Spilling my guts

When I was 12 I thought I was pregnant. My belly was getting round and my thin boyish body was changing. I was catholic so I didn’t really know much about how pregnancy worked but I knew it had something to do with sex. My mom also noticed my changing body and immediately enrolled me in a program for fat kids in the basement of the hospital that my dad would die in 26 years later. This is where I learned how to disorder my eating. We met once a week, my mom was there too. We had a big binder filled with all the things that were ‘safe’ to eat and all the things we should avoid and they measured us with those calipers at the end of every ‘class’. I wasn’t fat. I was a preteen with new hormones. I was a preteen that wasn’t safe in my bed at night. I’d come home after those classes, skip dinner and stand on my bed so I could see my naked body in the mirror that was attached to my dresser. I hated everything I saw. I hated my queerness, I hated the sound of my name, I hated my blue eyes the most. I hated how they would get red when someone hurt my feelings, I hated how I they didn’t lie. In that mirror I found control. I found something I had complete control over and it was me. I stopped eating. I only ate the things in that big binder and I got skinny. And people were nicer to me. Over the next 30 years I continued this eating/not eating cycle. I blamed it on forgetfulness, a lot. Every time I ‘forgot’ to eat I felt satisfied and so that’s how I lived. It’s always been about control, when things are chaotic, this is what I turn to. It’s not something I can control though. Something traumatic has to happen to switch my brain. Until it’s controlling my eating. I can go years and years and eat normally, the whole time I’m thinking about what it is like when it’s easy to not eat. During those binge years I am dreaming of the draught, during the draught I’m remembering the binge.

In 2008 my past started to catch up to me and my disordered brain took control and I spent almost a year isolated to my studio apartment and I didn’t eat. I stopped talking to my friends, and I let myself consume me. In 2010 I met my best friend crew and honestly they saved my life. I started eating again and I wouldn’t stop until the fall of 2017, when all that trauma that I starved out in 2008 came back hungrier than ever.

I ignored it and let it eat me up. I didn’t classify my eating as disordered until I met someone with an ED and they almost mirrored my experience. I didn’t tell them about mine, but I think they knew. It’s the biggest reason I pushed them so far away. It’s got me again, currently I’m controlling my eating more than I ever have and it’s been 7 months. This is hard for me to admit, mostly because by admitting I have an eating disorder it means I need to do something to change it. And I’m not ready to do that. I’m scared of loosing control and I don’t like being told what to do with my body. I’m writing this for myself, so that maybe saying all this out loud will help me be more aware of my patterns. I’m writing this for my past self in hopes that one day they’ll forgive me for everything.

Meg Brown