Confessions of a Spiraling Teen
Confessions of a Spiraling Teen
TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses eating disorders and body dismorphia
It’s 2 AM, Monday night/Tuesday morning and I can still feel my sore throat, raw from jamming in two fingers. Earlier at 1 AM, I felt disgusted and dismayed at my lack of self control for eating 3 granola bars and 6 almonds… 384 calories-- trust me I just input it into my eating journal. This journal also tells me that for the past 4 days I haven’t been maintaining my daily calorie goal of 700-- the number necessary for me to lose 2 pounds every week so I can go from 126 to 105.
I’ve trying making myself throw up before, but I’ve always walked away not willing to hurt myself like that, knowing that I was better than that. But on that Friday night it was whole lot easier for me to stay kneeling on the ground than to stand up and walk away. Because at that time to me, walking away meant that my body wasn’t worth a few fingers down the throat. Because sliding those fingers was the only way to get rid of the 4 cookies I indulged in earlier-- what I gave myself as a reward for being good the whole week grew to over-indulgence, to self loathing, to Googling “Bulimia Tips,” to chugging 96 ounces of water, to a walk down the hall, to kneeling by the toilet, to sliding one finger down, to sliding in another, to pushing my fingers in deeper, to wiping away the snot and saliva... until finally I purged myself clean.
After I vowed that this was a one time thing, that it was just enough to bring me back on track. But Saturday, I found myself kneeling by my toilet after another late-night snack. Sunday I tried, but I wasn’t quick enough-- the bits of shame had already settled in. Those 2 days I was proud of myself for carefully monitoring everything I ate, and was prouder that (for the most part) it was good, clean food. I would allow myself one unhealthy snack during the day, making sure it was a small enough portion not to go over my calorie limit. But when night came I found myself reaching for granola bars and almonds even though my 700 calories were maxed out. There was only one solution for me: to purge it out.
Monday was an amazing day. I went to the beach with friends, had a great dinner, and got ice cream after. I didn’t feel guilty about the food I ate because I didn’t eat the whole day to make sure I didn’t go over that 700. But again, the granola bars and almonds and toilet. But after today’s purge I realized how deep I had fallen. Within the past 4 days I had thrown up 6 times, attempted to throw up 4, and thought of throwing up too many times to count. Even worse, after purging I Googled “How to stop forcing myself to throw up” only to Google the next day “How to force myself to throw up easier.”
Writing is often how I choose to reflect and conclude on troubling matters. Now I’m sitting in bed, hoping that each keystroke will be my saving grace. That this will be the last wake up call. I hope that I will be able to find the strength within myself to stop this growingly increasing practice before it becomes routine, habit, and lifestyle. It’s only been 4 days, but I can still remember thinking to myself “only this once,” thinking that I had control. But that control was flushed down along with my regret on that Friday night, and now I’m clamoring to have it again.
To anyone struggling with the same challenge, here’s what I’ve got to say: I know I have people willing and able to help, but I’m too afraid to tell my parents and friends leaving me with myself and the internet. The internet has been my friend and enemy; for as many helpful articles that are sending out a lifeline, there are just as many drowning me deeper. I wish I could tell you that you’re beautiful the way you are, etc. but I can’t bring myself to say something I haven’t learned to accept myself. But if anything I’ve learned that I need to prioritize my long-term physical and mental health and stop hurting myself even more. I’ve learned that it needs to come from me. Deep inside I know what the right thing to do is, but I haven’t learned to turn what I know into what I do. I hope that time and seeing food differently will help put me back on my feet, rather than my knees on cold, bathroom tile. I find this hope because I haven’t assigned myself to being a lost case-- I still have a fight and determination to get better.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, anorexia, bulemia, or other eating disorder, please contact: The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or their website.