The Mighty Logo

When Your Eating Disorder Tells You It's Trying to Help You

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

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 “START” to 741-741.

You deserve this, can’t you see it? Look in the mirror, are you blind? Gross.

Why did she keep repeating these things to herself? Why didn’t she understand it never would get better if she kept thinking like this? Everyone has the right to live. Right?

Don’t you get it? If you don’t do something about yourself, no one will ever like you. Do you think you’re good enough? Didn’t think so. I think you understand why you have to do this. It will get better once you’ve reached your goal, everything will be perfect then. Forget about everything else, all your focus on this. ALL your focus.

If she worked day and night to reach her goal, it would get better. If she failed one day, she would be even more worthless. A punishment maybe, a little less food?

Yes, you will be just fine with less food. I promise you. So you’re saying you’re hungry? Ha ha! Go to the mirror and take a look at yourself. Still hungry?

The eating disorder just wanted to help her feel better. Because everything will get better soon, right? Later, when she wasn’t gross. Later, when she was pretty. Later, when she felt like she could live with herself. Because in this moment, it didn’t matter. What did she have to lose? Nothing. Because she was useless. Useless.

No one else understands like I do. Don’t listen to anyone.

Look! everyone is staring at you. Exactly, you know why. Yes, I promise it will get better soon.

Are you faintingDo you feel like your heart will stop beating soon? 

Are you afraid you’re going to die? Like I said, it will get better soon.

But it isn’t going to be better. It will never get better this way. The girl had already figured this out. She knew it. But she couldn’t get herself out of this. She knew deep inside this was not the way to happiness. This was a one-way ticket to hell. But it was already too late.

What the girl wanted most in the world was for someone to save her. But she could not say it out loud, because then she would have failed at one more thing. She knew she was a failure, but was she really so useless that she couldn’t even do this one thing she had been working on in the past few months? Without it she would be nothing.

She cried herself through the days. There was no hope left for her.

But the day came when she couldn’t make it anymore. The day she was so sick, there was nothing left to do but to save her. The day she got saved. The day she had been waiting for for so long without being able to say it out loud. After that day, it was time to try to live again. Very slowly life started to come back to her, even though she never thought it was possible.

A month after that day, she now feels life again. She knows there are things in life that have more value than the things that occupied her mind during the year from hell.

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.

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 26, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home