the damsel in distress. I won’t become his slave; I won’t let him rule over my being. I’ll let him show me how to fight, make me stronger, give me life lessons and then I’ll kick him out of my life for good. I hope I can do that. I must. Because if I fail, he’d truly become my friend for life.
He is still here, in my head. I feel him taking control every once in a while and on those days I find it extremely hard to manage my regular daily activities. Acknowledging his presence, however, has helped me a lot, because from that point on I had been fighting an enemy I know more about. I researched it, I got in touch with people going through the same thing and I know I am stronger now than I was before.
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Thinkstock photo via MarinaZg