When I'm Unsure if the Voice of Reason or My Eating Disorder Is Talking


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.

There’s a war in my head. Some days it gets so loud in there, it gives me a headache. A real one.

The voice nattering incessantly in my ear is not a healthy voice. It’s a familiar one. It feels like a safe one. But that voice is an expert manipulator, liar and thief.

There’s another little voice in the dark: the voice of reason and wisdom, sense and sensibility. But that voice is weak and timid. It has never learned to stand up to the manipulator.

My eating disorder voice has learned how to mimic the voice of reason. Some days I hear myself saying I should (or shouldn’t) eat this and I can’t quite tell which voice is talking. Are you trying to trick me? Or heal me? Sometimes I just don’t know.

The voice that whispers away in my head is very unhealthy. It encourages me to override any ounce of logic I may have when it comes to good health and nutrition, by telling me I’m fat. It tells me if I get fat, I’m unworthy and a failure. It tells me any food I consume is making me fat. The tiniest morsel of anything feels like failure.

The voice of reason knows this is not true. It is in fact, absurd. That good health and nutrition and a healthy body at a healthy weight are achieved through regular consumption of nutritious meals in moderate portions and leading an active lifestyle. I know all this. I have known this for a long time. I was raised with an awareness of good health and I have been surrounded by family and friends all my life who lead healthy lifestyles. I know the theory and I’ve seen the practice. Yet the manipulator nibbles away at my confidence and plays the “just for today” game. Telling me to delay the implementation of common sense until I’ve achieved some unachievable goal through unsustainable means.

MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.

I sincerely hope by recognizing the profoundly negative impact the manipulative voice has, I have taken the first step towards recovery.

I sincerely hope one day I can win the war. I hope one day I can know for sure when the voice of reason is talking, and to know how to listen to it without fear. Until then, I keep listening and wondering, who is talking to me?

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Andesign101.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Eating Disorders

Jewish holiday hannukah low key image of jewish holiday Hanukkah with menorah traditional Candelabra and wooden dreidels spinning top . glitter overlay

Why I Don't Change How I Eat on Jewish Holidays

“They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.” This is a common joke about the Jewish holidays. The holidays come with plenty of food: matzo, challah, kugel, latkes – and plenty of restrictions. During Passover, we cannot eat any food made from wheat, barley, rye or oats. Restricting is meant to commemorate the Israelites [...]
A young girl

Eating Disorders Can Start at Any Age. Mine Started at 5.

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. Eating disorders don’t alway develop in the teenage years. My eating disorder started at age 5. I remember only having diet cokes and salad. I hated my [...]
Fantasy portrait of a youg Ancient Roman goddes Venus, whos tears, accoring to a legend, turned into red poppies

What I Remind Myself When I Feel Like 'Food Is Failure'

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. For a long time, food tasted like failure. And that failure is an emotion so powerful it’s almost tangible — I could reach out and touch it. [...]
Soft wave of blue ocean on sandy beach, background

How It Feels to See 'Bikini Body' Advertisements as Someone in Eating Disorder Recovery

From my newsfeed to advertisements to conversations on the street, talk of preparing a “summer body” or “bikini body” is on the rise. The promises they offer look great. A playful day by the ocean. Effortless photos with friends. The admiration of strangers. Radiance. Confidence. Love. Acceptance. The problem is a diet plan and a [...]