Down the Rabbit Hole

By , High Bridge, NJ
My eating disorder found its way into my life somewhere around August 2010. It began with a simple wish to be thin, nothing more. It quickly spiraled into something I had never intended it to: anorexia. I wanted to lose a few pounds before my junior year of high school started. As it would soon become abundantly clear, those few pounds were not enough. It was never enough, no matter how much weight I lost or how loose clothes fit or how many concerned looks and worried comments I got from loved ones and strangers alike. I suffered for months and months with depression, anorexia and self-mutilation, never seeing the empty shell of a girl that was left of me.
As autumn lingers in the air I fall deeper and deeper into a crippling depression. Down the rabbit hole I fall as my eating disorder strengthens its grip on me. My cutting gets worse during these months, as does my depression. The memories I have of this time are scarce and scattered; most of what I remember is being terribly depressed and thinking about food all day, every day. Food was my obsession, depression my reality. It was hard to get out bed in the morning and even brush my teeth and shower. I simply couldn’t see a point. I wanted everyone to leave me alone and let me sabotage myself in peace.
I began severely restricting my caloric intake. My “meals” consisted of a slice of low calorie bread and a dressing-less salad or 5 baby carrots and a diet coke. I was weak and tired. Dizziness overcame me every time I stood up. I could barely walk up the stairs or keep my eyes open in class. I couldn’t concentrate on anything, although I tried. I tried to be a good student, one who always did her homework and took notes in class. But all I could think about was food and weight, calories and body image. Instead of doing my homework, I would sleep – partly because I was so tired and partly because I was so depressed and used sleep as a form of escapism. Instead of taking notes in class, I would keep food diaries and obsess over what I had, hadn’t, would and wouldn’t eat. It consumed my thoughts, inhibiting me from what I most desired.
Eating disorders are a contradiction. All you’re focused on is obtaining happiness and success, yet those are the very things it takes from you. You think it’s your best friend; it convinces you that it will get you what you want, whether it is happiness, success, love or control. But those are the exact things it takes away. You end up miserable, alone and completely out of control. I started out searching for happiness, a way out of my misery, yet I ended up even more miserable and depressed than when I had started. I sought to have control over something, anything, in my oftentimes painful and chaotic life, yet I ended up totally out of control. I sought acceptance, but all I got were stares and concerned looks. I ended up with absolutely nothing I had wanted in the first place. Was it even worth it?
Yes. Living through and eventually, after many months in treatment and much hard work, overcoming the illness has convinced me that it was, in fact, worth it. I am a new, improved person, one who knows more about herself than the average teenage girl. I have gained incredible insight into myself. Anorexia has sparked a desire in me to help those who are stuck in the same downward spiral I was in by treating, researching and advocating for recovery from eating disorders. It was hell living through and overcoming anorexia nervosa, but there is no doubt in my mind that it was worth it.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Two-ply said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm

This was amazing and so, so inspiring! I especially admired your ability to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, something that I never would have been able to do. The piece was very well written.

Keep writing(and eating!) :)

 
sevandlilly said...
Oct. 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm
This is an article that deals with a very difficult topic and I'm sure it must have been very difficult for you to write about! Whenever you feel depressed, write a story! It works for me;)
 
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