Life in the Ana Phase: Living with Anorexia/EDNOS

This is what it’s like.

It’s sitting at a table. And everything smells like it’s ready to kill you. And you pick up your fork to eat, and you stare at your food in the eye. And you tell yourself that you can do this. You can eat this. You can do this. It’s just one bite. You can swallow it. You’re hungry. You can do this.

You put it in your mouth.

It’s heavy. So heavy. You can feel every speck of oil sliding down the fish onto your tongue, and every bit of salt weighs down on you like a medicine ball crashing into your veins. Every fleck of fish tastes so overpowering and smells so strong. You can feel the smell wrapping around you, grabbing at your esophagus, clutching your trachea, getting caught on the skin of your throat and ripping your veins to shreds. The smell slides into your stomach and constricts around it, forcing it shut. Everything is shut. The fish sits in your mouth and moves nowhere. As your throat closes up, it brings everything inside you upwards, and you retch. It takes every ounce of strength you possess to keep your mouth shut. Tears start to form and you close your eyes. You stop shaking. You calm.

You then realize that you just put three minutes of effort into eating one piece of fish.

Stupid fuck, you think. What kind of idiot takes three minutes to eat a sliver of fish? How pathetic are you? What is wrong with you? Why can’t you just eat? Just eat, stupid. Just close your mouth and swallow. You’re pathetic.

I can’t do it, you beg yourself to understand as you reach for another forkful. I can’t eat this. I can’t do another bite. Stop. Please. Stop.

Come on, you freak. What the fuck is wrong with you? It’s fish. It tastes good. Eat it. Eat it, you asshole. Do it. Come on. Do it.

Shut up, you tell yourself vehemently as you shove your plate away. You go upstairs. You shut the door and walk to the mirror.

You didn’t eat. You had to and you didn’t. Every inch of your failures pile up inside you, bursting at the seams of your body. You are not pounds. You are not sizes. You are a measurement of failure, and you just gained some more.